Saturday, January 31, 2009
Lee has been convicted and sentenced to nine years in prison (December 2009), and Hyundai has settled a lawsuit with the Cook family (September 2010).
Friday, January 30, 2009
CA woman gives birth to octuplets: "By the fourth or fifth it started to get pretty easy since the kids had formed a sort of neonatal conga line."
Thursday, January 29, 2009
The K-blogs, Marmot's Hole in particular, are abuzz with talk about one Mark McDowell (above, with some of his students), an English teacher in the central Korean metropolis of Taejŏn [대전, Daejeon] who lost his job at Hannam University when it was discovered he had been convicted of child molestation back in the United States in the mid-1990s.
On the website he talks openly (though I wouldn't say "frankly") about his own case, in an overview of his interest in the subject of pedophilia hysteria and in what appears to be a legal appeal of some kind that provides substantial details of the case with his own subjective (and self-serving) views mixed throughout (e.g., saying the accusers had committed "felony perjury").America has become a pedophileophobic insane asylum. More and more adults are having their lives ruined everyday by false or exaggerated allegations of child sexual molestation, oversensitivity as to what constitutes molestation, and exaggerated claims of harm. Naturally, no one wants their children to have sexual interaction with grown adults, but the current hostile climate toward sex crimes has been mainly due to a hand-full of high profile cases where the child victim was murdered -- not because of an increase in inappropriate adult-child sexual interaction itself. The anger and hatred generated by those few crimes are being vented upon any and all who have the misfortune of being convicted of any sex related crime, regardless of how minor it may actually be. Even men caught urinating in public in one state are now having to register as sex offenders!
Ironically, the root cause of all this, death at the hands of a pedophile, is one of the most rare causes of death of children -- less than being killed by lightening. Fewer than a dozen children a year die at the hands of a sex offender as compared to 30 or so who are killed by lightening. Furthermore, over 1,000 children die at the hands of their own parents, over 2,000 children lose their lives due to drunk drivers, and over 3,000 lose their lives due to firearms. Yet, we do not see drunk drivers having to endure life-long registration or being beaten to death in prisons; nor do we see owners of firearms having such ownership disseminated to neighbors, so children can be warned to not go in or near such households
My ex is in Anyang. Next time I'm in Seoul and decide to pay her a visit, maybe I'll direct the Kia
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
"generates musical accompaniment to match a singer’s voice. Just choose a musical style, sing into your PC’s microphone, and Songsmith will create backing music for you. Then share your songs with your friends and family, post your songs online, or create your own music videos."I'm fairly sure that's a quote he got from somewhere, because he's not that fast a typist.
Freakin... hilarious! Sting is being stalked through the streets of New York by an out-of-work but enthusiastic Jamaican band. At BJIT's suggestion, I shall also YouTube "Billy Idol Songsmith" and "intergalactic songsmith." Because I don't really need to finish the translation of this dinosaur documentary I'm working on. They're dead, what do they care?
Monday, January 26, 2009
Sunday, January 25, 2009
"Russians" by Sting on Dream of the Blue Turtles was also "not approved," perhaps because it tried to depict the Communist enemy as also being humans who loved their children, too, or maybe just because it had the word "Russians" in it.
Though I have no idea if "West End Girls" was really banned in 1987, I know that the Pet Shop Boys snuck a lot of political subtext into their lyrics, often dealing with East-West relations that may have made the former military junta that ruled South Korea in 1987 quite uncomfortable.
Songs were essentially banned if they didn't get approval by the Ministry of Culture and Information, an Orwellian name if ever there was one. Often you'd get albums that were a bit incomplete, missing one or two songs that would be disseminated in North America or Western Europe without incident.
Of course, it was an open secret that anyone could go and get the illicit songs from shops selling the LPs themselves, or unauthorized copies of the albums on audio cassette. I admit that I had at least a few such tapes from a shop in Itaewon, across the street from where the McDonald's now stands.
It's funny how much Korea has changed. I think one reason I get so annoyed with the commentary of places like the Marmots Hole whine cellar is that the Korean newbies, and even those who have been here for a few years, don't see any kind of big picture.
It seems that to many of them, "Koreans" are a monolithic and uniform entity that is inveterately possessing whatever bad thing they see happening right this minute. On the other hand, the old hands like Oranckay, Sanshinseon, etc., have seen plenty of things change, with change for the better beating out for the worse by about ten to one, and tend to look at things — including things about which they are critical — in a more balanced light.
MR. LEHRER: Mr. Vice President, getting from there to here, 4500 Americans have died, at least a hundred thousand Iraqis have died. Has it been worth that?At least a hundred thousand dead (many or most of whom are innocent civilians), but it's worth it. Maybe had it been 100,000 dead Americans in our ham-handed response to 9/11 instead 100,000 or more dead Iraqis, he'd feel differently. But it's them, not us, so it's worth it.
VICE PRES. CHENEY: I think so.
MR. LEHRER: Why?One hundred thousand or more Iraqis and 4500 Americans killed... justified in part because Saddam Hussein supposedly "provided a safe haven and sanctuary for Abu Nidal"? Not only had Abu Nidal been killed before our invasion of Iraq (in August 2002, to be precise), but he may in fact have been killed on Saddam Hussein's orders!
VICE PRES. CHENEY: Because I believed at the time that what Saddam Hussein represented was, especially in the aftermath of 9/11, was a terror-sponsoring state - so designated by the State Department. He was making payments to the families of suicide bombers; he provided a safe haven and sanctuary for Abu Nidal and other terrorist operations. He had produced and used weapons of mass destruction, chemical and biological agents.
He'd had a nuclear program in the past. He killed hundreds of thousands of his own people and he did have a relationship with al-Qaida. Now, we've had this debate, keeps people trying to conflate those arguments.
That's not to say that Saddam was responsible for 9/11; it is to say - as George Tenet, CIA director testified in open session in the Senate - that there was a relationship there that went back 10 years.
So this was a terror-sponsoring state with access to weapons of mass destruction and that's the greatest threat we faced in the aftermath of 9/11: The next time we found terrorists in the middle of one of our cities, it wouldn't be 19 guys armed with airline tickets and box cutters, it would be terrorists armed with a biological agent or maybe even a nuclear device.
So I think, given the track record of Saddam Hussein, I think we did exactly the right thing, I think the country's better off for it today, I think it's been part of the effort alongside Afghanistan to liberate 50 million people and establish a vibrant democracy in the heart of the Middle East. I think those are major, major accomplishments.
POLITICAL FUN FACT: In a recent poll, only 4% of self-described lesbians said they approved of Dick Cheney's performance as Vice President, while 21% gave George W. Bush positive ratings. Simple math will show the obvious: Lesbians prefer Bush over Dick by at least five-to-one.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
INAUGURATION FUN FACT:The President's middle name is "Hussein." Did you know that? Holy shit, when he said, "I, Barack Hussein Obama," that just blew me away! We elected a guy whose middle name is Hussein! What the hell? Were we all high? And what were his parents thinking?! Man, they must have been cruel.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
I will have to take time later to blog in more detail about the six people (it was five, but the death toll has gone up) who died when a SWAT team in the southern part of Yongsan-gu Ward tried to oust squatters armed with Molotov cocktails. The old neighborhood is slated to be razed and shiny new apartments and commercial facilities are to be built in its stead.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Chrysler is discontinuing the PT Cruiser. I don't own one, but I always thought they looked kinda cool, and last September I had a chance to rent one for a week when I visited the Mainland.
Friday, January 16, 2009
South Koreans may chuckle at the personality cult, but they generally agree with Pyongyang that Koreans are a pure-blooded race whose innate goodness has made them the perennial victims of rapacious foreigners. They share the same tendency to regard Koreans as innocent children on the world stage–and to ascribe evil to foreigners alone…Oh, I know a lot of "foreigners" in Korea would love to believe this facile little stereotype, but alas, like so many things involving generalizations, it's only true where it isn't false.
Based on high wind conditions in Kauai, Oahu and Maui Counties, all UH campuses on all islands other than the Big Island of hawaii will be closed Friday, January 16. Only essential personnel should report to work on these campuses.That's so nice and friendly of them. A different alert said winds would be up to 60 mph (100 kph). Just now it occurred to me that we might be in a bit of trouble up in the lanai-style, open-air kitchens, where there are no windows separating us from the elements.
Please watch the Media and UH Web sites for additional emergency information. Stay safe!
US Chamber of Commerce head says American credibility could be hurt by rejecting FTAs with South Korea and Colombia
"I think if we started putting up free trade agreements and voting them down we would lose a lot of our credibility in trying to open markets around the world," Thomas Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, told reporters after a speech.
Donohue said he is convinced the landmark agreement with South Korea will pass —no such accord ever put up for a vote in Congress has failed — though may take time and will require some tweaking of issues in the sensitive auto sector.
I must say I like his optimism.
"This agreement is going to get done," Donohue said, referring to ratification, which is required by lawmakers in both countries for the pact to take effect.