Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Thank god my parents decided to leave that backward, soul crushing peninsula when they did.
Korean Women Among Region’s Most Insecure: Poll
Korean women are among the most insecure about their looks in Asia and thus the most open to plastic surgery, a survey suggests. The poll of 2,100 women across Asia by Unilever showed only 33 percent of Korean respondents satisfied with their appearance, the second lowest among nine countries surveyed following Japan. Of Korean respondents, 43 percent said they were overweight.
More than half or 53 percent of Korean women answered they considered having plastic surgery, the highest among surveyed countries. The cosmetic surgery rate of Korean women is already the world’s highest with 17 percent. A staggering 80 percent of plastic surgery patients said they were dissatisfied with the results.
About 42 percent of respondents appeared to put more weight on the opinions of men than their own, saying their confidence in their looks was mostly affected by their husband’s or boyfriend’s opinion. Nearly all or 98 percent of Korean women said men value a woman’s looks above everything else. Ham In-hee, a sociology professor at Ewha Women’s University, says women in patriarchal societies tend not to respect themselves. She said Korea was seeing a vicious circle whereby men who have the power in the media ceaselessly reproduce their ideal type of woman, and women try to fit themselves to that ideal.
PS: Sorry for my recent silence. I'll hopefully have more time for posting in the near future.
Monday, September 19, 2005
Saturday, September 10, 2005
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
Friday, September 02, 2005
Here's an interesting read from The Seattle Times.
Life in the Bottom 80 Percent
Economic growth isn't what it used to be. In 2004, the economy grew a solid 3.8 percent. But for the fifth straight year, median household income was basically flat, at $44,389 in 2004, the Census Bureau said Tuesday. That's the longest stretch of income stagnation on record.
Economic growth was also no elixir for the 800,000 additional workers who found themselves without health insurance in 2004. Were it not for increased coverage by military insurance and Medicaid, the ranks of the uninsured - now 45.8 million - would be even larger. And 1.1 million more people fell into poverty in 2004, bringing the ranks of poor Americans to 37 million.
When President Bush talks about the economy, he invariably boasts about good economic growth. But he doesn't acknowledge what is apparent from the census figures: as the very rich get even richer, their gains can mask the stagnation and deterioration at less lofty income levels.
This week's census report showed that income inequality was near all-time highs in 2004, with 50.1 percent of income going to the top 20 percent of households. And additional census data obtained by the Economic Policy Institute show that only the top 5 percent of households experienced real income gains in 2004. Incomes for the other 95 percent of households were flat or falling.
Income inequality is an economic and social ill, but the administration and the Congressional majority don't seem to recognize that. When Congress returns from its monthlong summer vacation next week, two of the leadership's top priorities include renewing the push to repeal the estate tax, which affects only the wealthiest of families, and extending the tax cuts for investment income, which flow largely to the richest Americans. At the other end of the spectrum, lawmakers have stubbornly refused to raise the minimum wage: $5.15 an hour since 1997. They will also be taking up proposals for deep budget cuts in programs that ameliorate income inequality, like Medicaid, food stamps and federal student loans.
They should be ashamed of themselves.
Thursday, September 01, 2005
- There seems to be some serious media bias in the coverage of the "looting". In one instance there was a picture of a couple of black people carrying away bags of supplies, the accompanying caption called the individuals looters. In another picture a few white people were wading through water with bags of supplies. These individuals were described as looking for bread. Can we all say unconscious racism and bias?
- Based on the images coming out of New Orleans one would think that the entire population of New Orleans is black and uneducated. This is obviously not the case. They said that 20% of the population of New Orleans remained in town after the city was ordered to evacuate. I suspect the people who remained did so not voluntarily but because they had no means to leave - no car, no money. The people who are now stranded in the Superdome and the New Orleans Convention Center are the poorest, most desperate portion of society. These are people who have lived a life of disenfranchisement. They lived on the most frayed edges of society before the hurricane hit, barely thriving in our racially divided society...and now they are pushed even further down the social laddar. If New Orleans ordered a mandatory evacuation why didn't they provide some means for the poorest to also leave. The one lesson this hurricane has taught us: if you are poor you will be left behind. This disaster lays bare the reality of race and poverty in this country - a reality that most fair-weather liberals and conservatives refuse to accept. I suspect that the struggle to rebuild from these events will be far more difficult and prolonged than anyone can comprehend.
- Why are people making such a broohaha about people looting supplies that are ostensibly destroyed and unsalvagable to begin with? The shoes being looted wouldn't have been salvagable, nor the food supplies. Just a thought.
- Although I know the government says they are doing everything to help New Orleans, from my perspective it does seem to be taking an extremely long time to get aid to New Orleans. If 400,000 can evacuate a city in less than 2 days (that would be the 80% of the city who were able to get out before the hurricane) why is it taking over 4 days to transport the 50,000 stranded in the Superdome and Convention Center?
Just some of my thoughts about everything that is going on. Ultimately, even though I know this is happening in my own country and even though I've visted New Orleans in the past, somehow I feel very detached from the drama unfolding down south. Was this what people felt when they observed the events of 9-11? 9-11 was so real for me and something I lived with on a daily basis for almost 6 months (the fires burned for about that long and you could smell the stench in the air continously). Was 9-11 just a very bad movie for the rest of you?