Saturday, April 05, 2008

On Obama’s Internationalism

Along with the New and Contentious Centrists, I have made an argument against Obama from an internationalist outlook. You can check out the debate at Bob from Brockley’s. The New Centrist brought up Thucydides on a number of occasions on more than one blog, and the Contentious Centrist has posted some powerful lines from the History of the Peloponnesian War. Here is something for all Obama supporters to dwell on when they celebrate the virtues of “hope.” CC unmistakably states:
I think when Thucydides says: "They resigned to hope their unknown chance of happiness; but in the face of death they resolved to rely upon themselves alone." he invokes the exact same lesson learned over two millennia later by this author, Tadeusz Borowski:

"It is hope that makes people walk apathetically into the gas chamber, makes them shrink back from uprising ... Hope that tears apart family bonds, makes mothers reject their children, makes women sell themselves for a piece of bread and turns men into killers. Hope makes them fight for each day of life, for maybe the next day will bring liberation ... We did not learn to renounce hope, and that is why we died in the gas."

The soldiers of Athens, says Thucydides, made a distinction between a hope and action. Hope, they reserved for the chance of personal happiness. For the survival and flourishing of their community, they opted for action, putting the luxury of hope aside.

Timely statements from an ancient source, and one worth contemplating this year.

Uljin Docks

I took a walk to the Uljin docks this afternoon, being the beautiful spring day that it was. Here are a few pics from my trip.

Just a few of the boats that dock in the bay in my home town; I met a few of my student’s parents there in fact. All the larger fishing boats go to Jukbyeon, which is a few miles north of Uljin. It’s the major fishing dock in the area, and has a major fish market. While Uljin is the capital city of our region, it doesn’t have a large fishing port, and as you can see from these shots, it’s rather small for its relative population.

The cherry blossoms past the high school on the way home.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Mike Gravel, acting Crazy

Here is "presidential candidate" Mike Gravel covering Helter Skelter. Yes, he actually sings in this music video. Different campaigns have found creative ways to use the internet, but no one has made Youtube videos like Gravel. He has that going for him, I guess.

Mike, you so crazy!

North Korean Defector Running for Office

Next Wednesday, there will be an election in Korea, and like most government employees, I have the day off. Lee Myung-bak’s party Hannara (or the Grand National Party) is expected to increase their hold of the legislature, and some of the opposition parties plan to run joint candidates in select races in an attempt to stop the future ruling party from dominating the government.

With the recent verbal battles between the North and South, I almost missed this incredible moment in Korean politics: a North Korean defector is running for a seat in the legislature for the first time. From the Daily NK:
“Lee Ae Ran is the first North Korean defector to run for the National Assembly and is ranked fourth on the proportional representation candidate list of the National Security Party for the Displaced.

In North Korea, Lee Ae Ran worked as a food hygiene manger for the Science and Technology Committee. In August 1997, she defected with her four-month old son, leaving her husband behind. She arrived in South Korea via China and Vietnam in October of the same year.

The article goes on to give Lee’s reason for running.
“In North Korea, if you come from a bad family background, there is nothing you can do about it. However, things are different in South Korea because it is a free, democratic country.”

The candidate said she entered the race because she felt a sense of duty to those who have defected and have been displaced from North Korea, and because of her commitment to national security issues.

Good for her, and I wish her the best of luck this coming Wednesday.

(Hat tip One Free Korea)

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

My Secrets Out

I must be frank with all my loyal readers: I have been hiding a shadowy secret from you all these years. While I have claimed to be nothing more than a socialist turned liberal neocon, the truth is far more sinister: I am part of a vast international conspiracy led by the Jooos to conquer the world and remake it in our sick vision! Yes folks, the secret is out of the bag, and that means our nefarious plans are almost complete. Soon enough, we will have turned all your children into homosexuals, fought a thousand wars for oil and capital, and made Carrot-Top the most powerful celebrity on earth. We decided to do that last part of the protocol just to show you how evil and unassailable we actually are.

See, we used those traditional conservatives and their precious Republican Party to infiltrate the American government, and that’s why we must destroy Ron Paul and Lyndon LaRouche. They are the only dupes foolish enough to challenge our dominance, so we hatched the most complicated media smears in history to discredit them. Worked like a charm!

Don’t for a moment think we have executed this coup alone, for we had many allies in the human-challenged world. We have fermented resistance in some dubious regions. Gaze upon one of our many soldiers of doom!

Yes...the worst of all apes, and he is ours! case you haven’t already figured it out, happy April Fools! It’s sad to think that there are people who believe everything I just wrote (well, maybe not that last bit about the baboons).