Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Don’t Count Your Chickens before They Hatch

We Americans always have that paranoia about competition from others countries.  In the middle of the 20th century, it was the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics with Sputnik and the Red Army. In the 1980s, it was Japan with its high-technology cars, robots, and electronics. Today, Americans are now worried about the 1.3 billion communist strong nation that is China.  For many foreign policy analysts, China is the nation right now. Her economy is stupendously growing by 10% every year. She does not have the heavy debt that the U.S. has right now, and she has 1.3 billion people ready to work, consume, and become middle class.  China’s economy may grow larger than the U.S. in the first half of this century which many view as a lethargic lumbering path towards a lost decade of economic growth and activity.
However, it might sound frightful, but one should not be. America has strength that still makes her a very competitive nation. While China’s has a centralized form of innovation, which involves manufacturing of planes, trains, and automobiles, she still does have the openness of our markets, which provides innovation. We have open markets, which allow investments into small startups, such as Google and Face book to be major corporations. Furthermore, China is an authoritative regime, which does not allow dissent. As a result, the only way the citizens can express their displeasure is through violent protest or through nationalism, which can complicate matters of diplomacy for the regime. The U.S., on the other hand, view allows free speech and open protest in the country, allowing her citizens to vent their anger rather than bottle it up as China would. As a consequence, we generally accept our country’s government and democratic regime as legitimate, which can be hardly be said for the Chinese government, using economic legitimacy in order to stay in power. If this economy would to turn sour, it might make the nation unstable if not let foreign investors flee the market. America has held steady for the last two centuries whether through Civil War, Depression, and the Great recession.  We have gone through past crisis’s generally stronger than previously. This pattern should not change. Even though it seems bleak today, never expect the future to be certain. Recalling back in 1988, I was taught that the Cold War would likely last for decades if not continue into the 21st century.  Two years later, the Cold War ended, and the Soviet Union dissolved. In others words, do not count your chickens before they hatch, who knows what the future might bring?


Of, pertaining to, or affected with lethargy; sluggish.


causing amazement; astounding; marvelous: stupendous news.

amazingly large or great; immense: a stupendous mass of information

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Free Press vs. National Security

I have been watching the News on the recent spat between the United States Government and the famous or infamous depending on your view point Wiki leaks which  the website has brought up the issue of secrecy and national security vs. free press and journalism. We always speak of free press and the basic goodness of a free press to provide the truth to the people. A good example of this would be the Pentagon Papers in which a military officer had given information to the public about the false Golf of Tokin incident pretentions for why Americans were fighting and dying in Vietnam. Furthermore, is the infamous Watergate scandal in which the two Washington Post reporters got a tip by a named informant who goes by the name Deep Throat. They used the tip to do an investigation which would eventually lead to President at the time Nixon trying, to get information on the Democratic Party. As a consequence, the Watergate Scandal led to Nixon’s resignation and failure as a president. As a result, some good journalistic skills and determination can lead to major embarrassment.
However, there are times in which information needs to be hidden or herd on to for a given period of time. While I do agree with Wiki leaks to try to reveal corruption, I do not think they should do it at the expense of lives and or national security.  Sometimes a lie can save lives and or prevent wars. In the instance of the Cuban Missile Crisis, a back room deal with Soviet Union and United States prevented a nuclear World War III in that the U.S. would pull out its nuclear missiles and a guarantee of not invading Cuba in exchange of USSR pulling its ballistic missiles. However, this was not told to the public to both sides in that it would escalate if not lead to war. It took several decades before the truth was known, but by that time the situation was already cool and calm. Needless to say, Freedom of the press should be supported and advocated, but there are times in certain situations where diplomatic transparency is of utmost importance in an emergency. It is best to leave the diplomats to make a deal or negotiate a peace.
Also, transparence. The quality or state of being transparent.

something transparent, design, or the like on glass or some translucent substance, made visible by light shining through from behind.

a person who informs or gives information; informer.

a person who supplies social or cultural data in answer to the questions of an investigator.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Hungry Hermit kingdom

I have been watching the news lately about the sudden bombardment on a South Korean town by the last Stalinist State that is North Korea. The provocation is nothing new with North Korea such as the sinking of South Korean ship. However, the difference now is targeting civilian’s population center which has not happened since the last Korean War.  Many Television analysts have tried to explain away the reasons why North Korea attacked such as miscommunication between the  leadership and the military, or trying to get South Korea and the U.S. into concessions for economic and food aid.
 However in order to understand North Korea, we would have to go back to the 1940s when the Korean War was started. After the second World War, the Japanese Empire which was defeated by both United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) had to give up its former occupied territories such as Manchuria, Singapore, and of course the Korean Peninsula. The Korean territory was broken up to a Communist North capitalist south. The two Koreas did not live with each other peacefully. The South and the North both had intentions to reunify the country. However, North Korea got to act on it first. The North with the support of the USSR invaded in order to reunite. As a result, a war that lasted three years, cost three million lives, and involved the U.S., USSR, and China which happened to confront the U.S. on the side of the communist.  After the war, North Korea became more focused to outdo the South Koreans such as steel production while trying to trump the United States with such incidents as the U.S.S Pueblo take over. However, after the fall of the Soviet Union, North Korea has fallen to a destitute fascist regime in that people with its main benefactor gone its quality of life has fallen drastic over the past 20 years. The situation got so bad that it had to get aid from its former enemies such as the U.S. and South Korea to feed its starving citizens. However, North Korea still has a mighty military which is situated just 50 miles from the North Korean border As a result; it tries to black mail nations such as the United States for food aid and fuel in order to keep the country intact.
The latest black mail tool that North Korea is using is nuclear weapons. Ever since 1994 where the United States almost went to war to stop the North from developing nuclear weapons, the political game has followed a predictable pattern; North Korea does something rash such nuclear weapons testing or missile firing. The South and the U.S. react by giving the North Koreans aid in order for them to be calm. However, this can be a problem for North Korea’s allies and enemies in that North Korea has to get bolder and more obscene in order to be recognize in the international community. This tactic is leading to fatigue to both South Korea and the U.S. in that they are less willing to be blackmailed again and again. however, the U.S. has to deal with the issue in that they rather see a weaken North Korea then a second bloody Korean war that might involve it and China which would be a very messy affair. However, this also leaves the North with little options. A good example of this is what happened today.  North Korea has to get bolder and rasher just to get attention in the international community. First it was nuclear weapons testing. Second came the sinking of a South Korean ship. Now, it is involving an army artillery barrage against a South Korean civilian community. I hope the North Koreans know that there is a limit where you can poke annoyed giant for so long whether it is the massive economy and well manage military of the South Korean government or the massive military of the United States armed services.  I hope they realize this before it is too late, and we find ourselves in another horrific blood bath that would be a second Korean war
Vocabulary words
A heavy barrier of artillery fire to protect allies or destroy enemy targets

The act of provoking.

Instigates, angers, or irritates.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Wake up and Smell the Roses

The Internet and the telecommunications revolution have revolutionized our society.  Soldier’s can teleconference with their families in middle of a war zone.  6th grader can research the entire history of United States’ Presidents on his or her desktop computer, and a wife can  do her entire Christmas shopping without leaving the house or window shopping to countless malls. However, there have been problems as a result of the Internet.  Some parents now have been spending more time over the Internet.  I often see a mother watching a T.V Soap Opera on some new smart phones rather taking care or playing with her child.  I have also seen friends who date online with people who have not shown pictures of themselves. They only experience heartbreak and misery. Furthermore, the recent craze of online bullying which is becoming an epidemic in the k-12 school system. In some extreme cases, students actually commit suicide because they are treated so badly.
 It seems that people have forgotten to look outside their laptops, smart phones, and televisions in order to experience life outside of the world of cyberspace. We have become too detached to the real world. We need to slip back into realty it is nice to go out and play games with your son or daughter. Go date a girl or a guy on campus rather than searching for one on Face book or on any dating sites. It is much more intimate and rewarding then talking on instant messenger from a person you have no clue on. In other words, people need to have a balance between the real world and the world of cyber space. It is nice once in a while to check email but to do it every day is excessive. Be polite do not read your emails in a middle of a lecture. All Professors hate it when they see a student who is texting rather than learning during one of his or her lectures. Finally, people should take a day off from being connected to the Internet. These electronic devices have off switch to turn off the machine, so use it. Go visit your friends or family. Travel the world, or at least step outside the house. There is an experience unlike anything you have witness over cyberspace. You can smell, you can touch it, and you can interface with it every day of the week. No, it is not a 3d television or the next Avatar movie. It is something called life, and for the people of the human race, you can live it every day with no computer or smart phones. All it requires from you is to simply turn off the machine and step out the door. Welcome to the human experience.
Vocabulary Words
 Close in personal relations, very private, very personal
Engaged in sexual relations, privacy and intimacy
Separated, not attached, disinterested, unbiased
Aloof, not involved, not concerned

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Overworked, Underpaid, Unionize

Over the past two years companies have cut jobs, slashed pays, and reduced benefits for employees.  As a result, employees have been overworked, stressed-out, and demoralized with the firings of their fellow coworkers.  They are treated by the apathy of companies as if they are a beaten horse. The companies try to squeeze every ounce of productivity out of their workers to the breaking point. As a consequence, workers are feeling burnt and are becoming less productive.  Companies should try to treat their workers with some respect, gratitude, and some time off to their workers in that they will be productive, efficient, and proud of their work. However, not many businesses treat their workers well. A lot of workers want to work to support their families and themselves. It is not like that every person is a slacker or slowpoke in doing their job, yet some companies try to take advantage of these for non-union employees by giving them little pay and little benefits. 
Workers are then left with little recourse other than to join a union of workers to protect their workers’ rights in that to a company an employee is an expendable asset ready to use and abuse. However, when a company faces a union, they have to deal with a workforce that could bring damage to their company in money and in reputational terms. Even though employees might be scared to lose their jobs in joining a union, it is a real benefit for them to join. They will have other fellow employees to back them up when it comes to the company trying to take an advantage of the workers. Furthermore, the employee will feel empowered in that he or she can do damage to the company over their abuses on their employees. For instance, when the workers for the hotels in San Francisco a few years back had a strike and protested their employers for not giving them a living wage in the most expensive city in California.  The hotels paid a big price in that it cost them money when they didn’t have workers to clean the rooms and assemble the beds.  As a consequence from the resulting hotel workers strike the big hotels relented and finally gave the workers a pay hike so the workers can live reasonably well in the city by the bay.  California workers should unite in order to show the companies that workers are not just some number on a paycheck but rather a living breathing human being.

Vocabulary Words



absence or suppression of passion, emotion, or excitement.

lack of interest in or concern for things that others find moving or exciting.

to come together; gather; meet
to put or fit together; put together the parts of

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


        While I was doing studying in one of my classes, I heard shouting. Giants Win! Giants win! I along with my classmates was all excited to hear the news. The feeling was unbelievable. There was beeping from cars, shouting from fans, and elating strangers who heard the news that our San Francisco Giants won the World Series. Almost everyone was happy to hear the news that the Giants accept of course a few Dodgers Fans. I have never seen the Bay Area so happy and excited since when the last 49niners won the Super bowl back in the 1990s. I think the Bay Area needed this in that with the economy in shambles, most of our teams not doing so well, and the bitter pill of politics in the November 2 election, the region was in deep depression of confidence. I think this win awakened and released pent up emotion to be cheerful and breathe again after so many past disappointments with other teams such as the San Jose Sharks and Oakland Raiders.
        As for the Giants, Even though the Giants fans have repeatedly been disappointed for the last half century dating back to 1954, we have waited patiently to for our uniquely San Francisco Bay Area team to claim that title as the world’s best baseball team. I know because I was watching this team trying for a long time to win this title. I was there watching the television back in 1989 between the Oakland A’s and the San Francisco Giants when the World Serious earthquake struck the Bay Area. They lost to the A’s in a best of seven series. I was also there supporting the Giants in 2002 in the era of Barry Bonds with the bitter and disappointing lost against the Anaheim Angels, which was a very close series. To see our beloved Giants win this World Series to a true fan is like a surreal dream that you think you know what it would look like until you see it. As a true fan for the San Francisco Giants, I wanted to say congratulations to a hard earned World Series. You are now our World Series champions for the San Francisco Bay Area and in the world of baseball. You sweated for it, you fought for, and you earned it. Take it easy guys and enjoy the ride.

Vocabulary words

To feel joy, to be prideful


To stop sleeping, to be aroused, to be excited, to be aware of something

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I Respectfully Disagree

I have been watching the November election of 2010 for the Congressional and state Governor elections.  It is rather an interesting election cycle: a Delaware newcomer who claims that she is not a witch, a California candidate calling his opponent a whore, and a Nevada Senate candidate who thinks people should barter for health. However, I am concerned about that the level of civility in politics.  I know that politicians tend to demonize their opponents in order to win election. After the elections pass and the winners and losers lick their wounds, the politicians tend to go into normal governing procedure of talking to the other side and making compromises and deals. Unfortunately, I do not see that normal trend in this election. I keep on hearing the Tea Party advocating stopping the government no matter the cost to the country. They argue to shutdown government just as Newt Gingrich, who was a very conservative head of the house in the 1990s, did in 1994. For some of these people, they have been obstinate rather than pragmatic is the order of the day.  If obstruction means getting elected to stop whatever issues that need to be addressed, than they will obstruct which means that the pressing issues that need to be addressed such as the energy, debt, and economic crisis’s will not be solved.  As a consequence, this country will continue to muddle along until a real crisis forces which could cost the big and these political faction to make a deal that nobody wants.  On the contrary, those people who view that politics is mean and nasty should read the history of the Reagan Administration. Even though this Administration was in a period of relative chaotic state of ideologies in the governing policies, they have dealt with Congressional Senators and Representatives with respect and civility. Reagan who had to deal with the Democratic dominated Congress made a dealt on the Issue of Social Security. Even though the conservative Regan and the liberal Democrats were from two different points of the political spectrum, they viewed each other with respect and dignity. Reagan even treated some liberals as friends who argued very intensely during the day and treated each other kindly at night. I hope these future leaders of America can learn from Regan’s example in that they do not need to treat each other as traitors or back stabbers. They should try to focus on the issues and not on the character of his or her opponent. I think then we can finally regain our civilized political discourse that has been missing since the 90s.
Vocabulary Word
Plural; ties

courtesy; politeness.

a polite action or expression



Wall, blocks, barrier

an act or instance of obstructing