3.12.08

VAT

Walking down the street to Tesco
I noticed that many shop windows advertised
action regarding the recent lowering of the VAT.
I even got a text from O2 saying that
they would give me back a few pence with
each top-up because of the VAT policy.

This all made me think of Robert E. Lucas'
assertions on rational expectations. I wrote about
this not too long ago in my macroeconomics essay
for uni, and it was a really interesting concept to me.
According to Lucas, rational expectations negated
fiscal policy actions because humans were not
so easily fooled by the policies and continued
to act according to the reality of the economy.

For example, the government may put forth policy,
such as the lowering of VAT in order to make things
cheaper, which using Keynes' model they expect
to stimulate spending in the economy with a multiplied effect.
Nonetheless, people are not imbeciles,
they do not just see the lower tax rate and
say "Ooh, I think this means I should go on a shopping spree!"

The present situation of Marks and Spencers
is a testament to the ineffectiveness of the fiscal policy:
"The swift repeat of the M&S sale day suggests that
high street stores have seen little impact in their tills
of this week's 2.5 percentage point cut in VAT."
-So good it is doing it twice The Guardian 3 Dec 2008.
(see the article here)

Particularly in the current situation, the news of
the credit crunch and recession have been so
widely discussed that all are aware of it.
Therefore even though people know that they will
save a few pence on their groceries, they are not
going to drastically change their spending habits
because they know that the economy is not looking good
in the near future so they must be cautious.

In any case, what is so wrong with being cautious?
There is a atrocious amount of debt in developed countries
from the excessive use of credit cards. Perhaps
people should take this opportunity to give their
credit cards a rest and have a lesson in saving.

30.11.08

copyright

I discovered that someone [with a PhD!]
had written an article in response to one of mine,
and that he actually referenced me in it!
With the amount of research and referencing
that I've been doing for my political theory essays
lately, it is so unbelievable to think that someone
is taking information from something I've said!
It is such an exciting feeling, and I hope that this
is just the start! This really makes me want to
write some more articles. I resolve to do so
during my break, and in the future. I suppose for
my age I'm already decently well-published,
my first article published was when I was 12.
Nonetheless, it is not enough! I need to be more proactive! :)

Anyway, you can read the articles that were
written in response to mine here.
OOH I'm so proud! ^___^

29.11.08

thanksgiving

This was my very first Thanksgiving without my family,
which was tremendously sad, but it's lucky I have my
substitute uni family :)

Even though none of them are American, they helped me
to celebrate this occasion. We had everything from
Turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, mash and veg
to the sweet potato I made the style my mum would.
Topped off in the end with apple pie and ice cream!
Ono-licious ^___^



Nonetheless, I still miss my mother's amazing cooking,
and their presence on one of my favorite holidays. Sigh.

praha!

Remember my post about getting a fantastic deal on a flight
to Prague? Well, that trip was fantastic as well!
I was reunited there with a bunch from the Liberalni Institute
Summer University seminars in 2006:


Hahha, oh and my favorite comparison between the two events
is the CHAMP foosball team :))


Anyway, it was a brilliant weekend, filled with
beautiful sights [charles' bridge]:


delicious food [traditional czech bread dumplings]:


classy bars [bar&books-truffletini <3]


and awe-inspiring art ["welcome to capitalism" modern art
exhibition at DOX-a wall of real stacked books!]


it was a magnificently "satisfactory" weekend,
and i CANNOT WAIT to return.
Prague is an amazing city, and very romantic as well.
If you know where to go. There are lovely romantically lit
walks that one can take, and cozy teahouses and cafés that are wonderful.
It can be overly touristy in parts, but go with a local
and see the wonders!


It was a really strange feeling for me when I first got there,
because i realised how at home I feel in Eastern Europe.
After spending awhile in Lithuania this past summer, it
feels familiar and comfortable in such a place. In everything
from the grocery products [i was able to have the cereal
I used to eat in Lithuania! <3] to the transportation systems
to the people. It felt wonderful.

29.10.08

let it snow

Last night I saw my first snow fall, It was brilliantly exciting.

I ran to Linval across the hall and breathlessly asked him
what was happening outside.

He took me to the window and said in his British accent from Essex,
"Darling, this is what we call here snow."

I grabbed him and we dashed outside
(a little exaggeration here, because i did need a coat).

I caught snowflakes in my hands and they landed on my face;
it was gorgeous.



The people here accustomed to cold are rather gloomy about the whole affair,
because this is just the start and it's going to get so much worse they tell me.
For the time being however it's delightful!

There was still a little bit on the grass this morning when I woke up.
Now though it has been melted away by the sunshine.
Another amazing thing here, sunshine! hahah.

28.10.08

libertarian alliance conference

This past weekend the Libertarian Alliance hosted a conference
at the National Liberal Club, One Whitehall Place

There were some really great speakers at the event,
among the best known were: David Friedman and Hans Herman Hoppe.
Friedman is a wonderfully good speaker, and his topic
of technological possibilities in the future and how they can
affect our freedom was quite interesting.
Hoppe talked about an anarcho-capitalist world,
where insurance companies can be used to fill the roles
of moderating amongst individuals in the absence of government.


Two other lectures were particularly of interest for me because
they covered subjects that I used for teaching in the camps this summer.
These were: education and privatising roads.
James Stansfield discussed the situation in Africa where
even in the slums private education had sprung up to compensate
for the inadequate government school system.
Not only did these private schools exist, but they were
much better at educating the children.
Parents in these areas were willing to pay 10%
of their incomes in order to have their children educated,
and this is in one of the poorest areas of the world.
This was a perfect example for me to use in future discussions
about education!

A few of us from the Polish camp were reunited at the conference,
which was good fun. A lot of people came up asking about the LLI camps,
so perhaps we'll have a few new teachers next year :)
One guy had even taught at the Slovakian camp these past two years.


Anyway, it was a marvelous event, hopefully i'll be able to go to more in the future.

20.10.08

random acts of spontenaiety

this morning, after my shower i looked into the mirror
and figured it was time to cut my hair. so i took out my
scissors and snip snip it was done. it's a little short
for my liking, but it feels so much fresher and smoother.
a few years back i used to change my hair in times
of either elation or melancholy. it always would occur
at odd times of the night 3 or 4AM. randomly new
colors and lengths. sometimes i regretted it the next
morning, but at least it was exciting! then perhaps one
day i decided that i cared a bit more about what people
thought; so i stopped. what a silly thing to think! ha.

next off, while i was taking a break from my studying
i decided to look up some flights to berlin to visit
frederik. the available ones were a bit pricy and he
also said that he was a bit busy unexpectedly these days
so perhaps it wouldn't be a good time. anyway, i then
started looking around at other things. voilà! i found
a flight to prague for £0! all I had to pay was £10 in taxes.
(ugh tax!) but still that isn't all that bad. so i up and bought it!
[insert ryanair.com propaganda here]
then i asked my friends in prague that i bought the tickets
for the purpose of visiting if it'd be alright with them.
they said OF COURSE, and instantly began making plans
for my weekend there.


so basically life is good, and i'm ecstatic that i'm going to
prague a few weekends from now! you will definitely see
a post about that, because it'll be unbelievably brilliant!

8.10.08

and then i lost five quid.

i felt marvelous today because even though i lost the game
of ping pong, some really brilliant players said that i'm the
best female player in the university. chee pono.

well i am basically broke here in university, and i had five quid left.
and it was in my pocket, and i lost it somehow while walking :(
this is bloody miserable.

this is a pretty good summary of uni life so far:
plenty of ping pong, not so much money.

5.10.08

NSS victory party

Well now I have started attending the university of buckingham.
I'm moved in to my room and am having a marvelous time.

Friday night was a party to celebrate the university winning the
National Student Survey for top satisfaction once again.
It was a fun night filled with free champagne, which I didn't
take advantage of, but it was alright. Live music:


The dancing was alright, Jamie did a good set of techno.


Anyway so far I'm enjoying myself at the university, and have
fell into being comfortable quite quickly. It's small and everyone
is quite friendly so you get to meet people without delay.
I am having some problems with my course load in that it isn't
very challenging and I have taken the courses before, but
hopefully that will all get sorted out soon. I hope to also get
a job soon, so that will likely fill up my schedule.

Basically uni life so far has been: ping pong, pizza, and proper drunkenness.
The ping pong room at OTM is basically my second home,
because we spend a ridiculous amount of time up there.
Pizza, because it is always being eaten by someone somewhere
around me. I've eaten it a fair number of times so far.
So far though Minori and I have been doing alright in
cooking for us and our friends. Hopefully we'll become pros soon enough.
Also proper drunkenness because there are parties every night
so far, and alcohol each day since I've gotten here.
They say that Buckingham is so boring that all you can
do is drink. I really hope that I don't turn in to that,
I have had it more than usual so far, but still not so much.

22.9.08

nemokėsim!

This morning as I left my house I was greeted
by a large mob of student protestors waving
little flags embellished with the phrase "nomokesiu!"
which in Lithuanian means "i won't pay!"


So basically these students were demanding
state-provided free education. It disgusted me.
These students think that they are being cool
and politically active with their cute signs,
loud techno music, and by demanding the government
to take money from everyone to pay for their education.

Since when has the idea that one must pay for what
they use disappeared? One of the essentials in the
marketplace is that if something is worth it to you,
then you will be willing to spend the money to have it.
That determines its value.

Now-a-days, when people want something they
often think, "hmm, maybe I can get the government to
pay for this for me instead" so they work to get it nationalized
or government provided. They'd rather give up
their freedom and the control of their money in order
to not pay for things at the door.

What will make them realise what they are doing?

21.9.08

autumn solstice!

Tonight is the autumn solstice, when the day is as long as the night.
This weekend in Vilnius there was a festival for street performances.

Tonight my friends and I came out of my house and heard some music,
so we decided to follow the music. This led us to the bridge.
You can see all the people lined on the bridge with their umbrellas.


On the banks of the river Neris were candles lit in the shapes
of pagan symbols and people dancing with rods on fire (like samoans ^__^).


Then we walked in another direction and heard more music,
so we followed that and were led to a DJ in the middle of a park.
Then soon there were some people in strange costumes
who came and started dancing.



After they left, the DJ was still there so we continued dancing
on our own in the slight rain.



It was a delightful sunday evening. My last night in the Vilnius.... at least for now.

20.9.08

man aštuoniolika!

yes that's right, I just had my golden birthday :)
this was my first birthday away from home, parents, and my childhood friends.
nonetheless i enjoyed it!

i got a bouquet of the longest stemmed red roses that
i have ever seen in my life. though something about the ones
i got last year made me a tad more pleased. but that was for different reasons ^__^


i also hosted a party at my flat, which was jolly good fun
and with delicious pupus thanks to trained chef jurgis :)
you can see that people instantly dived for the food:


i love my draugai (friends), lithuania is definitely my second home now.
i'm feeling rather sad about leaving, which is quite surprising
seeing that i was excited when leaving hawaii. luckily though
i'm just a hop, skip, and a jump away from vilnius in the UK
so I should be back sometime soon.


my friends were even so thoughtful as to prepare me
for the harsh winter that i will be introduced to this year for
the first time; with a dash of lithuanian pride to protect me:

polish camp!

so this is a rather belated entry, but i felt that
it still needed to be mentioned.

anyway, i had my final liberty camp of the year
in Ponikiew, Poland.
this camp was quite different from those prior
for a few reasons. the main difference was that
almost all of the campers were libertarians or
at least close to it. this varied immensely from
lithuania where maybe half at most were libertarians
and georgia where absolutely none were at the start.

the gender balances in the camps all were completely
different as well. at the lithuanian one there were about
30 girls to 5 boys. in georgia it was roughly even (though
like last year no females from azerbaijan. hmm) while at
this polish camp there were about 20 males to 5 females.
i really wonder how that all came about. i enjoyed each
combination nonetheless :)


well, this camp was quite intellectual, particularly given
the level of alcohol intake each night. it was kind of
amazing to me how much some people could drink.
if you are in poland though, i do recommend their honey vodka
it's rather nice :)

30.8.08

summer summary

Well today I googled my name, which inspired me to keep up my blog.
I know it is a rather strange relation, but it's the truth and I shan't elaborate further.

Right now I am in Vilnius, Lithuania, where I am being introduced to autumn.
The weather is getting drearier these days, but nothing I can't handle :)
When I first got here to Lithuania I was teaching in a Language of Liberty camp
which was marvelous fun. The majority of the students there were from
Belarus however, so that didn't really enable me to make friends for here.


Then I went to Tallinn, Estonia for a few days, which was marvelous.
Our friends took us around on a express tour around the area. It is a really beautiful place.


After that we were off to Bakuriani, Georgia, which we were a bit hesitant about (as you
can see from my previous post) Luckily our fears weren't realised while we were
there, and we had an absolutely fantastic time. The camp there was also brilliant.
At this camp, there were barely any liberals to begin with, unlike the at the Lithuanian
one, but by the end many had become so. It was quite a success :)


Then we were off to Baku, Azerbaijan for a few days. It was dreadfully hot, but it was
great seeing old friends and recent ones.


We stopped off again in Tbilisi, Georgia for two days before going back. There it was
also incredibly hot, but we still had a lovely time because Avto showed us all around.
We also ate wonderfully and even drank chacha with our breakfast. HAH.


Then finally back to Vilnius, Lithuania, where it feels like home.
My parents went back to Hawaii after sometime, so I am getting used to living
on my own (I'm living with my friends, but that is still very different from with parents).
I have two jobs teaching english and with another organisation. At first I wasn't
enjoying myself that much. I didn't have too many people to spend time with.
Now however, things are getting much better. My colleague Vytas makes work
quite a hilarious event, and I'm gaining more friends. The clubs are great on the
weekends. Last night I danced until 4AM without taking any breaks. :)
Also, a couple weeks ago I had some friends from the first camp (Belorussians)
come to visit and that was absolutely fantastic.


So that is all for now, an extremely brief recap of my marvelous summer.
I will try to post more regularly from now on. Even though I won't be travelling
as much. I do have one more camp in Poland coming up and then to the UK for uni!
You'll be hearing about it at all ^_____^

13.7.08

georgia and russia.

Tomorrow I leave for Georgia, which
is unfortunately prepared for war with Russia.
I know that they have been in conflict
for quite some time, but tensions really seem
to be heightening at the moment.



I will be in Bakuriani, which you can see is to the left
of Tbilisi. The conflict is further north in Abkhazia and
South Ossetia; as well as basically the whole Russian border.
Hopefully we are a far enough distance from
the trouble areas, but still. If everything were to shut
down and we weren't able to get out, then my would
that be a dreadful situation.

In any case, I am hoping for the best. Admittedly
it is pretty exciting to think that I will be going to a
dangerous place. If anything does in fact happen to
me, I just want to let all my friends and family know
that I love them! I hate to be over dramatic, but it
doesn't really hurt to be.

love love love!

6.5.08

D-day.

that was today​ for me liter​ally
in the sense​ of doom as well as
the lette​r day of the cycle​.​ HA.

anywa​y,​ today​ i survi​ved a miser​able
two AP exams​.​ I am so utter​ly relie​ved.​
the frenc​h one was a joke.​ not in the
sense​ that it was easy but in that my
frenc​h profi​cienc​y is so incre​dibly​ lacki​ng.​
and the gov test was, well,​ it just was.
four essay​s are alway​s miser​able.​
as well as 40 minut​e ones in frenc​h.​ HA.

in any case,​ they are now over.​
and it will be quite​ some time until​ i
recei​ve my resul​ts.​ my my.
now i have one more day to study​ for
calcu​lus,​ which​ i just canno​t bring​ mysel​f
to do. neith​er for euro.​ HMM.

this eveni​ng,​ in an attem​pt to avoid​
study​ing or think​ing altog​ether​ i sewed​.​
i sewed​ basic​ally the worst​ quali​ty piece​
imagi​nable​.​ i was tired​ and impat​ient.​
thus,​ crap.​ oh well,​ with a bit of ironi​ng
i think​ it will do. i still​ have a tad more to do. HMM.

well tomor​row i have no choic​e but to
get to schoo​l two hours​ earli​er than i need to
due to the lack of a ride.​ but no matte​r,​ i can
actua​lly get somet​hing done perha​ps.​
i reall​y could​ not bring​ mysel​f to accom​plish​
anyth​ing more this eveni​ng.​ HMM.

good night​ every​one.​ be thank​ful that
you didn'​t have two APs today​!​ HA.

30.4.08

je n'aime que toi.



En haut, c'est ce que je fait. Ha.
Pas vraiment.
Mais maintenant je commence d'étudier
pour mon examen de français AP.
Oui, je sais que c'est un peu tard pour le
commence, mais c'est meillure tard que jamais
n'est-ce pas?
J'espère que ce m'aide pour l'examen,
mais je ne suis pas sûr que il m'aiderai
parce que personne ne corrige pas ce que
j'écrit. Alors, peut-être tout ceci est incorrecte.

Ce soir j'ai appris comment dit-on "only"
en français. C'est une phrase très importante,
alors c'est bizarre que je ne l'ai pas su.
En français, le voie de dit "only" est par
utiliser "ne... que". Donc, si je voulais dit
"I study only French", je dirais "Je n'étudie que français". ha.
Bien, je sais que on peut utiliser aussi: "J'étudie seulement français"
mais je pense que "ne...que" est plus littéraire.
Je ne sais pas si les françaises pense le même.

22.4.08

moanalua gardens

i fell in love with this place:
[all these pictures were taken with my phone]



j'ai la fière de ce photo, parce que
je n'ai pas utilisé de "zoom" pour ce prendre!

aloha salads :)


il y a une semaine que j'ai un nouvel métier.
maintenant je travaille a aloha salads. j'aime
travaille là-bas, les personnes avec qui je
travaille sont vachement sympas et amusants.
l'autre jour un de mes collègues m'a donné
sa vielle robe du prom, alors je ne dois pas
achéter plus. cette année je vais aller aux trois
proms, donc j'ai besoin de trois robes.
maintenant j'ai deux, je dois chercher un plus.

aujourd'hui j'ai réalisé que je travaille près de
trente heures par semaine. ça c'est vraiment
beaucoup! si "full time" est quarante heures
par semaine, après les examens AP je travaillerai
"full time". très bien :) car je vais travailler
beaucoup, je vais payer pour ma dortoir et
aussi tout mes dépenses (pour les nourritures,
des livres, et voyager par example)

je suis très excité parce que, je projette de
travaillerai pour un mois dans l'angleterre
avant je commencerai l'école, alors je vais
gagner de l'argént en pounds pas dollars.
donc je vais gagner plus là-bas, que je
gagne maintenant parce que le pound est
plus fort que le dollar.

12.4.08

flower child.

I have discovered that I have a slight
obsession with flowers. I especially
enjoy the bright colors and particularly
when there is an abundance of them.
Like when there are so many flowers
that the tree or bush is more color than
green.

I will miss the constant blooming when
I'm in jolly old grey England.

7.4.08

1 timothy 4:4

I taught sunday school last week,
it was quite a hilarious experience at times.
The memory verse was:
"Everything God created is good."
One girl, who always felt the
need to be contradictory said,
"no, everything God created is bad!"
so i said, "well God created you,
so does that mean you are bad?"
she didn't argue with me after that :)

this isn't the girl, but this was another of my students:
[they made me make crowns for them :)]

2.4.08

Orage Mécanique

so basically this evening i fell in love with a band,
les shades. they were my friends on myspace,
but i just really listened to their stuff for the first time.
the music is great, though i honestly have no clue
what they are saying since it is in french.
they are also quite attractive, like most french guys
are expected to be :)

so yes, watch a video of theirs and see:

29.3.08

hey batta batta batta

I'm not particularly good at pingpong
or anything, just relatively decent.
I always attribute any skill to being
Chinese. It is rather true that Chinese
people tend to be better at pingpong
than most, at least among my friends.
That could also be due to the
abundance of Chinese friends I have.
Ha.

Look how hardcore I am in this picture.
You should be intimidated by my battle
stance! :)

7.3.08

izumi's going away party

japanese themed: geisha to FOB.
aroha zoom zoom, you are
my first, my last, my everything!
aishiteru <3
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