Duc, sequere, aut de via decede!

Australian deputy PM lies to Indians

August 31st, 2009 . by Matt

The Australian deputy Prime Minister went to India and lied about Indian students being safe in Australia.

Australian deputy prime minister Julia Gillard promised on Monday to save Indian students studying Down Under from violence and fraudulent institutions.

Gillard is on a five-day damage repair tour to India following attacks on students in Sydney and Melbourne. “I am here to reinforce Australia’s image of a culturally-diverse, welcoming and safe country. I want to offer reassurance to the students here that Australia is taking necessary measures for their safety. Australia has zero tolerance for violence against Indian students and others,” she said.

About 1,00,000 Indian students study in various Australian institutes. Gillard listed out the various legislations and reforms her country has decided to initiate to regulate education-providers and international students’ safety. She said 120 additional police officers had been posted in sensitive areas, such as Victoria and Canberra, to make Indian students feel secure.

“Police patrols have been increased substantially for visible policing on streets. Already a large number of arrests have been made,” Gillard said. Australia has also taken up community-sensitisation programmes to reduce tension between Indians and locals.

This is an utter lie. Indian students generally live in ‘diverse‘ areas that are absolutely dangerous and have essentially been abandoned by police. The NSW police service will not deal with the perpertrators of these crimes. This problem has been going on for years.

Deviant economics

August 30th, 2009 . by Matt

This is quite interesting. Here is the synopsis.

A new class of global actors is playing an increasingly important role in globalization: smugglers, warlords, guerrillas, terrorists, gangs, and bandits of all stripes. Since the end of the Cold War, the global illicit economy has consistently grown at twice the rate of the licit global economy. Increasingly, illicit actors will represent not just an economic but a political force. As globalization hollows out traditional nation-states, what will fill the power vacuum in slums and hinterlands will be informal non-state governance structures. These zones will be globally connected, effectively run by local gangs, religious leaders, or quasi-tribal organizations – organizations that will govern without aspiring to statehood.

Anyone interested in the underground of the global economy should watch this.

Japanese opposition wins election

August 30th, 2009 . by Matt

The Japanese opposition party has one a landslide victory with more than 300 seats in the 480 seat lower house.

The former governing party, the LDP, needed this disastrous loss. Hopefully the loss will return them to principle and the new government will be able to break entrenched special interests.

Don’t even reply

August 29th, 2009 . by Matt

If you don’t want the drones at work to hear you laughing at your desk, then don’t access dontevenreply.com. Tears were streaming down my face reading the one called ‘horse farm’. I hope they keep it up.

Nice technique

August 26th, 2009 . by Matt

I should try this technique out to make a youtube video. I wonder how they did it.

Documentary about robots in Japan

August 26th, 2009 . by Matt

This is a pretty interesting documentary about robots. Actually it’s subject matter is fairly eclectic – demographics, immigration, host bars, and of course robots.

One part that was a bit annoying was when they gave a zainichi Korean woman a forum to say that she was being being discriminated against because even though she was a taxpayer like Japanese people, she is not allowed to vote (because she is not a citizen, of course, but she is conflating paying taxes with citizenship). She also said that zainichi Koreans have “no rights at all”. This is total bunk and they left it unchallenged. They also said that zainichi Koreans need to adopt Japanese names to get the same civil rights as Japanese people, which is ridiculous. I don’t know why zainichi Koreans say things to overseas media that they know is easily debunked in Japan (probably because the foreign media is so credulous to claims of Japanese racial discrimination). Anyway, her telling bullshit stories like that is not going to help her with what the narrator calls the “fierce discrimination that makes everyday living a challenge”. I guess this is par for the course when it comes to zainichi Korean issues. After all, most non-Japanese are under the false impression that most zainichi Koreans do not get Japanese citizenship because of Japanese discrimination. The reality is that there is such little institutional discrimination against zainichi Koreans that there is very little incentive for them to take on Japanese citizenship. Many zainichi Koreans have an ethnocentric attachment to their Korean (north or south) citizenship, and refuse to give it up.

If you are not in the US and cannot view the video, follow my instructions here and you will be able to do so.

Korean language lesson in Japanese

August 25th, 2009 . by Matt

This is pretty funny. Enjoy.

The little known religion exercising enormous political power in Japan

August 25th, 2009 . by Matt

Not many people outside Japan, but there is a religion in Japan that exercises political power in Japan through it’s political party ‘Koumeito‘, which is a coalition partner of the current governing party, the LDP (indeed, most people don’t even know the LDP has a coalition government). Although religious parties are unconstitutional under Japanese law, Koumeito claims they are independent of Souka Gakkai, the religious group that many say controls it.

This Japanese member of the diet says that there is no Koumeito if you take away Souka Gakkai. Quite interesting, if you understand Japanese.

Terrifying story of torture in Canadian prison

August 25th, 2009 . by Matt

Scott Loper, and American citizen, says he was tortured in a Canadian prison. His son was also kidnapped by the Canadian authorities, and was never returned to him. See this interview with him, starting at 5:40 on the video below.

You can read his website here. Scary stuff.

Vera Hohleiter controversy

August 24th, 2009 . by Matt

Vera Hohleiter, a German woman that has appeared on the chattering beauties talk show in Korea, has been criticized by Korean netizens for looking down on Korea. Some interesting posts on the topic appear on Brian Deutsch’s blog and also on Korean Rum Diary, so go there for a description of what is going on.

I am not surprised that the Chattering Beauties show is scripted, because I always thought the show existed merely to stroke Korean pride. However, I don’t think that a script is strictly necessary to keep the girls on the show saying how much they love Korea (and sometimes Korean men) because foreigners that know Koreans are aware that Koreans are excessively vain, prideful, and easily manipulated by praise of Korean racial or national characteristics.

Koreans are never going to hear what most foreigners really think about them and their society, because just as Koreans are willing to lavish attention on foreigners that stroke the Korean ego with their unconditional praise, they react extremely to any minor criticisms, or what they believe to be criticisms. Foreigners clamp up and just tell Koreans what they want to hear. It is something I have seen time and time again. I have also seen foreigners do it in a very manipulative manner – and Koreans fall for that kind of sycophancy every time. An example – I know a white guy that breaks into Korean groups of mixed men and women while out drinking. His opener is to basically talk to the Korean guys and tell them how great Korea is and how great Koreans are and how it is so much better than his own country and so on. He lays it on thick and he is invariably invited to sit with the group, but they have been suckered because he was targeting the girls in the first place.

Praising Koreans in this manner gets the praising foreigner the ‘good foreigner’ label. Foreigners that are circumspect and real with Koreans end up with the ‘bad foreigner’ label. It is easier for a foreigner to lie to Koreans about what they think, rather than tell them the truth, because the Koreans react so badly to even minor criticisms. The result is that people tell Koreans one thing, then rip into them later.

By all accounts (I have not read the book but others have described it’s contents) Vera Hohleiter’s book is a largely positive account of her time in Korea, with a handful of negatives that are being focused on by the Korean media. However, the Korean media is correct when they say her criticisms of Korea are inconsistent with the kind of praising statements she made while she was actually in Korea, on Korean TV. However, there is very little reflection by the Korean media that there are no incentives for foreigners to be real with Koreans, and in fact there is considerable negative-incentive not to do so, just as there are positive incentives to lie to them.

Vera Hohleiter is not even the first foreign TV celebrity on Korean TV to go back home and write negative things in a book about Korea. Shunpei Mizuno was a Japanese man that became a TV celebrity in Korea. He was known for his fluency in the Korean language and his deep knowledge of Korean customs and culture. He was on Korean TV telling Koreans what they wanted to hear, and never offered up an honest criticism, even though he was eminently qualified to do so. Why? Because he knew Koreans well enough to know that Koreans cannot handle criticism – any criticism.

The result was that Mizuno vented what he couldn’t say on Korean TV by writing books under a pen name that were extremely critical of Korea. Eventually Koreans found out about it and were shocked that a foreigner that had been so unconditional in his praise actually had thoughts about the negative aspects of Korea.

Vera Hohleiter and Shunpei Mizuno simply reacted to the positive and negative incentives created by Koreans to behave like that. For that reason Korean’s don’t have a right to complain about these two foreigners, or any foreigners, being two faced at all.

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