“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

From Ivy Halls to the Garden, Surprise Star Jolts the N.B.A.

New York’s newest basketball sensation spends most nights on a couch in a one-bedroom apartment on the Lower East Side. The housing choice is understandable once you get to know Jeremy Lin.

He is a Harvard graduate playing in the National Basketball Association. He is an Asian-American in a league devoid of them, which makes him doubly anomalous. No team drafted Lin in 2010. Two teams cut him in December, before the Knicks picked him up.

His contract, potentially worth nearly $800,000, was not even guaranteed until Tuesday afternoon. So for the past six weeks, Lin, 23, has been sleeping in his brother Josh’s living room, waiting for clarity and career security.

“He has his own couch,” Josh Lin, a New York University dental student, said cheerfully.

He should be able to reclaim his living room soon enough.

Jeremy Lin’s utterly distinctive, mostly transient N.B.A. existence has taken a rather sudden turn over the past few days.

On Saturday night, Lin came off the bench and powered the Knicks to a 99-92 victory over the Nets at Madison Square Garden, scoring a career-best 25 points with 7 assists. Two nights later, he made his first N.B.A. start and produced 28 points and 8 assists in a 99-88 win over the Utah Jazz.

Knicks fans now serenade Lin with chants of “Je-re-my!” and “M.V.P.!” while the franchise uses his likeness to sell tickets and teammates and coaches gush with praise.

With every game, every precision pass and every clever drive to the basket, Lin is raising expectations, altering the Knicks’ fate and redefining the word “unlikely.” On Twitter, fans and basketball pundits are using another term to describe the phenomenon: “Linsanity.”

Two weeks ago, the 6-foot-3 Lin was not even part of the Knicks’ point-guard rotation, despite their lack of talent at the position. He played sparingly in a few games, showing just enough promise to keep getting another look— a few more minutes, another quarter. But there was never any hint of what was to come.

With 25 points Saturday, Lin set the N.B.A. scoring record for a player from Harvard. For an encore, he became the first player in more than 30 years to record at least 28 points and 8 assists in his first N.B.A. start. The last to do so was Isiah Thomas, the Detroit Pistons’ Hall of Fame point guard, in October 1981.

“I don’t think anyone, including myself, saw this coming,” Lin said after the game Monday.

That is, essentially, the story of Lin’s career. He was cut in December by the Golden State Warriors, his hometown team, after one season in which he rarely left the bench. The Warriors were intrigued enough to sign him but not enough to keep him. The Houston Rockets gave Lin a quick look and cut him.

When the Knicks claimed Lin off waivers Dec. 27, he was fourth on the depth chart at point guard. Now he is No. 1, continuing a long pattern of low expectations and surprising results.

Lin received no college scholarship offers, despite leading his Palo Alto High School team to a 32-1 record and the California championship. At Harvard, he was twice named to the all-Ivy League first team and delivered a signature 30-point performance against 12th-ranked Connecticut.

At draft time, in June 2010, Lin was again overlooked. N.B.A. teams had their doubts — about his defense, about his jump shot, about his ability to keep up with the league’s elite athletes.

They were the kind of concerns scouts have every year about dozens of prospects, from all sorts of programs and all sorts of backgrounds. Yet there was no escaping Lin’s unusual pedigree and the subtle sense that he did not fit a profile.

Lin is the N.B.A.’s first American-born player of Taiwanese or Chinese descent and only the fourth Asian-American in league history. His parents, Shirley and Gie-Ming, who are engineers, emigrated from Taiwan to the United States in the 1970s.

“I think people are surprised, because people don’t know him, or maybe he’s a pioneer,” Shirley Lin said. “There’s not that many Harvard players, not that many Asian-Americans. He’s just kind of like underdog. But he works hard.”

The qualities that make Lin unique, and seemingly held him back, are now the qualities that make him a sensation. Knicks fans were clamoring for Lin before he threw his first pass at the Garden. They roar louder for his shifty layups in traffic than they do for Carmelo Anthony’s.

Lin is the proud underdog defying scouts, stunning opposing defenders and forcing reassessments with every daring burst into the lane. He is more than a novelty now, but also more than just an underrated player finding success.

Social networks lighted up Saturday night and again Monday with excited chatter about Lin, much of it from Asian-American fans who have been following him for years.

“It’s just a real point of pride, the success he is having,” said Carl Park, a 35-year-old graduate student in Chicago and a first-generation Korean-American.

Park grew up a Milwaukee Bucks fan, but he roots for Lin wherever he plays.

“It represents a step for the Asian-American community as it becomes part of American culture more broadly,” Park said.

To illustrate his point, Park posted a humorous “Timeline for what Asian-Americans get called in pickup basketball” on his Facebook page. In 1980, it was “Bruce” (as in Lee). In 1995, “Jackie Chan.” In 2000, “Yao,” for Yao Ming.

In 2012, “Jeremy.”

The first examples came from Park’s own experience as a recreational player. The last, he hopes to hear.

“It’s nice there’s been some progress that way,” Park said, “in that younger guys might actually get called the name of an actual basketball player.”

Yet the Lin phenomenon transcends race or nationality. He resonates with devout Christians, because he speaks openly of his faith, a sort of Taiwanese Tim Tebow. He taps into the passions of Harvard alumni, Ivy Leaguers, New Yorkers and anyone anywhere who loves an underdog.

“Jeremy Lin” was a top trending topic on Twitter on Sunday, in New York and in San Francisco. On Monday, he picked up nearly 10,000 followers on his account, @JLin7. On Tuesday, a Lin-themed rap appeared on YouTube.

No demographic seems to love him as much as Knicks fans, who are suddenly counting on Lin to revive their flagging season. The stars, Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire, have struggled. The presumed starting point guard, Baron Davis, is recovering from a back injury. The Knicks have lost 15 of their first 25 games, dousing their championship hopes.

Another setback came Tuesday, when the Knicks announced that Anthony would miss up to two weeks because of a groin injury.

On Twitter, the fan response came swiftly: “As long as we have Jeremy Lin, we’ll be fine,” wrote @CareyWilbur.

It is perhaps too much to ask the undrafted player from Harvard to save the season. It seems more likely that Lin, who has a degree in economics, will ultimately settle into a more modest nightly role.

But the uncertainty is over. Lin has cemented himself as a credible N.B.A. player, not a novelty act. On Tuesday, his contract became guaranteed for the season. The Knicks are keeping him. It seems safe to go apartment hunting.

“I think he’s looking forward to it,” Josh Lin said.


  1. Why no love of county Ms Philipino?Wed Feb 08, 05:05:00 PM EST


    Filipinos always complain about the corruption in the Philippines . Do you really think the corruption is the problem of the Philippines ? I do not think so. I strongly believe that the problem is the lack of love for the Philippines.

    Let me first talk about my country, Korea . It might help you understand my point. After the Korean War, South Korea was one of the poorest countries in the world. Koreans had to start from scratch because entire country was destroyed after the Korean War, and we had no natural resources.

    Koreans used to talk about the Philippines , for Filipinos were very rich in Asia . We envy Filipinos. Koreans really wanted to be well off like Filipinos. Many Koreans died of famine. My father & brother also died because of famine. Korean government was very corrupt and is still very corrupt beyond your imagination, but Korea was able to develop dramatically because Koreans really did their best for the common good with their heart burning with patriotism…

    Koreans did not work just for themselves but also for their neighborhood and country. Education inspired young men with the spirit of patriotism.

    40 years ago, President Park took over the government to reform Korea . He tried to borrow money from other countries, but it was not possible to get a loan and attract a foreign investment because the economic situation of South Korea was so bad. Korea had only three factories. So, President Park sent many mine workers and nurses to Germany so that they could send money to Korea to build a factory. They had to go through horrible experience.

    In 1964, President Park visited Germany to borrow money. Hundred of Koreans in Germany came to the airport to welcome him and cried there as they saw the President Park . They asked to him, “President, when can we be well off?” That was the only question everyone asked to him. President Park cried with them and promised them that Korea would be well off if everyone works hard for Korea , and the President of Germany got the strong impression on them and lent money to Korea . So, President Park was able to build many factories in Korea . He always asked Koreans to love their country from their heart.

    Many Korean scientists and engineers in the USA came back to Korea to help developing country because they wanted their country to be well off. Though they received very small salary, they did their best for Korea . They always hoped that their children would live in well off country.

    My parents always brought me to the places where poor and physically handicapped people live. They wanted me to understand their life and help them. I also worked for Catholic Church when I was in the army. The only thing I learned from Catholic Church was that we have to love our neighborhood. And, I have loved my neighborhood.

  2. Have you cried for the Philippines ? I have cried for my country several times. I also cried for the Philippines because of so many poor people.. I have been to the New Bilibid prison. What made me sad in the prison were the prisoners who do not have any love for their country. They go to mass and work for Church. They pray everyday. However, they do not love the Philippines . I talked to two prisoners at the maximum-security compound, and both of them said that they would leave the Philippines right after they are released from the prison. They said that they would start a new life in other countries and never come back to the Philippines.

    Many Koreans have a great love for Korea so that we were able to share our wealth with our neighborhood. The owners of factory and company were distributed their profit to their employees fairly so that employees could buy what they needed and saved money for the future and their children.

    When I was in Korea , I had a very strong faith and wanted to be a priest. However, when I came to the Philippines , I completely lost my faith. I was very confused when I saw many unbelievable situations in the Philippines. Street kids always make me sad, and I see them everyday. The Philippines is the only Catholic country in Asia , but there are too many poor people here. People go to church every Sunday to pray, but nothing has been changed.

    My parents came to the Philippines last week and saw this situation. They told me that Korea was much poorer than the present Philippines when they were young. They are so sorry that there are so many beggars and street kids. When we went to Pasangjan, I forced my parents to take a boat because it would fun.. However, they were not happy after taking a boat. They said that they would not take the boat again because they were sympathized the boatmen, for the boatmen were very poor and had a small frame.. Most of people just took a boat and enjoyed it. But, my parents did not enjoy it because of love for them.

    My mother who has been working for Catholic Church since I was very young told me that if we just go to mass without changing ourselves, we are not Catholic indeed. Faith should come with action. She added that I have to love Filipinos and do good things for them because all of us are same and have received a great love from God. I want Filipinos to love their neighborhood and country as much as they love God so that the Philippines will be well off.. I am sure that love is the keyword, which Filipinos should remember. We cannot change the sinful structure at once. It should start from person. Love must start in everybody, in a small scale and have to grow. A lot of things happen if we open up to love.

    Let’s put away our prejudices and look at our worries with our new eyes. I discover that every person is worthy to be loved. Trust in love, because it makes changes possible. Love changes you and me. It changes people, contexts and relationships. It changes the world. Please love your neighborhood and country. Jesus Christ said that whatever we do to others we do to Him. In the Philippines , there is God for people who are abused and abandoned. There is God who is crying for love. If you have a child, teach them how to love the Philippines . Teach them why they have to love their neighborhood and country. You already know that God also will be very happy if you love others.

    That’s all I really want to ask you Filipinos.

  3. Wooly Mammoth Crosses River

    He is on his way to The Great Council.

    That river has some fish in it.

  4. The world's top car makers are in the middle of an expansion spree in Indonesia, battling for a piece of the world's next auto hub.

    Toyota Motor Corp. and other Japanese auto makers have dominated the Indonesian market for decades. But General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co., Tata Motors Ltd. and others are trying to wedge their way in.

  5. On this day in 1971, the Nasdaq - the first electronic stock exchange in the world ' opened for business and held its inaugural trading day. Based on market cap, it is currently the second largest global stock exchange, trailing only the NYSE.

  6. But let’s get back to those raw jobs numbers, because the acid test for Team Obama’s claim that the economy is finally legitimately recovering will come during the next five months. As seen above, during the four relatively good years of 2004 through 2007, the economy added an average of 4.11 million jobs from February through June.

    But that was during a time when the unemployment rate was never higher than 5.8%, and in 2007 averaged only 4.5%. An authentically recovering economy making a real dent in a horribly underutilized workforce should generate six million jobs on the ground during the next five months.

    If it doesn’t, it won’t be genuinely recovering, no matter what the seasonally adjusted numbers say, and no matter what Team Obama and their media lapdogs want us to believe they say.

    Not Fixed Yet

  7. AntiChrist Obama wants to make St. Lukes provide RU486, and even the Southern Baptists are standing with the Catholic people on this one, which hasn't happened before, ever. Usually if we're fer it they're agin it.

  8. Last week Germany reclaimed its status as the leading power in Europe. In the two years since it became apparent that Greece was, essentially, bankrupt, there have been dozens of emergency meetings of the countries that use the common European currency, the euro.


    Germany has its own ideas about economics and morality, and it is ready to insist that its weaker neighbors adhere to them. Those ideas are idiosyncratic.


    Germans grow up getting the lesson drummed into their heads that they, as the perpetrators of the twentieth century’s worst atrocity, owe a large and perhaps unpayable debt to humanity. Some Germans draw the conclusion that the European Union is entitled to collect this debt on humanity’s behalf—that it is entitled to obedience, even deference, from Germany.

    Uber Alles

  9. For the U.S., the revision of the realignment plan for Japan-based troops comes at a time when the nation is reinforcing its defense strategy in the Asia-Pacific region and winding down operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Even as Washington has cut the overall military budget, President Barack Obama pledged during his visit to the region in November that the U.S. would maintain spending in the Asia-Pacific region and "more broadly distribute" its regional defense capability while maintaining a strong presence in Japan and Korea.

    U.S. lawmakers have raised questions about the cost and scope of the military's basing plans in the western Pacific, amid the broader shift in U.S. strategy. Last year, Sen. Webb and other senators called for concrete alternatives to building a new facility on Okinawa, including studying the feasibility of moving the Marine Corps base at Futenma to Kadena Air Base on Okinawa.

    Since then, the U.S. has announced plans to use a new base in Australia and expand its presence in the Philippines—a move that has some in Japan worried that it is becoming less important as an ally.

    Base Plan

  10. The Catholic Church operates 637 hospitals which are non profit. They treat 1 out of every 5 patients. Imagine if they close.

  11. Last known WWI veteran dies at 110.

  12. That Wilders should become a censor and dictator of correctness is richly ironic. He came to prominence as one of the few Dutch politicians to say what was on people’s minds, regardless of the cries​—​and police investigations​—​of “hate speech.”

    He has been prosecuted for his ideas, and it is perfectly polite to refer to him as dangerously extreme, barbaric, or fascist. After Anders Behring Breivik’s mass murder in Norway last summer, Wilders not only declared that he had had nothing to do with Breivik’s crime​—​and he was correct​—​but went on to say, to the horror of the Dutch establishment, that he would not tone down the volume of his warnings about Islamism and Islamization.

    But his recent experiments with political correctness​—​enforced “love speech”​—​have earned him no love. By associating himself with fashionable demands for public lamentation over the sufferings of yesterday’s Jews​—​and the fancied suffering of the animals today’s Jews eat​—​he has fixed in the minds of many Dutch sympathizers his own greatest weakness.

    So Sorry

  13. I spent last year in Afghanistan, visiting and talking with U.S. troops and their Afghan partners. My duties with the Army’s Rapid Equipping Force took me into every significant area where our soldiers engage the enemy.


    Much of what I saw during my deployment, let alone read or wrote in official reports, I can’t talk about; the information remains classified. But I can say that such reports — mine and others’ — serve to illuminate the gulf between conditions on the ground and official statements of progress.


    I’m hardly the only one who has noted the discrepancy between official statements and the truth on the ground.

    A January 2011 report by the Afghan NGO Security Office noted that public statements made by U.S. and ISAF leaders at the end of 2010 were “sharply divergent from IMF, [international military forces, NGO-speak for ISAF] ‘strategic communication’ messages suggesting improvements.

    Lies And Afghanistan

  14. If we could make all Muslim hospitals sport a statue of a masturbating Mohammed Porky would be all for it.

  15. While I was attached to the Malakand Field Force I wrote a series of letters for the London Daily Telegraph. The favourable manner in which these letters were received, encouraged me to attempt a more substantial work.


    All along the north and north-west frontiers of India lie the Himalayas, the greatest disturbance of the earth's surface that the convulsions of chaotic periods have produced. Nearly four hundred miles in breadth and more than sixteen hundred in length, this mountainous region divides the great plains of the south from those of Central Asia, and parts as a channel separates opposing shores, the Eastern Empire of Great Britain from that of Russia.


    The town and cantonment of Nowshera was the base from which all the operations of the Malakand Field Force were conducted. It is situated on the India side of the Cabul River and is six hours by rail from Rawal Pindi.

    Malakand Field Force

  16. The Port of Los Angeles spent $489,000 of a $1.5 million grant from the Department of Energy to retrofit a city-owned yacht with "hydro-electric propulsion system," according to Issa's letter, rather than the diesel engines it already had in operation. The yacht is used to conduct tours of the port.

    "This is the American people’s money that was borrowed in stimulus," said House Oversight and Government Reform Chair Darrell Issa in a local CBS broadcast. "It was supposed to create net new jobs.

    Could that half a million dollars have been used better? Was this really just show without substance?"

  17. In a recent TV interview, Hazim Abu Ismail, a candidate for Egypt’s presidency with affiliations to both the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafis, made clear that the hijab, or veil for women, would be enforced under his leadership.


    Translated excerpts of the interview follow:

    Host: You have already begun to try to impose a particular dress code for us.
    Abu Ismail: I’ve begun to? It’s the Lord of the Worlds [Allah] who said so.


    Host: Allah left it for me to decide as a personal freedom.
    Abu Ismail: Who said that? Where’d you get that from.


    Host: There is “no coercion in religion” [Koran 2:256].
    Abu Ismail: This is concerning the creed, you don’t force someone to convert to Islam.

    No Freedom In Islam

  18. "All of a sudden now you've got a way to eliminate the collateral damage issues. From that perspective, this starts to get interesting," said Adam Firestone, an Army veteran, instructor and a weapons system engineer.


    "Where we're going is to a world where the individual soldier, Marine, sailor or airman lives in a bath of knowledge. The world would be surreal in the original sense of super real.

    When you look at something, you see what you need to see when you need to see it," Firestone said. "They will have the ability to make decisions more accurately and that will have a significant impact."

    'Self-Guided' Bullet

  19. Those who defame the Prophet are the rulers and sheikhs of the Arab world who have transformed their countries into the last strongholds of tyranny and dictatorship in the world and who manipulate religious texts to justify their crimes.

    Those who defame the Prophet are not in the West, but rather we Muslims, for imposing a terroristic, hypocritical, and life-hating model of Islam that feeds on killing others in the name of jihad and fighting freedom of expression on the pretext of defending the Umma's [Islamic world's] precepts, which mean only regression and ossification.

    They [Western people] only defame and combat the model that we—and no one else—created.

    Who Defames The Prophet?