Category Archives: Books

Authoritative Regime

For todays blog, it shall be a history lesson as well as news on present day North Korea. I obviously don’t have a main theme for my blogs..lol my last blogs were what? restaurant reviews, ONE OK ROCK, Dumbledore being gay, etc haha but like the title says.. “My thoughts. My aspirations. My stories. My life” =)

Everyone knows that Nazi Party founder Adolf Hitler was one of the most merciless yet charismatic leaders on the 20th century. However, if you were to rank him in who was the most ruthless and had the most deaths during their totalitarian regime, would Hitler be 1st? Surprisingly enough (at least to me), Hitler is 3rd, with Soviet Premier Josef Stalin coming in at 2nd and Chairman of the Communist Party Mao Zedong leading the number 1 spot.

Perhaps many of you already knew this, perhaps not. I just though I’d write about that as it leads to my next topic of a present day society that is suffering with an authoritative regime. Many of you have probably read George Orwell’s 1984 right? Well, currently I’m reading North Korea: Through the Looking Glass by Kongdan Oh and Ralph C. Hassig for one of my classes and North Korea’s regime sounds almost identical to the dystopia society in 1984.

Here are some quotes and minor summaries I’ve pulled from the book that really stuck out to me:

Famine in 1990′s :
The biggest issue was widespread hunger and starvation, which was a direct consequence of the years of mismanagement in the economy. In response to the hunger problem, a campaign was launched saying “lets eat only two meals a day (page 43).” In later years (1995 and on), when starvation continued and food rations were sporadic or just nonexistent altogether, the government adopted a form of “exceptionalist welfare,” where people are largely responsible on local level for their own well-being but may occasionally receive “gifts from their benevolent leader in Pyongyang.”

- Food ration system: In NK, since they were against a comparative advantage kind of economy, they used a planned economy that was aurarkic, where they would supply grain etc to its citizens. People were given a ration card and used them to ‘purchase’ food. As you can see..this didn’t work and became very detrimental in the 90′s during the famine

Page 133
“According o the commander, few safety precautions were taken on the job; an average of one worker a day died in the Kwangbok Street Construction project over a three-year period” and there “no construction elevators were installed on high-rise projects, so men would have to climb as much as 30 floors up stairways or scaffolding to get to their work .”

NK governtment denies they have concentration camps…
Page 134
” There is no ‘camp’ in our Republic. In Sungho-ri, the place where the South Korean authorities allege there is a ‘camp of political prisoners’ there are industrial establishments and cooperative farms animated with creative labor and rows of modern apartment houses and rural houses overflowing with the happiness of the people.”

Page 137
“The goal of the security organization is to permeate every sector of society and to monitor the private and public life of North Korean citizens and foreign visitors .”

Page 138
“the most serious crime a North korea can commit is disloyalty to the leader”
“Anyone caught treating pictures of Kims with disrespect,such as letting them collect dust, is subject to disciplinary action. Pictures of the Kims in news papers and magazines are not to be folded or torn”

Key to effective deterrence and punishment: Yongoje (Family Purge)
Page 138-9
“A father who incurs the wrath of authorities can expect not only his immediate family, but his parents, uncles, and cousins to suffer for his crime if not by imprisonment or banishment, at least by having the crime entered into their personal records”
“when North korean commandos are stranded in South Korea, they usually commit suicide in order to die a hero’s death, with assurance that their loved ones will earn the special kind of treatment accorded to the families of fallen heroes”
“North Koreans are expected to inform on one another, even children on their parents, because if they do not report a crime and it is discovered, they are implicated”

Education
Page 141
“lessons on the importance of manual labor, the collective life, and developing a fighting spirit against the enemies of communism”
“Students are taught arithmetic by counting how many American soldiers were killed and how many of their tanks were destroyed by the brave North Koreas during the Korean War”

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Hogwarts character out of the closet

If you haven’t heard yet, Albus Dumbledore, fictional character in the Harry Potter series has come out of the closet. If you don’t believe me, check out the article I linked:

J.K. Rowling outs Hogwarts character

All I have to say is wow… That was very unexpected. And…how was there already fanfiction about Dumbledore and Grindelwald?! Such a relationship would never have crossed my mind.

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Harry Potter Links

WARNING!!! all the links on this post will have Harry Potter 7 spoilers! Also, for those that have NOT read the book, DO NOT TOUCH any wikipedia links that have anythinggg to do with Harry Potter.

Well, since tons of people have been asking for the links for Harry Potter info, here they are!

MSNBC
Meredith Vieira interviews J.K Rowling

JK rowling reading a good portion of the beginning of the 7th book and then a short interview

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20001720/
J.K Rowling- about who lives and who dies, and her Mothers impact (great videos)
http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/19991430/
Finished ‘Potter’? Rowling tells what happens next: details on events after the books
http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/19959323/

Web transcript interview —- BEST link for all info of post HP7

http://www.the-leaky-cauldron.org/2007/7/30/j-k-rowling-web-chat-transcript

Fun youtube video of the cast of the movie
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3RyvtKphVw&mode=related&search=

List of all the students in Harry’s year-- if you do the math, like many say, its 250-300 students, but according to J.K. Rowling the number of students in Hogwarts is 600ish up to 1000. No, it doesn’t make sense..but she has the final say.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Students_in_Harry_Potter%27s_Year

Info about cuts in the book–For info on some stuff about characters and such that were cut out of the book before being published check out J.K Rowlings website under “Extra” (which is the hairbrush)
http://www.jkrowling.com/accessible/en/

Yea..Yea..you’re thinking “wow Jen…” o wells, I love this epic and I’m sad to see it come to an end.

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Meteor Shower

Ahh..I have so much to blog about but I haven’t made time. In the mean time, this Saturday on the 28th, will be the Delta Aquarids, which is a meteor shower! Keep a look out folks!

whooo I’m somewhere in the 350s in Harry Potter 7. I shall finish it soon.

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Hooked


I’m hooked on Harry Potter. I forgot how entranced it was to read the books. Every spare moment I have I want to read the book. Currently, I am rereading book 6 and I think I will finish today or tomorrow. My biggest fear right now is running into a spoiler online or some fool ruining the 7th book for me. I swear my wrath will be worst than an Unforgivable Curse if someone spoils it.

Happy readings!

I can’t wait to start the book 7!

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Harry Potter Theme Park

As many folks know, I am a Harry Potter buff (more so the books of course). Well in late 2009 to 2010, Warner Bros. and Universal Studios is debuting a Harry Potter Theme park. This means that ideally…!!!…I am going to Orlando, Florida for my college graduation. =)

Universal Orlando- Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Pictures from what they plan to make it look like:

Hogwarts

Hogsmeade Village

Heres an article from BBC news, there is a video linked to it: Harry Potter Theme Park PlannedI’m pumped for the 5th movie..and even more ecstatic for book 7.

J.K Rowling, you’re a rich, powerful beast.

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