On Republication (Bo-Leaf Books, 2019) of A Korean Decameron (Seoul, 1961) by Tae-yong Pak, alias Ty Pak, under a Grant from Harvard University: boleafbooks.com/catalog and amazon.com

It is with an eerie feeling that I greet the reappearance of this book, my first, after 58 years. I might as well behold my own resurrection, not in 3 days but after a whole lifetime, Dem Dry Bones coming together as in the black spiritual.

The 41 stories included in the book are my transcriptions of the tales told me during my preteen years by Daybay Pak, my grandfather, a compulsive storyteller, to whose memory the new edition is dedicated. As described in the Foreword, it is the merest chance to which the book owes its rescue from oblivion: in 1984 Heinz Insu Fenkl, the publisher’s husband and premier scholar on Korean literature and folklore, serendipitously came upon an original copy, discolored and dust covered, at a Seoul hotel gift shop.

The book’s publication in 1961 at age 23 was a turning point in my life. Its first printing of a thousand copies sold out. Elated, the publisher ran a second printing of 5,000, which again sold out in the American PX’s, at the Bando and Chosun hotels, then patronized primarily by Americans. I had a pocketful of US dollars, the open sesame at the time. I forget the amount but it was big enough to make me cocky and flippant about money.

General Junghee Park, entitled Chairman of the Supreme Council after his successful coup, decreed a vigorous stock market as the first step toward the modernization of Korea. As translator of his book, The Path for My Fatherland, I believed in him totally and bought a large chunk of the Korean Stock Exchange shares. The next day their value jumped 20-fold.

In its infancy the Korean stock market had two types of transaction, current and futures: in the former a stock certificate is handed over for cash and in the latter shares were sold short to a long buyer. Discovering that I could leverage my portfolio tenfold by using it as security for futures transactions, I began doing nothing but futures, mostly buying long. By means of bold, more accurately reckless, moves practically every session, morning and afternoon, day in, day out, my net worth exploded more than 10,000-fold in the course of the next few months, making me a legend among traders and brokers who accosted me incessantly to learn my next move or entice my business to their firm.

One of them was a high school alum Gwangmoo Song (fictitious, especially since he is deceased), who had just started working for a stock brokerage and wouldn’t leave me alone until I transferred all my accounts to his firm, resulting in his instant promotion to VP. He said I had the most liquidity among our entire class of 1956, which was saying a lot because we had sons from the richest families of Korea at the time.

After the market closed for the week when I had again doubled my net worth Song suggested that I think of taking over the nation’s largest textile mill in Daegoo, which would launch me as a tycoon of the industry. I wasn’t too excited because I would be immediately involved in running the behemoth with its tens of thousands of employees, whereas I could keep doubling my money doing nothing. Telling him I would think about it over the weekend, I went to the Bando where I had a suite like an American for dinner and a rendezvous with a great lady, whose name shall remain undisclosed forever.

The sky came crashing down the next Monday. Park froze all stock transactions, creating the Stock Market Crash 증권파동of 1962 so he could plunder the mobilized liquidity and give it to his favorites, one of whom happened to be another high school alum of mine, who went on to become a multinational tycoon.

For a whole month or so the market was closed. Stocks traded at drastically reduced prices on the black market but they were current transactions, not futures. My entire wealth evaporated.

No longer one of them, I have nothing but utter contempt for the billionaires, knowing full well that they don’t care, because I don’t belong and am therefore nothing. So the contempt is mutual. I know sheer luck has got them where they are, just as at one time by sheer luck I was catapulted to the apex of my fortune, not any innate intelligence or merit (see The Lottery: the Equalizer, 11-3-2018, typakmusings.com). I was buying or selling on a whim which happened to turn out right. My not getting off the roller coaster in time and losing everything might argue stupidity in hindsight but how was I to know Park was such a crook? Though I attribute extraordinary street smarts to Trump (see Low Gas Price, Not Mild Winter, 1-16-2019, typakmusings.com), he is just a lucky dude with perhaps good advisors around him, though Michael Cohen makes dubious his sanity, let alone smarts.

Betrayed by Park and disillusioned with Korea, I couldn’t wait to get out of the country and come to the States to perfect my English. Resurgent was the passion that had possessed me since 12 when as 7th grader I first came into contact with the English alphabet. To speak and write English like a native I had to live in the States. Writing a column in The Korea Times, I had a fan, an economics professor from Bowling Green State University, Ohio, on loan to the Bank of Korea, who gave my name to the head of the English Department there. In a few months the invitation came through, teaching fellowship with admission to the doctoral program in English, quite a coup considering I had no English BA, not that a Korean English BA would have measured up to an American one. I didn’t have even that.

My exit from Korea still pending, a dicey proposition when one hadn’t completed military service, the publisher of my book wanted me to write a second volume. I did and had a book signing party at the house of a US Army Colonel, whose wife was another fan of mine, in Yongsan where the Eighth US Army Headquarters was based. However, once in the States, busy teaching and writing, I forgot all about it. Now, after publishing the first volume, Bo-Leaf Books wants to issue the second one likewise but not a single copy of it has turned up to date. The serendipity for the first volume doesn’t seem to extend to the second. So if anyone reading this has a copy of A Korean Decameron, Volume II (Seoul, 1963), please contact me at typakmusings.com@gmail.com.

Low Gas Price, Not Mild Winter: Time to Pat Ourselves on the Back for Stumbling into Picking the Right Guy for the Job

The recent (Jan 12-13, 2019) snowstorm that paralyzed parts of the mid-Atlantic states, particularly around Washington, D.C., may have cramped the style of Global Warming Alarmists who had been triumphantly pointing at the mild winter, though to me, a near 3-decade resident of Hawaii, the weather along the Eastern seaboard is anything but mild, the thermometer hovering around freezing.

But this doesn’t faze me a bit. All I have to do is set the thermostat at 80 to bring Hawaii back into the house, if not outside. Nor do I hesitate to throw windows and doors wide open to let the slicing cold air rush in (see Winterize but Ventilate: Korean Winter Pallor, 1-1-2018, typakmusings.com). What a contrast to the way I used to behave on the continental US where I had also lived previously nearly 3 decades. Come winter, I literally battened down the hatches, putting on layers of clothes and setting the thermostat at 69, tops. To set it at 70 or higher would take a grim resolution like a kamikaze pilot getting into his plane for the final mission, rarely in deference to extraordinary company.

But I am not the only one to be so relaxed about the thermostat. Throughout the continental US most homeowners are no longer uptight and set the thermostat nonchalantly in the upper 70’s for a “mild, pleasant winter.” Gone is paying through the nose for heating. Also pleasant is outdoors as on a whim they dash off on drives for nothing, heaters on full blast, or fly off to Timbuktu, as air fares are bargains.

But no American is talking about this, certainly not the media, preoccupied with the government shutdown, trying to put the blame on Trump. There is no mention of the root cause of the “mild winter”: rock bottom gas price about $2 per gallon, less than half of what I paid in Honolulu scant 3 years ago.

I am the last person to idolize Trump or anyone else for that matter (see Manifesto of Radical Democracy, 5-25-2014, typakmusings.com). In truth, I like the vitriol the press hurls at him, day in, day out, and hope it to become the pattern going forward for all future American presidents, so as to cut them down to size, our size, because they are not that different from us. With one proviso, though: no distorting nor hiding of the facts.

Trump may be crude, vindictive, narcistic, childishly boastful of his high IQ, not unlike an overgrown adolescent. But where it counts he is mature, his street smartness about getting rich quite off the charts. Knowing he can’t go on being rich unless America is, he extrapolates his personal money-making skills to the global arena for America. His instincts were right about fracking and America is now the premier oil producer in the world, transforming an ordinary frigid winter into a global warming threat for the Green Peace militant.

Incidentally, his oil policy is benefiting the whole earth. The CO2 content in the oceans has been found slowly depleting, portending an eventual extermination of life. So CO2 emission by internal combustion engines may be a blessing in disguise after all. Fortunately, we have a few centuries worth of fossil fuel to burn during which we will figure out solarization or fusion to meet our energy needs, while supplementing CO2.

In the meantime let’s give credit where credit is due and compliment Trump on a job well done, not to magnify his ego, which is already huge, but to pat ourselves on the back for stumbling into picking the right guy for the job through the much maligned electoral process.

America, the Separator, not a Melting Pot, for Naturalized Americans

Even after naturalization foreign born immigrants have a hard time melding into the American melting pot. Feeling excluded they keep associating among themselves with a vengeance, more than they’ve ever done back in their old country, often torn with regional, tribal, political, or other dissension.

Fortunately, this alienation, due to the language barrier which prevents them from living fully American, does not survive their generation. Their children and grandchildren, born and raised here, are right at home in their workplaces and neighborhoods, marrying across the racial boundaries as much as not. Hurray, America, the melting pot! United we stand.

But can we extrapolate this to the rest of the world, realizing true globalism? No, unless Koreans, Japanese, Chinese, Indians, Russians, French, Germans, Mexicans, Hondurans,… are all born and raised in America, an impossibility, as the imperative for the southern Border Wall shows, though falsely denied by the fake media and the Dems, just to spite Trump.

The new mega-caravan just forming, bent on storming the border, wall or no wall, hell or high water, may well be warned about the sobering fact that at least in their generation they will endure segregation and isolation, however successful they may get in America, huddling among themselves, if not in ghettos or barrios, then socially, spiritually.

A case in point is the Korean compulsion to attend school reunions. For example, K Boys’ High School in Seoul boasts alum associations, often subdivided into graduating years, my class of 1956 having 8 declared local chapters, Boston, New York City, Washington, DC, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and Chicago. The dozen or so members belonging to the New York Chapter travel hours, crossing state lines, to come to their biannual get-togethers. CG, a retired ophthalmologist living in Lancaster, PA, drives 3 hours with his wife to come to the restaurant in Flushing, NY. KS, another Pennsylvanian living in the Poconos pays an Uber cab $150 one way to come to the Mecca taking a couple of hours. YI, a retired cardiovascular surgeon, comes from CT also taking nearly 2 hours. A few live scattered in NJ but their travel time is well over an hour. Those living in New York don’t get much of a break, either, as many live scattered in Long Island or upstate, and must travel at least an hour. In fact, YM lived in Buffalo where he was law professor at SUNY before his move to NJ upon retirement and didn’t miss a single pilgrimage driving over 6 hours.

“Maybe we should meet only once a year,” suggest I, recently relocated from Hawaii to NJ to be near my children and still baffled by the maze of roadways in Metropolitan New York.

“Twice a year is half of what it used to be, quarterly,” observes YT, part owner of a brewery in Korea and current President of the NY Chapter. “Nobody seems to mind.”

“Night driving is getting harder,” I murmur.

“I let my wife drive,” YW points out, brightly. “Her night vision is still good, as it should be.” His wife is his junior by 10 years, mine bettering with 20.

“But she won’t drive,” I blurt out.

“Can’t she drive?” asks JC, the former oil man, surprised.

“She can and does when alone, but, when we are together, I must drive. To do otherwise is violation of her gender, according to her feminism.”

Incidentally, according to the hallowed Korean custom, wives have their own table and talk among themselves out of earshot of their husbands.

“Count your blessings,” interjects SS, a retired psychiatrist, who lives in Montauk at the tip of Long Island. “My wife’s Class of 1962, E Girl’s High, still meets every other month, in Fort Lee, NJ, so I end up going to 8 reunions a year, hers and mine, me driving like you. For a different reason, though. Her vision is much worse than mine and she cannot be trusted with distance driving, day or night, though she still has a valid license.”

“Do they meet as often in Korea as we do, YT?” I ask feebly, giving up my cause.

“No, once a year but attendance has been dwindling to less than a quarter of the survivors,” answers YT.

I recall that only about 300 of the 500 of us are still around, the US mortality rate about half of that in Korea, for which perhaps we should thank America after all, eternal strangers though we may be.

Laotzu, The Great or The Gross

Recently circulated among the members of the ONCS (see Immortality Club, 8-2-2018, typakmusings.com) is the portrait of an old Asian male, white haired and bearded, shoulders wrapped in a blue-striped shawl, against a backdrop of mountains, “The Clarity of Philosophy” written across the top, and the lower half filled with the inscription: The Great Lao-Tzu said: “It is only when you see a mosquito landing on your testicles that you realize that there is always a way to solve problems without using violence.”

“Typical Oriental mumbo jumbo,” explodes JS, a Korean Onc and CEO of a mega-fund. “You swat the bug as soon as you eyeball it before it injects you with malarial or encephalitic virus.”

“But remember where it lands, on his testicles,” counters KS, a Korean who came to the States in the early 1960’s and is now a hermit in the Poconos after retirement from banking.

“Scrotum, because the nuts are exposed only by slashing deep through the rather thick resilient layers of covering,” corrects JC, a retiree from oil prospecting. The trio have been featured in a previous post (see Innate Sense of Justice at 2.5 Years of Age, 1-9-2019, typakmusings.com).

“Same difference,” KS dismisses. “The swat may cause serious collateral damage. Haven’t you seen a boxer sag and fall, breath knocked out, following a low blow, that is, testicular blow? So naturally we have to think twice before whacking the mosquito and look for some other nonviolent means of control.”

“I won’t shoo it away because it will fly to other victims like my family or neighbors,” counters JS, impatiently. “Extermination is the only way and there is no such animal as nonviolent extermination. Not to use violence is either selfish or dumb. By not destroying the pest when he can because of his squeamishness to use violence he puts the whole community at risk. But more probably he is dumb, thinking he can persuade the bug to go away somehow, not knowing that it can contaminate him almost the instant it lands. His shillyshallying in deference to his dick may cost his life.”

“Maybe he is an epidemiologist and knows there is no malaria or encephalitis going around, that the worst thing that can come from it is a sting and itch, whereas he knows testicular trauma can be really bad, maybe even fatal,” conjectures JC. “So after all he is a great thinker.”

“But certainly not that clear,” KS points out. “Look how long it has taken us to come to that conclusion.”

“That’s why it’s called the clarity of philosophy, satirically,” JC adds. “Deep thinking is not readily transparent to nitwits like us. It takes smarts to figure it out.”

“No, I don’t think he is a scientist or philosopher,” JS puts his foot down. “He is either a victim early on of a low blow that nearly knocks him out, poor guy, or is just dick-driven, like most of us, and panders to the gonads, throwing caution to the wind, come hell or high water.”

Innate Sense of Justice at 2.5 Years of Age

“Did you hear the puke spill out of the mouths of the Muslim and Latina freshman Congresswomen after their swearing in the other day?” asks JC, a junior Onc (see Immortality Club, 8-2-2018, typakmusings.com). “What is the world coming to? We should have stricter qualifications for the House.”

“What do you suggest?” KS, another Onc, chimes in. “Certainly not lawyers. See what mess they have made of DOJ and FBI, their reputation in the gutter after the Steele dossier fiasco. Nor doctorates, because they get dumber with more education. Maybe membership in ONCS, because at least age burns out all the bugs, greed, vanity, vengeance. That’s it. All applicants for public offices, including the President, should be 80 or older.”

“What if we reverse the polarity, so we pick them before the bugs get to them?” declares JS, another Onc. They had all gone to the same high school in Korea, JS known for his offbeat brainstorms.

“What age does that make?” KS asks, guardedly.

“Two and a half years old, my granddaughter Naomie’s age.”

“You are off your rocker,” JC chuckles. “They can barely walk.”

“No, she jumps and runs, much better than any of us. What counts is her judgment.”

“Judgment? At that age, she is a genius if she knows her ass from her elbow, begging your pardon for my French.”

“That’s not as important as the sense of justice, which she has innately. Lately my wife Nancy took her along with her Great Grandma, Nancy’s Mom, to a Korean restaurant. Both Naomie’s parents work and the two older generations look after her, Great Grandma living at their house and my wife commuting from ours. After lunch Nancy announces their next destination for desserts to be a fashionable Korean bakery, Naomie’s favorite. On the way she asks Nancy what they are having and is told that everybody is getting a big bowl of either shave ice or smoothie. At once Great Grandma objects, saying she would take Naomie’s leftover. Though appreciating her motive to save her money, Nancy doesn’t like her mother’s negativity and chews her out. As soon as she is unbuckled upon arrival at the parking lot, Naomi runs to Great Grandma, hugs her legs, and won’t let go, watching Nancy warily. Both the elderly women have a belly laugh at her protectiveness toward the weak and oppressed, a sense of justice absent in the Department of Justice.”
“Validity of her perception of oppression in this particular case aside, her scope is limited,” reasons JC solemnly. “It will be a while before she sees beyond her immediate family and functions as a credible Congresswoman with the whole nation, nay the whole world, in her purview.”

“She knows which is her house and which mine, and makes sure she doesn’t leave anything of hers in mine, once making Nancy drive all the way back when she discovers she has left her teddy bear behind. We can expand her scope in no time. What are advisors for? Believe me she will intuit and act correctly and justly, farther and deeper than you and me or any of the jokers in the House or Senate.”

Cruelty, Thy Name is Humankind: The Dying Cry of “A-i-go 아이고” from Korean Galley Slaves

“No nostalgia, no lingering memories for the country you left 55 years ago in 1965 when you were 27?” asks Marcia Noh, incredulous, a 2nd generation Korean American reporter with a major national newspaper.

“No,” explodes Dr. Charles Song, an eminent pathologist, retired. “I’d seen enough revenge killings between North and South Korea during the War (1950-53), my father its victim, then the smoldering hatreds, jealousies, discriminations, machinations afterwards. I can puke just thinking about them.”

“I didn’t mean to distress you, Dr. Song,” she says, pushing the box of tissue on the table toward him. “I apologize for having been so insistent on the interview. Our generation, your children and grandchildren born and raised here, are still slope-head, slit-eye Koreans to the rest of America, and need something to be proud of about their ethnic heritage. As a prominent Korean American I thought you would be able to help. But I understand. Your generation has been through a lot. So forget it. We’ll find something on our own, like looking up Admiral Sun-sin Yi (1545-98) in Wikipedea. When asked, after imprisonment, torture, and demotion to a private due to false accusations by his jealous enemies, he still steps up to the plate and saves his country from Japanese occupation by defeating their navy battle after battle. He redeems Korea, however irredeemable it gets.”

“In his War Diary (1592-98) there is a curious footnote to his great victory at the Myungnyang Strait on Oct 26, 1597,” Charles recalls, brows knit. “Moments before the burning Japanese ships sink he hears a group of men, galley slaves finally unshackled from their oars, bring up the rear after all hands had abandoned ship, and jump off, screaming A-i-go, the Korean lamentation before death, in utter despair, facing the sea roaring and rushing up in pitch darkness.”

“Koreans snatched by the Japanese marauders, the waygoo, 왜구, a constant scourge throughout Korea’s history, raiding not only coastal villages but deep into the country, capturing Koreans left and right,” Marcia notes. “Doesn’t that enrage you as a Korean? No wonder some consider your friend Ty Pak an anti-Korean traitor whose novel, The Polyglot, calls for the union of Korea and Japan.”

“You might as well fume and rage at a tornado, drought, or meteor strike. They raided the coasts of China, too. The Japanese were the Vikings of Asia. Do the British or French hold it against the Danes, Swedes, and Norwegians today after these many years? Besides the Japanese pirates were probably like the Somalian bandits today, no money, no food, at the end of their rope. Need for survival drives humans to extreme cruelty. I bet Koreans would have taken to piracy just as readily under the same circumstances which governments have a duty to prevent.”

“So you are full of understanding and compassion for the Japanese, Scandinavians, Somalians, but not for your own people, Koreans.”

“It’s harder with people close to you. Look how Sunnis and Shiites can’t get along, nor South Koreans and North Koreans.”

“But you are now here in America and should detach yourself from the bitterness of the bygone days. I thought Koreans from both halves should all be brought over here to give them some perspective so they can embrace and unite, but there is no point in that, if they are anything like you, Doctor Song.”

“Okay, you win, you and your Soonshin Yee. By the way, the other spelling is all wrong. If he can forgive and serve that lily-livered moron, coward, and joke of a king Sunjo who almost kills him, I guess I should be able to do the same with the current inhabitants of Korea, North and South, like Ty Pak’s characters vis-a-vis the Japanese. Read the book more closely. He is no traitor to his heritage.”

ED: A New Era of Conjugal Harmony and Bliss

“I should have waited until I was 30 or 40 so I could marry someone much younger like you,” declares Duggyoo Chay, 65, a successful Korean American realtor. “As it is, Moonhee and I are the same age. Always competitive going to the same high school and college in Korea we’ve been downright belligerent since our marriage there in our early twenties. I bet it’s peace and quiet at home with you, a figure of elderly wisdom respected by your gracious wife.”

“Respect?” shouts Dr. Wilson Jung, 85, a Korean American cardiologist, born in Korea but raised in the States. “Even a god forfeits his divinity upon grinding away at a woman’s groin. Remember Socrates and his shrewish wife, Xanthippe, who so despises him that she pours a piss pot over his head? He must have been one hell of a fornicator.”

“Was she younger than Socrates?”

“Yeah, her behavior fits the pattern. After marrying older men for security or whatever they soon feel shortchanged for trading off their youth too cheap and go on goading and needling their old husband to exact their pound of flesh.”

“Gee, I am glad Moonhee is my age.”

“Don’t bet on it. My wife says Japanese women now clamor to marry men at least 10 years younger to compensate for their shorter life expectancy, some even calling for another extension of 10 years as potency makeup.”

“What the hell is that?”

“ED! While theirs goes on receiving indefinitely, the wood starts quitting the pecker once into the 6th decade, right?” Wilson stares at Duggyoo pointedly.

“I am doing all right so far,” Duggyoo retorts defiantly. “10 plus 10 is 20. I don’t know whether I can deal with a wife that much older and pruny.”

“Yeah, that’s what I tell my wife. Older wives would get as much grief from their younger husbands as the other way around. Actually a lot worse as I see it but they’d have asked for it. First off, they are lying through their teeth when they complain about our impotence. At heart they are relieved to be spared the pelvic assault and battery, day in and day out, by Neanderthal oafs equating their ejaculation with female orgasm.”

“But cessation of intercourse will deprive them of the endorphin bath only orgasm sets off.”

“Who said cessation? The nourishment continues, purified, enriched. From the ashes rises a consummate artist, a mighty warrior, with a brand new arsenal and skill set, manual, oral dexterity to stroke the clitoris, G-spot, or other erogenous zones with unerring accuracy. Contented, the younger wife catches on and reciprocates in kind. So dawns a new era of conjugal harmony and bliss. Forget about riding up to her rescue as the knight in shining armor.”

“I wasn’t thinking anything of the sort.”

“A general statement. Nothing personal. The first thought that occurs to any young buck coming face to face with a younger wife yoked to an older husband is personal intervention to right what he perceives as a mismatch.”

“I am no young buck but let’s drop the whole thing and get back to where we started, age difference in marriage. If neither parity nor disparity in either direction seems to work, how can we marry?”

“Not to worry. They’ll fall in love, however delusional, and mate and breed, always thinking theirs is a union made in heaven, unique and special. Fumble along they will, disgusted or aggrieved, full of regret, feeling trapped, trading potshots at each other. If they can’t bear it, they divorce, which however is still only about 15% of marriages according to the most reliable statistics. The majority sticks it out, because the cost of divorce is prohibitive. So tightly woven gets the web of ties and connections after a few years of living together, even without children. Add that complication to the mix and you are a goner, beyond redemption.

“But I have strayed,” Wilson brings himself up short. “If disparity there must be, the wife should be the youthful partner, at least until women attain total equality to men not only financially and socially but also in brute strength by some genetic engineering. Never mind the life expectancy and potency shit Japanese women bring up. As a medical practitioner I hate to see hospitals inundated with serious injuries inflicted on older women by their disgruntled younger husbands, who won’t stop at goading and needling or pouring a piss pot but will act out with physical violence.”

How Your 3-Year-Old Granddaughter’s Gloves Can Tweak Your Heart Strings

New Year coming on apace winter is here with a vengeance, erasing the mildness of the last few weeks. Prior to venturing out, I make sure my 3-year-old granddaughter is well protected in her coat, boots, hat with ear flaps, though her free hands are doing most of the work, even to the extent of pushing my clumsy hands away to do the zippers herself, showing off her independence. All set and finally it’s time to insert her small hands into her knit gloves, soft, salmon colored, five-fingered, so tiny, the wrist hardly wide enough for two of my fingers.

Hastily I blink away the incipient tears, lest she should notice and think me weird. What is it that is so touching about this miniature joke of a pair of gloves? Not only has it melted my heart of stone but turned me, a rank skeptic, scoffing atheist, into a fervent believer:

“Lord in heaven, spare her, this little budding seedling, the frost, hail, storm, the grazer’s tongue, so she grows into a magnificent tree, dwarfing and replacing me soon to upend, fall, decay, a distant memory, …”

The Myth of the Pre-Death Panoramic Epiphany

After more than six decades I still remember the gut-wrenching shock of despair and protest at the end of Ambrose Bierce’s short story, “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge (1890),” when the vivid idyllic narrative of Farquhar’s life as a Southern planter, caught in the crosshairs of the Civil War, snaps shut just as he runs into his loving wife’s arms after making good his escape from his Northern captors, revealing him hung and dead. Pounding the desk top, I wept and yelled, No, No. The beautiful panoramic epiphany had been nothing but Farquhar’s hallucination, instantaneous in the few seconds prior to his execution. After that shattering experience I took pre-death epiphany for granted, thanking Bierce for the enlightenment.

Subsequently, however, I was surprised to find many people entertaining similar thoughts on the subject though they hadn’t read the story and had to conclude the notion to be pretty universal, probably because it agrees with the sense of closure we all need, with a bit of wisdom, even an insight into eternity, at least for our own individual satisfaction, though not sharable with any other soul. Bierce is probably a modern practitioner in this ancient belief system, not its originator.

Primeval or innate though the belief may be, I am now convinced that it is a myth, wishful thinking that has no basis in fact, after witnessing my wife’s aunt, a few years my senior but vivacious, charming, articulate with a razor sharp mind, pass away recently from lung cancer a few months after diagnosis. When told it was terminal, she declined rapidly. We called her daughter who had been staying at her bedside 24/7 to let her know of our plan to visit over the weekend but were told that she might not last that long. We went over right away.

A breathing tube in her nose, eyes bleary, she didn’t seem to know what was going on around her.

“Aunt, it’s me and this is my husband,” my wife was choking with tears, pulling me closer. “We love you and want to see you up and about…”

There was no sign of recognition. Then she started gurgling.

“Oh, that’s something new,” her daughter said and called the doctor, who came over, checked her out, and left, telling the daughter to keep an eye on her.

The next morning we heard that she had passed away, her daughter sobbing and blaming herself for leaving the room briefly to go downstairs for a cup of coffee. Upon return she found her no longer breathing.

No, our sweet aunt had never regained consciousness. Her cells had been shutting down irreversibly one by one all over her body and couldn’t have suddenly rallied for an epiphany. Had it been otherwise and she had been alert all along, she would have thought about her children, grandchildren, and sundries that normally occupied her or whatever pain or discomfort that she feared might fell her, hardly conducive to a panoramic epiphany. We just drag on and then stop, none the wiser than in our prime.

New Education in Response to Developments in Artificial Intelligence

Humanity is said to face an existential crisis, even after World Government becomes a reality (see An Open Letter to Chairman Jongun Kim, North Korea: Be the Savior of Humankind, 12-7-2018, typakmusings.com), because of replacement by human or superhuman robots according to pundits of AI, artificial intelligence. How real is this prospect and what should be our response?

1. AI, Weak and Strong

Every human tool is a device of artificial intelligence or robot that obeys our commands and amplifies our brute strength or skill. It has been the dream of humanity to have an alter ego of our self that can take care of our chores. With advancement in computer technology so-called weak AI has become common place like robots performing automated, repetitive, even complicated jobs in assembly lines. Human ingenuity being what it is, however, robots are now given more open, wider capabilities, or strong AI, by programming them with complex algorithms as in face recognition, driverless cars, drones that deliver packages, or Alphago Zero.

It is a favorite pastime of commentators on this strong phase of AI to exaggerate and frighten us by calling it “machine learning” which might eventually lead to robots with human or superhuman intelligence that would replace humanity altogether (see Hirari’s Histories: Incoherent Fantasy, 9-2-2018, typakmusings.com). Often Alphago Zero is given as an example, a robot that can master as many moves as 10 to the 170th power, and can take the appropriate move and defeat the human opponent every time. This is indeed mind boggling since all the atoms of the observable universe numbers only 10 to the 80th power.

But the basic rules of the game Go are simple: surround the enemy stones completely (see Sport, Not War: MMA and East Asian Game of Go (Weichi, Badoog), 3-7-2015, typakmusings.com). The necessary winning algorithm is therefore rather identical in all those myriad situations with adjustments to fit the topography, the shape and location of the enemy stones to be surrounded and captured with a view to maximizing one’s overall territory. Indeed the calculations to be made are enormous, millions, billions, but the computer can perform them almost instantaneously, 3 million times faster than the human neural network. It is therefore a leap of logic to conclude that this algorithm is fundamentally different from the algorithm in other weaker AI.

Unfortunately or fortunately, AI will never be human strong, let alone superhuman, and replace humanity, however wild the fantasies of its devotees. Curiously, they always keep pushing their deadline, a century, a quarter century, 5 years, 2 years hence, which never shrinks to zero. Nor will it ever.

For example, they have no clue how to make robots carry on small talk, because the variables are infinite, higher than the Go moves mentioned above. Just as prime numbers are infinite, because you can always create another by adding 1 to an alleged last prime number, small talk is unbound because you can always jump outside whatever boundary may have been drawn. In other words, there are always the odd ones who think and talk outside the box. The very concept “outside the box” is foreign to AI, firmly encased in its box, the circuit board.

When it comes to emotions, the limbic region of the brain, again there is an infinity: you can always have weird emotions, outside the box. Infinity is also the hallmark of the cerebral cortex. There is no such thing as exhaustion of reasoning: one can always cogitate outside the box. AI cannot rise to human intelligence, let alone superhuman or divine: there can be no genesis of algorithm without its pedestrian human creator with an unpredictable brain.

But, as shown in Alphago Zero, strong AI is getting stronger by the day and is getting almost human, making questionable the rationale for traditional education with a curriculum designed to produce so-called intelligent humans.

2. Redefinition of Intelligence and Education

Intelligence, as underlies the concept IQ, Intelligence Quotient, is quickness of perception of a meaningful structure in a given set of stimuli, something AI can be programed to perform extremely well, literally zillions of times faster than humans and goof proof. Why, then, do we go on drilling our children through the conventional schooling system to do what the high-grade robots can do in seconds? It is simply insane to turn them into inferior copies of what can be mass produced to replace human labor, which makes demographic flexibility imperative (see Robotics and Population Control, 9-11-2018, typakmusings.com).

Even more imperative, however, is reformation of education worldwide. Instead of condemning our children to 20 years or more at hard labor, jumping through hoops to get a Ph.D., we should do away with schools altogether and teach them how to Google or do other internet search to obtain cutting edge knowledge in any field and manage the population of near human robotic servants (see Humanity in Transition from Epoch 1 to Epoch 2, 11-28-2014, typakmusings.com, in particular Section 2, Abolition of Schools and Degrees). So liberated, with time on their hands, they can follow their creative instincts, predilections, penchants, fancies outside the box, pushing the envelope of technology and the arts.

Fortunately, we are well on our way. Most toddlers know what button to push to open the garage door, where to click on the TV remote or on the iPhone to get to their favorite games. As responsible parents we should guide them to gain literacy, master the 3 R’s or 4 (see Revise the 3 R’s to 4 R’s and Make America the First All-Lawyer Nation to Root Out Violence!, 11-22-2018, typakmusings.com), learn more about the universe, and interact constructively with other humans to build a global civilization robust enough to outlast the extinction of the sun 4.5 billion years from now.

A Veiled Threat of Retribution for Complicity in the Obama Forgery?

A reader writes: “In your last post you sincerely hope no harm comes to either of the women, that is, Ah’Nee or Booth. Coming from the writer of The Slaying of North Korea’s No. 2, the King-Maker, 12-2-2013, typakmusings.com, it sure sounds like a veiled threat of dire retribution for complicity in the forgery of Obama’s fake birth certificate. Is it?”

My answer is No, definitely not. There is a radical difference in timing. Generally, the king slays his benefactors right upon ascension for fear they might exact an exorbitant reward that threatens his royalty, but in this case the reign is over. Obama is no longer the President. Even if he were and we were at the beginning of his reign, say, 2009, and his election is being contested in court with the Hawaii duo as possible witnesses, I doubt Obama has the stomach to send assassins to do away with them, though looks are deceiving. As it is, his presidency is over and his name as the 44th President of the US is carved in stone, indelible for eternity.

On the other hand, can the Congress or Supreme Court invalidate and dis-enroll even a completed presidency? That certainly would make history.

The more likely scenario is that Arpaio or some concerned civic group may persist and bring the matter to court and win, resulting in a decree of forgery with criminal penalties for Obama and his agents, like the two Hawaiian duo, witting or not. In that case, they may serve some jail time, which is nothing compared to the cruel death Jongun Kim’s uncle has met.

Forgery of Obama’s Birth Certificate: a JPEG Document Created in the White House

America has decided not to question the authenticity of Obama’s birth certificate, released on Apr 27, 2011, despite Arizona Sheriff Arpaio’s conclusive proof of its forgery (see the Youtube dated Dec 15, 2016). What was posted on the White House website and widely copied and circulated by the media was a JPEG document digitally created in the White House by copying and altering the birth certificate of one Johanna Ah’Nee, born in Hawaii on Aug 20, 1961, 16 days after Obama’s alleged date of birth.

Eight days after release of the Obama certificate Arpaio’s investigators accessed Ah’Nee’s birth certificate, lent to her friend Mickey Booth, and had forensic and digital authorities of international repute declare it forgery unequivocally. We sincerely hope no harm comes to either of the women.

That such a simple matter is still allowed to go unsettled in this day and age of digital technology is unbelievable but is explainable, given the unique political, social dynamics of Obama’s presidency. The nation as a whole but particularly the politically correct media does not want to appear to have a racist bias against the first black president of America. In addition, there is determined local resistance to any serious probing. The State of Hawaii government doesn’t want its incredibly messy vital statistics in the 1960’s to be exposed to global derision. Then there is the pride of the Hawaiian population to have produced a US President.

This may be all to the good, though. Finally, Americans may realize the unnaturalness of the natural birth requirement, its unconstitutionality and utter inconsistency. It is unconstitutional because the first Presidents including George Washington had to be naturalized, not natural born. It is also inconsistent because no such requirement is laid down for a whole lot of public offices, Vice President, Speaker of the House, President of the Senate, or Cabinet members, who are in line of succession in the event of presidential incapacity, death, resignation, or removal (see Ty Pak for President, 6-1-2014, typakmusings.com).

Voice as an Aphrodisiac: Love between Stella and Peter in The Polyglot: Union of Korea and Japan, amazon.com

Why is it that one lapses into romantic or erotic fantasy about the unknown person of the opposite sex on the phone after exchanging only a few words?

Because, disembodied, the voice is a mating call and acts as an instant, powerful, irresistible aphrodisiac. Once caught, the parties must meet, overcoming great odds like intercontinental distances, and consummate, barring extraordinary wreckers like obesity, wrinkles, twisted nose, limp, bad breath, body odor, etc., as the case may be.

That’s what happens in my novel, The Polyglot: Union of Korea and Japan, amazon.com. Stella Sullivan falls head over heels in love with Peter Bach after talking to him only a few seconds and flies over before the day is out to Honolulu from Washington, DC, in Air Force One, lent to her by President Eisenhower.

An Open Letter to Chairman Jongun Kim, North Korea: Be the Savior of Humankind! (Korean version attached)

Dear Chairman Kim,

Wishing to look down on a beautiful earth, not a nuclear wasteland, after their passing, sooner rather than later for some of them, the Oncs (see Immortality Club, 8-2-2018, typakmusings.com) call on you to immortalize yourself, not with an ephemeral Nobel Peace Prize but with the title, Savior of Humankind, that will endure through the eons in the cosmic calendar, as long as the sun shall last and beyond, by giving Trump what he wants, denuclearization of North Korea subject to

(1) Verification by a detect-and-destroy team (DDT), comprising experts from all the national or supranational entities with nuclear capabilities, current or potential, namely China, England, France, India, Iran, NATO (composed of Belgium, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, and Turkey), Pakistan, Russia, and USA, empowered and equipped with the means necessary to search and demolish, unless recyclable for industrial use, all known or suspected nuclear weapons, ready or in preparation, with local cooperation whenever asked for, and to continue monitoring by on-site inspection or remote surveillance to prevent any attempt at resumption on whatever scale; provided

(2) A similar DDT be decreed, with adequate manpower and means to perform member-specific DD work for each of the 9 entities noted in (1) and sent to their capitals, namely, Beijing, London, Paris, New Delhi, Tehran, Brussels, Islamabad, Moscow, and Washington, DC, to coincide with the arrival in Pyungyang of the North Korean DDT, while, simultaneously, the heads of the 9, namely, Xi, May, Macron, Modi, Rouhani, Stoltenberg, Alvi, Putin, and Trump, gather in Pyungyang to meet with you and form the Council of 10 to sign a Nuclear Eradication Treaty (NET), replacing the previous Nonproliferation Treaty, limited in scope and discriminatory in spirit, which will be the signal for the 10 DDT’s to set to work.

Trust us, Chairman Kim: the NET will be signed unanimously and promptly at that, because they have all been waiting for this escape from the nuclear dilemma. A knows he won’t be the first to use a nuclear weapon for fear of mutual assured destruction (MAD), because he is not suicidal or filicidal, having children and grandchildren. Nor is anybody else, B, C,…, least of all you despite your bluff that fooled everybody but us, made wiser by some of our number with Korean ancestry. So the fraternity of 10 goes on holding onto something no one will ever use but can’t dump either for fear of creating an exploitable weakness. Unless everybody dumps at the same time. But who will bell the cat? No one wants to be the first to propose it lest he be perceived chicken. “Stuck, unable to push or pull,” goes the crude Korean saying to describe the canine “tie” after mating. The absurdity of the nuclear dilemma deserves no better metaphor. Hail Chairman Kim, untier of the obscene gang tie. As a corollary to your epochal master stroke there will follow

(3) Cancellation of all sanctions against North Korea and Iran. Moreover,

(4) The Council will endorse the Charter for World Government, following the example of the NET, inasmuch as

(4.1) Denuclearization still leaves huge armed forces, which may spark conventional wars, perhaps almost as deadly as nuclear, considering the advances in technology, killing hundreds of millions, maybe billions. Here again you may take the initiative in undoing the gang tie: unleash DDT’s to reduce and ultimately abolish conventional weapons and armed forces by excision of their basic motivation: take a neighbor’s territory or repel invasion. The Charter will show the futility of territorial obsession: wealth is in technological innovation, not territorial aggrandizement, as shown by Singapore. Freezing the status quo of all border disputes for referral to a Supreme Court countries will have their defense budgets freed up for investment in infrastructure, housing, health, space exploration.

(4.2) To protect the world from violation of the NET or Charter, however, a sufficient police force will be maintained by recruiting a crack militia of volunteers from each nation to be placed under a Supreme Command comprising 7 Regional Commanders based on different continents.

(4.2.1) East Asian Command (China, Taiwan, Russia, North and South Korea, and Japan, headquartered in Pyungyang)

(4.2.2) Southeast Asian Command (Philippines, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei, Thailand, Myanmar, Australia, New Zealand, headquartered in Singapore)

(4.2.3) South Asian Command (Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan headquartered in Colombo)

(4.2.4) Middle Eastern Command (Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, United Arab Emirates, and Israel, headquartered in Jerusalem)

(4.2.5) European Command (all the EU nations plus Britain, headquartered in Brussels)

(4.2.6) African Command (Egypt, South Africa, and all other nations in between, headquartered in Malta)

(4.2.7) American Command (both North, Central, and South America, headquartered in Panama City)

(4.2.8) The Supreme Command, combining (4.2.1) through (4.2.7), will be headquartered in Honolulu.

(4.2.9) To ensure the globalism of the Supreme Command all the personnel in the Command structure will be rotated from region to region.

(5) Modification and Eventual Repeal of National Sovereignty

Gone is the specter of war, nuclear or conventional, and the world will have a new lease on life, resolving all issues by negotiation and compromise, not force. For example, the current trade war between the US and China will be resolved with give and take on both sides. North and South Korea will tear down the dumb DMZ and unite separated families. Similarly, Korea and Japan will settle the comfort women issue by negotiation. If not, off they go to the Supreme Court, whose decision is enforced by the Supreme Command.

Nations will become individuals in a civilized, peaceful community ready to go to court (see Revise the 3 R’s to 4 R’s and Make America the First All-Lawyer Nation to Root Out Violence, 11-22-2018, typakmusings.com) without resorting to violence. National sovereignty where a country is supreme and bows to no authority will be a thing of the past, a distant memory. The Supreme Command will be the world government of, by, and for the nations and peoples of the earth, the long dream of humanity.

A whole new chapter in human existence and civilization begins the moment you share this letter and tell Trump, uniquely capable of thinking outside the box, to come on over to Pyungyang.

Yours truly,
ONCS, Ridgewood, NJ
Dec 6, 2018

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북조선 김정은 의장께 드리는 공개서한: 인류의 구제자가 되시라!

친애하는 김의장,

죽은 뒤 핵 황무지가 아니라 아름다운 지구를 내려다보고 싶은 간절한 심정에서 특히 갈 길이 촉박한 동료들의 초조감을 감안하여 고령자회 ONCS (typakmusings.com, 8-2-2018 기사 “불사 클럽” 참조) 회원들은 김의장이 트럼프가 원하는 북조선 비핵화에 선뜻 응 함으로서 흔한 평화 노벨상이 아니라 태양이 비취는 한 또 그 이후로도 우주 달력의 영겁을 통하여 빛날 불멸의 칭호 인류 구제자가 되시기를 호소하는 바 그 비핵화는

(1) 중국, 영국, 불란서, 인도, 이란, NATO (벨지염, 독일, 이태리, 화란, 터키로 구성), 파키스탄, 러시아, 미국, 현재 또는 잠재적 핵보유 국가 내지 초 국가 단체로부터 파견된 핵 전문가로 조직 되여 필요하면 현지 협력을 받으며 알려진 또는 의심되는 완성 또는 준비단계 핵무기 일체를 수색하여 산업용 재생가능의 경우를 제외하고 이를 완전 파괴하며 현지 답사 또는 원격 감시를 통하여 어느 규모로 던 핵 재개의 기도를 방지하기에 필요한 모든 권한과 수단이 부여된 탐지 파괴 단 (DDT)에 의하여 확인하며;

(2) 이와 비슷한 DDT가 (1)에 열거된 9단체 각자에게도 배정 되여 그에 적절한 탐지 파괴 DD 역활을 하기에 충분한 인력과 장비를 갖춰 북조선 DDT가 평양에 도착함과 동시에 베이징, 런던, 파리, 뉴데리, 테란, 브랐셀스, 이스라마받, 모스코, 워싱톤 등 그들 해당 수도에 도착하며 또 같은 시간에 시, 메이, 메크론, 모디, 루하니, 스톨톤버그, 애비, 푸틴, 트람프가 평양에 와서 당신을 만나 10인 협의회를 개최하고 제한된 범위에 차별적이던 과거 핵확산 방지 조약을 대체하는 핵 박멸 조약 (NET)을 체결하며 이를 신호로 10개 DDT가 각자 해당 지역에서 작업을 개시 하는바

김의장, 우리를 믿어 주시요: 다들 핵 디레마에서 빠져 나올 기회만 기다리고 있었기에 NET 는 만장 일치로 더구나 신속히 조인 됩니다. 자살 성향이거나 자녀 내지 손 자녀를 가진 자로 자기 자손 살해성 정신 병자가 아닌 한 갑이 상호 확증 파멸 (MAD)을 겁 내여 핵 무기를 먼저 쓰지 못할 뿐 아니라 을, 병,…도 그리 못하며 더구나 세상 사람은 다 속더라도 조선인 핏줄을 가진 회원이 있어 우리는 안 속은 당신의 엄포에도 불구하고 당신도 물론 그러지 못합니다. 그래서 10인조는 아무도 영영 사용 못할 것인 줄 알면서 없으면 약점이 될까 봐 못 버리고 움켜 쥐고 있습니다. 단 모두가 동시에 버리면 되겠는데 고양이 목에 어느 쥐가 방울을 달겠습니까? 아무도 겁쟁이로 보일까 봐 이를 제안 못 하고 얼빠져 있음은 마치 개가 교접 후 빼지 못하고 묶여 있음을 형용하는 막된 조선어 표현 “빼도 박도 못하는” 교착이며 핵 디레마의 어리석음을 꿰뚫는 비유입니다. 김의장, 당신이야 말로 이 해괴 망칙한 집단 교미 교착을 푸는 해방자가 될 것이며 당신의 절묘한 이 기원적 처사로

(3) 북조선과 이란에 대한 모든 제재는 해소 될 것이며 나아가

(4) 협의회는 NET의 본을 따라 세계 정부 헌장을 체결할 것인바, 그 까닭은

(4.1) 비핵화 하더라도 핵 무기 못지않은 파괴력을 가진 고도 기술 장비로 무장한 거대한 군대가 확산 되여 있어 수억 아니 수조의 인명을 앗아 갈수 있는 전통적 전쟁의 유발이 가능한 만큼 여기에 다시 한번 집단 교미 교착을 푸는 선두 주자로서의 당신의 역량을 발휘하여 이웃의 영토를 뺏으려는 공격이던 빼앗기지 않도록 침범을 막겠다는 방어이던 군비의 근본적 동기를 없애고, DDT를 동원하여 남은 모든 전통적 무기와 군대를 주리고 마침내 소멸되게 하소서. 씽가포르가 보여주듯 기술 혁신에 부가 있지 영토 확장에 있지 않음을 헌장은 명시하고 모든 국경 분쟁은 현상에서 동결하여 최고 법원에 의뢰 하며 나라마다 국방 예산에서 풀리는 돈으로 기반 시설, 주택, 보건, 우주 탐험에 투자하게 될 것인바

(4.2) NET 와 헌장의 위반으로부터 세계를 보호하기 위하여 각국에서 발탁된 정예 자원 민병대를 각 대륙에 기지를 둔 7개 지역 사령관이 바침하는 최고 사령부 산하에 두는 바

(4.2.1) 동아세아 사령부 (평양에 본부를 둔 중국, 대만, 로시아, 북 남 조선, 일본)

(4.2.2) 남동 아세아 사령부 (씽가포르에 본부를 둔 피리핀, 월남, 라오스, 캄보디아, 마레지아, 씽가포르, 인도네시아, 브르네이, 태국, 먄마, 호주, 뉴지랜드)

(4.2.3) 남 아세아 사령부 (코롬보에 본부를 둔 스리 랑카, 방그라데시, 인도, 파키스탄)

(4.2.4) 중동 사령부 (예루살렘에 본부를 둔 아프카니스탄, 이란, 이락, 씨리아, 조단, 터키, 싸우디 아라비아, 예먼, 아람 에미리트, 이스라엘)

(4.2.5) 유럽 사령부 (브라쎌스에 본부를 둔 EU국들과 영국)

(4.2.6) 아프리카 사령부 (몰타에 본부를 둔 에짚트 와 남 아프리카 및 그 사이와 옆으로 있는 모든 나라들)

(4.2.7) 아메리카 사령부 (파나마 시에 본부를 둔 남, 북, 중앙 아메리카)

(4.2.8) 이상 (4.2.1) ~ (4.2.7) 지역 사령부가 호노루루에 본부를 둔 최고 사령부의 관할 하에 운영 하며

(4.2.9) 총사령부의 세계적 참여를 확보하기 위하여 사령부 인원은 지역에서 지역으로 순환 근무 함으로서

(5) 국가 주권은 수정되고 궁극적으로 철폐 되는 바

핵이던 전통적이던 전운은 가시고 세계적으로 모든 분쟁은 힘이 아니라 협상과 타협으로 해결하는 새로운 역사가 시작, 예를 들어 현재 미국과 중국 사이의 무역 전쟁은 쌍방 양보로 해결되며 북조선과 남조선은 멍청한 휴전선을 타파하고 이산가족을 결합시킬 것이며 마찬가지로 조선과 일본은 위안부 문제를 협상할 것인바 안되면 최고 사령부가 그 판정을 집행하는 최고 재판소로 가게 될 것임으로

개인들이 쉽게 재판소 출입하여 평화로운 문명 사회를 이루듯 (typakmusings.com, 11-22-2018 기사, “읽기 쓰기 산술 3 기본에 4차 요소 법을 첨가, 미국을 최초 전국 변호사 국가로 만들어 폭력을 발본색원 하라” 참조) 국가들도 폭력을 폐지하고 국가는 최고이며 어느 권위에도 굴복하지 않는다는 주권 개념은 과거 유물, 먼 기억으로 제쳐 놓고 최고 사령부는 지구상 모든 국가와 인민의 소유이며 그들을 위하고 그들에 의하여 운영되는 인류가 오래도록 꿈 꿔온 세계 정부가 될 것인바

김의장, 유일하게 틀에서 벗어난 파격적 사고가 가능한 트럼프에게 이 편지를 보이며 평양으로 오라고 이르면 인류 존재와 문명의 획기적 새 아침의 동이 트리다.

2018년 12월 6일
미국 뉴저지 리지우드 고령자 회 ONCS올림

Parenting: Straighten Its Horns and You May Kill the Ox, a Korean Adage

Editor’s Note: A Korean Onc (see Immortality Club, 8-2-2018, typakmusings.com) is writing to Wilson (48), his award winning film composer son, who has been in Korea since 2015 teaching music at a Korean university, and his new wife, Audrey, his high school classmate, who has flown over from California to join him after their private wedding a couple of months back.

Dear Wilson,

Glad to hear that you are inundated with new film projects and musicals. Work is our salvation. Everything else is just a bit of inconvenience to be lightly dealt with, especially with Audrey at your side. What a blessing that you have found each other after so many years, detours, Audrey twice divorced herself! Lucky she has no children of her own, because the integration would have been doubly harder.

Dear Audrey,

I welcome you to the family, though with a twinge of guilt for dumping on you all Wilson’s baggage, his teenage children, Nicholas (17) and Jane (14) from his previous marriage, doubly so because I hear you already feel so much affection for them, a God-given opportunity to realize your latent maternity “welling up like magma,” your words, as you wedded privately in sight of the Kilauea Volcano.

Older, understanding, and busy preparing to ace ACT and get into the college of his choice in the States Nick is no problem. But Jane is. She has “rough” edges that may need to be smoothed over and polished. I want her to grow up a refined lady with all the social graces, whose company is sought, not shunned.

The work of shaping her, however, may need tact and patience. The Korean saying goes: “Straighten its horns and you may kill the ox.” But I am counting on you to turn the challenge into a splendid victory.

Parenting is an art, at which I have bungled miserably. Thank God my children have grown up to be good productive individuals nevertheless. Nor do I learn: given an opportunity I fail all over again. The year before last all four of them flew over from Korea, that is, with Wilson’s ex, and we had a big party at our house. At the buffet counter Jane was loading her plate up, beyond what she could possibly consume. Inwardly fuming at her parents I intervened and told her to come back for seconds, thirds. I fear I have forfeited her love forever as the memory of my correction rankles in her. Only if I could have done it with more tact.

Too preoccupied as he is with work to think much about parenting Wilson has needed you to come along to the rescue. His ex has also been too career oriented. Of course you are a professional, too, but I feel as a successful startup consultant you’ve got what it takes. Your not being their biological mother would help you approach the daunting task with detachment as well as love.

Radical Reduction of CEO Salaries

Approaching is that time of year when American companies announce obscenely fat remunerations for their CEOs but in view of the urgency to compete with China, innovating and producing full bore on technology stolen from us, they should rethink the policy which demoralizes their employees, the real innovators and producers.

How about 1.5 times his second in command, who should in turn be on a par with the creative staff or only a few percentage points more, the figure 1.5 suggested by the salary scale of the US President and Vice President, $400,000 and $243,700, respectively. Presumably the CEO is a big shareholder of the company already and his dividend should be more than enough pay.

Nor should the dividend be excessive in spite of the pressure to attract capital. In its relentless quest to maximize profit by minimizing the cost of labor, capital digs its own grave by destroying its consumer base: with little money in their pockets the workers cannot buy the company’s products, the built-in principle of self-destruction, noted by Karl Marx.

You can avoid this pitfall by tempering the profit motive, by sharing more with your workers. It is not Christian or other religious or ideological noblesse oblige but sheer realism for survival in obedience to the axiom of reciprocity (see Revise the 3 R’s to 4 R’s, 11-24-2018, and The Axiom of Reciprocity, 9-12-2017, typakmusings.com).

Revise the 3 R’s to 4 R’s and Make America the First All-Lawyer Nation to Root Out Violence!

Noting the perennial mass murders, violent protests, upheavals, revolutions, genocides, wars, with the heightened potential for human extinction due to advanced weaponry, the Oncs (see Immortality Club, 8-2-2018, typakmusings.com) propose to expand the 3 R’s, reading, writing, and arithmetic, the conventional school curriculum, to 4 R’s, by supplementing “rules,” in order to make all Americans with high school education lawyers so as to serve as role models for the rest of the world in the crusade to tame humans into nonviolent law-abiding individuals.

1. Two Dimensions of the 3 R’s

The 3 R’s are actually two dimensional: personal and interpersonal.

1.1. Personal (Cosmic)

Swimming out of the fog of infancy, a child immediately realizes the utmost urgency of arithmetic perception and organization of the overwhelming abundance of stimuli impinging on its senses, space and time, size, quantity, frequency. Arithmetic is the survival tool of an individual confronting the external world.

1.2. Interpersonal (Social)

Simultaneously it becomes aware of its total dependence on other humans, with whom it must communicate, speak, read, and write.

Vital though these communication or social skills may be, they are often self-centered and geared to self-aggrandizement, losing sight of the community at large, which needs strict rules to survive and work just as any organism that to live and function must obey biological principles like avoidance of poison. The social skills previously honed by reading and writing may incorporate the communal rules tangentially or incidentally, which, however, is obviously not enough in light of the rampant violence in today’s world. Hence the need to articulate rules as a separate discipline, the 4th R.

2. Outline and Purpose of the 4th R

2.1. Axiom of Reciprocity

As arithmetic has the multiplication table, rules have a foundation, presumably the axiom of reciprocity (see The Axiom of Reciprocity, 9-12-2017, typakmusings.com), expressed by Jesus, Do to others as to yourself, and by Confucius five centuries earlier with a double negative, Don’t do to others what you don’t like for yourself (see Confucius, 12-10-2013, typakmusings.com).

Both articulations of the axiom spell out the fundamental tenets of criminal law, Don’t hurt others, and contract law, Keep your promise.

2.2. Zero Tolerance for Violence and Submission to Court Decision

2.2.1 Submission to the Blind Lady Justice with the Scale

The axiom has no tolerance for individual resort to violence to have his or her way. Anyone seething with outrage is directed to an impartial arbiter, generally the parent in a family situation, monitor or teacher in school, alderman or council of elders in a village, and the court, provided their nonpartisan impartiality is guaranteed like the blind lady Justice with a scale.

When impartiality seems compromised, the 4th R provides a series of appeals, upon exhaustion of which ultimate submission to the Supreme Court or its equivalent is required.

2.2.2. Prohibition of Retaliation and Vengeance

Surprisingly, the barbarity of lex talionis, an eye for an eye, is embraced by some Christians in reliance on the Old Testament. Some time ago a Korean pastor was heard proudly recounting how in his youth his tank battalion had rolled over and razed to the ground the camp of a neighboring special forces unit whose commander had beaten up his commander in a bar room brawl. One can only imagine the kind of discipline prevailing in the South Korean military. Apparently unpunished, the narrator went to seminary and rose in the hierarchy of his denomination, perhaps still deaf to Christ’s dictum to turn the other cheek.

2.2.3. Prohibition or Minimization of Self-Defense

By the same token self-defense should be most narrowly interpreted.

2.3. The 4th R to Precede Other Courses

The content of the 4th R should be progressively amplified and finessed as the child advances through the school system, so that by 12th grade he would know as much law of the land as any law school graduate. The enormous mnemonic prowess and intellect required of a high school graduate to learn history, geography, biology, physics, etc. and take SAT to advance to college is more than adequate to learn criminal, contract, and other laws and procedures. It is utter waste of the youthful mind to be forced to learn stuff they soon forget because of disuse, while remaining ignorant of what most counts, namely law, because of its daily use throughout life.

2.3.1. Inclusion of the 4th R in SAT

Moreover, legal knowledge should be part of SAT, which would very much resemble the current US bar exam. If this burdens the young minds beyond the breaking point, one or two of the inessentials may be taken out of the curriculum.

2.3.2. Anomaly of the US Law School

The feasibility of law education in secondary school is shown by what went on in Korea prior to a 2007 reform to mimic the US law school. Korea had undergraduate (13th through 16th grade) law college, patterned on the German and Japanese model, that handed out a purely academic BA in Law. To practice law one had to pass a national bar exam, open to all high school graduates, the passing ratio hovering around 1%. The rationale was obvious: a high schooler can learn enough law to pass the bar.

What is proposed here is therefore based essentially on the pre-2007 Korean mentality regarding legal education. With the proviso: there won’t be any bar exam. Given the 4 R’s, every high school graduate is a dyed-in-the-wool lawyer, who, bred on the 4th R like arithmetic for a dozen years, can competently file a lawsuit and argue in court for himself and for others (see Overhaul of DOJ and Government Staffing: No Lawyers, 7-5-2018, typakmusings.com).

2.3.3. Re-Education of Court Employees

The standard response from an employee at a court office to an innocuous inquiry from the public is: We are not allowed to give out legal opinion. Delphic Oracle, eh?

Under the 4 R’s regime a visitor to court will not be asking stupid questions but, whatever the nature of the question, the employees, servants of the people, should provide their best considered reply, including legal opinion, which is common knowledge after all, just like an obliging librarian at a public library who goes out of her way to give directions, provide enlightening information on a book, and so forth.

2.3.4. Demise of Legal Profession and Rise of Legal Scholarship

It would be absurd to license lawyers for such basic and general knowledge as law, as it would be to license arithmeticians for their knowledge of trigonometry. On the other hand, there is need for pushing the envelope for advanced legal scholarship, for which students can major in law for their B.A. and go on to graduate school for Ph.D. to provide expert knowledge above and beyond the common knowledge of law as practiced by laymen.

3. Disappearance of Violence and Neutralization of Insanity

Every American a lawyer, the Constitutional guarantee of access to the courts will now be a reality, not a phantom as at present with expensive licensed lawyers blocking the way. With easy access to Justice one will not think of righting a wrong by self-help, unless deranged, any sign of which should be detected early and treated by stepping up mental health care nationally.

90 (=85+5), the New Retirement Age, Incorporating the Mortality Constant

Noting the crescendo of national resentment against the aging (65 years or older) as their number swells to one fifth of the population and their Social Security and Medicare benefits, worth three times their contributions and taking up half of the Federal budget, snowball the national debt, the Oncs (see Immortality Club, 8-2-2018, typakmusings.com), a proud lot mortified by their parasitism, propose to raise the retirement age to 90 in the Social Security Act.

1. Original Legislative Intent: Incorporation of the Grim Reaper’s Scythe

This complies with the original intent of the Social Security Act of 1935 when the retirement age was set at 65, that is, 60, life expectancy at the time, plus 5, the Mortality Constant or Grim Reaper’s Scythe. Its legislators led by FDR, products of the American worship of youth, believed that, given the Constant, there would be few geriatrics around to collect and drown the nation in debt.

Of course none of them had foreknowledge of the enormous extension of American life expectancy a scant three-quarter century later to 85, upon adjustment for opioid and other aberrant deaths that mostly strike down the young. The amendment therefore merely changes 60 to 85, leaving the Constant 5 in and arriving at 90.

2. Fitness of Seniors as Workers

Longevity being a concomitant of health, the majority of American seniors, especially the advanced ones, are in good shape and can hold up their end alongside any young buck in carpentry, masonry, or what have you. With advances in robotics and artificial intelligence few jobs require brute strength and more in demand will be coolness of disposition and maturity of judgment, which seniors are better equipped to provide. Shorn of erstwhile ambition and aggression, they’ll work reliably and with dedication till death.

By the same token no discrimination by reason of age will be tolerated. Pay roll tax contributions to Social Security will be continued unabated and medical insurance at work guaranteed.

3. Stringent Merit-Based Immigration and Accelerated Entrepreneurship

Immigration should be strictly regulated to permit merit-based admissions only until the job market absorbs senior labor and entrepreneurs rev up Yankee ingenuity, coming up with inventions and breakthroughs for ever more employment opportunities.

4. No Early Retirement

There is no justification for the current early retirement at age 62, before full retirement at 66, a criminal waste of young seasoned labor force. Moreover, it imparts the false and laughable illusion of achievement, seniority. No early retirement even at, say 85, will be considered under the new regime of 90 as retirement age.

5. Disability Retirement

The proposal does not touch current disability retirement for renal failure or ALS and may expand it to include other debilitating conditions, regardless of age.

6. Medicare and Medicaid

Medicare also starts at 90, as seniors will have health insurance at work until then. Those not so lucky may be eligible for need-based Medicaid, which, along with liberal disability retirement mentioned above, will be well funded with the money saved by extended senior employment across the board.

Go Home, Caravans of Migrants!

Turn around and go home! Harnessing the momentum that has brought you this far and enlisting many more of your countrymen to join your ranks, march on your capital and overthrow your corrupt, dysfunctional government!

What kind of government stands idly by, letting its nationals stage a shameful scene in plain view of the whole world, openly declaring their determination to break into another country, come hell or high water, because theirs is worse than that?

I speak as someone who has been where you are. After its war (1950-53) which killed as many as 20% of its population according to some estimates, Korea was a hell everyone wanted to escape, America the destination of choice though out of reach: the Pacific stood in the way, not to mention the near zero Asian quota. Most gave up and hunkered down to remake their nation, South Korea, and they did succeed after decades, as their current prosperity shows.

But those irreversibly disaffected did not give up and clawed and hammered at the door of the US Embassy to be told to go through the procedure, legally. They did, waiting in line, taking years, decades in some cases.

Don’t let the land connection fool you. Consider it the Pacific Ocean. The US border, walled, barb-wired, and guarded, effectively with military combat readiness, is simply impenetrable. No amount of banging your heads against it would make any difference and your exhausting trek across Mexico would have been for nothing. Go back and reform your nation, or come in legally.

Myth of Travel: The Opium for the Poor

The Western myth (of Enlightenment vintage) that one must travel widely to be cultured and refined has gripped the whole world, international tourism arrivals since 2011 exceeding 1 billion or 15% of the world’s population and the receipts $1 trillion per annum, as mega-hotels spring up, jumbo jets roar and soar, and cruise ships blast off. But is the hustle and bustle really worth it?

Not in this day and age of virtual experience. In the comfort of home just click the zillions of YouTube travel videos with expert narration and you are instantly transported to any part of the world, however exotic or remote, and experience the wonders, natural or man-made, in all their macroscopic grandeur and scale, microscopic detail and depth, apt to be missed when trudging along on location. Uncaring, obsessed for travel, the poor throw away years worth of savings only to return home as unenlightened as ever, battered, barely remembering the names of the countries or cities they have visited.

Why bother to spend money, time, and effort to fly, sail, or ride to these places, even if they are fully developed with decent security and sanitation? Forget the underdeveloped, especially the Middle East or Africa, where one easily catches ebola or is kidnapped and murdered by terrorists. Amazingly, plunking down $10,000, some still go on an African safari, risking bites by snakes and malarial mosquitoes or attacks by hyenas and lions. Why should one sleep in a hotel room, even the swankiest, known to have bed bugs, leaving his own home with 5-star amenities or so upgradable with the money saved by staying home?

As citizens of the USA whose computers have ushered in the Information Age, Americans should take the lead in weaning the world from travel addiction by going virtual. The starting point should be their own country with its breathtaking parks and cities. Zillow and Trulia give tours of houses from room to room and their environs, the whole block or city. Their inventory may soon expand to Canada and other countries.

If there still lingers skepticism about the efficacy of virtual reality consider situations where physical reality is no option. A young couple, both professionals, decide to have a baby and, after their maternity and paternity leaves, engage a team of baby sitters on different shifts so they can keep working, uninterrupted. To see how the hired help is doing neither of them need to quit and go home before the end of the work day, because there is a perfect solution: installation of surveillance cameras inside the house, as cheap as $20 each, connected to their cell phones. For an investment of a few hundred dollars, they can be home virtually.

Prediction of the Midterm Results, Nov 6, 2018: A Repudiation of Socialism

This is no brainer: a persuasive Republican majority for both chambers of Congress and Governorships to carry on the Trump agenda. All you have to do is look at the ever larger Trump rallies with raving fans, of which there were three back to back on Nov 5, culminating, after Cleveland, OH, and Fort Wayne, IN, both behemoths, with the climax, Fort Girardeau, MO, at 10 p.m., literally on the eve of Election Day, the crowd going wild, hooping and hollering, roaring, raring to go to the polls. Nobody in America, no politician, evangelist, singer, or other entertainer or spellbinder has pulled off a string of love fests with one big crowd after another on such a scale. No wonder Hollywood is hopping mad jealous, let alone the deep state in Washington.

But one may fail to see the obvious, blinded by socialism, espoused by the Democrats to depose Trump by making use of the inequality factor. The top 20% of Americans own 86% of the country’s wealth, the rest, 80%, owning the balance, 14%, of which the bottom half, i.e. 40% of the nation’s population owning less than 1%. Anti-Trumpers count on the certainty of revolt by the dispossessed 40% but also probably the other 40%, the so-called middle class, whose slim slice of the pie, 17%, is enough to infuriate them, the Antifas and other extremists.

But the Trump victory proves the error of the calculation. Equal net worth for all sounds good but is simply unworkable, because everybody wants more for himself. Greed, thy name is humankind, Shakespeare would have said. Capitalism, its other alias, drives us to compete, to work and innovate.

Suppose inequality is so heinous that it ignites a French Revolution or Bolshevik Revolution, killing off the billionaires, “enemies of the people.” What comes afterwards?

Abolition of capitalism requires a huge bureaucracy with enormous power, which naturally corrupts. Let’s assume it doesn’t and the enforcer is honest and benevolent. For all that trouble, what results is a nation of lazy bums with no motivation to work. Why should they? Ironically, the USSR might not have imploded if its enforcers had been more corrupt than they were and allowed the system to revert to capitalism on the side, as it did in China.

But the recurrence of revolutions at such cost gives us pause. Capitalism always overheats and in a generation or two extreme inequality results. The trick is to control and manage this biology of capitalism.

For the time being America will be spared a revolution. The 2018 Trump victory is proof of that. With home ownership at 60% the pitiful middle-class Americans still want to hang on to their home, be it ever so humble, to leave to their children so they have a better chance of winning the competition.

Another safety valve is public and private charity, like food stamps, meals on wheels, Supplemental Security Income, Medicare, etc. To extend the longevity of American capitalism, however, the top 1% should participate in a more drastic charity program, not out of charity but greed, their own long-term dynastic survival, as suggested in Billionaire Hall of Fame, 4-12-2015, typakmisings.com.

The Lottery: The Equalizer

No sooner has B bought a lottery ticket on impulse, when the jackpot soars through the billion dollar mark, than he regrets it. Instead of fantasizing about his winning, a long shot, too depressing to think about, his mind dwells on the certainty of some lucky dude X, probably a bum, winning and becoming an instant aristocrat. How X would preen and strut, with what airs! B can well imagine it, knowing A, a relative, school alum, coworker, church member, as the case may be, who lives in a mansion, owns a yacht, an airplane…, and has a circle of friends that excludes B. All because A’s net worth is $15,000,000, which is however only 1% of X’s.

What if X turns out to be someone B knows, a loser he has loathed and avoided all these years? B is startled by the polar reversal of their relative positions. Such a probability is actually quite high. In his time B has crossed paths with quite a few deadbeats and these lotteries will go on in every state, because the government gets to withhold a big chunk, nearly half of a jackpot, easy revenue without taxation.

Is it time he revised his attitude toward these lowlifes, especially because the world’s billionaires are lottery ticket winners in a different sense? Most of them make it that big in the stock market, a huge gambling arena, so-called investment but a euphemism for speculation, gambling. So is opening a restaurant, going into construction, buying a house or doing anything at all in life.

What about scholarship and research, successes and achievements built on many years of hard work and dedication? They are not all that different, B discovers. Every one of the inventors, scientists, writers has gambled. Luck dictates their career choice and inertia takes over. Then they pursue a hunch, which pans out, and they get to go on to win the Nobel prize, beating others to the punch.

B concludes the lottery ticket worth it for the insight, for teaching him to moderate his jealousy and anger at the billionaires and Nobel laureates, as well as his contempt for the also-rans of the world, including himself, and swears to extend the same courtesy and respect to all the next time around.

All Aboard Choo Choo Train to Trump Land MAGA!: Witch Hunt Is Over!

Finally, it is full speed ahead all the way to the Trump Land of American Greatness, Mueller’s Witch Hunt wrecked by a triple whammy and cleared off the tracks.

1. Indicted Russians Demand Discovery

To look good, to prove that he is not wasting time (for nearly 2 years) and money ($25 million of tax payer money and counting) Mueller casually dashes off 13 indictments (see Mueller’s Russian Indictments: A Copout, 7-24-2018, typakmusings.com), cocksure that would be the end of it. The indicted Russians, none of whom have come to the States before (and yet of course colluded with Trump) would bother to travel all the way across the ocean, spending time and money. In the meantime by the grandstanding he accomplishes two things: (a) names and shames the absentees thereby fixing the suspicion of collusion more firmly on Trump’s head and (b) shrugs the Trumpers off his back and gets his tenure extended, until at least past the midterm elections in November, 2018, when a Blue Wave brings a Democratic majority to the House and impeaches Trump, regardless how his Special Investigation fares.

Lo and behold, the darn Russians show up and demand disclosure of his evidence against them. This time he cannot hem and haw or redact, as his DOJ and FBI cronies do, thumbing their nose at Congress. This is a US Federal Court, where a defendant’s right to discovery is constitutionally guaranteed. But compliance means the end of the Witch Hunt, as it incriminates the top echelons of DOJ and FBI, including Mueller himself and his pal Rosenstein, who signs off on FISA applications and appoints him Special Counsel.

Mueller and his minions, yes, all those smug elite lawyers are currently not smirking but racking their brains, brows knit, to figure out how they may extricate themselves from this hole of their own digging. They can’t. The game’s up. They have no alternative but to drop the indictments in toto, refusing discovery for national security reasons, and become the laughing stock of the whole world.

But in defeat is Mueller man enough to throw in the towel and own up, confessing that the Hunt has been a hoax all along? No, he still has Manafort who, threatened with a 3 centuries-plus jail term, might flip on Trump, just as Cohen did, though in vain.

2. Rick Gates, the Embezzler and Fraud

But the Manafort trial on which Mueller has been betting his bottom dollar is falling apart. His star witness Rick Gates, a long-time associate of Manafort’s plea-bargained to squeal on Manafort, turns out to have zero credibility: an embezzler, liar, adulterer. Whatever he has to say against Manafort will only boost him who, so reinforced, won’t turn on Trump, however deep Mueller may dig, maybe way back to his conception.

How absurd, how sad for America! Mueller and vermin of his ilk should have been squelched at the outset and the responsibility for the omission rests squarely with Ellis, the presiding judge. Granted he has repeatedly come down hard on Mueller for minutiae, like looking down, not up when talking to his Highness, and is steering the trial toward acquittal or guilty verdict on some charge unrelated to the purpose of Mueller’s appointment. In fact, Ellis is responsible for the whole Witch Hunt dragging out this long, ruling as he did in May 2017 upon perusal of Rosenstein’s appointment letter, that Mueller is indeed empowered to pursue “any links” whatsoever related to Russia and Trump, laying the blame on Rosenstein for giving such an unfettered fishing license to Mueller.

Attached below is the one-page document which clearly shows that Ellis has not read it closely enough and has allowed himself to be manipulated by Rosenstein’s deliberately ambiguous verbiage, thereby missing the whole point of the investigation, Russian collusion with Trump. Often woodsmen lose sight of the forest on account of the trees.

Instead of focusing on the headline in bold letters, investigate Russian interference with the 2016 presidential election and related matters, Ellis is lost in the text and gets fixated on one phrase, “any links,” perhaps betraying his penchant for minutiae, and strays from the controlling clause, “any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation.” The key words are “related” and “directly”. Of course such degree of ambiguity wouldn’t pass muster in English 101 but Rosenstein, the elite genius, composes this garbage, perhaps counting on its misinterpretation by his elite fellow jurists. Ellis rebukes Mueller for obsessing with Manafort’s lavish lifestyle, not because it is strictly forbidden by the language of the charging document but out of common sense. Had the mandate been properly interpreted, the nation would have been spared the tragicomic agony of the charade called Manafort trial.

3. A Giant Red Wave

Mueller’s calculation to hang on and ride the Blue Wave has been shattered. In Ohio Balderson, a Trump Republican, is a winner (though his opponent does not concede as of this writing, 11:16 p.m. EDT, 8-8-2018), making Republican gains 8 out of 9 and confirming the Republican majority of the House. Mueller’s hopes for Trump impeachment by Congress have a snowflake’s chance in hell.

[The PDF file is not copying and other means are being sought. In the meantime Google “Mueller Appointment Letter.]

Who Wins the Trade War, US or China?

On Aug 5, 2018, the first Sunday of the month, the ONCS at Ridgewood United Methodist Church, Ridgewood, NJ (see Immortality Club, 8-2-2018, typakmusings.com) had as its guest speaker J, who had grown up in the church before going off to teach political science at universities in Asia.

Dispensing with a formal presentation he invites the group’s participation in a Q&A session and goes straight to the burning question of the day, especially in the Democrat majority state: will America survive the consequences of the trade war set off by Trump’s foolhardy tariffs on Chinese goods?

“For a while,” J concludes after surveying the statistics, billions, even trillions of dollars worth of goods across the board to sustain modern American lifestyle. “With stopgap subsidies to those who scream like the soybean growers. The Chinese are smart and punch back right where it hurts most, the soft underbelly of America.”

“But the EU has offered to buy our soybeans?” I suggest, hoping for the superfluity of their subsidy.

“Only a fraction of what China can buy,” counters M, an Onc and dedicated Trump detractor. “Tofu is still not a staple of European diet.”

“Right,” J is on a roll. “But American vulnerability is not limited to soybeans. The American body is soft everywhere, not just the underbelly. For the last few decades it has soaked, submerged in the numbing sweet elixir of Chinese manufacture and the subsidies will multiply ballooning the budget until it pops. Either subsidies will cease or rampant inflation stalk the land, Americans everywhere screaming for Trump’s blood.”

“But the Chinese will suffer, too,” I hazard. “Look at the steel furnaces firing up all over America. China has mountains of steel they cannot dump anywhere except maybe in the South China Sea to build their idiotic islands.”

“Okay,” J concedes. “It comes down to pain tolerance and, unlike Americans, the Chinese are known for unlimited capacity. Their whole history is endurance. They just suffer and wait for years and years, generation after generation. Remember Deng Xiaoping’s answer when asked by an American journalist what he thought of the French Revolution (1789-99): it’s too early to tell.”

“After two centuries?” I laugh in disbelief. “I don’t think he went to school beyond sixth grade. No, the Chinese I know bleed and scream just as much as any American, and are just as incontinent and foolhardy like us. Okay, like Trump. But he has a better chance of prevailing because Chinese exposure is greater than ours. Suppose trading stops this instant. They’ll have ten times more stuff rotting on the docks of Shanghai than ours on both coasts. Look at all the megacities they have built and can’t fill, the trillion dollar One Belt One Road Plan, including the New Eurasian Land Bridge (Railroad), to dominate global trade, all a flop. No capacity can take that much hurt.”

“Look,” M, an idealist and humanist at heart, tries to raise the discussion to a higher level. “All these tariffs and trade wars will disappear if we have a global government, a global United States or EU magnified. Just as Massachusetts won’t drop a nuclear bomb on Vermont for deep sea fishing rights, we won’t bomb Russia or China or vice versa about who makes what.”

“Speaking of nuclear bombs, we should get along with Russia and China to survive and trade wars are certainly not the way to go about it,” J agrees. “Clinton let slip a golden opportunity right after the collapse of the USSR. Weak and clueless, Russia would have joined NATO and a Transatlantic Federation, TF, could have emerged, which would have eventually brought China into the fold, the rest of the world following suit. But he had to bow to the Polish lobby.”

“Isn’t Trump’s meeting with Putin in Helsinki a prelude to TF?” I jump to peddle my idea (see Helsinki 2018: the Finest Hour of American Diplomacy, 7-19-2018, typakmusings.com).

“Not immediately after he beefs up the NATO budget by hundreds of billions with new member contributions,” opines S, a recognized sage among the Oncs. “But in time the additional financial burden may make the Europeans or the Americans howl or even the Russians for that matter. The best scenario is for them all to blink and yell, Enough! at the same time, instead of playing chicken to the bitter end, towards MAD, mutual assured destruction.”

“Such simultaneity would be facilitated by interracial, intercultural, international marriage like J’s,” I mention, referring to his gracious Chinese wife who has given him two gorgeous Eurasian children, and go on to plug my book. “That is exactly the theme of The Polyglot: Union of Korea and Japan, amazon.com, where the protagonist, a Korean with Russian and Central Asian upbringing, marries an American girl, and also discovers that his biological father is a Japanese tycoon, not a famous Korean patriotic poet married to his Korean doctor mother. It urges the union of the two historic rivals, Korea and Japan, a similar invitation to China in its sights. Asia so unified will join the TF. Your World Union, M, would ensue as a superstructure anchored to such firm regional bases, rather than a federation of individual states.”

“I can’t agree more strongly,” J chimes in, and takes down the title of the book, promising to incorporate it in his curriculum. I love this guy. Too bad I cannot talk more fully about his identity or vision about US and China relations. Perhaps I have given away too much as it is, catching him off guard. He must have thought he is with his old home church crowd, especially its Oncs, the terminals, who would surely take whatever they learn to the grave. In addition to his scholarly work and teaching he has close dealings with the Chinee government in an advisory capacity under an implicit NDA (nondisclosure agreement). I hope what I have disclosed so far does not come to haunt him. To be fair, however, he hasn’t revealed anything all that secret. Anyone with internet access could have figured it out.

Jim Jordan: Next Speaker and President

On May 21, 2018, at a gathering of the Freedom Caucus in Washington, D.C., Rep. Jim Jordan gave a talk on the basic values of America, work, discipline, willingness to take risks to get things done, ignoring easy-goers, naysayers. It was verily a breath of fresh air, a “pin drop speech” as billed by YouTube.

A natural, extemporaneous speaker he articulates his thoughts simultaneously as they form in the head, or so it seems. With no time for selection or labored embellishment they shoot out like machine gun bullets to blow the cocky smile off the face of Deputy AG Rosenstein and compel his compliance with congressional demand for the FISA documents.

But in a friendly setting as now they shower flower petals, jewels, or manna, as the case may be, that soothe, cheer, thrill, or inflame. His lifelong motto has been Do what you said you would do. “There is one guy doing that in town,” he says, namely, President Trump, who has cut taxes, shored up the economy, defeated ISIS, … In comparison, the Congress has failed miserably time and again, he illustrates, taking the easy way out.

His voice rings out clarion clear with no hint of hoarseness (due to laryngeal impairment by acid reflux or otherwise), thanks perhaps to his “majoring in wrestling”: in college he was top state wrestler year after year, as well as serving as assistant wrestling coach. Making light of his formal education, MA in economics and JD, he is a quick study, distinguishing himself as an innovative and responsible legislator (Ohio State Legislature 1995-2006, US Congress 2007 – current). More recently, he has been brilliant in the House oversight role breaking open the deep-state hangers-on in the DOJ and FBI to prevent their complicity in the Witch Hunt for Russian collusion from imploding America (Overhaul of DOJ and Government Staffing: No Lawyers, 7-5-2018, typakmusings.com).

Firmly rooted in his Midwest upbringing and grateful and humble to serve and lead when elected in whatever role, he is not likely to put on elitist airs and will carry the torch passed on by Trump in 2024 to KEEP AMERICA GREAT (see Manifesto of Radical Democracy, 5-26-2014, typakmusings.com). The country should rally behind his bid for Speaker of the House now and give him full 6 years of tutelage alongside his exemplar and congenial colleague and companion to be 46th President of the US.

Immortality Club

Earlier this year we had the induction, willy-nilly, of S, a Korean American, as the youngest Onc, that is, a member of ONCS, Octo-Nona-Centenarian Society, formed informally at Ridgewood United Methodist Church, Ridgewood, NJ, subsequent to the posting of Candor about Age (1-23-2018, typakmusings.com).

Understandably he wasn’t all that thrilled, a reluctance shared by the others: it’s not like induction into a Hall of Fame. I have had to twist their arms to quit pussyfooting about their age (1-21-2018, typakmusings.com). Reciting Candor, I point out, uncharitably, that their declaration of Onchood comes as no surprise. They have been carrying the flashing beacons: droopy jowls, collapsed look at the mouth despite extensive dental work, grey hair, sneaking roots belying the dye, shuffling gait, geriatric stoop, generally sagging, sinking appearance, some wheelchair bound, too obvious to escape anyone’s notice, unlike the subtler signs displayed by the younger “I am not telling” or “forever 39” crowd.

But S has a particular reason to refuse identification with the other Oncs. He still is or imagines himself to be full of energy, playing golf 3 or 4 days a week. No, he is not one of those living dead, zombie like. Besides he has heard somewhere that in America those above 80, considered terminal cases, are looked upon with pity, if not loathing. Disingenuously I have persuaded him that ONCS is actually like the Biblical Senate to which all the rest of the church look up as repository of wisdom and guidance, that unlike Koreans who pay lip service to respect for the elderly Americans show it in action like Senior Supplemental Security Income.

Of course I haven’t told him that America, a youth worshiping culture, looks askance at Eithgy-plussers. During fellowship after church service the younger crowd shy away from us. Rubbing elbows with Oncs is bad investment timewise: they’ll all be goners in a few years, before or shortly after they turn 90, a knockout blow coming unpredictably from any part of the body, somewhat reminiscent of the punishment meted out in the old Chinese (Korean or Japanese?) military: a company of men is ordered to stand around and keep kicking the sack in which the prisoner is enclosed, until it slumps and goes still. No wonder they look upon us as residents of a hospice wheeled out for an outing, for social exposure, like a good meal before the execution.

Though the centenarian label is tacked on, that is, 100 or older, it’s just a wishful thought. The likelihood of any of us joining that stratum is 0.005%. Besides 99.99% of those few hundred thousand worldwide who cross the threshold perish in the first decade, and only a few dozen make the Supercentenarian rank, 115 or above. There is only one verified Supra-supercentenarian, Jeanne Calment (1875–1997) of France, who died at the age of 122 years, 164 days. There is no question of any human making it to the 8th or 9th century like some Old Testament patriarchs, let alone the millennium, not contemplated even in fertile Jewish memory. Not that it matters one way or another in the spectrum of eternity.

Actually we are glad they leave us alone. We don’t have much to say. No dicta impress us. Few of us ever quote anyone, be it a sage or a god. Not because our memory is failing but because so-called insight or wisdom sounds all so tawdry.

But we, hospice residents, may be rendering one salutary public service. Like the Anchor Boy graduating last and feted by the whole class at the Naval Academy for making everybody else look good in comparison, the Oncs give the non-Oncs a sense of safety and wellbeing, akin to that of a gladiator standing over a fallen opponent.

“Let’s change our group name to Immortality Club dedicated to the promotion of research and industry to bring about immortality,” S declares.

“But there is cellular senescence,” I add my two bits. “Our cells shut down after 50 cycles of division, because telomeres capping DNA wear out.”

“Nanotechnology will repair DNA damage and ultimately reverse senescence,” S is confident. “Humans will live forever, not in deep freeze or suspended animation, but in the prime of life, active and productive. Just imagine what the world will be like.”

“Can it be done before the end of the year?” asks W, the oldest Onc at 98.

“Not that soon. That’s why we should push it as a national movement and get it funded by the government, even setting up a new Department of Immortality.”

“That would be long after I am gone,” wails W. “So unfair! No, I want no part of it.”

CNN’s Modus Operandi: Decontextualization

On Jul 24, 2018 CNN does it again, confirming its modus operandi: decontextualization.

To refute Trump’s latest tweet that Russia might aid the Democrats in the 2018 mid-term elections because contrary to expectations he has been tough to Russia, Wolf Blitzer plays a clip from the Helsinki summit news conference 8 days before and asks viewers to judge for themselves whether Putin is pro-Trump or pro-Democrats.

A reporter asks a compound question: (1) Did Putin want Trump to win? and (2) Did Putin help him win in 2016?

Putin answers yes and goes on to address Question 1, explaining the reason for his preference: Trump wants to get along with Russia. Cutting him off Blitzer looks triumphantly at the camera, unspoken words shouting, QED. If the viewer had not watched the press conference in full, he or she would believe that Putin has admitted to meddling and collusion in 2016 and will do so again in 2018.

Had Blitzer left the video run a few more seconds the viewer would have heard Putin categorically say No to Question 2 and dismiss collusion as an absurdity.

History will show CNN and others for the fake media they are, depriving the world of knowledge (see CNN Fakery on the 8-22-2017 Trump Rally, 8-25-2017, typakmusings.com).

Mueller’s Russian Indictments: A Copout

In defiance of White House efforts at dissuasion the Mueller Russian collusion probe, on which the Impeach (Lynch) Trump mob has pinned its hopes, grandly announces indictments against 12 Russian nationals to coincide with the Trump-Putin summit on Jul 16, 2018.

If meant to be a dramatic warning of some sort to Trump as he meets Putin, it has made absolutely no impression. Right chummy with Putin, Trump has asked him to the White House, the first such invitation to a Russian head of state since Khrushchev in 1959. Actually, Mueller has made that gesture, knowing full well that the indictments cannot be enforced, there being no extradition treaty with Russia, underscored by Putin’s offer to Mueller to come over and interrogate the Russians charged, aware that Mueller will do no such thing.

Apart from their vacuity the Russian indictment strays into a fishing trip not sanctioned by his May 17, 2017 Special Counsel charter: Investigation into

“any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump, and any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation.”

Despite the misleading “any” it must be strictly interpreted to mean discovery of proof of Trump’s collusion with Putin rising to treason. After 1.2 years of digging there isn’t a “scintilla of evidence” supporting it, according to Rep. Gowdy. Moreover, if there is such collusion, it will show in action, such as Trump’s easing up on sanctions against Russia or giving other concessions. There is no hint of that. In fact, the opposite is the case, Trump escalating the sanctions. If Putin had been stiffed thereby, he would have stepped forward by now to get the welsher’s blood. He has not.

Nor do the 12 indictments stem “directly” from the specified purpose of the probe: Trump’s collusion. Instead they merely allege Russian meddling in US elections, as if that’s news. Russian meddling has been going on and will never stop. It’s part of their national policy. Nor should we be self-righteous and indignant: our CIA, NSA, FBI, etc. may have been doing something similar or worse to Russia and others all along.

But in the performance of this gratuitous labor Mueller’s team has been bewildered by the profligacy of their quarry. The Russians are simply drunk with meddling, lashing out in every which way with no direction or purpose. It would be nice and neat if they had hacked Hillary’s campaign only to dig up dirt on her to share and collude with Trump. Instead Russian operatives, all supposedly under Putin’s control, hack Trump, too, and supply Steele with material to script the Dossier for Hillary which in turn emboldens Rosenstein and crew to apply for FISA surveillance on the Trump campaign and appoint Mueller as Special Counsel.

Rep. Gowdy demands Mueller to end the witch hunt immediately, lest it should tear the nation apart, by bringing anybody to be charged to the “damn grand jury.” The vacuous Russian indictment won’t cut it. Devin Nunes and other Congressmen ask Trump to dissolve the probe but he won’t, because the I(L)T mob will go on forever with their litany that he did so because Mueller was getting too close for comfort.

Will Mueller terminate it voluntarily? No way. Because the facts protected by on-going investigation will all out and send to jail Rosenstein, Mueller, and a whole lot of the I(L)T mob for not only knowingly going on with the Dossier, even after its bogus nature became obvious only a few months into the probe, but also extending the fishing trip to the Middle East. Mueller will probably drag out the hunt until a Democratic President comes along to pardon him and his pals.

In the meantime the Russians are patting themselves on the back for embroiling America serendipitously in an unending feud which may, they hope, lead to its implosion and collapse (see Russians Having a Belly Laugh, 7-19-2017, typakmusings.com).

Helsinki 2018, the Finest Hour of American Diplomacy: Redemption for the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962

The reactions of the American media to the Trump-Putin summit in Helsinki on Jul 16, 2018 certify them as myopic, partisan, fake news and prove once and for all the old adage about the blind calling an elephant a snake as they feel only its trunk. They think Trump has diminished America by truckling to Putin, the big winner. On the contrary, Trump emerges the elder statesman and global peace maker/strategist showing the way for America and Russia to get along and hold in check China as well as other minor bullies, rogues, and terrorists.

One may even go as far as to say that Helsinki 2018 is the finest hour of American diplomacy and redeems the horror of the American macho “toughness” (more accurately, foolhardiness) displayed by Kennedy vis-a-vis Khrushchev 56 years ago over the Cuban Crisis, which could have ended life on earth. The blind talking heads and pundits are insensitive to the paramount imperative for America and Russia to get along, the chilling specter still hanging over our heads: 90% of the world’s nuclear warheads in the hands of the duo, each capable, if provoked, of turning the Earth singlehandedly into a dead planet many times over in the twinkling of an eye.

(1) Competitor, not Adversary

Adroitly, Trump turns a reporter’s ploy to trap the two men into an adversarial relationship by calling Russia a competitor, a compliment because competition is the mantra of capitalism, endorsed by Putin and other post-Soviet Russians. He foils another reporter’s attempt to make him eat his word, telling Merkel not to buy Russian gas and make Germany vulnerable, language reminiscent of the Cold War: it’s just salesmanship, he jests, trying to sell American surplus gas and oil. Trump, the master dealer, defuses the tension between the two countries by transforming possible armed conflict into humdrum commercial negotiation.

(2) Mum on Crimea

The blind fakes denounce Trump for failing to order the KGB thug to get out of Crimea, failing to note that the annexation is not so cut and dried or single dimensional. A seaside way station since time immemorial for every tribal or troop movement from the continent to the Black Sea and vice versa, Crimea was made part of Russia in 1783 and was assigned in 1954 from Russia to Ukraine, then both in the USSR, for rezoning purposes, and left as an “autonomous” appendage to Ukraine following the Soviet collapse in 1991 until its recent Russian takeover, which is not exactly a grab and gulp in the old imperialistic mode. It would be quixotic of America to rise up in indignation and go to war to force Russia to cough up Crimea. Wisely, therefore, Trump lets Putin state his case. Noting Trump’s standing opposition to the Russian intervention in 2014, Putin cites the overwhelming (95%) referendum in favor, 90% of the Crimeans speaking Russian. Trump lets it rest there, not because he is ignorant of the inflated statistics but because the alternative, restoration to Ukraine for whatever reason, is just not worth rocking the boat of friendship just launched between the two countries.

(3) Throwing US Intelligence Under the Bus on Russian Collusion and Meddling

In reply to a reporter’s question whether he wanted Trump to win, Putin frankly admits he did because Trump wanted to get along with Russia whereas Hillary didn’t, but categorically denies doing anything to bury her, like hacking into the Hillary campaign and digging up dirt on her to share and collude with Trump. “I didn’t know him in 2016 to collude with,” he says, though the translation seems somewhat mangled.

Citing Mueller’s indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officers a reporter tenaciously points out that based on indisputable US intelligence Russia has hacked into Hillary’s DNC. Putin denies this unequivocally and invites Mueller to come over and interrogate the persons charged. At this point the guy, a fake news stoolie with no qualms about putting his President on the spot, asks point blank whether he takes Putin’s word against his own US intelligence. Is Trump to wreck this once in a lifetime opportunity to get along with Russia by calling Putin a liar? Trump dodges the frontal attack and questions the infallibility of any intelligence service, including that of the US which to date has not produced Hillary’s server or missing emails. Of course this evasion, more accurately diplomatic finesse, is fuel for the firestorm at home, one CNN know-all solemnly declaring that Trump has thrown his own intelligence people under the bus.

Actually, Trump could have told Putin something like “collusion no but meddling yes,” even if it may have been to help him, and rebuked him, though good-naturedly. He is known to be blunt at his own expense. But there is no clear-cut evidence for meddling in his favor. In fact, hacking or false hacking went on in the other direction fueling the Witch Hunt unleashed by the FISA application based on the Trump dossier, Russian fabricated. If Russia was meddling, it was doing so in the most bizarre fashion imaginable, “peeing in both directions,” as a Korean saying goes about a drunken fool not knowing where the piss pot is. Trump is wise to stay clear of Russian meddling as it would question the sanity of the man whose goodwill he wants to win.

(4) Airing Dirty Laundry All Over the World

The visually impaired self-righteous patriotic media cannot fathom why Trump should mention Hillary’s destroyed emails and server, his running a clean campaign, and even slime like FBI agent Strzok, all domestic issues, not for the whole world to gloat over. Never has an American President behaved so despicably at an international forum. So unseemly, un-presidential, nay treasonous!

On the contrary, the self-styled patriots in fact diminish America, thinking these matters purely domestic, dirty laundry. They underestimate the importance of what goes on in American politics to Russia and the rest of the world, all getting a real time lesson on how democracy works, with all its limitations, ultimately for application to their own politics and government. Truly un-American are these Americans, who take an insular view of their role as the path finder for the whole world (see The American Age, 6-9-2014, typakmusings.com).

Just as we Americans appreciate Donald for his candor and transparency, so does the world, lapping up whatever the President of the US airs, especially his dirty laundry, to assure them we are all human after all, no matter our circumstances.

(5) Who is the Big Winner?

Particularly pathetic is a female talking head lamenting Trump’s appearance, a wimp compared to the manly self-assured Putin. Is she jealous of Melania? Throughout the whole encounter Trump comes across as a gracious, indulgent elder ready to take anything the junior might throw at him. Nor is Putin brash or cocky. If he is indeed the big winner as the fake media would have it, at least he doesn’t lord it over the loser. In fact, the opposite is the case: right cordial, deferential, respectful is he throughout. We can feel the good vibes between the two. Collusion? Putin with something on Trump? Give me a break. The tension has snapped “4 hours ago”, Helsinki time, Jul 16, 2018, and we may have just been ushered into a new era of coexistence and peace. The verdict:

Both have won big for the whole world.

Abolish Speed Limits: US Public Enemy Number One

It is taken for granted in America that speed limits are posted to be ignored and exceeded, safely by 10 miles but, with progressive riskiness, by 20, 30, or more, “risk” here meaning not physical or mechanical danger associated with high speed but the likelihood of getting nailed by the cops. The trick is to look out for them hiding in ambush with their speed gun and slow down in time. This cat and mouse game is honed to a fine art, starting from the moment one leaves the privacy of home and jumps in the car to interact with society, with the world, where law kicks in, until he or she returns home.

Is such behavior, such mentality consistent with a conscientious law-abiding citizenry? Not at all. America will end up a country of cynics who despise and flout the law, play with it, sneak around it, the more expertly the more they learn about it, say, by going to law school, as shown recently by the DOJ and FBI lawyers shamelessly, arrogantly lying and defying the Congress, a degree of deviousness abhorrent and unthinkable to the Puritan founders of the nation.

The damage has been done, the US recording the world’s highest incarceration rate, 655 out of 100,000, which is 15 times Japan’s 45 and 6 times South Korea’s 109. The US murder rate is 5.35 per 100,000, which is 20 times Japan’s 0.28 and 8 times South Korea’s 0.7. Nor is the home safe from the inroads of fundamental duplicity mirroring the public mindset, the US divorce rate inching above 60%.

The only way to turn the tide is to take down all the speed signs and trust the individual driver’s good judgment by instituting a rigorous and thorough driver education regime prior to licensing, modeled after the fighter pilot training program. Considering the deadly consequences of mishandling an automobile, truly astonishing is the laxity with which driver licenses are handed out, seemingly in collusion with the auto industry lobby to maximize car ownership and operation. DMV should require each applicant to complete weeks or months of video assisted classes subject to tough graduation exams, followed by virtual road tests in all possible situations. Only then the applicant is taken out for an actual road test, thorough and rigorous enough to certify the right instincts and reflexes in all conceivable driving as well as parking scenarios. So licensed, the novice driver will be as good as a veteran and know not to slow down in a school zone, for example, when the school is closed and no children are around.

Only on freeways with no traffic controls physically, mechanically unsafe limits, say 100 MPH, may be enforced with electronic surveillance and automatic fining. On arrow straight roadways stretching from horizon to horizon in states like Utah 200 MPH may be considered, if auto technology supports it.

Overhaul of DOJ and Government Staffing: No Lawyers

On Jun 28, 2018, America watched in amazement Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein, currently the top law enforcement officer of the land next to Trump, thanks to Jeff Sessions, the dead man walking, fudge and dodge, refusing to answer the simple question asked by Rep. Gohmert, “Did you read the FISA application you signed?”

Understandably so, because he is caught between a rock and a hard place. To say yes is to admit that he is the ultimate villain who has unleashed the Spygate against Trump and the subsequent 2-year-long Russian collusion probe but to say no is admission of perjury for swearing to and signing an unread affidavit. Either way he goes to jail. How pitifully he wriggles, twists and turns like a worm, impaled by a hook, though one wouldn’t suspect it from his cocky smirk and demeanor.

But his first maneuver of evasion is rather stupid: he turns to FBI Director Wray seated to his right at the congressional witness table. Getting no help there and at the reminder by the impatient Congressman that the question is for him to answer Rosenstein says that he doesn’t need to read every FISA warrant he signs, that he merely need to understand what’s in it. To anyone who understands English that means, No, he hasn’t read it.

Gohmert expresses his surprise somewhat uncertainly, perhaps too shocked to believe what he has heard: “When you approve a FISA application, in your mind, does that mean you should read it and understand what’s part of it?” He should have said “you should read it,” period. If he must add anything, it would be: “and understand every part of it.” Instead, under the shock effect mentioned, he says “and understand what’s part of it”.

This is the opening he needs and Rosenstein jumps in with both feet: “You should certainly understand what’s part of it, sir.”
Belatedly realizing his error Gohmert orders Rosenstein not to “parse words” and tries to pin him down to his answer: “So, that doesn’t mean you need to read it, in your opinion – is that correct?” Actually, he intends to say, “So, that means you need not read it,” but the negative is shifted to the auxiliary verb, a frequent colloquialism. Perhaps encouraged by this grammatical slip Rosenstein unhesitatingly declares: “It depends on the circumstances.”

In exasperation Gohmert says: “Well, I am telling you, being a former felony state judge, if I had somebody like you come before me and now it was revealed later that the guy that signed and approved an application for a warrant had not even read the application that would allow spying on somebody, I would look at everything he signed from then on with a jaundiced eye.” And let that guy go on signing applications, whether looked at with a jaundiced eye or not, instead of throwing him in jail immediately?

Eventually we learn that as supervisor of over a hundred thousand employees he routinely signs off on thousands of documents all the time, apparently not reading but understanding it by telepathy, hearsay, or something and that only partially. How can Congress with its duty of oversight let these arrogant clowns occupy such high positions? Or is it the built-in impotence of Congress, as one may wonder watching the game Rosenstein is allowed to play with Congressional demand for documents? With a smug, taunting smile he says he has produced over a million. Irrelevant trash intended to head off and drown Congress, whereas only a fraction of what is really wanted has been served up, and that heavily “redacted”, that is, blacked out, speciously for national security’s sake. Baloney! Upon restoration, because there is technology for it, it is innocuous stuff, security-wise, but dynamite, destroying the integrity and credibility of Rosenstein and company.

Frustrated and disgusted, Rep. Gowdy tells Rosenstein to wrap up the whole Russia probe, which is tearing the nation apart. Indeed, it is a pity this tragicomedy is allowed to drag on. But there may be a silver lining. In the end Congress will get what it wants. Summoned to testify are the rank and file staffers of the DOJ ad FBI, some bound to blow the whistle on the collusion among the top dogs, Rosenstein, Wray, and others, all deeply involved in a vast corruption scheme, like coverup for Hillary’s uranium deal, and send the whole lot of them to jail.

Will the system remain clean and wholesome after their purge? Not if staffed with another crop of lawyers, professionally trained to fudge and dodge expertly like Rosenstein. Maybe it’s high time lawyers were barred from government employment, especially DOJ. Most legal work can be done by college freshman interns, thanks to the internet, video, and other devices. When necessary outside contractors can be consulted for a flat fee. We certainly don’t need lawyers in the upper echelons of government, to sign off without reading. See how America is getting great again with Trump at the helm rather than a career politician, that is, a lawyer. We need many more businessmen, engineers, builders, doctors, and other real-life experts in government, not politicians. The very idea of anyone making a career of government service should make us puke (see Manifesto of Radical Democracy, 5-25-2014, typakmusings.com).

Trump, the Eternal Juvenal

On Jun 28, 2018 in Mt Pleasant, WI, President Trump broke ground for the construction of a $10 billion Foxconn electronics manufacturing plant to produce half or more of all the electronic devices in use throughout the world. But this is the tip of the iceberg. Committed is the infusion of 10 times as much Foxconn capital to get the plant going, which would in turn trigger the influx of even more from all over. “The 8th Wonder of the World,” Trump rhapsodizes and so should the rest of America. The economy is really turning around and this is just the beginning.

But there is a typical Trumpian twist in handing out merit badges and honorable mentions. Complimenting Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin, “a very talented person,” on “running 2,000 yards” with the ball passed to him, that is, paving the way to locate Foxconn in Mt Pleasant, he immediately regrets conceding so much to a potential adversary. “That comment will come back to haunt me,” he says, in all sincerity, and, continuing with the football analogy, adds that he hopes Scott won’t “run” against him.

Is this presidential, hanging out his juvenal combativeness, still stuck on his campaign trail, because he never saw beyond it and still can’t believe he is President because he isn’t, no matter the electoral verdict, a fraud and collusion, soon to be exposed and trashed, as his haters vow?

The answer is a resounding yes. He is paying a genuine, heart-felt compliment, every bit presidential, in the true sense of it (see Manifesto of Radical Democracy, 5-25-2014, typakmusings.com), neither truckling nor fawning. Donald elevates Scott to presidential candidacy capable of challenging him in 2020. Such is his esteem for contributions to the 8th Wonder of the World. But, acutely aware of the temporary tenure of his office at the pleasure and sufferance of his master, the people, he voices his opinion as an equal to Scott or anyone at all, not some superior being on his high horse handing out grades and medals. If that is juvenile, then so be it, the mind set we want of all our elected servants.

Let him tweet, speak off the cuff, putting his foot in his mouth now and then, and never grow up through his two terms, so etched indelibly on the psyche of every American, especially his successors and other office seekers, will be his basic humility.

Indolence of the Lion (Alpha Male): No Longer Defense for Slobs

There were days when husbands, nagged by their wives for being a slob, not picking up or cleaning up, doing the dishes, laundry, or other work around the house, could get away with it by playing an animal kingdom video: after lazing about, yawning and sleeping, while the lionesses pant and work a whole day to bring down prey, the lion saunters up lordly to the kill, driving them off, and gorges on the choicest part. No more, unless they risk direr consequences than nagging, like divorce.

The toil of housekeeping, coupled with child raising, is now widely appreciated with vocal demands for its elevation to a multi-level profession of expertise and skill to be certified and degreed. However dignified and ennobled, its hardship is bound to motivate women, whether highly educated and professionally trained or not, to get out of the house to find a job and make money to hire others to do the work, especially in times of full employment. But this exodus from home in turn creates shortage of labor willing to stay there and jacks up the wages. Gone are the days when one could get a babysitter for a song, maybe a meal or two and some change. Now $25 per hour is the going rate. Someone fresh off the boat with no schooling or English can hold out for a fully furnished HVAC room plus a substantial salary, say $3,000 a month as a live-in. Moreover anathema are job titles like “domestic help” or “au pair”: it is “domestic care provider” on the same level of respectability as lawyer, doctor, or engineer. As a result, unless the wife has a 7-digit or higher income, the job that enables her flight from home ends up barely paying the domestic hire at home, making no financial sense.

That’s why a slob can no longer cite the indolence of the lion as argument for his preferred lifestyle. He must either earn enough to afford a domestic provider or get off his butt and serve as one. Of course the logic is double edged and cuts both ways. Wives, if the traditional roles are reversed, you bringing home the bacon and your spouse staying home, treat your “house husband” with respect and pitch in.

A comment on the female leonine docility touched upon above. It’s mind boggling why the lionesses put up with the lion’s brutish conduct with no consideration for his female folk. Granted he is stronger than any one of them but, highly intelligent team players, they can easily gang up on him and tear him to pieces in no time, if they have a mind to. Instead, they slink away from their fruit of labor to return for the leftovers after his departure.

In obedience to some genetic code fashioned over millions of years of evolution? But evolution is supposed to promote the survival of the species. How does the pride benefit from the lion’s utterly selfish behavior? As a mighty defender against harm? The only threat he ever responds to seems the appearance of a stray male trying to muscle in for a piece of the harem. To secure his sexual security he fights off the intruder with life and death ferocity but the benefit to the pride or species is dubious: the intruder may have donated superior genes. From their growls and hisses of unmistakable though futile anger as they skulk off to let the lion feed, they clearly question the wisdom of their gender-wide deference to the brute but are unable to figure out the next step: coup d’etat. At least their human counterparts are not that dumb and would, given the same provocations, up and throw him over and run off to the first stranger that comes along in a heart beat, no matter he turns out just as brutish or worse.

True Globalism: A Review of The Polyglot: Union of Korea and Japan, amazon.com

Editor’s Note: The following review of The Polyglot: Union of Korea and Japan is copied from its Reader Column, amazon.com, by permission. The reviewer is Dr. Paul Sharar, 87, formerly on the NYU faculty and YMCA national director.

As a psychologist and YMCA director with broad experience with international groups I am delighted with Ty Pak’s novel, The Polyglot, for its combination of pertinent themes relevant to our world today, its salient and imaginative story line, its clearly drawn characters placed in a revealing history of an era he knows well and we all need to know better, and its focus on the many ways we communicate with one another with language-attitudes-tones-inflections-double meanings-misunderstandings all in a split second.
Dipping to the depths of depravity with clinical detachment and realism, the work soars to the heights of nobility, painted on a wide canvas, the whole globe, with characters ranging from the top rulers to the masses, a seemingly random sampling of them revealing a world of wonder, pathos, triumph, grandeur, especially as the ranks interact, showing how our lives are determined largely by luck and chance, the uncertainty binding us all and teaching us humility, understanding, forgiveness, love.
Early on there is a shocking and heart-breaking scene where Ina, 27, a brilliant surgeon, renounces maternity of her 2-year-old boy Peter as well as wifehood to her poet laureate husband, after coming all the way to Vladivostok from Japan occupied Korea to join him, only to find he has a second pregnant wife so committed to keeping him that she threatens with a pistol to Ina’s head to kill her and her son unless Ina renounces her marriage and gives her son to the second wife to raise with her soon to be born child, and never to make contact again.
This concession by Ina regarding Peter’s birth holds the key to the development of the story that takes place between 1919 and 1960 when Korea is forced to wake up to the modern age. The Stalin forced transport of Siberian Koreans to central Asia during which Peter is able to save many from death, China and Russia’s drive to make Korea communist, the US efforts to keep WW II outcomes in place, Japan’s economic revitalization all add to the evolving complexity of the story as Peter with an amazing gift for languages, speaking 16 with native fluency due to his forced trials, is pushed into many different leadership roles in these nations before, during and after the Korean War.
Then Peter’s identity is shattered, his old Soviet birth certificate turns out to be a fraud. Peter’s poet father assumed to have died in a Soviet gulag has been in the US, teaching literature at an American university, and is comatose with renal failure after contacting Peter. The kidney transplant campaign to save him leads to the discovery of Peter’s real parentage. His mother is Ina, as we have all known though hidden from him, but the DNA test for the kidney transplant shows his biological father is Japanese, not the patriotic Korean poet.
Hence the propriety of the eye-catching subtitle, Union of Korea and Japan, to this edition of The Polyglot. At first glance, given the history of the two countries, the idea seems an improbable fantasy. Not so with Peter, whose biology with Korean and Japanese parentage is an embodiment of this union. Nominated US Ambassador to South Korea but running into opposition from both Korea and Japan, who see him as 50% not like them, Peter calls on them to see him as 50% like them and to federate, especially in view of their common origins 10 millennia ago judging from the affinity of their two languages, as well as their close DNA. Nor is the federation proposed a ceremonial fellowship like the British Commonwealth but a functional polity like the USA.
Ty Pak gets us to think beyond regional geopolitical expedients and look once again at the possibilities for our global community to bring nations, languages, and cultures together. If Koreans and Japanese with their deep historical resentments will try, so might the rest of the world.

The Black White Cure for Racism

The influx into South Korea of thousands of black skinned but anatomically white, that is, Caucasian featured immigrants from India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka may have solved the labor needs of its booming economy but, given its negrophobia and caucasophilia, creates an epistemological crisis (see Caucasian Mutation of Korean Faces, 4-4-2015, typakmusings.com): what to make of the contradiction, black white.

Ever resilient, however, they get over their bewilderment quickly enough by falling back on their instinct for survival: smile at those titled and affluent but scowl otherwise (see Mr. Khan, a Bangladeshi Single Father in Korea, typakusings.com).

In the process, however, they cannot help rethinking their former paradigm of racism, black at the bottom, white at the top, with themselves somewhere in between or outside. The lines are definitely blurring and areas overlapping to make the trichotomy practically meaningless. Every person must be judged on his or her own individual merits, regardless of color or anatomy.

But that’s abolition of racism called for by sensible people everywhere (The Polyglot: Union of Korea and Japan, amazon.com). So the Indian subcontinent that has sent its black white sons and daughters to South Korea is to be credited with initiating, if not completing, its liberation from the hell of racial prejudice. Perhaps the same kudos should go to the huge black-white swath from Morocco to the Middle East, home to the Moors, Libyans, Egyptians, Arabs, Iranians, Iraquis, Afghans, and so forth, for the relative racial tolerance among Europeans and Africans.

Should we therefore import the black-whites from India and its Middle Eastern and North African extension to make America racism free? Not so fast. The black whites themselves may be the fiercest racists that kill. Extreme vetting is necessary before admission. Moreover, they are already here in strength, as many as 7 million or 2% of the American population. South Korea did it with little over 10,000 or 0.02% of its population.

Candor about Age: Step One in the Anti-Privacy Movement

Liberation from obsession with privacy is the first priority for America’s survival from terrorism (see Privacy or Safety, 12-27-2013, and Scan Our Faces All You Want, 7-14-2017, typakmusings.com) but also for true civilization, predicated on socialization, getting to know neighbors, near and far, and becoming friends, on exposure and vulnerability by pulling down the multiple walls of privacy that cocoon Americans.

The Anti-Privacy Movement proposes demolition of the first wall, age: no more coyness about telling your age nor disdain for innocent inquiries by those from other cultures, East Asian in particular (see Quit Pussyfooting Around Your Age, 1-21-2018).

To go beyond passive endurance, however, urged is proactive use of age as a social ice breaker instead of the inane weather. Ask each other how old you are, talk about your years, events, highlights, celebrities, villains. You’ll soon be exchanging phone numbers, email addresses, and become friends forever, no matter your race, creed, or culture.

Quit Pussyfooting Around Your Age, America!

Watching the extravaganza of fireworks at midnight, Dec 31, 2017, livestreamed from all over the world, including North Korea, of all places, Americans may well rethink their political correctness or taboo about asking or telling one’s age. Those in the Sinosphere, namely, China, Japan, and Korea, accounting for more than a quarter of the world’s population, grow exactly one year older at the same time promptly after midnight, Dec 31, and freely ask and tell each other how old they have gotten.

That’s absurd, you may say, because it’s counting age by the year of birth, resulting in 365 people born on different days of the year having the same age. Not any more than 24 x 60 x 60 x (1 million microseconds or billion nanoseconds if you want to go that far) people born on the same day having the same age.

Of course even these Orientals have their own birthdays and celebrate them but strictly as a birthday, not as a turning point in age. If a date-based American-style age is required for the military draft, to determine adulthood, etc., they use the term “age” with a modifier “full”.

In any event East Asians have never had the kind of American shyness about age. Maybe counting by the year makes them more cosmically aware and dismissive of dissimulation, especially when it’s futile. The body trumpets it no matter how you disguise it. Let’s face it. One simply grows to maturity, is the master of the universe for a season, then wilts. This grim realization is tempered by respect for the elderly, the weak and unproductive, the quintessence of which is the Social Security Act. So your heart is in the right place, America. It’s just that darn fancy of yours, political correctness about age.

Winterize but Ventilate: Korean “Winter Pallor”

With temperatures dipping to single digits or below zero Fahrenheit in many parts of the country American homeowners bemoan their neglect to winterize, weather-strip, draft stop, staring at their higher heating bills. But don’t be too hard on yourself. You may be paying for better health.

Until the middle of the last century Koreans stayed indoors for months, battening down the hatches as soon as the winter laid siege, proud to emerge in the spring with their “white skin” restored. This was pre-Caucasophilia (see Caucasian Mutation of Korean Faces, 4-4-2015, typakmusings.com), before the country opened up in a hurry to the outside world with the avalanche of American troops, mostly Caucasian, during the Korean War (1950-53), and of Western technology, economy, and culture afterwards, which reinforced the traditional obsession with white skin, the emblem of aristocracy, freedom from manual labor under the scorching sun.

Of course they didn’t know any better about their wonderful winter-reclaimed pallor, an unmistakable symptom of incipient hypoxemia, low oxygen in blood, due to the poor indoor air quality, and paid for it with tuberculosis and other diseases, dying young.

Let’s not have that Korean “winter pallor” in enlightened America. Winterize by all means but ventilate by opening a window or two for a few minutes a day.

Anatomy of Prayer

Everybody prays. Nobody is too strong, too smart, too proud to pray. But, as we all know by experience, answers are slow in coming, if ever. This is why.

While you are praying for Outcome A (say, you get the Nobel Prize), there may be others who may secretly wish, a weak form of prayer, if not outwardly or expressly pray, that Outcome A never happens because they think you haven’t got what it takes or they simply hate your guts, as the case may be.

All seeing, all knowing, and omnipresent, God hears all these prayers, whispered or spoken, from everybody, including those sent up from the departed, whether dearly beloved or otherwise. In general, you can count on your ancestors rooting for you, though some may not have forgiven you for the mean things you’ve done to them while alive, but you can bet your bottom dollar that your enemy’s ancestors will be raising a hell of a chorus to defeat your suit.

Imagine a crowded court, much bigger than any on earth, but God the omniscient, a supercomputer, hears every testimony, weighs one against another and metes out his decision. So just keep praying fervently and you’ll hear from him, hopefully soon.

Hate Mongers: True Name for the Fake Media

On this Christmas Day of 2017, as we hear church bells ringing joy to the world for the lord of love has come, one cannot help being struck by the perversity of the fake media that reported the gathering of Christian leaders Trump addressed on Oct 13, 2017 as a hate group, because hate is the furthest thing from their minds, as they celebrate Christmas, calling it Christmas again thanks to Trump, unless love is hate by some arcane psychoanalytic reasoning.

No, there is no hint of that. Nor are they all that cerebral. They mean hate when they say hate. But what they call hate is in fact the opposite, love. It’s like calling white black. How can they do that?

Because somewhere along the line in their education their minds got distorted, most probably from their enlightened education, learning about other life styles, cultures, languages, and, yes, religions, without perspective. Just as those of my generation born in the 20’s and 30’s of Korea were fascinated with Marxism, so are these new intelligentsia with Islam and the Middle East. Let’s face it. To learn a language, say, Arabic, is to embrace its history, culture, and religion, jihadism in particular, whose Commandment #1 is: Hate the hate group, Christians, and their leaders, like Trump who wants to call Christmas Christmas instead of Holiday, which would have relativized Christianity and canonized Islam.

Lest the unwary and indifferent be misled and take at face value what the fakers report, we should call them by their correct name: hate mongers. Yes, they want to infect America with an epidemic of hatred, knowing that it will gut and destroy America from inside. This calling a love group bar none a hate group is a frontal attack strategy they have recently come up with. The lexical inversion is particularly effective because Christianity, that is, love, in one form or another, is all over America, and their defacement or distortion into hatred, its opposite, would be the shortest path to victory.

We know they pray fervently for our destruction, since their attempts at doing real damage have been thwarted promptly by Homeland Security, Trump led and inspired. Thank God their prayers are not heard. In fact, prayer in general is not meant to be heard. If it were, then life would be really messy. God is apparently not easily swayed and grants our prayers after much deliberation or never, which may frustrate some of us, even to the point of cursing and renouncing him forever, as it happened in South Korea when 299 high schoolers drowned in the sinking of the Sewol ferry on Apr 16, 2014 despite fervent prayers by Christians (see 4-27-2014 typakmusings.com). But resist the temptation and think of God, the omniscient, unequivocally saying no to the jihadist prayer for our annihilation.