“The Higher Sociopathy”


Most Americans are familiar with the Vietnam era phrase “We had to burn down the village in order to save it.”

Originally posted on Corey Robin:

In the annals of moral casuistry, you’d be hard pressed to find a better example of the perils of moral reasoning than this defense, brought to you by The New Republic, of the slaughter of Palestinian civilians in Gaza:

We can say that there is a principle worth fighting and dying for: Civilians cannot be used to make just wars impossible and morality will not be used as a tool to disarm. And once we have that principle, the proportionality calculation changes. The deaths of innocents are not simply outweighed by Israelis’ right to live without daily rockets and terrorists tunneling into a kibbutz playground; but by the defense of a world in which terrorists cannot use morality to achieve victory over those who try to fight morally. It is the protection of that world, one in which moral soldiers still have a fighting chance, that justifies Israel’s operations…

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Posted in Free Palestine, Gaza, Israel | Leave a comment


Vice, Gaza Dispatch 8 (highly NSFW, corpses)

This video simply speaks for itself.  How does the murder of children make Israelis safer?  How does it not actually put them in far greater danger for generations to come?

Posted in Free Palestine, Gaza, Israel | Leave a comment

“the land of dirty sex and cheap Chinese food”

“Fuck That’s Delicious” episode 3 with Action Bronson.

I’m totally loving this (highly NSFW) series.

Damn, now I’m starving.

Posted in Food | Leave a comment

Boo Two

Koreans see staying at school / work / company until 11 p.m. as being diligent and productive.

I see it as being incredibly inefficient.

If your teacher / boss / parent requires you to work for 14 hours a day instead of eight, then your teacher / boss / parent is completely incompetent.

You aren’t working hard, you’re chasing your tail.

It’s certainly nothing to be proud of.

This is yet another installment of my “James is ready for summer vacation” posts.

Posted in ESL, Korea, Kultur | Leave a comment


The heat of Daegu summer is palpable.  You walk outside and it hits you right in the face.

Ugh.  Hot.  Just want to go home and stand in a cold shower for hours at a time.

Posted in Daegu, Korea | Leave a comment

Mr. Inch, Meet Mr. Mile

Classic: over the five (!) years I’ve worked at this here college in South Korea, I’ve generally been happy to take on extra work in the form of helping to edit (let’s be honest — rewrite) various letters and press releases and abstracts from the actual Ph.D. professors who teach here.

Happy to help!

But the word is out now.  I was recently asked if I could edit an entire book.  Oh, and could I do it on a Sunday?  And oh, not a single mention of any sort of pay.

Time to have a talk with the boss, who I have to say will probably take my side in this.  When he gives me extra stuff to do there’s an implicit understanding that I’m helping him get stuff done.  If more and more of the other profs feel bold enough to throw stuff in my lap that kinda-sorta threatens our relationship.

And yeah, it sure would be nice if one of the other foreign English teachers would step up.

Anyhow, excited for vacation in August.

Posted in ESL, Teaching | Leave a comment


Richard Seymour in The Guardian:

“They hid at the El-Wafa hospital.

They hid at the Al-Aqsa hospital.

They hid at the beach, where children played football.

They hid at the yard of 75-year-old Muhammad Hamad.

They hid among the residential quarters of Shujaya.

They hid in the neighbourhoods of Zaytoun and Toffah.

They hid in Rafah and Khan Younis.

They hid in the home of the Qassan family.

They hid in the home of the poet, Othman Hussein.

They hid in the village of Khuzaa.

They hid in the thousands of houses damaged or destroyed.

They hid in 84 schools and 23 medical facilities.

They hid in a cafe, where Gazans were watching the World Cup.

They hid in the ambulances trying to retrieve the injured.

They hid themselves in 24 corpses, buried under rubble.

They hid themselves in a young woman in pink household slippers, sprawled on the pavement, taken down while fleeing.

They hid themselves in two brothers, eight and four, lying in the intensive burn care unit in Al-Shifa.

They hid themselves in the little boy whose parts were carried away by his father in a plastic shopping bag.

They hid themselves in the “incomparable chaos of bodies” arriving at Gaza hospitals.

They hid themselves in an elderly woman, lying in a pool of blood on a stone floor.

Hamas, they tell us, is cowardly and cynical.”

Posted in Free Palestine, Gaza, Israel | Leave a comment

Collective Punishment

From Wikipedia, the tragic story of Oradour-sur-Glane:

“Early on the morning of 10 June 1944, Diekmann informed Weidinger at regimental headquarters that he had been approached by two members of the Milice; a paramilitary force belonging to the Vichy Regime. They claimed that a Waffen-SS officer was being held by the Resistance in Oradour-sur-Vayres, a nearby village. The captured German was alleged to be SS-Sturmbannführer Helmut Kämpfe, commander of the 2nd SS Panzer Reconnaissance Battalion (another unit of the ‘Das Reich’ division), who may have been captured by the Maquis du Limousin the day before.”

During World War II, the French Resistance were qualitatively the same as the German army.  They didn’t have any tanks or planes or tens of thousands of highly trained soldiers or anything but hey, exactly the same.

So then this happened:

“On 10 June, Diekmann’s battalion sealed off Oradour-sur-Glane, having confused it with nearby Oradour-sur-Vayres, and ordered all the townspeople – and anyone who happened to be in or near the town – to assemble in the village square, ostensibly to have their identity papers examined. In addition to the residents of the village, the SS also apprehended six people who did not live there but had the misfortune to be riding their bikes through the village when the Germans arrived.

All the women and children were locked in the church while the village was looted. Meanwhile, the men were led to six barns and sheds where machine guns were already in place.

According to the account of a survivor, the soldiers began shooting at them, aiming for their legs so that they would die slowly. Once the victims were no longer able to move, the soldiers covered their bodies with fuel and set the barns on fire. Only six men escaped; one of them was later seen walking down a road heading for the cemetery and was shot dead. In all, 190 men perished.

The soldiers proceeded to the church and placed an incendiary device there. After it was ignited, women and children tried to escape through the doors and windows of the church, but they were met with machine-gun fire. A total of 247 women and 205 children died in the carnage. Only 47-year-old Marguerite Rouffanche survived. She slid out by a rear sacristy window, followed by a young woman and child.  All three were shot; Marguerite Rouffanche was wounded and her companions were killed. She crawled to some pea bushes behind the church, where she remained hidden overnight until she was rescued the following morning. Another group of about twenty villagers had fled Oradour-sur-Glane as soon as the soldiers had appeared. That night, the village was partially razed.

Through a Freedom of Information Act request, the formal written narrative of a 20 year old American B-17 navigator – shot down over Avord, France in late April, 1944 and thereafter hidden by the French Resistance until he was finally flown to England on 6 August, 1944 – was obtained in 2011. The report includes the following hand-written notation, dated August 15, 1944: ‘About 3 weeks ago, I saw a town within 4 hours bicycle ride up the Gerbeau farm where some 500 men, women, and children had been murdered by the Germans. I saw one baby who had been crucified.'”

Hey, the French civilians totes deserved this.  It was French partisans who kidnapped and killed a Nazi officer.  These French villagers simply should have had the foresight to know that when they made a meager gesture of resistance against a crushing, murderous occupation they totally opened themselves up to a super fair retaliation in the form of 90 year-olds being burned alive and babies being crucified.

Sorry bro, but if you start a “war” you have to finish it.

Go Israel!

Posted in Free Palestine, Gaza, Israel, Palestine, Politics | Leave a comment


Dynamic Duo w/ DJ Premier, “AEAO”

This is awesome.  Was really sceptical about this collaboration but from what I’ve heard so far it’s great.  Excellent production, natch.

Posted in Korea, Kultur, Music | Leave a comment

#Free Palestine

Mehdi Hasan on the ongoing slaughter of Palestinian civilians by Israeli forces:

“Trying to hide Israel’s crimes against the Palestinians behind, say, Syria’s barrel bombs, China’s forced labour camps or Russia’s persecution of gays won’t wash. After all, on what grounds did we ‘single out’ apartheid South Africa in the 1980s for condemnation and boycott? Weren’t there other, more dictatorial regimes in Africa at the time, those run by black Africans such as Mengistu in Ethiopia or Mobutu in Zaire? Did we dare excuse the crimes of white Afrikaners on this basis?”

And of course:

“Which other country is in receipt of $3bn a year in US aid, despite maintaining a 47-year military occupation in violation of international law? Which other country has been allowed to develop and stockpile nuclear weapons in secret?”

If only more Americans would wake up to the fact that this isn’t just a slaughter, it’s one that our tax dollars are directly paying for.

Posted in America, Gaza, Israel, Palestine, Politics | 1 Comment

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