November 25th, 2010


North Korea's Petulance.

The Sunshine Policy proved to be a failure after years of support by previous administrations in South Korea, but it all ended when studies demonstrated that the policy just didnt work, that was enough to convince Lee Myung-bak that they needed to find another way to deal with North Korea and Kim Jong-il. The implementation of the policy was meant to change the behavior of North Korea and its leadership, it did not; the food and aid was suppose to help and comfort the citizens in the North, instead it was abused by the leadership leaving little for the rest of the population; and instead of encouraging Kim Jong-il to give up some powers and to work together to unify Korea it only bought him time to continue his regime. After the report regarding the failures of the Sunshine Policy and the election of President Lee Myung-bak, it was only a matter of time before tensions would escalate between President Lee Myung-bak and "The Glorious Leader" Kim Jong-il. President Lee was more stern than his predecessor when dealing with the North Korean leadership. He made a severe demand for North Korea to actually keep their promises regarding nuclear disarmament or they wouldnt get any future aid at all. This should not be a surprise considering that a lot of people have lost their patience with regards to North Korea's petulance. I take it the North Korean regime didnt take Lee's tone of voice very well.

The Nuclear threat is the only leverage North Korea has on getting "free goodies" from the world (actually, the threat of bombing Seoul is another leverage they have. But if they ever crossed that line, they would lose any advantage they ever had). Now, I doubt that the North Korean leadership gives a crap about the suffering of their people, unless it is the leadership doing the suffering (the pains of the privilege) but I doubt a famine riot is the last thing they need during the period of Kim Jong-un's transition of power. I am going to assume that the North Korea attack was not just an attempt to scare the rest of the world, but to remind President Lee Myung-bak that North Korea should not be taken lightly. After all, President Lee Myung-bak's stance on North Korea has been less than acceptable for Kim Jong-il's taste. I believe the fact that President Lee gave North Korea the cold shoulder, prior to the attack, regarding the issues of negotiation, only made the North Korean regime feel the need to be more belligerent so they could be taken seriously. Another way to see it, this was a great opportunity for Kim Jong-un to impress the North Korean regime by trying to bully and embarrass President Lee.

After this attack, I doubt there will ever be talks of reviving the Sunshine Policy, to do so would only embolden and encourage the North Korean regime to continue their reckless behavior. How will South Korea and the rest of world deal with North Korea it is still to be seen, but by returning to the old ways of dealing with North Korea it would only encourage the regime to never change, to continue their reckless behavior and expect rewards for it (or tributes if you will), and at worst it will secure that Kim Jong-il's dynasty will survive for the next generation (and with that it will die the dream of a unified Korea, for now).

It doesnt look like China is even interested on dealing with a possible Nuclear North Korea (they dont see it as a threat at the moment, or maybe they dont feel like dealing with Kim Jong-il's tantrums), but they do have a problem with the childish behavior that could escalate into a war. While a war in the peninsula would be bad for everyone, China would rather have a divided Korea than an unified one. It seems that North Korea serves as a buffer zone to keep South Korea (and America) from their borders. Also, if the North Korea regime were ever to become unstable they are worried that the chaos of a collapse regime could spill into China's borders. For now it is on China's interest to stop any threats of a war in the peninsula, so it is advising the North and the South to make up and to renew their negotiations for peace (they dont care how is done as long it is done). A divided Korea is good business for China as long it doesnt become disruptive to China's interests. Without China's help to restrain North Korea from reckless behavior or stop them from their pursue of Nuclear armament, it seems like appeasement is the only option at the moment. But North Korea should not underestimate South Korea, while President Lee Myung-bak's aggressive declaration seems like just big talk, he strikes me as someone who doesnt like to be pushed around. I dont think President Lee will allow the situation to escalate, but I do not think he will allow Kim Jong-il to have the last word.
Godzilla, default

But conservatives favor our "freedom":

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As per here:

And the other excerpt, also under a cut:


There is so much wrong and evil here that I literally don't know where to start. First, there's that in the society he's referring to, Scalia would have been one of those papist dagoes here to convert the USA to the evils of Popery and to turn the United States into a dictatorship dominated by the Bishop of Rome. Second, when he refers to its original protection it was designed to ensure citizenship for slaves liberated by the 13th Amendment, whose citizenship had never been granted for what I hope should be a blatantly obvious reason by the statesmen of the Old South. This was why the Amendment then and during the high tide of people like Theodore "Permanent solution to the Negro Problem" Bilbo was as controversial as it was.

Third, people like Thaddeus Stevens wanted an amendment that was positive in language, not a negative one, and were forced to accept the negative one after extreme backlash from ex-Confederates and the large racist bloc in the North. Fourth, the idea of a large standing army is very much counter to the original design of the Founders, they hated and feared the very idea as a lead-in to tyranny, vividly illustrated at the time by Catherine II's repression of the only truly popular revolution in Russian history. I predict Scalia here would be as keen to ditch the original intention of *that* aspect of the Constitution as he is to try to twist the 14th Amendment into something with no reference to the rights of women or LGBTQI.

My other comment is that it's a fine irony when a US Supreme Court Justice sounds like a Mullah in Iran arguing that *his* religious legal texts do not permit rights for women under the highest laws of the land.

Even more obvious refutation is obvious: at the time the 14th Amendment was adopted abortion was legal in the United States and the concept of outlawing it did not really take off until the 1880s. Even then the first state to adopt an anti-abortion law was Connecticut, the last was.....Kentucky. So the irony is that while the USA at that time was perfectly fine with say, racism against blacks the idea of prohibiting abortion was not one that occurred to too many people in that time or for 20 years afterward.

Not that facts ever trouble reactionaries as it is, but eh......oh, and Scalia also considered the Citizens' United decision constitutional despite the fact that not even Alexander Hamilton, the most pro-Industrialization big-government Founder of them all considered a corporation a "person". A liar and a hypocrite.