Tuesday, 12 March 2013

National People's Congress

The National People's Congress, abbreviated NPC, is the highest state body and the unicameral legislative house in the People's Republic of China. The National People's Congress is held in the Great Hall of the People, Beijing; with 2,987 members, it is the largest parliament in the world. The NPC gathers each year along with the People's Political Consultative Conference whose members represent various defined groups of society.

NPC and CPPCC together are often called the Lianghui, making important national level political decisions. In theory, the NPC is vested with great lawmaking powers. However, for most of its existence, it has acted as a nearly powerless rubber-stamp legislature, ratifying decisions that have already been made by the Communist Party of China and the country's executive organs. This has long been typical of legislatures in Communist countries.

Since the 1990s, the NPC has become a forum for mediating policy differences between different parts of the Party, the government, and groups of society. However, the BBC still describes the NPC as a rubber-stamp for party decisions. One of its members, Hu Xiaoyan, told the BBC that she has no power to help her constituents. She was quoted as saying, "As a parliamentary representative, I don't have any real power."

Thursday, 10 May 2012


Austrostipa is a genus of grass, with about 70 species.

The genus includes Australasian species formerly included in the genus Stipa, and likely originated in Australia approximately 20 million years ago.

Friday, 14 April 2006

Reports from the Underground - April

In the April issue of Reports from the Underground, we have something about 9/11 as well as the latest Iraq dispatch from Dahr Jamail.
[sorry about the formatting - it came that way by email - I'll clean it up when I have more time]

JFK and 9/11

This piece comes to us from Op-Ed News. It lays out exactly why the Left should care about 9/11, and why they have been reluctant to go there so far.

Dahr Jamail on Sectarian Violence in Iraq
Baghdad Morgue Overflowing Daily

Inter Press Service
Dahr Jamail and Arkan Hamed

*BAGHDAD, Apr 14 (IPS) - As sectarian killings continue to rise in
the central morgue in Baghdad is unable to keep up with the daily
of bodies. *