Category Archives: Politics

AMERICAN CITIZEN SERVICES NEWSLETTER in South Korea NOVEMBER 2009

korea prayerU.S. State Department, U.S. Embassy Seoul
Consular Section, American Citizen Services (ACS) Newsletter
NOVEMBER 2009

The U.S. Embassy is transmitting the following monthly newsletter via its warden system as a public service to U.S. citizens in the Republic of Korea.  Please disseminate this message broadly to other U.S. citizens.

In this issue:

1. U.S. Embassy Seoul Launches Consular Information Unit
2. Online Passport Form Wizard makes applications a breeze!
3. Tips for a Smooth Consular Visit
4. Seasonal Flu and H1N1 Influenza Information
5. A Message to American Communities and Organizations in Korea
6. Twitter for Worldwide Travel Warnings
7. Recent Travel Warnings and Alerts
8. Upcoming Embassy Holidays: November 11, 2009 (Veterans Day), and November 26 (Thanksgiving Day)
9. Embassy Contact Information Continue reading

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Wow! Cigarettes aren’t cheap!

10.50 Camel CigarettesEver since quitting smoking in 1st grade (yes, I smoked for a full week when I was 7 years old!), I’ve been an opponent of cigarettes.  However, my folks run a convenience store and growing up, I’ve always seen prices of smokes up close since I handed over those “packs” to customers for a dollar plus and up.  I saw this on Yahoo’s News & the images associated with the news and literally almost fell backwards in my chair.  While I think this is a great thing that tobacco’s gotten very expensive, I was still a little floored at how much it now costs for a pack of cigarettes.  I wonder though how much of this $10.50 is margin versus how much is actually the price going up.  I realize that taxes and other tariffs account for a lot of this price, but just like gas prices, I wonder if the tobacco companies’ profits have grown in line with the prices of the products they sell.

On a side note, why is it that oil companies do make much more money when they’re gouging customers throughout the world with higher prices?  I mean, while a barrel rises in price, why is it that the margins seem to increase as well for the leading oil companies in the world?  It’s definitely not my parents or the many convenience store and gas station owners fault because their margins stay the same.  I’ve seen it up close.

Tisk, tisk oil companies…

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Filed under Business practices, Companies, Interesting..., Just interesting..., News, Politics, Random thoughts, Rants, Sneaky, Stupid, Unfortunate

AMERICAN CITIZEN SERVICES NEWSLETTER in South Korea OCTOBER 2009

US_Korea_PosterU.S. State Department, U.S. Embassy Seoul
Consular Section, American Citizen Services (ACS) Newsletter
OCTOBER 2009

The U.S. Embassy is transmitting the following monthly newsletter via its warden system as a public service to U.S. citizens in the Republic of Korea.  Please disseminate this message broadly to other U.S. citizens.

In this issue:

1. Introduction of new American Citizens Services Chief, Buck Waldrop
2. Online Passport Form Wizard makes applications a breeze!
3. Seasonal Flu and H1N1 Influenza Information
4. A Message to American Communities and Organizations in Korea
5. Recent Travel Warnings and Alerts
6. Upcoming Embassy Holidays: October 12, 2009 (Columbus Day)
7. Embassy Contact Information Continue reading

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AMERICAN CITIZEN SERVICES (for South Korea) NEWSLETTER SEPTEMBER 2009

korea_usU.S. State Department, U.S. Embassy Seoul
Consular Section, American Citizen Services (ACS) Newsletter
SEPTEMBER 2009

The U.S. Embassy is transmitting the following monthly newsletter via its warden system as a public service to U.S. citizens in the Republic of Korea. Please disseminate this message broadly to other U.S. citizens.

In this issue:

1. Next Consular Services Visit to Busan, September 29-30
2. Federal Voting Assistance Program Available on Social Networking Sites
3. IRS Seeking to Enforce Penalty for Failure to Provide SSNs on Passport Applications
4. Seasonal Flu and H1N1 Influenza Information
5. A Message to American Communities and Organizations in Korea
6. Recent Travel Warnings and Alerts
7. Upcoming Embassy Holidays: September 7, 2009 (Labor Day)
8. Embassy Contact Information Continue reading

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US Embassy information for Expats in the Republic of Korea July 2009

swine_flu_0427U.S. State Department, U.S. Embassy Seoul
Consular Section, American Citizen Services (ACS) Newsletter
July 2009

The U.S. Embassy is transmitting the following monthly newsletter via its warden system as a public service to U.S. citizens in the Republic of Korea.  Please feel free to disseminate this message to U.S. citizens in your organizations or to other Americans you know.

In this issue:

1. Next Consular Services Visit to Busan, July 22-23
2. Influenza Outbreak Information
3. Korean Act on Treatment of Foreigners
4. A Message to American Communities and Organizations in Korea
5. Recent Travel Warnings and Alerts
6. Upcoming Embassy Holidays: Early Closing July 2; July 3
7. Embassy Contact Information Continue reading

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Talk about sh*t hitting the fan…

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Is it me?  Or did I just land in the country most well known for “drama?”  

Just visited my great friend Derek at his wedding in Hawaii with the beautiful bride Bonnie and great friends.  It was seriously a beautiful wedding. Here’s the couple dancing to “Bella’s Lullaby” played by you would think a professional piano player, but rather by their niece “Rachel” who is AMAAAAAAAAZZZZZZZZZING!!!! (think of Will Ferrell yelling this like he did at the Harvard Commencement speech).

Continue reading

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US Embassy information for Expats in the Republic of Korea May 2009

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U.S. State Department, U.S. Embassy Seoul
Consular Section, American Citizen Services (ACS) Newsletter
May 2009

The U.S. Embassy is transmitting the following monthly newsletter via its warden system as a public service to U.S. citizens in the Republic of Korea. Please feel free to disseminate this message to U.S. citizens in your organizations or to other Americans you know.

In this issue:

1. Influenza Outbreak Information
2. Next Consular Services Visit to Busan, May 20-21
3. Korean Act on Treatment of Foreigners
4. Association for Teachers of English in Korea
5. A Message to American Communities and Organizations in Korea
6. Recent Travel Warnings and Alerts
7. Upcoming Embassy Holidays: May 1, 5, and 25
8. Embassy Contact Information
Continue reading

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Filed under Announcements, Korea life, Politics, USA

Have a few minutes to fill out a survey in Korean (한글)? Pwetty Pwease…

South Korea Koreas ReconciliationA reader of the blog asked me if I wouldn’t mind forwarding the following survey to my Korean acquaintences.  What better way to invite them to fill out the survey than post it here?!  So, if you wouldn’t mind obliging this nice young student for a school project, I’m sure she would be appreciative.  It’s about gender equality.  Couldn’t find the direct translation from English to Korean on the term “gender equality”, but the Ministry of Gender Equality is called the “여성부.”

She writes: Continue reading

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Filed under Interesting..., Korean women, Opinions, Politics, Statistics, Work

Mispellings driving (a little) traffic to the blog

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mispelling bee

mispelling bee

So, the little experiment worked.  I’m the #1 result on Google when you type in “obama inaugral address” and #5 when you type in strictly “inaugral address.”  In my post titled President Barack Obama’s inaugral address posted on January 20th a few days ago, I wrote to you all that I would test to see if my intentional spelling mistake would garner me a few more hits when people typed in the wrong spelling of the recent Inaugural address by President Barack Obama.  A dictionary will tell you that “Inaugural” includes the ‘u’ in between the ‘g’ and ‘r’ vs. my spelling like this: “inaugral” for the experiment’s purpose.  Even if you type in “president inaugral address“, I’m still #4 in the search engine results page (aka SERP).

I thought there would be a few more typos though.  The two phrases only got me 3 hits each.  The last phrase here didn’t register anything from what I saw on my dashboard.

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Filed under Online projects, Politics, Search Engine Management, SEM, Statistics, Theories by Brandon

President Barack Obama’s inaugral address January 20, 2009

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barack obama's inaugral address

barack obama's inaugral address

I realize the Inaugral address by U.S. President Obama is actually spelled “inaugural” with an extra ‘u,’ but I thought I would try a search engine management experiment to see if I can rise to the top with a mispelling.  I have a lot of competition with many, many news agencies covering this historical event, but let’s see if The Real South Korea can outdo them with search engine marketing & get a few hits in the process. 

Here’s the text of President Barack Obama’s inaugral address or should I say the text of President Barack Obama’s “inaugUral” address:

“OBAMA: My fellow citizens:

I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition. Continue reading

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Filed under Celebrities, History, Inspirational, Politics, Search Engine Management, SEM, USA

Two words that describe the following violence: 1) wow 2) embarrassing

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South Korea US Free TradeWhat does it take to have someone spray another human being with a canister of full of fire retardant?  Answer: an FTA agreement.

It’s really sad, but this is not the only thing that will get the Korean legislature into a frenzy and into physical fights over issues that affect the country.  On one hand, it exhibits the passion that these lawmakers have over the issues that the country must take on.  On the flip side, it shows how ridiculously stupid our country’s people are when it comes to debating and supporting or voting against laws and policies governing the country. Continue reading

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Filed under Korea life, Opinions, Politics, Seoul, Stupid, Unfortunate, Weird

Now with the ideal President, how about the ideal cabinet?

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We now have possibly the best person we could possibly have in years to lead the U.S. moving forward.  However, Obama can not “change” and improve the country by himself.  How about truly creating the most ideal and bipartisan cabinet in U.S. history? My thoughts:

  • Secretary of State: John McCain (yes, can you believe it?!)
  • Secretary of the Treasury: Warren Buffet
  • Secretary of Defense: Arnold Schwarzenegger (joking – then again…lol)
  • (Co-)Chief(s) of Staff: Oprah Winfrey & Maria Shriver (yes, make them a combo team; then again, not sure if Oprah would play 2nd to anyone)
  • Secretary of Commerce: Bill Gates (yes, we’re talking about Microsoft boy)
  • Secretary of Homeland Security: James Bond (just kidding); unfortunately, I can’t say I would know who the best candidate would be

OK, these are just a few of my recommendations to Obama.  🙂 

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Filed under Humorous, Interesting..., Opinions, Politics, Random thoughts, USA

AMERICAN CITIZEN SERVICES NEWSLETTER (in Seoul, Korea) OCTOBER 2008

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U.S. State Department, U.S. Embassy Seoul
Consular Section, American Citizen Services (ACS) Newsletter
October 2008

The U.S. Embassy is transmitting the following monthly newsletter via its warden system as a public service to U.S. citizens in the Republic of Korea.  Please feel free to disseminate this message to U.S. citizens in your organizations or to other Americans you know.

In this issue:

1. Absentee Voting in the November Elections
2. October 15 Deadline for Economic Stimulus Payment
3. Website for Expatriates in South Korea
4. On-Line Records Checks No Longer Allowed for Teaching Visas
5. Recent Travel Warnings and Alerts
6. Upcoming Holidays: October 3 and 13
7. Embassy Contact Information Continue reading

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Filed under Announcements, Expat, Korea life, Politics

AMERICAN CITIZEN SERVICES NEWSLETTER SEPTEMBER 2008 – Absentee Voting, Improved English websites in Korea, & next visit to Busan

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U.S. State Department, U.S. Embassy Seoul
Consular Section, American Citizen Services (ACS) Newsletter
September 2008

The U.S. Embassy is transmitting the following monthly newsletter via its warden system as a public service to U.S. citizens in the Republic of Korea.  Please feel free to disseminate this message to U.S. citizens in your organizations or to other Americans you know.

In this issue:

1. Absentee Voting in the November Elections
2. Next Consular Services Visit to Busan, September 23-24
3. Scammers Use Email, Fax to Pose as IRS
4. Korean Government Launches Improved English Language Website
5. On-Line Records Checks No Longer Allowed for Teaching Visas
6. Foreign Roads Deadly
7. Travel Document Tips
8. Recent Travel Warnings and Alerts
9. Upcoming Holidays: September 1 and 15
10. Embassy Contact Information
Continue reading

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Filed under Communications, Expat, Korea life, Politics

Paris Hilton: the next President of the U.S.A.?

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Paris vs. McCain

Paris vs. McCain

Can you imagine what kind of jokes the U.S. would suffer from if this came true? You never know…it may not be too far from the truth.  Sad, but true…

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