7-2-11 Hodgepodge

Saturday, July 02, 2011

National Service in North Korea

There is no meaningful distinction between the notion of government-mandated "national service" that so many American politicians carelessly and sanctimoniously bandy about and the following:

Students are being sent to work in farms, construction projects and factories after the government of North Korea shut down the country's universities for ten months to stimulate the economy...
I imagine that, if pressed, our politicians would say something like, "Kim Jong-Il is going too far." Once freedom is violated, it is violated. That one all-powerful state might happen to treat its victims better than another is cold comfort to anyone who sees that any all-powerful state deprives him of the chance to lead his own life according to his best judgement.

Interestingly enough, there may be a hidden agenda. Here is what one Japanese analyst has to say:
"One reason is that there is a possibility of demonstrations at university campuses," said Toshimitsu Shigemura, a professor at Tokyo's Waseda University to the Telegraph. "The leadership has seen the 'Jasmine Revolution' in Africa and it is very frightened that the same thing could happen in North Korea...they fear it could start in the universities."
Good for North Korea, if it is the case that its leaders feel a need to do this. And it would be better for Americans to continue waking up to and begin fighting the myriad less-painful violations of our freedom now, well before our government becomes able to simply send people on "service" missions willy-nilly.

Weekend Reading

"Although some conspiracy theorists may believe this is a deliberate ploy by media and political elites to destroy America from within, the actual answer is worse." -- Paul Hsieh, in "Why the 'Unexpected' Keeps Happening" at PajamasMedia

"When the British struck America's right cheek, did Jefferson in the Declaration tell America to turn to offer them the left?" -- Onkar Ghate, in "Does America Need Ayn Rand or Jesus?" at Fox News

"The blatant contradiction of 'leading from behind' is the Obama Doctrine: the U.S. may unilaterally bomb another nation, yet never to secure a victory, and it can unilaterally demand the ouster of any foreign leader, yet also leave him securely in place -- which makes the U.S. both a liar and a paper tiger." -- Richard Salsman, in "The Proliferation of Illegal Wars Erodes American Values" at Forbes

"[T]he 200-day moving average, because it is an impartial and longer trending indicator, shouldn't be so lightly dismissed." -- Jonathan Hoenig, in "Another Bad Omen for Stocks?" at SmartMoney

"The healthy approach is to assume two things: First, that the purpose of life is to be happy. Second, that one must take sensible steps to achieve some measure of happiness, and then keep taking those steps to maintain it." -- Michael Hurd, in "The Fallacy of Sacrifice" at DrHurd.com

My Two Cents

Although many Americans may fail to appreciate the requirements of a proper foreign policy -- see the Richard Salsman article linked above -- our enemies grasp them on the level of sensing what they can get away with. For example, Moammar Qaddhafi's recent terroristic threat to attack Europe screams the appraisal, "paper tiger," of the West (like all state-sponsored terrorism does). Our present actions in Libya are worse than too little, beyond too late, and are being taken for the wrong reasons. Again, see Salsman, and recall that Qaddhafi's role in the Lockerbie airline bombing, among other things, merited his immediate removal from power long ago.

An Interesting Limerick

The subject of this limerick isn't identified, but she sure sounds like she could be someone I whose work I admire!
A woman who loved a good fight
Would demand, as she argued all night,
Philosophical heft
From those on the left
And empirical proof from the right.
I found this in the comments to "High-Brow Limericks," at John Cook's math- and science-themed blog, The Endeavour.

-- CAV

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