Friday, May 22, 2009

Off We Go Into the Wild Blue Yonder

I'm writing this in the Indianapolis airport while I wait for my flight to Detroit, and thence to Tokyo and ultimately Korea. Posting will continue sporadic until I get settled in, but if last year is any indication, I'll have a lot to say while I'm there. Vacations are nice for that sort of thing.

Meanwhile, I've restored the blog's original title. "Making the world safe for people", the current motto, occurred to me when I read a blog whose motto was "Making the world safe for liberals," which seemed a bit restrictive to me.

According to the Hankyoreh, members of the Korean Women’s Trade Union are picketing for a 1,000-won (about eighty cents) increase in the minimum wage. The article's title misled me: I thought it meant they'd already won the increase. Given that income inequality in Korea is increasing, an increase is probably needed. But violent riots like this one -- see the bloodlust in the foreground woman's face!) are just what Lee Myung-bak's government is trying to prevent by refusing to grant permits to large assemblies in urban centers. The excuse is that they might turn violent, which is valid enough, but that danger could be diminished by taking away the police's water cannons and not ordering them to attack the marchers. I know, I know, if we outlaw water cannons, then only outlaws will have water cannons...