Tag Archives: government

Independence Movements in China… Story by Alex Chow

“This world will separate after long time united and vice versa.” This is a famous quote from the Records of the Three Kingdoms—a manuscript from a period in China’s history in around 280 B.C.E. It is an undoubtful truth since various parts of the world, including China, have separated and unified along history. Tibet, Uighur and Mongolia used to be foreign enemies of ancient China, until finally they were conquered after long years of wars. With 56 ethnic groups and over 200 dialects, diversity enriches the Chinese culture, yet it also means a heavy burden to unify the whole country.

When it comes to independence movements, there are many different aspects depending on the culture. Many of the messages contrast with the government’s policy towards “inalienable parts of the country’’.

Most of the people in Hong Kong are Hans—they shared much of their same history with mainland China, yet a seed of western culture germinated. Hong Kong was the colony of the British Empire from 1842 until recently in 1997.

Independent Hong Kong?... Many protesters desire ideas such as democracy and free elections
Independent Hong Kong?… Many protesters desire ideas such as democracy and free elections. Photo By: themalaymail

Notions of democracy, capitalism, and freedom became deeply rooted in the city. However, these ideals are often suppressed under the dictatorship of China. While Hong Kong has ten political parties, there is but a one-party system in the mainland China. The conflicts between Hong Kong and China are inevitable due to these contradicting beliefs.

Much of the desire for independence is because China keeps taking benefits from Hong Kong. For example, around a hundred billion HK$ was spend to build a high-speed railway from Hong Kong to China, a project that mainly benefits mainland China.

An attempt to seek democracy  triggered a wave of independent movements, advocated not only by street protesters, but also by legislative councilors. However, many of the councilors were suppressed by the government, either being unfairly removed or even thrown in jail. As a result, the independent movements lost momentum but were not eradicated.

Some claim that Hong Kong can never become independent because of it’s dependence on the mainland. This is only partially true—China will never say yes to the independence of Hong Kong because of the dignity of being a superpower and the financial role of Hong Kong. Hong Kong would also not be admitted to the United Nations since China is one of the five permanent members who can veto admission. China’s global influence means that Hong Kong would inevitably be isolated, should it desire independence.

Autonomous Regions... China has borderlands with independent cultures. Photo by: Wikipedia
Autonomous Regions… China has borderlands with independent cultures. Photo by: Wikipedia

On the other side of China, Tibet was an independent kingdom for centuries before the Mongol conquest. Afterwards, it fell largely under Chinese influence. It achieved autonomy during the chaos in the Chinese Civil War, before the communist forces took over the mainland. In 1950, the PRC invaded Tibet and defeated the Tibetan forces decisively in the Battle of Chamdo.

After the annexation of Tibet, quality of life was greatly improved in the region, though at the price of tightened control from China. It underwent sinification, a process whereby non-Chinese society come under the influence of Chinese culture, particularly Han Chinese norms. Land collectivization led to famines and riots, all suppressed by violence As a result, the Tibetan political leader Dalai Lama fled to India to establish Tibetan Government in Exile. Meanwhile, Tibet is still under the control of China.

Tibetan as an ethnic minority, they have their unique culture and language. Hence, it makes sense for them to possess some autonomy under the government. Nevertheless, China is not going to agree with the pursuit of the independence as others ethnic minorities may follow this example. China will lose to natural access to numerous natural resources in these areas, as well as Tibet’s strategic importance as a buffer region.

The independence movements are likely to go into a dead end since at no point will China gives up these regions to weaken the strength of the country. Catalonia is a good example of the failure of independent movements, an announcement of independence is nothing but a delusion without international support. Still, it is only a pause but not an end as long as it could be a leverage for asking higher autonomy.

Conspiracy Theories Elective… Story by Vaughn Kinman

As school electives near the hard due date, the course material is obviously getting more in depth, and the subject at hand become important. Mr. Webber’s conspiracy class is the most eye-drawing elective, and probably the schools most iconic one, merely because of the controversial content in the class.

With all the conspiracies surrounding the most recent disasters, the conspiracy class likely is booming with tons of theories. However, some may argue that conspiracy is not right to teach in school for many reasons. It could be used with offensive intent against particular students, despite being unlikely.

Scouring the Internet... In order to find such crazy theories, students and professor alike take time finding and studying them
Scouring the Internet… In order to find such crazy theories, students and professor alike take time finding and studying them

Also, theories thought up by one student can disagree with another’s beliefs. For example, there are many creation of the earth theories—a religious person might take offense to such a theory because it contradicts their beliefs. Mr. Webber seems to try and stay to the “worst” theories out there to limit disagreement, and then allow students to explore other ones through independent and EAD assignments.

A conspiracy class, on the other hand is an elective that kids seem to enjoy more than other electives, resulting in students grades likely being better than an elective that was less engaging. Surveys showed that students enjoyed conspiracy theories class on average more than other electives, regardless of their performance in the class.

However, knowing conspiracy theories is almost certainly less practical information compared to classes such as emergency services, another elective at the school. Conspiracy theories usually deals with fringe or extremist beliefs and cults, debunking them in class.This could lead some to argue that a different elective would be more attractive to students because of practicality.

Nay to Type 1 Civilization?... You may be a terrorist (according to Michio Kaku). There are some extreme views explored in conspiracy theories
Nay to Type 1 Civilization?… You may be a terrorist (according to Michio Kaku). There are some extreme views explored in conspiracy theories

People who were interviewed maintained that conspiracy theories should be taught in school. Joseph Fullerton said they would consider it as an alternative to other electives because conspiracies are something they could just do on their own time, a view that seemed to be shared by most of the class.

Overall, any potential critics of Mr. Webber or the classes intentions would go against the students who signed up for the elective, and there is no shortage of students, it seems.

Cubicles or Conversation… Story By: Harry Henderson

Cubicles or Conversation… Story By: Harry Henderson

olly’s art class hard at work assembling the wooden cubicles.Photo by: Harrison Hertzberg
Holly’s art class hard at work assembling the wooden cubicles. Photo by: Harrison Hertzberg

Do you think that social interaction and communication is important? Do you think that kids should be spending hours starring at a screen without talking to another human being? Forrest Bird Charter Schools has recently received a donation or many wooden study cubicles by Mike Zakowski, who runs Sandpoint Taekwondo. He donated many cubicles because he homeschooled his children and now he doesn’t need them anymore. These are large cubicles that are about five feet wide each, they are compatible in that they fit together so that one wall be the divider for two cubicles. They have been constructed by Holly Walker’s various art classes and student council with some difficulty assembling them. Many students at FBCS believe that having the cubicles is a good idea so that kids that need to study or take a test without any distractions can have their needs met. But many students also believe that spending the majority of your study lab time in a cubicle isn’t healthy either. They believe that time should be split between group work, individual study time, and social interaction.

 

An FBCS student working in an assembled cubicle.Photo by: Harrison Hertzberg
An FBCS student working in an assembled cubicle. Photo by: Harrison Hertzberg

The US Government has recently donated large amounts of cubicles to schools nationwide, they justify this by saying that they are trying to prepare students for the workplace and future jobs. Many Educational Groups oppose the use of cubicles in schools because lots of students aren’t going to be working a desk job. There is currently a conspiracy that the US Government is trying to donate cubicles to schools in order to organize a more communistic way of learning. This conspiracy is built off the principal that our government is trying to have it so kids are coming to school and then they go right to their cubicle and get on their computer and learn from an online teaching website with instructional videos and interactive learning. All of the students interviewed at FBCS responded negatively to this idea and way of learning. FBCS student Lakiah Turnbull, “Social interaction is a key part of childhood development and student life.” In conclusion, the portion of the student body that was interviewed reacted harshly towards the thought of everyone sitting at cubicles staring at a screen all day, this might not be the way we want our educations taught to us.