Japan’s revised Q1 growth blows past expectations



TOKYO–Japan posted stronger-than-expected growth in the first quarter as a pickup in capital spending powered the world’s number three economy, but some economists warned that the recovery could be short-lived.

The 1.0 percent expansion in January-March — or 3.9 percent on an annualized basis — was sharply up from an initial estimate of 0.6 percent growth, according to the Cabinet Office figures.

The upbeat data is good news for Tokyo’s efforts to boost the economy, but household spending remains stubbornly weak as the Bank of Japan struggles to push up prices in a bid to end decades of deflation.

Despite wage rises at big firms and a tighter labor market, convincing people to splash out on consumer goods has been a struggle after Japan raised sales taxes last year to help pay down a huge national debt.

The rise hammered consumer spending and pushed the economy into a brief recession. Japan limped out of the red in the last three months of 2014 with Monday’s surprise figures offering some hope for better times ahead.

“The figures show the Japanese economy is gradually heading for recovery,” said Credit Suisse economist Takeshi Saito.

Corporate investment rose 2.7 percent from the previous quarter, well above an initial 0.4 percent expansion.

The growth figures were in line with the Bank of Japan’s assessment that the economy was on the upswing, and may delay any further central bank stimulus.

“At the moment, (the Bank of Japan) is less likely to introduce another round of monetary easing,” Saito said.

However, bank chief Haruhiko Kuroda has been forced to push back a timeline for hitting a 2.0 percent inflation target — a cornerstone of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s plan to kick-start the deflation-plagued economy — although he insists that healthy price rises are around the corner.


Limits on ATV spectrum transfer


Jasmine Siu

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

The broadcasting spectrum vacated by Asia Television’s termination can only be assigned to Radio Television Hong Kong or a carrier licensee, the Legislative Council’s panel on information technology and broadcasting heard yesterday.

This came after the Executive Council said in April that it would not renew ATV’s domestic free television license upon its expiration on April 1.

Communications Authority chairman Ambrose Ho Pui-him said the vacated spectrum available from next April 2 will continue to be used for broadcasting services, not for communications purposes. Three television stations are currently applying for a domestic free TV license, namely Fantastic TV, Hong Kong Television Network and Forever Top.

Fantastic TV was granted approval in principle in October 2013, but it has yet to be given an official license.

The authority has refused to disclose the progress of license applications despite the request of lawmakers at the panel meeting.

While all three stations are interested in taking up the spectrum freed up by ATV, it can only be assigned to carrier licensees, Ho said, adding the authority also needs to consider various factors.

These include provisions of the Telecommunications Ordinance, the authority’s statutory duties, the free television landscape, the 2007 Radio Spectrum Policy Framework and the policy views of the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau.

RTHK’s takeover of ATV’s analogue spectrum before its official shutdown in 2020 is “a contingency arrangement,” said the bureau’s permanent secretary, Susie Ho Shuk-yee.

“We’ve asked HK Television Entertainment, which said they have no plans to provide analogue broadcasting service,” Ho said. “For just five years, will there be an interested party? The appeal is quite limited.”

That said, the authority has yet to make a formal decision.

Last month, Television Broadcasts Limited expressed an interest in taking over ATV’s spectrum.

People Power lawmaker Raymond Chan Chi-chuen said the government should step up processing of the three free-TV license applications so they can apply for the vacated spectrum.

Meanwhile, IT sector lawmaker Charles Mok Nai-kwong criticized the lack of government consultation relating to its decision.

“RTHK has lots of spectrum, but its viewing rate may be even lower than ATV’s in some cases,” Mok said.

Jewish Federation Partners with Anti-Jewish Islamists for Good Cause


Habitat for Humanity does a great service to the community, by building homes for those who are in need but wouldn’t normally afford a decent place to live. No one can dispute this fact. However, when the group allowed radical Muslim organizations, earlier this year in Miami, to assist in the building, it tarnished Habitat’s good name. And to make matters worse, the Jewish Federation – presumably the Greater Miami Jewish Federation – joined in the process.

According to the ‘About Us’ page on the Habitat for Humanity website, “As a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian ministry that builds with people in need regardless of race or religion, we welcome volunteers and supporters from all backgrounds.” By welcoming volunteers from all backgrounds, that must include radical Muslim groups associated with terrorism, because that is who Habitat embraced this past February in its second annual Habitat Interfaith Build Day.

The groups included Emerge USA, the Youth Coalition of South Florida (YCSF), and the most visible group at this year’s Interfaith Build, with its bright yellow shirts, ICNA Relief.

ICNA Relief is the main charity of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), the American affiliate of South Asian Islamist group Jamaat-e-Islami. ICNA has been involved in the financing of both Hamas and al-Qaeda and has used the web to promote a number of terrorist groups, including Hamas, al-Qaeda, Hezbollah and the Taliban. ICNA conducts annual functions along with the Muslim American Society (MAS), a group that has been named to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government list of international terrorist organizations.

In August 2006, ICNA Relief was the top donor and partner to Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan charity Al Khidmat Foundation (AKF), at the same time AKF took a delegation to Damascus, Syria to hand deliver nearly $100,000 to Hamas global leader Khaled Mashal. Mashal thanked the group and said Hamas would continue to wage “jihad” (war) on the “Zionist yoke” (Israel). ICNA Relief continues to work directly with AKF overseas.

Leading the ICNA delegation at the Habitat event was ICNA Relief Assistant Executive Director Abdul Rauf Khan. On Khan’s Facebook page, he has posted: dozens of official Jamaat-e-Islami videos and photos; two videos glorifying rabid anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan; and a link to an anti-Semitic video labeling comedian talk show host Bill Maher, “Zionist Jew Bill Maher.” He also posted a dedication video to Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, and in August 2013, he participated in an event discussing the violence in Egypt and Syria while wearing a yellow shirt with a large Muslim Brotherhood ‘Rabaa’ logo on it. Both the Brotherhood and the logo have been banned by the Egyptian government for respectively being an institution and a symbol of terrorism.

Emerge USA is the brainchild of Khurrum Wahid, a South Florida attorney who has represented a number of individuals involved in terrorist activity against the United States. They include: Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, who was given a life sentence for being part of al-Qaeda and for plotting to assassinate President George W. Bush, and Hafiz Khan, a Miami, Florida imam who shipped $50,000 to the Taliban specifically to murder American troops overseas. Wahid previously served as a legal advisor for the national office of the Hamas-linked CAIR, and according to the Miami New Times, Wahid himself was placed on a federal terrorist watch list in 2011.

In 2014 and 2015, Emerge featured as a speaker at its annual benefit dinners Sayed Ammar Nakshawani. Nakshawani who is a follower of former Iranian terror leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, has previously called for the destruction of Israel. In a speech he made, titled ‘Sayed Khomeini’s Quds Day,’ he states, “The shame in this world is that, if we put ourselves down to a two-state solution, we would allow a country which has broken 60 UN resolutions to have their own freedom of peace. It is barbaric that this Zionist state is allowed to continue.”

Representing Emerge at the Habitat event was Emerge co-founder and trustee, Saif Ishoof. Prior to getting involved with Emerge, Ishoof was the rally organizer and contact for the extreme anti-Israel group, March for Justice. While with March for Justice, Ishoof organized an event at the University of Miami, in October 2002, which labeled then-Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon “the world’s longest standing terrorist” and Israel an “illegitimate state.” Ishoof said he was “outraged” that his former university would host then-senior advisor to Sharon, Raanan Gissin, referring to Gissin as “a mouthpiece of state sponsored terrorism.”

The other Islamist group at the Habitat event was the Youth Coalition of South Florida (YCSF). The Youth Director for YCSF is former CAIR official Cyrus McGoldrick. He has also worked with ICNA in the past. McGoldrick refers to supporters of Israel as “Zionist beasts,” and in July 2014, he tweeted: “Praying for Palestine today and everyday. Allah, either guide the oppressor ‘Israeli’ regime or give us the strength to destroy them.”

Under the leadership of McGoldrick, YCSF and the Islamic Center of Boca Raton (ICBR), a radical mosque with a number of terrorist associations, teamed up for weekly youth and family events at ICBR. A co-founder of ICBR, Bassem Alhalabi, was charged with the illegal export of a $13,000 military thermal imaging device to Syria. Another co-founder, Syed Khawer Ahmad, was a web designer for Hamas in Gaza. One former imam of ICBR, Ibrahim Dremali, was placed on the federal “no-fly” list, and another, Muneer Arafat, admitted under oath that he was an affiliate of Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Further, a member of the mosque, Rafiq Sabir, was sentenced to 25 years in prison for conspiring to provide material support to Al-Qaeda.

According to Emerge and the television station WSVN, also involved in the Habitat interfaith day was the Jewish Federation. If this is accurate, it is a travesty and embarrassment for the Jewish community. A photo found on the Habitat for Humanity of Greater Miami website depicts an individual wearing a yarmulke sawing wood with Saif Ishoof, the anti-Israel co-founder of Emerge. As well, a number of photos from the event show a smiling Tom Heyn, the rabbi of Temple Israel of Greater Miami, alongside Ishoof, ICNA’s Abdul Rauf Khan, and others.

In recent years, Jews have been all too willing to join “feel good” events which involve those who would wish them and their brethren harm. This was clearly the case, when it came to their participation in this year’s Habitat Interfaith Build Day. This may be due to either simple ignorance of facts or an intensely stubborn unwillingness to view their enemy as an enemy.

And Habitat for Humanity is supposed to be a Christian organization. Do its leaders not know what the associates of these Islamists, like the Muslim Brotherhood, are doing to their fellow Christians overseas? Are they willing to sell their souls just to build a section of a house?

The Jewish Federation and Habitat for Humanity must never again work together with Islamists, whose goal is nothing more than to cynically exploit these charitable endeavors in order to gain legitimacy – never again – no matter what the cause.

Any potential group to which they partner with must be carefully vetted, so that there is no chance of them unintentionally aiding and abetting the enemy.

Interfaith with members of other religions is one thing. Interfaith with your enemies is quite another.

Beila Rabinowitz, Director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report.

‘Just an Incredible Amount of Misogyny’


David Pakman (@dpakman) is the kind of Marxist subversive who hates God even more than he hates America. That is to say, he’s a Democrat. The controversial Pakman hosts a weekly radio/TV/podcast affiliated with the Marxist subversive Pacifica Radio network. Last month, Pakman interviewed Mark Potok, a leading official of an infamous anti-American terrorist group, the Southern Poverty Law Center.

(Why should we let the SPLC monopolize this cheap tactic of smearing political opponents by slapping pejorative “hate” labels on them?)

The subject of this interview was Men’s Rights Activists (MRAs), a featured topic in the Spring 2012 issue of the SPLC’s magazineIntelligence Report. With a listing of Internet locations that included everything from pickup artist (PUA) sites to Reddit forums, the article suggested MRAs were a serious danger:

It’s not much of a surprise that significant numbers of men in Western societies feel threatened by dramatic changes in their roles and that of the family in recent decades. Similar backlashes, after all, came in response to the civil rights movement, the gay rights movement, and other major societal revolutions. What is something of a shock is the verbal and physical violence of that reaction.

Really? The fact that the SPLC’s scaremongering coincided with the Obama re-election campaign’s “Republican War on Women” attack against Mitt Romney was a major clue to their political agenda. Yet few seem to recognize the connection between the Democrat Party’s electoral strategy and the recent resurgence of radical feminism. Because there is no reason to believe that “male supremacy” has become more oppressive in the past decade, we must suppose there must be some other motive for this renewed radicalism. When you realize that (a) Obama won re-election in 2012 with the widest “gender gap” ever recorded by Gallup, and (b) Hillary Clinton is the likely Democrat Party nominee for president in 2016, you must perceive the effort to gain a partisan advantage for Democrats as the most likely cause of this otherwise inexplicable surge of feminist activism. It’s not a conspiracy, just divide-and-conquer identity politics as usual for Democrats.

So when David Pakman interviewed the SPLC’s Mark Potok about the Men’s Rights movement, Potok confessed:

Well, to be honest, I was fairly oblivious to this whole world until we got a tip about a couple of websites that we began to look at. And it very quickly became apparent that there was a whole world of these websites; uh, as I say, the so-called man-o-sphere. Uh, these were websites that purported to be part of the Men’s Rights or Father’s Rights movement, which has some legitimate beefs, I think. But when you went in and started to look at what was actually on the sites, it was just an incredible amount of misogyny, an incredible amount of defamation of women. Uh, you know, one of the themes that runs through all of those websites, or certainly the vast majority of them, is the idea that women routinely lie about rape: that they claim they were raped in order to destroy men, to get advantages over men, and so on.

Hey, the SPLC just “got a tip” and suddenly discovered “an incredible amount of misogyny” on the Internet, which they never noticed, say, in 2008, when liberals were calling Sarah Palin the vilest things imaginable?


The dishonest hypocrisy of the SPLC is exceeded only by the dishonesty of their patented “links-and-ties” method of creating the artificial appearance of connections between persons and organizations which are not actually connected. For example, what is the connection between the 2011 suicide of James Ball (the lead “atrocity” cited in the SPLC article) and a PUA forum like Roosh V (featured in the SPLC’s listing of “manosphere” sites)? The answer: None whatsoever. And yet in order to create the appearance of large, scary, violent “War on Women” movement, the SPLC implied that there was such a connection.

Manufacturing non-existent dangers is an SPLC specialty, and Potok did not disappoint Pakman’s audience in this regard:

Uh, but let me say, first of all, that the real violence directed against women began, in a sense, in 1989, at an engineering school in Montreal, where a particular guy, Marc Lepine, murdered, if I remember, sixteen women: lined them up in a classroom and murdered them because they were engineers, they were the first engineering class at that University that had accepted women. And Lepine wrote explicity about how feminists have destroyed my life, and now I’m going to destroy their lives. Since then, we’ve seen a series of massacres, mass murders, directed at women.
The latest, of course, was last May in Santa Barbara, California, when a young guy named Elliot Rodger went on a rampage and murdered six people before killing himself. And this was all because, as he said, he was still a virgin at 22, he felt that beautiful blonde women owed him sex, and so on, and so on, and so on; he left a manifesto, a video manifesto.
So, what I’m saying is, yes, there has been this underlying, really, rage-filled reaction towards women for a good thirty years or so, now.


Yes, the underlying rage-filled reaction that connects a 1989 event in Canada with a 2014 event in California is part of “a series of massacres, mass murders, directed at women” — except that Potok can’t even name a single example of this “series” that supposedly connects these two events, 25 years apart. If Elliot Rodger was a “copycat killer” inspired by Marc Lepine, he was the only such imitator. Yet, despite what Potok implies, there is zero evidence that Elliot Rodger ever heard of Marc Lepine. Here, go do a word-search on Elliot Rodger’s 141-page manifesto. Marc Lepine isn’t mentioned. Guess what else isn’t mentioned? Feminism.

The words “feminist” and “feminism” appear nowhere in Elliot Rodger’s manifesto because his massacre had nothing to do with feminism. Rodger’s rage wasn’t political, it was personal. The loser couldn’t get laid, and this was his revenge. As for the feminist claim that Rodger was influenced by “men’s rights,” I explained on my blog in May 2014:

The focus on “pickup artist” (PUA) culture as an influence on Rodger is probably misguided. As his manifesto makes clear, the Creepy Little Weirdo had been overwhelmed by resentment and a sense of failure since he was in middle school, and he didn’t start ranting on PUA forums until after he had already decided on his “Day of Retribution.” So he acquired from PUA culture a jargon (“Alpha males,” etc.) but this was not the source of his anger, nor did it exercise a determining influence on his actions.

The image of Elliot Rodger created by media myth-makers was a feminist fabrication. Crazy is not a political philosophy.

Hyping hate in order to exploit fear is the SPLC’s raison d’être, but it’s not as if feminists need more reason to hate and fear men.

stop going to #university and #college: Jerry Seinfeld: Comedians Say Don’t Go Near Colleges, Political Correctness Hurts Comedy


It sounds like Jerry Seinfeld agrees with Chris Rock that American college students have developed an allergy to good comedy. In an interview with ESPN Radio’s Colin Cowherd, he had this to say:

“I don’t play colleges but I hear a lot of people tell me, ‘Don’t go near colleges, they’re so pc.’ Hey, I’ll give you an example. My daughter’s 14. My wife says to her, ‘Well, you know, in the next couple of years, I think maybe you’re going to want to hang around the city more on the weekends so you can see boys.’ You know, my daughter says, ‘That’s sexist.’ They just want to use these words. ‘That’s racist. That’s sexist. That’s prejudice.’ They don’t even know what they’re talking about.”

When asked by Cowherd if knee-jerk offendedness hurts comedy, Seinfeld responded, “Yes, it does.”

One of the supposed benefits of college is being able to connect with a lot of other smart people, and having the chance to interact with experts, artists, musicians, and policymakers who are invited to speak or participate in events on campus. As a student at the University of Michigan, for instance, I was able to meet several fascinating characters, including ‘60s radical Bill Ayers and lolcats founder Ben Huh. I also chatted with Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson and listened to Rep. Ron Paul give an awesome campaign speech. I didn’t like or agree with all of these people, but the experience was deeply enriching, and that’s the entire point of college. That’s what you’re paying for.

How sad, then, that some students’ hostility to new or troubling ideas has comedians (understandably) convinced that campuses aren’t worth their time.

Brazil #university professor requests list of Israeli students, lecturers


The dean of the Federal University of Santa Maria in the State of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil recently circulated a memorandum, requesting a list of Israeli lecturers and students studying in the institution. The dean gave the directive at the request of, among others, the Association of Solidarity with the Palestinian People of southern Brazil. The memorandum was stamped with the inscription “Freedom for Palestinians – boycott Israel,” but the university says the stamp was a forgery.

The controversial memo was sent by Professor Jose Fernando Schlosser, dean of post-graduate studies at the university. On May 15th he posted the document, which he signed, on the internet, as well as on the university’s bulletin board. “I ask you to urgently send us a list of Israeli students and lecturers in the graduate program”, the dean wrote

The dean did not specify in the document the reason he requested the list, but specified that this was done in response to the request of several bodies, including the student union, the teachers’ union, and the Association of Solidarity with the Palestinian people of southern Brazil.

The university confirmed the authenticity of the document, but argued that the stamp “liberate Palestine – boycott Israel” was forged and was not written by the dean. The university also claimed that the document constitutes a response to a request made in accordance with the law on the freedom of information. It was also noted that the police were contacted and asked to investigate the forgery. |The attorney general of the State of Rio Grande do Sul announced it is opening an investigation into the dean on the suspicion of discrimination based on race, color, ethnicity, religion and national origin.

The university’s rector, Professor Paulo Afonso Burmann, strongly denied his university’s giving a hand to boycotting Israel and discriminating against Israelis. He added that the university never takes stands on historical international disputes.

Various media outlets in Brazil attacked the document issued by the dean, even accusing him of “a shocking act of anti-Semitism”, which constitutes a violation of the Brazilian Constitution which forbids racism. Articles in various media outlets claim that the purpose of creating a list with the names of the Israelis was to confiscate their courses and harass Israeli students and lecturers.

The Foreign Ministry said in response: “This is a very serious incident and the Brazilian embassy and the Israeli Consulate in Sao Paulo, along with the Jewish community, are acting immediately to address the ugly and racist initiative. The labeling of people and their blacklisting remind us of dark days of humanity’s history. We hope that the Brazilian academy will pull itself together and come out against this initiative “.

‘We Need to Get Him Off the Internet’


Remember Lilly the Human Train Wreck, the mentally ill feminist Tumblr blogger who filed a federal complaint against her university? She did notlike being quoted on my blog:

Check it out. He “wrote an article” on me. He victim blames me the entire time. He hates that I am bi. He thinks I’m insane since I have mental illnesses.
We need to get him off the internet.
https://twitter.com/rsmccain This is his twitter.
Please report him for harassing me!!! And report other abusive things he says to or about other people.

I’m “harassing” her? By quoting her?

Lilly: You’re living inside a bubble, an ideological echo chamber. Being surrounded by like-minded idiots is not therapeutic.

UPDATE: Lilly’s supporters are, quite literally, hysterical:

Reading his article sent me into a panic attack . . . He has NO. FUCKING. RIGHT. I can’t even handle that people like that are out there. I honestly just don’t even want to stick around in a life that has people like him. I am so sorry you are having to deal with this.

They don’t even want to live in the same world with me.

UPDATE II: Wisdom from Gunga in the comments below:

It’s kinda funny how nothing quite makes these special snowflakes as bunny-boiling mad as quoting their own words. On the other hand, ‘People quoting me accurately makes me so angry,’ does seem like something a mentally ill person might say.

The thing is, feminism is a No-Judgment Zone. This was one of the principles of feminist “consciousness-raising” back in the 1960s and ’70s: “Everybody share their private experiences and innermost feelings, because sisterhood is powerful. And no judgment, ever.” What nobody warned them is that this is a technique of brainwashing and mind-control, used by religious cults and totalitarian movements as a way of forming a collectivist mentality by breaking down the individual personality. The leaders and facilitators of this process (the people who organized “consciousness raising” back in the day, and who now teach Women’s Studies classes) understand what they are doing, whereas the typical college kid is not sophisticated enough to realize what is happening or why it is happening. Once a vulnerable person is exposed to that kind psychological indoctrination, they are induced to see the surrounding world as hostile and oppressive. This suspicious attitude toward “society” fosters a sort of paranoia, and the only secure refuge from such psychic pain is among fellow True Believers.

This is why feminists freak out when you quote their words in a critical context. They have been taught to fear common sense.

#GamesSoWhite Proves SJWs Are Losing The Culture Wars


If you blinked, you may have missed social justice warriors trying to race-bait video gamers with a not-so-clever ploy. The idea was to claim that video games are “white-washed” and/or have far too little ethnic diversity. Using the hashtag #GamesSoWhite, SJW cesspools like Polygon and Kotaku hoped that people would rip the game industry apart.

Throwing Stones In A Glass House

Instead, the hashtag got hijacked by GamerGate and NotYourShield members who were quick to point out the hypocrisy and lunacy of the SJW filth machine. Anti-GamerGate agitators are always quick to shout out buzzwords and catchphrases that they hope will get the uneducated to rally alongside them. The problem is over the past ten months, the hypocrisy of anti-GG has been exposed and the genuine concerns of #GamerGate have begun to be seen as irrefutable.


The #GamesSoWhite hashtag ignores the fact that video games as a whole are more diverse than ever before and that it is game journalism that has a diversity problem. This astroturfing campaign is a smokescreen for holier-than-thou SJWs trying to race bait in order to make themselves feel more powerful. These so-called journalists are unable to create anything and have no talent whatsoever, so instead of creating games they want to play, they try and force all of us to have their same preferences.

Grasping At Straws

#GamesSoWhite also signifies the dwindling power and influence of SJWs. I’ve been with GamerGate since week one and I can remember being frustrated with how the media was portraying a movement attacking corruption in journalism. However, over time GamerGate has only grown in power, and its opposition has been scrambling maniacally to try and stay one step ahead.


Early on. GamerGate was hounded with accusations that the movement was nothing more than a thinly-veiled attack on women in gaming. But how can that narrative continue when you have countless women joining GamerGate? In fact, some of the most prominent defenders of GamerGate are women (such as “Factual Feminist” host Christina Hoff Sommers), meaning that neutrals are smelling the crazy wafting off anti-GG.

When you can’t accuse your enemies of misogyny, what do you do next? You manufacture a new smear campaign: racism. Anti-GG has moved on from sexism and is now trying to peg GamerGate as racists, a directive that has already failed miserably. They seem to have forgotten about NotYourShield and the various other minorities who support GamerGate. Their #GamesSoWhite hashtag was quickly overtaken by rational people who exposed the pure idiocy of the claim.

It’s almost over for the anti-GG party. They’ll still be around for a while, but they are slowly losing their grip. Even casual gamers are beginning to catch on to the dismal state of game journalism and developers are becoming less afraid to stand up to social justice bullies.

#GamesSoWhite might as well have been the voice of a toddler throwing a hissy fit after being proven wrong. That hissy fit was a hashtag called #DeathEaters, an attempt to create a tag that GamerGate wouldn’t follow. That got shut down in less than six hours. I’m not going to make any predictions on what the next frontier in the anti-GG movement will be, but I will say that whatever it is, GamerGate will be unaffected.

North Korean Refugees Are A Study In Female (Dis)loyalty


When the majority of us think of North Korea, we probably think of shitty haircuts, famines, nuclear weapons programs, and parades showcasing antiquated military equipment being filmed on 30-year-old camcorders. But there’s a whole culture there that extends beyond just the typical stuff that our media wants us to see. So, if we dig a little bit, we can learn quite a bit about the place.

As I’m sure most readers are aware, the North Korean government structure is communist and ruled in a totalitarian fashion by the Kim Dynasty. If there’s one place on earth that most closely reflects the premise of Orwell’s 1984—it’s North Korea. It wouldn’t be the least bit surprising to learn that Kim Il-Sung read the book at some point in his life, and did not consume it as the stroll down dystopia lane it was intended to be, but more as a manual or handbook on how to rule and build a nation.

Religion is strictly outlawed throughout the country, with Christians being at the top of the Kim’s shit-list. However, Confucianism is very important to the culture of North Korea, and to the entire region in general. Kim Il-Sung’s Juche Ideology, which is taught to all school children and reinforced throughout one’s entire life, derives many of its tenets from Confucianism and is a fundamental part of North Korea’s brainwashing propaganda.

What is of primary importance for the purposes of this article are the Confucian principles circling around the family structure. Here’s an excerpt from the Wikipedia article on the subject, just to give the unitiated a little background:

Social harmony results in part from every individual knowing his or her place in the natural order, and playing his or her part well. When Duke Jing of Qi asked about government, by which he meant proper administration so as to bring social harmony, Confucius replied:

There is government, when the prince is prince, and the minister is minister; when the father is father, and the son is son. (Analects XII, 11, trans. Legge)

Particular duties arise from one’s particular situation in relation to others. The individual stands simultaneously in several different relationships with different people: as a junior in relation to parents and elders, and as a senior in relation to younger siblings, students, and others. While juniors are considered in Confucianism to owe their seniors reverence, seniors also have duties of benevolence and concern toward juniors. The same is true with the husband and wife relationship where the husband needs to show benevolence towards his wife and the wife needs to respect the husband in return. This theme of mutuality still exists in East Asian cultures even to this day.

Unlike the Cultural Marxists of the West, the true Marxists of North Korea hold firm to traditional values. It’s simply embedded into the culture, and it’s not going anywhere—regardless of who’s in charge.

It’s illegal in North Korea for men and women to co-habitate prior to marriage, and there is little to no concept of dating there. Many marriages are set up through agencies—this is to help single men and women find mates in their respective social class (there are three primary songbun classes, and roughly 50 subsets of those classes).

If a woman marries a man of lesser social standing than herself, then she will have to assume his lower status in the hierarchy—and we all know women ain’t gonna to let that shit happen.

Divorces are difficult to obtain. “I’m not happy” is not an acceptable reason for divorce in the DPRK. Valid reasons include infertility and adultery, and even under those circumstances, one’s reputation could be tarnished and their advancement opportunities hindered in other aspects of life should they choose to divorce.

The divorce process is also very time consuming (often lasting for years), with the desired result not always coming to fruition—even with legitimate reasons like those listed above.

Military conscription, which is compulsory for all men and selective women, lasts for a period of 10 years in the Korean People’s Army and up to five years in the other branches. Romantic relationships are forbidden for soldiers during their military service—including marriage.

Most guys don’t even get laid for the first time until they’re in their mid-twenties, and that’s with their wives.The government controls all aspects of its citizens’ lives. Family values are not something that is just glossed over in North Korea—it’s shoved down their throats from the time they’re old enough to comprehend it. This makes the next data point all the more interesting.

The Defectors

South Korea provides asylum to any and all DPRK defectors. It’s impossible for a defector to cross the Korean Demilitarized Zone at the north-south border, so defectors cross over the Yalu river and into China. The normal route is to travel southwest through China, down through Laos, and into Thailand where defectors then seek asylum at the South Korean embassy in Bangkok. Another route is to go through Mongolia, though this is less common.

The South Korean government provides its new citizens with training on how to succeed and adapt to their new lives. They provide them with any necessary medical care and fix their teeth. They then train them on the basics of living in a capitalist society—teaching them how to open bank accounts, how to drive a car, and how to run errands etc.

Newcomers are then provided with an apartment and spending cash to get their new lives started. From start to finish the process that lasts for roughly six months, and an investment in the mid five-figures is expended by the South Korean government.

South Korea keeps records of all defectors from the North, and, as it stands now, of the roughly 30,000 that have made the journey, seventy percent of them are women. There are estimates that North Koreans numbering in the hundreds of thousands are living illegally in China as well. What’s the sex of the overwhelming majority of those illegals, with estimates ranging between seventy-five to ninety percent? You guessed it: women.

Why is this important? Well, this where things get a bit ugly.

Punishment By Lineage

The DPRK has a system known as yeonjwaje, or three generations of punishment. This means that when a crime is committed, especially one political in nature, the perpetrator isn’t the only one to be punished—the family must atone for the sins of the wrongdoer as well.

For example, if I was to commit what is classified as a political crime in North Korea—such as owning a Bible, possessing DVDs of American films, or even tuning into a South Korean radio station—then my grandparents, parents, and siblings would also be punished for my conduct.

And what does that punishment consist of? Well, like any good Stalinist regime, North Korea has a system of kyohwaso (re-education camps) and kwaliso (political prisons). The kyohwaso system for re-education focuses on reforming recidivists that the state deems remediable. Prisoners sent through the kyohwaso system are generally released after a few years of thorough re-education through labor, showing some love to the Supreme Leader, and taking a few good ass-kickings along the way just for good measure.

The kwaliso concentration camps for political prisoners are a different animal. These camps fall into one of two categories: total control zones for the actual offenders, and revolutionary zones for the families of the offenders. Camps like kwaliso No. 14 Internment Camp at Kaechon, or No. 22 at Hoeryong, are examples of total control zones. Kwaliso No. 18 at Pukchang would be an example of a revolutionary zone camp. The difference between the two styles of kwaliso boils down to who controls the camps and the eligibility of release.

The typical prison system of North Korea operates the revolutionary zone camps, and they tend to be a little more lenient (that’s not saying much), prisoners may also be released from the revolutionary zones after time served (or not, depending on circumstances). The total control zone camps, however, are ran by the regimes secret police force: the Bowibu.

These camps are completely isolated from the outside world, and the Bowibu guards of the total control zone camps are trained that inmates are enemies of the state, and, therefore, no longer human beings. The guards are given full authority to beat, torture, and execute inmates for any reason they see fit. The typical life of a prisoner in one these camps consists of periodic torture, routine beatings, systematic starvation, and seven day workweeks lasting 16 hours a day in one of the camps’ factories, mines, or agriculture fields.

Prisoners are never released from total control zone camps: they are worked to death, starved to death, or die from a myriad of diseases. Political prisoners also make up the majority of the workforce used to build the regime’s underground nuclear research and development facilities—they’re the perfect candidates, seeing that dead people can’t share secrets.

When one defects from North Korea: they are considered a traitor and their crime is political in nature. So guess who gets to carry the burden for those who choose to leave the country? The remaining family members is the answer.

Life in North Korea is not easy: it’s a total shithole, and no one would ever dispute that fact. But one can’t help but notice that—by an overwhelming amount—it’s women who make the decision to jump ship and leave the country. It’s women, at a rate of three or four to one, who are leaving their families vulnerable to perish in the world’s shittiest of circumstances.

These women cannot claim ignorance either: everyone in North Korea is at least aware of the existence of the internment camps, and they are certainly aware of yeonjwaje. Citizens refer to those sent to the camps as, “The people who are sent to the mountains,” so these women know what lies in store for their families when they make the decision to cross the Yalu and into China.

A Man’s Domain

This is where the loyalty of men shines through and shows that we are the true vanguards of virtue. I love my father. I’m very close to him and our relationship has transcended past that of a father son-relationship and into one of deep friendship. During a recent conversation I even joked with him, “Pop, couldn’t you have at least gotten drunk and beat the shit out of me a couple times when I was a kid, or at least told me that I would never amount to anything?”

We both laughed, but in a strange way, I was being somewhat serious. He’s always been there for me. He’s been so good to me, to my mother, and to our entire family that I almost wish he was a worse father, because it’s going to completely devastate me when he dies.

If I knew that my actions would somehow result in my father being beaten, tortured, and worked to death like a fucking rented mule; that he and my mother would be buried in a mass, unmarked grave on the side of a mountain along with all of the other “unpersons”; that their lives would be less valuable than that of a farm animal—then I would never be able live with myself.

Being hungry and on the precipice of death due to starvation would be terrible, and that is a harsh reality for many North Korean citizens outside of Pyongyang. However, would eating a hot bowl of kimchi in a perfectly air conditioned Seoul restaurant taste very good knowing that your relatives were taking beatings and eating raw rats to stave off pellagra just a few hundred miles north?

And worse yet, they’re in that situation all because of you? Would a full stomach be worth it? Would you leave all of your loved ones behind to rot just to save your own fucking skin? Regardless of how close you are to your family, could you, as a man, live with yourself?

It would seem that women are be able to answer “yes” to those question with much more ease. Not through words, of course. Women say shit that sounds good all the time—they can talk a good game with the best of them. However, if it really came down to it and the chips were down; when words meant nothing and actions meant everything, would a woman really be there in the end?

Could you count on a woman to fall on her sword for honor, for family, and for love? Could you count on a woman to be there for you, and only you? I certainly wouldn’t bet my life on it. Hell, I can’t even find a woman who knows how to fucking cook, never mind all of that other shit like honor.

It probably comes as little surprise that the male defectors suffer from depression in greater numbers and have a much more difficult time adjusting to their new lives in the South when compared to their female counterparts. It makes sense: they carry guilt, shame, and worry. Women are able to cope with their decisions much better than men.

In other words, women have the ability convince themselves that their own selfish decisions were the right move to make. A man cannot hide from the truth, it’s always there and he’s always aware of its presence. A man’s conscience can and will eat him alive—there can be no solace for the man who betrays his own.

In Closing

One can’t help but notice that the percentage of female North Korean defectors and the percentage of divorces being filed by women in America is roughly the same number: seventy percent. Granted, some women in both situations will have legitimate reasons for doing what they do (the Koreans more so, certainly).

Some of these North Korean women have no families, perhaps they were orphaned or lost their loved ones to famine; or they were even encouraged by the men in their families to pursue a better life, even if that meant certain death for those men. They had nothing to lose and everything to gain by defecting. Some women in America undoubtedly get divorced for legitimate reasons as well, and no one would ever fault them for that.

But the vast majority of these women are just quitters who are thinking of no one but themselves: everyone else be damned, “I gotta get mine,” and whoever is standing in my way is little more than collateral damage; merely a drop in the old bucket. This is the prevailing attitude, in a nutshell.

When we take into account how conservative North Korean society is; when we take into account that Confucianism is a fundamental part of life there; and when we take into account that loyalty to the system, to the state, and to the family is drilled into the minds of these women perpetually from birth—yet they are the overwhelming majority who say fuck it and hit the road, then I think that’s something we have to consider quite heavily. We are observing female nature in its purest form.

Now, take that female nature and remove all of the traditionalism and replace it with consumerism, selfishness, and girl power—then team that up with the female tendency to always follow the crowd, and it really goes without saying that things around the U.S. start to look pretty fucking scary.

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