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Just before the 4th of July holiday week, politicans are working overtime. Grandpa said that the three ring circus comes to town with the political campaigns every two years with the full dog and pony show. However, this year we only got a two ring circus.

And it’s probably not atypical of the kind of American psyche that very seldom do they practice moderation, they always like the extremes. And so this is a very unfortunate extreme, to suggest that people should never be exposed to direct sunlight. In my opinion, it’s really bad advice..

It would be difficult to overstate the impact that Mahan’s book had on the collective thinking of the world. “More than any other strategic philosopher,” Edmund Morris wrote in his “The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt,” “Alfred Thayer Mahan was responsible for the naval buildup which preoccupied [America, Great Britain, Germany, and Japan] at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.” Mahan contended that although kingdoms and land wars have their places in human history, no factor has been more important in determining the life of nations than sea power.In the 21st century, it’s misleadingly tempting to think this no longer applies. Thousands of surveillance satellites circle the globe; military drones guided from the safety of fortified land positions can strike targets anywhere in the world; cyber warfare isn’t bounded by borders or bodies of water; in such a world, it’s easy to wonder, can there really be much relevance any longer to blue water navies?Stavridis, who spent 35 years on active service and was the Supreme Allied Commander for Global Operations at NATO before his retirement, dispels such thinking early and often in the pages of “Sea Power.”His chapters deal in sequence with all the world’s major bodies of water the Atlantic, the Pacific, the Mediterranean, the South China Sea, the Indian Ocean (“The twenty first century will be more about the Indian Ocean than either [the Atlantic or the Pacific],” he somewhat surprisingly but convincingly declares, “and the sooner we fully realize that in the United States, the better”), the Caribbean, and the rapidly opening Arctic Ocean, with a chapter about the piracy that afflicts all the world’s major waterways.

I will also focus on how current Western perceptions tie in to the discourse surrounding this tradition and how that leads to bias in both my research and other accounts of the practice.I will be giving a presentation on work from the second half of the semester on foot binding in China, particularly in the Qing dynasty. I will analyze the gendered impact this practice had on women, as well as the causal factors for the beginning of the tradition around the 9th century, as well as its continuation in popular culture until the early 1900s. My research will encompass a history of the practice, as well as the contextual clues that help scholars and historians to understand the lives of women (and men, through their interactions with bound feet and their writings about the practice) in China while this practice was popular.

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