Monday, June 30, 2008

Baby pt. 1

Baby got a hard nose, penchant for smoky jazz clubs
Flute trills and martinis
Saxophone love
Gaudy neck jewelry, perfumed skin
Heels no good for dancing, still lookin to sin
Transgressions on the bass line, deep, she’ll keep
Davis and Coltrane in her hips
And smoky jazz club martinis
On her lips

Friday, June 20, 2008

Kyrgyzstan Deux

The research apparently did its job - I received an "A" in the course. Now it's a matter of diving back into it and seeing where I screwed up. There will obviously be many such locations.

Although the ouster of Akaev might not have been entirely expected by the opposition, those individuals involved did organize themselves as the opposition in a well-functioning democracy might, “by becoming cohesive, advocating for competition, and pursuing (and attaining) political goals (Akin 2007, 19). Still, the Tulip Revolution was more "a shift in power among clans than a democratic breakthrough." The newly-elected parliamentarians were allowed to keep their offices after the revolution, which effectively eradicates the rationale for the demonstrations in the first place (Beissenger 2006, 22). This is perhaps the saddest(but at the same time hopeful) outcome of the revolution; it would be akin to the newly-created United States of America fighting their Revolutionary War and then installing King George III as President. It should be noted that the parliamentarians did in fact gain their seats legally, if not unfairly. Allowing them to keep their offices could be a mark of reconciliation.

Like most of my larger research projects, the findings did not entirely sync up with what I started with. I only find this moderately troubling. Watch this space for a full posting of the finished piece once it's ready.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Long March (on wheels)

Driving from northern Illinois to Denver back in August was pretty tiring, even though I was never behind the wheel. I at least had my brother to talk to.

Took off from the farm at just shy of 8 a.m. this morning and headed West, young man. Nobody in the car with me. Silence most of the way. I don't know why I didn't turn on the radio.

Pulled into my neighborhood at 8:25 Mountain Time. Very tired now that I can take my eyes off the road. Now I've just got to find street parking.

Good to be "home."

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Human Rights?

I've done a little piece about the long, slow march of HR (human rights) in US (United States) FP (foreign policy). Since we could always do with more acronyms, YSCOTPOWALMKWYTAI, AIDTIIATG (NDTI!):

P.S. You Should Check Out This Piece Of Work And Let Me Know What You Think About It, Actually I Didn't Think It Is All That Good (Neither Did The Instructor!)

Monday, June 2, 2008

Development Denied

Just finished a large essay detailing various theories behind why some states are rich and some are poor. I don't find myself buying completely into any given theory, but rather ordering the various theories into a hierarchy of development-denying or development-fortifying happenstances.

If geographic determinism is the root, then all other theories will use that as a foundation. In my studies, I have found the work of Jared Diamond especially exciting. On a related note: I had the great opportunity in April 2007 to hear Dr. Diamond present a lecture on his book "Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed" at Elmhurst College. He spoke without notes or a podium for exactly 100 minutes, just like he said he would. It was fascinating.

Past the geographic/climatic factors, I then move to disease, which has quite obviously had a huge effect on world history. Then it's an easy segue into imperialist abuses at the hands of Western powers. It gets tricky when you start to throw in stuff about culture and religion. I feel inclined to include them because in their own way, they are valid attempts to understand why some places suck more than others.

Now we have to figure out how to fix all of this...