Forgotten Issues: Obama and McCain on Asia
For the second installment of our series on the forgotten issues of the presidential election, we look at foreign policy. In two weeks, American voters will choose either John McCain or Barack Obama to spend the next four years determining the country's course of action on two wars, an increasingly precarious political situation in Pakistan, and the continued growth of China as a world power. What can we expect from each candidate's administration in Asia? We will speak with scholar Chalmers Johnson, a noted foreign policy analyst and specialist in Asian politics.
From 1962 to 1992, CHALMERS JOHNSON taught at the Berkeley and San Diego campuses of the University of California and held endowed chairs in Asian politics at both. He served as a consultant to the Office of National Estimates of the Central Intelligence Agency from 1968 to 1972. He has written some seventeen books, including Peasant Nationalism and Communist Power on the Chinese revolution, Instance of Treason on Japan's most famous spy, Revolutionary Change on the theory of violent protest movements, and MITI and the Japanese Miracle on Japanese economic development. His new book, Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic, recently came out in paperback. He lives in Cardiff, California with his wife and cat and devotes himself to his hobby of opera.
Korean Workers Fight for a Union
Since July 2005, workers at the Kiryung Electronics factory in Seoul, South Korea have endured lockouts, surveillance, physical beatings, and a culture of violence in their struggle to organize a union. The predominantly female, subcontracted workforce manufactures radio receivers for Sirius Satellite Radios. A delegation of Kiryung workers travelled to New York last week to publicize their struggle and demand a meeting with Sirius executives. We hear from a rank-and-file worker about the ongoing situation at the factory.
SEOKSOON OH is a rank-and-file member of the Kiryung Electronics Union Local of the South Seoul Union Chapter, Korean Metal Workers Union in Seoul, South Korea.
HYEWON CHONG is Director of International Cooperation for the Korean Metal Workers Union (KMWU). The largest union in South Korea, KMWU is part of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions.
Personal Days: A Novel by Ed Park
In Ed Park's office satire Personal Days, a guy named Jack goes through a backrub phase--that is, he starts offering all his cubicle-mates backrubs each day, to the increasing discomfort of everyone, who take to calling the unwanted massages "Jackrubs". Jack is just one of a host of characters who will be familiar to all of us who toil in offices--now a majority of U.S. workers--despite the fact that Park never divulges the name of Jack's workplace, nor the nature of the nameless office's business. Park's new novel is laugh-out-loud funny, but it also conveys the alienation, banality, and rank absurdity of cubicle culture in a downsizing time. ED PARK joins us to talk about his serio-comic "layoff narrative".
ED PARK is a founding editor of The Believer and the former editor of the Voice Literary Supplement. His writing has appeared in The New York Times Book Review and other publications. He lives in Manhattan, where he publishes The New-York Ghost.
"Cubicle Death" by Mark Steven Wong
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