Today I learn: I am a Third Culture Kid

From WIkipedia:

“A third culture kid (TCK, 3CK) or trans-culture kid is “someone who, as a child, has spent a significant period of time in one or more culture(s) other than his or her own, thus integrating elements of those cultures and their own birth culture, into a third culture.”[1] TCKs tend to have more in common with one another, regardless of nationality, than they do with non-TCKs from their passport country.[2][3] TCKs are often multilingual and highly accepting of other cultures. Although moving between countries may become an easy thing for some TCKs, after a childhood spent in other cultures, adjusting to their passport country often takes years.”

Apparently, according to a reader of The Dish, so is Obama: Continue reading

Is Osama Really Dead?

From a Daily Dish reader:

Can you imagine what we’d be discussing at this very moment if bin Ladin were alive and a prisoner of the U.S military? Can you imagine how the country would start to tear itself apart over questions variously ranging from the conditions bin Ladin should be held in, where he should be held, where he should be tried, what sort of a court should try him, what rights and legel representation he should be entitled to, etc? Do you think for a second that a prisoner bin Ladin wouldn’t provide endless fodder for political demagoguery from cynics seeking advantage by appealing to our basest instincts for revenge? Do we really want the world to witness the political opportunists in our government demanding a public, televised execution (or worse)?

And then there’s this: what do we do when American citizens around the world start disappearing, kidnapped by radicals who demand bin Ladin’s release in exchange for the lives of their kidnapping victims? How many more grainy video tapes of innocent Americans being decapitated by Islamic radicals are we willing to put up with?

What actually transpired that night was a mere technicality. Osama bin Ladin had to die in that raid. It was the only possible outcome.

This is why i think it is not unreasonable to think Osama was actually captured alive for interrogation. His premature death is announced to avoid complications.

Michael Moore made a good point on the state of America where politician dont want to capture Osama alive because of the venomous partisan politicking.

Conversation with History is Back


Conversation With History is back with few months backlog of videos of interview with characteristically eminent scholars and people of insight uploaded to a refurbished site. Listened to Adam Segal’s interview yesterday, it was a great overview of the US-China-India political economy landscape, from an American perspective. Should check it out. Its layperson friendly. [Youtube=]

“Point of Order” epic trolling


This is 52 minute and 41 second of epic trolling in one of its most elitist institution of United States. Its comedy gold, Larry David couldn’t write this.

Summery by a Redditor:

TLDS: Anthony Weiner (D – NY) says that the bill presented to the house does not fill the new requirement requiring that the bill establish Congress’ constitutional mandate to pass the bill. Joe Barton (R-Texas) claimed that Republicans filed the constitutional mandate required by the new house rules. Anthony Weiner says that the act does not reference any portion of the constitution.
John Dingell (D – Michigan) adds that the constitutional mandate papers aren’t even included with the Bill as its presented with the house. Counsel clarifies that the new rule never stipulated that the constitutional mandate papers had to be presented to the rest of the house, they just needed to be filed. Dingell insists that the rule now be changed so that the filed papers now be required to be presented to the House.
Barton pulls out his pocket copy of the constitution and says that the constitution says that the legislature is allowed to pass laws to amend other laws, therefore the law has a constitutional mandate. Dingell points out that you can’t just pull a mandate out of your ass, you have to point to the mandate that’s actually filed…and no one knows what was filed on the paper.
Counsel then says that the way the Weiner is making his objections (point of order) is not the right way to deal with the rule-violation (according to how the rule was written). It is up to debate, but not point of order. Weiner then argues that the House has to issue with the point of order because it’s a fundamental rule of the house.
Chairman is about to rule on the point of order and then unidentified congressman (can’t see his name plate, around 19:07) says it’s time for a showdown between the two sides. Unidentified congressman repeats Weiner’s point. Barton asks rhetorical question to the counsel about whether Congress has the right to pass laws and therefore whether the point of order presented by Weiner is valid. Counsel dodges the question and says that it’s up the Chairman.
Barton then gets frustrated and says that Weiner’s disagreement is invalid because the Republicans complied – Weiner just disagrees about what constitutes compliance. Barton also points out that the actual way of dealing with this debate is a 5-minute rule. Chairman is about to end debate, but then Frank Pallone (D – NJ) says that Chairman can’t end debate on point of order.
Weiner then re-iterates his point that the proposed legislation doesn’t really address the new house law. Barton gets really pissed and says that the Counsel has already stated that the point of order is not proper and that they must move to a 5-minute debate.
Jan Schkowsky (D-IL), who has been trying to get in a word over the past 20 minutes starts on a gigantic rant about how everyone has ignored her for the past 20 minutes. She was trying to make Pallone’s point that the point of order can’t be overruled without debate.
Pallone argues that you can’t just end debate on a point of order. Suggest they move to 5-minute debate.
Schkowsky objects to Chairman’s decision to rule on the point of order, and then a gigantic flame war goes on about whether they have the right to object about the motion to strike this debate from the record and rule on the point of order. No one’s really sure, however, what Schkowsky is specifically objecting to.
Chairman temporarily suspends debate, then Schkowsky comes in again and objects because as a woman she isn’t even being allowed to speak.
Weiner then comes in to defend Schkowsky and argues that Chairman can’t allocate time randomly. Barton then contacts the rules committee, and clarifies the meaning of the rule. States that the point of introduction is the only time at which the rule is enforceable. The question of whether the issue is a matter of debate can be decided during voting, but you can’t issue a point of order against the content of the filing. Barton says you have to move to 5-minute debate under this ruling.
Weiner says that the rules committee is all controlled by Republicans and starts on another rant about how the rules committee is wrong and that Pallone had made a motion for unanimous consent and that Schkowsky was recognized to speak but didn’t get a chance to speak.
Then…a bunch of arguing over who has the right to object and talk and whether the clock was on or not. Debate shifts towards arguing over the unanimous consent motion filed by Pallone…Schkowsky gets 5 minutes to rant about how the committee is managed and how no one’s conforming to the rules. Tammy Baldwin (D – Wisconsin) chimes in to say that all her constitutional filings include specific reference to actual clauses of the constitution.
Chairman then gets his 5 minutes to present the bill and presents the bill’s contents (which is to amend the health care act so that it doesn’t cover abortion). Pallone then goes back all the way back to the original argument about how they can’t establish the constitutionality of the bill.
TLDR of the TLDS: TIL that you can interrupt anyone in the House just by screaming “POINT OF ORDER!”

In short: (a) republican break the rule they introduce on day one of its effect, Weiner (D) painstakingly says “WTF”?

China at the End of History


The end of history
Francis Fukuyama’s The End of History thesis famously argued that liberal democracy is the final form of government. Its key premise: successful industrialization will inevitably create an large educated middle class that demands democracy. An indicator of how far along industrialization will liberal democracy emerges, as noted by Francis Fukuyama, is when the country have around USD6,000 purchasing power (in 1992 PPP USD). This premise has largely been correct since its pronouncement, with the exception of Singapore and a handful of resources-rich states where purchasing power could raise without creating a large educated middle class.

China democratizing?
Since China enter WTO in 2001, China’s purchasing power has ballooned to USD4,700, after adjusting inflation and purchasing power parity, closing in on the USD6,000 milestone. However the size of its educated middle class is far from the average of countries considered free fry Freedom House.

Average population tritiary enrollment rate (1)

While China is not a free country by any standard, there is some low-level movement towards democracy. Freedom house gave China the exactly the same score in 2002 and 2010: political rights 7 and civil liberty 6 (7 being least free, 1 most free). Some have suggested (as have Fukuyama) instead of democracy, Chinese communist party (CCP) might push towards a soft-authoritarian political system akin to Singapore, the only industrialized exception to the stated premise. Continue reading

Public Diplomacy has to be at the core of Taiwan’s Strategy

In the past year, even as relations with China have improved, Taiwan’s government has been stepping up efforts to raise the island’s profile.
It is part of a strategy promoted by President Ma Ying-jeou, who says Taipei must increase its so-called “soft power” if it is to stand on the international stage.
The strategy is wide-ranging. It includes developing globally famous brands, boosting Taiwan’s presence not only in the high-tech sector but also in arts, food and fashion, and marketing great things about Taiwan.
As a result, the government has poured millions of dollars into supporting performance troupes, filmmakers and even pop singers.
Some of them have enjoyed regional or international acclaim, including a government-funded film that won an award at the Berlin International Film Festival this year. There are plans to spend $200m (£128m) to help the movie industry.

– BBC reports on Taiwan’s focus on developing its soft power.

Inter-governmental diplomacy can only do so much.
Military build up, will only lead to costly and ultimately unsustainable arm race.
Public diplomacy aiming at western, regional and also the Chinese across the strait is what will bring peace and stability for Taiwan.