Current Events Ramblings, June 29

Enough about Korea for the moment, let's check in on what's going on in America.  Not a whole lot good, that I can tell.

Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia died yesterday, at the age of 92, after plaguing the American people in the Senate for over 50 years.  Not to speak ill of the dead, but the country is better off without him.  Byrd was known as the "king of pork."  He brought massive amounts of tax payers dollars--tax payers from other states, mind you--to his home state, thus being the consummate "democrat", i.e., buying votes to get re-elected.  Of course, all "democrat" (not the party) politicians do, Byrd was simply a master at it.  He was the epitome of what is wrong with this country--spending other people's money for self-aggrandizement, and that is why the United States is 13 trillion dollars in debt.  When are people going to learn to take care of themselves?  Well, why should they, as long as politicians are willing to do it (and they certainly are, in order to stay in power).  Good riddance, Senator Byrd.  How about taking a few dozen more with you?

Yesterday Vice President Biden called a man a "smart a--" for requesting lower taxes, i.e., doing something intelligent and worthwhile.  There's the mindset of the Obama administration and the Democratic party in general.  They cuss out anybody who wants to keep the money he's earned. 

Ha.  Ten Russians spies were arrested yesterday by the FBI.  The KGB (now the SVR) is still at it.  Not surprising, since Vladimir Putin is an ex-KGB agent.  Back to the good ol' days.  Come on, Russkies, let's have some fun, send a few more to America, though I'm sure the Obama administration will glady tell you anything you want to know.

The School Board in Provincetown, Massachusetts decided that they would limit giving out free condoms to those in the fifth grade and up.  Apparently, before that they were giving them to fourth graders and down.  Yes, I surely needed a condom when I was in the first grade...

Maybe I'll stay in South Korea for awhile and eat tofu kimchi and gamja tang (pig bone soup boiled with potatoes and other vegetables)...

Current Events Ramblings, June 28, Paju City, South Korea

I won't do a day-by-day recap of my activities on this blog, but for the first few days I'll give a synopsis because several of you have asked me how things are going.  It's 6:14 AM as I type this; I went to bed last night before 8, and woke up for good about 5 this morning.  Jet lag is a problem for everybody heading overseas; I'll get over it soon.  I'll have to because the Village has me working from 1-9 PM tonight (and every day through Friday).  It might have been nice to have a couple of days to get adjusted to the time difference, but frankly, I don't really have a whole lot else to do.  I went grocery shopping yesterday, will set up a bank account and have a physical (mandatory) this morning, and then....well, go to work.  I cannot recall ever being as tired as I was last night when I went to bad; I was literally aching I was so tired.  But, even though I'm still a little tired this morning, I do feel better, at least in that regard.  I'll probably fight this depression the rest of my life, but maybe the Koreans can acupuncture or moxa cautery it out of me.  What is moxa cautery, you ask?  That's where the doctor treats you by applying heat to the diseased area by using mugwort and other herbs.  Yes, I can't wait to apply some mugwort to my head...Wait till I tell you what these people eat.  I have a feeling I'm going to lose a lot of weight in the next year.  And I'll probably break my chocolate habit as well, because a SMALL bag of M&Ms cost about $2.50.  Care packages from abroad will be greatly appreciated.  South Korea is not a Third World country; it's quite modern.  The grocery store I was taken to yesterday was called "E-Mart," and had a good variety of products.  Unfortunately, I couldn't tell what most of them were because everything was in Korean.  And I couldn't ask the hawkers who were standing around (and there were several) because none of them spoke English.  Blasted fereners...anyway, I bought $100 worth of groceries and brought almost nothing home, so it's expensive here, more so than I thought it would be.  There is also a Costco not far from here and I'd like to visit there sometime.  Maybe I can buy M&Ms in bulk and save some money.

It's "monsoon" season in Korea, which lasts from about now till the end of July.  It doesn't rain all the time, but it's very humid--Louisiana-type humidity--and sudden, mighty storms can crop up quickly.  The aviary population in this country is quite interesting.  I guess I knew this, but I had never heard one before except on a clock--there is actually a "cuckoo" bird, and that's exactly what it sounds like.  And if I ever find one, I'm going to shoot the sucker because he starts about 3 AM in the morning and never shuts up.  There is also a bird (I don't know what it's called) that sounds exactly like a typewriter.  The first time I heard him (her?) I literally thought that someone down the hall was typing something.  What other sorts of strange creatures lurk about I know not, but I'll keep you abreast.

Well, that's about all for now.  I'm hoping, very soon, to start putting posts on my Bible blogs so keep checking.  And whatever current events interest me will show up here.  Nothing excites me at the moment, but then I haven't paid much attention, for rather obvious reasons.  The whole country of South Korea was in mourning yesterday because their soccer team lost in the World Cup to Uruguay, or some such mud puddle, and that would make anybody mourn.  America lost, too, but I wonder if anybody in the states knows it.  More later....

Current Events Ramblings, June 26, Paju City, South Korea

Greetings from Geonggyi English Village in Paju City, Republic of Korea.  I arrived here about 3:30 local time, worked my way through immigrations, customs, etc., and arrived at the Village (henceforth, GEV) about 6 PM.  I haven't had a chance to see much of it, but it IS a village--shops, stores, apartments, schools--everything to put students in an "English" atmosphere to help them learn the language.  The local HR man, Mike Buckner (an American) greeted me and showed me my apartment, gave me some information, and was generally helpful and an all-around nice guy.  I'm not going to get lost in this "apartment;" think "one bed, Motel 6" room and you'll have about the size.  But it has a washing machine (no dryer), fridge, microwave, central heat/air and private bath, but no closet, so I'm going to have a bit of a problem keeping my clothes from wrinkling.  I'm on the third floor and have a small balcony, with a decent view of the building across the alley.  Whoever recently vacated this apartment was nice enough to leave me a small box of ramen soup with a couple of sticks to eat it with, plus a bottle of water, some pizza crackers, and a can of Korean soda called "Cider," which is supposed to taste like Sprite, but I haven't tried it yet.  The school is going to take me grocery shopping tomorrow and I have no idea what I'll come home with.  Oh, the apartment also has a TV, but chances are pretty good I'll never turn that on.  The Internet access is DSL, fairly fast, and free, and that's the best part.

Anyway, that's about all I can tell you at the moment.  Time-wise, if you are in the Eastern time zone (USA), I'm 13 hours ahead of you, 14 in CST, 15 in MDT, and 16 in PDT, and that will all change when the US goes back to God's time.  Korea doesn't make the switch, I don't think.  Bottom line is, if it's noon where you are, it's the middle of the night here, and visa versa, so adjust accordingly.  I don't have a phone yet, and I'm not sure I'm even going to get one, but I'll check my email regularly, and in due course, I'll provide an emergency phone number for those who need it.

Well, it's almost 9:30 PM, Seoul-time, which means it's 7:30 AM where you are, mom, but at least for the moment, we are on the same day--Saturday.  You're probably still in bed, and that's where I'm fixing to be.  I'll be back and blog some more soon, and maybe get some pictures up here, too.  The GEV is a real nice place, very modern.  Aretha, tell George I haven't seen one bus rumbling sideways down the road, and I'm less than half an hour from Munsan.  That should bring back some memories for him.

Ahn yong hi kay seh oh.  That's the transliteration of Korean for "good-bye."  As to how to pronounce it, your guess is as good as mine.

Current Events Ramblings, June 25

     At the moment, I'm sitting in the airport in San Francisco waiting for my flight to Seoul, Korea, where I will spend at least the next year teaching English at the Geonggyi English Village--and I can't pronounce it, either.  Actually, the Village is about an hour northeast of Seoul, less than 5 miles from the North Korean border, as I noted in my last post.  This wasn't my first choice for a job, it was my only choice.  Nothing else came up that I could live on and I need to get to work.  It will be interesting, but I'm a bit melancholy at the moment, leaving everything/everyone behind.  But that's life.  There must be 1,000 people at this gate waiting for the flight to Seoul, which will take about 12 hours, and if I'm not mistaken, I've got a middle seat.  That will be wonderful (pardon my sarcasm), but it will be over soon.  I'll keep posting when I arrive in Korea, of course, but I'm not sure when I'll get back to consistent writing.  Keep checking, Lord willing, I'll be back on all my blogs soon.
     Happy birthday, sis!

Current Events Ramblings, June 21

Unless something really strange happens, sometime in the very near future (probably this week) I will be leaving for South Korea to teach English at the Geonggyi English Village.  I have spent the last 6 months trying to find a job, but the "hope" and "change" President Obama promised simply hasn't come my way, nor have I been benefited by the near trillion dollar "stimulus" bill passed by Congress last year that supposedly has gotten our economy back on track.  Well, being a white male, I doubt any of that was intended for me anyway.  The only job offer I received was from South Korea, so that appears to be where I'm headed.  The "English village" I will be working at is about 2 miles from the North Korean border, so if a war starts, I'll get a first hand view.  I'll take some pictures and post them of Seoul going up in smoke from the nuke that Kim Il-jong drops on them.  I'm really not worried about a war between the two countries.  The United States isn't going to let South Korea go to war and the Chinese will prevent North Korea, mainly because we and the Chinese would have to get involved and the last thing China wants in a war with America.  Not because they are afraid of our military, but they are taking us over economically, so why would they risk that by fighting a war with us?  Anyway, my point of this post is that I'm liable to be fairly busy the next few days and if I don't get much posting done, then keep checking because I will be back.  I just don't know when.  God bless you all.

Current Event Ramblings, June 18

Not a lot to ramble about lately, or at least nothing that's interested me much.  A bit on the BP oil spill.

I just want to remind my readers that Obama LOVES this thing, and the longer it goes on, the better he perceives it.  He's hoping to blacken big oil so bad as to get Congress to pass his cap-and-trade legislation.  He knows he needs to get that done before November, because the Democrats are going to take a beating then and he won't get much of substance passed after that.  I don't expect the Republicans to win either house of Congress, but they'll make major gains.  Unlike some "conservatives," I tend to think this is an anti-incumbent, "throw all the bums" out mood in the country, not just anti-Democratic party.  But they'll suffer the most, obviously, because they control the White House and both houses of Congress.  Look for a major push on cap-and-trade before the summer is out.  The Dems will have to do it by September, because Congress will go into campaign mode after that.

The fact that Obama is taking a hit in the polls over the BP oil spill is no big deal to him.  He knows how short the public's memory is, especially when the major media, in order to defend him, will drop the whole thing after the leak is sealed and the spilled cleaned up (how much have you heard from CNN, MSNBC, CBS, etc. about the health care bill lately?).  This isn't Bush and Katrina; the media wasn't about to let us forget that, but they won't do that to Obama.

Does anybody in America know what the World Cup is?  Does anybody care?  Quick--name me one person on the U.S. team.  Or is it just me that believes that that sport is just a brawl in the stands where a soccer game breaks out?

Current Event Ramblings, June 9

As noted on my last "Ramblings," I didn't think I'd get much posting done for the next few days, but things worked out to where I got a lot of blogs written today.  Check "Mark's Bible Blog" for all the different posts.  Should keep you busy reading for awhile.  Haven't had a chance to change the "Quote of the Day" for a few days, but I think I'll leave that one up there for awhile.  It's a classic.

My good buddy, Gary, sent me an email a little while ago which I forwarded on to a lot of you.  It was incredible.  It contained five pictures, each of the last five Presidents at a press conference--Obama, Bush, jr., Clinton, Bush, sr., and Reagan.  In each picture of the previous four presidents, the American flag can be seen in the background.  In Obama's picture--no American flag.  It is utterly impossible to believe that was by accident, though if anyone calls their hand on it, I'm sure that's what they'd say.  Even I was shocked--for a moment.  It didn't take me long to remember, however, that Barack Obama hates this country and everything it has stood for.  He wants to "change" it, and that probably means the flag, too.

Benjamin Bernanke, chairman of the Fed, says that the economic "recovery" is widening.  The Dow shot up initially today, but then investors realized who was speaking and so selling began and the Dow closed down about 40 points and remains under 10,000.  Don't believe anything Bernanke says, folks.  The Federal Reserve is one of the major causes of the current economic crisis, and as long as Bernanke keeps up his inflationary policy, the American economy will struggle.  You simply cannot print and spend your way to ultimate prosperity.  It's like giving someone a credit card, and when they've maxed that out buying stuff, give them another one.  And another one. And another one. Oh, yes, they'll end up with a lot of items, but someday those creditors are going to want their money back.  And that's what America will some day face.  What will we do?  I don't know.  Declare bankruptcy?  Nobody will loan us money any more.  And that might not be a bad thing.  Living within our means is a novel concept to politicians.  And to the people whose votes they buy. Both of them, for the survival of the country, are going to have to do it.  But that will also mean abolishing the Fed, whose chairmans apparently know no policy except artificially low interest rates and printing greenbacks--both of which are horribly destructive to an economy.

Incidentally, I agree with Helen Thomas.  If the Jews would get out of Palestine, land that they've been stealing for the last 60 years, and go back to where they came from--Poland, Germany (Hitler's dead, folks), Russia (so is Stalin), the USA, Mexico--wait a minute, Mexico probably wouldn't let them in...shucks, they could come to America illegally and get free everything....anyway, if the Jews would get out of Palestine, that would solve about 90% of the Middle East's problem.  At least, as far as the US is concerned.  There will always be problems over there; as long as there are 2 Arabs in the world, they are going to fight.  They've been doing it for thousands of years, and they'll keep doing it until the Lord comes back.  That's why I'm not terribly concerned about Islam, though we certainly need to keep an eye on them and our nukes primed.  Islam is almost as divided as Christianity and they fight about it--each other.  But there would be no reason for us to stick our noses in it.

Especially, if we'd send Obama and all the environmental wackos to...Palestine? that we could drill for oil here.  As soon as we become energy independent, we won't need to bother with the Middle East any more.  Let bin Laden and Ahmadinejad fight it out amongs themselves.  And may the worse man win.

Current Event Ramblings, June 7

     I'm going to be traveling for the next few days, so if I don't get a whole lot of posting done, that will be the reason.  There's not much new on the world scene at the moment anyway, except for Urine Van Der Snot, or whatever his name is.  Can't figure that one out.  Guy kills 2 women in 2-3 years and it's headline news for days.  We've got people in America that kill that many every day.  But the Van Der Sloot story is a pretty good indication of how dry things are, news-wise, now.  Everybody is tired of the oil spill, and people are SURE tired of seeing Barack Obama's face on TV.  I was tired of in January 21 of last year.

     Keep checking back.  I'll post when I can.

Current Event Ramblings, June 3

     That mess over Israel and Hamas and that ship approaching Gaza is still hot stuff today.  I have some views on the subject that no conservatives seem to agree with, but that's neither here nor there.  If you're interested in a Biblical perspective, go to "Mark's Bible Blog" and read the article on Israel that I posted today.

      Should there be instant replay in baseball, covering more than just home runs?  I really have no strong views about it; I can see it both ways.  An unlucky pitcher last night lost a perfect game with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning when an umpire blew a call--and later admitted he did.  That's a tough one, because that poor pitcher will probably never come close to pitching a perfect game again; not that he's a bad pitcher, but a perfect game has only been done 20 times in all of baseball history (though, curiously, it's been done twice so far this season).  I don't know about instant replay, but I do know that that pitcher, Armando Galarraga, has an awful lot of class.  Today, before his team's game, he took the lineup card out to home plate, shook hands with the offending umpire, and patted him on the shoulder.  Now, that's class, and you gotta respect and admire a man that will do that.  If only sports had more people like him, instead of the whiners, punks, druggies, and babies that populate most of today's professional sports.

     I'm in Oklahoma at the moment, and my good buddy, George, and I were talking politics today.  "Oklahoma has done everything it can to stop this mess," he said to me.  "We've got 2 Republican Senators, nothing but Republicans in the House, and every single county went Republican in the 2008 presidential election.  What else can we do?"
     When more Americans finally wake up and realize what this country was founded to be--a confederation of sovereign states that gave very limited power to the entity it created--the federal government--then we might have a chance to restore the United States to greatness.  Without Abraham Lincoln, Oklahoma might very possibly be the best state in the country to live in.  But Lincoln destroyed what the founders created and he put in place an all-powerful federal government that can no longer be controlled by the states.  I'll hammer that point till I die.  I've made a few converts along the way.
     George, methinks you are not far from the kingdom of God....

Current Event Ramblings, June 2

Not a lot worthy of comment lately, but here's a little bit.

Al and Tipper Gore are getting a divorce.  Bummer.  I don't like Al Gore's politics, but I don't like to see anybody get a divorce.  The breakdown of the family is probably the number one cause of collapse in this country.

I can solve the Israeli-Palestinian problem--and most terrorism--in a heartbeat.  All that needs to happen is for Israel to give the land back they've stolen from the Palestinians over the last 60 years--and pull out.  That would solve the problem immediately.  Not going to happen, of course, any more than the United States is going to give land back to the Indians and Mexico that we stole from them in the 19th century (however, it looks like Mexico is about to steal it back).  "Might makes right" in historical politics.

They are saying now that the BP oil spill might go on until August, and if the currents hit just right, the oil might sweep up the east coast.  Obama, wrongfully, will get much of the blame, except he's now taking much of the responsibility for doing something about it.  But then, he doesn't know the purpose of government, either.  Read my earlier post on the inability of the federal government to handle such matters.  I won't repeat my comments here.

"Shouldn't the federal government at least regulate the building of oil rigs, pipelines, etc. to make sure this sort of thing never happens?"  For the most part, no.  All the government (and this is mostly a state matter) should do is pass stringent liability laws--you hurt somebody, you're going to pay, big time.  Other companies will get the message, and if they don't, then they can pay super-fines for disasters as well.  We don't need bureaucrats telling private business how to build its buildings, etc.  Just fry them if they cause damage to people or property.  Companies will then set proper buiding codes themselves.  Make this oil spill so financially painful for BP that they'll make sure, as best as humans can, that another one never occurs.  Or, better yet, totally ban them from the country.  "If you can't do business in this country without destroying lives and property, then you aren't going to do business here, period.  You want access to our markets, make sure you don't damage people and property."  That would rattle a few cages.  Accidents can happen.  Negligence and incompetence should be severely punished.

But, government regulation?  Remember, folks, it was the Army Corps of Engineers that build the dikes that busted that created the flooding and catastrophe after hurricane Katrina.  Do we really want people like that overseeing building projects?  "Negligence" and "incompetence" are two very good words describing most government agencies.

Oh, and somebody else to fry:  the wacko environmentalists who demand that oil rigs be built so far from land that disasters like this truly become disasters.