Thursday, April 16, 2015

April 15th, 2015

East Asia:
China, Japan and the neighbors they influence.
Hong Kong
North Korea
South Korea
Structurational relationship

Mount Everest
The highest mountain on Earth
Border between Napal and China

Communism in China
Modern China: Oct 1 1949 Tiananen Square Proclamation  
Egalitarian bureaucracy
Mao essentially China’s new emperor
Improvements in standards of living
At what cost?
                Mao’s policies aare blames by critics for causing severe damage to the culture, society, economy and foreign relations of china
The Cultural Revolution- Rid CCP of liberal bourgeoisie
                A period of social chaos and political anarchy in the PRC
After Mao
Deng Xiaoping (Never head of state)
Free market reforms (socialist market economy

Picture ID

Great Wall of China; built to protect China from Mongolia reorganizing and taking over China; falls mostly on Mongolian border
Taj Mahal: India, World Heritage site, architectural elements from 7 different empires that controlled N India
Bollywood: World’s Largest movie industry in Mumbai India
Japanese Tea House: Cleansing sanctuary of meditation; square structures mostly Japanese
Tiger Port takeover: busiest ports in earth are all in Asia; shift in the 90s
Singapore: Known for its banking industry; very conservative banking laws
Hindu Kush mountains; one navigatable roadway between Afghanistan and Pakistan; Tiger Pass
Pakistan: Himalayan Moutains
Capital of Pakistan Islamibad
Mount Everest: Highest Peak on Earth
Taiwan (Republic of China): Island of Fermosa where leaders of Republic fled during Chinese coup
Oil industry towers of Kuala Lumpur Malaysia; two tallest towers in the world if you count the spires
One nation, two countries, Korea
Tiananmen Square in Beijing China: forbidden city;
Birds nest thing
Rice farming in S E Asia, Rice paddies on tiers only way to create flatland to grow rice
Great Barrier Reef: Off the coast of Queensland, Australia. Largest living organism
Uluru (Ayres Rock): aboriginal name vs British name, in geographic center of Australia

Sydney Harbor Bridge (coathanger bridge)

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

April 1st, 2015

War and Conflict
            This week we talked war and the premise that people don’t want to go to war. We talked about the Flashpoint theory, which is the idea that there must be some sort of flashpoint or event which shifts public opinion and allows the regime to declare war. Examples include the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and unemployment in Egypt. Both of these events changed public opinion and became a flashpoint.
            We also talked about the Bush Doctrine, which basically states that war and conflict are always going to occur and the US as a global hegemon should do its duty in preemption. This way, we would be fighting an enemy abroad rather than bringing it to our doorstep. We talked about North Korea and the possibility of Anonymous’ hacking of their leader’s twitter account being a flashpoint in a war directed at America, and whether President Obama should follow the Bush Doctrine and preemptively strike at North Korea. Justifications for attacking North Korea include the abuse of the North Korean people. Malnutrition is extremely common there, so much so that the North Korean people are significantly shorter than the rest of the world. The people are strictly controlled by a military state. For these reasons, some advocate the US intervening in North Korea and deposing the leader.

            I disagree with the idea of preemptive action in creating a war. I don’t believe that anyone wins in a war, and that there should be a way for conflict to be resolved that doesn’t result in death. A war shouldn’t be started unless it absolutely cannot be avoided. Part of the idea of having a global hegemon is that it creates peace, and I don’t think starting a war is a way to create peace. Even a flashpoint which changes public opinion could still be resolved without war in many cases. I understand that war is inevitable in some cases, but I truly think it can be avoided much more often than it is.  

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

March 25th, 2015

The Middle East
            Today we talked about the Middle East. In particular, we talked about Israel’s actions, Iran, Iraq and terrorism.
            With respect to Israel, the country has taken many actions in the past that the US would consider terrorism if they had been done by another country.  Israel sanctioned citizens to hunt down the people responsible for the Munich Massacre, even across international borders, with no trial for the murderers. It also “mistakenly” blew up a US ship in the Mediterranean Sea because it didn’t want the US to spy on it. The US has historically sided with Israel though. There are a few reasons for this. Lobbyists heavily target the Democratic party, and the Conservative party generally side with Israel for religious reasons. In this way, Israel is able to remain unaccountable for their actions, even though they freely admit that they aren’t innocent.
            In my opinion, Israel should be allowed to exist because it isn’t really fair to take a country away from its people. I don’t believe, however, that it should be able to continue taking action without bearing consequences. The US absorbs the consequences for Israel, sort of like a protective parent, and Israel shouldn’t be able to get away with it.

            We spoke, in relation to Iran and Iraq, about why they hate us. Several legitimate reasons were listed as justification for the dislike certain Middle Eastern countries have for the US. The nuclear family is much less important in America than in the Middle East, and this causes distrust. Materialism seems to run rampant in the US, whereas Middle Eastern culture condemns it. From a Middle Eastern perspective, our society seems to be addicted to drugs and alcohol, but those things are highly prohibited in their culture. Also the liberation of women in American society is condemned by some Middle Eastern cultures because they see the way Americans view women who choose to be caretakers rather than work outside of the home as lesser women, which is completely contrary to the way Middle Eastern cultures view the roles of women. These all seem like completely legitimate reasons for the two cultures to disagree and for them to dislike us.