Friday, July 11, 2008

Working On The Weekend

Cynthia Yoo has a good summary of the week's news in Korea at OhMyNews International. She has links to articles (in Korean, but with photos, including the one above) on police attacks on demonstrators, which she mistakenly calls "crackdowns." The attacks are part of the general government crackdown on dissent, which isn't limited to police violence but extends to prosecuting the media for carrying stories President Lee doesn't like, or boycotters of the right-wing media, and attempting to intimidate the religious leaders who spoke out against government violence a couple of weeks ago.

Yoo reports that the police hurriedly retreated when they learned "that an Amnesty International official was coming to investigate." Several commenters attacked Yoo's article, including one who asked what Amnesty International "got to do with 'imported U.S. beef'? For what? Go to BURMA, CAMBODIA, LAOS, & MOST OF ALL, NORTH KOREA!!! don't waste your Seoul, think you're 'barking' on a wrong tree!" Of course, AI wasn't there because of U.S. beef, but because of the Korean government's efforts to stifle dissent; of course, AI does deal with Burma, Cambodia, Laos, and North Korea. I think it's safe to say that someone who exhibits such agenda-driven igorance doesn't really care about those countries either.

Even better, Yoo links to a report that JoongAng Ilbo, a "conservative" newspaper, couldn't find anyone willing to be photographed eating U.S. beef, so they just staged a photo with their two reporters.

From our Ted Haggard Department, the Korea Times reported recently on the arrest of numerous Korean minor and adult males for allegedly engaging in "same-sex prostitution", which the article says (without evidence) "seems to be increasing at a fast pace."

Park Eun-jung, a director general of the [Central Inspection Bureau of the Ministry for Health, Welfare and Family Affairs], did not specify the exact change in the number of the illicit same-sex encounters, but said it had increased as had those who were apprehended.

Park said that most of the men appeared to do sex out of curiosity. "While juvenile females have sex to get money to cope with financial difficulties after running away from home, the money or goods traded between males were more like a kind of gimmick.''

She added that the cases do not necessarily mean that the persons involved were homosexual. "Many offenders were married and had families. The only difference we could trace was that they were relatively old but had a sexual appetite they could not control,'' she said.

Despite all one hears about cultural differences, it appears that Korea and the West share some crucial traits, from the excuses men make for having sex with each other to clueless bureaucrats who believe those excuses.