History repeats itself 2

Well, fuck. It looks like Russia is going to invade Ukraine. Russian troops are already in Crimea. It’s 1968 all over again.

Civics 101 — emergency edition

My host had a major malfunction a few days ago, so I am reposting this to be sure my latest edits are in it. How laws are made President or congressman proposes a bill. The bill is debated in congress. It may be amended. It is put to a vote. If it wins a majority vote in the House and the Senate, it is sent to the President for his or her signature. If the president signs the bill, it becomes law. If the president vetoes it, Congress can try again or drop it altogether. The basis of American democracy is majority rule. If a majority of Congress and the President approve a bill, it becomes the law of the land. Laws can be changed, amended or revoked by future Congresses. The process is the same as above. This system has worked very well for the last two centuries (except for that one little glitch in the 1860s). How laws are not made A minority of Congressmen demands a law be revoked, amended, or created, as the case may be. They obstruct necessary legislation until their demands are met. The nation grinds to a halt. Note that this behavior is ...

Presidential election results: The South tried to rise again

Presidential election results: The South tried to rise again
JISHOU, HUNAN — Charles Johnson posted this graphic in a comment yesterday at Little Green Footballs. It’s thought-provoking, from a number of angles. We can argue about correlation and causation here. Either way, I’m not very surprised at the results.

‘Why can’t China be like America?’ a student asks

JISHOU, HUNAN — One of my students posted this in her Qzone (It’s like Facebook.) It’s not only a compliment to the USA, but a criticism of China. A while ago I saw John faxed docs to the USA [That was my absentee ballot]. I wonder when we can do this in China … Just listened to Obama’s speech: “Michelle, I’ve never loved you more, I’ve never been more proud of you…” And I think in China this would NEVER happen. Meditation: why the United States in a little more than two hundred years became a world power and China with more than five thousand years’ history still is a developing country. … This is all a big disparity… The common people of China have no say in who will be president. The Party leadership does all that work for them. Thus, we already know who will be the next president of China, even before the Party Congress rubberstamps his appointment this week. Chinese politicians are as likely to mention personal feelings in official speeches as they are to start dancing the Gangnam Style horse riding dance. So, we may gripe about our politicians and our messy political system, but ...

And Obama wins again.

JISHOU, HUNAN — It’s almost 1 pm here, and between writing exams and caring for a sick friend, I’ve been watching the reports on the election. I am very glad that Barack Obama has been re-elected. If you’re a Republican and reading this, sorry your candidate lost, but that’s the way it goes. From my cursory glances at the Senate races, it also seems the GOP didn’t do so well there, either. You need to ask yourselves why. Some of your candidates were too extreme, frankly. They were popular within a certain demographic, but that demographic is apparently not representative of the voting population at large. As for Mitt Romney, he may have picked up nearly 49% of the popular vote, but that also suggests he was not a strong enough candidate to sway people away from Obama and the Democrats. Maybe if he actually had had a definite platform that he could stick to longer than two hours he might have done better. Or if he had something like, well, sincerity. Obama’s still got a tough job ahead, with a GOP-controlled House that may try to obstruct him at every chance. I’m hoping, however, that these mule-headed Republicans put ...

Things I’ve learned from the debates so far

Mitt Romney sure can spin a yarn. Trouble is, it changes with every retelling. He thinks President Obama is a little boy who lies, like Romney’s sons. (Huh?) In debate #1, Obama was confusticated by the yarn spinning. In debate #2, he was not taking any more of that shit. (Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.) Romney thinks Big Bird ought to get a real job, and not live off the public dole. It’s probably the same opinion he has of Obama. Romney has a “binder full of women.” Cool. Is that what CEOs call a “little black book” now? Yes, Obama did in fact say the Benghazi attack was “an act of terror.” Moving on now. Vice-president Joe Biden likes to cut big talkers like Paul Ryan down to size. Speaking of Ryan, wearing your ball cap backwards while lifting weights does not make you “hot.” Washing already clean dishes does not make you “one of the common people.” You just end up looking like a dork.

Hey wealthy ladies! — Oppa Romney style

CollegeHumor’s Favorite Funny Videos NOTE: This video will make no sense if you have not already seen the music video Oppa Gangnam Style by Korean pop star, PSY. Look it for it on YouTube.

China and Japan dispute who owns group of strategically placed islands

China and Japan dispute who owns group of strategically placed islands
JISHOU, HUNAN — While the local and Chinese governments draw international attention to our little part of this rock we call Earth, a more serious issue is brewing in the waters to the east, and in the streets all over China. China is once again in a territorial dispute with one of its neighbors, Japan. And this time it’s not about fish.* The dispute has to do with a group of small islands between Okinawa and Taiwan that the Japanese call Senkaku, the Chinese call DiaoYu and the Taiwanese call TiaoYu. As real estate they aren’t much to speak of, but they just so happen to be near suspected undersea oil and gas fields. Japan says the islands have been part of its territory since 1895, while China and Taiwan (who agree on this!) assert the islands were Chinese territory more than 300 years before Japan annexed them in the first Sino-Japanese War. While the three national governments exchange strongly worded communiqués, nationalistic Chinese and Japanese citizens have been taking to the streets and to the Internet to lodge their own protests. Just this week, I got an email from the US Embassy in Beijing advising Americans to avoid street ...

The poor get poorer and the rich get … gone

JISHOU, HUNAN — The problem we face today, says Mike Lofgren in The American Conservative, is not a widening gap between rich and poor, but that the super-wealthy choose to stand aloof from society at large. The rich are the new secessionists, Lofgren argues. Rather than be part of society and do “good works,” as Andrew Carnegie did with his millions, today’s billionaires seek only to suck more money from the 99% who don’t really have much of it. What I mean by secession is a withdrawal into enclaves, an internal immigration, whereby the rich disconnect themselves from the civic life of the nation and from any concern about its well being except as a place to extract loot. Most remarkably, this thought-provoking and incisive essay is not the product of a wide-eyed progressive or a McGovernite liberal, but a conservative who served 16 years on the Republican staff of the House and Senate Budget Committees. A conservative writer who thinks logically! Truly a dying breed. Lofgren compares America’s ultra-rich — which he notes include Republic presidential nominee Mitt Romney — to the upper-class British living in colonial India. They lived in India, but they were not a part of ...

And long those same lines, here’s Ulysses S. Grant …

JISHOU, HUNAN — Serendipitously, here’s a quote from President Grant, speaking before Civil War veterans a century after Adams wrote his letters. Let us all labor to add all needful guarantees for the security of free thought, free speech, a free press, pure morals, unfettered religious sentiments, and of equal rights and privileges to all men irrespective of nationality, color or religion. Encourage free schools, and resolve that not one dollar, appropriated for their support, shall be appropriated to the support of any sectarian schools. Resolve that neither the state nor nation, nor both combined, shall support institutions of learning other than those sufficient to afford to every child growing up in the land the opportunity of a good common school education, unmixed with sectarian, pagan, or atheistical dogmas. Leave the matter of religion to the family altar, the church, and the private school, supported entirely by private contributions. Keep the church and state forever separate. With these safeguards, I believe the battles which created the Army of the Tennessee will not have been fought in vain. (Source) The context for his remarks were sectarian battles in many cities about what religious ideas should be taught in tax-supported schools. Grant’s ...

Working on blogging again … meanwhile, here’s a “guest blogger” 1

JISHOU, HUNAN — I’ve been very lax in writing anything lately, but I’ll get around to writing something when my muse finally stops by for a visit. My guest blogger is John Adams, who among other things was a former schoolteacher and the second President of the United States. He supported public education, which politicians of late would rather dismantle in favor of privatization and similar wrong-headed ideas. In a 1785 letter to John Jebb, Adams wrote this: The whole people must take upon themselves the education of the whole people and be willing to bear the expenses of it. There should not be a district of one mile square, without a school in it, not founded by a charitable individual, but maintained at the public expense of the people themselves. (Source) A year later, Adams wrote this in a letter to Mathew Robinson, Jr. But before any great things are accomplished, a memorable change must be made in the system of Education and knowledge must become so general as to raise the lower ranks of Society nearer to the higher. The Education of a nation, instead of being confined to a few schools & Universities, for the instruction of ...

Immigration, executive orders, Faux News and Jon Stewart channeling Columbo

Now that President Barack Obama has taken the heat off of thousands of undocumented immigrants who came here as children, the Right Wing Noise Machine has predictably gone full steam to declare he can’t do that, said himself he never could do it, and he completely failed to pursue immigration reform, anyway. Except … not. As Jon Stewart demonstrates here, Fox News (through the mouth of its trained seal, Sean Hannity) got it all wrong. The Daily ShowGet More: Daily Show Full Episodes,Political Humor & Satire Blog,The Daily Show on Facebook I don’t know what’s up with the falsetto Santa in red spandex, but Stewart’s imitation of the late Peter Falk’s detective character, Lt. Columbo, at the end is dead on.
WP Facebook Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com