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Open Thread: the Sunday Edition

Sorry for getting this up so late—was rather busy all day yesterday.

About the author: Just the administrator of this humble blog.

  • dogbertt

    Foist!

  • PortaJohn

    Soicond!

  • DonW

    Turd!

  • Horace Jeffery Hodges

    Nullst!

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • Jieun K

    What’s the modus operandi of “too big to jail” banks?

    This is the government admitting to being afraid to prosecute the very powerful [...] And when you admit that some people are too important to prosecute, it’s just a few short steps to the obvious corollary — that everybody else is unimportant enough to jail.

    Matt Taibbi explains in his latest exposé.

  • 코리아

    Just curious if any of you happen to be golfers in/around Seoul? I want to help get foursomes together for the occasional round, so I put a facebook group together. Might not amount to anything, but hey it helps me find some people to play once it’ll be worth it. Can join here.
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/seoulgolfers/

  • Cloudfive

    The same method that allowed Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-hee to serve no prison time and be pardoned by LMB in 2009. He recently won another lawsuit filed by his siblings over inheritance. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21289681

  • Anonymous_Joe

    Good luck with your foursome. I’ve been trying for years to put together a threesome.

    **********************
    (Was that too obvious? I’ve got more.)

  • keyinjpop

    Korean government has Samsung’s back

    http://www.theverge.com/2013/2/15/3991338/samsung-x-file-tapes-lawmaker-roh-hoe-chan-loses-government-seat
    Proof that heroes can’t defeat evil.

  • que337

    Japan Times commentary today by Takamitsu Sawa, president of Shiga University, seems implying that the dead end of Abenomics could be a war:

    http://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2013/02/18/commentary/third-branch-of-abenomics/#.USFKJGcXCWE

  • dlbarch

    Nice catch! Whether it’s going after duly elected officials or rebuking Korea’s nominally independent Prosecutors’ Office, it never fails to surprise the extent to which Korea’s judiciary is bought and paid for by the Republic of Samsux.

    The wording of the decision, though, it refreshingly frank. Notice how the court acknowledges the gate-keeping role of the Korean press. That’s another way of saying that it’s OK for Korea’s media elite to have certain information, so long as they play the role of quasi-government censor and not share that information with their readers.

    No doubt, MH’s libertarians will be outraged. Oh, wait….deafening silence!

    DLB

  • Anonymous_Joe

    I saw it and commented elsewhere. The telling part of the article at Asian Correspondent (http://asiancorrespondent.com/97749/skorean-lawmaker-loses-seat-over-samsung-wiretaps/) is the following:

    “Unlike distributing press releases to journalists, uploading messages on the Internet allows an easy access to anybody at any time,” the court said in a statement explaining its decision. The ruling also said the Internet delivers “unfiltered” information to the public, while the media “select what to publish with responsibility.”

    The real problem is that the Korean lawmaker was convicted for publishing true and verifiable facts entered into evidence in a public forum (the National Legislature) about crime that involved public figures.

    “,,,the Internet delivers ‘unfiltered’ information to the public, while the media “select what to publish with responsibility” in a country that is less than a generation out of a brutal military dictatorship.

    I can’t wait to see the logical gymnastics Korea’s fine judiciary performs when someone wises up and publishes the next similar incident through the foreign press or a foreign blogging citizen journalist, Once published and in the news, the mainstream media then has “permission” to publish the story in Korea because the story is then news. I wonder how Samsung’s judges are going to dance around that.

  • http://kuiwon.wordpress.com/ Kuiwon

    I would like to point out that these tapes were illegally recorded.

  • Jang

    Samsux new assignment(will self-destruct in 5 seconds), copy Apple’s Dick Tracy flexible glass iWatch idea. Unfortunately, not TMI(too much info.) for it to begin, Samsux would have to get its hands on it first. http://finance.yahoo.com/news/disruptions-where-apple-dick-tracy-160041533.html
    “Investors would most likely embrace an iWatch, with some alradey saying that wearable computing could replace the smartphone over the next decade.”

  • Horace Jeffery Hodges

    Careful with the fore(word)play, or Adams-Awry will be hot on your tail!

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • Cloudfive
  • que337

    Korea Town in Tokyo was threatened again by Japanese right wingers yesterday:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=WZnbvAYbAR4

    A picket have interesting words, ‘三韓征伐’ (“Conquer Three Kingdoms of Korea”: fabricated ancient history in ‘Nohon Shoki’ that Japan had conquered Koguryeo, Bakjae, and Shilla. The folklore has often been used to defend Japanese aggression to Korea, such as Imjin War and annexation of Korea).

  • Cloudfive

    Well, at least they didn’t mutilate any birds…

    Que, what’s your opinion on Roh Hoe-chan losing his seat in the National Assembly for exposing corruption?

    http://english.khan.co.kr/khan_art_view.html?artid=201302151405217&code=710100

  • que337

    Samsung and the bribed prosecutors (떡검) should be punished. I have no sympathy for them. I do not like to defend Roh Hoe-Chan either. Nobody are winners in this case.

  • aligner

    코리아 – I think you are posting this on the wrong venue. I mean, who in his right mind here, even if they liked golf before coming to Korea, could find this hobby attractive given the superficial, empty-minded, got-to-play to 출세 mindset surrounding this game in Korea. You only have to be cajoled a couple times at work by Koreans to play to be put off the sport the rest of your life. Never mind the cost associated with the game (which in the end is its main attraction here) – who can stand to be around all these posers with their multi-multi-million won golf clubs and associated apparel. I also wonder how people can cycle on a regular basis, and not be put off by the campy, ludicrously expensive, Italian/Darth Vader/Richard Simmons all-wrapped-up-in-one clones who pass you by on the road.

  • Horace Jeffery Hodges

    Aligner asked, “who can stand to be around all these posers?”

    Isn’t that the problem with corporate golf generally?

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • keyinjpop
  • http://www.askakorean.net/ The_Korean

    So this NBA All Star game is turning out to be pretty fun. Say, weren’t there some racists who would claim that the Chinese would blindly vote Jeremy Lin into the All Star starting lineup? Wonder what they got to say now.

  • 코리아

    All might be true, but in the end doesn’t matter to me. I loved the game before coming here and still do, so although I am for the most part happy in my decision that I’ll be here for a long while, the inability to play is about the only thing I can’t square. Having a good group would be a bonus, hence why I created the group and posted here, but frankly I could be paired up with a set of hipster-commie-nazis with bad body order and still want to play. Beauty about golf is that you can be completely self-centered and internally focused for four hours and it’s perfectly accepted. The cost is incredibly prohibitive, I agree. In fact, if I ever somehow had my hands on a halfway decent sized tract of land, I would design a little 9-hole executive walking course and charge only a moderately outrageous green fee.

  • aligner

    Well Jefferey – that could be, but assuming that you have the good sense to not golf in Korea, and have never golfed in the corporate world in the US either, lets take a look at something that is more visible to you – like the Korean biking scene that I described above. Ever witness anything like this anywhere else in the world?

  • Guest

    From the outstanding fanfic “Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality”:

    “She had received an Outstanding on her Muggle Studies N.E.W.T.,
    which now seemed to her a mark of shame, considering how little she
    knew. Her younger self had realized, even then, that the class was a
    sham, taught by a pureblood, supposedly because Muggleborns could not
    appreciate what wizardborns needed to be told, and actually because the
    Board of Governors did not approve of Muggles at all. But when she was
    seventeen the Outstanding grade had been the main thing that mattered
    to her, she was saddened to remember…”

    http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5782108/1/Harry-Potter-and-the-Methods-of-Rationality

  • http://www.facebook.com/gojaejin Jeremy J. Goard

    From the outstanding fanfic “Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality”, describing Minerva McGonagall:

    “She had received an Outstanding on her Muggle Studies N.E.W.T.,
    which now seemed to her a mark of shame, considering how little she
    knew. Her younger self had realized, even then, that the class was a
    sham, taught by a pureblood, supposedly because Muggleborns could not
    appreciate what wizardborns needed to be told, and actually because the
    Board of Governors did not approve of Muggles at all. But when she was
    seventeen the Outstanding grade had been the main thing that mattered
    to her, she was saddened to remember…”

    http://www.fanfiction.net/s/57

  • ex_commander

    People will complain about anything and everything… geez….

  • Horace Jeffery Hodges

    On biking, I assumed that I was just a slob, but you may be right, though I noticed that Germans were also very much into dressing the part whenever they took up cycling, or any sport, for that matter.

    In Korea, actually, I’ve been more impressed by the old Korean men biking along at a languid pace, an attached radio taped to the handlebars blasting out ‘trot’ music . . .

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • RolyPoly

    These girls are so trash that they are adorable. Next SNSD?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwnRdt3Y1FM

  • RolyPoly
  • Cloudfive

    Is there a significant number of Japanese residents and businesses in Korea? (I honestly don’t know)

  • aligner

    I considered this more of a satirical observation than a complaint. But hey, we sure don’t want to trample upon the sensitivities of people like you! But I do assume that at least some people on this blog understand my feeling, and I do know the reaction of almost anyone else I know, when a fully decked two wheeler cruiser with all the bells and whistles streaks by. At the least, it elicits a humorous chuckle – but shame on us all! I know, know, I should be more sensitive or get the hell of Dodge. And get ready to duck for the loser, English teacher insults.

  • que337
  • Mizaru

    Some Media watch on the Phnom Penh Post weekend magazine 7D– we ask no quarter we give no quarter we are 3WM:

    http://thethreewisemonkeys.com/2013/02/11/the-phnom-penh-post-7d-cheapening-the-experience-of-life-abroad/

  • Cloudfive

    I mean, who in his right mind here, even if they liked golf before
    coming to Korea, could find this hobby attractive given the superficial,
    empty-minded, got-to-play to 출세 mindset surrounding this game in Korea.
    You only have to be cajoled a couple times at work by Koreans to play
    to be put off the sport the rest of your life.
    ..
    who can stand to be around all these posers with their multi-multi-million won golf clubs and associated apparel.

    At first I thought your complaint was going to be about the quality of the greens, the the food at the club house or the lack of quality discourse amongst your partners, but your main complaint seems to be the expensive gear of the golfers and bikers. I really don’t see how that would affect your enjoyment of either sport.

    the reaction of almost anyone else I know, when a fully
    decked two wheeler cruiser with all the bells and whistles streaks by.
    At the least, it elicits a humorous chuckle

    Just as you are free to laugh at the expense of “the locals” in their fancy shmancy gear. Others are just as free to laugh at your “satirical observations” which seem a lot like complaints.

    At least Hodges has a legitimate issue with loud music blaring from the handle bars of fellow bikers. I would ask those 할아버지들 이 if they were aware of the invention of personal headphones.

  • Horace Jeffery Hodges

    “At least Hodges has a legitimate issue.”

    Actually, I sort of like those old guys . . .

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • aligner

    I agree with Jeffery’s opinion! But I clearly understand that there is no way that Koreans could possibly gear out the way they do here when cycling, if they did not get some pleasure in doing so, or if they felt that society as a whole might think they are humorous. Cloudfive and I clearly have a different sense of humor.

  • Avaast

    A bit dated, but this should give you a chuckle, for various reasons: introducing the Seoul Subway Song,

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWcDTEaATxI

    Enjoy.

  • keyinjpop
  • keyinjpop

    That was pretty sad what happened to Minami. Sad that companies won’t allow dating for the sake of the crazy fans.

  • keyinjpop

    Another sick rape case in South Korea
    http://netizenbuzz.blogspot.com/2013/02/four-adults-charged-with-sexual-abuse.html?m=1
    So when is the law going to be revised so that criminals get harsher sentences?

  • Cloudfive

    I also wonder how people can cycle on a regular basis, and not be put
    off by the campy, ludicrously expensive, Italian/Darth Vader/Richard
    Simmons all-wrapped-up-in-one clones who pass you by on the road.

    But I clearly understand that there is no way that Koreans could
    possibly gear out the way they do here when cycling, if they did not get
    some pleasure in doing so, or if they felt that society as a whole
    might think they are humorous.

    So what if ajeossis get pleasure from showing off their expensive gear? What’s it to you? It’s no skin off your nose, as my Dad would say. You “clearly understand” nothing. If “society as a whole” thinks ajeossis are laughable and ripe for ridicule, then “society as whole” might find “loser English teachers” just as humorous. “But hey, we sure don’t want to trample upon the sensitivities of people like you!”

    **all quotations taken from aligner’s comments.

  • que337

    Well, Japanese harassment on Koreans and business in the Korea Town of Tokyo seems akin to enraged Chinese destroying Japanese business in China. IMO, Korean protesters do not harass Japanese residents, tourists, or business (such as Toyota dealers) unless they do asshattery.

  • http://kuiwon.wordpress.com/ Kuiwon
  • que337

    I agree that the criminals need hundreds years sentences or chemical castration. The situation would get worse if SK allows stores like the seven-story sex shop in Akihabara that sell schoolgirls’ soiled panties and uniforms.

  • aligner

    I don’t get your point at all frankly. Why don’t you invite your father to comment on this blog to enlighten me even more? But can I assume by your avatar you are Korean, or at least empathize fully with a typical Korean’s sense of humor and dress fashion? I know I would have a lot more in common with an older ajeossi’s sense of derision and dismay at the Korean cycling scene than someone like you.

  • dlbarch

    For those who’ve bought into the dominant paradigm and think anti-Americanism is confined to Korea’s activist Left, I give you this:

    http://www.chogabje.com/board/view.asp?C_IDX=49994&C_CC=AZ

    Notice how Cho now argues (@ No. 3) that the U.S. would be powerless to sanction Seoul for developing nuclear weapons because of the provisions of the KORUS FTA!

    I get heat for using ssagaji in describing this kind of right-wing anti-Americanism in Korea, but, honestly, how else can one describe it?

    DLB

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Point 5 from that column:

    미국의 여론이 정당방위권을 행사한 한국 편을 들 것이다. 우리가, ‘북한이 핵무장을 포기하면 우리도 핵무장을 포기한다’고 하든지 ‘우리는 절대로 핵을 먼저 쓰지 않는다. 보복용으로만 쓴다’고 약속하면 미국 여론의 지지를 굳힐 수 있다. 미국 정부는 ‘한국의 핵무장’을 카드로 중국을 압박할 수 있다.

    I’m sure you’d agree that’s a rather odd way of expressing anti-Americanism.

    And he’s probably right about the FTA. The US could probably slap sanctions on the South Korean nuclear industry, but even if they did, how long do you think it would be before the Americans signed a deal similar to the one they signed with India?

    I don’t doubt that there are anti-American types on the Korean far right. I just don’t think Cho Gap-je is one of them. See his recent posts on Park’s choices for defense and unification ministers.

  • dlbarch

    We clearly have to agree to disagree on this one. The shocking thing is that Cho is laying down the argument for Korea to go it alone against the wishes of the U.S., which brings up an interesting question: Is Cho and his ilk advocating a nuclear capacity that is independent of U.S. launch authority?

    To me, it’s clear that he is, if not directly then by implication. And that really would signal a major rift between Seoul and Washington.

    Cho’s entire argument is fundamentally at odds with a closely coordinated alliance with the U.S. His view of the U.S. alliance is one of exploitation, not cooperation. He seems very willing to snub Washington if necessary, and to exploit the KORUS FTA to that end.

    Ssagajj, indeed!

    DLB

  • que337

    I think Mr. Cho and Mr. Bandow are basically on the same page:

    http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2013/02/13/time-for-u-s-to-disengage-from-north-korea-crisis/

    Given you gladly supported Mr. Bandow, your displeasure about Mr. Cho seems incompatible.

  • aligner

    By the way Cloudfive, I am not an English teacher – I see you view foreigners in the same way that your father does. Anyone who does not understand their special circumstances and might say something impolite must be a low-class English teacher or some other kind of trash. Older, more sophisticated, business foreigner types should view Koreans with the proper frame of mind. In a heated discussion, in the Korean language over Korea’s social ills, many of which my older interlocutor and I were in strong agreement, when we reached an area where we did not agree, especially related to “conducting business” in Korea, he would remind me that – “Korea is the child, still developing, and the US and Europe are the adults in this area – you should show more understanding.” I know you won’t believe what I just wrote, but I am sure other foreigners who speak Korean believe me.

    Of course, I would never describe the Korean cycling scene to Koreans directly in the same way that I have described it here, but then again, I almost never have the pleasure to meet Korea national pride defender types like you in person in Korea. Most Koreans will admit that they waste their money needlessly on such things, and wish they didn’t feel pressured by society to do so. Come to think of it, maybe I am meeting more intelligent, higher class Koreans during my everyday life, and not lower class, “loser Korea defender types” like you that show up on this blog.

  • bumfromkorea

    ‘Who gives a flying fuck if they’re wearing ridiculous looking expensive gears? It should not have an ounce of effect on your ability to enjoy yourself.’ Cloudfive

    ‘You’re just being a typical Korean defending anything Korean ever. Ugh.’ aligner

    That seems about right.

  • bumfromkorea

    It’s no skin off your nose, as my Dad would say.

    I see you view foreigners in the same way that your father does.

    Clearly, aligner is having a very bad week with those goddamn Koreans.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    The point is pretty clear. Making fun of middle-aged Korean men is no less juvenile than making blanket statements about English teachers.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Oh shut up. Just ride or golf or whatever you enjoy. If you’re the kind of guy who gets put off a sport because of others, youre a weak minded puny boy. I ride a bike, I dont have any of the gear – my bike isnt some multi-thousand dollar rocket nor do I have the outfits – but I enjoy the act of riding long distances. I do it for myself. I pay no attention to what others are wearing or riding. I just ride.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    You’re an English teacher. Stop frontin’.Older, mature people would not give 2 fucks about what others are doing.

  • aligner

    So what is your point. Your statement would have more umph if you could declare that you ride like the natives, instead distancing yourself from it. But of course this is never the case. It is always, I never do this, but I have no problem at all that they do. See how intelligent and tolerant I am and how stupid you are for your intolerant views. No more argument is necessary.

    I don’t give a huge F… either when stating that I find Korean cycling habits ridiculous – this is just a blog after all. Is Korean golf and cycling off limits for criticism? I am mainly reacting to the usual indignant reaction of Korean patrol dogs here to any perceived criticism of Korea, and foreigners like you probably have Korean in-laws or worse to keep you preoccupied in Korea.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    I don’t do it but I see it. Putting me in the same boat as you, presumably. I don’t give it a second thought, you’re obsessed by it, day and night. Its not off limits, but by coming out against something as trivial as this in such a rabid way you’re saying much more about yourself than about Koreans.

  • aligner

    Older, mature people who have been roped into golfing and doing the other social rounds in Korea certainly do complain, actually they tend to be less tolerant than younger people. But it is true they don’t have time to waste on blogs arguing about such subjects with the likes of you, who waste truly enormous amounts of time and fit the English teacher profile better in this regards. So I will admit it is pretty stupid for me comment about this any longer, and I will stop.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    How much time did you waste ranting about this? Eh? Grow up you decrepit old man. Is it the gear that bothers you or that you cant ride 5 miles without getting winded?

  • Anonymous_Joe

    Which aspect? The aspect that consenting adults produce information or entertainment for other consenting adults to consume?

  • tinyflowers

    That’s because DLB wants to have his cake and eat it too. Out of one side of his mouth he advocates complete disengagement of American military forces from the Korean peninsula and the withdrawal of the US nuclear umbrella. Out of the other side of his mouth he blasts the “anti-Americanism” of Korean politicians who, quite rationally, would like for Korea to have an independent nuclear capability, in light of increasing calls on the US side for disengagement. Basically, he wishes to see Korea completely defenseless, stripped of the US nuclear umbrella, but without the means to defend itself independently.

  • dlbarch

    At lunch today (California time) with another Old Korea Hand who still follows Korean politics, the topic of 2MB’s place in the pantheon of Korean presidents came up. (I understand the man just held his last cabinet meeting.)

    Dividing the post-war ROK presidency into first and second tiers, the question proposed (yes, we talk this way when we meet) was whether 2MB belonged among the first tier (Rhee, Park, and KDJ) or among the second (Chun, RTW, and RMH).

    I held firm that 2MB rightfully belongs at the top of the second tier. My (Anglo-Korean) lunch-mate reluctantly placed him at the bottom of the first.

    It will be interesting where history places this complicated and often infuriating man.

    DLB

  • dlbarch

    Opps. I should have added that KimYS was deemed decidedly second tier.

    DLB

  • http://www.askakorean.net/ The_Korean

    What? HELL to the NO. Here is my rank:

    1. KDJ
    2. PCH
    3. RMH
    4. RSM
    5. KYS
    6. LMB
    7. RTW
    8. CDH

    I think there are three tiers. KDJ and PCH belong to the top tier. RMH, RSM, LMB, KYS belong to middle tier. RTW and CDH belong to the bottom, “mass murderers” tier.

  • dlbarch

    I can live with that. If I divide your eight into two tiers, we agree on 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7 & 8.

    Now, where to place Chang Myon? My sympathies aside, I think he has to be delegated to second tier since he just wasn’t around long enough to “earn” first tier status.

    But in all honesty, his name did not come up at lunch.

    DLB

  • http://www.askakorean.net/ The_Korean

    I think Chang Myon/Yoon Bo-seon and Choi Gyu-ha should not be really considered.

  • dlbarch

    Yup. Ditto “acting presidents” Heo Jeong and Pak Choong-hoon.

    Ah, ghosts from the past!

    DLB

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com/ Sperwer

    IMO this is pretty much on the mark, although I would credit KYS with the peaceful transition of power as part of the break with military authoritarianism and DJ with democratic consolidation, while dropping RMH into the lowest tier as simply an abject failure (although it would seem at bit unfair to house him with thugs like Chun and Roh, not because he wasnt potentially a thug but simply because he wasn’t able to implement his less savory inclinations ). I also think DJ needs a demerit for economic democratization for his failure to effect any serious restraints on the chaebol; in fact his administration saw (indeed facilitated) massively increased concentrations of economic power, although that was perhaps a price of “solving” the financial crisis.

  • Anonymous_Joe

    (2nd LD) Ex-police chief found guilty of defaming late President Roh
    SEOUL, Feb. 20 (Yonhap) — A Seoul court on Wednesday sentenced a former police chief to 10 months in prison for making defamatory remarks against late President Roh Moo-hyun.

    Cho Hyun-oh, the former commissioner of the National Police Agency, was found guilty of posthumously defaming Roh by claiming that police found large amounts of money kept in a borrowed-name bank account the night before the former president jumped to his death. After an investigation, prosecutors found nothing to confirm the allegations.

    Cho made such remarks while commenting on the motive of Roh’s suicide, in a meeting with police officials in March 2010.

    The former president jumped off a cliff behind his retirement home to his death in May 2009, a year after leaving office, amid a widening probe by prosecutors over allegations his family members accepted illicit funds.

    The 57-year-old Cho was imprisoned immediately after the Seoul Central District Court handed down the verdict.

    In the ruling, the court said that the borrowed-name bank account that Cho claimed belonged to the former president is not Roh’s, saying that there is no data backing up his argument.

    “(He) should be held liable for spreading false information in the public after forgetting his status,” Judge Lee Sung-ho said in his ruling.

    The judge also said Cho’s remarks greatly hurt the family members of the former president yet he has not offered an apology to them.

    The former commissioner insisted that he had been tipped off by a “reliable person” who had access to the investigation but has not revealed the identity of the person.

    Cho also argued former first lady Kwon Yang-suk had asked the then ruling Uri Party, now renamed the Democratic United Party, not to push forward with a special prosecution investigation into the slush fund allegations.

    After Cho’s remarks were revealed, Roh’s family sued him for libel.

    The investigation surrounding the former president’s family was closed after Roh’s death. It was recently reopened after charges against the only daughter of Roh resurfaced.

    Roh Jeong-yeon received a suspended jail term last month for buying a luxury home in the United States through an illicit currency exchange process.

    Cho stepped down from his position in April 2012 following public uproar at the police for bungling a woman’s distress call in a high-profile kidnapping and murder case.