Thursday, 5 April 2012


Review of Nickel and Dimed in The Guardian (UK)

This world, she says, is a dictatorship, where companies intimidate their employees, through drug tests, surveillance and public admonishments, into quiescent acceptance of their meagre lot - which is why so few dare to rebel.

The point the author feels need to be outlined is the fact that it is not the extremeties which are suffered by the few but the many who are forced to work in dull low paid jobs that lack respect, interest and sometime dignity. The best emphasis within the article for me was the fact that mundanity being something many of us would wish to avoid in life here is an everday occurence.
There is little to be done when those who have no choice are stuck in badly paid jobs that grant them few freedoms and mean they are forced to suffer under the tyrannical fists of those in charge.

Ehrenreich went on to write that she aspired to become 'trailer trash' within the book as she could scarcely afford to live on the wages which she was paid. "You thought it would be simple; it is extraordinarily complicated. You thought it would be terrible; it is merely squalid and boring. It is the peculiar lowness of poverty that you discover first; the shifts that it puts you to, the complicated meanness, the crust-wiping."

The books significance today seems rather relevant with movements like the 99% occupying Wall Street and America's current financial crisis seeming endless we believe that Americans in this day and age, unless the 1% are prepared to distribute are doomed to suffer in the dull squalor of the lower working class sector.

Sunday, 1 April 2012


he Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor has greeted more than 17 million immigrants, raising their hopes and dreams as high as she holds her burning torch against the sky. She is an impressive structure and an awesome sight. One hundred two feet tall, the Statue of Liberty stands proudly on a 150-foot pedestal. The torch and flame were the first part of this statue to reach the United States from Paris, France, by way of Philadelphia, PA. The Statue of Liberty herself is, you might say, an immigrant – she is Franco-American! The Statue of Liberty was designed by the French sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi. In his Parisian studio, the artist engaged a female model who helped develop the vision for the great woman that now stands against the famous New York City skyline.

Read more on TeacherVision:

Forgive me while I be sick. No wonder Americans have a heightened sense of self being. They are spoon fed that at K12

"We have our struggles, but America is still a living, growing nation that continues to strive for liberty and justice for all"

OOH RAAH!!! American's are not taught the problems with their country, they are not taught anything other than how great their country is. This is quite worrying, I cannot understand why no one in any sense of power cannot see this and want to change America. It is falling apart and that starts in schools, Hopefully one day this will change, however that is unlikely. Americans are so used to being the best country they need to work out that they have no god given right and they have to change otherwise America as we know it will die. I remember Americans coming to my school in France... They could do academic work just fine, they could write and do maths. But they were idiots they had no idea, What is worse I don't know what they had no idea about, they just seemed to be a little slow, if that is politically correct... However there are some nice sides to this, here's a song if you have read all this you will have the next 2 catch ups to read so why not treat yourself to a song before you listen to more rantings by me.


This website is quite good it goes into detail about the author, Barbara Ehrenreich who is apparently that rarest of breeds, a 21st century American who still clings to the tenets of Socialism. This is a suggestion of Lewis Lapham, "She decided to try to see how people moving from welfare to work might be faring and if she could survive on the minimal income provided by a series of low level jobs. Allowing herself a small amount of startup money, she went to Key West, FL; Orchard Beach, ME; and Minneapolis, MN; and found work and a place to live, with a goal of saving enough by the end of the month to pay the next month's rent. Her jobs consisted of waitressing and working as a hotel maid in Florida, working at a nursing home and a house cleaning service in Maine, and at Wal-Mart in Minnesota."

It criticises her for being not realistic enough
" One of her main problems is the cost of rent--which must be recognized as a significant problem for a society that expects people to be able to afford living quarters near the hot economies that are producing jobs. But it seems abundantly obvious that rent would be less of a problem if she was splitting it with a roommate, friend, or family member. In fact, this is so obvious that her endless complaining abut her rent loses its effectiveness because we realize how easy a problem this would be to alleviate."

Game set match. Though this of course is unfair to just disregard her for this one little point, but it is true, soz babz but I have not admiration for you, please go away.


Blacks, African Americans, N*ggers, I could continue but would rather not black list this post. In America, Black people were repressed they were exploited, made to work degrading jobs for no pay, they were criminalised and down trodden daily. Call someone a dumb violent animal enough and they will start to think they are. Blacks had no money, no future, no hope. They then turned to crime, to violence, they forsook an education, they forsook their future, and this was after they were emancipated! This of course changed with the black movement and African Americans (AA for short) Now have a brighter outlook than before. There are many black people becoming more and more successful, though many are still at the bottom, they now have more identity and a better future. They have found solace in religion, in hard work and maybe just maybe America is allowing them to slowly build up and become better off

"Muslims make up about 6% of the population in the United States. The majority of conversions to this growing religion is occurring within the African-American community (a little over 11% of America's population)."

There is of course cause to believe that things are so jolly, but for too long have my blogs been so depressing and negative that I am going to end with a positive outlook :)

The fall of 50 stars and the rise of one

It is no coincidence that America is in free fall and China is a rising star ready to retake the mantle to the world. Some could say this was predicted. This blog has posts from 2005 predicting America's inadequacies:

The fact is China and America need to build a stable relationship. failure to do that will result in the failure of the world economy. As of August 2011, China held $1.14 trillion of its $3.26 trillion in foreign reserves in U.S. treasuries. This figure represents enormous growth in China's U.S. dollar holdings over the past decade, which, in January 2001, amounted to less than $100 billion. Strategically, China and the US have common interests. The White House needs China’s assistance and influence to handle North Korea and non-proliferation issues. America also needs China’s cooperation in fighting terrorism. On the Taiwan question that remains the most sensitive issue, China reacts defensively and with some bite about the little island nation. The truth is however that This is one of many flash points.

The two countries could not be different, their economic policies are, though both capitalist, starkly different. Whereas their government is polar opposites. China is a monarchy, a communist monarchy, America is a hyper republic, hyper for the fact that all they do is argue about tiny little mundane things because no one wants to back down and let the other side gain any strength even if it is in America's best interests... The country is suffocating under democracy. No other country in the world spends a year on an electoral process and no other country has a basic term of 2 years... before you loose congress and the rest of your 2 years is actually a waste of time as you can't pass anything through.

China has exploited America's weakness, so much so that now they are like conjoined twins, if America was to suffer another heart attack China would die... If China suffered a revolution America would suffer, but as Alistair said on wednesday. If you owe the bank 1,000 pounds your in trouble. Owe the bank 10,000,000 the bank is in trouble. America now controls China's fate, and pehaps, like Rome as the republic died, like Britain as she lost her American colonies. This is the death of America old and the birth of America new we are witnessing. The next ten years will be interesting. But China and America have some maturing to do together, and anyone who has siblings knows there is going to be conflict!

The Russian Perspective on American and Chinese Relations

After looking over the piece what is in fact evident here is that America knowing its in decline is attempting to build a relationship with China who now seem as if they in some years time will almost be able to live in the economic stability that America felt throughout the nineties.

The piece itself being Russian written is extremely biased against the Americans and the odd thing is it does exactly what it is trying not to do which is praise the Chinese. The article states that you could compare the two countries as if they were ships which are about to collide, America knowing that China seems to have beat them with China holding a significant amount of American debt.

The article also seeks to bring to light some truths on the American relations with China and ways which it has sought to improve them. For instance Ping Pong, the Americans would send over a Ping Pong team to play the Chinese in order to make this seem like nothing is going on yet the relations themselves seemed to be founded upon the fear Americans have of China overtaking them.

The article states that America now in decline attempted the Go2 summit which allowed them to remain a dominant power and China to become 2nd. This has soured the relations and the real problem the interviewee feels is America's declining the Chinese the opportunity to be just like them and get a chance at a life they may otherwise never have.

China as a whole within the population seems to be very pro American with 350 million per year learning English as they wish to adopt the American lifestlye, but like Alasdair stated in the lecture it is not American if countries like China and India can achieve this life of excess.

America's Relationship with China

I have chosen an article that was published recently in February for CNNMoney which goes in to detail on the love hate relationship between the United States and China. The article was posted just before Valentine’s Day as the Vice President of China – Xi Jinping, was due to make a scheduled meeting with President Barack Obama. It goes into detail about their relationship and referring to them as the two largest economies in the world with China being America’s largest trading partner after Canada but then describing that America is taking rather than giving as it imports more goods that it does export.
This however is good for China as this then has created a job market in China which is giving it sustainable growth but then leaves America struggling as these jobs have moved to another country due to cheaper wages. It then goes on to describe that even though this is the case, American’s in general do not mind as this means cheaper products on the shelves of Walmart and other convenience stores.
There is also an element of jealousy as well due to the fact that the economy in China is growing at an enviable rate of 8.9% in the fourth quarter of last year and America trailing behind with a pace measured at 2.8% per year and therefore economists are predicting that China will soon be the largest economy in the world and this should be by 2016.
Another sore point is the argument between the two countries that the yuan is under valuing the dollar as China is the next largest holder of U.S Treasury securities after the Federal Reserve as China is funding a large part of America’s Social Security and Medicare owning about 7% of the government debt which is approximately $1.1 trillion.

 To go along with this article I also found a funny picture that was drawn by Chinese cartoonist Fan Jianping for the Chinese Media Project which depicts the hypocrisy of the American attitude towards the Chinese manufacturing industry that churn out the cheap goods that the Americans require but then blame the Chinese for polluting the environment. In the picture there is an American sitting on top of a pile of goods that say ‘Made in China’ but then pointing his finger at the Chinese manufacturing industry.