Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Ohio primaries

I'm so excited for the debate in Ohio tonight. I got my absentee ballot yesterday, and I'm voting tonight! Been doing a little research and realized a shocking fact. The speaker of the House does not need to be elected from the House... it could be an outsider! I'm wondering who would be the vice president as well. When I think about the choosing of the vice president, often the runner up is selected. Although, certainly not always! I can imagine both Clinton and Obama in the presidency. But my question then becomes, who would be a better VICE president?

The Vice President needs to be someone strong and determined, hard working, capable of getting things done in a no nonsense way, and has proven he/she can do so with a track record to boot. He/She needs to be capable of ceremonial duties, being high profile, and not always getting the credit for everything. This person has the responsibility of running a country without being totally accountable to the public opinion polls, otherwise nothing would get done.

The President on the other hand needs to be a visionary; strong, determined, a listener, and a problem solver. He/she needs to be able to connect with the common person, at least on the surface level, whether that be from ideals, background, past employment, history, etc. He/she has a responsibility to guide the administration along the fine line of public sentiment and realistic policy making. However, he/she needs to be able to propose radical ideas and have the humility to put those ideas aside if they are not realistic. The President needs have the personal power and charisma to get things done, when and where he wants them with no questions asked. This requires, above all, loyalty. And loyalty comes from respect. But there 2 kinds of respect: one comes from fear the other comes from admiration.

The best President of the United States can be judged in the ability to instill loyalty and respect, have compassion, empathy for the people, be charismatic, benevolent, and powerful. And in my opinion, the greatest act of power is that in which mercy is given. The difference between mercy and weakness is that when mercy is expected, you are weak. When mercy is unexpected, those whom you grant mercy to not only know what could have happened in its stead but also feel indebted, thus strengthening loyalty and your own power.

So the question becomes, what kind of respect does Obama and Clinton, and even McCain instill in me? This encompasses the ability to foster respect in groups of people radically different from my own as well, both inside my country and in other countries. In the end, we are choosing a leader that has enormous power over our own lives and the lives of many many people in countries around the world, both directly and indirectly.

So if all power comes from either fear or admiration (born out of and fostered by hard or soft power), and the Bush administration has preached a doctrine of fear, fear the US, fear the terrorists, fear foreigners, etc. and some of the "best" presidents of the 20th century were those who fostered loyalty in the form of trust and admiration, Chinese loyalty in the 70's and 80's, Russian loyalty during detente, trust in social programs, etc... who can best foster these sentiments in our current three candidates?

President Bush knew that Saddam knew that we wouldn't normally invade and destroy his country. Saddam expected mercy, the hallmark of American power. Our power was weakened because Saddam had no fear or admiration of the US. The misguided War in Iraq was therefore, not misguided in the decision to invade to prove American power. If the United States expected to have power over Iraq, then loyalty either through hard or soft was required to restore that power. But the bully in the schoolyard only picks on the other kids cuz there are deeper problems in his/her own life. The bully also takes no responsibility for his/her own actions and leaves his/her victim in the dust to suffer the consequences of the attack alone.

Sunday, February 17, 2008


I realized today after seeing a squirrel that it was the first squirrel I've seen since I left Wooster! There are so many squirrels in Wooster that sometimes we take them for granted. :/

I'm totally enjoying a new radio program I found. I'm a devoted radio listener. I grew very board of collecting songs on iTunes and taking up so much space on my computer. Then I discovered the international music radio stations on iTunes. I've now been eagerly exploring Pandora radio at www.pandora.com You type in a song or band and it finds similar songs/bands and plays an entire radio station of matches. You can even combine multiple "stations" and fine tune the selection! I've been very excited about the possibility of synthesizing a great variety of information I have collected on historical music by creating stations about a particular era and writing information about the music styles. Check out my stations on the right side under the video bar. :D

Thursday, February 14, 2008

I'm published!

I finally got the information on the article that I helped Dr. Edmiston on! here is the link...



Wednesday, February 13, 2008


I am trying to decipher if Spring has actually arrived here. The trees are in bloom... the gardeners are planting flowers at the park. It is as if everything has been perfectly orchestrated for Valentines day. Although it is overcast and somewhat chilly today, the fact that is has been 70-80s and sunny out all week (hence why I have not written much... i've been outside!) makes me wonder.

Getting my background check and all the details has been a real hassle with my job at the art museum. I am extremely anxious to start working but will probably have to wait another 2 weeks at least! uhg.

I started a course in World History this week. 1-1.5 hours a day. It is very different from any history class I have ever taken, much more theory oriented. But nice. It blends well so far with some anthropology books I have been meaning to get through anyway. I'm still plodding through my polysci books from college. I finished my lecture series on China last week. ...That was very interesting!

Sunday, February 10, 2008


I found 2 Buddhist temples withing 4 blocks of me, a walking/footpath suspension bridge over a nearby ravine/gorge, and a new museum (a historic building) with gardens that are still gorgeous in winter! What an amazing place! I just can't get over the weather either. 70's and sunny. On another subject...

how does one tell the difference between democracy and populism? ... and what do we do when populism in the name of democracy goes horribly wrong??

Saturday, February 09, 2008

economic prosperity and sunlight

If anyone out there has access to some good information, I would be most grateful if they could answer a question for me.

Is there a correlation between the percentage of sunlight (or cloud cover) and the overall economic prosperity of a state or nation?

Looking at states; take the five permanent members of the UN security council: USA, Russia, Britain, Germany, and China. I take these 5 because in one way or another they have demonstrated considerable power and/or prosperity, thus enabling them to secure those permanent seats. I can hardly believe the USA, Germany, and Britain can be counted among the most popular destinations when one is looking for a sunny vacation. As for Russia and China... i don't know enough about them to made a claim. On the other side, states such as Italy and Spain have high rates of annual sunlight and are (arguably) on the weaker end of the economic spectrum among the core EU states. I would imagine that a considerable amount of adjustments would have to be made in order to account for political and other factors.

... just a thought. Would be kind of interesting bit of knowledge. What would some of be the implications be if a strong correlation did exist?

Friday, February 08, 2008

Hair cut!

I got my hair cut today!!! It is now much thinner than i am used to. The under layer is very very curly and wavy. Most of the upper layer has been cut off (which is stick straight). It will definitely take some time to get used to. But it is very pretty. Perhaps I will get a picture up some time.

I have been very sick these past few days. I anxiously wait for Monday when my tests are over.
I have the house to myself for the rest of the weekend. Already it is much too quiet and lonely. Our pluming got backed up last night and we sent 5 hours trying to unplug it. Finally we had a plummer come this morning and he had to actually cut part of the pipes to unclog them! It was a disaster because all of the sinks in the apartment were backing up into the bathtub. Thank god the toilet wasn't backing up too!

The weather was absolutely beautiful today. It smelled like spring and the sun has been shining all week. I wish I could set up my hammock, but we don't have a yard or trees. The temperature is just perfect.

I hope everyone is doing well. I miss you all!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Super Tuesday!

yea... yesterday was Super Tuesday. I watched the news for 4 hours. It looks like it will be an exciting, prolonged event. Hopefully the candidates won't drop dead! normally they get this time to rest before the major election!

no news on when i start my job. :( but i'm happy that it is such a good fit. been reading a lot. today is a cooking day. I start medical testing today and it goes until monday. So, i gotta stock up on my food supply!

Monday, February 04, 2008


I was just offered a really sweet job!!!! I'm so excited. It's part time, good pay, and in an art museum! Benefits include free and unlimited passes to all San Diego museums and the zoo!! Whoo! And since it is only in the park, which is 6 blocks away, I can totally walk to work. :D

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Smart Cars

Whooooo! About 2 years ago I blogged about Smart Cars in Europe. And OMG i saw my first one yesterday. SOOOOO exciting. I think i'm obsessed. The first US models came out after the first of the year. Here in San Diego there is already a 1.5 year wait. I totally want one :)


I don't know if there is anyone out there still reading this, but I've decided to start writing again. I'll also be starting a second blog, based on my health issues. There is a link on the right hand side under "links". I have updated the template of my blog and many of the settings. And don't worry, all the old posts from Europe are still there!

I'm now in San Diego. In October I finally reached a point where I could not go on with school, and so I dropped out on medical leave. My father moved to San Diego over the past summer, so I decided to move here. It was a move based on the health care opportunities and quality of living (or potential thereof) of Southern California. Since my last post, my academic adviser, my mentor, and (arguably) my hero, Dr. Edmiston, managed to pull some strings and keep me at Wooster. I worked for him the whole summer and now this month I shall be published as a co-author for the work that I did for him. So exciting! It has been devastating to leave Wooster and all that I had grown to love there. I struggled so much to readjust to American life. But now here I am, far away again.

I apologize for not writing. At first the reason, I truly believed, was that no one cared. Then, as my health issues became overwhelming over a year ago, it was much too difficult to write and keep up. Finally, the past year my family has gone through so much upheaval that I have been afraid to write, in fears that what I write may be used in court against me. But life goes on, and we struggle. To this day, I believe that one should never burn bridges, the very reason I named my blog so. But I have also learned that some bridges need to be burned and new ones built. So, I am building a new bridge with this blog. welcome back to my blog!