20091226

Santa Miranda Rights

I decently can't write only about stupid politics this close to Christmas. Furthermore, I must write a short text about Xmas for a writers gathering in Seoul tomorrow... So here you go, fresh from the oven :

- "Don't play smart with me. It's already been a long bad night and I don't want to put a third person in jail on Christmas eve. Papers, please."
- "Told you : don't have any. And it's already been a long night for me too... but believe me, it's gonna be a really bad one if you put Santa Claus in jail."
- "Still sticking to that lame tune ? Sorry to tell you this but you don't exactly look like Santa to me... Jose Canseco, maybe ?"
- "What did you expect in Southern California ? An all whitechristmassy, Caucasian, Coca Cola Santa with a thick red coat and a huge beard ? And under the hood, Rudy the red-nosed plug ? Ho Ho Ho !"
- "Now that you mention it, I'd like to have a peek there as well : your semi made my radar-gun sing the heck of a Christmas carol."
- "You'd better check the trailer. I'm sure your smuggler friends would love to ride this beauty : it's bottomless and even if you run like Usain Bolt you ain't gonna reach the end of it before the end of next year. Now if you please, I gotta go."
- "No way Jose. Put both hands on your truck, if you please".
- "That would be a mistake. I've got something for you, you know ? Shouldn't tell you but there's a brand new lawnmower waiting for you at home."
- "Nice guess. And where would that be, Dear Santa ?"
- "1200 Orange Crescent, El Cajon. It ain't the model you asked cause you've been a naughty boy but there's a nice tag on it. It reads 'Edward Fink Jr' ".
- "I'll be damned..."
- "Nope. I will be if you don't help me get to Escondido by the end of next minute."

Stephane MOT 2009

Hatoyama's Christmas gift to Japanese extreme right

As a Christmas gift to local ultranationalists, the Japanese Government decided to give another hard push in favor of bold revisionism. As usual, school textbooks are used as a vehicle for promoting the idea that Dokdo belongs to the Great Empire. And as usual, the Korean Government denounced the infamy (see "Seoul hits Tokyo's new Dokdo stance" - JoongAng Daily 20091226).

This comes not as a surprise but as a disappointment : Hatoyama really seemed to be willing to crush the last throes of fascism in the archipelago, his aides even leaking proofs that Dokdo didn't belonged to Japan (see "The end of Japanese imperialism"). More recently, there were even rumors that the Emperor himself would visit Korea in 2010 to formulate official apologies for past wrongs.

That made me quite nervous : last time the Emperor made a move towards reconciliation, extreme right activists would push as hard as they could, fueling mutual hatred across the region, including China and Russia.

Actually, I'd been expecting this kind of provocations, lately : Hatoyama is much weaker than a few months ago and yes, that's the economy, stupid (stimulus programs won't last eternally and 2010 seems poised to be a tough year). Obviously, his government badly needs support from people he disagrees with.

Once again, if Dokdo doesn't belong to Japan (and that's been indisputably settled for good by the official documents leaked earlier this year), talking about Takeshima has always been about Japanese politics : claiming the islets, visiting Yasukuni, rewriting history books... each provocation comes at a time the ruler is in a defensive position and needs political support at home.

Japanese politicians keep fooling their own citizens and it's high time to expose this dangerous imposture.

blogules 2009 - initially published in Seoul Village ("Revisionist schoolbooks : change has not come to Japan")

20091222

Happy New Year 2011

OK. Just like last year*, let's skip this one.

I mean come on, look back at 2010 and tell me what you see :

January - the health care reform passed, Obama reveals all his preexisting conditions, including allergy to Portuguese water dogs and FOX News

February - winter olympics : Michael Phelps wins all events not run by Usain Bolt but fails at the femininity tests

March - Benedict XVI proclaims Vlad III the Impaler a Saint for his resistance to the Ottoman Empire and his knowledge of Latin

April - Burj Dubai is completed under the name Burj Abu Dhabi

May - Ayatollah Khamenei dies but not before nominating his successor : "Iran needs a hardcore fundamentalist who can exceed his powers and fix a ballot, and no one seemed more qualified than Ayatollah George W. Bush"

June - One year later, a goose moonwalks over Michael Jackson's grave. The grave itself has already moonwalked 10 yards in the direction of Beverly Hill's preschool.

July - Brasil wins the FIFA World Cup, defeating England in the semi finals and Cameroon in the finals. Meanwhile, no one notices the Second Dip (50% shaved off Shanghai Stock Exchange overnight).

August - China invades Afghanistan to relieve US troops. Russia invades Xinjiang to relieve Chinese troops. India invades England to relieve former Russian billionaires.

September - on the eve of Yom Kippur, Israel completes its wall around Palestine and accepts the independence of that square meter in the middle of the desert.

October - 50 years after Khrushchev, Sarkozy bangs his shoe at the UN. On Ban Ki-moon's head because he made a joke about his height.

November - US midterm elections evenly splits the congress : 1/3 Democrats, 1/3 Republicans, 1/3 Palinian Theocrats

December - Glenn Beck in Oslo to accept his Nobel Peace Prize : "gee... it's a bit premature... unless you give it to me so that I don't have to implement my program"

blogules 2009 (also in French : "Bonne annee 2011")

* see "
Happy New Year 2010"

20091218

Obama plays good COP - bad COP15

If Barack Obama can deliver powerful speeches, this one was definitely not one of them.

In Copenhagen, the POTUS mainly recycled an address already served to billions over the past year :



I give him a C+ because he had a good excuse or two : Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, North Korea, the US economy, the healthcare reform, a stopover in Oslo... Plus FOX News are probably trying to crash the Xmas party at the White House with a blonde Mrs Tiger Woods #547.

blogules 2009

20091205

North Korea's lost Won

This is not Pyongyang's first reevaluation, but it's the first time the regime acts so recklessly in that matter.

The population was granted one week to replace their old wons with the new and improved currency. Failure to do so would leave them with almost worthless notes (1 new NK won = 100 old NK won).

Officially, the aim of the game is to crack down abuses from people perverted by capitalism, or at least the little of it which made its way into what was left of the local economy. No one will come with a lot of money without good explanations.

But the actual profiteers of NK's corrupt system (in particular the nomenklatura) already changed their cash into US dollars or Chinese yuans, well ahead of the announcement. The only victims will be those who will opt for transparency.

This measure follows closings of parallel markets, safety valves for populations every day more left to their own devices... or rather lack of.

According to South Korean medias, the country would be on the verge of revolt, and streets littered with old bank notes deliberately torn in the middle of Kim Jong-il's portraits. Military forces received the order to shoot at sight anyone who tries to escape the last Stalinian paradise.

If Pyongyang authorities really want to accelerate takeover from China*, that's a smart move...

blogules 2009 - also on blogules V.F. ("La Coree du Nord evalue mal les effets de sa reevaluation") and on Seoul Village ("North Korea's lost Won")

* see "
KIM Jong-il's bridge to nowhere"
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