Wednesday, January 28, 2015
     

Guest Columnists

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Today is the ninth anniversary of the September 11 attacks upon the United States. As I reflect on the event, I am concerned that our country remains exposed.

It may be more difficult to attack two office towers today, but there are many other exposures. Our borders remain poorly secured with foreign nationals entering the country like water pouring through a sieve. Recent reports indicate that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has detained fewer people than last year.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

By GORDON SMITH

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS

Saturday, July 17, 2010
TIMES NEWS PHOTO BY BRANDON TAYLOR The intercity train for Tianjin, a coastal city near Beijing, ready to leave the Beijing South Railway station. Not five minutes after departing, the train cruises at a smooth 211 mph toward Tianjin.

My seat was in the full, upright position as one of the attendants came by. I showed her my ticket, to which she smiled and said, "Enjoy your trip."

The seat was spacious and comfortable. I'd paid extra for business class. And I had a window seat. A muffled voice came over the loudspeaker, informing us about our departure time and destination. Before I could ask for a complimentary drink, we were off - the intercity train for Tianjin, a coastal city near Beijing, leaving the station without so much as a jolt or engine start.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The unemployment rate continues to linger above nine percent. This is actually an improvement and we were recently told we have turned the corner. Tell that to those seeking work and cannot find a job.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Father's Day has just passed and I was away from my family this year. My job had called for me to be in a foreign country to help set up a new process.

Our two children, Laura and John Jr., made it plain to me that they appreciated me by sending messages through various online media.

Today, I have to wonder, we have a Mother's Day; we have a Father's Day; and we have a Grandparent's Day. Why don't we have a Children's Day?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

As I listen to the news, I'm bombarded with stories of the importance of Immigration Reform. Why is reform necessary? I came to this country legally as an immigrant. Applicants apply in their home countries, are fairly treated and processed for legal entry into the United States. For those who are already in the country on valid visas, there is a process for them to follow so they can get their green card. Based on my personal experience with the process, I believe that the immigration system is fair, and it works well.

Saturday, May 22, 2010
TIMES NEWS PHOTO BY BRANDON TAYLOR Meeting some good fiends - Michael and Mary Ruth Taylor meet Vivian and Bill, two friends of Brandon Taylor. The Chinese do not have English last names.

Six months, four weeks - roughly 210 days. That's how long it had been since I'd given my mom a hug or high-fived my brother Michael. But after months of planning and waiting, they arrived in Beijing for a 10-day tour of the Chinese capital in early April, with me as their tour guide.

While touring Tiananmen, traversing the Great Wall, and eating authentic Chinese cuisine had taken up the majority of their stay, I tried to weave in visits with my friends here in Beijing.

Saturday, March 27, 2010
Superman the reporter

Stereotypes are frustrating, yet every profession has them.

Teachers today wonder why respect for them has diminished compared to the way it was a generation or two ago. As they gained new-found rights, salary parity and benefits, they lost some of their mystique. Now the public and their students stereotype them as being more concerned about money, benefits and retirement than the education of their students.

Saturday, March 27, 2010
Brandon Taylor

The Spring Festival, so I've been told, usually ushers in a new season with warmer weather and sunnier skies in Beijing. For much of the one-week holiday, this seemed to be true I was able to put away my scarf and gloves and even bring out a lighter jacket. I threw the windows wide open to allow for some cool but no longer frigid air to circulate throughout my apartment. "Spring is on its way," one of my Chinese co-workers told me one day when I was outside standing and sweating from the heat while waiting for my bus home.

Saturday, November 28, 2009
Brandon Taylor and his 1997 Jeep Wrangler Sahara ended their relationship this fall.

I recently got out of a six-year relationship. It just wasn't working out. We had different views, and with the price of gas taking roller coaster dips, those long drives we used to enjoy became quite expensive. And while our love had started strong, it faded as the years passed. I don't blame either one of us some things just aren't meant to be.