The following is an announcement from the U.S. Embassy in Seoul to all American citizens registered with them. I am still on this mailing list because, frankly, I like being in the know about coups, plots, and terrorist activities throughout the world. These messages also tended have the undesired effect of reducing me to a curled ball in my apartment in tears for days. That is slight exaggeration for the sake of effect, but not by much. However, reading the most current edition regarding terrorist activities, I was struck by an imprecise adjective in the wording. By no means am I blaming the writers for the State Department because it is a direct quote, but it got me thinking nonetheless. I recreate it for you here.

“U.S. citizens contemplating travel to the Philippines should carefully consider the risks to their safety and security while there, including those due to terrorism. While travelers may encounter such threats anywhere in the Philippines, the southern island of Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago are of particular concern. Travelers should exercise extreme caution in both central and western Mindanao as well as in the Sulu Archipelago. Kidnap for ransom gangs operate in the Philippines. In January 2007, one such gang abducted two U.S. citizen children outside their home in Tagum City, Davao Del Norte, in Mindanao. The New People’s Army (NPA), another terrorist organization, operates in many rural areas of the Philippines, including in the northern island of Luzon. While it has not targeted Westerners in several years, the NPA could threaten U.S. citizens engaged in business or property management activities, and it often demands “revolutionary taxes.”

Are they referring to taxes that support the revolution or revolutionary as in they are progressive and do not overburden the poor? If it is the former, then that is bad. If it is the latter, then where do we sign up?

By the way, the image comes from the following website. Please feel free to give it a look.

By Michael Gallagher

My name is Michael Sean Gallagher. I am a Lecturer in Digital Education at the Centre for Research in Digital Education at the University of Edinburgh. I am Co-Founder and Director of Panoply Digital, a consultancy dedicated to ICT and mobile for development (M4D); we have worked with USAID, GSMA, UN Habitat, Cambridge University and more on education and development projects. I was a researcher on the Near Futures Teaching project, a project that explores how teaching at The University of Edinburgh unfold over the coming decades, as technology, social trends, patterns of mobility, new methods and new media continue to shift what it means to be at university. Previously, I was the Research Associate on the NERC, ESRC, and AHRC Global Challenges Research Fund sponsored GCRF Research for Emergency Aftershock Forecasting (REAR) project. I was an Assistant Professor at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (한국외국어대학교) in Seoul, Korea. I have also completed a doctorate at University College London (formerly the independent Institute of Education, University of London) on mobile learning in the humanities in Korea.

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