Monday, March 31, 2008

A Good Example

Apparently, Korea's new conservative president Lee Myung-bak, has told reporters that he will donate his entire presidnetial salary to the poor.

"I promised to spend my whole salary earned as a public official on public welfare," Lee told reporters. "My plan to donate the presidential salary to the underprivileged is an extension of that promise."

I'm impressed. And while it's more symbolic than anything else, so is a president's salary. I suspect that his next promise won't be discussed as much though.

During the election campaign, Lee, 66, vowed to donate his entire personal fortune of more than 30 billion won ($30.2 million) to the poor. He said at the time he would keep only a retirement house in Seoul.

I doubt that one...

Regulating Individualism

I really don't want to put in the effort that it would take to examine some of the deeply instilled Confucius facets that Korean society possesses. So, I will get straight to the point: Korean high school students are punished if they have brown or curly hair.

Here are some exerts from the article...

Jeon, who is 16 and a first-year student at a girls’ high school in Seoul, cannot forget her first day there. On the first day of school — the 3rd — she could not open the school doors. She had to stand in front of them for over 40 minutes.

The naturally brown-haired Jeon was suspected of having dyed her hair and was berated. She told the teacher that, “this is my natural hair color” but to no avail. Her mother came to the school over this problem and was told, “you must bring proof that this is her natural hair color.” As a new student Jeon does not have a student ID and has been punished from that day forward.

And it's not only hair color that is causing problems...

Curly hair is treated the same. Lee, 17 and a student at a high school in Seoul, was ordered to cut his hair. He said, “even though I explained that I was born with curly hair, the teacher told me that perms are not allowed and in the end I had to cut it really short. At our school we don’t have photo IDs so I had no choice except to cut it short.”

The reasoning of an insane policy like this is, of course, the best.

Individualism distracts from the development of the mind.

That is quite difficult for me to grasp. I understand that I come from a country that has immense diversity and individualism and, for the most part, it's celebrated. But this is too much. To suggest that individualism distracts these young minds from being properly developed is ludicrous. Forced conformity is not only a hindrance on intellectual progression, but a little too similar to the creeds of communism.

That aside, they have also come up with the "handy" and "simple" ID card system that should eliminate any of those embarrassing moments in class when your teacher calls you out for looking different. No, those days are over because you have a card that has a doctors signature declaring that you are medically different from your peers. That certainly creates an environment that's conducive to positive intellectual development.

Here's what a guidance counselor said about the system.

Park, a guidance counselor at Daewon Girls’ High School, said, “we have had this for quite a while now because of the possibility of arguments coming up. They must bring it with them to school but if they somehow forget and don’ t bring it then it is checked the next time.”

How generous of the school officials. Not only are we going to single you out, but we also suspect that you are lying.

Korea might be a small nation, but it has a mid-sized population, over one million legal foreigners and 1 and 8 marriages are "international". The students wear uniforms and are literally studying from 8am to 11pm everyday. That does not include time at home, not to mention that it is NOW legal for 24 hour academies to operate so those students who need a little extra can study all night.

In the end, there are so many things that make me upset about this law.

1) In high school, a student NEEDS to get to know themselves and sometimes your appearance might reflect that new self-image.

2) The fact that naturally curly and lighter haired people are not only singled out, but forced to carry a card proving their "distractive condition" is natural, is so demoralizing.

3) These poor students don't get to have any time to themselves. Between studying at school and at home, there are very few distractions from the stress of a heavily controlled life. All people need to be distracted by something and since their time is managed for them, what is the harm in a girl getting a perm?

In my honest opinion, I don't think that those who passed this law are concerned with curls or color. Any good teacher is going to be able to tell their students hair type after one month. Any changes are going to be obvious and if they are not obvious enough for the teacher to notice a change, then who will be distracted?

If this law is accepted, then I think I could get a job passing insane laws too. I already have 5 great ideas that could really seal my position in Korean politics. FDR's 100 days are nothing compared to this potential feat.

1) A national skin color ID

I think that if a student has a different skin tone that it could be a distraction to other students. Ethnicity is really popular with 15 year olds and that is a distraction.

2) All glasses must be square and round

All those snobby colored round glasses make other kids so envious that they might waste some of their study time to ask their parents for a new pair. Kids should not follow fads.

3) All pencils should be No. 2 and standard ugly yellow

This one is very important. Even my elementary school students get too much pleasure when they get to show off their new pink pencils. Just imagine how much of an issue it would be in high school.

4) No braces

Sorry kids. Your colorful rubber bands might leave your mouth and you know what that would create: pandemonium.

5) No friends

Let's face it, friends are a distraction. Students might start talking to friends when they should be studying or showing school officials their hair color ID cards and that would be horrible. And of course, the biggest issue with friends is that sometimes they think alike and there is a chance that they could all get together, as a group, and decide that they don't want to follow alienating and discriminatory laws that are only in place to take to pressure off of parents, mask hidden societal racism of the older generation and reduce the chance that an individual might wake up one day... and get a perm.

By the way, high school girls account for nearly 50% of all cosmetic surgeries in Korea! Oh hypocrisy!

***Update: Isn't it a bit sad that these teenagers are forced to be in classrooms or study rooms for up 12 hours a day and yet the Korean Human Rights Commision seems to find hairstyles to be their most pressing human rights issue.***

Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Creatures Under the Stairs

Bill Cosby was on the television holding his magic pen and teaching the young boy who was watching him, that arithmetic and geometry are fun and easy. Of course, no one watched Picture Pages because they wanted to learn how to do math. They watched it for that pen called Mortimer Ichabod and all hoped that they, too, could have such an amazing pen that would change their lives forever.

He was perched in front of the TV, laying on the red-orange carpet that had small unidentifiable stains from years of snacking children and family meals.

"Come here, son!" the booming voice called from the other room called.

He hesitated as Bill had just started drawing a new picture and Mortimer Ichabod had miraculously just come alive to playfully explain what was going to be drawn. Again the voice summoned him, but this time with a little more agitation and urgency.


He stood up, watching the TV as he reluctantly left left the room and entered the brown carpeted hallway. He stepped under the glass chandelier that always seemed to be missing some of its dangling crystal ornaments.

Not knowing where the voice was coming from, he looked towards the front of the house, only to hear a noise coming from the opposite direction. It was his father. He had just opened the basement door that was just off of the main hallway and next to the kitchen.

His father smiled and the boy ran to join in on the job, whatever it might be. His father told him that he needed some help straightening up the always messy and terribly frightening basement. The boy was not pleased, but was still happy to be "helping dad".

The two slowly descended down the narrow wooden stairwell and into the damp and cold foundation of the pre-WWI house. This was the boy's second time to brave the basement and he was scared, but confident, that it would be okay. The stairwell seemed to go on forever as each new step revealed a new diary entry that had been etched into the crusted and flaked grey wall by the houses previous owners.

They reached the bottom of the steps and without thought, they boy stepped out onto the cracked dirt-covered cement floor. The stairs led to the center of the busy basement. He looked around as if he had stepped onto a martian planet.

After a dramatic 360 degree survey of the basement, he took a step forward in the only direction he could go. There were stacked boxes of all shapes and sizes and the closer he got to the piles, the stronger the odor of decay became.

"Can you help me with this?" said his father who had noticed that the world of the basement was slowly overwhelming his three-year old son.

The boy eagerly pranced to the arms of his father and with one swift movement, he was on his shoulders and being directed to retrieve the out-of-reach pliers. He reached thoughtlessly to the dark corner of the shelf and felt the tool.

"Closer!" he impatiently asked his father as his initial comfort was wearing thin.

He made his final lunge at the tool and when he did he felt something touch his hand. He frantically pulled his hand back and looked at it. Nothing was there. Whatever it was had gotten in and out in under a second.

Luckily, he retrieved the tool on the next attempt and was returned to the ground where he promptly and tightly hugged his fathers leg. He didn't know what had touched him and he didn't want to know.

"Are you okay? We're almost finished. We just need to find our old sword for the costume party."

"What is a costume party?" the boy asked in his little, but powerful hoarse voice.

"You know that we dress up in funny clothes at Halloween, right? Well, a costume party is where you dress up in funny clothes and go to a friends house."

The boy was satisfied with the explanation and had a reinvested interest in finding the sword. His favorite movie was "The Sword in the Stone" and he knew that he also possessed the same power that Arthur did in that classic cartoon. The two of them looked for the sword for some time; cautiously sorting and resorting empty box and after empty box.

Finally, the boy spotted it leaning against the water heater. He wanted to prove his bravery to his father by going into the dark area of the basement and being the one who found the sword. He walked confidently up to the heater, slid around the side of it and grabbed the sword by it's decorative handle. Just as he was about to proclaim victory, his eye got a glimpse of the back of the water heater.

He screamed, dropped the sword and immediately ran up the stairs crying in search of his mother. No one could explain what he had seen and the boy was too young to elaborate on what happened that day in basement.

Several months passed since that incident and all seemed to be going well again. While the boy was always suspicious of what really goes on in the basement, he chose to ignore it and focus on being a now four-year old young man.

One day in early fall, the boy got dressed all by himself. He picked out his white turtle neck, red pants and blue shoes. He was so proud and was truly convinced that he was growing up. He went to show off his super cool freshly picked-out clothes to his mother. She wasn't overly impressed, but appopriately reactive. The boy didn't let it get to him. He was on a high and wanted the whole world (his family) to know that he was a growing up.

He decided that he would go to the bathroom that was one the first floor. This was out of the protective field of the warmth and security that the second floor bathrooms offered. This, and that his mother was still upstairs at the time, would certainly prove that he was a big boy.

He walked to the door and confidently turned the glass doorknob. It squeaked open and he stepped in. The bathroom had a sink, mirror, toilet and bathtub. He peered at himself in the mirror, especially proud of the selection of his red pants. He turned around and squarely stepped up to the toilet fully prepared to take his first solo poop in that bathroom.

Just as he reached for his pants button, he happened to look in the bathtub. He was face to face with that creature that he had seen months before. He was paralyzed with fear. Too scared to scream or move, he just sat there, hoping that the creature would move on. It didn't. It just sat there. The boy couldn't take his eyes off of the grotesque beast.

It was huge. It's legs were long and had sharp spikes growing in all directions. It's face looked like that of a crustacean, but with razor sharp teeth protruding from it's hard reptilian-like shell. It was worse than any nightmare.

The boy finally decided to try and escape. He slowly to one step backwards, but the creature took one step closer. Each step of retreat was met with an aggressive advance. Just as he was about to turn and run, the creature attacked. Without any notice or warning, it jumped what seemed like 100 times it's body size and landed right on the boys red pants.

The screams and cries for help had his mother in the bathroom within in a few seconds, but she was too late. The creature had already attacked and retreated to a dark crevice in that hell bound bathroom. He tried to stop crying long enough to explain, but he simply could not.

His mother knew what had attacked him. She, too, had been face to face with the hideous creature. He asked her why it had attacked him. She thought, but could not figure it out. She had seen the beast before and had not been harmed. Something must have triggered the creature to attack, but what?

His mother contacted the police, called the university and even checked the encyclopedia. Soon, it became clear: It was attracted by the color of his pants. Just like sharks can smell blood, this creature could see it and must have thought that his pants were actually a big pool of blood.

Years and years past, and the boy was very conscious about what color he wore, but even more so, he was always very aware of his surroundings when in a basement or bathroom.

He never had another encounter with this creature until one day, when he was seventeen, he was in yet another downstairs bathroom. He had just finished using the restroom and had stood up. There before him was the beast. He frantically checked to make sure he was not wearing any red. He wasn't. He was sure that he would be safe. He laughed to himself, but it was too soon. The entire room was red! He remembered what happened last time and this time he was not going to wait to attacked this time. He turned and ran out of the room hoping to avoid an all out, all direction assault that was sure to come.

He was out of breath and scared, but confident that the room would have to be locked up forever. He decided to refer to the Internet. What he discovered there would shock him.

They weren't attacked to blood or the color red! He thought that it must be a mistake, but after referring to many other sites, he realized that he had been lied to his whole life. He was angry and shocked, but in time, he got over it. When he saw these creatures, he just ignored them.

After all, they could not hurt him.

However, it was this sentiment that got him in trouble. It was this sentiment that landed him in the mouth of one of these giant creatures.

Lesson: Don't lie to your kids because it's easier to explain than the truth.

RIP "Little Boy in the Red Pants"

*** For the record, in no way do I actually think that fibbing about the red pants was negative. It had been a long-running joke in our family.***

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Is that a him or a Him?

Of course, I would never believe it or claim that BO is more than what he is, but there are websites and tons of pictures that offer that celestial aura.

I thought it might be fun to share some of those pics. Now, some are edited...

and others simply have a well (or conveniently) placed light in the background.

This is my favorite: "Floating Obama"

While those are good for a laugh, one can not deny the emotion that he evokes.

This emotion is what makes him stand above the rest. Very few people today are moved by other people's words. Very few people have a role model or someone that they can easily say, "Yeah, I want to be like that." And I'm not saying BO is that guy, nor would he, but he is a very extraordinary man with an extraordinary story and I will be honored to write that first post titled President Barack Obama.

Come Out of the Political Closet!

Another round of senior Dems and other party officials have come out to express their concern with continuing the bloody primary battle. I'm happy that some of these leaders are showing their gravitas, but it simply is not enough and as we have seen and heard, Hillary is stepping up her "every vote should be counted" bullsh*t, I wonder if it will happen.

TH's new angle is that this actually strengthens the party and will weather us for the better come November because whichever candidate comes out on top will carry that merit badge on their lapel. In the real world, however, that badge will actually be a limp and McCain will simply have to go after that wound that did not have time to heal.

We all seem to know and understand this, so why aren't they going to step up?

Most SD's are hoping that the race will play itself out and Obama will emerge as the clear winner so that they don't have to piss the Clinton's and their machine off. They don't want the Clintons and their high dollar donors to stop raising money for them. They don't want Carville and Wolfson to call them a traitor. They don't want all the behind-the-scenes trashing that they know will come.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Where are the SD's?

There have been repeated calls for Hillary to quit. The math is irrefutable. She can only win by drilling into Obama and making him so tainted that good Rev. White wouldn't cast his ballet for him.

However, as much as I understand the motivation behind this argument, it really doesn't make a whole lot of sense strategically. If one accepts the proposition that Hillary will do anything to win (which is clear), then in what sense is it likely that calling on her to quit for the good of the party will fall TH's ears? They lost their hearing long ago. Of course she's not going to quit. She wouldn't give up this nomination fight if there is a 1% chance of her winning.

As as we have been hearing recently, TH is quite certain that they are tied and that the race is wide open. I've. It seems to me though, that even if you ACCEPT the argument, that "the race is tied," then it makes it even more logical that the SD's should vote now. Will they? Doubtful. Read this article.

Let’s accept the following propositions:

1. The race for the Democratic nomination in it's current form is highly polarizing and is doing damage to the Democratic Party as well as both candidates (and their chances in November).

2. The race is essentially tied at this point. (It's not, but let's think about this from TH's view). Based on current polling data, and estimated delegate counts resulting from that data, there is no reason to think that the current "tie" will be changed by the upcoming contests. So, if one accepts the above propositions, then the question presents itself: What possible reason can there be for SD's not to decide now?

Every day that goes on like this McCain gets a pass. Every day that goes on like this both of our nominees bloody each other. Where is the reward? What possible benefit is there in allowing this to continue? If there is a "tie" than this would be the best time for the to step in. Hillary will win KY and PA. Obama will win the rest. There WILL NOT BE A CHANGE! As Bredesen said, this will be a "tie" in three months as well. It will be a "tie" at the convention.

But wait! It's not a tie; Obama is ahead by every measure! Except that this fact doesn't need to be emphasized because it's so obvious. SD's are deeply involved in the political process. They know very well who is ahead at the moment.

From a tactical standpoint the goal of TH is to drag this out so that Clinton can claw out some kind of victory (maybe a close popular vote) to twist the SD'd arms with and maybe even use the "establishment candidate" argument. At that point TH will surely stop talking about a tie and point to their (hopeful, but doubtful) .00001 percent advantage in the popular vote and count that as the "will of the people." We might even get to hear, "The people have spoken" or "I found my voice" slogans as well.

But whatever kind of victory they imagine it will be somewhat futile at best, especially when both candidates are kneecapping each other (and/or themselves) and the SD's will still need to decide anyway. Since TH has been pounding the "supers should exercise independent judgment" rule like a drum, why not embrace it? (I know.)

The race is a "tie" and will remain a "tie."

The supers should recognize that they will have to break this "tie," either now, or in the future.

The supers should exercise their best judgment and evaluate all the relevant facts at hand (and we know what those facts are).

Having reviewed these relevant facts they should make their judgments and decide now for the good of the party.

There is no reason to delay.

Call or write your SD.

Sherrod Brown
Hon. Chris Redfern - OH Chair
William Burga
Enid Goubeaux
Ronald Malone
Patricia Moss
Charlie Wilson
Marcia Kaptur
Betty Suttor
Tim Ryan
Rep. Zack Space
Rep. Dennis Kucinich

Jim Marshall
Richard Ray
Jimmy Carter

Lincoln Davis
Bart Gordon
John Tanner
Al Gore
Gray Sasser
Dr. Inez Crutchfield
Vicki Harwell
Jerry Lee
Phil Bredeson

Ivan Holmes
Jim Frasier
Rep. Dan Boren (OK)
Reggie Whitten
Brad Henry

I will try and find some telephone numbers and emails for you, but contact your SD!

Thank You, Phil

Phil Bredesen (TN-Gov) is joining the ranks of Dem leaders and speaking out against the possiblity of a brokered convention and a bloody summer that will, in all cases, lead to a GOP White House.

He wants all of the leaders to come together in June with Obama and Hillary and allow for them to make their final case.

“They have a much steeper, rockier hill to climb if it goes to the convention,” the governor said over a dinner of rockfish and red wine. “You’re going to spend this whole summer — and lots of money and time and effort — trying to convince people that whoever is eventually nominated, isn’t electable."

He continued.

“Ninety days ago, everybody was talking in warm terms about both the candidates: ‘Isn’t it wonderful? Whoever’s president is going to be great,’” the governor said. “It has gotten vastly more polarized now, and that really concerns me.”

He's right and I think that this is an excellent idea. I really hope that the SD's get together and settle this sooner than later. I know that TH will do everything to avoid this and will call it every nasty political word in the book, but this has to happen.

This will be the test to see if she what she's willing to do to become President.

That's how it went?

I knew that Hillary wouldn't lie or exaggerate her experience!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Free Ride

I have never seen such a love affair (that didn't involve airport bathrooms) as I am seeing with the MSM and McCain. These useless talking heads will omit even the slightest negative spin when talking about him. And if they have to, then they'll use friendly words like "supposedly" or "alleged". They are intentionally overlooking his record on EVERYTHING.

Here is what some of the heads think about McCain.

"The press loves McCain. We're his base." Chris Matthews

"I think most of us [reporters] would move to Massachusetts and marry John McCain if we could." Joe Scarborough

"John McCain is clearly the Washington media's favorite Republican." Brit Hume

In a time where the media will stick it to anyone for ratings, why has McCain gotten away with it?

I'll get deeper with this later, but the North Korea v South Korea game is on and we have to pre-game.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

What she REALLY meant was...

We have all heard this gaffe and typically I am not a fan of little gaffes, but this one is bigger. Clinton has been playing up her foreign policy experience with Northern Ireland and Bosnia a lot and both of these were simply not the case as her First Lady papers have revealed.

Being married to "experience" does not give you an equal amount of experience.

Image of the Week

Sadly, we have crossed another threshold (and not the one that McCain and Hillary have crossed, but Obama just isn't there yet). No, we hit 4,000 deaths this week. The timing is ironic just as McCain left screaming "Victory", I, however, think there isn't as much significance in that number as the number of overall deaths in Iraq this week (bloodiest in months). The total number will overshadow it and the MSM will yet again miss the real story.

Of course McCain, who I dislike and distrust more each day and I will NEVER say he is a "stand-up guy", is saying that since he's been to Iraq eight times, his senior moments don't count and that he knows what is going on there more than anybody in the world. Right.

It's all a mess and their blood in on many of our leaders hands, but McCain is seeing that it stains that brand new new White House couch.

So, McCain and Bush who Olberman refers to as McBush, this is for you...

Bill Richardson is not important?

I was happy when BR endorsed Obama and of course, TH went into defense mode and reduced BR down to a racial endorcement claiming that his time to endorse was before Texas and now it's meaningless.

Here's a hypothetical dialogue I came across at Kos.

Bill Richardson: Hey, Hill? After much thought and deliberation, I've decided to endorse you.

Hillary Clinton: Too late.

BR: Huh?

HC: Yeah, the time when your endorsement could have been effective has long since passed.

BR: But, I'm a super delegate, and ultimately, we'll be forced to decide this thing!

HC: Not important. Frankly, Bill, I just don't think yours would be a significant endorsement in this environment.

BR: So you're telling me that my endorsement means nothing?

HC: That's exactly what I'm telling you. It doesn't matter. A few weeks ago? Maybe, but today? I don't want it. It's useless.

BR: Frankly, Hillary, I'm finding this a bit disconcerting.

HC: So? What are you going to do about it?

BR: Endorse Obama.

HC: Judas.

How do you think Carville could spin that?

Operation Chaos v. Obama Crossover

As we know, Rush has been despartely trying to get his listeners to register as a Democrat and vote for Hillary Clinton is as many primaries as they can. He calls this "Operation Chaos" and is even selling coffee mugs, bumper stickers, T-shirts and pain killers sporting the the logo.

The question isn't whether or not he violates the law (he might be), but how much damage can be done by this.

Obama has been calling on people from all backgrounds, politcal affiliation etc... to cross-over and support him. He even had a commercial running in PA that was encouraging people to make they regsitered. TH will claim that he is doing that because he's trying to get the anti-Hillary voters out. He's not. He knows that some people might be crossing over so they can vote against Hillary, just as some people cross-over to vote against him. That will always happen. Obama wants to change the Purple states Blue and the Red states Purple. That shift has not happened since Reagan and then LBJ before that and both of those favored the GOP. Why can't TH allow this kind of realignment? Why? Because these typical old Dems see the GE as a map with 10-15 states. They will ignore the possibilty of winning typically Red or Purple states.

I digress...

What Rush is doing is different. He is encouraging them to join the Dems for the day, vote for Hillary and then change back. This is illegal and I'll throw a statute at you.

If you want the statutes, check

3503.011. Qualifications to vote in primary

At a primary election every qualified elector who is or will be on the day of the next general election eighteen or more years of age, and who is a member of or is affiliated with the political party whose primary election ballot he desires to vote, shall be entitled to vote such ballot at the primary election.
ORC Ann. 3513.19

(A) It is the duty of any judge of elections, whenever any judge of elections doubts that a person attempting to vote at a primary election is legally entitled to vote at that election, to challenge the right of that person to vote. The right of a person to vote at a primary election may be challenged upon the following grounds:
.... (3) That the person is not affiliated with or is not a member of the political party whose ballot the person desires to vote. Such party affiliation shall be determined by examining the elector's voting record for the current year and the immediately preceding two calendar years as shown on the voter's registration card....

...(B) When the right of a person to vote is challenged upon the ground set forth in division (A)(3) of this section, membership in or political affiliation with a political party shall be determined by the person's statement, made under penalty of election falsification, that the person desires to be affiliated with and supports the principles of the political party whose primary ballot the person desires to vote.

3513.20. Statement of challenged person; provisional ballot

Before any challenged person shall be allowed to vote at a primary election, the person shall make a statement, under penalty of election falsification, before one of the precinct officials, blanks for which shall be furnished by the board of elections, giving name, age, residence, length of residence in the precinct, county, and state; stating that the person desires to be affiliated with and supports the principles of the political party whose ballot the person desires to vote; and giving all other facts necessary to determine whether the person is entitled to vote in that primary election. ....
3599.11. False registration; election falsification

No person shall knowingly make any false statement on any form for registration or change of registration or upon any application or return envelope for an absent voter's ballot.
Whoever violates this division is guilty of a felony of the fifth degree.

Also, 3599.36. Election falsification (5th degree felony) and 3599.25. Inducing illegal voting and a few others.

First of all, Rush claims that this is legal and that Obama is doing it as well when he calls on voters to cross-over and join the Dem party. The difference is quite glaring of course.

Will he get in trouble? No.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

I Promise!

I've been super busy this past week with puppy, wedding and work issues and have found so little time to not only write, but even keep up with the news and the world.

I promise I will be back starting tomorrow.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Can this be right?

I'm not good with numbers or money. Luckily, 고 is and she happily taked the lead with the numbers. (Although she only beat me by four points on my IQ test 128-132. It was in English though.)

I came across this article.

Can this be right? Sid? Rodger?

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Hope Never Dies

It's a new day. A bright day. It's a day to reflect not only on the passing of our 희망, but on life in general. We only get one stab at life on this earth and I know that I want to stick around with my bride and family. 희마이 might have only had about a month with us, but I know that we gave her a good one life and showed her ALL the love we could. She was an amazing puppy from the start and she will be an amazing friend to all of those pets who have passed (except Church).

고 and I are going to visit her grave and then start our day.

Here's a quote from Shawshank Redemption.

"Hope is a good thing, maybe the best thing and Hope never dies."

Rest in Peace, 희망 and thank you.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Following Hope

Well, as I said we have her home with us now and I'm going to be updating regularly this to give you an up-to-date report of how she's doing. I'll also be including some music videos that I sum up how the mood his here. Please listen to them if only for a minute. Some will be bad.

7:10pm We just ate. 희망 can't eat, but she's getting her essentials through the IV. We tried to feed her. Futile. 고 is massaging her jaws to help reduce the virus-induced chewing and biting. She is on her side. We tried to have her stand up, but it was too difficult. She is verty silent. No whining.

7:31pm She just had another seizure. Her tails wags. She's very fragile.

7:55 She just had another seizure. She's getting worse. We're thinking about visiting the vet one last time. 고 can't be there for it. I'm trying to find my british bud to go with me.

8:10 Glen is on his way. We're...leaving for the vet. I'm sorry 희망. I'm so sorry.....

11:25 We had her put to sleep at 9:10pm. We buried her at a nearby mini park where she can rest undisturbed. Our friends all came out to support us. She is in better place. We are not.

I Love My Dog!

고 left work early today. She got the call that 희망 was having seizures and that she might last a couple more days.

We went to the vet and picked her up. She has her IV in and will spend her last hours on earth with us at home. There is no shortage of tears from us on this side of the globe, but between the tears we manage to sing and dance to our dear sweet 희망이. Neither one of us has had to deal with something like this and I hope none of you EVER will.

Sometimes she opens her little swollen eyes just long enough to see us. She can hear us and smell us still and that's all we wanted for her.

And now, I have to go to the store to buy a shovel. The worst purchase I have ever had to make. Keep us in your thoughts...

Thursday, March 13, 2008

So, who's in?

Regardless of what we might be dealing with with our precious 희망, 고운 turned me on a song that is so beautiful. So to those who speak fluent French, Uncle John and Kristin and the rest of our family and friends (Funnie and Rodger), 고 and I are inviting you to join us on a trip to Vietnam within the next couple of years. Watch this and we'll talk about it later...

Hey, we're serious.


고 and I had a few drinks last night and did not realize that it reads like we will also pay for this trip. Dream on!

Thank God for 고!

It's times like these when I realize how lucky I am. Here's a tune that perks me up and makes me even more enthusiatic about our love.

That's what people need in their relationship: enthusiasm.

Natalie Cole This Will Be

***Is it me, or does she look like Whoopi Goldberg? You know, if Natalie Cole wasn't black, no one would have heard of her (I had to).***

Dissecting McCain

As my confidence that Obama will win the nod grows daily and the fact that I am getting tired of writing about the same lose-excuse-diminish-buildup strategy that Hillary is never going to stray from, I want to start picking at McCain.

As I have mentioned before, this guy should be very easy to beat. So, I am going to try and dissect this guy.

Dissecting McCain will be like Daily Politics, which really should have been named Daily PRIMARY.

고 and I are going for dinner and drinks in an attempt to distract ourselves from our puppy problems...

Daily Politics: Calculated and Never Short-sighted

As all of you have seen, Geraldine Ferraro (GF) has been running around the talk show circuit setting up something that is quite impressive and despicable .

She meant to plant this seed. This is why I KNOW it was a planned comment.

She isn't just saying this off the cuff. She's been saying it over and over again. Each and every talk show she goes on, she adds a little fuel to it. She refuses to back down even when she is told she is being widely percieved as a racist. When confronted forcefully, she walks right through her argument and sets up the next and she never hesitates for a second.

Bottom line: She expected this reaction and she has a plan to respond and will scream as loud as she can about reverse-racism. In fact, she has already demanded that Obama apologize to her. Is she f***ing crazy? SHE is the one who demeaned Obama and his supporters. She is the one who used race in a VERY blatant way. She likes to excuse herself from being called racist because she compared her own VP nomination to his bid and that she, like him, got it only because she was a woman. Last time I checked, Hillary WAS A WOMAN!!!

Let's turn this around: David Axelrod (Top Obama advisor) says that Hillary would not be where she is today if she was not a woman AND that we would not be in this position if she was a man. And then when people got upset, he would go on all the major talk shows, continue his sexist rants under the guise of reverse-sexism and demand that Hillary calls him and apologizes.

Would Hillary denouce it? -Yes

Would the women be furious? -Yes

Would I write this post? -Yes

Do not let anything cloud your thinking. This was calculated and this kind of no-apologies policy reminds me of a certain administration. In fact, that will an upcoming post...

***Say a prayer for 희망! It's not looking too good right now!***


희망 (pronounced Hee-mong) is the name of our new puppy. And the process of making her ours is quite a story full of ups, but many more downs.

I wish I could say that it was one of those typical stories where we saw her sitting in a lonely cage, sulking with her head down while children and adults alike were walking by her to get to the more popular puppies and dogs. I wish I could say that we went to the pound and saved that four year old dog that just recovered from the mange who will most certainly be passed over for the younger, healthier and, no doubt, cuter dogs. However, the experience of buying and taking 희망 home might be all too typical and that is why I am writing this post.

고운 and I had been discussing getting a dog for some time. Nothing too serious, but we both knew that we would love to have one. So, one night after finishing dinner at her moms house, we ventured to Chungmuro (충무로). Chungmuro is the number one place to buy puppies in Korea. Breeders from all over Korea breed their dogs and wait for the very frequent puppy auctions so they can sell as many puppies as they have bred. It's quite a business, but therein lies the problem: it's only a business to these breeders. Having not met any of these breeders or been to their farms, I can't claim to know how genuine their love for these animals are, but judging by the prices, I can attest for their love of the won. Hundreds of animals are dispersed throughout the busy puppy district each week and hundreds of animals go home with new families. It seems wonderful, right? Here's our story...

We went to a couple of stores and found some cute puppies, but couldn't manage to negotiate the already inflated price as well as we had hoped. As we became increasingly frustrated, the neighboring stores' big-glass windows displaying cage after cage of puppies easily drew us in for another look.

The small crowded 2 by 2 cages housed between five to eight dogs. The were rolling around in yellow shredded paper bedding that was stained with puppy diarrhea. There were about four or five employees there just ready and waiting to "help" you through the process. I pointed to a little beagle and the worker removed her from the pin and placed her on the table in a protective circular cage. Like all puppies, she was wild. Licking, jumping, running and so eager to put on her best face in hopes of finding her new family. All beagles are cute, but this one had a grimace that we just could not get over. Sadly, we returned her and kept looking. Then 고 noticed this tiny little pup that was quietly minding her own business in the corner of the busy cage. We pointed her out and they removed her and placed her on the table. She immediately changed her mood and started going wild. She was our dog.

We starting negotiating the price.

"350,000 won," the employee quoted.

Immediately we fired back with a lower price. "200,000 won!"

He laughed and started going on and on about the dogs sex and all the costs that they have to pay. I didn't believe a word he was saying. I usually don't buy a word any salesman claims. We stayed strong and watch his price continue to fall. Finally, we landed on 225,000 won. (That, by the way, is a little more than 225 USD.) We asked if she had shots and they said it had, but it was practice to NOT provide documents confirming such vaccinations. Why? They could not and would not respond further. Having a little faith in mankind, I ran to the ATM and returned with the cash to find that the salesman had already "boxed" our new puppy up and was including extras like a cheap bed, three baggies of food, a can of chicken and a bottle of expired shampoo (exp. Nov 2006). The excitement of having a puppy outweighed the concern the "extras". At some point from the time I returned with the cash and being handed 희망, a contract was produced quickly and signed even quicker.

We got her home and attempted to build a make-shift barrier for her to sleep in during the night. She whined and somehow broke free and spent that night (and most others) right in between me and 고운. The next day we took her to the vet to get an opinion about our pup. He looked at her poop, took her temperature and said she looked fine. We returned home that afternoon and continued playing with the newest member of our family. A couple hours of on and off playing and sleeping, she started having diarrhea and was vomiting. We called the vet and were instructed to bring her back.

After looking at her, he asked us where we bought her. We told him that we got her from Chungmuro. He did not say anything one way or the other, but his face and the level of concern changed very quickly. He decided that we should take a Parvo and Corona test. We started getting very worried. I had a roommate in college who had a beagle that had to be euthanized because Parvo had so badly infected his body. We did not want that to happen to our little 희망이. The results popped up on the strip. She had Corona and was showing signs of Parvo. It was horrible to hear, especially when you look at the sweet little face that it has attacked.

We gathered ourselves and walked home. We found the contract that we had, perhaps hastily, signed the night before. It said that if the dog dies within three days of the purchase you can exchange it for another one of the same sex and breed. If it dies between four to fourteen days, then you can get another dog at 50% of the price you paid for your now dead puppy. After that... nothing. We were shocked. We should have thought about the underlying meaning of such a clause, but between the excitement and the rushed atmosphere of the purchase, we simply let it go.

We brought her back to Chungmuro and talked to the guy there and told him. They again claimed that she had her shots and that "This dog is not sick. Look, her tail is wagging." This did not sail this time. We demanded that they do something. It was decided that they would keep her for the week at the attached hospital for care, treatment and observation. That kind of accountability eased our minds (just long enough to pass that three day mark?). We left her there and, with smiles on our face, returned home to clean up the place and get it ready for her return.

The next two days were long. We missed her so much. It's amazing how much an effect a dog can have on people. We only had one full day with this dog, but were heart-broken. We had both shed tears on several occasions. On Tuesday, we decided to go visit her. We walked in the doors and were greeted by four employees that did not know our story. We told one of them and he went and got 희망 from the back. She was not in the hospital. She was in the back. While they were getting her and 고운 was talking with a different employee, I walked down the line of cages. Now, I was a lot more sceptical of these dogs, and with that eye, I noticed something: most of the dogs had diarrhea. I know that puppies can get this and that it doesn't mean that they have Parvo or a virus, but our puppy did have two deadly diseases and she was in those cages just four days before.

희망 surfaced from the back and recognized us immediately. Her excited whimper was so sad and encouraging at the same time. She was very energetic and playful. We hugged her so tight as she nibbled on our ears, nose and hair. While I had been inspecting the cages, 고운 had talked to several different employees and all had given us different stories regarding 희망's care. In the end, we figured out that they had not treated her, not given her shots, not observed her, not put her on a diet and had simply left her in a cage. They lied about everything they promised they had done or would do. One employee who seemed genuine told us that we should take her home and at least be with her in a stress-free environment.

We took her home and then found a new vet as well. The new vet said that the only thing we could do is make her comfortable and see if her body can get over the infection. After days of diarrhea (but no vomit), her stool became firm and formed. She had beat Parvo AND Corona virus and she had done it all by herself.

We bought her new food, toys and even a few treats. She was doing great! So, we brought her to the vet to get all of her shots started officially. She was going to be fine! Hours after she got the shots, the loose stool started again. It was on and off again, but didn't make us feel good. We called the vet. He said if it continues, then we need to head back in. It didn't. Again, her poop became solid and we were feeling great.

About four days ago, she started coughing. We let it go for one day and then we called the vet again. They said bring her in. They looked at her and determined that it didn't sound that bad and they gave her some meds. It was a four day course. Each day that passed her cough got a little worse. Her sweet little eyes started becoming red and gooey. Yesterday I noticed that she was drooling and acting a little unusual. We brought her in AGAIN. As I was walking her wrapped in my light jacket I could feel her coughing and shivering, but her body was very hot. The doctor took one look at her and knew what it was. It was Distemper.

Distemper is arguably the deadliest virus that a canine can get. Of course, Parvo and Corona are a very close second and third. I linked Distemper because I will not be able to continue writing if I have to describe it to you and imagine what our little 희망 is going through. The doctor told us our options: give her the costly treatment which yields a 50% recovery rate or put her to sleep. The second one was not an option, so we opted for the treatment. The doctor and his assistant started prepping her for the IV and sedatives. I was out of the room when this started. I have seen this before and I have a VERY quick and tearful reaction to anything dog related. However, 고 at this point had become too emotional and had to step out of the room. I felt horrible for 희망 facing all of this without a familiar face, so I returned to the room. Her gentle whimpers and cries sank my heart as they set her up on the IV. After it was all in, she calmed down and with one quick last look, she was taken from us and brought to the back where she will quietly try to beat yet another virus.

I am in tears while I right this. Thinking about her back there all by herself kills me. The thought of her in pain kills me. The thought of her sweet,innocent and unanswered cries kills me. And the thought of her dying all by herself without us there with her kills me.

희망 has proven herself a fighter and I know she can fight yet again. No puppy should have to face these kinds of obstacles when they enter the world. However, we can't change what has happened to her and all we can do is be strong for her and ourselves.

I should add that the name 희망 means "hope". So, let's all have 희망 for OUR little puppy, 희망, who is fighting for her life in a very dark world. We love you and miss you so much, 희망!!!


고 called me at work. The vet called and said that she was not getting better and that they need to try another type of treatment. Grim...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Image of the Week: Blame the Black Man

We know who she is, what she said and that TH has yet to apologize or force her to resign. (Obama immediately got rid of his aide that called Hillary a "monster".)

She is playing into the popular presumption among uneducated whites (a Hillary stronghold) that all colored people ahead of them professionally got their because of their race. This flies in the face of the other presumption that women also get that same "special" treatment. Disgusting...

But in the fun, illogical world of TH, all goes and nothing is too much.

Daily Politics: TH's Affirmative Action Strategy

We all know that the rise of civil rights cost the Dems the "Solid South". When LBJ signed that into law he lost all of the southern white vote (especially men). We have all read about Geraldine Ferraro and her racist comments, but her reaction to the negative press she has received, to me, is the tell-all for what TH is up to.

Her inexcusable comments, imo, is a another lame and damaging TH attempt to manipulate the playing field before PA. These comments were not meant for MS. It was too late for that. They are going after the fence voters in PA. She claims, "They are attacking me because I'm white."

By claiming this reverse discriminative treatment, she is trying to hit a cord and get the poor white guy who is positive that the black guy got the job instead of him ONLY because he's black. She's trying to give a voice to those closet racist Dems, by saying "I know how you feel, and you have an option: Hillary Clinton."

"Obama is winning only because he's black" would work if he only won SC, AL, GA and MS. What about WY, WA, ID, IA and CO? He's winning because people like him more. He's winning because he has run an amazing campaign. He's winning because Hillary has too many enemies and comments like this are not going to have the SD's lining up.

Ferraro knew what she was saying. She knew that Hillary would lose MS. They did not know they would lose it this big though. Now, of course, they will diminish the win. Which way will they choose? Well, it wasn't a caucus full of activists. That won't work. It's not a "latte liberal" state like Oregon either. Well, I guess they'll use the AA and Red state excuse.

Since they knew she would lose BIG TIME in another AA-dominated race, Ferraro can claim that Hillary is also a "white Affirmative Action victim", get away with blatant racism and hopefully appeal to the poor white workers in PA.

You think that's bad? Just wait...

Daily Politics: Clinton Rules = Obama Victory

I have been out for two weeks with a sick puppy and a burnt mother board, but I'm back and will be back BIG TIME! I missed writing and now will get right into it.

After her win in OH and RI (I do not mention TX because it was a 2-part contest where Obama won more delegates) TH has been working hard to redefine their case to the SD's. Her M.O. has always been to diminish the Dems in the Red states and build up her Blue state success and she, like ALL bloggers, have been claiming that pledged delegates should not be viewed as more important as the popular vote. The flaw in this is that WE HAVE DELEGATES! If we did not have delegates then I would agree that the popular vote should be the one AND only way to decide our nominee.

So, let's let TH make their popular vote argument. Remember, a popular vote is not only taken from the primaries. The caucuses have a say in this too. This, however, brings me to my next point and TH's next strategy: ignore the caucus results. She has been doing this the whole time anyways and her continual insistance to ignore a large part of this process is careless.

Okay, let's go by TH rules. Count FL and MI and discount popular votes in the caucus states.

Obama: 13,025,003
Clinton: 12,421,316

Hmmm... That's over 600,000 votes that he's leading by. And that's by Clinton rules. That number is almost unstoppable. Now, let's do the real math and see where Obama ACTUALLY stands with the caucus numbers added in.

Turnout Obama % Clinton % Popular vote advantage

IA: 220,588 38 30 Obama +17,646
NV: 117,599 45 51 Clinton +7,055
WA: 250,000 68 32 Obama +90,000
ME: 45,000 59 40 Obama +8,550

Now, his lead is over 700,000. What is we were to add in his TX caucus results. Since this has yet to be certified, I can only guess. There were 1,000,000 caucusers in TX. We'll split it 56-44 (like CNN split it) and that gives him a gain of over 100,000 more.

Now, we're near 850,000 votes that Hillary will have to somehow make up. It's impossible. She can whine about MI and FL all she wants, but it's clear that the arithmetic points to Obama.

Her Rules = His Win

It's almost settled imo...

I said almost.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Daily Politics: The Delegate Game

CNN has come up with a fun little delegate "game" that allows you to make your own projections in all the upcoming races and see how the delegate battle will play out. If you have a few minutes, check it out.

CNN Delegate Game

My figures show Obama winning no matter what. Surprised?

Daily Politics: PC and the GOP

There are so many reasons that Obama should be the nominee over Clinton and I hopefully won't have to, but will talk about many of them in the weeks to come, but one thing is very clear to me: The GOP is scared of Obama.

They are not scared of him for the right reasons though. Sure, he is a centrist with a liberal heart who appeals to millions, but McCain has similar qualities. The issue is going to be the campaign for the GE. If Clinton is the nominee, we can expect business as usual. They will slam her record and rile up their base around the hatred of her. However, they will be a lot more caustious to slam Obama. Why though?

The GOP has not been the party of human rights to say the least. Campaigning against an AA can be a very slippery slope for them and I think that they will shy away from personal attacks. This will leave the door open for the Dems to slam a checkered 20 year senate run where the candidate can't see beyond the barrel of his gun. Furthermore, sexism seems to be a lot more acceptable and Clinton hate is a lot more rooted than Obama hate (which is non-exsistant beyond TH).

Daily Politics: Excuses, excuses

Again, I must apologize for my absense. Our computer has yet to be fixed and we have had no time to deal with it. I have been behind in my primary reporting and to top it off, Korean cable just dropped CNN for some odd reason. I'm so upset.

Regardless, tomorrow is very crucial, but apparently, Clinton claims that she is staying in the race. I predict a loss in Texas and a single-digit win in Ohio. She and her husband had claimed that she would have to bow out if she lost either one of the big ones, but now she says she's "just getting warming up".

To make the statement that a loss in an of the four primaries is a signal that Obama is a passing fad is insulting to Dems and voters. I'm so tired of her "wait and see" strategy and this thing needs to end soon. McCain is not attacking Obama like she is and the RNC is not doing it either. She is giving them talking points. Clinton will be such an easy defeat in November and again, she's leaving me saying, "How can she be this selfish?"

We'll see what happens.