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Monday, November 28, 2016

My Major Was Political Science and I'm Glad I Got Out of It

The 2016 US presidential election campaign was a circus. We heard Donald Trump criticize Ben Carson in September 2015 by saying, "I'll make great deals for this country. Ben can't do that. Ben's a doctor, not a deal maker....Frankly, Ben Carson is a very, very nice man but this will not be a good situation because of the fact that he's not a dealer, he's not a negotiator, and the president has to be." He criticized him a lot. There's a whole article of Trump jabbing Carson from the New York Times. You can see it here.

Yet, despite all of that. Trump picked Ben Carson for the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Ironically Carson turned down the job because he felt that he didn't have governmental experience. Apparently running for president (the most powerful position in the world) was good enough, however. Things that make you go hmm.

Donald Trump was also vicious towards Ted Cruz to to the point where Trump had a nickname for Cruz: "Lyin' Ted". Then apparently Ted Cruz used Donald Trump's wife's picture in his ad, which caused Trump to tweet on Twitter: "Lyin' Ted just used a picture of Melania from a G.Q. shoot in his ad. Be careful Lyin' Ted or I'll spill the beans on your wife." Cruz responded back by calling Trump a sniveling coward and to leave Heidi (his wife) alone. You can't make this stuff up. You can see a few more jabs here.

Cruz then endorses Trump but refuses to say he's fit to be president in September. There's even a photo of him not looking too happy as he's making phone calls to campaign for Trump. Now as Trump is not the president-elect, Cruz praises Trump's cabinet. In fact he claims it as a team of all stars coming together.

Mitt Romney had some character and made some valid points that Trump should not be the president of the United States and got visibly upset with the GOP to the point of tears for not criticizing Trump. Now he's backtracking with a silly apology which you can see here.

Nikki Haley, the governor of South Carolina, was a frequent and vocal critic of Trump since she supported Marco Rubio in the election campaign. She criticized Trump without mentioning his name during the Republican's response to President Obama's final State of the Union address: "During anxious times, it can be tempting to follow the siren call of the angriest voices."  Trump responded that she was "weak" on immigration.  A month later, Haley commented that Trump was "everything a governor doesn't want in a president". Apparently being chosen as the ambassador to the United Nations changes all of those things.

But it's not just the Republicans. There was also a change of heart by Senator Bernie Sanders.

We heard Bernie Sanders say that Hillary Clinton wasn't qualified to be the president of the U.S. in April while Hillary said that she wasn't even sure if Bernie was a Democrat. President Obama  also criticized Hillary in the 2008 election that helped Trump use it as ammunition. Trump said that he rarely agreed with Obama but agreed with Obama's 2008 negative ad about Hillary Clinton. Trump used to call the Clintons' close friends, then he wanted to "lock Hillary up", and now that he is the president-elect, he felt that the Clintons have been through enough already and will leave them alone.

In South Korea, where I currently live, there have been five massive protests demanding Park Geun Hye to resign including 2,000,000 people across the country last Saturday. Her strange relationship with Choi, Soon Shil (the daughter of a cult leader whose father was friend's with Park Chung Hee) was constantly telling her every move to make and writing her speeches. She had no experience in politics, yet had secret meetings of six people with in Nonhyun (Gangnam area of Seoul) to help dictate what President Park should do. On top of that Choi's daughter got a made up scholarship created by the president of Ehwa in to pave her way to admission to the university. You can read more of the Choi Soon-sil scandal here. There are more angles to this drama but this is enough for any president in any country to get impeached and kicked out of office.

This is politics, folks. And I'm glad that I never decided to get a career in it despite having a bachelor's degree with an emphasis in Public Administration. Politics is all about back biting, taking back scathing words you said about your opponents, and then becoming their bed fellows.

Teaching English may not be the highest paying job or the most prestigious, but it's a lot better than selling your soul to the devil.

Scott Worden (L.A./Seoul Guy)
Instagram: laseoulguy
Twitter: laseoulguy

Friday, November 18, 2016

Day Trip to Ganghwa Island (Ganghwado), South Korea

My wife asked me if I wanted to join my wife's family for a day trip to Ganghwado, South Korea. I thought it would be fun since I enjoy taking pictures and it would be a great time to get even closer to my wife's family, so I agreed.

My brother-in-law (my wife's sister's husband) drove us. It took about an hour and 15 minutes and the first place we stopped at was a raw fish restaurant. We got there at 11:15am and there weren't that many people when we got inside the restaurant. However when it reached noon, the place was completely full. We realized that that place was very popular and we soon found out that the food was excellent. Here's what we ate:

But that was just the beginning. We also had another huge plate of just raw fish and also fish stew. The fish was very fresh and quite delicious. Here's a picture of my wife's mother, her sister, and her brother-in-law as we were about to eat:

Our next stop was to get some coffee. We drove to Rodem Tree Coffee, which was a cafe that was about a five-minute drive from the seafood restaurant. We got some spectacular views of the Yellow Sea (West Sea) while we were there. Here's the back of the cafe. Notice the sea is only about 50 feet away.

Here's another look with a swinging seat for two!

And of course my wife and I had to take advantage of that!

The coffee was good. However, it was a bit expensive. How about W6,000 for a cup of hot cafe latte? Was it worth it? Absolutely. The scenery made it more than worth the price.

Here's another look from the side of the cafe. Notice how well it's landscaped. You can see the yard, sea, and mountains in this picture.

Here's Rodem Tree Coffee from the side:

What made this cafe even cooler was that there was a fortress called Huae Dondae right next to the cafe. Apparently, it was a fort that monks and soldiers used to protect themselves from other kingdoms in ancient times in Korean history.

This picture will explain what it is in detail:

You can even go inside of it, go up the stairs, and get a great view of the sea.

And if that's not good enough, there's a trail that leads to a bridge, which leads to the sea. Here's a picture of my wife, sister-in-law, and mother-in-law as they look out at the sea:

This is a great place if you have a car. Unfortunately, you won't be able to get here using public transportation. Hopefully you can get a Korean friend that would like to get out of the city and you can ask s/he if they want to go for a day trip to escape the hustle and bustle of Seoul. It's totally worth it. In my next blog, I will show you our last stop: Manisan (the highest point on Ganghwado).

Scott Worden (L.A./Seoul Guy)
Instagram: laseoulguy
Twitter: laseoulguy

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Tsingtao Beer Brewery and Museum: Qingdao, China

Two months ago, I went to Qingdao, China for vacation as you saw from a previous post. A few places that I enjoyed the most include: Qingdao Catholic Church, Zhongshan Park, and XiaoYushan Park. But one place stuck out in my mind the most and that was the Tsingtao Beer Brewery and Museum. It started as the German Beer Company (Qingdao Branch) in 1903 and was the predecessor to Tsingtao. This was the first brewery in China to use European technology.

The two-storey building is one of a few Gothic buildings constructed in the city. The four huge copper vessels are kept in the museum and were manufactured in Germany until they were taken out of commission in 1995. The first floor can easily accommodate 100 visitors. The place is huge!

In the museum you can see barley, brown malt, and hops on display. You can also see old posters of Tsingtao advertisements. There's a lot of history you can learn in this museum.

You can see the older version of the factory and how Tsingtao began its long journey to the modern technology used today. Here's just one picture of the old machinery that is no longer in use but kept as a piece of history.

The factory is amazing itself. You can see employees bottling, packaging, and putting the bottles of Tsingtao on conveyor belts. There are countless bottles as you see in the pictures below.

Outside of the beer brewery and museum, you can see statues of Tsingtao beer and beer glasses, which is pretty cool!

You can get one glass of free raw beer and one glass of tap beer at the end of the journey where a Tsingtao pub is. If you pay just a bit more, you can get a sausage to eat with your beer at the pub.

Basic Admission: From May to October it is 60 RMB and from November to April it's 50 RMB.

Scott Worden (L.A./Seoul Guy)
Instagram: laseoulguy
Twitter: laseoulguy

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Lack of Excitement as the U.S. Election Appears

As the U.S. election gets closer (now only two days away), I've never felt as much apathy towards an election as I do now. The two-party system has hit an all time-low for being the worst representation of a democracy. Our two choices: In the first corner, we have a reality star who got rich from continuing his father's business (Trump Organization) and investing in property in New York while getting tax concessions in exchange. However he opened a multiple amount of businesses and many of them failed. See the whole list here. I can't support Trump because he promotes violence towards peaceful protesters, disrespects women verbally and physically, made a comment that he would deport all Muslims, said Mexicans were rapists, thinks South Korea and Japan should have nukes, supports Putin, and wants to build a massive wall along the Mexican border that will cost billions of dollars.

In the other corner, we have former First Lady and Secretary of State that is linked to an email scandal, which the FBI has just recently let her off again. Her husband had multiple affairs as the President but to her credit, she stuck with him. But she handled the Benghazi terrorist attack poorly causing a US ambassador and three other Americans to die. Obama was a critic of how she handled the incident at the time as well. You can see the story here. Or you can read the 8 devastating facts about Benghazi in this article. But I can't support her either because she's a compulsive liar. You can go on YouTube and see how she has lied a multiple amount of times including her stance on gay marriage, Benghazi, how many emails she destroyed, her support for Barak Obama, and on and on. Here's a compilation of all her lies here. This video has had almost 14,000,000 views.

Then you have Gary Johnson. I originally supported him before looking into all of the issues. He wants to legalize marijuana, legalize all citizens, and give free health care. The guy seems to be a bit too liberal for me. But worst of all, he was asked about what he would do in Aleppo (Syria) and he was confused. I gave him the benefit of the doubt since the interviewer tested him and didn't mention Syria in the question. If I was given that question, maybe the first thing I would have thought of was Alpo dog food. But two weeks later, he was interviewed by Chris Matthews and was given a chance to name his favorite world leader. Personally, I could have easily named three leaders that might be considered good leaders: Trudeau (Canada), Merkel (Germany), and Nieto (Mexico). But Johnson couldn't name one. Putting all of these things together, I couldn't support him either.

Therefore I decided that I wasn't going to vote. People can say what they want and say that it is my civic duty to vote. However, voting is a privilege and not a right. I refuse to vote for someone based on "the lesser of two evils". If that was the case, I would have voted for Hillary Clinton.
And even if I did vote, it wouldn't have mattered much anyway. I'm from California and my home state always votes for the Democratic candidate, so Hillary Clinton already got my state's vote.

Before you vote on Election Day, pray about it if you're a Christian and do some research beforehand. If you're not a Christian, do your research and come to a logical conclusion. But don't feel pressured to vote for someone just because you feel you have to. Vote for that person because you strongly agree with that candidate's platform. In South Korea, many people are embarrassed because they chose the wrong candidate and with regards to her own email scandal, she's getting pressured to step down, so be careful who you vote for.

I personally couldn't find anyone I strongly supported unfortunately. I just hope and pray that whoever is chosen can lead the U.S. with integrity. But after seeing three debates and mudslinging go back and forth, I'm not too hopeful.

Scott Worden (L.A./Seoul Guy)