Current Events Ramblings, July 28

Today is actually my last day at work.  I've got tomorrow and Saturday to get some things mailed and packed, and then do some cleaning.  Sunday morning an aiport shuttle will pick me up here at EV and hopefully, I'll be in China by early afternoon.  There are some good people here at English Village, and as I said before, it's been a worthwhile year.  But it's time to move on.  I probably won't have a chance to post again until I get to China, but I'll do so as quickly as I can after I arrive.

I had absolutely no doubts that the NFL owners and players would come to an agreement.  They weren't about to lose billions by missing the season, or any part of it.  From what I read, the owners might have gotten a little better of the deal, but the players aren't going to starve.  It's a good time to be in pro sports.

I also have absolutely no doubt that Congress will come up with some plan to avoid defaulting on August 2.  They'll solve it, but it won't be worth anything.  It's all form over substance.  Obama hasn't come up with a plan at all.  He doesn't want to come up with one, he wants the Republicans to do it so that he can talk about how it only helps the rich and how it's all George Bush's fault.  The last I read about Speaker John Boehner's plan, it was horrible.  They would raise the debt ceiling another $1 trillion dollars almost immediately, but any supposed "cuts" would be put off into the future--which means never.  I don't know if that's the plan that will pass or not, but it hardly matters.  Congress won't do what it ought to do until a disaster happens; and then it probably won't know what to do.  There are plenty of areas where they could make substantial cuts; they could start by abolishing the Department of Education, which, given the disaster American education has become, has obviously failed miserably at whatever job it was supposed to do.  And I'm sure there are plenty of other Cabinet departments that could (should) be dismantled and the American people would be much better off and would probably never notice (I wonder how many Americans could name 10 Cabinet offices; there are over 20, I'm not even sure the exact number now.  George Washington had a Secretary of State, a Secretary of Treasury, and a part-time attorney general.  There may have been a Department of War, too, memory fails me here).  In a way, I hope Congress doesn't come up with a deal.  I suspect the world--or the country--wouldn't come to an end if that happened and if it shuts down the government (except for "essential services") because Congress can't borrow the money to pay otherwise...would that be a bad thing?  Come to think of it, what is the government doing funding non-essential services?  I know what they are doing--they are buying votes.  It's democracy, it's mediocrity, and it's what the people deserve because it's what they elected.  And it's what you get when you give mediocrity the vote.

I don't know what would happen if August 2 came without a settlement.  But I'm not worried about it, because they'll come up with something.  And it won't be any good.  And I'll be in China anyway.  Good luck, suckers.

Great Quote

"The fact that we are here today to debate raising America 's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the US Government cannot pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government's reckless fiscal policies. Increasing America 's debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that the buck stops here.' Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better."

Senator Barack Obama, March 2006

A Quick Update, July 18

I'm still on schedule to fly out of here on July 31 for Dalian, China.  There's a lot left to do, and I'm taking most of this week off to get it done.  The work visa is the biggest headache; I've got to go to Seoul this week, at least once, maybe twice, to get that taken care of.  I'll have a few boxes to mail, and then final packing to do.  I don't have just a whole lot of stuff, so I trust that won't be much of a pain.  An airport shuttle will conveniently pick me up here at English Village early July 31, and then the university people are going to meet me in Dalian when I arrive there.  It's only an hour flight from Seoul to Dalian.  They have an apartment for me in Dalian, so in a couple of weeks, I'll be sleeping in a new bed, Lord willing.

As I've said before, I'm ready to leave Korea.  Getting back to teaching university students will be a plus.  There are some good folks here who've been a big help and I'll remember them always.  But it's time to move on.

Current Events Ramblings, July 5

Just a quick note to keep every interested body up-to-date.  I'm slowly putting everything together to leave Korea for a new adventure in China.  I reported earlier that my last work day would be July 22; that's been pushed back to Friday, the 29th, and I'll fly out of Korea on the 31st.  Dalian is only about 250 miles from Paju, and one hour behind, so I will arrive in China about the same time I left Korea.  I'll get a very nice severence pay check, the retirement monies I paid in here will be given to me, and I'll get my room deposit back and about $400 towards my flight to China (which is more than it costs).  The biggest headache I'm going to have is getting to the Chinese embassy in Seoul to get the work visa.  I have absolutely no idea how to get there, but I'm asking around to see if anybody can direct me.  I don't think getting the visa will be a problem, but it will be a pain.  Other than that, except for some of the kids we've had recently, everything is ok.  Well, I've felt pretty rotten, but I know that some of that is the stress of what's coming up.  It's part of what I deal with in life.  I'm anxious to leave here; I will certainly NOT miss Korean food.  The final blow was the barbecued eggplant they served one day, and the soup that was so hot it would have melted hell.  Even McDonald's will look good.