Sunday, November 27, 2005


Guess who walks right into the middle of an Anti-Bush anti USA rally in Pyongteck?


I had about 1 hr to kill because of delayed trains so I went outside to see what all of the noise was about. I went over to see the art work thinking of maybe its a strike, I saw KTX workers on strike a few days ago at Seoul Station. Nope! I saw that it was my old friends from the Korean left.
The cartoon potrayed American as Nazi, Bush as Hitler, anti-us BS. I just walked through the artwork and shook my head. I saw a few Koreans looking at it and shaking their heads also, a few of them saw me and bowed to me (as to say we are sorry for this) I bowed back. The stage speaker saw me but nothing happened. I felt a little tense but nothing happened.

I was thinking that what a way to end a Saturday, in Jail for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Thanksgiving Dinner at the USO in Seoul.

I had the usual meal for T-day but it was in Seoul Korea not in Denison Texas.

This is one of the few days of the year that I do get homesick but the meal sure helped, it took 2 KTX rides from Seoul to Daejeon but it was worth it.

Thank you USO and KTX for making the day seem bearable..

I saw it and I still do not believe it.

"The Producers" musical is comming to Korea and their will be an Korean Nazi.

I saw the ad in the local Daejeon newspaper and I was like WTF?

I could not believe that a Korean will play a NAZI. I want to know where is the protest, The Korean were made into a colony of Japan from 1905-1945 and a Korean playing an Japaneese ally from WW2.

This is just too much..

Monday, November 21, 2005

Ugly Images of Asian Rivals Become Best Sellers in Japan

TOKYO, Nov. 14 - A young Japanese woman in the comic book "Hating the Korean Wave" exclaims, "It's not an exaggeration to say that Japan built the South Korea of today!" In another passage the book states that "there is nothing at all in Korean culture to be proud of."

In another comic book, "Introduction to China," which portrays the Chinese as a depraved people obsessed with cannibalism, a woman of Japanese origin says: "Take the China of today, its principles, thought, literature, art, science, institutions. There's nothing attractive."

The two comic books, portraying Chinese and Koreans as base peoples and advocating confrontation with them, have become runaway best sellers in Japan in the last four months. In their graphic and unflattering drawings of Japan's fellow Asians and in the unapologetic, often offensive contents of their speech bubbles, the books reveal some of the sentiments underlying Japan's worsening relations with the rest of Asia.

They also point to Japan's longstanding unease with the rest of Asia and its own sense of identity, which is akin to Britain's apartness from the Continent. Much of Japan's history in the last century and a half has been guided by the goal of becoming more like the West and less like Asia. Today, China and South Korea's rise to challenge Japan's position as Asia's economic, diplomatic and cultural leader is inspiring renewed xenophobia against them here.

Kanji Nishio, a scholar of German literature, is honorary chairman of the Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform, the nationalist organization that has pushed to have references to the country's wartime atrocities eliminated from junior high school textbooks. Mr. Nishio is blunt about how Japan should deal with its neighbors, saying nothing has changed since 1885, when one of modern Japan's most influential intellectuals, Yukichi Fukuzawa, said Japan should emulate the advanced nations of the West and leave Asia by dissociating itself from its backward neighbors, especially China and Korea. "I wonder why they haven't grown up at all," Mr. Nishio said. "They don't change. I wonder why China and Korea haven't learned anything."

Mr. Nishio, who wrote a chapter in the comic book about South Korea, said Japan should try to cut itself off from China and South Korea, as Fukuzawa advocated. "Currently we cannot ignore South Korea and China," Mr. Nishio said. "Economically, it's difficult. But in our hearts, psychologically, we should remain composed and keep that attitude."

The reality that South Korea had emerged as a rival hit many Japanese with full force in 2002, when the countries were co-hosts of soccer's World Cup and South Korea advanced further than Japan. At the same time, the so-called Korean Wave - television dramas, movies and music from South Korea - swept Japan and the rest of Asia, often displacing Japanese pop cultural exports.

The wave, though popular among Japanese women, gave rise to a countermovement, especially on the Internet. Sharin Yamano, the young cartoonist behind "Hating the Korean Wave," began his strip on his own Web site then. "The 'Hate Korea' feelings have spread explosively since the World Cup," said Akihide Tange, an editor at Shinyusha, the publisher of the comic book. Still, the number of sales, 360,000 so far, surprised the book's editors, suggesting that the Hate Korea movement was far larger than they had believed.

"We weren't expecting there'd be so many," said Susumu Yamanaka, another editor at Shinyusha. "But when the lid was actually taken off, we found a tremendous number of people feeling this way." So far the two books, each running about 300 pages and costing around $10, have drawn little criticism from public officials, intellectuals or the mainstream news media. For example, Japan's most conservative national daily, Sankei Shimbun, said the Korea book described issues between the countries "extremely rationally, without losing its balance."

As nationalists and revisionists have come to dominate the public debate in Japan, figures advocating an honest view of history are being silenced, said Yutaka Yoshida, a historian at Hitotsubashi University here. Mr. Yoshida said the growing movement to deny history, like the Rape of Nanjing, was a sort of "religion" for an increasingly insecure nation. "Lacking confidence, they need a story of healing," Mr. Yoshida said. "Even if we say that story is different from facts, it doesn't mean anything to them."

The Korea book's cartoonist, who is working on a sequel, has turned down interview requests. The book centers on a Japanese teenager, Kaname, who attains a "correct" understanding of Korea. It begins with a chapter on how South Korea's soccer team supposedly cheated to advance in the 2002 Word Cup; later chapters show how Kaname realizes that South Korea owes its current success to Japanese colonialism. "It is Japan who made it possible for Koreans to join the ranks of major nations, not themselves," Mr. Nishio said of colonial Korea.

But the comic book, perhaps inadvertently, also betrays Japan's conflicted identity, its longstanding feelings of superiority toward Asia and of inferiority toward the West. The Japanese characters in the book are drawn with big eyes, blond hair and Caucasian features; the Koreans are drawn with black hair, narrow eyes and very Asian features. That peculiar aesthetic, so entrenched in pop culture that most Japanese are unaware of it, has its roots in the Meiji Restoration of the late 19th century, when Japanese leaders decided that the best way to stop Western imperialists from reaching here was to emulate them.

In 1885, Fukuzawa - who is revered to this day as the intellectual father of modern Japan and adorns the 10,000 yen bill (the rough equivalent of a $100 bill) - wrote "Leaving Asia," the essay that many scholars believe provided the intellectual underpinning of Japan's subsequent invasion and colonization of Asian nations. Fukuzawa bemoaned the fact that Japan's neighbors were hopelessly backward.

Writing that "those with bad companions cannot avoid bad reputations," Fukuzawa said Japan should depart from Asia and "cast our lot with the civilized countries of the West." He wrote of Japan's Asian neighbors, "We should deal with them exactly as the Westerners do."

As those sentiments took root, the Japanese began acquiring Caucasian features in popular drawing. The biggest change occurred during the Russo-Japanese War of 1904 to 1905, when drawings of the war showed Japanese standing taller than Russians, with straight noses and other features that made them look more European than their European enemies. "The Japanese had to look more handsome than the enemy," said Mr. Nagayama.

Many of the same influences are at work in the other new comic book, "An Introduction to China," which depicts the Chinese as obsessed with cannibalism and prostitution, and has sold 180,000 copies. The book describes China as the "world's prostitution superpower" and says, without offering evidence, that prostitution accounts for 10 percent of the country's gross domestic product. It describes China as a source of disease and depicts Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi saying, "I hear that most of the epidemics that broke out in Japan on a large scale are from China."

The book waves away Japan's worst wartime atrocities in China. It dismisses the Rape of Nanjing, in which historians say 100,000 to 300,000 Chinese were killed by Japanese soldiers in 1937-38, as a fabrication of the Chinese government devised to spread anti-Japanese sentiment. The book also says the Japanese Imperial Army's Unit 731 - which researched biological warfare and conducted vivisections, amputations and other experiments on thousands of Chinese and other prisoners - was actually formed to defend Japanese soldiers against the Chinese.

"The only attractive thing that China has to offer is Chinese food," said Ko Bunyu, a Taiwan-born writer who provided the script for the comic book. Mr. Ko, 66, has written more than 50 books on China, some on cannibalism and others arguing that Japanese were the real victims of their wartime atrocities in China. The book's main author and cartoonist, a Japanese named George Akiyama, declined to be interviewed.

Like many in Taiwan who are virulently anti-China, Mr. Ko is fiercely pro-Japanese and has lived here for four decades. A longtime favorite of the Japanese right, Mr. Ko said anti-Japan demonstrations in China early this year had earned him a wider audience. Sales of his books surged this year, to one million. "I have to thank China, really," Mr. Ko said. "But I'm disappointed that the sales of my books could have been more than one or two million if they had continued the demonstrations."

Friday, November 18, 2005

My co-worker wrote this for the Socius site. I am the teacher Michael. Sad to say this really happened at our school and I thought that it needed to be shared.

Contributed by Stephanie Shimko

Sometimes our quest for answers brings about better questions

Recently I’ve been spending time with more intellectual types working on advanced degrees, so my conversations of late have been more philosophical than usual. For example, the question has been asked “what are we teaching?” I think the answer(s) to this question could be discussed and debated ad nauseum. I personally feel that a better question to ask is “what are they learning?” There are a variety of reasons for this.

For example, in my hogwon there are two foreign teachers: Michael, and myself. I am a rather serious teacher, of short stature with blonde hair, blue eyes, and a pale as the moonlight complexion. Michael is one of the physically biggest men I’ve ever met in my life, and he comes from a military background. Obviously the children react to us, and therefore learn from us, in very different ways, and I think the following story is a good example of this.

Harry is about ten years old and was in one of my beginner classes. He started in the back of the classroom. He was a little odd, but enthusiastic and nice. On my first day I introduced myself saying “hello, my name is Stephanie, I’m from America, etc…” and brought a book about my hometown of Pittsburgh, PA. Afterwards, I asked if any of them had any questions. Harry’s hand shot up in the air like he was about to catch a ball that would win his team the World Series. I asked him what he question was and he replied “I love you!” and stared at me with saucer shaped eyes. Over the following weeks, Harry’s seat gradually moved from the back of the room to front and center. One day we were working on learning professions and places like police station, bakery, supermarket, and so forth. I had been asking the question “Who works at the fire station.” The first answer from the class came:

“Police station!”

“No. Who works at the fire station?”


“No… Who works at the fire station?!?”


I decided to reconsider my approach. I stopped for a moment and put my hands on my hips as I pondered. I was standing in front of Harry. Harry raised his hand and pointed to his behind.

“Teacher! Butt?” he asked me.

“Um, yes, Harry.” I replied. “That’s your butt.”

“Teacher! Butt! Sexy.” He said.

I had no idea what to say to that. This boy is ten years old, and doesn’t know enough English to tell me that the fireman works at the fire station, but he can tell me that my butt is sexy. The next sentence came from another boy:

“Teacher face! Red.”

I have no doubt that my face was as red as the fire station I had just been talking about. It was at this point that I started thinking, we shouldn’t be asking questions like “what are we teaching” and “what are they learning.” We should be asking questions like “where did you learn that?” and most importantly, “would you say that to Michael teacher?”

When this happened I was laughing my butt off, It was just so funny. There was a time that she wore a low cut shirt and when she bent down to pick up something all of the boys eyes were locked on her brest, I yelled at them, but to be honest, When I was their age I did the exact same thing.
None of the boys think my butt is sexy, I am usualy told by the boys, Michael teacher, hansome.

Friday, November 11, 2005

In the USA today is Veterans Day.

Veterans Day, formerly Armistice Day in commemoration of the signing of the Armistice ending World War I, is the anniversary of the ending of World War I. In the United States it is celebrated as a federal holiday on 11 November. World War I formally ended all major hostilities ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month with the German signing of Armistice. Armistice Day was first commemorated by President Wilson in 1919, and many states made it a legal holiday. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 inviting all Americans to observe the day, and made it a legal holiday nationwide in 1938. The holiday has been observed annually on November 11 since that date - first as Armistice Day, later as Veterans Day - except for a brief period when it was celebrated on the fourth Monday of October.

Following World War II, the name of the holiday was changed (enacted 1 June 1954) to Veterans Day to honor those who served in all American wars. The day has since evolved to primarily be a time of honoring living veterans who have served in the military during wartime or peacetime, partially due to competition with Memorial Day, which primarily honors the dead. Many nations within the British Commonwealth observe a similar occasion, Remembrance Day, on 11 November.

For those who do not know, I was in the US Army from 1989-1996. Today has always been a day of reflection for me and with the candy holiday today I had no idea how I was going to do. I have a story to tell today and its about a soldier who is no longer here.

His last name was Matthew, he was from Colorado, we called him Matt. To be honest I do not remember his first name. I met him in 1994 when I was in the Army. He was a young soldier who was part of the Field Artillery in Ft. Sill, Oklahoma. To be honest I have no idea why I liked the kid but their was something about him that I found OK.

As alot of young soldiers, he was a good kid but he starting drinking under age and the I had to deal with with. One day I was in a hurry, and I just got a call to go to the Hospital to deal with some drunk fool. Matt was acting the fool and I stoped to talk to him. (Now realize something I'm 6'4, I had a gun on my side and I was wearing a Military Police patch) I yelled at Matt very loud so everybody could hear me, "You fuck up one more time I am dragging you dumb ass to the MP station and the shit will hit the fan! Do you understand me Private Matthew." I left and took care of the drunk at the hospital.

I did not see Matt for a few weeks, I found out later that my yelling at him forced him to take a good long look at himself and he decided that he was going to stop drinking, I was told by a Sgt. of his much later, that he believed me when I told him that I would arrest him for underage drinking.

I saw him a few weeks later and he talked to me and said that he was quitting drinking, I told him If I see it (the drinking) one more time, you are going down. I told him to get lost.

It was at this time that Matt met a local girl and he fell in love big time. I was watching them and I was happy for him, she loved him and he loved her and they were both happy together. A few weeks later I went and talked to him, I told him that he was doing good and I hoped that things were going good.

As an MP, I worked alot of shift work, Matt needed to borrow a car so when I was on midnight shift, I would loan him mine so he could pick her up and drive her home. She lived out in the country by the extreem back gate of Ft. Sill.

It went on for a few months and then one night he said that he wanted to talk to me. He said that he needed advice. So we talked for awhile, he told me that they were going to get married after she finished high school and we talked about her going to college and how he needed to work on his life insurance and alot of things like that. I gave her a hug and told her to take care of my boy.

I was engaged at the time myself and I was so happy for him, I was grateful, that she was in Korea and not here, because if she would have smelled any other womans perfume in the car I knew that I was in trouble and Matt's girl liked to wear alot and my car usually stunk of it for a few days. He was my friend so you just deal with it.

He borrowed my car one night, while I was on mid shift and I told him that this month I am on mids so he could borrow the car anytime he needed. He borrowed the car and he returned the keys to me. i told him remember I am on mids so if you need it just call me and you can borrow it, no need for you to walk or take a taxi ride. We talked and he went home. That was the last time I would ever see him.

I got busy and Matt didn't call to borrow the car so I didnt worry about it. A few days later I was told by somebody at the NCO club that Matt had died, so that night I went to work and I read the SIR (Serious Incident Report) and it was all about Matt. The desk Sgt looked at me and he realized that I was not in a good frame of mind. I told him that this was my friend and now he is dead, he was 19-20 years old. Now he was dead. It was a quiet night that night, I just drove around in a daze for most of the night and I had no idea what the hell happened. I was worried if this was not an accident some MF was fixin to die.

I knew all of the ER (Emergency Room) techs and drivers and that day they saw me upset, one lady asked me what was up, I told her about Matt and I was worried that I was going to take somebody out for killing my friend. She told me not to do that, she also told me that she was the one who handled the call, then she told me what happend.

Matt had decided this night not to call me to borrow my car and that he was going to walk to his G/F house, it was a good 10 mile walk. He was wearing dark clothes that night and he was walking home from her house when it happened. A driver was driving his truck and was doing the speed limit and all of a sudden he thought that he struck a deer (In this area, hitting a deer happend alot so he didnt think anything about it.) He stopped at the Love's Truck stop and called Oklahoma Highway Partol and told them that he hit a deer and that he would go back and try and find the deer, he was afraid that he had killed the deer) the lights suck in this area, last time I was their in 2001 they still suck.

The er tech then said, The driver went back to the scene and found what he thought was the deer, when he discovered that It was a man (Matt) he just lost it, he was loosing his mind and crying when the OHP arrived, they found Matt's ID card and they called the US Army hospital for help. The tech said that when they arrived it was too late, It was later determined that he died on inpact and that he did not suffer (I pray to God this is right). It was ruled an accident due to Matts dark clothes, bad lights and no intent, after reading the report I agreed with the decision and I forgot the man name who hit Matt ASAP. It was just one of those things that happen with no rhyme or reason.

Then I was faced with one of the hardest decision that I have ever made in my life, Do I tell his future wife how this whole thing went down. I was still dealing with and to this day deal with, why the fuck did he not call me so he could drive and see his g/f, I was on mids shift i didnt need the car that night. This has haunted me for 10 years now, I had no answer then and I still have no answer now.

I decided not to and to be honest, this is the first time I have told this story since the accident, I saw her from time to time and when I last say her in 1998 she still had not married and from what I was told still no b/f. I do hope that she is happy and that one day she can read this blog.

I tried to go see the body at the furneral home but the unit had not brought the clothes yet and he was leaving the next day so I never got to say good-bye to my friend. I was told that he was going to be burried in his home state of Colorado and I was unable to find the furneral notice online for "The Lawton Constitution"

Ever year since I have done a little service on Memorial Day and on Veterans Day, The African-American soldiers would pour out some booze for their friends who have died. I have done it every Memorial and Veteran Day. I did it today, I remembered Matt and I told him that today was the day I tell your story, that I have not forgotten you and I still think of you from time to time. I poured some out for other soldiers that I know that have died. Then I poured alot out for my fater and said, Dad, still thinking of you and still missing you, I hope that you are proud of me, I have always thought that you thought of me as a failure. I miss you and love you."

Just keep to myself for awhile then the candy started being passed aound the kids seemed to love it. I knew that I was typing this story tonight. A little sad but I know that my friend will always be apart of the blog, sorry we never took a photo together. So I can not post one.

I just wanted to post a Vet srory tonight, the sad thing is I am getting older, in my memory of Matt he has not aged one bit. I gave up asking why and I hope that when I get to heaven we can talk again.

Today is Pepero Day here in Korea

Pepero Day is a holiday in South Korea similar to Valentine's Day or Sweetest Day in the West. It is named after the Korean snack food Pepero, and is celebrated on November 11, since the date "11/11" looks like four sticks of Pepero. According to the story, Pepero Day was started in 1994 by students at a girls' middle school in Busan, where they exchanged Pepero as gifts to wish one another to grow "as tall and slender as a Pepero." However, it is more likely it was really created by Lotte, the company which produces Pepero.

The holiday is observed mostly by young people and couples, who celebrate it by exchanging gifts of Pepero, other candies, and other romantic gifts. In Japan, a "Pocky Day" was held on November 11, 1999. Since 1999 was the 11th year of the Heisei era, the date consisted of all 1s, and so resembled 6 sticks of Pocky. It is unknown if this day was based on Pepero Day, though Korean sources claim it is so.

I passed out alot of this candy to my students today and they loved it. It was cheep so I really didnt mind.

To me this is Veterans Day today (see above story)

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

I love listening to the radio via internet.

Quincy Carter called the 1310 ticket, A Dallas Texas radio station,and asked to come clean about his release from Dallas and the NFL, the shows host "The Hardline" agreed to let him make his statment and Quincy said that they could ask him any question that they wanted. He made his statment and said nothing then Quincy refused to answer basic questions and he is the one who called "The Ticket" first, this was classic radio. Quincy refused to answer basic yes or no questions, he was asked, "Did you take marijuania while you were a Dallas Cowboy"? he refused to answer the question he claimed that it was a violation of the NFL rules. "He stated that he wasn't disganosed Bi-polar and that he wasn't in re-hab during his last season in the NFL with the Jets."

He kept answering question with, there is no proof that I did this or that. I kept listening to this and I'm thinking, he called and is saying nothing but opening up alot more by his actions. They asked the race question about his treating fair in Dallas, He said yes and claimed that he fell when he took his eyes of God. After the interview was over. The crew asked, What the hell was that all about?"

It was one of those moments when you are listening and it was like, what the hell was this all about. I know that Quincy is not playing foootball at this time and to be honest after listening to this, I am not sure he ever will. One question was, "If you are signed by an NFL team will you have to serve a four game suspension for past drug violations?" He refused to answer the question and when he attempted to answer he said nothing. It was surreal.

The next live commercial spot was for tool and equipment purchases, they said that these tools could be used to break down the last interview segement, it was very clear that this was very weird, even for these 2. I have been listning to "The Hardline" for years now and this will be one of the moments in the show I will bring up when I talk about strange moments on the radio.

For those who do not know me, I am A Washington Redskins fan of the American version of Football, the NFL. When weird radio comes about It is a pleasure to listen to it. Esp when I think my least favorite team in the NFL (Dallas Cowboys) are going to get exposed, it could be classic radio.

The cast tells that Quincy called on November 7, 2005 1715 CST and that he wants to call and talk to the station and that he wanted to break some news on the station, Quincy thought that he could give his mission statment and that no hard questions would be asked. It sounded like he said, their is no proof that I am Bi-Polar, and no proof that I took cocaine, He didn't shoot straight and stated that after he made the statment, that, "The Hardline" could ask him any question. These 2 are straight shooters and ask the hard questions. When Quincy refused to answer the questions it make him look more guilty. Quincy stated that he had to ask his attorney first before he could agree to come on. He is the one who made the call first. It was wild.

The callers were blasting on Quincy, (One of the host had a drug problem that required him to go to Detox he had admitted it and told his viewers about it) Greg Williams stated this and then asked Quincy about his alleged drug problems. Quincy refused. Greg and the callers went off on Quincy because of this.

It was a very intresting momnet to listen to on radio. I wonder what the after action will be due to all of this.

Stage Set for Education Wars
Teacher unions will go on strike this Saturday in protest against new teacher evaluations the government insists will go ahead on a trial basis in some 50 schools. But that is only part of a head-on clash between unions and the Education Ministry.

The Korean Teachers’ Union (KTU) also announced it will defy the ministry by using controversial class materials critical of this month’s APEC summit, which were prepared by the union’s Busan chapter, in schools nationwide while the summit is underway in the city.

The ministry was unmoved on Monday, instructing education officials to accept applications from schools that want to take part in the pilot project until Nov. 15. The scheme, already a compromise version that introduces peer evaluations and questionnaires for students and parents, is to be trialed in 48 schools in 16 provinces and cities until August next year.

The KTU has declared an all-out war against the scheme. Besides the strike, it is has also vowed to campaign for the ouster of Education Minister Kim Jin-pyo. The Korea Federation of Teachers Associations also wants the minister out and is planning a demonstration of some 20,000 teachers in front of Seoul Station on Saturday. The ministry says it will take disciplinary action against teachers who take the day off to join the protest without permission from their principals.

KTU says it will use the satirical APEC teaching aids but delete segments containing abusive language from an accompanying video that lampoons President Roh Moo-hyun and U.S. President George W. Bush. “The government says APEC promotes globalization and boosts the Korean economy, it is also true that ordinary people around the world are strongly opposed to globalization and to George W. Bush,” the union said.

Save Education From the Teachers Union
The Korea Teachers and Educational Workers Union (KTU) on Monday asked its members to vote on plans to go on strike on Saturday in protest at the government’s plan to introduce new teacher evaluations. The union plans sit-in protests at city and provincial education offices, protest rallies and a campaign for the education minister's ouster.
The KTU is the most powerful interest group and the largest union in the country. One in every three teachers is unionized, or 250,000 in all. The union’s annual budget stands at W22 billion (US$22 million), four to five times that of the Korea Confederation of Trade Unions (W5 billion) and the Federation of Korean Trade Unions (W4 billion). Backed by that budget, the KTU maintains no fewer than 107 full-time officials at its Seoul headquarters and 16 city and provincial chapters, and they are engaged upon the task of coordinating the union’s struggle and developing its ideology. What they come up with are things like a satirical video full of four-letter words that is meant as a teaching aid for the APEC summit.
The KTU problem goes beyond the present ruckus to the future of a nation whose children are being educated by members of the union, and it goes beyond education and to the heart of the country’s malaise.
We have no mineral or marine resources to speak of. Our future depends solely on teaching children well and nurturing outstanding minds. That is the job we entrust teachers with. But the KTU uses the massive power of its organization only to hurt the nation’s educational competitiveness.

Many citizens sympathized with the struggle for genuine education that occupied the KTU in its early days. The union helped reduce the rampant bribery of teachers and weed out corruption and irregularities in school management. But those days of pure motives are in the past. Now unionized teachers are bent on nothing but holding on to their rice bowls. That is why they are so relentlessly opposed to teacher evaluations that are essential if they are to improve their performance.

The KTU already virtually abolished the nationwide scholastic assessment survey. Because of union opposition, a sample of only 3 percent of third-graders is being evaluated in assessments launched in 2002. No comparison by school, region, and city and provincial Education Office is being carried out. That makes life very easy for teachers, since no comparative record of their performance is available.
Performance-related pay, introduced in 2001, is also a mere fig-leaf thanks to union agitation. Of W349.2 billion earmarked for performance bonuses this year, 90 percent is being paid equally to every teacher in the land, and only 10 percent is paid for good performance, with the maximum income difference between a teacher who works herself into an early grave and a bone-idle one amounting to a proud W50,000.
Of course the KTU is against opening education as well, mortally afraid that it will expose uncompetitive education for what it is. The union also is against teaching that differentiates between students according to their level of understanding -- on the grounds that it will create “division.” In a "Comprehensive Public Education Reform Program” it formulated last year, the KTU called for the abolition of Seoul National University's undergraduate courses and for a single unified entrance exam for the country's national and public universities.
It also proposed a maximum quota for graduates from certain universities among high-ranking civil servants, equalizing education nationwide, and closing down foreign-language and private high schools. At the same time it wants the number of teachers increased from 480,000 to 800,000, reasoning that the best way of improving education is to reduce the workload of teachers.
Wake up. China is training 13 million prospective teachers at junior colleges and 8 million in four-year universities. It is a great educational power, turning out 165,000 people with doctorates and 654,000 with master degrees a year. Under a private education development law in force since 2003, China authorizes private secondary schools to charge as much for tuition as they see fit and formulate their curricula on their own. They can dismiss incompetent teachers whenever they want.
Japan meanwhile, starting with Greater Tokyo in 2000, introduced its own teacher evaluation system whereby incompetent teachers are sent for retraining and those who still don’t make the cut fired. High school entrance exams were reintroduced and equalization is being scrapped in phases. Major corporations are opening elite schools in a bid to produce top talent.

Korea alone is bucking the worldwide trend of educational reform. The administration and ruling party are bent on hobbling private schools with a new law, and when Seoul National University announced a plan for essay tests to screen applicants, it provoked an unprecedented uproar in the ruling camp. The KTU, meanwhile, has proposed that teachers should elect their principals.


The Lunatics Are Trying to Take Over the Asylum

Teacher Evaluations to Go Ahead Despite Protests
Stage Set for Education Wars
Save Education From the Teachers Union
The Education Ministry is piloting teacher evaluations in 48 schools across the country starting in the middle of this month. The Korea Teachers and Educational Workers Union (KTU) is threatening to fight the entire scheme by way of industrial action and campaign for the education minister’s ouster.

Already the evaluation system the ministry will implement is significantly moderated from its original plan. First, teachers will mainly evaluate one another, while parents and students are relegated to one or two questionnaires a year. Parents are not even allowed to give their opinions of individual teachers: they are merely to be asked if their children are satisfied with their school life. Under the original plan, by contrast, they would have observed classes and assessed teachers. In short, the immediate consumers of education are to be little more than bystanders.

The sole purpose of the evaluations will be to inform individual teachers how they are doing, so they can reflect and improve their performance, and the KTU insists even principals must be kept from seeing the results. In consultations, the teacher organizations extracted a promise from the ministry that the records will not be used in personnel decisions. All students and parents can hope for, then, is that the teachers really do reflect on their results.

Yet watered-down though this is to the point of constituting no evaluation at all, the KTU will not stand for it unless the current duty assessment is abolished too. Under that system, teachers are evaluated by principals and vice principals, and the scores are reflected in promotion. On top of that, the KTU won’t even have school administrators sitting on the school committees that will decide the methods of evaluation.

Yet if the evaluations are to have no impact on a teacher’s career while the duty assessment is scrapped, there will of course be no way left to reward competent and sincere teachers for doing a good job. Next, the KTU wants teachers to elect their principals, so it can completely neutralize administrators and grab control of schools itself. Only once that is done will the union at last be free to entrench its vested interests at leisure and go undisturbed about filling the heads of our children with the screaming nonsense that passes for its worldview.

Monday, November 07, 2005

My Freinds in the left ask me why I hate their party. This is a example of what I have been saying for years about the friends on the left. Can you imagine the outcry if a Republican did this to a Democrat? The sad thing is this is a real story.

Party trumps race' for Steele foes

By S.A. Miller
November 2, 2005

Black Democratic leaders in Maryland say that racially tinged attacks against Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele in his bid for the U.S. Senate are fair because he is a conservative Republican.
Such attacks against the first black man to win a statewide election in Maryland include pelting him with Oreo cookies during a campaign appearance, calling him an "Uncle Tom" and depicting him as a black-faced minstrel on a liberal Web log.
Operatives for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) also obtained a copy of his credit report -- the only Republican candidate so targeted.
But black Democrats say there is nothing wrong with "pointing out the obvious."
"There is a difference between pointing out the obvious and calling someone names," said a campaign spokesman for Kweisi Mfume, a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate and former president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
State Sen. Lisa A. Gladden, a black Baltimore Democrat, said she does not expect her party to pull any punches, including racial jabs at Mr. Steele, in the race to replace retiring Democratic U.S. Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes.
"Party trumps race, especially on the national level," she said. "If you are bold enough to run, you have to take whatever the voters are going to give you. It's democracy, perhaps at its worse, but it is democracy."
Delegate Salima Siler Marriott, a black Baltimore Democrat, said Mr. Steele invites comparisons to a slave who loves his cruel master or a cookie that is black on the outside and white inside because his conservative political philosophy is, in her view, anti-black.
"Because he is a conservative, he is different than most public blacks, and he is different than most people in our community," she said. "His politics are not in the best interest of the masses of black people."
During the 2002 campaign, Democratic supporters pelted Mr. Steele with Oreo cookies during a gubernatorial debate at Morgan State University in Baltimore.
In 2001, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. called Mr. Steele an "Uncle Tom," when Mr. Steele headed the state Republican Party. Mr. Miller, Prince George's County Democrat, later apologized for the remark.
"That's not racial. If they call him the "N' word, that's racial," Mrs. Marriott said. "Just because he's black, everything bad you say about him isn't racial."
This week, the News Blog -- a liberal Web log run by Steve Gilliard, a black New Yorker -- removed a doctored photo of Mr. Steele that depicted him as a black-faced minstrel.
However, the blog has kept its headline "Simple Sambo wants to move to the big house." A caption beneath a photo of the lieutenant governor reads: "I's Simple Sambo and I's running for the Big House."
A spokesman for the Maryland Democratic Party denounced the depiction as being "extremely offensive" and having "no place in politics or in any other aspect of public discourse," The Washington Post reported. Democrats have denied any connection to the News Blog.
Still, Mfume spokesman Joseph P. Trippi said Mr. Steele opens himself to such criticism by defending Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. for holding a Republican fundraiser in July at the all-white Elkridge Club in Baltimore.
"The facts are the facts. Ehrlich went to that country club, and Steele said it didn't bother him," Mr. Trippi said. "I think that says something ... and should be part of this debate."
Several club members told the Baltimore Sun that, though blacks are welcome as guests and there is no policy banning blacks from membership, the club never has had a black member in its 127-year history.
Democrats also have used the club for various events, including Peter O'Malley, brother of and adviser to Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley, a Democratic candidate for governor. Peter O'Malley held his wedding reception there in 2003.
State Sen. Verna Jones, Baltimore Democrat and vice chairman of the General Assembly's legislative black caucus, said black Republicans deserve criticism because the Republican Party has not promoted the interests of the black community.
"The public policies supported by Democratic principles are the ones that most impact the African-American community," she said. "I'm not saying [Mr. Steele] is a sell-out. That's not for me to say."
In July, however, Mr. Mfume noted how Republicans were rallying for Mr. Steele but his party had ignored his historic candidacy. "More voters in Maryland are carrying the impression that the Democratic Party talks the talk, but doesn't always walk the walk. People may find a way to cross over in the fall," he said.
Steele campaign spokesman Leonardo Alcivar said state Democrats are afraid of losing the black vote to Mr. Steele.
"That has caused a great tremble throughout the Maryland Democratic Party," he said. "Of course [they are] going to condone racism. It's nothing new, and it's not surprising

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Just an update.

for the last month I have also been working as a movie critic here in Korea.

I was aked to do this by a person that I like and respect here in Korea. I have been honest in my reviews and I do this volunteer with zero pay.

What is released in Korea and in the USA has been weird, Open Range was released here, last week, jim Carrey's Spotless mind will be released next week here. Harry Potter on Dec.1.. The pirates are making a killing here because of these slow release dates.

Please leave comments (pro or anti) if you read the reviews.