Notable Quotes

A quote from two conservatives, Jonathan Rauch of the Brookings Institution and Peter Wehner of the right-leaning Ethics and Public Policy Center, from an article they wrote for the New York Times:

The most troubling — and from our point of view the most disappointing — development of the Trump era is not the president’s own election and subsequent behavior; it is the institutional corruption, weakness and self-betrayal of the Republican Party. The party has abandoned its core commitments to constitutional norms, to conservative principles and even to basic decency. It has allowed itself to be hijacked by a reality television star who is a pathological liar, emotionally unsteady and accountable only to himself. And it has embraced presidential conduct that, if engaged in by a Democrat, it would have been denounced as corrupt, incompetent and even treasonous.

Unwanted Surprise

We moved our office to a new site last week (I’ll be starting a series of photos about that tomorrow) and today we got a surprise at the new site when the main waterline from the street broke. It took us a long time to find and dig up the cutoff valve and then it wouldn’t work so we plugged the incoming pipe with a cap held on by a brick and the concrete buttress until Sokly our director could run out and get a piece of replacement pipe and get it connected. Well done, Sokly!

Lunar New Year

Tomorrow (Monday) is New Year’s Eve, one of the most important dates in the Chinese calendar, the re-union dinner when all the family MUST be home. Today, Sunday, gave people a little time to prepare for tomorrow.

Another load of peachtree branches made its way into Phnom Penh this morning.
A good number of customers seeking peachtree branches visited this sidewalk vendor.
This pharmacy took a minimalist approach to decoration,
just a couple pots of chrysanthemums.
This is an office building soon to open after renovation (it used to be a KFC outlet) and the owner seems to want to impress the neighbors with lots of chrysanthemums.
This French colonial building wants to light up the neighborhood with Chinese lanterns.

Most Corrupt in ASEAN

Transparency International this week released its global Corruption Perceptions Index and Cambodia was the highest ranked country in ASEAN–for corruption, that is. It ranked #161 of 180 countries, earning a place lower on the list than all its ASEAN neighbors and near the bottom for all countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Cambodia government and its flunkies of course criticized the report and said it was “biased and politically motivated.” Huh? When you’re at the bottom of the ranking–even if there is some political motivation (which there probably isn’t)—it would seem something is wrong.

Lunar New Year

Another essential element for the proper celebration of the Lunar New Year is chrysanthemums. And they are out in full force on the streets now, ready to decorate every house with any Chinese heritage.

The chrysanthemums come into town on a wagon pulled by a motorcycle.
Then they are displayed for sale on streets and sidewalks
and wherever a vendor can set up shop.
This woman has her flowers but also the traditional peach tree branches
which are just starting to bud.