Current Event Ramblings, March 28

Thought I'd check in.  I haven't felt very well lately, so I haven't felt like doing a whole lot of writing.  But I'm still alive and things are going well enough over here.  My contract here ends at the end of June; I'd like to get back to the states, and I've sent some resume's over there, but nothing has turned up yet.  I'll stay over here, if necessary.  I like to eat and I need to pay my bills, and the money here is certainly sufficient to do that.  But I still hope I can get back across the ocean.

On the news front, I don't know what we're doing in Libya.  Ghaddafi--or however he spells it--is no threat to anybody but his own people, and if we took out every thug in the world that matched that description, we'd have to bomb half the countries on earth.  Saddam Hussein at least threatened much of our oil supply, which wouldn't have been a problem, either, if the environmentalists would let us drill in Alaska and North Dakota and every place else we control where oil is over abundant.  But, for some reason, we've got to stick our noses into Libya, or scream like we did about Egypt, which, again, was no threat to us.  Maybe Obama is trying to show how tough he is, I don't know.  I wish we would slowly pull all our troops off the world stage and let other countries take care of themselves; we can move fast enough to get troops anywhere we'd need to get them.  We've got an invasion of our own country that we need to stop, and that's where our military emphasis needs to be.

But the Egypt and Libya things are another reason I'm not overly concerned with Islam.  They fight each other more than they do anybody else, and the Arabs have been doing that for thousands of years.  And they'll keep doing it.  A divided Islam is certainly less of a threat than a united one.  And if we'd quit butting into their business, the situation would be even better.

Geraldine Ferraro, the first woman Vice-Presidential candidate, died a couple of days ago.  That gives me a chance to say a word about Sarah Palin.  The liberals hate her guts, of course--one always hates what one fears--and the RINOs (Republicans In Name Only, i.e., establishment, liberal Republicans) don't like her, either.  I think she'd make a pretty good President.  She's got some guts and she believes the right things.  She may not be the greatest intellect in the world, but so what?  Neither was Ronald Reagan, and he was the best president we've had since Calvin Coolidge.  Brains isn't what makes a good President; will and policy are, and Palin is on the mark on both of those things.  I don't think she's got a chance, though.  The Republicans will have a long field of candidates; it's too early to try to sort them all out now.

Current Events Ramblings, the Ides of March: No Nuclear Disaster in Japan

We've got high school students coming from today until Thursday, but they aren't here yet, so I've got a little time to kill.  I thought I'd expostulate for a few minutes on the nuclear problem that Japan is dealing with.  I don't think anything catastrophic is going to happen, and, if not, this will be a disappointment to the left who hopes for a serious crisis that will end the use of nuclear power.  It's all in their philosophy, and I'll go through it again.

As I've pointed out before in my posts, a major, major key to understanding modern liberalism is their belief in their own intellectual superiority, that human reason (theirs) can provide all the answers to man's problems if we would simply turn the world over to them.  This is why the three major enemies of the left are wealth, religion, and the family.  Each of those entities is self-supporting and thus doesn't need the intellectual direction of secular leftist elites.  But if people are poor, they are dependent.  If there is no religion, no God, then human reason becomes the all in all.  If there is no family training children in ways that family wishes them to go, then that leaves direction and rearing in the hands of that same leftist intellectual class--it takes a village, you know.  Public, state-run education is a perfect example of the left's desires--propagandize young minds in contrary ways to what religion and the family would teach and hopefully cookie-cutter robots will be produced, ready to follow the will of their intellectual superiors.  It comes out of the Enlightenment of the 18th century and it's all based on the supposed superiority of human reason--God must go.  All of this is simply history, folks, and to be found in their own writings.  I've read it and you can, too.  But you don't have to read it; it can be seen in their actions.

Since--in liberal theology--there is no God, this life is all we have.  We must produce a Utopia on this earth.  Again, the left (in its own mind) knows how to do this, and has indeed tried it in places like the Soviet Union, communist China, Cuba, and revolutionary France in the 1790s.  And, of course, these were serious failures.  They claim, however, that the failures were either because the leftist "revolutionaries" did not go far enough, or, more often, the stupid masses were too entrenched in their traditional, conservative ways to be sufficiently compliant to leftist doctrine (hence, again, the great emphasis the left puts today on public education directed by secular intellectuals in order to re-educate the ignorant populace into more "progressive" thinking).  And since this world is all we have and must be turned into the heaven we won't have after life is over, things such as nuclear power, coal, fossil fuels, automobiles, etc. must be abolished; they harm, or could harm, the planet.  Global warming is another example.  It is being caused (according to the left) by human industry and will destroy the earth.  So only government controls (i.e., control by the left) can save the Utopia they hope to produce.  Hence, abolish nuclear power, etc., and turn to solar, wind, and other non-fossil forms of energy.  This is only one form modern liberalism manifests itself, but it is a significant one.

It's a pipe-dream, of course, and it will never happen, could never happen.  God can shrug His shoulders any time He wants to and produce 9.0 earthquakes, and there isn't a thing in the world anybody can do about it.  There will never be a utopia on this earth, especially if the modern "progressive" gets too much power.  We know from history the terror-filled socialistic dung heap produced when the left takes control--the aforementioned French Revolution, Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, Khmer Rouge, and Mao and Communist China.  These weren't "failures"; they were the logical conclusion of a society without God, run by men with no moral compass or conscience, whose only goal was power and control.  And, without God, why not?  What does Adolf Hitler care, right now, what we think of him?  All of these leftists revolutionaries were believers in an earthly paradise and ended up killing untold millions of people who stood in their way, and they did it all in the name of the "people."  "We're just doing it for your own good."  "You can't make an omelette without breaking some eggs," is the way Joseph Stalin put it.  But it didn't work--can't work--because of the imperfectibility of humanity.  And that's called sin.  And that will never be cured, especially by an atheistic elite who doesn't even believe in it.

The most that can be hoped for on this earth is to have some trade-offs.  The best life for as many people as possible involves some risks--like the use of fossil fuels, until capitalism--freedom for creativity--produces something superior.  And above all we must be wise and learn the true lesson of the Japanese earthquke and tsunami--this life, for every human being, will at some point have an ending.  It may come naturally, or it may come by catastrophic means.  But that end will come.  And the truly wise will prepare for it and encourage others to do the same thing.

One final note on the Japanese tragedy.  A little while ago, I received an email from the high school girl in Japan whom I mentioned in my post a couple of days ago.  She had just heard that her best friend and another close friend were killed in the earthquake.  The world that we live in can be very sad.

Current Event Ramblings, March 13

I received an email from Aretha Bower asking if we'd felt the Japanese earthquake and no, we didn't.  We had some Japanese high school students here several weeks ago and I've been in occasional correspondence with one of them since, so I wrote to her to see if she and the other students were ok.  I didn't know how close they were to the quake, though I did know they lived in northern Japan.  She wrote back and told a pretty hairy tale of buildings shaking, aftershocks, and power blackouts, but they weren't too near the epicenter so didn't have too much damage.  I've been in earthquakes before, though never one of the length and magnitude of this Japanese quake.  A few seconds is frightening enough; I can't imagine two minutes of it.  The nuclear reactors are the major concern now, but if it anybody can fix them, it would be the Japanese.  We'll hear from the anti-nuclear power people about this, of course, as soon as things settle down, but if it took an 8.9 earthquake to create a problem, then I wouldn't think there IS much of a problem.  The richter scale only goes to 12; 8.9 is a horrible earthquake, the strongest I've ever heard of....hang on, I just got another email from my Japanese student.  The poor girl must be scared to death................well, she sounded a little better.  She's heard about how the countries of the world (especially America) are rushing in to help.  That's nice to hear; the U.S. is always first in line to help disaster victims and always first in line to get blamed for the rest of the world's problems.  She said they'll have blackouts again tonight, which is bad because northern Japan is still under snow and extremely cold weather.  It's a sad situation, but that's the world we live in, and the Lord doesn't intend for us to be here forever.  Hopefully, we'll all be ready when something takes us to the other side.

Asia is a pretty interesting part of the world.

Current Event Ramblings, March 11

It's been awhile since I've posted here, but we've been pretty busy and that's pretty exhausting.  We've got middle school students only this week, and all boys.  They are extremely rowdy and very poor with their English, so they don't pay much attention, talk all the time in class, and generally require more energy than I have.  I think perhaps the most disappointing thing that I've seen about Korea since I've been here is the behavior of the elementary and middle school students.  Westerners tend to have this view of Oriental children that they are very respectful of their elders and that, unlike American students, are quiet and studious in class.  At least, that's was my thinking before I arrived here.  Not so.  I don't know all of the reasons, but I suspect it's partly because the Koreans have borrowed the stupid Western idea that students aren't to be disciplined except in ways that are totally ineffectual.  Some of these kids need to be taken out and have their backsides busted--but we can't do that.  When you couple that with the Western feminist influence in Korea--many, many women now work and thus aren't at home to train their children as effectively as they could otherwise--then it's not too surprising to see such rowdiness among their children.  The kids still tend to be more respectful than Western kids, but if the Koreans keep going this way, it will only get worse for them.  I hope they realize it before it's too late.

And the South Korean government struck in a way that governments are wont to do.  We foreign teachers received a nasty surprise the other day when we were informed that our tax rate was to be the same as Koreans of the same income.  I'm not terribly sure that's fair since we don't have all of the same rights and benefits of citizens, but regardless of that, it's not what we were told when we signed our contracts.  Thus, since the taxes withheld on foreign teachers last year were less than for Koreans, and that tax rate is now being applied to last year's income, a lot of English Village teachers have gotten stuck with pretty high tax paybacks--into the hundreds of dollars and perhaps even thousands, I don't know.  I do know that there was an extreme amount of discontent and anger among foreign teachers to have this dropped on them suddenly and thus having to pay these extra taxes.  I didn't get hit since I was only here for half a year--indeed, I got a whopping $12 return, which would have been much more, of course, without the change in policy.  It's not the fault of English Village, it's just government.  They do what they want to do whenever they want to do it, and the people have no recourse except revolution.  Or getting shot.  Or complaining ineffectually.  The last is our only recourse here and so, obviously, nothing can be done.  But not all tyranny in Korea is on the other side of the border.

It's time for work so I need to go--I do have an adult class this morning which will be a joy.  I'm going to try to find some time later in the day or weekend to add a little more; there are a few things I'd like to comment on but that will have to wait until I have more energy.