They Did This To An American…. And A Japanese

“U.S. Army Deserter Describes 40 Years in North Korea Hell,” Drudge Report, 20 October 2005.

The North Korean monsters.

In his first U.S. television interview, the former U.S. Army sergeant who deserted to North Korea speaks for the first time about the abuse and control inflicted on him by the communist dictatorship over his nearly 40 years there. Charles Robert Jenkins tells Scott Pelley he had a “U.S. Army” tattoo sliced off without anesthetic and was even told how often to have sex by his communist “leaders” in a 60 MINUTES interview to be broadcast Sunday, Oct. 23 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.

In 1965, Jenkins was posted along the hostile border between North and South Korea. He says he was being asked to lead increasingly aggressive patrols and was wary that he might be sent to Vietnam. And so, on a sub-zero night, he says he drank 10 beers, abandoned his squad, and walked through a mine-field to surrender to the North. He says he thought he would be sent to Russia and exchanged in some Cold War swap. But he was wrong. “It was the worst mistake anyone ever made,” he tells Pelley. “In words I cannot express the feelings I have towards North Korea, the harassment I got. The hard life.”

That life included forced studying of the writings of the communist dictator Kim Il Sung. He says he and three other American deserters were forced to study eight hours a day for seven years. The studying was imposed by communist government handlers called “leaders.” They also assigned him a Korean woman, with whom he was supposed to have sex twice a month. “The leaders almost tell her when to do it, and I got in a big fight one time over it,” recalls Jenkins. “I told [the leader], ‘It’s none of his business if I want sleep with her. She wants to sleep — we sleep.’ ‘No — two times a month'” He says he was severely punished for talking back. “That’s the worst beating I ever got — over that,” he tells Pelley, showing a scar where he says his teeth came through his lower lip.

Worse still, says Jenkins, was the pain he endured when someone saw his U.S. Army tattoo. He says the North Koreans held him down and cut the words, “U.S. Army,” off with a scalpel and scissors — without giving him any painkiller. “They told me the anesthetic was for the battlefield,” says Jenkins, “It was hell.”

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Charles Jenkins

During his first 15 years in North Korea, Jenkins says he led a lonely and desperate life. Then his North Korean “leaders” brought a young Japanese woman to his door. She had been kidnapped from her homeland by North Korean agents. The only thing they had in common at first was that they hated North Korea, Jenkins says, but the relationship blossomed. They raised two children. Kim Jong Il’s decision in 2002 to allow Jenkins’ wife and other surviving abductees to return to Japan paved the way for Jenkins’ release last year.

Each night before going to bed in North Korea, Jenkins said good night to his wife in Japanese, rather than Korean. He did it, he tells Pelley, to “remind her that she’s still Japanese, that she’s not Korean. She’s not obligated to Korea. She is Japanese… and she spoke to me in English — every night. Regardless of how hard things got, we always stuck as one.”

charles_jenkins_and_hitomi_soga_md
Charles Jenkins and Hitomi Soga

When Jenkins finally stepped outside the North Korean culture after 40 years, he was most surprised to see women in the Army, limits on where you could smoke and black policemen. He had never heard of 60 MINUTES and thought Life magazine would be the place where he would tell his story. He knew something about the 1969 moon landing, however. “I was told that by the Koreans, one of the officers. They wouldn’t say what country, but they said, ‘Una handa la’… some country landed on the moon.”

For more about North Korea, please read One Free Korea and NKZone.

Race, Sex, College, and Money

Census: College-educated white women earning less,” Associated Press, 28 March 2005, http://www.usatoday.com/news/bythenumbers/2005-03-28-income-education_x.htm.

“Re: NYT’S honest discussion about innate differences between the sexes,” by Dan tdaxp, private email, 17 October 2005.

College gender gap widens: 57% are women,” by Mary Beth Marklein, USA Today, 20 October 2005, http://news.yahoo.com/s/usatoday/20051020/ts_usatoday/collegegendergapwidens57arewomen (from Daily Kos).

According to this,” by johnny rotten, Daily Kos, 20 October 2005, http://dailykos.com/comments/2005/10/20/122420/25/12#12.

Markos Moulitsas Zúniga, founder of Daily “Screw ‘Em” Kos, has an interesting article on the sex gap in higher education

In May, the Minnesota Office of Higher Education posted the inevitable culmination of a trend: Last year for the first time, women earned more than half the degrees granted statewide in every category, be it associate, bachelor, master, doctoral or professional.

As women march forward, more boys seem to be falling by the wayside, McCorkell says. Not only do national statistics forecast a continued decline in the percentage of males on college campuses, but the drops are seen in all races, income groups and fields of study, says policy analyst Thomas Mortenson, publisher of the influential Postsecondary Education Opportunity newsletter in Oskaloosa, Iowa. Since 1995, he has been tracking – and sounding the alarm about – the dwindling presence of men in colleges.

I wrote about something similar in an email a bit ago — using material from Every Man a Panzer, Every Woman a Soldat as a foundation

Generally, males and females are optimized for different styles of networks — males for low-density nets and females for high-density nets. In other words, women and girls prefer “deeper” social relationships than men and boys. In education, this would imply that females learn best in social conversation circles and males learn best in dynamic activity circles. Both will spontaneously form these on their own — they are otherwise known as “gossiping” and “free play.” Structured gossiping and structured free play could be extremely effective. That modern education tries to quash the natural instinct to learn in an optimized way to force all children to sit in desks and shut up is bad, bad, bad.

Of course, the majority of these might be useless degress from Democratic conversion machines. A comment on dKos spurred my interest…

According to this article, college educated women make around 60% of college educated men.

Interestingly, college educated black women make more than college educated white women.

Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?

Indeed, it’s true:

Black and Asian women with bachelor’s degrees earn slightly more than similarly educated white women, and white men with four-year degrees make more than anyone else.

A white woman with a bachelor’s degree typically earned nearly $37,800 in 2003, compared with nearly $43,700 for a college-educated Asian woman and $41,100 for a college-educated black woman, according to data being released Monday by the Census Bureau. Hispanic women took home slightly less at $37,600 a year.

Visually:

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Chart of Income Among American College Educated Women by Race

With most college students being white women, and white women coming out last compared to any other group (except v. latinas y latinitas, with a $200 per year advantage), one has to wonder what higher education is for.

Group Polarization in Colleges and Universities

Social Psychology,” by Charles Morris and Albert Maisto, Psychology: An Introduction, 1999, http://cwx.prenhall.com/bookbind/pubbooks/morris2/chapter15/medialib/demo/8.html.

Do college campuses lean left?,” by John Tierney, New York Times, 19 October 2005, http://www.startribune.com/stories/562/5676754.html (from Power Line through Larwyn).

looks at a problem I’m dealing with daily: the monstrous Left/Liberal advantage on college campuses

After establishing the large political advantage the Left/Liberal forces have in academia

Surveys last year showed that Democratic professors outnumber Republican professors by at least 7 to 1, more than twice the ratio of three decades earlier. The trend seems likely to continue, because younger professors are far more likely than older professors to be Democrats.

And noting that from a demographic perspective Right/Conservative folk should be a majority

You could argue that fewer conservatives today want to become professors, but that seems odd, given the country’s move to the right in recent decades. Conservative student groups and publications are flourishing. Plenty of smart conservatives have passed up Wall Street to work for right-wing think tanks that often don’t pay more than universities do, and don’t offer lifetime tenure and summers off.

And that they seem to be diverted into other “thinking” fields:

At think tanks and other research institutions outside academia, there’s a much higher percentage of Republicans than there is on university faculties. Apparently, despite their greed and other failings, many conservatives do want to become scholars, but they can’t find work on campus.

Tierney names one of the forces: group polarization

One reason is the structure of academia, where decisions about hiring and publishing papers are made by small independent groups of scholars. They’re subject to the law of group polarization, derived from studies of juries and other groups.

If people are engaged in deliberation with like-minded others, they end up more confident, more homogeneous and more extreme in their beliefs,” said Cass Sunstein, a law professor at the University of Chicago. “If you have an English or history department that leans left, their interactions will push them further left.”

Once liberals dominate a department, they can increase their majority by voting to award tenure to like-minded scholars. As liberals dominate a field, conservatives’ work comes to be seen as fringe scholarship.

A form of groupthink, group polarization can easily be shown in a classroom:

Peter Gray (1993) suggests a simple exercise that readily demonstrates the group polarization effect. Before lecturing on group decision making in Chapter 15, have your students declare on a Likert scale how strongly they agree or disagree with some statement or idea (Gray suggests the idea that the next exam should be essay rather than multiple choice). Collect the responses and divide students into like-minded groups for a short, 5-minute discussion. After the group discussion, have students rate their agreement with the proposition again on the same Likert scale. The results should be consistent with group polarization: those who initially agreed should agree more strongly after group discussion, and those who initially disagreed should disagree even more strongly after group discussion. According to Gray, asking your students to speculate about the causes of the effect should generate the same explanations generated by psychologists over the years (i.e., that members are exposed to new, persuasive arguments, and that members gradually take a more extreme position in order to be viewed positively by others). An added benefit is that, in addition to learning the group polarization effect in a memorable way, students learn that they can successfully “think like psychologists” in generating plausible explanations for observed events.

So given the entrenched nature of group polarization, is there an easy way for Conservatives to “take over” academia? Is there any real way to avoid a take-down?

Probably not.

Feminist Initiative Attacks Marriage, Maternity Leave

Feminists call for abolition of marriage,” The Local, 9 September 2005, http://www.thelocal.se/article.php?ID=2055&date=20050909.

Swedish feminism put to the test,” by var Ekman, International Herald Tribune, 20 October 2005, http://www.iht.com/bin/print_ipub.php?file=/articles/2005/10/19/news/feminism.php.

The Corner links to a pair of stories about Sweden’s feminist party, Feminist Initiative. These people have friends in the United States, especially .

On Marriage

Instead the group, which is expected to become a fully-fledged political party following the meeting, wants a ‘cohabitation law’ which ignores gender – and allows for more than two people to be included.

The proposal is one of the group’s ‘prioritised political demands’ which the newspaper Svenska Dagbladet got hold of before the meeting.

FI founder and board member, Tiina Rosenberg, told the paper that the group wants to create “a modern concept which does not favour and promote couples and heterosexual norms”.

On Maternity Leave

Even the Social Democrats are distancing themselves from one of their own proposals: to put quotas on parental leave that would oblige men to stay home more than they do today (in 2004, women used 81 percent of the paid parental-leave days).

“We are critical of the fact that people don’t use parental leave in an equal fashion,” Marita Ulvskog, the Social Democrats’ party secretary, told Dagens Nyheter recently.

Fortunately the good guys have plans too…