Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain Is The Biggest Badass In American History

The Civil War is inarguably full of badasses.

From generals like Ulysses S. Grant to spies and medics like Harriet Tubman and Clara Barton, they’re spread out all over the battlefields, like coffee cups in a college library during Finals Week.

“Come with me if you want to live.” Photo Credit: Keith Rowley/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

With all these candidates, it’s hard to say any one of them is the bravest or most accomplished.

But this isn’t about any quantifiable accomplishment.

It’s about fancy battle shenanigans that would look awesome if they were adapted into a movie (which they were).

It’s about explosions and bloodshed and battle-lust and glory.

Which brings us to our biggest badass of American history: Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain.

Pictured: Chamberlain’s drink of choice. Photo Credit: Jon Roberts/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

This dude was a college professor from Maine who heard there was a war going on, so he saddled up and volunteered to join the Union army.

Said Union army was only too happy to get him, and made him lieutenant colonel, which is a phrase that usually refers to people who’ve had at least some experience with military strategy, with the exception of our man Joshua.

Luckily, Chamberlain was a fast learner, and after scanning every military work he could get his hands on and going through a steeper-than-Everest learning curve, he was all set to be second-in-command of the 20th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment.

Fast-forward to the Battle of Gettysburg.

While the Union forces were suffering setbacks, Confederate soldiers attacked their left flank.

The 20th Maine happened to be at the far left, next to a small hill called, appropriately, Little Round Top.

They hold position, and after a period of harsh fighting, Chamberlain orders a bayonet charge on the Confederates.

That mustache tho. Photo Credit: NightThree/ Wikimedia. Photo Credit:

They run down the hill, the entire line swinging nonstop, until finally Chamberlain gets to the guy leading the assault.

He orders the Confederate officer to surrender, and the officer whips out a pistol and shoots him in the face.

And actually misses, but Chamberlain doesn’t even flinch, just puts his sword to the guy’s throat until he gets an official surrender.

They take 101 Confederate soldiers prisoner.

Chamberlain gets a Medal of Honor for this, and goes on to top that at Petersburg.

And that’s saying a lot considering that he probably saved the Union from defeat at Gettysburg and therefore the country from splitting in two.

Unfortunately, there’s no Medal of Superhonor, but if there was, he’d totally have earned it.

If you imagine a storm with bullets instead of raindrops, that might look something like Petersburg – Chamberlain’s directing the action, the bullets are flying, and all of a sudden a Confederate bullet tears through his side, crushing his hipbones and ripping into his bladder and urethra.

So Chamberlain’s suffered what’s basically a mortal wound, by the standards back then (and also, probably, by our standards, just from the sheer pain factor).

Surprisingly, his first thought isn’t “oh, jeez, I’m gonna die,” but, rather, “dying right now would be bad for morale, so I’m just gonna walk it off.”

Which he does.

He uses his saber as a crutch to stay upright, while blood is POURING from his vitals, and continues to direct the assault.

He holds himself up by spit and stamina until he can’t anymore, and he collapses, and when the surgeons get to the field he yells at them to go and save his men instead.

Now that’s badassery.

But, of course, the surgeons don’t take orders from commanding officers, so they go ahead and treat his wounds anyway.

He survives, continues to survive for a bunch of other battles, literally getting his horse shot out from under him a few times, and goes on to preside over the surrender at Appomattox.

Proving that he’s a gallant winner as well as a badass, he orders his men to stand at attention and carry arms in a show of respect for their defeated countrymen.

A general would later call him “one of the knightliest soldiers of the Federal Army.”

Now here’s the part where it gets gross.

The Wikipedia article states that he suffered from complications due to his wounds in the Battle of Petersburg, but that doesn’t even begin to describe how much it just. Sucked.

To get shot in the Civil War era and have to live with a hole in your bladder burning like the fires of hell for decades.

He had to wear a Civil War era catheter, which was like a modern-day catheter except ten times worse.

…not fun. Photo Credit: Wellcome Image/ Wikimedia

Because sanitation at the time was not exactly the greatest, his wounds got infected, and left him in what he described as “unspeakable agony” for almost fifty years.

Still, he kept going, running for governor of Maine and getting elected with the support of the Republican Party – this was back when the Republicans were the guys up north – giving speeches at soldiers’ reunions, and even helping to found the Maine Institution for the Blind.

His later years lacked the glory and excitement of his battlefield, but were at least as commendable, if not more so.

At 85, in 1914, he died as he lived – a major badass.

Moment of silence for this BAMF

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: Library of Congress/ Wikimedia Commons

Why Did Putin Do It?

It is common knowledge that the Russian government attempted to interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

The success of that interference is, and may always be, up for debate.

The same can be said for understanding the true nature of their motivations behind these actions.

On January 6, 2017, The Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a declassified report, assessing Russian activities and intentions in the most recent U.S. presidential election.

The twenty-three page report, created in union by The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), and The National Security Agency (NSA), makes several, high confidence claims about Russia’s – and the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin’s – motivations and intentions behind their actions.

These actions, as identified by the report, include cyber espionage, the leaking of data collected by Russian Intelligence, interference in state and local electoral boards, and Russian propaganda efforts.

Getting inside the head of Vladimir Putin is impossible. Photo Credit: Lazopoulos George/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

The goals behind these actions were also laid out in the report.

“Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency,” the report reads. “We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump.”

But while understanding these actions is important and necessary, maybe even more important, is to understand the motivations behind them.

“The motivation, if we can guess it, was just to disrupt, and to create doubts, and weaken the integrity of the process,” William Wohlforth, a Dartmouth professor who studies, among other areas, international relations and Russian foreign policy said in an interview with RISE NEWS.

Robert Jervis, the Adlai E. Stevenson Professor of International Politics at Columbia University, takes a similar view.

“It was a general attempt to discredit American democracy here and abroad,” Jervis said in an interview.

These attempts are not necessarily unusual – during the Cold War, the Soviet Union engaged in similar “active measures.”

In fact, the tactics used in 2016 are eerily similar to those used throughout much of the Cold War – primarily, the spreading of false information in an attempt to delegitimize or scandalize a perceived political opponent.

This horse really wanted Trump to win so Putin just went with it- probably. Ok not really. Photo Credit: Jedimentat44/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Mark Kramer recently wrote about this history on WBUR’s Cognoscenti website:

“[The KGB’s] Service A, formed in the 1950s, almost immediately set to work spreading disinformation, producing forgeries, transmitting propaganda, and disrupting U.S. and Western public diplomacy.”

Some of the misinformation spread by the KGB includes rumors that FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover was a “gay transvestite” and that Martin Luther King Jr. and President Lyndon B. Johnson were colluding to continue black suppression.

During the Cold War- now seen as a more conventional battle between capitalism and communism, all behaviors stemmed from a fairly defined ideological starting point.

But in a post-Cold War era, these ideologies have become less defined, leaving the motivations behind these active measures more mysterious.

“Now, all bets are off, they don’t need to be particularly consistent with any political ideology,” Wohlforth said. “As long as it has the potential to weaken the cohesiveness of the block of states that they perceive to be against them.”

One of the more popular speculations is that Putin saw interference in the U.S. election as payback.

Russian President Vladimir Putin believes that the United States was secretly active in orchestrating the Color Revolutions of the early 2000s – a set of revolutions and protests in former Soviet republics.

Putin believes that the U.S. interfered so as to create a new geopolitical order.

Putin may also view his active measures as payback for his belief that the U.S. – and Secretary Clinton – was behind the massive protests in Moscow over his election in December 2011.

In 2014, Putin likened protests in his own country to the Color Revolutions.

“In the modern world, extremism is being used as a geopolitical instrument and for remaking spheres of influence,” Putin said in 2014. “We see what tragic consequences the wave of so-called color revolutions led to.”

“I really love this boat. Also, I like interfering with American elections.” Photo Credit: Jedimentat44/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

By interfering in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Putin attempted to ruin the chances of victory for his perceived nemesis, Secretary Clinton, while also attempting to avoid any chance that he may have to interact with her as President of the U.S.

Also a popular speculation about Russia’s motivation is that Putin was actively hoping to change the outcome of the election – although there is little to no evidence to support this claim.

“I suspect that by some time in the fall that was one of the objectives,” Jervis said. “But the evidence for that is much weaker.”

When polls began to show Clinton as weaker than conventionally believed, Moscow may have seen an opportunity to test the ability of their active measures.

What is interesting about this possible motivation is that there is little evidence to suggest that any time Soviet/Russian active measures favored a candidate, the candidate ended up favoring the Kremlin.

In 1968, the Soviet Union was worried that if Richard Nixon won the presidential election, Soviet-U.S. relations would suffer even more than if the Democratic candidate Hubert Humphrey won.

Instead, Nixon acted somewhat favorably towards the Soviet state after being elected.

Even in painting form, Putin looks unhappy. Photo Credit: Nikolay Volnov/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

“The candidate that they often seek to undermine may not be so bad for Russian relations,” Wohlforth said.

The opposite can be said as well – it may have been easier for Secretary Clinton to act more favorably towards Russia than President Trump, who has received a mass of scrutiny for even just speaking favorably about Putin or Russia.

The true motivations behind Russia’s most recent active measures may never be known – needless to say, it is impossible to get inside the head of Putin.

Russia’s current posture towards the United States is not new – and the medium through which they acted is – and in truth, this behavior is not limited to Russia.

These actions are unlikely to stop anytime soon.

America is under siege.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: michael kooiman/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

America Is A Nation Of Immigrants, But We Don’t Want To Believe It

“My country tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing.
Land where my fathers died!
Land of the Pilgrim’s pride!
From every mountain side,
Let freedom ring!”

Liberty is the state of being free from oppression and imposed authority on one’s life, views, and behaviors in society.

We praise America, but for what?

Not for advancements in technology, cures of diseases, innovations, policies, monumental movements, etc.

But we praise it in admiration of our founding fathers, our core values, the constitution, traditions— the land where our founders have died, the same land that was built on the backs of slaves.

Millions of dead slaves built this country- an African Holocaust.

We take pride in the pilgrims who came to America ultimately wiping out 90 percent of the Native American population and everything they had.

Form every mountain side there are people who are not native to this land yet claim it as their own.

But why?

Because this is the land of opportunity, wealth, provisions, freedom– Freedom for those who this land was built for not built by, freedom to those that represent the majority population of our country.

We are all immigrants but we don’t want to admit it.

Photo Credit: David Jones/ Flickr (CC by 2.0)

Because to admit that fact would force us to realize that we don’t own this land.

It would force us to take a different view towards those who wish to call it home as well.

The native population even in combination with another race only makes up 1.7 percent of America’s population.

The rest of us had to get here somehow.

Whether by boats in the slave trade, pilgrimages for religious freedom, through Angel Island, through Ellis Island, through escape from your homeland, we all claim this land of America because our ancestors migrated here.

By 2025 we are projected to hit 14.9 percent of our entire population to be foreign born.

Our entire foundation is based on the work of immigrants making America.

And in the present day, we are staying afloat because of foreigners in our land who want nothing more to be fully accepted and offered liberty, the same liberty we pledge our allegiance to.

A statue of Italian immigrants. Photo Credit: Paul Sableman/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Now we are stuck in the cross hairs of Making America Great Again by stopping immigrants from expanding our country, and not recognizing that without immigrants America is nothing.

From the start, were we ever great?

How do we return to a state that never existed?

We are a nation of immigrants and we do not accept it because we don’t want to.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: John Mitchell/ Flickr (CC by 2.0)

Political Correctness Could Be Making Millennials More Conservative Than They Want To Be

On the Jan. 27 episode of HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, the eponymous host burst into a montage of situations where celebrities were forced to apologize for comments and actions which were viewed as being culturally insensitive.

He began by saying, “Republicans apologize for nothing, Democrats for everything. Can’t we find a balance?”.

Maher is absolutely right.

Political correctness has gone awry in America.

What was once believed to be an instrument to bring us all together, to blanket our society in expressions that brought the marginalized into the fold has only deepened the divide among liberals and conservatives.

It is also apparent that the 2016 election was the battlefield on which this separation raged on.

The main problem is the restriction on language that follows the insistence on political correctness, and college campuses have become its overwhelming stomping ground.

Political correctness places rules and procedures on the way we communicate, which is only to lead to a skewed and incomplete form of dialogue.

Currently, there are things that you can say, and things that you can’t.

Unfortunately, the things you can’t say haven’t been deemed incomprehensible through debate.

No, they have been shut out completely in an attempt to eradicate them forever.

Instead of having individuals discuss opposing opinions, one view tends to be accepted as fact and the other is pushed underground because the surface is now inhospitable to a civil disagreement.

If some views are incomprehensible, shouldn’t it be simple to defeat it in debate?

If so, why the need to stop the conversation instead of using it to prove the point?

We all know what some of these disavowed ideas are.

Have a not-so-liberal opinion on the transgender bathroom issue?

You’re transphobic.

Want a tightened immigration system?

Don’t talk to me you xenophobe.

Are you a big believer in capitalism?

It sucks that you hate working class people.

It’s a perfectly democratic notion to disagree with someone on political issues because the very nature of these questions show a lack of consensus.

Their elimination from civil discourse is tyrannical.

These responses, or ones with similar sentiments, have succeeded on campuses for a number of years.

However, I believe it has come back to haunt the liberal cause.

These politically correct attitudes have backed people into a corner and micromanaged them into submission.

This leaves them no political escape other than doing exactly what they were told not to do.

Photo Credit: Pug50/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

We have all done things simply because we were warned against them and, at times, we have all wanted to be the person that is completely rebellious to a status quo we don’t like.

We listen to music that asserts no remorse for their honest lyrics, we watch movies in which recalcitrant characters are respected, and we look up to individuals who never change their resistance even with the strongest of winds in their face.

Yet, you may not express a politically incorrect opinion because you were told not to.

It’s quite obvious why our generation is splitting at the seams.

I can’t even count the amount of people I know that have rejected many a liberal cause not because they disagree with it, but because the way they felt forced into the belief.

Political correctness has stripped the human element from conversation.

Our conversations have become robotic, mechanical, hierarchical, something relegated to you at the permission of someone else.

People do not give their honest opinion because we have branded those that disagree with us as bigots, or ideologues, or fascists, or mentally ill.

This is where the difference Maher referred to becomes relevant. The two major parties differ on this topic in vast ways.

Donald Trump, whether you love him or think of him as an evil ruler, is clearly the antithesis to a politically correct way of speaking.

Other Republicans aren’t very cozy with it either.

To many average college students, the Democrats demand an apology before they seek safety for your family, a truthful media, or accountable governance.

To a rather aloof millennial, they very well may see Democrats as the party of political correctness.

Some of these young people found solace in a candidate like Trump. Not because they like him or his policies or what he speaks of, but because they saw the majority of elected Democrats and those running for office as the enforcers of this PC mindset they are disgusted by. A mindset that is omnipresent and affects them on a daily basis.

This drug was initially meant to numb the pain of the oppressed, which is an effort worth respect.

Unfortunately, it has done serious damage to the language we use to express ourselves.

Language is the waterway on which humans explore the unknown; it’s the mechanism from which society breathes.

The greatest conversations about life, religion, politics and love occur when, in that moment, our words have no filter.

It’s just your free flowing thoughts and emotion that unleash the truth.

People love Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction” because it’s raw and unflinching.

We read Wilfred Owen’s “Dulce et Decorum est” because it is bold and shakes us to the core.

Honestly, how can you describe the horrors of the First World War while using a filter? You can’t.

The truth is ugly.

It stings, it’s chaotic, and at times makes us writhe.

But we won’t solve anything if we refuse to listen to other arguments.

It is how we find the truth.

Without it, who knows where it will lead.

For the time being, this is an issue met with warm applause and visceral condemnation, sending many into the ballot box aiming to remove it from their lives entirely.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: Nicolas Raymond/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

And I Still Believe

If you travel to another Asian or African country and ask local people: “Which country do you think is the best for education/ health care/ services or everything?”, the most common answer probably is “America”.

It has become normal for people with means in developing countries to “go to America” to study, to do surgery or even to live.

And many of these people do not bother to question the validity of this seem-to-be stereotype- the idea that America is the greatest country on Earth.

I still believe in that stereotype.

To me it is a truth.

Despite everything that has happened in the past few months, America is still a place that I deeply believe in.

I am not American or processed to be an American.

I have been in the U.S. for almost two years to pursue higher education.

I want to be close to my family – who is at home, so at least until now, I have no plans or intentions to be an American after I finish my degree.

But I admire this country, or more exactly, I admire its people.

I do not remember being called an “Asian whore” or told to “get back to your tiny dirty place” by random people on the street.

I only remember being helped with my oversized luggage by random people at the train station.

I only remember being welcomed home for Thanksgiving by my roommate’s family.

I only remembered being tirelessly encouraged and inspired by my American professors.

They are good people and they are American.

The bad ones are simply bad.

And the good always wins.

You win when you have democracy.

This country is based on democratic ideals which takes over each individual’s mind and soul.

You have both rights and abilities to stand for your nation and your own democracy.

It is not easy to call for a change, especially an expansive and impactful one.

But it happens in America.

When enough people, regardless of their political or social positions, acknowledge the need of change, they join together and strive together with all of their power and strengths, to make a change.

This is how your freedom is protected and trust me, not many people over the world can have it and keep it.

You also win when you can say “NO”.

You can say “no” to what does not appeal to you.

You can say “no” to what goes against your ethics.

You can say “no” to what hurts your definition of humanity. Y

ou can say “no” because it is simply not you.

It is a privilege, but also a duty.

Do not say “no” to people. Say “no” to things, wrong things, need-to-be-stopped things

. Say an appropriate, reasonable, ethical “no”, even when everyone else say “yes”.

You win when you can choose to stand when everyone else is flowing.

There is nothing such as “give up”, “surrender” or “follow the majority” in America.

Your stance is protected. Your ideal is kept alive.

You can decide to accept or deny, to support or oppose, to love or hate, to defend or abolish.

You can resist when being forced to do something you don’t want to do.

You can fight when being oppressed.

Most importantly, you are respected and appreciated for your individuality, for your difference.

You win when you act on your heart, mind and soul.

You win when you follow what you believe.

You can ignore the messy chaos out there and keep sitting in your office, do what you are supposed to do.

You can drive home, have a tasty dinner and enjoy your cozy coach with your Netflix on.

But if your heart asks you to get out there and fight, you fight, even for strangers, even for potential “economic burden and social danger”.

It is kind when someone responds to a call for help.

It is even kinder when someone searches for people in need to help.

You are being kind when you do this.

You are being an American.

Because Americans know what is good and what is bad, what is right and what is wrong.

For some people, America may not be the best, the strongest, the biggest nation in the world, but no one can deny the enormous impact of this country to the global situation.

When same-sex marriage started to be recognized in many states, the world was celebrating.

You know why?

Because if it can happen in America, it can happen anywhere and it will.

America is believed by many non-Americans to be the first and then when something is brought here, it spreads its spirit to make the world a better place.

Yes, the rest of the world is watching you, America.

These days, a portion seems quite disappointed.

Some are enthusiastically mocking.

Others are ideally concerned.

The rest, including me, simply thinks: “Just leave them alone. They will figure it out themselves.”

You know what you have to do.

You know what you need to do.

And you know what you should do.

America has enough power and its people are armed with enough strengths to get over any bullshit to make what should be right, right again.

For all Americans who have decided to take fighting for everyone else, for humanity as your duty, even though your wage will not be raised, your house will not be surrounded by fences, and your children will share the same classroom with other kids whose hair, eyes and skin colors are all different

As a humble citizen of the world, I thank you.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.

Photo Credits: Alisdare Hickson/Flickr (CC by-SA 2.0)

Does The American Fulbright Program Have Too Much Control Over Hong Kong Universities?

By Raphael Blet

HONG KONG- While primary and secondary schools are under the Education Bureau’s (EDB) authority, tertiary institutions are autonomously operated.

Despite being detached from the government’s authority, higher institutions are publicly funded and validated by the University Grants Committee (UGC).

Following the education reforms in 2012, universities around the territory went through major changes given that the previous three years curriculum was changed to a four years one.

In order to renew their structure, some universities partnered with the Fulbright Program so as to implement the general education reform.

Many academics and students are opposed to this system as they say it deviates them from their fields of research.

According to The Standard, Victor Sit Fung-shuen — who in 2012 was heading the Advanced Institute for Contemporary China Studies at Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) — was removed from office after the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) issued a statement in which it accused Mr. Sit of providing ‘irresponsible and fictitious’ claims in his publication.

Read More: What The Walk21 Conference Taught Me About The Future Of Hong Kong

Mr. Sit claimed that the Fulbright Scholar Program, which he referred to as the ‘American fund’ was ‘directing the setting up of general education programs’.

The panel handling the case stated that Fulbright was instead providing ‘support and advice’ to universities.

Despite hitting back, Mr. Sit’s Blue Book of Hong Kong was called back and the ‘falsified information’ amended.

The allegations made in the publication were considered as academic misconduct mainly because Mr. Sit did not provide any evidence supporting his claims.

Furthermore, he was believed to have ignored the numerous warnings from the university which offered him the ‘opportunity’ to correct his ‘mistakes’.

Mr. Sit’s acquaintances were only to give his claims even less credibility due to their political background, thus justifying the board’s decision to dismiss him for harming the university’s integrity.

This issue was controversial as the university found itself in a complicated position after Mr. Sit claimed that he was victim of ‘literary persecution’.

Nevertheless, the panel decided to revoke Mr. Sit’s contract given the result of the report.

How can a qualified academic make such false claims if they were all to be wrong? Were those allegations only unfair, biased and politically motivated? What role does Fulbright (that he refers as the ‘American fund’) truly plays in Hong Kong?

The Fulbright Program was named after the US Senator J. William Fulbright and established in 1946.

This program is sponsored by the US Department of State’s Educational and Cultural Affairs Bureau, meaning that it is a governmental organization. According to the US Educational and Cultural Affairs Bureau, Fulbright is an exchange program aimed at ‘increasing mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries’.

It offers both students and scholars exchange and scholarship opportunities in different countries while non-Americans are also given the same possibility.

As previously mentioned, Fulbright also acts as an adviser especially in Hong Kong where it has an important role in setting the general education curricula.

Read More: Ethnic Minorities Need To Be Embraced As Fellow Hong Kongers

In addition, Fulbright is locally represented by the Hong Kong America Centre (HKAC) which is based at CUHK.

It is reasonable to claim that those labelling themselves as ‘advisers’ will at one point occupy a directorial position and therefore ‘direct the setting up of the general education curricula’.

HKBU is a good example. Professor A. Reza Hoshmand, who is now the Director of General Education arrived in 2008 as a Fulbright scholar, in other words as an ‘adviser’.

Now — in addition to being an adviser — Prof. Hoshmand has a managerial role.

In numerous journals and other reports from CUHK and HKEC, the term ‘reward’ is mentioned: ‘Institutions will provide rewards for faculty who are effective teachers in general education, ideally by embracing what one called “a broader definition of scholarship.”

If rewards are translated into scholarships, Mr. Sit’s claims of an external funding are justified.

In her report, Mixed Marriages and the Fulbright Hong Kong General Education Program, HKEC’s program Director Ms. Ginny Tam gives an important number of elements that would be in favor of Mr. Sit claims.

Here are a few of them:
‘Faculty resistance and apathy were evident’ (Page 1): The term ‘resistance’ is defensive and would let us believe that the ‘advisers’ did have an executive function.

‘This outside presence is very important especially in the early years because they acted as stimulants and catalysts’ (Page 1)

‘This tone of aversion to America originated from the interpretation of the function of the Program as a kind of U.S. interference, with America presuming that it has been sending experts in the role of consultants to help Hong Kong to build its own GE. Not few local colleagues found the idea of the Program patronizing, hence their sentiment, annoyance.’ (Page 3).

There seems to be sufficient evidence to accept the claims made by Mr. Sit.

Read More: Does The Government Even Want To Save Cantonese From Going Extinct In Hong Kong?

It is true to say that external organizations such as Fulbright and HKAC are indirectly controlling some universities.

As proven by those documents, there has been an undeniable pressure on academics as well as a strong opposition from local scholars.

Yet, it is still impossible to officially claim that there is an external funding but the probabilities of an indirect funding are high. In any case, this reform has been truly profitable to the Fulbright Program.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.

You can also like our RISE NEWS Hong Kong Facebook page to stay engaged with our local coverage. 

Cover Photo Credit: Gonzalo Pineda Zuniga/Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Trump’s Sexism Is Literally Bad For Your Kids According To Experts

By Brian D. Johnson, PhD and Laurie Berdahl, MD

Donald Trump’s remarks about women during the presidential campaign and the years preceding it have often been termed sexist, cruel, misogynistic, and degrading.

While many parents are concerned about the negative impacts these comments may have on their daughters’ self-esteem and on equality for women in the workplace, we believe they have even farther-reaching, more deleterious implications for our children and society

As an ob-gyn physician and a child psychologist who raised our kids together, we’ve been increasingly concerned about the trend in sexualization of women and children.

We think that Trump’s behavior promotes this extremely detrimental process, which is linked to many problems including male aggression and violence against women and girls.

As opposed to undergoing healthy sexual development, girls are now pressured to grow up sexualized.

Interpreting the American Psychological Association’s Taskforce Report, any one of the following indicates sexualization of a girl: 1) she or others believe that her value is mainly or solely based on her sexual appeal or behavior; 2) her sexiness equates with a narrowly defined, unrealistic standard of physical attractiveness; 3) she is not a person but an object (a thing) to be evaluated and used by others for sexual purposes; or 4) sexuality is imposed on her (such as child sexual abuse).

Research clearly shows that sexualization imposes dangerous beliefs and behaviors on both girls and boys.

For girls, it’s associated with lower self-esteem, early initiation of sexual activity, depression, and anxiety, risk factors for being victimized by manipulation, and sexual, dating, and domestic violence.

Female sexualization makes both boys and girls more likely to be accepting of stereotypical gender roles and sexual aggression and violence against women, and to have lower empathy for victims.

When boys and young men believe that women are supposed to be sexual objects and men are to be dominant and aggressive, they’re more likely to mistreat women and commit rape.

Read More: What The Election Of Florida’s Racist, Conspiracy Believing Governor In 1916 Should Teach Us About 2016

Essentially, sexualization may function to keep girls “in their place” as objects of sexual use and beauty, while at the same time promoting aggression and violence against them.

Boys can but are less likely to be sexualized.

What does this have to do with Donald Trump?

Raising emotionally healthy and behaviorally smart children who don’t intentionally harm others based on gender or other differences requires that parents and other authority figures demonstrate belief in gender equality and respect for human dignity and work to stop the scourge of bullying.

Trump’s consistent, overt valuation of women such as former Miss Universe Alicia Machado, news anchors and reporters, celebrities, and political opponents based on body features like weight, buttocks, and breast size cannot be misconstrued—it clearly indicates belief that females are not equal to males but are objects to be rated by body type, demeaned, dominated, and used.


Trump after giving a speech at an October rally in Arizona. Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

The double standard for male Trump surrogates, for whom physical characteristics like weight appear inconsequential, and hiring campaign associates accused of sexual harassment and domestic violence support this.

Donald even minimized and accepted sexual violence in the military as an expected consequence of having female and male soldiers working together.

This demonstrated his probable belief in a common rape myth: that rape is an impulsive, uncontrollable act of sexual gratification for men when they’re around women.

Yet he also benefits from women who may not fit his mold of acceptable, sexualized female “looks,” but who excuse his reprehensible remarks as silliness or blame victims for being too sensitive.

Read More: The One Thing Clinton and Trump Need During the Next Debate According To Business School Professors

These remarks aren’t silly, but deadly serious.

Trump has even shown sexualized attitudes toward children including his own daughters. When asked about one-year-old Tiffany, he remarked that she was a really beautiful baby who has her mother’s legs and then making a gesture indicating breasts, commented that time will tell if she got her mother’s breasts.

Who says that about their baby girl?

A believer and promoter of sexualization of girls would.

Inappropriate statements about daughter Ivanka’s beautiful body and desire to date her (if he weren’t her father) have also emerged.

Upon meeting his good friends’ daughter, Paris Hilton when she was 12 years old, he reportedly said, “Who the hell is that?” and recounting the story said, “At 12, I wasn’t interested. . . but she was beautiful, ” reflecting attitudes that can result in abusing children sexually.

He later claimed to watch Hilton’s teenage sex tape that was leaked against her will.

In addition, Trump bullies women, as he tries to humiliate and dominate by using taunts, threats, sexual comments, rumors, lies, and name-calling, including referring to them as animals like pigs or dogs to dehumanize and reduce empathy for them.

Dehumanization and reduced empathy are common elements of an aggressive or violent perpetrator’s psyche allowing him or her to intentionally harm others for personal gain, free from a pesky conscience.

Bullies often manipulate people.

We believe that when Donald says, “I love women,” it reflects his love for what they can do for him rather than any interest in their well-being.

After all, he verbally attacks women who disagree with him.

Likely narcissism doesn’t afford him the ability to consider opinions different from his self-serving ones, making it difficult to nonaggressively react to other people’s perspectives, or to perceived challenges to his ego.

He instead uses classic modes of male dominance: interrupting women when they’re talking, and dismissing concerns or questions as indicating mental instability, “neuroticism,” or even—yes, really—menstruation!

By the way, when adults in children’s lives promote bullying or sexualization, or don’t speak up against others who do, it condones these behaviors.

So you can really help your kids by recognizing and expressing your disapproval of these practices, and by expecting kind and respectful treatment of men and women as whole people with thoughts and feelings.

Presidents are prominent authority figures who influence the behavior of others, including youth, and who should represent a nation’s overarching values—at least in a democracy.

As the leader of the free world, our next president will be in a position to either help reduce violence and aggression and promote gender equality shown to be vital underpinnings of good childhood outcomes for both boys and girls, or, alternatively, to usher in new heights of degradation of our daughters, harming their health and safety.

Words matter, and parents need to speak out to protect their children.

For practical methods to squelch sexualization, bullying, and sexual violence, see the authors’ new book, WARNING SIGNS: How to Protect Your Kids from Becoming Victims or Perpetrators of Violence and Aggression and website

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: Jeff Turner/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

The One Thing Clinton and Trump Need During the Next Debate According To Business School Professors

By Mario Moussa and Derek Newberry

As we get ready to watch the second presidential debate, you might be scratching your head about a tale of two countries.

In Trump’s telling, America is a nation in decline that needs a turnaround.

Clinton sees a leading world power that should continue on the positive trajectory created under the Obama administration.

As business school professors who specialize in the human side of organizations, there is one thing – that many may find surprising – each candidate needs during this next debate: a story.

At this point, you might be thinking that elections are really all about pocketbook issues and politicians’ stories are just a bunch of fluff.

We have a different point of view: hard-nosed policies and strategies are worthless without a good story. Whether people realize it or not, they think in stories. The best communicators know this and make the most of it.

Storytelling: The Crucial Leadership Skill

A famous experiment by two psychologists in the 1940s showed subjects a short clip of two triangles and a circle moving around, and asked them to describe what they saw.

Where some described a bully terrorizing two children and a jealous father protecting his daughter, others saw different dramas.

The imagined scenarios differed, but what they had in common was that nearly all of the subjects told a story about the shapes without any prompting.

Why are stories so pervasive?

Because they are how people make sense of their environment and get along with co-workers or fellow citizens.

The most brilliant policy can fall flat if it is not communicated with a strong narrative that makes it real and compelling for the people who are supposed to implement it.

Far from fluff, good story-telling is a crucial leadership skill for motivating commitment and moving a strategy from abstract idea to action.

Hence the importance of the two recent political conventions.

Like an annual corporate retreat, their purpose is not only to explain a specific policy platform but also to tell a story that motivates and guides those who need to carry it out.

In this respect, we think Clinton right now is in a stronger position as she goes into his next debate.

She does three things especially well.

And the next time you need to get your point across, you should remember them:

Create Empathy

In any good story, the audience should empathize with the main characters.

According to screenwriter Robert McKee, the key to creating empathy is to portray a character who is overcoming a struggle.

This can make even an unsympathetic person relatable.

Steve Jobs wasn’t known for his humility, but his story about returning to Apple after having been pushed out is one we can all root for.

Trump has been focused on communicating his greatness, but not on talking about overcoming hardships to get there.

Just recently, he stumbled again by referring to the jobs he has created as one of his “sacrifices.”

Clinton creates empathy by acknowledging that she struggles with the “public” part of public service – that is, the aspect of it that involves public speaking.

She deftly turns this weakness into a strength by recounting how she pushes through it because she cares deeply about the service part.

Paint a Picture

If you boil any rom-com movie down to its most basic elements, they are all pretty much the same: beginning, middle, and end.

In other words, every story starts with a typical everyday situation, which is then disrupted by some new or unusual event, which sets in motion of series of actions that lead to a resolution and a return to normalcy.

So what separates a classic like Annie Hall from a flop like Gigli? The difference is in the detail.

Good stories use vivid imagery to make abstract ideas feel real and bring the audience along.

On this count, Trump misses the mark. When his family talks, their speeches provide a great opportunity to show the candidate’s lighter side.

While the Trump clan mentions plenty of great qualities, their speeches are light on anecdotes that would help us visualize how he lives these values in his everyday life.

By giving details about Hillary’s personal life, such as how she met Bill or how she stays connected to Chelsea while on the road, the Clintons paint a more compelling picture of the Democratic candidate’s values.

Make the Audience Your Hero

As speaking coach Nick Morgan reminds us, every story has a hero and when you need other people to help you get things done, you are likely to get more buy-in if you put them in the starring role.

Think of how rockstar Bono has driven support for his ONE campaign by imploring: “We can be the generation that ends poverty.”

This is why Trump’s declaration that “I alone can fix” the political system is perhaps the weakest moment of his debate.

Clinton, by contrast, hits on the theme of becoming “stronger together,” making voters the heroes of her campaign’s story.

Far from fluff, stories are a critical execution tool.

On the campaign trail, they help leaders communicate strategy, rally support and guide implementation.

Republican strategist Mark McKinnon, who headed up communications for the George W. Bush campaigns, once said that the successful candidate is the one who tells the better story.

So far, by this measure, we think Clinton is pulling away from her opponent.

Dr. Mario Moussa and Dr. Derek Newberry are the authors of Committed Teams: Three Steps to Inspiring Passion and Performance. Dr. Moussa teaches in the Executive Programs at Wharton School of Executive Education. Dr. Newberry is a lecturer at the Wharton School. Connect with Dr. Moussa at, and with Dr. Newberry via Twitter, @derekonewberry.

Puerto Rico Should Become The 51st State

By Chidera O. Nwosu

The conversation about whether statehood should be granted to Puerto Rico is a fraught one indeed.

It is paramount to understand that Puerto Rico is a Caribbean island that remains currently as an unincorporated territory to the United States.

Famed American linguist, Noam Chomsky, once said that American Imperialism is often traced to the takeover of Cuba, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico in 1898.

With that being said, if America is able to dictate economic, military and cultural influence in itself, other countries, and unincorporated territories such as Puerto Rico – then why isn’t Puerto Rico the 51st state?

A great place to begin, would be in conferring superlative peculiarities in which Puerto Rico is hailed for.

Puerto Rico, known for its beautiful lands and mountains, the El Yunque tropical rainforest, and cultural Spanish colonial buildings, is often regarded as a place of tourism.

On a more serious note, Puerto Rico is a populated territory, in which its populace is greater than half of the states formally incorporated into the United States.

Many people are often unaware that Puerto Rico is quite established with common languages being both Spanish and English.

For those reasons alone, Puerto Rico should be the 51st state.

Despite the fact that the Commonwealth government has its own tax laws, Puerto Ricans are already required to pay most US federal taxes.

To place this into perspective, in 2009, Puerto Rico paid $3.742 billion into the US Treasury.

With this in mind, if Puerto Rico – a U.S territory – is paying taxes to the U.S federal government, why should statehood even be a question?

Puerto Ricans have been granted U.S. citizenship since 1917. In other words, Puerto Ricans have been granted U.S citizenships for 99 years (1-year shy from a century) and admittance into the U.S has yet to occur.

In 2012, 61% of voters supported statehood.

More than half of eligible voters, voted in advocating of beginning the process in admitting Puerto Rico to the Union.

The people of Puerto Rico spoke and they want Congress to answer their demands.

Statehood now!

It is vital for Puerto Rico to become formally recognized and incorporated into the United States because it elevates the quality of life in Puerto Rico, aids in its economic salvation, and fashions innovative and integrative access to education and career opportunities.

The latter issue is quite problematic as Puerto Rico is losing doctors on a daily basis.

It is even more caustic, how Puerto Ricans pay US federal taxes but have little to no say in governmental actions.

As Chomsky states, American Imperialism has been deeply rooted in Puerto Rico – why not just harvest it?

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: Juan Cristobal Zulueta/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

“What Do You Live For?” Series: An American Educated South African Answers That Question In A Poem


For the morning drizzle outside
cuddled with a lover
or the sweat on my brow
while I lift boulders.

For the smell of spices from a cast iron orange pot
or the lingering taste of fermented grapes
in the lull of a Thursday evening.

For the black man who waves
at a white baby
or the queer who helps the straight guy sow.

For the corrupt politicians finally serving their sentences
or the homeless woman finally getting a fresh slice of bread.

For the aborted children giving meaning to life,
or the orphans succeeding despite hardship and strife.

For music
for pain
for love
for art.
For the swing in my hips
when the strobe lights flash and the
music vibrates my ribcage.

For the conversations that last all night
or the eye contact with a stranger that lingers for weeks.

For discoveries revealing us to be insects
to Gods,
or the majestic Cathedrals
(Its own type of gift.)

For humanity’s love
(which needs explaining)
and the fault lines of the heart
causing families to slip between tectonic plates.

For tragedy
for birth
for death
for utter chaos:
reminding us that we’re riders of this rock
with fists plunged deep into moist soul
we cultivate, we reap, we straddle
riding this beast till all is eventually

Read More: Everyone Should Read This Incredibly Powerful Poem A Man Wrote To His Transgender Sister

Read More: “Peace”:A Powerful Poem About Police Violence

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.

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