Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Nelson Mandela - one man who looked forward

Nelson Mandela, saint?  No.  He was a man, who made some mistakes, perhaps his biggest one was in leaving the ANC to unspeakably awful men and in not purging the party of its Leninist culture.

The AIDS-denying, Mugabe appeasing Thabo Mbeki, who, had he been a white Afrikaner, would be blamed for genocide.  The rape-denying Jacob Zuma, in a country where 1 in 4 men admit to rape.  I see few feminists bemoaning the abject failure of the "new" South Africa to confront this culture.

However, I resist the claims of some that he should be dismissed as a terrorist and a communist.  That blanks out the reality of South Africa's white-supremacist regime.  It was sympathetic towards Nazi Germany during the war, and had distinct parallels in applying a non-eliminationist view of racial supremacy.  Apartheid itself was strongly supported by white far-left trade unions, who didn't want black workers taking their jobs.  A argument, which at its fundamental roots, is still used by protectionists without the overt racist component. 

Mandela lived under a regime that not only denied him and other black people in the country basic standards of citizenship, but didn't tolerate dissent unless it came from white people.  Even then, the regime would use accusations of communism to attack many criticising apartheid.  It was the proud Helen Suzman who maintained the small opposition in South Africa's Parliament, as the apartheid regime increasing became fearful of invasion from the post-colonial regimes to its north and of revolution within.

South Africa was a brutal authoritarian state that brutalised the vast majority, and explicitly legally denied them opportunities in business, education, science and culture.  In that environment, it is hardly surprising that the ANC - in resisting this - would turn to violence, after the awful Sharpeville massacre.  
The state did violence to the black population, it did not allow free speech, it did not give it options for political expression.  The black population faced authoritarian rule that they had no say over, they were non-citizens, with the police and the courts almost entirely beholden to those who ruled them.

So given the choice between Gandhi-esque non-violent resistance, and having protests of unarmed school children gunned down, and taking up violence yourself, it's hardly a surprise the latter was taken up.

Monday, December 02, 2013

Maduro is Venezuela's Muldoon

Rob Muldoon's ghost is alive and well, and running economic policy in Venezuela...

Nicolas Maduro has banned price increases, unless they have state approval.

Which of course will have the result of making everything subject to it very scarce indeed...


Monday, October 07, 2013

General local election voting guide

Given what a pain it was to vote for three different entities in Wellington, I thought I'd give my general approach to the local elections cross New Zealand.

1.  Anyone who claims affiliation to the Greens, Mana, Labour or City Vision is beyond the pale.  They all want more of your money, and want to control your property and your lives through intrusive bylaws.  Ignore them.

2.  Affordable City candidates want to control rates, give you more control over your property and leave peaceful people alone.  There are candidates in Auckland, Masterton, Porirua, Hutt City, Wellington and Invercargill.  In Auckland, select Stephen Berry for Mayor.  Tell your friends he isn't a typical candidate.  He doesn't have Parliamentary political party, business or union affiliations. 

3.  Anyone who advocates a big project funded by your rates should be ignored.

4.  Anyone who considers climate change, poverty or international issues as a priority should be ignored, they are not part of what local government should be involved in.

5. In some cases you are justified in voting for someone you wouldn't otherwise support to avoid evil and incompetence.  Unfortunately, in some cases you can't.  Cathy Casey's competitors are either watered down clones or lunatics.  However, the vile Richard Northey can be removed by voting for Denise Krum.  In Wellington, Helene Ritchie in the Northern Ward, has a record of appearing to act like a hysterical lunatic. Fortunately, you can tick not only Reagan Cutting, but Justin Lester and Jacob Toner to avoid her.  Peter Gilberd wants to do too much and Malcolm Sparrow wants amalgamation.

Christchurch I pity, because whilst the odious Bob Parker is not standing for Mayor, the choice is far from inspiring.  Lianne Dalziel is probably front runner, but it looks like Christchurch's earthquake has brought out the mad people, like Tubby Hansen.  

Finally, don't worry too much if you don't have anyone worth voting for.  Don't vote if you like.  The less electoral mandate this collection of petty fascists and control freaks have the better.  It is a legitimate decision in a liberal democracy to say "to hell with the lot of you", then when the leftwing local demagogues talk about how they "represent" the community, you can say they don't represent you.

Of course, if it gets you that wound up, then maybe next  time you should stand for Affordable City?

Wellington local election guide: Capital and Coast District Health Board

Of course I'd abolish it, and there are plenty of candidates for 7 places.

So there needs to be a strategy here.

1.  Avoid evil.  In this case Helene Ritchie, a leftwing harpy who is destructive, and Sue Kedgley (concealing her Green moniker for some reason) deserve to be avoided.

2.  Avoid the less than competent.

3. Avoid rent-seekers from unions or professional monopoly trade associations.

4.  Avoid those who don't understand the role of the DHB. Including those in the sector with apparent axes to grind.

5.  Select the analytically competent.


Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Wellington local election voting guide: Regional Council

There are five councillors to be drawn from eight candidates in the Wellington constituency of the Wellington Regional Council, unfortunately.  I say unfortunately, because there are more than three candidates who are unelectable.  What I want from the regional council is to keep rates under control, more protection for property rights, minimal compliance costs, effective stewardship of waterways, cost-effective management of public transport and resistance to a supercity.  

I wont get that, at all.  To me it is a fair option to leave the whole lot blank, but that will give some succour to the amalgamation enthusiasts.  However, there is no decent anti-amalgamation ticket.  The candidacy is full of leftwing candidates, barring one, with the only matter as to whether you want to create a dysfunctional Regional Council full of nutters, or want to mitigate damage by keeping out the worst candidates.  I

What I'll get are...

Judith Aitken:  "committed to the long-term purposes of the RMA", "wants a comprehensive, integrated approach to development planning and energy-efficient urban design", "active support for insulating at least another 5000 homes" "support for young people in creative, high-tech start-up businesses".  She isn't the worst candidate.  She supports fare increases over rates increases for public transport.  WCC Watch thinks this is hypocrisy because of her "Gold Card" (but I don't see anyone on the left canning that).  Aitken was with Labour once.   From a harm mitigation point of view, rank her 2nd.   Yes, you've reached nearly the best candidate! Rank 2 or just give up now....

Paul Bruce: Like I said yesterday, eco-loon, who bikes everywhere and admits he is in the Green Party. He gets credit from me for two things, one is that he practices what he preaches (unlike the motorist Sue Kedgley) and the other is that he is genuinely an amiable chap.  However, as an eco-loon he is a light rail fetishist, would cover many of our roads with speed bumps and 30km/h speed limits, clog buses with people carrying bikes, somehow shift more freight onto rail and shipping (no, he can't do that), is anti-fracking and deep-sea oil exploration, and wants "community owned energy projects".  He wont control rates and his enthusiasm for banning things and regulating make him beyond the pale.  However, he is not singing the praises of local body amalgamation. Could I rank him?  No.  No Ranking.  I just can't endorse him.

Mike Fleming:  His great interest is future proofing infrastructure for an earthquake.  Fine, keeps him out of implementing the RMA, grand public transport schemes (he supports public transport, with larger park and ride railway stations, which is fine) and trying to save the planet by regulating Wellington.  Easily wins Rank 1

Sue Kedgley: Don't let this woman near power ever again. Fiction peddling, publicity seeking control freak. Vote for Paul Bruce over her any day.  Her parody Twitter account (@SueKedgleyMP) can't be too far from what she thinks.

Chris Laidlaw:  Says he is independent, but is Labour and one of the shortest term Labour MPs I know of, as he won the 1992 by-election when Fran Wilde stood down as Wellington Central MP, only to lose it to (then) National's Pauline Gardiner in 1993.  Awful, simpering, left-wing Marxist "liberal", who I was told is remarkably lazy.  The only reason to vote for him is to keep the two Greens out, so hold your nose, turn away and Rank 5

Ariana Paretutanganui-Tamati:  As a Member of the Mana Party she probably thinks I'm being racist by rejecting her candidacy.  She wants to use more trolleybusses (sic) although it would help if she could spell. She doesn't like people paying for water ("it's a right" which of course means she wants to force everyone to pay for water, regardless of how much or little you use).  Free public transport for kids, which will increase obesity.  She wants to pay people more, regardless of performance, except for councillors and management. She wants to stop the Regional Council borrowing from banks, finally she wants to "nationalise" public transport, killing off the private sector so the Regional Council has a nice cozy monopoly of highly-paid unionised providers. Socialist, representing an avowedly racist party.  Don't rank

Daran Ponter: Incumbent councillor, ex. public servant who I met a couple of times.  Hard working and bright, but very much on the left.  He wants a referendum on a super city.  Good! He wants lower public transport fares, implying higher rates.  Bad!  He seems anti-Basin Reserve flyover which is a bit predictably childish (the last Labour Government funded umpteen flyovers).  However, for the greater good of keeping out the Greens, and because he is honest about his party affiliation I'm going to hold my nose and Rank 4.

Fran Wilde: We all know Fran was Labour, so why doesn't she admit it? I'm a bit bemused as to why she still cites homosexual law reform as part of her record.  Yes it is, and was perhaps her proudest achievement and justifiably so, but it WAS 1985 and has nothing to do with the Regional Council.  She supports a mega-city, which is a big reason to not give her first place, so Rank 3 because she is less left wing than Ponter or Laidlaw, but Fleming and Aitken need your vote more.

Now go have a stiff drink, and a bath.  You'll need it.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Wellington local election voting guide; Onslow-Western Ward

3 councillors are to be elected from this ward, there are 12 to choose from.  So surely someone must be decent?

Well that is true.

Phil Howison deserves your positive vote to be ranked number 1.  He is on the Affordable Wellington ticket and is both intelligent and a thoroughly approachable, thoughtful, hard working and polite young man who is focused on keeping spending down by focusing the Council on its core services.  He wants processes streamlined and is opposed to "unnecessary restrictions" on businesses and residents.  Yes he was an active member of Libertarianz and was a candidate, but he's watered down his views somewhat (in fact rather too much, I'd like to see Phil push much harder for cutting rates and cutting local government).  Notwithstanding that, I endorse him as someone who has a clear position on ensuring Council minimises costs upon ratepayers and residents, and concentrates on doing its core business well.  Rank 1

The rest? Hmmm well...

Monday, September 30, 2013

Wellington local election voting guide: Mayor

Yes, I get to vote in the local elections.  Better my vote than, well anyone else's really (look if you can't be arrogant about your own vote then don't bother).

So here's my run-down of the motley lot that are standing, and a motley lot it is.  I can't get enthused about almost any of the candidates.  So I figured since blogs are about venting one's opinion, I'd do a bit of my own.  Of course because voting is by STV you get to rank the candidates, which means you don't need to rank anyone you find particularly loathsome (after all being ranked 8th is worth more than not being ranked at all).

Remember, one of the most important things for Wellingtonians should be remembering what happened in Christchurch could happen again.  Wellington needs a Mayor and Council that can take on central government bureaucracy and be for private property rights.  It's a shame it doesn't have enough standing who do.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Gareth Morgan once made fun of North Korea

As a footnote to the recent saga of Gareth Morgan and the DPRK, I happened to find this... (you see North Korea watchers do collect material referring to the country)


You see, oddly enough in 2000, Gareth Morgan did find the pejorative, stereotyping of north Korea to be just fine when he was writing a column for the NBR. 

I suspect (and indeed there is evidence that) the DPRK is not very adept at researching those who seek Visas for travel there.   I doubt this column would have helped.

  In fact he used it to compare to the Clark Government, which is of course great fun for libertarians, but is in the same boat as "it's like Singapore".

His view then was that the DPRK is "the last surviving example of socialism gone horribly wrong", which doesn't exactly match the glowing image of farms and the economic struggles being seen to be due to the "economic blockade".

He said "everyone is in the same boat, they're starving", a view reversed by getting to see the people made available on the self-selected, but approved route.  

He talks then of the ruling elite having "expropriated heaps of money from the people to keep themselves and a few cronies in comfort".   Not a peep about this now.

"This Stalinist amusement park would suit someone like Tony Simpson in Jim Anderton's office"  and to think of what he called me when I pointed out the nature of this regime and system.  He already knew.

Now I have this column because I liked it, it was amusing, and it showed a cursory awareness of the totalitarian nightmare of the country, and the economic catastrophe it is.

Today...

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Gareth Morgan seems to back down by erasing the past

Throughout the history of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the Orwellian maxim that "he who controls the present controls the past and he who controls the past controls the future" has be.en the backbone philosophy to justify the personality cults that have led the country.   I've written about this already in the past few days.  Quite simply it would be a bombshell for many in the country to learn that Kim Il Sung's role in defeating the Japanese was that of a small guerrilla leader who achieved a handful of tactical victories before fleeing for his life to the USSR, and that the USA had a dominant role in rolling back the Japanese.  Similarly to know that it was Kim Il Sung who launched the war that devastated the entire peninsula, and that it was only because Mao was willing to supply so much cannon fodder that his Stalinist regime survived.  

Gareth Morgan's exploits on his blog have been rewritten, as is his right, here.

He has said:


We welcome your thoughts to improve the quality of discussion. If you think you can value with news, data, or research you are welcome to contribute.

Please be respectful of others opinions. Abusive or defamatory comments are not welcome and comments are moderated.


Pot kettle. He has since removed his libel threat and his lengthy ad-hominem attack on me which started with a diatribe against ad-hominem attacks.  He has edited many of my comments extensively, and has done the same to his own, adding in one:

"I am in no way sympathetic to the form of governance in North Korea."

Sure had a lot of us fooled.  

There is much more in the language now used in the edited comments to suggest a more reasonable interpretation for what he saw.  Had he said all that in the first place, there would be far far less to criticise him about.   

He has still helped to feed the DPRK's propaganda machine of course - that horse has bolted.

However, so have his original comments. 

I am sure that the reporting by Not PCWhaleoil and Kiwiblog has helped him realise that he had precious few friends beyond Marxist conspiracy theorists and the regime itself in taking me on, and his own outpouring of ill considered anger (including thinking he knew about my education and belittling it) in response to my bitterness at him, has been erased.

He has also edited my comments, whereby I express my incredulity at what he originally said.

I suspect that is the closest I will get to an apology and a withdrawal.  A victory of sorts?

Of course, it is highly entertaining that it comes in the form of an Orwellian rewriting of opinions.  However, it is his blog.  I actually do believe in private property rights.

However, despite his valiant efforts, this little episode can't be so easily erased from history, for many others have seen and repeated them.

I look forward to seeing whether the MSM takes him on when he finally returns to NZ, for his original comments and behaviour in being confronted with the absurdity of them, have exposed weaknesses.   He hasn't the humility to apologise.

I'll leave it to you to decide as to what it says about the man.

Saturday, September 07, 2013

"Prison camp? Nothing could be FURTHER from the truth" Gareth Morgan on the DPRK

The Australian Federal Government owned ABC is clearly a tool of Western propaganda to demonise the DPRK.  The ABC picks some highlights from what he has said...

""the imagery that you get from this almost concerted effort to demonise the place...it that it must be like one massive prison camp, nothing could be further from the truth."

Yep except from virtually no one being allowed to leave the country, and the comprehensive internal passport system, with military checkpoints at the entrance of most towns (he didn't notice this?). Except for the actual gulags.  Except for the compulsory adoration of the four person personality cult. Except for the secret police, the red guards, the compulsory weekly self-criticism and neighbourly criticism sessions.  Except for the complete absence of private property regarding home ownership. Except for the complete prohibition on any publishing that isn't by the state.  Except for the death penalty for listening to broadcasts from the outside world.

"preconceptions that the people are starving are actually not true. He says the group found people were eating well and local crops were healthy."

Western propaganda then.  He saw it all, got to visit any villages he asked.  That campaign a few years ago "let's eat two meals a day" was misreported.  What he saw was a fair reflection of what was real.

Farming is self-sufficient, labour intensive but very productive.

Throughout the famines in the Ukraine in the 1930s and China in the 1960s, visitors were shown productive farms and statistics indicated growing production.  Sure north Korea has no famine now, but to swallow the "very productive" claim is naive.

The problem is that the country's sanctions mean there are no reserves - a facet Gareth Morgan says could lead to famine.

Oh so it would be fine as a totalitarian centrally planned economy then?  China shouldn't have decollectivised farming, that was obviously foolish.  It's all the fault of the foreigners.  Convenient, and swallowing the party line once more.  Of course why are there sanctions?  Those nuclear weapons it promised to dismantle in exchange for help in developing a nuclear power generation facility, which it then developed anyway?  The constant exporting of missile technology to Iran, Syria and other rogue states that threaten Western allies?

because of the sanctions they are isolated.

Yes, not at all a country that isolates itself is it?  Such an open engagement allowed  between its people and the world.

Mr Morgan says that Koreans dress well noting that ladies wear gumboots with heels on them.

Noticing the important things.  

He says interaction between the group and ordinary North Koreans proved quite difficult.

Finally, a hint of acknowledgement of the core problem.  

Unlike in South Korea where people are free to chat he says that people in North Korea are all organised in work parties but say they did manage to meet a few North Koreans when they were at a beach resort.

The workers' paradise ensures even those of the lowest standing get to go on beach holidays right? Oh, maybe it's just more members of the elite?

The group were escorted throughout North Korea by a huge motorcade including a car with loudspeakers telling everyone what they were doing.

Yes the country is full of loudspeakers.  Did Jo understand what was being said?  Was it telling people what to do as well?  We may never know.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Gareth Morgan threatens me with libel.... and insults me.. *shrugs*

No.

No self reflection.

No addressing of the core questions and issues.

Wilful blindness?  Or does he simply not believe that what he saw was carefully selected?  Or does he have a cunning plan that he isn't mentioning? (!)

I don't know.. but let me have a go, respecting that he no longer wishes me to engage on his blog.  So I will respond to his comments, which say a lot in view.  Particularly an unwillingness to read.  He deleted my responses to the halfwits who claim the DPRK is "misunderstood" and even apologise for Assad.  That is "spam". 

Yes.. really.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Gareth Morgan thinks I am ignorant about the DPRK



I'll take him on anyday about Korean history, and as long as he doesn't use the Foreign Languages Publishing House, Pyongyang edition of History of Korea, he might have a chance.  However I doubt it.

The man who claims that reporting the facts about the DPRK is a "beat up" and "completely wrong".

The man who says they are "wonderfully engaged, well-dressed, fully employed and well informed".

I doubt he got to meet anyone with English that wasn't pre approved, so he couldn't seriously "engage", and I very much doubt if he was able to freely talk to anyone without others being present.  

Well dressed?  Well he didn't meet this girl, because she is dead, she was "fully employed" hunting rats and looking for grass for survival.

Well informed?  Yes, thinking your founding leader saved the country, that the USA started the Korean War and the country's poor economic performance is due to a blockade, and south Korea is a poverty ridden colony of the USA - really well informed.

It's lack of international money he bemoans, but then borrowing from Western banks and simply defaulting doesn't exactly make for a credit rating worth glancing at.

Then Jo Morgan has been tricked well.  17 minutes of naive observations that the Korean Central News Agency wouldn't be ashamed of using, seemingly interviewed by Nick Tansley - former ZM Wellington clown.  Not a high calibre journalist.

She talks about the wonderful local produce!  The wonderful "muscular" young men, and how south Korean journalists said young men in the south were getting obese.  She seems to bemoan the "Western softness" of Seoul.

She talks about how everyone is expected to do some manual work - fabulous and how fit they are.

She blames the manual labour on "sanctions", swallowing the state propaganda.

She "reckoned" 50-60% have cellphones, but then that was those she saw - the elite.  She dismissed bans on foreigners using cellphones as "just a rule for foreigners", not because it risked live reports of what goes on.

She was gobsmacked - rightly - about the Arirang Mass Games (which are a remarkable spectacle), although again thinking it reported the "history" of the country, rather than it being propaganda and a symbol of how people are only important if they are in a mass collective action.

"You can't tell me these people are miserable" from seeing members of the elite singing and laughing together.  No they aren't Jo.  No.  

"They seem well fed" says the woman who didn't spend time on Google Earth to note the burial mounds for the starving.  

"our escorts were making sure we didn't get lost"  Too funny.  Really.  Seriously, not there to ensure you didn't go explore on unapproved routes?

"The people want their children to be able to ride down into the south, they want reunification" Yes, they do, but the regime doesn't want it, unless it involves it being on their terms - which they know will never happen.

Finally, Gareth thinks division of Korea is due to "great powers".  It was originally, for the USSR installed Kim Il Sung in the north, against the UN mandated declaration of the Republic of Korea as the government of the whole peninsula and resisting the (admittedly very flawed) elections that were meant to be the basis for a new government.  Korea could be reunified tomorrow, except the regime in the north doesn't want to surrender its slave state that sustains a tiny elite, and the south doesn't want to be a slave state.

It's not about foreign powers, unless you believe the withdrawal of US troops (one deterrent to north Korean aggression, which is demonstrable)

NKNews (subscription once you read more than the minimum number of articles) reports on the trip.  

Gareth says "the farms are perfect. They have no pollution”, 

the standard of living was probably like south Korea "20 years ago"... astonishing.  

Think maybe 50 years ago, the last time north Korea and south Korea were roughly equals in per capita income.  North Korea WAS the rich half of Korea, south Korea the poor peasant half... 

Capitalism made south Korea one of the top 20 economies in the world and now up with developed countries.  

Shame Gareth is still admiring the system that has trapped, literally and economically, the people of the north in a 1960s timewarp.

I look forward to him admitting he is wrong, confessing he didn't know as much as he wished, and sorry for saying things complementary about a country that has such a vile government.  I look forward to him noting that much of what he was told in the country was false and they were probably shown only what was permitted, in order to show the country in the best light, and that it sends shivers down their spines to think of children being in gulags today.

Really, I do...

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

North Korean history lies

Given Gareth Morgan's affection for the country once described as "a place where George Orwell's 1984 was taken not as a warning, but as a textbook manual as to how to run a country", I thought I'd point out some of the biggest lies perpetuated by the regime in Pyongyang.  The saddest thing about it, is that I doubt if most of the elite even know this.  

These are lie the Kim gangster family have generated and it starts with:

- Korea was liberated from the Japanese imperialists by a group of loyal anti-Japanese patriots led by Marshal Kim Il Sung.

No, it was liberated by the United States, with the USSR having a tiny role at the very end.  Kim Il Sung spent the last four years of WW2 in the USSR.

- Kim Il Sung founded the Korean People's Army when he was 21.

No, it was founded in 1948, which was acknowledged until he decided in the early 1960s to rewrite history.

- Kim Il Sung arrived in Pyongyang greeted by hundreds of thousands grateful he had liberated the country.

No, he was brought in by the Red Army and trained to be their stooge.

- The Korean War was started by the US imperialists.

No, Kim Il Sung got authorisation from Moscow and Peking to launch the attack.  Soviet records prove that Stalin gave the approval.

- The Great Fatherland Liberation War (Korean War) was a great victory.

No it was a stalemate.  The military demarcation line is roughly where it was when the war started, so nothing was gained, but millions were killed.

- Kim Jong Il was born on the sacred Mt Paektu where he saw his father and mother preparing as they fought the Japanese.

No, he was born near Khabarovsk in the USSR.

- South Korea is a country of abject poverty and despair.

You know the truth. 

- South Korea is run as a colony by the US to use South Korean as slave labour

South Korea has long been independently minded, and has been a fairly robust liberal democracy since 1988

- Most of the world is wracked with crime, corruption, poverty and slavery, the people of Korea have nothing to envy

....

- The reason the DPRK has economic problems is because of the blockade by the US imperialists.

The reason is because it is the most centrally planned Stalinist state left on the planet, with market signals having little influence compared to the whims of the gangster family running it.

- Kim Il Sung is renowned worldwide as a genius and great man, who fought hard for the right of countries to be independent and people to be liberated.  Millions around the world worship his works.

Yes, well, need I say more?  Besides a few useful idiots, he's a laughing stock.

- Kim Jong Il is similarly renowned.

"Team America"

- The "arduous march" (mass starvation 1995-1998) was due to the US imperialists and some bad weather.

It was due to the diversion of economic effort to the military as Kim Jong Il sought to avoid a military coup after his father's death, and the storms that destroyed crops broke the back of the state farming sector.

- The United States and Japan are constantly seeking ways to invade and occupy north Korea

The US and Japan are deterring a north Korean attack and have no interest in any occupation. However, the regime does maintain a constant "we're on the brink of war" footing.  Read Orwell's 1984 to understand that.

- All of the Korean people love Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il and just wish reunification of the country

Most Koreans despise them, and few south Koreans want reunification on north Korean terms.  Many fear the cost of rebuilding a broken country, but many also are deeply distressed by the division of families

- Korean reunification would happen if only the US withdrew its bases from south Korea

It might, because north Korea would feel more free to invade

SO that is a start. I wonder how many of these myths Gareth has swallowed?

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Gareth Morgan becomes propaganda tool for the child torturing fiefdom of the Kim family: UPDATED 2

When Gareth Morgan's group got permission to enter the DPRK by motorcycle I was surprised, but then it is being accompanied every step of the way in the country.  I was also surprised when he got permission from both the DPRK and ROK sides to cross the DMZ.  I think the DPRK is also surprised by this, as it has several times used crossing as a propaganda trick, knowing the other side would arrest and detain anyone undertaking it (those who do it are typically DPRK sympathisers after all).  

So now he is in the country, and not surprisingly the New Zealand media is reporting none of it, even though North Korean media actually is.  Unless some celebrity is involved, or it involves a sports team or a disaster, then it isn't of interest.  Of course he'll get coverage when he returns, but it will be of the "wow amazing wasn't that cool" type of questioning.

You see Morgan's group is now being used for propaganda and this slave state will milk the propaganda value of peace loving sympathetic Westerners coming to learn about their country's "history" and how they struggle against the yoke of foreign aggression (when all of the aggression comes from the mafia family that runs the place).  

Gareth Morgan is now a tool of a slave state.  I doubt he'll ask about children being kept in gulags.  

The state/party daily newspaper has a photo of him on its visit here and here.  It reports on Morgan's group learning about the country.

His visit has included paying reverence to the murderous war-mongering Kim Il Sung, who set up the abominable personality cult led slave state that it is today, started the Korean War, and has manufacturer such a complicated web of lies about the place that it is difficult to know where to start.

For a start Kim Jong Il wasn't born on Mt Paektu, he was born in Russia in Khabarovsk.

Kim Il Sung did not lead a gang of guerrilla fighters based at Mt Paektu to led the Korean people to victory against the Japanese, he did led a small group based in Manchuria that tactically fled to the Soviet Union, where he was when Kim Jong Il was born.  Kim Il Sung was a Soviet selected stooge put in place to follow Stalin's order and occupy the land.  He successfully took all he learnt in the USSR and then some, started the Korean War and ended it building a cross between Orwell's 1984 and Huxley's Brave New World.

So if you want to follow Gareth Morgan, read the Rodong Simnum and the Korean Central News Agency, or listen to Voice of Korea's English broadcasts online, which are reporting on these adventures (all pretty much similar).

Meanwhile Porirua based Anglican pastor Don Borrie continues to felch the regime, and it continues to render his reputation to be equally vile.

UPDATE:  So the West needs to "rethink" North Korea now, says Gareth.  It wasn't just a motorcycle trip. His head has gone soft and he has taken in all the lies and thinks they are awfully nice folk.

The thing is, the guides are.  The people you see are nice, as they are privileged members of the elite painstakingly trying to make sure their country is seen in a good light.  

You don't need to try to demonise north Korea.  He claims it isn't a great big prison camp, but who gets to leave Gareth? Who gets passports?  What about the domestic passport system that ensures no one can leave their village or town unless they belong the elite? 

He talks of how everything is tidy and clean and everyone has a job. The Potemkin world he got to see. Escorted the whole way, he claims everything he saw was real, and told was real. 

He then touts the Democratic Confederal Republic of Koryo reunification scheme (not by name) of Kim Il Sung as the solution to reunification, except for removing US troops from south Korea.  Naively thinking the north Korean regime actually could survive any extensive contact by north Koreans of south Korea, but also wanting China to protect the slave state's sovereignty.  He even uses the language that has been uttered in DPRK English language propaganda since the 1970s over this.

Gareth talks of why he and his wife could travel across Korea, but Koreans couldn't.  Yet North Koreans can't own motorcycles and drive anywhere they want in the north.

Until now I thought he was just a bit naive and actually would come out and acknowledge that he didn't know what was true, what wasn't and what he was shown and not shown.  No, the fool appears to have swallowed the Kim gang fiction hook line and sinker, and not only that, is even endorsing the sustenance of the regime by giving it propaganda.


I question his sanity.  

Imagine if he had travelled through Pol Pot's Cambodia and did this, or Nazi Germany in 1938 talking about how misunderstood the proud German people were and they only want more living space and to be reunified with Germans in Czechoslovakia, and it isn't a prison camp, the stories about the Jews are lies, demonising them.

Well Gareth - you kind of did that.

Go get your head examined, and if you're sane, here are some books to read

(UPDATE - he has read some unspecified books about the horrors of the regime and said he has no reason to question them.  It would have been balanced had he acknowledged this publicly instead of telling me on a comment on his blog)

Aquariums of Pyongyang by Kang Chol-Hwan  (for life as a child in a gulag)
Kim Il Sung - the North Korean Leader by Dae Sook Suh (for the best historically accurate and well researched account of Kim Il Sung's REAL life and what he did to fight the Japanese (a little) and what he says he did (saved the nation) .
The Real North Korea: Life and Politics in the Failed Stalinist Utopia by Andrei Lankov an excellent report of how the country has changed and contrasts with the USSR, by an academic who lived there over decades and has fluency in Korean, Russian and English.

I still think despite reading some books and believing they are true, his behaviour is astonishing.  I don't understand it.

I STILL think he should...

Apologise to the hundreds of thousands who are in prison camps, including the thousands of children. Apologise to the millions dead because this regime preferred to build a mausoleum and deny farmers the right to grow more than tiny private plots of vegetables outside state and collective farms, leaving mass starvation in the 1990s.

Next time, take a holiday somewhere else interesting, but don't start describing how homosexuals in Iran have a happy life, or women in Saudi Arabia have such freedoms we don't understand, or how the people of Zimbabwe love papa Bob Mugabe.

Better yet, whatever you do, just shut up. The last specks of your credibility have been flushed well and truly down the basement toilets in the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun (resting place of the DPRK's "eternal President").

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The problem of Egypt

Egypt has no tradition of respecting individual liberty or secularism.

Nasser was widely admired, as he took over the Suez Canal and lost the war he was about to launch against Israel (and lost the Sinai Peninsula).

Anwar Sadat bravely made peace with Israel, gaining back the Sinai, and was assassinated for his efforts (and is largely forgotten).

Hosni Mubarak set up a massive military led corporatist state of rent-seeking self-aggrandisement, whilst simultaneously suppressing Iranian style Islamists.  The same Islamists who bombed hotels, tour buses and killed foreign tourists, until Mubarak's secret police authoritarian state put enough of them in prison.  Meanwhile he appeased a moderate form of Islamism, allowing for the occasional hassling of Christians and implementation of Shariah law.

So he gets overthrown, and elections are held. The world quietly condones it and lo and behold, a plurality of Egyptians choose theocracy, as the alternative is a patsy of Mubarak.

The USA, EU and the rest of the supposedly freedom loving West celebrated democracy, not individual freedom and rights.   Not separation of religion and state.

So how could any Western politician oppose a government led by the Muslim Brotherhood?  How could it oppose that elected government trying to change the constitution?  

Indeed.  Egyptians who supported Islamism were happy.  Egyptians who supported secularism, the small Christian minority and Muslims who keep their religion in the private sphere, were not.

Neither was the Army, which has a large network of businesses which keep many of the senior officers well fed and watered.   

So Egyptians who don't like Islamism, and Egyptians with a vested interest in the Army's own corporatist enterprises, protested.

The Islamists were less than happy as the Army overthrew their authoritarians, to reimpose their own.

Now the Army is killing those who resist it, but don't be fooled.  The Islamists would do the same, given their predilection to terrorism, their predilection to criminalising apostasy, to harassing those who are not of their faith, to censoring views, cultural expressions and humour they don't like, to constraining the role of women.   Then of course there is the widespread anti-semitism, which is far more widespread.

So whilst the philosophy, politics and the motives of the Islamists are thoroughly despicable and the anti-thesis of individual freedom and the secular liberal democracy that Western civilisation is supposed to be based on, the ends - the political defeat of Islamism - do not justify the means - opening fire on civilians.


Egypt needs rulers who will allow people to live ascetic Muslim lives, by choice, or not to.  It needs rulers who believe in freedom, and who believe in separation of religion from state.

However, it doesn't have a majority of citizens who share those values...

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Stock market bubble fueled by printed money


So the Dow Jones has hit 15,000, it was 14,000 just over two months ago, with the S & P reaching a record level, the FTSE is at its highest since 2007, and the German DAX index reaching levels not seen since before the global financial crisis.

It is like the crisis didn't happen, but oddly enough there isn't a huge amount of evidence to demonstrate that this is due to performance, rather than cheap credit.

Yes there has been a bit of a recovery, and yes some stock prices were low compared to expected revenues.


"Ultra-loose and interventionist monetary policy globally is one of the main causes of this resurgence. Pretending that it isn’t, and that economies – even those like America’s which have liquidated many past malinvestments – could immediately and easily readjust to neutral interest rates and zero intervention is a dangerous delusion.

Much of the central-bank induced madness that led to the last two bubbles is reaching ever more dangerous proportions, not least the Fed’s hubristic determination to prop up markets..."

It was the perpetual issuing of fiat money by central banks that fueled the crisis, with CPI inflation hidden by a combination of plummeting prices from Chinese imports (a scenario that has come to an end, as China no longer offers lower costs) and the inflation being largely seen in stock and property prices.

The new bubbles will be stores of future problems. 

Increases in stock prices due to good performance and optimistic earnings based on improved productivity and market growth are one thing,  increases due to banks, flooded with cheap money from central banks, seeking somewhere to put it, are another.

No one has learned anything.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Not all austerity is equal...

Allister Heath of City AM:

Spending cuts are austerity of the public sector  (as it has to reduce its activity)

Tax increases are austerity of the private sector

Think about which one is more likely to decrease employment, and which one is more likely to reduce economic growth.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Self-driving cars could transform land transport

In the UK the talk is about taxpayers paying for an extensive high speed railway network between London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds.  It would cost £35 billion to build and would lose money.   It will mostly service well-heeled business people (the fares will be too high for families, who will drive, or the poorer, who will take the multiple competing privately provided coach services).  90% of its users will be those using trains now, or people who wouldn't have travelled in the first place.  It will make next to no impact on domestic flights or road traffic.  One of the main objectives is to free capacity on the existing lines, so that more loss making commuter services can operate on the lines close to London.

In Auckland the talk is about an underground rail loop to enable its commuter rail service, soon to be electrified, to have more capacity during the peak hours.  Roughly 45,000 trips a day are taken on that system, roughly the entire average daily trips of Fenchurch Street station in London (yep that busy) (and 10% less than Wellington's network, despite Wellington's region having at least a quarter of Auckland's population.  It would cost NZ$2 billion to build and would lose money.  

In both cases the projects are expensive, not financially viable, and serve relatively few people.

They are 20th century solutions to perceived transport problems, but another is on its way, and it could transform land transport between and within cities.

Self-driving cars. Allister Heath says it makes big rail schemes like HS2 outdated.

The technology exists now.  Cars can already park themselves, emergency brake, follow road lines and follow other vehicles and brake automatically.  Several US states are already changing laws to allow for fully autonomous road vehicles, and the technology now being trialled enables vehicles to navigate safely along existing roads.

What could that mean?

Road vehicles that actively avoid collisions, both with other vehicles, and cyclists and pedestrians.

Road vehicles that operate in convoys, in close formation on major roads, increasing the capacity of those roads by a factor of three to four, rivalling railways.

Road vehicles that don't need a driver, that can be sent to be parked anywhere, called up on command by mobile phone.

Motorways that operate like trains of vehicles, except that the vehicles have the ultimate flexibility of starting and ending trips anywhere on the road network.

Traffic lights will no longer need to keep traffic stopped, but rather interweave traffic to maximise capacity.

Speeds can be faster where it is safe to do so, and better managed where there are many pedestrians.

Cars could be parked with a far higher density.

Let's not pretend there are barriers to this.

Technology needs to be refined, it needs to be secure.  Nobody wants autonomous cars diverting onto footpaths and mowing people down.

Laws need to be changed, so that owners of vehicles are liable for accidents when there is no driver or active driver.

Roads need to be better managed, so lines are maintained, databases about road rules, traffic signals adapted and systems in place so the network is actively managed.   

However, it can transform transport.

Buses can have the capacity of commuter railways (with the exception of high frequency metro services, which Auckland will never have).

Roads can have much more capacity, so there is far less need to build more capacity, and there is far less need to build safety into the roads with barriers and signs and speed limits that reflect driver behaviour.  

Roads would be so much safer that incidents of accidents causing congestion would be rare, and thousands of lives would be saved from serious injuries, and hundreds of millions of dollars of property damage and health costs avoided.

Vehicles would be much more fuel efficient, as vehicles become more efficient anyway, reducing emissions and the environmental impacts from transport.

Roads would be more like networks akin to telecommunications and energy networks, and politicians choosing projects to expand capacity would be rightly treated as amateur fools.  Who today would listen to a politician who says that a specific switch needs to be installed on a network, or a substation or that cable capacity be added somewhere?

Railways are bespoke inflexible networks that have a lot of capacity best suited for a narrow range of transport tasks.  The range of those tasks will narrow even more with automated road transport.

Of course some will still choose to drive, and will have options to do so, for leisure, but probably pay much more for insurance to do so without driving assistance.   What happens ought to be up to market demand, for vehicles and for roads.

Unfortunately, roads are managed by politicians and bureaucrats.  If anything is going to get in the way of setting them free, it will be them.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Auckland road pricing?

Some questions:

- Is there a funding gap if large totemic projects that the users would never pay for themselves are dropped? (yes rail and road)

- Why does Auckland Council assume fuel tax will still exist in 30 years time when multiple states in the US and the Australian Federal Government are considering whether it has a future at all when vehicle engines become so fuel efficient that the tax would have to be very high to collect enough money at all?

- Why does Auckland Council think that two road pricing options, both highly criticised in a previous report are still worth considering, especially since technology has moved in leaps and bounds since then?

- Why does Auckland Council think that if there is user pays on the roads, directly, not through fuel tax, that there shouldn't be user pays on the railways?

- Why do options to fund transport in Auckland automatically exclude any evolution of the existing road pricing type system in the form of national road user charges?  A system that now has increasing numbers of people paying through a privately provided electronic system that measures where and when vehicles use the roads, and has competitive delivery.

- Why did Auckland Council completely ignore other road pricing options used elsewhere?  Is it because its consultants know nothing about them? (I very strongly expect this)

- Why does Auckland Council think roads shouldn't be run like a business?  Just because Auckland Transport Blog wants to plan, tax motorists and subsidise public transport in its eager bright eyed bushy-tailed attempt to push people into doing what it thinks is best for them, doesn't mean people will comply, or that it is good for them.

- What is Auckland Council's view on the automation of road transport, including the increasing likelihood that road vehicles will increasingly be self-steering and self-driving, at least part of the time?  Given this could treble the capacity of existing roads,  virtually eliminating congestion, dramatically cut pollution and eliminate one of the few advantages of rail over road, why ignore it?



Saturday, April 27, 2013

Syria - Time for difficult decisions

Let's make some points very clear.

Syria's government is reprehensible.  It is a softer version of the north Korean crime family one-party state, but only in scale and depth of totalitarianism.  Bashar Assad inherited the supreme leader role from his murderous tyrant of a father.  That family, from the Alawite minority sect has run the place for my entire lifetime.

Bashar Assad loosened the screws somewhat, but has demonstrated the typical attitude of any dictator when challenged by his subjects.  He wont step down, wont disband the secret police, wont abolish the state monopoly on media, wont legalise free speech, wont legalise competing political parties, wont hold elections.

He has spread nationalist-sectarian fear amongst Alawites, fearful that anything other than the dictatorship of his family will mean their slaughter.  He has encouraged the view that anyone who opposes his "secular" rule, is an Islamist.

Assad's regime torture and executes political opponents, and it is clear that it has used its own military to attack civilian populations to repress political dissent.  By no measure can it possibly be said to claim any moral authority, unless one adapts Mao's statement to claim morality comes from the barrel of a gun.  Human Rights Watch estimated 17,000 people 'disappeared' in Syria in the first decade of his father's rule.  In 1982 he bombed the city of Hama, slaughtering between 10,000 and 40,000 people as he suppressed an uprising by the Muslim Brotherhood.   Yes, one can't argue that the Islamists would be better, but the indiscriminate oppression was brutal on a scale that Western "peace" advocates would usually decry.

Bear in mind Syria has previously invaded and occupied Lebanon, and assassinated Lebanese politicians.  It is far from being a non-aggressive actor in the region, a point thrown by its supporters against Israel, but ignored in Syria.

Assad's regime has long been supported by the USSR and more recently Russia, and has always been anti-Western.

It is perfectly moral for Syrians to fight to overthrow this regime.  It kills, torture and imprisons those who challenge it.  Its apparent use of chemical weapons does cross a threshold, one of degree.  As chemical weapons kill and harm over a wide area indiscriminately in a way that is almost impossible to defend against.  It is a tool of mass slaughter, beyond that of conventional bombs and firearms which have very localised effects.

Providing arms or other support for the Syrian regime is being a party to this.  Russia already does this, it maintains a military base there and openly supports the regime.   Hardly surprising, since Russia is an authoritarian faux-democracy that arrests and imprisons its opponents, and has little compunction about using force against those challenging its corrupt corporatist crony-capitalist state.  

So let's not pretend that Syria should not be subject to international intervention in its civil war, it already has it.

Similarly, Qatari, Saudi and other Arab states have been arming and funding different rebel groups.  The very same states which would cite "state sovereignty" as a reason to oppose anyone interfering in their politics.

So the genie of intervention is already out of the proverbial bottle.

Should something be done?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Anzac Day 2013

Anzac Day is largely ignored in the UK.

Which is sad, given that it started by commemorating the loss of life in World War One, for Britain.

Over 17,000 New Zealanders died from fighting for the British Empire in World War One.
Over 60,000 Australians died from fighting for the British Empire in World War One.


So tomorrow I will take a moment to remember them, and all the others who died fighting.  It's a day to wear a Poppy in London, causing some to be confused and some others to smile and acknowledge, for they too, have not forgotten.

Previous posts on Anzac Day are, as always, just as applicable.  Here, here and here.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Robyn Malcolm - the classic ignorant Green airhead - loving a mass murderer

I thank Peter Cresswell for highlighting this.  It may seem like a small accident to some, but airbrushing the mass murders and starvation of millions is not that.

It's not that she denies it, or pretends it didn't happen, she's just too ignorant to know about something she decided to celebrate.

Expecting actors to come up with pearls of wisdom about politics and history is a bit like expecting them to be competent at medicine, so I'm hardly surprised that Robyn Malcolm wished the mass murderer Lenin a happy birthday.

She said Stalin, Mao, Kim Il Sung and Pol Pot were very different from Lenin.

Brainless bint.

She is espouses the classic far left myth that Lenin's revolution was some glorious popular revolution that transformed Russia into a socialist state that was corrupted by Stalin's cruelty.

This view of history is the revisionist version that the CPSU spread after Khrushchev, as he "de-Stalinised" the country, which of course meant that instead of everyone fearing everyone else all of the time, everyone feared everyone else just some of the time.

Lenin was a monster, and airbrushing his history is a grotesque misjustice to the millions killed or starved under his misrule.

For a start, let's not forget that the Tsar was not overthrown by the Bolsheviks in October 1917, but a popular revolution in February 1917 which saw a democratically elected executive created.  In October, it was the Bolsheviks that overthrew that regime.

Beyond that the story is grim:

The "Red Terror" was Lenin's campaign to "cleanse Russia of the filth" who opposed him.

December 1917 the Cheka was established, the secret police.  It shut down all newspapers critical of the Bolsheviks and established a press monopoly, by force.  In 1919 concentration camps were set up, to place the bourgeoisie and hold them as slave labour for the revolution.  About 70,000 people were in such camps by 1923.



One shouldn't forget Lenin's famous hanging order:

Comrades! The kulak uprising in your five districts must be crushed without pity ... You must make example of these people. (1) Hang (I mean hang publicly, so that people see it) at least 100 kulaks, rich bastards, and known bloodsuckers. (2) Publish their names. (3) Seize all their grain. (4) Single out the hostages per my instructions in yesterday's telegram. Do all this so that for miles around people see it all, understand it, tremble, and tell themselves that we are killing the bloodthirsty kulaks and that we will continue to do so ... Yours, Lenin. P.S. Find tougher people

So the idea of the kulaks, the label for the hated scapegoats of the revolution popularised by Stalin, started under Lenin.

Historian Robert Gellately estimates that between 300,000-500,000 Cossacks were forcibly relocated or killed by 1920.  

In September/October 1918 10,000-15,000 were summarily executed by the Cheka.  Ownership of a business or a large house that you refused to surrender to the state (for no compensation) could be sufficient grounds to be liquidated.

Lenin, after confiscating farmland from landlords and giving it to peasants, then oppressed the peasants demanding any surplus after what they needed for their own "personal use" be sold at heavily knocked down prices to the state.  Some peasants sold produce to the black-market, and would be executed for this.  Many chose not to sell the surplus, and got it confiscated.  So they chose to simply produce less, given there was little point in working harder than was necessary to feed themselves and their families.  The resulting underproduction, and with a subsequent drought (and no surplus stock), saw the 1921 Russian Famine result. 

At least 3 million died in that famine, ameliorated only by the end of the Civil War which saw the Bolsheviks utilising the opposition (White Russian) surpluses in grain for their own needs.


Lenin repeatedly said that he would sooner the whole nation die of hunger than allow free trade in grain. In short, Lenin and his comrades knew with substantial certainty that their policies would cause widespread death from starvation. Under any sensible definition of murder, this makes Lenin the murderer of millions.

Now I don't expect Robyn Malcolm knew this, given her tweet I don't expect she's spent much time with books that don't have a lot of pictures in them.

As a result, she ought to apologise, profusely, for insulting the memory of the hundreds of thousands slaughtered by this tyrant.  A tyrant that spawned Stalin, and who then spawned 70 years of totalitarian terror spanning much of the world from Havana to Hanoi, Luanda to "Leningrad".  

It is, as if, she accidentally didn't know about the Holocaust, and it's disgusting.  

Monday, April 22, 2013

Earth Day 2013, keep it to yourself


The lights of our cities and monuments are a symbol of human achievement, of what mankind has accomplished in rising from the cave to the skyscraper. Earth Hour presents the disturbing spectacle of people celebrating those lights being extinguished. Its call for people to renounce energy and to rejoice at darkened skyscrapers makes its real meaning unmistakably clear: Earth Hour symbolizes the renunciation of industrial civilization.

I called it onanistic vileness, as it is a childish exercise in mutual gratification amongst the self righteous who have the luxury to choose to spend a short period of their comfortable lives deprived of a light bulb, a car or maybe something else they take for granted.

Children are starving in gulags in north Korea today.  Tens of thousands of them, like concentration camps, whilst most people think north Korea is a bit of a joke.

Millions of people every year get electricity to power a light enabling a child to read a book at night.

Billions of people right now are alive because electricity and man-made energy enables them to be warm, to be fed and to be sustained.

To hell with Earth Day.   Yes, pollution kills.  Yes, it is important to not destroy the environment that sustains us all, but that isn't achieved through the worship of non-production, non-technology and de-industrialisation.

However, those who propagate Earth Day are at best hypocrites, like the jetsetting, big house owning, big mouth propagandist Al Gore, and at worst destructive towards humanity, like those waging war against genetic engineering.

Abstain from consumption if you wish, but don't pretend that asceticism towards energy use, technology, production, mining or the like is doing anyone any good.  If you want look after the environment, look after your own property and campaign for property rights to be expanded, and against the abuse of the commons because they are the commons.

For those who cite science as the basis for their policy misanthropy, are more often than not as much (if not greater) abusers of science than those they condemn.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

North Korea - what's going on?

When I started studying north Korea it was the early 1990s, and few were paying attention.   Nobody paid attention then, and few pay attention now to the horrors of the totalitarian slave state that it has been for over 60 years.   The name - Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) - says much in itself.   Governments that use names to deliver messages about how utterly devoted they are to "the people" are  naturally quite the opposite.

The adjectives thrown about by the mainstream don't do justice to the place.  Stalinist?  No, the extent and efficiency of the  cultural revolution, the rewritten history and the personal cult far exceed that of Stalin, and it has now gone into two subsequent generations.   Dictatorship?  That bland term doesn't really highlight the totality of control in the DPRK.  Life there is under constant surveillance.  Totalitarian?  The DPRK should be the dictionary definition of it.

Much of the media coverage of the place focuses on how amusing it is to have a strongman leader, legions of soldiers goosestepping, and now how it is a bit of joke that he threatens to attack the United States.  Yet the DPRK isn't that funny for those living there.  

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Thatcher was allied to Reagan, but never kowtowed to the USA

The Falkland Islands.

Grenada.

Supporting the right to first use of nuclear weapons.

Repelling Iraq from Kuwait.

On all of these, Thatcher disagreed with the US President of the day.

Why?

It was principle.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Thatcher week and then some

It's been huge in the UK.  Paeans on one side, hatred on the other.  So much to read, but today's bits are

- City AM editor Alastair Heath on how the left are wrong that Thatcher's policies led to the banking crisis and as an acolyte of Hayek, she would have disapproved of the protection from moral hazard presented by the pre-crisis regulatory and monetary policy environment (and the post-crisis bailouts).

- People are organising "Thatcher death parties" which, of course, she would say is their fundamental right.  Reminding us all that to even discuss such a thing for a dead leader in the former Soviet bloc would be to risk   the secret police having one, for you, without so much laughter.  She might have wondered if they think their children and grandchildren would be proud of them, and who else they would hold such a party for, but finally that it says more of them than of her.  Highlighted is one Romany Blythe, a drama teacher who is organising a death party saying "people danced when Hitler died" and who proudly flies the red flag.

Think the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust might invite this vapid empty head to meet some people who can tell her what Hitler was like.  She's prove beyond doubt that Thatcher's biggest mistake was not to privatise education.

- The Adam Smith Institute take on current popular UK leftwing pinup Owen Jones on "something called facts", which as a child of communist parents Jones finds get in the way of a good bashing of capitalism.

Meanwhile...

Here is the intellectual depth of most of the hatred of Thatcher



Meanwhile, George Galloway, sympathiser of Saddam Hussein, supporter of "accepting" the election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the man who said the Syrian people are "lucky" to have Bashar Assad as their leader (and who calls out Western intervention wherever he finds it, but is curiously silent about Russia's intervention in Syria, has done one better.

He now sympathises with North Korea with its "innocent and pristine" culture.... of locking up children as political prisoners for the sins of their family.   Of course he still trots out the North Korean line that the USA started the Korean War, a piece of propaganda disproved by the opening of the Soviet archives and even more recently by a few Chinese academic pronouncements.

- Christine Lagarde and the IMF warn against what monetary policy retard Russel Norman is proposing.  Money printing is creating a timebomb (City AM) warning it will be hard to reverse these policies when it is needed without there being a profound market reaction (i.e. bursting bubble)