March 16, 2018
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I had the chance to pick up a copy of Sisa-in시사인 yesterday at the train station and start ed reading it through. I must admit I was shocked.
When Sisa in was formed in 2007 by a group of journalists who could no longer take the commercialization of Korean media, it featured often extremely insightful articles on current affairs. This group of editors and reporters from Sisa Journal resigned in protest over the deletion of an article that was critical of Samsung and set out to pave the way to a new form of journalism in Korea.
Although I would not say that I agreed with all that Sisa in published ten years ago, and I found some parts rather self-indulgent, as opposed to analytic, their writing offered a refreshing perspective on contemporary Korea, and often provided details not found elsewhere.
But when I picked up current issue and started reading it, I was immediately struck by how glossy and superficial the analysis has become. Particularly unimpressive was the repetition of positive interpretations of the engagement with North Korea of the Moon and Trump administrations without mention of the complete contempt for international law and diplomacy that has been shown by Trump Administration. Not a word about Trump’s contempt for the international community as shown in his actions on the Iran agreement or the Paris Summit.
Not sure what happened, but I offer some suggestions in my upcoming article on Korean journalism in Korea Times.
January 20, 2018
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How do we describe the entirely incomprehensible politics of the United States today? In which Trump is both about to be impeached and about to make himself a dictator at the same time? I think the best term is “Schrodinger’s cat governance” –a term I just coined. That is to say that in quantum mechanics things are both true and untrue at the same time. We are both about to have a breakthrough meeting of the North and South at the Pyongchang Olympics and at the same time, we are on the edge of nuclear war with North Korea. In a non-quantum world, these cannot be true at the same time. And of course in a quantum universe as well, the wave must break down at certain instants. I will work on this concept further, but I want to throw out this new idea.
January 20, 2018
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Some people naively assume that when this government shutdown is over, the government will be up and running after some last minute political deal. But that is hopelessly naive.
This new generation of politicians is planning to destroy everything, like anarchists.
Many ask, why the Republicans would want to shut down the government if they control all three branches?
The answer is rather simple. The Republicans do not control all the bureaucrats. A lot of them are still thinking people, even Democrats. People who are educated and increasingly people who are more interested in governance than anyone in the Congress. So they need to destroy the government itself to achieve the absolute power they crave.
Maybe government officials can be replaced with automated kiosks? Don’t rule it out. There may not be much government left when we get back.
January 7, 2018
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My friend Jiun just posed one of the most amazing suggestions to me today that I have ever heard. I was completely floored and had to sit down and catch my breath.
He suggested that the fruit offered to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, the so-called apple (although that designation seems to be fake news–we still do not know exactly what fruit it was) on the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, was planted there by God as a set up for humans. It was the first false flag operation made to snare humanity into joining the fallen world. Something like luring the Japanese into bombing Pearl Harbor, perhaps?
I admit it is a bit far fetched, even disrespectful to the Almighty, but what a conspiracy theory!
“Had Adam not eaten from the “Tree of Knowledge”, he wouldn’t be discerning to be able to separate right & wrong.
Thus, he did not listen to God, and ate the “Forbidden fruit”.
Didn’t God basically set him, a trap, from which he could never escape?”
December 31, 2017
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I remember when I watched the United States launched spacecraft to the Moon on television as a child. The process of preparation was shown for hours with occasional commentary by scientists and experts. There was no thrilling gossip by overpaid TV personalities or attempts to spice up the story with exclusive interviews “behind the scenes.” The entire point of the reporting was to present the facts in an accessible manner to the public. People had the patience to listen to the complex narrative because the systematic pursuit of facts, and science had value. Now all that tradition has been washed away by an obsession with the self, and by an appeal to immediate satisfaction.
December 10, 2017
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If we look at the election, it is clear that a space emerged for Trump (and his inventers Steve Bannon and Robert Mercer) to address the needs of workers, who were largely white, in a manner democrats could not. Trump could give a talk in Detroit saying that he would stop the import of foreign cars, his “American first” economic nationalism. No Democrat could give that sort of a speech because although they are committed to ethnic diversity, they are not interested in class issues and do not care about ordinary workers, black or white. At least Trump appealed to whites.
The anti-globalization left thought that having Trump (supported by the anti-globalization right) would mean that the false face covering up American imperialism would be torn off (which would be healthy) and that he was not looking to start new wars, or to expand in the Middle East. Of course Trump made statements, probably sincere, that he wanted to eat a hamburger with Kim Jung Eun and that US policy in the middle East, starting with the invasion of Iraq in 1992 was all mistaken.
Sadly, Trump is a political amateur and had no network at all in the military industrial complex. He was very quickly captured and put in a cage, reading off a script written up by the far right.
But those “conservative” flavor of globalists basically speak the same way to Goldman Sachs or to Lockeed Martin as do left wing globalists (like Clinton, or for that matter Sanders). But in their appeal to ordinary citizens they stress Christian values, patriotism, a strong defense and law and order. Clinton would speak to her audience more in terms of “diversity” “opportunity” and “innovation.” But the fundamental interests are basically the same for both groups, granted the Democrats take more money from Hollywood and media, from biopharmaceutical, and from specialized investement banks whereas the Republicans take more from fossil fuel companies, defense contractors and retailers and providers.
there are certain poses of a strong and confident leader that are essential to be a Republican politician that are just visually offensive to diversity Democrats. Democrats have to look like they are participatory, not strong leaders barking orders like a lieutenant or a preacher.
We should not mistake that show for the actual nature of power and money relations.
But although these Republican politicians want to give a message of “America first” they cannot say no to investment banks that fund them and cannot come out against free trade even though their followers want them to.
Steve Bannon and Trump found a weak point here and are pushing symbolic acts of economic nationalism as a way of carving out a separate party within the Republican party which is a union of globalists with other priorities than the Washington consensus with anti-globalist right wingers who want immigrants out and blacks and Jews back in their place.
In current American politics, since 20000, the political parties, and the government itself, is perceived by Americans in general, and especially the right wing as innately hostile to the people.
Yet question of how to respond to the alienation citizens from politics and government that expressed in the media and in political discourse phrased in rather complicated and contradictory ways.
The odd political debate is often an interference pattern of the perspective of the three distinct political ideologies described who are in a fierce three-way fight which is never discussed in the media. The three groups, in alternation, pair up with each other, or confront each other, in an unending cycle that confuses anyone thinking in terms of left vs. right.
For the original essay see