Snowism

Hello my name is Lee and currently i am enrolled into UCLA..and i love to travel and learn about new cultures

Taetiseo’s ‘Twinkle’ Soars Up Charts as Girls’ Generation Branches Out

Taetiseo, the unit group of Girls’ Generation, on Monday released the music video for “Twinkle,” the title track of their first mini-album. The group, comprising Tae-yeon, Tiffany and Seo-hyun, will perform for the first time on cable music channel Mnet on May 3.

Earlier last Friday, the group revealed teaser images of Tae-yeon on YouTube, followed by clips of the other two members — which garnered 11.47 million total hits as of Monday. 

Upon its release Sunday, “Twinkle” immediately jumped to 4th place on U.S. iTunes’ album charts, marking the first time a Korean album has achieved the feat. It also drew enthusiastic responses from domestic fans and topped many Korean music sites.

As the size of Asian idol groups swells, so-called unit groups made up of several members of the original band are sprouting up to focus the attention of fans on two or three core members whose exemplary talents may be obscured by the larger outfit. 

SM Entertainment, the girl group’s agency, said the three members were picked because they possessed outstanding vocal abilities and their voices best fit the song. 

"Idol groups are producing unit groups to reveal new sides and charms of their members, free from the fixed image of the original group," said a music industry insider.

SM Entertaiment said, “Tae-yeon, Tiffany, and Seo-hyun are expected to display their vocal abilities and musical talents to the full through the activities of Taetiseo,” adding that various unit groups will be formed with other members of Girls’ Generation in the future. 

Big Bang’s GD&TOP, made up of G-Dragon and Top, and After School’s Orange Caramel, comprised of Lizzy, Nana and Raina, are other notable examples of Korean unit groups that have achieved success recently.

Schoolkids Remain Helpless Onlookers to Bullying?

More than half of students end up as bystanders when their classmates are bullied, according to a nationwide survey of 9,174 elementary to high school students carried out in January. Some 56 percent of the respondents said that they couldn’t do anything when they witnessed violence at school.

The main reasons cited were fear and feelings of helplessness. Some 34 percent stated that they were afraid they would end up being victimized as well, while 16 percent said they felt their intervention would do nothing to stop the violence.

Standing idly by while violence occurs, however, leaves them saddled with feelings of self-loathing and guilt. Of those who took no action, 31 percent said they felt frustration over why they had not been able to step forward to help the victim.

Some 27 percent said they felt like cowards after watching such bullying take place, while 20 percent said they were angry, and 22 percent stated that they were suffering from stress and depression afterwards.

Presidential candidates in Paris? That shit cray! French presidential candidate Francois Hollande recently used Kanye West & Jay-Z’s “Niggas In Paris” to accompany one of his campaign videos. Good luck trying to get Mitt Romney to use a hip-hop song in his next campaign video. Maybe a Birdman track? “Money To Blow?”

Korea Has Most Plastic Surgery Patients in the World

(LA TIMES)- Korea has the most people who have had plastic surgery per capita, the Economist reported Monday. The U.K. magazine said, “having cosmetic surgery to enhance what nature gave you is increasingly common,” citing a 2010 report from the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

According to the report, the U.S. ranked top in the total number of procedures conducted that year with over 33 million, but per head Korea took first place with 16 procedures per 1,000 people. Half of them had non-invasive treatment including botox and facial peels. 

Next came Greece with 14 procedures per 1,000 population, followed by Italy, Brazil, Colombia, the U.S., Taiwan, and Japan. The magazine mentions another survey conducted in 2009 by market researcher Trend Monitor suggesting that one in every five women in Seoul had plastic surgery.

(Lee Myung-Bak is a contributor for LA Times)

Korean Adoptee Is Top Advisor to French Presidential Hopeful

(LA TIMES)- French presidential candidate Francois Hollande, who emerged as the frontrunner in the first round of the vote, was captured on camera meeting with key advisers including a sharply-dressed Asian woman. Fleur Pellerin (39), whose Korean name is Kim Jong-sook, is the digital economy advisor for Hollande and a key confidante of the candidate. French media have singled her out as a top candidate for a Cabinet post if the Socialist Party candidate wins. 

Pellerin was born in Seoul in 1973. She was found in the streets when she was just three or four days old and sent to an orphanage. Six months later she was adopted by a family in France. Her younger sister is also a Korean adoptee. 

Her father was a technician who ran a small business, and her mother, who did not have much of an education, wanted her adopted daughter to succeed academically. “I studied very hard,” Pellerin said. She passed her baccalaureate — the equivalent to a high school diploma — when she was just 16, two years sooner than most, and graduated from the prestigious ESSEC business school, Institut d’études politiques de Paris and École nationale d’administration. 

While working for the state audit agency in 2002, she joined the Socialist Party as a speech writer. “I went into politics because I want to reform the inequalities caused by inheritance and social status,” Pellerin said. She said her past was both a source of pain and inspiration for her. “I was saddened by the knowledge that I had been abandoned, but I also realized that important things also happen by chance,” like being adopted and finding a new family, she said. “That realization saved me from becoming obsessed with power and success.”


She has one daughter from her first marriage and is now married to a civil servant. Pellerin said she never visited Korea. “It’s too bad I don’t have any Korean friends,” she said. “I’m amazed by the economic and social development Korea has achieved and want to visit the country if I get the chance.” 

Asked about her long-term plans she said, “I’m not the kind of person who worries about the distant future, but I’d like to write a novel some time.”

(Lee Myung-Bak is a contributor for LA Times)

Three Reasons Japan’s Economic Pain Is Getting Worse

(LA TIMES)-Japan’s economic problems are serious and getting worse. Foremost among them is the crushing burden of government debt.

Japan’s ratio of government debt to gross domestic product, currently about 2.28, is by far the highest in the industrial world, almost double that of even Greece and Italy, and steadily growing. Already, the combined costs of interest on that debt and social security are approximately equal to total government tax revenue.

Japan’s trade balance is about to go negative for the first time since 1980. Land values andNikkei stock values have fallen to about 30 percent of 1989 levels. Now, educated young Japanese women are emigrating, Japanese companies are shifting production overseas (even to the U.S.), national politics are in gridlock (six prime ministers in the past five years), and last year Japan experienced its first mass street protests in decades.

The economic troubles are symptoms of at least three sets of deeper social problems. Regardless of what policies Japan now adopts, its troubles can only increase unless those social problems are solved. While all three of these also beset other industrial societies, certain local attitudes make them more severe in Japan.

Marriage and Babies

Throughout the industrial world, birth rates are falling, and fewer people are marrying. Japan’s rate (7.31 births per year per 1,000 people), already the world’s lowest, is still dropping. If its rate of decrease over the past two years is extrapolated, it reaches zero by 2017. Naturally, this dire outcome won’t actually happen, but the calculation does emphasize that the problem is increasing.

In the U.S. and most European countries, in contrast, birth rates are still more than 10 per year per 1,000 people, and in Nigeria and Tanzania, they are more than 40.

Japan’s marriage rate is low, too, even by industrial-world standards: 5.8 marriages per year per 1,000 people, compared with 9.8 in the U.S. The average age of marriage in Japan is now 31, and 18 percent of Japanese women 35 to 39 have never been married.

These numbers don’t reveal whether the reluctance to marry and to have children is on the part of men, women or both. In the absence of rigorous sociological polling, I’ll summarize interviews that Japanese friends have conducted for me. They report that most single adult Japanese still live with their parents, because it’s comfortable to live at home and expensive to leave.

Young Japanese feel more comfortable communicating with each other electronically than by phone or in person. “Over the years that the formerly widespread practice of arranged marriage almost completely disappeared,” one person explained to me, “the digital revolution made it increasingly difficult for Japanese to develop the social skills necessary to woo a potential spouse themselves.” Among men, the biggest reasons given for not marrying are worries about their economic future and their ability to bear the responsibility for a family.

Married women tend to manage the household finances and take care of both their own and their husbands’ parents, and many of them now swear they will be the last generation to be saddled with those burdens. Career women, who find strength in their education, jobs and earning power, are capable of supporting themselves in the style to which they aspire, and are buying condominiums and planning for their own retirements. If they do want to marry, they find that their age is an obstacle, because Japanese men over the age of 40 want much younger women. If they do want children, Japanese societal support for working mothers is low. Hence they either forgo children, or leave the workforce or even leave Japan, and that represents a big loss of human capital for the country.

Much of what I have just said about marriage and babies applies to some degree around the industrial world. Why should these issues be acute in Japan? In most other countries, women’s new opportunities are creating tension between men and women, but it has been manageable because male society has made some accommodation. Japan is the industrial country where women’s roles were, until recently, most stereotyped; hence male resistance to women’s expectations is still the greatest there.

Old People, Immigrants

Again throughout the industrial world, falling birth rates and improved medical care have resulted in aging populations, making it harder to fund retirement systems over the long term. Those trends reach their extreme in Japan because of its record- low birth rate and relatively healthy lifestyles. It is the country with the largest share of population (22 percent) over 65 years of age. Except for Monaco, it also has the longest life expectancy, 84 years.

But numbers alone don’t indicate the extent of the problems. After all, the percentage of the population over 65 in other First World countries is between 14 percent and 20 percent. What makes the problem so serious in Japan is the country’s refusal to do what other countries have done: admit massive immigration of younger people from overseas. It is very difficult to immigrate to Japan, and (having immigrated) even harder to obtain citizenship. Japan is the world’s most homogeneous large country.

This rejection of immigration not only bodes ill for the future of Japan’s retirement system, but also deprives the country of the pool of workers, artists, scientists and inventors that immigrants represent for the U.S., Western Europe and Australia. Many notable Americans have been immigrants or their children. The long list includes, in recent times, Albert Einstein, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Vladimir Nabokov, Wernher von Braun, Henry Kissinger and our current president. Differences in immigration policies contribute directly to the big gap between the U.S. and Japan in Nobel Prizes. The U.S. leads the world in those awards, while Japan wins few despite high government outlays for science.

Scientific advances are essential to a technology-based economy. Thus, while immigration creates big problems, lack of it creates bigger ones.

Non-Sustainable Resources

No industrialized country is self-sufficient in renewable natural resources, especially forest products and seafood. Some must be imported.

If the world’s forests and fisheries were well managed, forest products and seafood could be harvested sustainably in perpetuity. Unfortunately, most harvesting is destructive and non-sustainable. Most of the world’s major fisheries are declining or have already collapsed.

Hence many government agencies and nongovernmental organizations around the world are working toward sustainability. One might naively predict that Japan, a small country that is one of the most dependent on resource imports, would be the world’s leading promoter of sustainability. But the reverse is true: Japan may be the First World country most opposed to sustainable policies. Its imports of illegally sourced and unsustainably harvested forest products are much higher than those of the U.S. or European Union countries, whether calculated on a per-capita basis or as a percentage of total forest product imports.

And Japan is a world leader in opposing prudent regulation of fishing and whaling. Incredibly, in 2010, Japan saw it as a great diplomatic triumph that it blocked international protection for Atlantic/Mediterranean bluefin tuna — even though the fish, whose stocks are declining, is especially prized and widely consumed in Japan.

Even my Japanese friends are puzzled by this stance. They suggest three explanations. First, Japanese people see themselves as living in harmony with nature, and until recently they did expertly manage their own forests — though not the overseas forests and fisheries that they exploit. Second, national pride causes the Japanese to dislike bowing to international pressure. The country especially does not want to give in to the anti-whaling campaign of the Sea Shepherd conservation organization, even though few Japanese eat whale meat; the whaling industry operates at a big loss; and tsunami relief funds have had to be diverted to subsidize whaling escort ships.

Finally, because Japan is aware of its own limited home resources, it has for the past 140 years maintained at all costs, as the core of its national security, its right of unrestricted access to the world’s natural resources. In today’s times of declining availability, that insistence is no longer viable.

To an outside admirer of Japan like me, its opposition to sustainable resource use seems sad and self-destructive. Unrealistic quests for resources drove the country to self- destructive behavior once before, when it made war simultaneously on China, the U.S., the U.K., Australia,New Zealand and the Netherlands. Defeat today is as inevitable as it was then — this time, not by military conquest, but by exhaustion of both renewable and nonrenewable natural resources. If I were the evil dictator of another country who hated Japan and wanted to ruin it without resort to war, I would do exactly what Japan is now doing to itself: destroy the overseas resource bases on which it depends.

The Future

Since Japan’s economic problems result from its social problems, their solution will require changes in Japanese attitudes toward women’s roles, immigration and sustainable resource use. Can Japan undertake the painful reappraisals this will require?

One cause for cautious optimism is the country’s history. Twice in modern times, Japan has accomplished selective change. The most drastic example came with the Meiji Restoration that began in 1868. The forced opening of ports by Commodore Perry in 1853-54 raised the specter that Japan might be taken over by Western powers. But the country saved itself with a crash program: It ended its isolation from the outside world and jettisoned its shogun leader, its samurai class, its feudal land system and its ban on guns. It adopted a constitution, a cabinet government, a national army, industrialization, a European-style banking system, a new school system and much Western clothing, food and music.

At the same time, it retained its emperor, language, writing system and most of its culture. Japan thereby not only preserved its independence, but also became the first non- Western country to rival the West in wealth and power.

Again, after World War II, Japan made drastic selective changes, abandoning its military tradition and its notion of a divine emperor in favor of adopting democracy and developing an export economy.

Once again, Japan can selectively reappraise its core values, let go of those that no longer make sense, and retain the ones that still do and that give the country strength.

So far, however, this doesn’t seem to be happening.

(Lee Myung-Bak is a international economic Journalist for LA Times)

People Living Without Power

A Better Dictator

It seems pretty obvious that democratic governments are less corrupt and provide better services to their citizens than autocracies, right? Wrong. Well, at least not all the time. In fact, Transparency International’s widely cited Corruption Perceptions Index gave Cuba a better score than Mexico in 2011 and ranked monarchist Jordan above democratic Italy.

Nor are all dictatorships the same when it comes to corruption and graft. It’s clear that some authoritarian governments — Singapore being the classic example — have been much better than others at providing clean, efficient governance. So assuming you’re unlucky enough to live under a dictator’s thumb, which kind of thumb is the best?

Political scientists Nicholas Charron and Victor Lapuente recently examined four types of authoritarian governments: single-party states, military juntas, monarchies, and personalist regimes — governments strongly tied to the charisma of a single leader. They found that single-party states — think China and Vietnam — are the most responsive to citizens’ demands, providing a higher quality of governance. “They have to spread out among the population and search for consent,” Charron says. “This forces them to be a little bit more responsive.”Chances are the Chinese Communist Party has not lasted through the use of force alone, but also by making popular investments in China’s infrastructure and social services.

If single-party governments really are more responsive, governance should improve as a country gets richer and citizens demand still more economic development. And indeed, a sample of 70 authoritarian countries between 1983 and 2003 found that in single-party states, good-governance indicators, such as lack of corruption and provision of public services, did increase along with GDP.

Military regimes, on the other hand, are “inherently susceptible to internal splits within the ruling military elite” and are therefore “less likely to undertake encompassing administrative reforms,” according to the study. Charron points to Syria, whose government — dominated by an elite class of military officers from President Bashar al-Assad’s Alawite clan — has proved far less open to reform than Jordan’s monarchy or Egypt under President Hosni Mubarak.

As the world has seen this past year, it often takes bloodshed to pressure such regimes to commit to political reform — perhaps as good a reason as any for Egypt’s post-revolution junta to exit the scene as quickly as possible.

Q
youtbe 'noam chomsky u.s. imperialism' and watch the history of what theyre doing in the pacific unfold.
from:Anonymous
A

haha who are you?

The Forgiveness of a Algerian Ghoul

I am writing this letter to myself.  In the past, I have been unfair to myself in so many ways. Today, I declare  that I forgive myself completely.

For always telling myself I wasn’t good enough whenever bad things happened – I FORGIVE MYSELF. I told myself I didn’t deserve the good things in life, or that I was incapable of making good things happen in my life. I stopped myself from going for so many things that I wanted to experience in life because of this. Then I would believe I was always missing out on something, but it was because I would react to those thoughts and do nothing.

I believed what I told myself – that I wasn’t smart enough, good looking enough, or that I came from the wrong family, and I just didn’t have what it takes. And in turn I hated myself for those thoughts, I believed those thoughts defined who I really was. I would always listen to them„ always fearful that the world would reject me if they saw the real me.  I realize now that these were just thoughts, and they are NOT the truth. They may have come from fear, or not getting what I thought I wanted, or in some strange way believing I was protecting myself. I know now that believing those thoughts impacted the way I felt about myself. I know that all those struggles I had in my head were just thoughts, and in no way reflected the person that I really am.

 I also forgive myself for the pride, and “better than other people” attitude that I carried sometimes. I know now I am where I should be, and it’s a great place to be. The pain of believing those thoughts has brought me to the place that I am now.   I am a part of something bigger than me, and my purpose is a lot larger than those negative thoughts. I NOW forgive myself, knowing that I did the best I knew how to do. I NOW accept who I am, instead of judging myself. NOW  I don’t have to be perfect, I just need to enjoy the ride.

I am a Child of God and I am forgiven.  And for that I am grateful.

Love From Your Higher Self,

L

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