Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Coming Collapse of North Korea

This has been predicted before, but a regime can be this dysfunctional for only so long before it can no longer be sustained.

HALLORAN: North Korean collapse?
An array of intelligence analysts, Asian and American scholars, specialists in think tanks, and workers in relief organizations have renewed speculation that the North Korean regime of Kim Jong-il is in danger of collapsing because that nation is on the brink of mass starvation and mounting isolation.

No one will even guess when this might happen - within a year, more likely within five years, and almost surely within 10 years? Will the collapse be a "soft landing" in which Mr. Kim's regime gradually falls apart with the pieces picked up by the South Koreans, or will it be a "hard landing" in which Mr. Kim's regime implodes and chaos sweeps the land?

The consequences of a regime change in Pyongyang could be staggering. Immediately, U.S., South Korean and Chinese troops could charge into North Korea to secure its nuclear facilities - and confront each other. Midterm, reviving North Korea could cost South Korea, Japan, China and the United States enormous sums. Long term, a reunited Korea would change the power balance of East Asia - but unpredictably.

Analysts everywhere point to a decade of hunger that has left 7-year-old North Korean children 8 inches shorter and 20 pounds lighter than their South Korean cousins. North Korean soldiers in a regime that gives priority to the military forces have been reduced to two skimpy meals a day. Factory workers nap on the floor for lack of food and energy.

That has led to conjecture that North Koreans, despite the pervasive controls in the Hermit Kingdom's police state, may throw caution to the winds. "We just don't think they can go along with this much longer," said an American official with access to intelligence assessments.

Mass Starvation - The Mother of Invention

I am sure that this is good food, but the story is pathetic and very sad. It is also an indictment of the incompetent and criminal regime that rules North Korea.

N Korea 'develops special noodle'
According to the newspaper, which is seen as closely linked to the Pyongyang leadership, the new noodles have twice as much protein and fives times as much fat as ordinary noodles.

"When you consume ordinary noodles (made from wheat or corn), you may soon feel your stomach empty. But this soybean noodle delays such a feeling of hunger," it said on its website.

The noodles would be available soon across North Korea, the newspaper said.

An estimated one million people starved to death in North Korea in the late 1990s after natural disasters and government mismanagement devastated the country's economy.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Party of Cowardice

With the Russian invasion of Georgia many Eastern European countries, formerly satellites of the Soviet Union, are very concerned about their own security. Memories of Prague and earlier, Budapest, have not died.

Poland, quite understandably, is nervous and wants American missile sites and Patriot missile batteries. Although the missile sites would be useless against the Soviet Union Russia, they still send a message. And, the Patriot missiles would be useful even though they would be eventually overwhelmed by the volume of Soviet Russian missile in an attack.

So, it would seem the obvious thing to Poland with these things to help a fellow NATO country and ourselves. Remember, we are bound by treaty obligation to defend the territory of NATO countries as we would our own.

The Party of Cowardice (you know who they are) give a drearily predictable response to the signing of an agreement with Poland.

Some Democrats urge delay in building a U.S. missile system in Eastern Europe
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was scheduled to be in Warsaw on Wednesday to sign an agreement on the missiles with Poland, which agreed to the basing of 10 interceptors last week, after the Russian attacks on Georgia. Justified as a defense against a missile attack on Europe by a rogue nation like Iran, the installation has provoked outrage from Russia.

Even before the agreement was reached, the Bush administration had proposed spending $712 million in the coming fiscal year to start digging silos in Poland; installing a related radar system in the Czech Republic, another former Soviet satellite that is now a NATO member; and buying initial parts for the first interceptor missiles.

But Democrats are now questioning all that spending as premature.

"Go ahead and move on with research and development," said Representative Ellen Tauscher, Democrat of California, who is chairwoman of the House subcommittee that oversees the missile defense program. "But as far as putting holes in the ground in Poland, we are saying no."
These people will not defend the country.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Our Brothers and Sisters in Georgia

We must pray for our brothers and sisters in Georgia as they undergo a terrible time of trial.

Georgia is overwhelmingly Orthodox Christian, the Church there being one of the very oldest.

I have added the traditional Georgian Cherubic Hymn as an audio file in my profile. A selection of Georgian Orthodox music is available at Chant from the Orthodox Church in Georgia

Listen to the Cherubic Hymn. It is so beautiful that, as I listened to it tears were running down my face. Turn the volume up, turn off the TV and listen to the whole thing. You have never heard anything this beautiful in your entire life I assure you.

Read A Pilgrimage to Orthodox Georgia by Guy Wilson.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Pandering to China

Regardless of how tyrannical a government it is, or how poor its human rights practices are, China is very big business, and people who do business there certainly don't want to take any chance offending them.

kowtow: 1. to act in an obsequious manner; show servile deference.

Why I Can’t Put ‘Tibet’ in My Hotmail Address
Big American tech companies have given us plenty of reasons to be cynical about how far they will go to keep China’s leaders happy and keep their fingers in the Chinese market. And China’s leaders would prefer that everyone just not mention those unruly Tibetans, especially with the Olympics on the way. But would the Chinese regime really feel threatened by the creation of, say, And even if it did, would Microsoft really agree to help perpetuate that insecurity?

A Microsoft spokeswoman had a different explanation. The company blocks usernames that include the names of various financial institutions. This is meant to make life harder for those seeking to impersonate a bank using an official-looking e-mail address in order to steal customers’ passwords. In this case Microsoft is blocking usernames containing “tib,” apparently to protect customers of TIB Bank in Florida.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Culture and the National Defense

Amina and Sarah Said - both murdered by their Father in Texas.

National defense involves more than military action or border protection. It includes protection and maintenance of our culture, values, and governmental and legal structures. This is implied in the oath of office that one takes when entering the armed forces. We pledge to defend the Constitution of the United States from all enemies foreign and domestic. I would like to emphasize the foreign and domestic part.

We have people living in the U.S. who hate who we are and want us to be something else. These people are not only the Islamists, whom we have discussed many times, but leftists of every variety who want to limit or end free speech, expand government into every aspect of our lives, centralize the government and the economy, and turn our values upside down with gay marriage and pro-death actions like abortion, assisted suicide, and euthanasia.

I would like to see those whom we elect to govern this greatest of countries stand up and really protect it instead of fecklessly pandering to those who want to harm it.

In Australia they have it right.

I received an email at work a year ago that I have never posted, but I want to share it now. It is one of those that gets widely circulated and are often hoaxes, but this one is true and is discussed at

see Muslims Out of Australia!

Now, don''t freak out. I do not want to remove all Muslims from the US. But the views expressed below are common sense and are views that we should adopt here.
Muslims who want to live under Islamic Sharia law were told on Wednesday to get out of Australia, as the government targeted radicals in a bid to head off potential terror attacks.

A day after a group of mainstream Muslim leaders pledged loyalty to Australia and her Queen at a special meeting with Prime Minister John Howard, he and his Ministers made it clear that extremists would face a crackdown.

Treasurer Peter Costello, seen as heir apparent to Howard, hinted that some radical clerics could be asked to leave the country if they did not accept that Australia was a secular state, and its laws were made by parliament.

"If those are not your values, if you want a country which has Sharia law or a theocratic state, then Australia is not for you", he said on National Television.

"I'd be saying to clerics who are teaching that there are two laws governing people in Australia: one the Australian law and another Islamic law that is false.

If you can't agree with parliamentary law, independent courts, democracy, and would prefer Sharia law and have the opportunity to go to another country, which practices it, perhaps, then, that's a better option", Costello said.

Asked whether he meant radical clerics would be forced to leave, he said those with dual citizenship could possibly be asked to move to the other country.

Education Minister Brendan Nelson later told reporters that Muslims who did not want to accept local values should "clear off. Basically people who don't want to be Australians, and who don't want, to live by Australian values and understand them, well then, they can basically clear off", he said.

Separately, Howard angered some Australian Muslims on Wednesday by saying he supported spy agencies monitoring the nation's mosques.

Quote: "IMMIGRANTS, NOT AUSTRALIANS, MUST ADAPT. Take It Or Leave It. I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some individual or their culture.

Since the terrorist attacks on Bali , we have experienced a surge in patriotism by the majority of Australians."

"However, the dust from the attacks had barely settled when the 'politically correct' crowd began complaining about the possibility that our patriotism was offending others. I am not against immigration, nor do I hold a grudge against anyone who is seeking a better life by coming to Australia .."

"However, there are a few things that those who have recently come to our country, and apparently some born here, need to understand." "This idea of Australia being a multi-cultural community has served only to dilute our sovereignty and our national identity. And as Australians, we have our own culture, our own society, our own language and our own lifestyle."

"This culture has been developed over two centuries of struggles, trials and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom"

"We speak mainly ENGLISH, not Spanish, Lebanese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society .. Learn the language!"

"Most Australians believe in God. This is not some Christian, right wing, political push, but a fact, because Christian men and women, on Christian principles, founded this nation, and this is clearly documented.

It is certainly appropriate to display it on the walls of our schools. If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home, because God is part of our culture."

"We will accept your beliefs, and will not question why. All we ask is that you accept ours, and live in harmony and peaceful enjoyment with us."

"If the Southern Cross offends you, or you don't like "A Fair Go", then you should seriously consider a move to another part of this planet.

We are happy with our culture and have no desire to change, and we really don't care how you did things where you came from.

By all means, keep your culture, but do not force it on others.

"This is OUR COUNTRY, OUR LAND, and OUR LIFESTYLE, and we will allow you every opportunity to enjoy all this. But once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about Our Flag, Our Pledge, Our Christian beliefs, or Our Way of Life, I highly encourage you take advantage of one other great Australian freedom,


"If you aren't happy here then LEAVE. We didn't force you to come here. You asked to be here. So accept the country YOU accepted."

Thursday, August 14, 2008

My Absence

I must explain that since Holy Pascha I have been extremely busy and under great stress. My employer, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, assigned me to the fire recovery project on USS George Washington. This has been a challenging assignment. In combination with the inconveniences of travel and trying to build a house through my cell phone, there has been no time for blogging. I am hoping to change that.

I hope that you, my faithful readers - who have never failed to come back after long breaks for my deployments - will forgive me this.