Editor's View: Due to popular request, this edition features Fav Blog Roll for May Asian American Pacific Islander (APIA) Month. Originally published at Asian Pacific Americans for Progress in May 2013, it is a selection of blogs and resources discovered during earlier meanderings. The colors and arrangement hint at the flavor and spectrum available, the caveat being that there are so many more. So in the re-run, an attempt at organization is based upon categorizations which the reader may find useful.
The divide of bloggers against one another can never be acceptable. Our whole attempt in organization is to feature a favorable representative presentation of what is possible rather than a conquer-and-divide mentality. The spread of sectarianism is already causing chaos around the world, it being that it has always been impossible for the 1% to voice the interests of the 99%, since it stands in the way of Nature and so many other avenues of existence. However, new global trade pacts, such as the TPP and TTIP, are making it possible for corporations to sue long-standing native trade companies over their market rights based on anything from patented name to human genomes.
This takes the edition to critique Move to Amend and it's relationship to "the globalization of democracy." Move to Amend aims to take back Citizens United, a Supreme Court ruling in favor of corporations and the establishment of Super-PACs. The ruling essentially grants those with more money to spend, more speech, better access to legislators, and insider privileges than the 99%. Lobbying powers and unlimited election spending inflates the costs of political campaigns, ultimately fostering an imbalance to the advantage of corporations. A new round of favors in the form of appointments, contracts, legislative votes, and executive policies is being propagated.
The result is a society conditioned to react to moral and ethical dilemmas through the expected consumption model of feedback loops. This is partly why the film preview, "Tested," is regarded with extreme care: APIAs walk a fine line between being able to game the system and pushback. Not only Asians but other minorities are increasingly forced in the direction of the few available expanding career fields. These avocational areas, in which inflationary costs unsurprisingly outpace average annual income growth, have provoked knee-jerk reactions from the Republican Congress, which threatens to pull back supports.
As the pundits say, we have an economy "running on steroids." Nowadays "to make it" requires an unquestioning conformity with authorities. One sad example is how early learning programs indoctrinate children on the importance of academic and career achievement. Success is defined in capitalistic terms, whereas discussions revolving around ethical mores and religion are banned. Nascent paganism, barbarism, and occultism as depicted on television are okay, but space for exposure to traditional world religions with emphasis on tolerance and goodness is limited.
The rising costs of college and widespread privatization means that it's no longer really possible to work one's way around the country and find oneself. Should one try, I suspect the levels of apathy and hostility related to outsourcing, nonunion jobs, families in transition, and organized crime may make it safer to stay addicted to cellular.
Fav Blog Roll for May APIA Month
In my 2015 list of 42 resources, you will notice how youth culture dominates Asian-Americana. Considering Asian competitiveness and ambition versus self-growth and perspectual awareness, coming of age blogs represent productive outlets. Special challenges or expectations regarding fostering organizational role-playing and social presence among non/APIAs are themes in post-grad blogs featuring advocacy, current events, culture, & worldview.
Advocacy & representation
National Coalition for Asian Pacific Community Development http://www.nationalcapacd.org/
Asian-American Legal Defence and Education Fund http://aaldef.org/
Asian American Center for Advancing Justice http://advancingequality.org/
Committee Against Anti-Asian Violence (CAAAV) http://caaav.org/
National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum http://napawf.org/
Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center http://www.apalrc.org/dp/
Coming of age & commerce
Angry Asian Man http://www.angryasianman.com/
Yellow Rage http://www.yellowrage.com/
Angry Little Asian Girl http://www.angrylittleasiangirl.com/
http://disgrasian.com/ Philip Guo - On the Move
current events & blogger Buzz
Initiatve on Asians and Pacific Islanders (under the leadership of President Barack and Lady Michelle Obama) http://www.whitehouse.gov/aapi
New American Media http://newamericamedia.org/
Asian Fortune (NEW) http://www.asianfortunenews.com/category/blogs/
Ben Efsaneyim http://benefsanem.blogspot.com/
Francis Kai-Hwa Wang http://www.franceskaihwawang.com/
http://www.aaja.org/category/civic-engagement/mediawatch/ <Asian American Journalists>
Education & insight
Asian American and Pacific Islander Higher Education Resource Center http://aapiherc.southseattle.edu/
Asian American Blogs http://www.vincentwhofilm.com/aablogs/
KPFA 94.1FM Radio, https://apexexpress.wordpress.com/
Entertainment & Culture
Northwest Asian Weekly http://www.nwasianweekly.com/
Perspective & worldview
Pure Insight http://pureinsight.org/
Asian Pacific Heritage Association http://www.apaha.org/
Does Ron Paul fit inside the World's Smallest Political Quiz?
The Advocates have developed The World's Smallest Political Quiz, which is designed to help the "politically lost find their home."
Having taken the quiz a few times, it appears to be a fair measure of one's political leanings based on presented issues; its scores reflects one's strength in beliefs in rights and liberties. The Advocates offers explanations and even tips on how to use the quiz as an instructional tool in classrooms. They offer information about the Libertarian Party, such as Libertarianism 101, VIPs, and Libertarian Organizations.
The most famous VIP is probably Dr. Ron Paul, a three-time runner in presidential elections and former long-term Congressman, who has long been affiliated at times with the Libertarian Party and at other times with the Republican Party.
Maybe Paul places on the dividing line between Conservative and Libertarian in the World's Smallest Political Quiz. However several more facts of interest are worthy to note about the Libertarians and the World's Smallest Political Quiz.
First, there are very few women VIP-Celebrities declaring as Libertarians, and also very few people of color. There are no women of color on the celebrity list.
Second, the quiz may basically be a clever recruiting tool. Notice that the numbering on the axes translate to the opposite sides (although only shown on the bottom portion of the diamond) for both personal issues score and economic issues score. This means that the highest possible scores (100, 100) puts the Libertarians at the apex.
Libertarians appeal to those who favor a return to the pioneer days when men could tote guns, pollute wherever they pleased, and thumbed their nose at government. Today, however, Libertarians appeal to a wider cross-section both Left and Right.
This also works because rights can be seen as independent or convergence issues, including NSA spying, decriminalizing drugs, or demanding military accountability.
Others say that Libertarians invariably side with the Republicans when push comes to shove. For instance Ron Paul 2012 campaigned for smaller government but still supported a sizeable military. Paul would have eased up on recreational drug bans, but he is openly pro-life. On the other hand, he rejects NAFTA and membership in the World Trade Organization---but only because he endorses restrictionless free trade!
RonPaul.com grassroots supporters are even gearing up for Ron Paul 2016, provided enough petitioners sign on. The website airs libertarian views; however, not included or incomplete are views on education and the TTP. Nevertheless Ron Paul's foreign policy perspectives are supported by lefties such as former U.S. Representative Dennis Kucinich, a featured columnist for Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.
As for his son, Dr. Rand Paul, there does not appear to be much of a conflict in interests now that same-family candidates are the norm. Generally the younger Paul is more to the right; he is a Republican and past Tea Party supporter.
The World’s Smallest Political Quiz is produced by the Advocates for Self-Government, Visit http://www.TheAdvocates.org to learn more.
Article first published at Examiner.com and reprinted with permission, http://tinyurl.com/prqfa8z
Can you fit inside the World's Smallest Political Quiz?
The World's Smallest Political Quiz gauges the strengths of one's beliefs in individual freedoms, however the purported categories benefit from contextual interpretation.
Dr. Kelly L. Ross offers educational commentary on the Smallest Political Quiz at Friesian.com with personalities, cases, analyses, and comparisons. His article provides refreshing insight without being lost in scholarly minutea. On the contrary, Ross invites readers to explore his menagerie of writings in philosophy and history.
Typically personality-politics research utilize studies to show how our traits align us Left or Right. But more than traits are our motivations and values. Dr. Gian Vittorio Caprara believes that individual basic values may trump professed political ideology. We are inclined to support leaders whose values and priorities resonate with our own.
Caprara's studies indicate that those who value ideals such as benevolence, universalism, and self-direction will lean Left; while those valueing security, conformity, and power will vote Right. Openness to change typifies liberalism; while self-enhancement falls in the conservative domain of the ten basic personal values.
Thus, however open we believe ourselves to be, if we are obsessed with power and security, we will vote for right-center coalitions or leaders. In fact the today's emphasis on achievement and conformity has a lot to do with the Wall Street Democrats.
Rather than dwell on surveys and statistics, Ross takes his readers on a VIP tour, placing figures all over the World's Smallest Political Quiz map as points of reference. This is useful and entertaining from a trivia pursuit and Who's Who perspective.
Once one begins to play this game, the quiz becomes interesting and credible. After the invisible chair soliloquy, one can place a guy like Clint Eastwood in the Libertarian sector. If the government shut down entirely, and all the corporations relocated their headquarters to Europe, the Hollywood stars could still afford to do without.
On the other hand, for all the criticism that President Obama endures, he probably is a Centrist leaning towards the right more than anything else. Undoubtedly Centrist Presidents are useful, even if his supporters hoped he would play the upper hand on many domestic economy campaign promises, such as reinstating the Glass-Steagall Act to limit investment securities speculation--and future housing market crashes.
Dr. Ross, the nephew of R.L. "Les" Kelley, founder of Kelley Blue Book, has incidentally campaigned as a Libertarian Party candidate multiple times in California. Ross has pronounced views at times, but the reader's edification remains foremost.
For instance, he uses the Venn diagram to illustrate the 9th or 10th amendments on the Nolan Chart. The left circle is for Liberals and Libertarians who love the 9th for assigning power to the Federal government and the People. The right circle is for Conservatives and Libertarians who love the 10th which reserves power to the States and the People. In the intersection are Centrists, but at the top of the diamond are the Libertarians, the only group to wildly cheer both the 9th and 10th amendments.
This is worth thinking through if only because without a third or fourth dimension, it's impossible to gauge how closely Libertarians agree among themselves which issues they give the thumbs up for the 9th or the 10th. Another unmentioned consideration is whether limitless free markets lets loose the tigers of tyranny in corporate form.
Many Republicans object to Common Core Curricula standards and government programs designed to equalize and nationalize education programs; they believe states ought to have more choice in local implementation of charter schools. But this preference for States doesn't apply in energy-related developments: here expedited permitting used by federal agencies through mechanisms such as granting waivers, exceptions, categorical exclusions, and fast-track permitting are the very model!
That would translate into a thumbs up for the 9th in education, and a thumbs up for the 10th with regard to fast-tracking energy development or poisoning the well.
The Libertarians don't have a view when it comes to issues such as corporate personhood or limitless corporate campaign donations. Money is free speech, even if the speech is from an artificial entity profiting from the demise of national labor unions, dignified pay, career ladders, retirement pensions, or paid vacations.
To his credit, Ross brings up a colorful menagerie of pet Libertarian causes comparing positive versus negative freedom which is the Statist or "Authoritarian Populist" corner at the bottom. According to David Nolan, one of the founders of the Libertarian Party and developer of the Quiz, Statists belong at the bottom because they don't believe much in either personal or economic freedom. Rather, they believe in totalitarianism or State control over all facets of their lives.
Ross contrasts Hitler and Stalin at the bottom with Thomas Jefferson at the top as a Libertarian. However, this is debatable: Jefferson was a firm believer in State rights, where in his day the States granted and controlled charter corporations. Corporations were granted special privileges only to ensure they could compete; the Constitution founders explicitly warned that these artificial entities had to be carefully regulated. There is no question that today Jefferson would be against the Citizens United ruling and corporate personhood, and this would place him left of center among the Liberals.
In other matters, Friesian.com satisfactorily exposes how certain scores transform Left hardliners such as Gloria Steinem or Al Sharpton into unquestioning authoritarians: they see no conflicts of interest or crimes being committed by their beloved leaders, but on the contrary expect everyone else to fall in line. This also brings us back to how our primary personal values holds sway over our sense of ethos.
The most interesting part of the Friesian.com "Quiz" article is the hypothesis on a third dimension or z-axis for the Nolan Chart, called "political liberty." There's even a quiz for indicating your favorite style of government. The z-axis explains why some conservatives are gun-toting anarchists, while others support capitalism or market oligarchy; it also explains why some liberals are nihilists while others cheer for our democratic republic.
Apparently Rasmussen Research, a polling company, also administered the Quiz in telephone surveys. Their poll numbers contain just enough subjectivity to challenge the amusing inaccuracies of the past. For instance, 18% of the quiz takers are borderline cases (falling on dividing line) and therefore are not counted; however, there are more Libertarians (16%) than Liberals (13%) or Conservative (7%).
Founder David Nolan would be overjoyed with the potential numbers for joining. These also include the bulk of Independents, past supporters of Ross Perot, Ralph Nader, or Patrick Buchanan. Best of all the Quiz poll reveals 21% of African Americans scoring as Libertarians, whereas only 9% placed as Liberals.
The lynchpin proving the subjectivity of administering this remarkable Quiz, however, is the mapping of U.S. Supreme Court Justices on the chart. They are all supposed to be Centrists, however, according to Friesian.com, Anthony Kennedy is a Left Justice. The dispute we have about this is Justice Kennedy (along with Justices Scalia and Thomas) has "time and again asserted that a corporation is a constitutionally protected speaker, no different from living, breathing, thinking persons."
That would make these Justices Libertarians, out-and-out, since for many decades the Framers of the Constitutions and their descendants fought to limit the undue influence of corporations, already granted special privileges such as perpetual life, limited liability, and the right to operate as an artificial entity. Granting corporations unlimited economic and personal freedom, freedoms that belong only to humans, to conduct trade for profit is undoubtedly the Libertarian perspective.
While Friesian.com's article and explanation on the Quiz is stimulating, it's analysis can be slightly equivocating. Legislation meant to provide individuals with disabilities equal opportunity at the workplace (ADA), to expand medicare coverage, to protect labor rights and provide New Deal jobs programs is not socialism when you live on the other side of the fence. Beyond their costs for basic personal necessities, billionaires and millionaires should be willing to help make our country more humane.
At the end, it all seems to come down to neither brains nor beliefs, neither upbringing nor social affiliation, but your thoughts and obsessions: what dominates your mind and heart. A Unitarian Universalist obsessed with conformity, career, and status is as likely to prove a fascist as your neighbor the neoconservative or your free-swinger gun-slinging self-proclaimed Libertarian. Readers are encouraged to read closely, challenge their assumptions, and explore and find out more about the wizard hiding behind the curtain rather than merely being intrigued by smokes and mirrors!
Notes and Sources:
1. World's Smallest Political Quiz, http://www.theadvocates.org/quiz/quiz.php?iframe=true&width=850&height=100%#
2. Friesian.com, http://www.friesian.com/quiz.htm
3. Gian Caprara et. al., "Personality and Politics," http://academic.research.microsoft.com/Publication/37944333/personality-and-politics-values-traits-and-political-choice
4. Shalom Schwartz, "An Overview of the Schwartz Theory of Basic Values," http://scholarworks.gvsu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1116&context=orpc
5. Friesian.com, http://www.friesian.com/ross/
6. Note: World's Smallest Quiz map and Nolan Chart here used interchangeably http://www.friesian.com/quiz.htm
7. PopularResistance.org, https://www.popularresistance.org/pa-gov-wolf-is-on-pace-to-permit-almost-8000-shale-gas-wells/
8. ProPublica.org, http://www.propublica.org/article/poisoning-the-well-how-the-feds-let-industry-pollute-the-nations-undergroun
9. MovetoAmend.org, https://movetoamend.org/
10. David Gans and Douglas Kendall, "A Capitalist Joker," http://repository.jmls.edu/lawreview/vol44/iss3/5
Pictured are a few of the volunteers, crew, and producers at the screening
About the film credits: Curtis Chin, Writer/Producer/Director; Adam Wolman, Writer/Producer; Sam Henriques, Director of Photography; Kenneth Eng, Editor; Michael Yi, Executive Producer; Kresimir Penavic, Co-Executive Producer; Judy White, Co-Executive Producer; George Wu, Co-Executive Producer; and other associative producers, camera and sound people, assistant editors, research associate, web consultant, logo design, and staff advisers.
View write up: 'Tested' documentary proving a hot topic at http://www.examiner.com/article/tested-documentary-proving-a-hot-topic
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