Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Readings for November 4, 2008

Anti-intellectualism in the U.S. - ahh, like coffee in the morning - it's familiar and it's feels like it's never going to go away. I didn't really go to college until I was about 23, between 18 and 23 I worked at Starbucks (and kept working through college), and I remember one of my regular customers looking at me cock-eyed when I told him I was going to college soon. He said, "Why? Those who can't, teach." Well, hopefully this report shows what I learned when I went to college: that any ol' schmoe can get a degree and not learn a single thing, let alone be indoctrinated.
The Air Force has put out a call for solutions to their internet problems.
The People's Bank of China has announced that there will be a sharp decline in housing prices not unlike what has been experienced in the U.S. They have also announced that there will likely be liquidity strains and that their economy is going to slow in a much more significant way than they've let on so far.
China has passed new labor laws and regulations that seem to have resulted in raising the cost of manufacturing in China, up about 30%. Yeah, how do you like them apples, Wal-Mart?
I'm not sure what happened to bring this change about. I know that about a week ago some folks from one of the bases crashed their plane in a field near the biggest city in the northern part of the island, but I don't know if it's related to the Marines not being allowed to talk to children without written permission from the principals of the local schools. They're not even allowed to go to the local playgrounds. The last time there was a major incident, soldiers and family weren't allowed off base, which meant that my wife and I got mean looks from a lot of folks because if you're white and in Okinawa, you're probably in the military. Hopefully it doesn't come to this.
Here's a nice Q&A explaining a little bit about the role that teacher unions have played in stirring the stew in Japanese politics.

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