Can someone please give me some good recommendations for books on Chinese history, or just books about China in general? Also, are there any good books by Chinese authors that I should read?

And/or can someone recommend any good Chinese movies and TV shows?

I’m searching around on the internet for books & movies at the moment, but it’s hard to tell what’s worth reading/watching sometimes.

You can reply in my ask box. Thanks.

My first passport came in the mail today. (8

My first passport came in the mail today. (8

Tags: personal

Y el sol brilla en mis ojos. (And the sun shines into my eyes). Universal Studios Orlando. August 28, 2014.

Y el sol brilla en mis ojos. (And the sun shines into my eyes). Universal Studios Orlando. August 28, 2014.

Me at Krustyland. Universal Studios Orlando. August 28, 2014.

Me at Krustyland. Universal Studios Orlando. August 28, 2014.

Venezuela: Maduro in Chávez’s Shoes
A politically refined reading on the presidency of Nicolás Maduro starting with a recognition of the morass of circumstances he has had to face as the country’s leader.
Written by Franco Vielma, Translated by Danica Jorden. August 27, 2014.
To begin with, and with no desire to rain on a flood, Maduro took the place of someone who possessed an absolute leadership previously unknown throughout the country’s political history. Without seeking it, he put himself in Chávez’s shoes, as Chávez himself was the one to put him in that role. That circumstance already implies a comparison with Chávez, and politically implies understanding the national dynamic between the ambiguity and confusion in the great vacuum left by the Comandante.
On the other hand, there is the well-known circumstance of specific attacks on the economy and destabilization of the country, guarimba barricades, threats of sanctions, and constant international attacks. Maduro has been on the receiving end of an absurd amount of internal attacks by Chavismo factions (the same four opinionated critics who used to attack Chávez so much) who have contributed a great deal to the ultraright’s script, debilitating  Maduro’s image and eviscerating Chavismo. Maduro’s situation is complex, as it would be for anyone who assumed the role of conducting the Chavismo Revolution without the physical presence of Chávez.
Without a doubt, the legacy of Maduro’s recent but extremely turbulent presidency is based on constructing a leadership with its own characteristics: its own attributes, its own styles, its own errors, its own incongruities, in a context of structures, as well as new circumstances. But there is something we must not ignore about what Maduro has in fact done: his emphasis on maintaining the political connection identifying Chávez’s work, and this in spite of the contradictions, as even Chávez himself had them. The sociopolitical outcome of Maduro’s leadership can be appreciated by basically examining the sensitive elements of issues that Chávez never dealt with or did inconsistently, correcting Chávez’s mistakes, elaborating on what Chávez did or continuing what Chávez left unfinished….
(Read more)

Venezuela: Maduro in Chávez’s Shoes

A politically refined reading on the presidency of Nicolás Maduro starting with a recognition of the morass of circumstances he has had to face as the country’s leader.

Written by Franco Vielma, Translated by Danica Jorden. August 27, 2014.

To begin with, and with no desire to rain on a flood, Maduro took the place of someone who possessed an absolute leadership previously unknown throughout the country’s political history. Without seeking it, he put himself in Chávez’s shoes, as Chávez himself was the one to put him in that role. That circumstance already implies a comparison with Chávez, and politically implies understanding the national dynamic between the ambiguity and confusion in the great vacuum left by the Comandante.

On the other hand, there is the well-known circumstance of specific attacks on the economy and destabilization of the country, guarimba barricades, threats of sanctions, and constant international attacks. Maduro has been on the receiving end of an absurd amount of internal attacks by Chavismo factions (the same four opinionated critics who used to attack Chávez so much) who have contributed a great deal to the ultraright’s script, debilitating  Maduro’s image and eviscerating Chavismo. Maduro’s situation is complex, as it would be for anyone who assumed the role of conducting the Chavismo Revolution without the physical presence of Chávez.

Without a doubt, the legacy of Maduro’s recent but extremely turbulent presidency is based on constructing a leadership with its own characteristics: its own attributes, its own styles, its own errors, its own incongruities, in a context of structures, as well as new circumstances. But there is something we must not ignore about what Maduro has in fact done: his emphasis on maintaining the political connection identifying Chávez’s work, and this in spite of the contradictions, as even Chávez himself had them. The sociopolitical outcome of Maduro’s leadership can be appreciated by basically examining the sensitive elements of issues that Chávez never dealt with or did inconsistently, correcting Chávez’s mistakes, elaborating on what Chávez did or continuing what Chávez left unfinished….

(Read more)

Iran in the 80s – a glimpse of a forbidden place

German photographer Casey Hugelfink had access to the Islamic republic in the dark decade after the 1979 revolution, throughout the Iran-Iraq war, when the country was sealed off to reporters and most of the world. She captured these scenes of everyday life with a 35mm Olympus OM and processed them more recently with the Camera+ app on iPhone

(See more pictures here)

Rare opportunity

If anyone would like to Skype with me tonight, send a message to my ask box and we’ll figure out a good time for it.

I only used Skype once or twice a long while ago now, so I never mentioned I had one.

But since I’m going to be on there tonight anyway, might as well make a couple connections.

Tags: personal

Tagged by omidvaar

First 20 songs on shuffle:
[I don’t have a playlist, so I’m going to change this to 20 songs I like. One song per artist.]

Balderrama”- Mercedes Sosa
Plegaria a un Labrador”- Victor Jara
No Cars Go" -Arcade Fire
London Calling" -The Clash
Waist Deep in the Big Muddy" -Pete Seeger
This Land is Your Land" -Woody Guthrie
There But for Fortune" -Phil Ochs
How Soon is Now?"-The Smiths
Ol’ Man River" -Paul Robeson
I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm" -Billie Holiday
Hopeless Wanderer" -Mumford & Sons
If I Had a Hammer" -Peter, Paul, & Mary
The Sound of Silence" -Simon & Garfunkel
Hungarian Dance No. 5" -Johannes Brahms
Dance of the Oprichniks" -Sergei Prokofiev
Little Talks" -Of Monsters and Men
Running up that Hill" -Kate Bush
Friday I’m In Love" -The Cure
Celestica" -Crystal Castles
Blowin’ in the Wind" -Bob Dylan

Ten books:
The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
The Iron Heel by Jack London
The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein
A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre
The Motorcycle Diaries by Ernesto “Che” Guevara
Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
Open Veins of Latin America by Eduardo Galeano
The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells


Ten random facts:
1. I have four cats.
2. I’m a big auto racing fan. That makes sense, since I’m from Daytona.
3. When I was a kid, I had a salt water fish tank in my room. I would watch the fish swimming around until I fell asleep.
4. I’m very, very single. lol.
5. The only time I have been outside the United States so far was when I spent a day on the other side of the U.S.-Mexico border. I was 4 years old.
6. Even though I live near the beach, I don’t go to it very often.
7. I can be pretty shy in person.
8. I haven’t shaved off my beard since I was 14.
9. I’ve never seen real snow on the ground before (a consequence of living in Florida my whole life).
10. My favorite movie of all time is Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator (1940).

I’m not going to tag anyone, but maybe my-savage-garden would like to do it? lol. I don’t know….Any of my followers can do it if they want to.

fuckyeahmarxismleninism:

Pigs.

It’s what a lot of people — righteously angry people — call the police. It’s not a word that “polite society” approves of, but sometimes, especially when we’re talking about racist killer cops in places like Ferguson, Missouri, it’s the only word that fits.

But do you know how the term “pig” came into use? Did you know it was a conscious language invention by revolutionaries?

This is an interesting excerpt from Seize the Time by Bobby Seale. But I think the person who originally posted it needs to be corrected.

The Black Panthers might have been the first ones to apply the word to the U.S. police and popularize it, but I don’t think they were the ones who invented the term “pigs.” 

There’s at least one example of the term “pigs” being used to describe “police and fascist bigots” that predates the Black Panthers. Watch this scene from The Great Dictator (1940). (From 24:55-27:23).

Today was Florida’s primary election day. And obviously “I VOTED.”

Today was Florida’s primary election day. And obviously “I VOTED.”