Sunday, October 8, 2017

Singapore's educational system: a model for the world, or authoritarian?


A reader sent me an article on Singapore’s education system as a “world leader”.  That is CM Rubin’s World’s article.  

  

One can wonder if this education system particularly promotes the values of an authoritarian and nationalistic city-state which, however. Is stable and prosperous and has very activist methods to force various national groups to interact, as Fareed Zakaria has often explored. 
  
By Erwin Soo from Singapore, Singapore - view of MBS from the gardens, CC BY 2.0, Link

Monday, October 2, 2017

Catalonia may become independent; could Spain break up?


Catalonia leaders seem determined to make Catalonia a sovereign country, it would seem from this article this evening by Raphael Minder on the New York Times, link here

I visited Bilbao in 2001, stayed near the ETA quarters, where the Basque region has sought similar independence.



Catalonia used to refer to itself as “a country in Spain”.  Isn't that true of Portugal, too? 

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Vietnam War myths exposed


Lan Cao has a long piece in the Outlook section of the Washington Post, Sunday Oct. 1, p. B3, “Five Myths: The Vietnam War”, in response to Ken Burns film (TV reviews blog, Sept. 17).


One of the myths is that the War was fought mainly by draftees, although draft calls increases sharply from 1965 through 1968. Another is that the Viet Cong were ragtag;  they were professional North Vietnamese soldiers.  Still is that South Vietnamese soldiers were unwilling to fight.  They were overwhelmed after lack of support in the final years after the US pulled out.

All of this provides lessons for how to handle Korea now.