My Debate Idea

My idea for future debates is that every candidate stands over a trap door. If he or she does not directly answer a question asked, the door opens and they’re done for the night. This would be used for debates at all levels of government. It’s so annoying that they get away with that tactic.

There would be a mattress at the bottom of the pit. I don’t want anyone to get hurt.

I’m not sure what to do with the people to talk too long or interrupt. Ideas?

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Two Million!

What do Hong Kongers think? These man-in-the-street interviews give great insights and a variety of points-of-view. I have to find out more about the June 12th violence at the protest as that wasn’t covered in detail here.

I wonder what will happen. I’ve always doubted that Hong Kong can give up the “two systems” part of the “One Country; Two Systems” bargain. Yes, China may be more modern in thirty more years, but so will Hong Kong. I don’t think the PRC will catch up that fast. Also, just going from China to Hong Kong you can feel the freedom. It’s in the air somehow.

People want Carrie Lam, the leader of Hong Kong to step down, but China only will allow a leader whom they approve. Will a “new boss” make any difference? I doubt it. Is there any way Hong Kong can be free of China? Will there be another exodus as there was leading up to 1997 when affluent Hong Kongers fled to whichever Commonwealth nation they could before the hand off ceremony?

My 2¢: Convicts Voting?

Townhall’s have to be the toughest forum to do on a campaign. The questions are hard to predict. Bernie Sanders, whom I once liked a lot, was asked about allowing prisoners — even the Boston Bomber — voting while in prison. Bernie was fine with that. He asserted that every citizen should vote, even those serving time.

Imagine a small town with a penitentiary, inmates may outnumber citizens of voting age. If convicts can vote for local elections, then mayoral and congressional candidates would have to please the prisoners to get into office. Should prisoners elect our judges and States’ Attorney Generals?

Kamala Harris first said this was a conversation worth having. She’s since pulled away from this position.

AOC’s campaign director agrees with Bernie because he thinks people most impacted by the criminal justice system should be able to vote. Hmm. They can vote, if they’re old enough, before they’re convicted they can vote and impact the government.

Cat’s Paw

Harold Lloyd’s talking Cat’s Paw (1934) satirizes dirty politics. Lloyd plays Ezekiel Cobb, the son of a missionary who grew up in rural China. Cobb comes to California to find a wife. He’s supposed to stay with a minister, who for years has run for mayor against a corrupt machine politician. The minister is a puppet who doesn’t realize he’s simply used   to make it look like there’s democracy in this town.

When the minister suddenly dies, his corrupt campaign manager needs a chump to run in his stead. He decides this naive newbie Cobb is just the man for the job.

Cobb’s an endearing character. He’s a fish out of water in America. Though he looks like he belongs here, China is his home. So he’s constantly bowing and has no idea what our slang means. He’s often mistaken for a “native” and this often gets him into all kinds of scraps. He lacks the street smarts and skepticism frequently found in corrupt cities.

Yet while the film never directly says as much, God helps the innocents and through a hilarious series of mishaps, Cobb is photographed punching the corrupt mayor and becomes a sensation. He’s swept into office. He’s as upset as anyone. He wants to return to China where everyone understands his references to the revered Ling Po, who’s wisdom he frequently imparts.

Cobb accepts his office and brings his innocent honesty into practice. He outfoxes the foxes and it’s a delight to see.

Lloyd is delightful. It offers satire with a clever story that still entertains. There are times when supporting characters use words like “Chink” which are derogatory and wouldn’t be used in a film today, but the characters who use such terms are portraying prejudiced people in contrast to the hero who respects and understands Chinese culture.

Cobb does search for a wife and looks for an idealistically innocent, poised woman. Pet Pratt, a woman in his boarding house is a worldly woman who tricks him by taking him to a nightclub with 1930s adult entertainment. She’s just the woman to help Cobb govern. It’s an added twist to the film, especially since Harold Lloyd films usually feature American sweethearts. Pet Pratt does not fit that mold and is fun to watch.

I was amazed by Cobb’s plan to clean up the city. He wasn’t the goody-two-shoes he seemed at the start.

Cat’s Paw was a fun film, which shows 1930s views of China.

Avocados & Drug Cartels

avocado close up colors cut

Photo by Foodie Factor on Pexels.com

I heard about this story earlier in the week when Dennis Prager read it on air. Here’s the start and the link to the whole article.

In the past ten years, the amount of avocados consumed in the US has more than quadrupled, to over a million tons a year. Most of this is used to make guacamole, a traditional Mexican food that has now become popular in the United States. While many avocados consumed in the US are grown in California, about 60% are imported from Mexico–where they have sparked a long-running battle between local farmers and one of Mexico’s drug cartels.

In the 1980s, the Mexican state of Michoacán saw good times. The area had long been a center of production for avocados, the fleshy green fruit that is used to make guacamole. Under the NAFTA treaty, the United States lifted its trade restrictions on Mexican avocados, and the region found itself at the center of a growth industry. Michoacán was the only Mexican state approved by the USDA to export avocados to America, and even as the American maquiladora factories that had appeared in Mexico under NAFTA were closed down and moved to China, the avocado industry continued to expand. By 2010, Michoacán contained almost three-fourths of all the avocado plantations in Mexico and was exporting some 80% of its entire crop to the US, worth over $1 billion a year. A single hectare of orchard, yielding two crops a year, could produce as much as $100,000. Farmers began referring to the avocado as oro verde, “green gold”. The fruit was the largest cash crop in the region, outselling even the marijuana trade.

And that caught somebody’s attention. For years, the marijuana industry in Michoacán was run by a cartel known as La Familia, headed by Nazario Moreno, a former minister who quoted Bible verses to justify the kidnapping and execution of rivals and opponents. In 2010 Moreno was killed in a cartel dispute, and La Familia collapsed, leaving a power vacuum . . . (Click here for the rest.)

Reference

Flank, L. (2016). Avocados and the Mexican Drug Cartels. Retrieved from https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/7/12/1546610/-Avocados-and-the-Mexican-Drug-Cartels on April 5, 2019.
 

My New Hero

Utah senator, Mike Lee scores big points with this speech on The Green New Deal. It’s an engaging way to respond and I agree that climate change is an engineering problem and that this deal is a Trojan horse.

Short clips have been shown on TV, but the full speech is worth seeing.

I’m Finding this Fascinating

I think every now and then when I get captivated learning something new, or relearning something in a deeper way, I’m going to share it.

I’m in lesson 6 of Hillsdale College’s course on the US Congress and it’s enthralling. I really think this is a must-see for any US citizen and for anyone curious about how our government works.

Now I got an average or maybe above average education on US government in high school as was and still is required, but I didn’t learn about how congress changed through the centuries, about how administrative laws proliferated and how the government had to figure out, through trial and error how new regulations should be made and how the agencies should approve them. I didn’t learn about the powerful Speakers of the House Thomas Brackett Reed or his successor Joseph Gurney Cannon, of whom it could be argued was more powerful than either of the presidents he served.

The professor also shares how the U.K. Parliament’s Question Hour influenced American legislators and others who wanted this sort of give and take. I’ve seen snippets of the Prime Minister’s Questions, but now that I’ve found the Parliament’s YouTube Channel, I’m sure to watch more often.

I urge you to check out Hillsdale’s online courses. They’re free.