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Belmont Club

The Honorable Mister Bad Guy

December 12th, 2013 - 4:08 pm

A few months ago the Telegraph reported that North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un’s ex-girlfriend and a dozen of her friends were executed by machine gun for pornographic crimes. “All 12 were machine-gunned three days later, with other members of North Korea’s most famous pop groups and their immediate families forced to watch. The onlookers were then sent to prison camps, victims of the regime’s assumption of guilt by association, the reports stated. ”

That’s a heck of a way to break up with your ex. But it’s North Korea and people do things differently there. Just now the wires say Kim has struck again. This time he’s executed his uncle.

The announcement came only days after Pyongyang announced through state media that Jang Song Thaek — long considered the country’s No. 2 power — had been removed from all his posts because of allegations of corruption, drug use, gambling, womanizing and leading a “dissolute and depraved life.”

The state news agency KCNA said a tribunal examined Jang’s crimes, including “attempting to overthrow the state by all sorts of intrigues and despicable methods with a wild ambition to grab the supreme power of our party and state.”

The report called him “a traitor to the nation” and “worse than a dog.”

One moment Jang Song Thaek bestrode the world. Then a few days ago the secret police came up to the old geezer at a Party meeting and dragged him off.  Well that’s one less card to send this Christmas, I mean Holiday Season.

Indignant protesters can safely throw shoes at John Howard or George Bush yelling “Hitler” precisely because they know they ain’t.  If they threw shoes at a real Kim Jong-un — or Hitler — the results would be rather different.  We throw shoes at those we are sure won’t strike back. The guilty we call Mr Honorable Excellency.

I'm your bro, not your uncle

I’m your bro, not your uncle

Recently 13 journalistic organizations, including the BBC, Atlantic, Washington Post, Reuters, AP and the New York Times composed a letter to the Syrian rebels requesting assurances they would not be kidnapped. It said “we believe it is imperative for the leadership of the armed opposition to commit itself to assuring that journalists can work within Syria, secure from kidnapping.”

The press regularly sends the most obsequious and fawning letters to groups they describe as the “armed opposition”, “militants” or something similarly grand.  But they reserve their terms of opprobrium for the US Armed Forces  – those brutal, war-crime committing, imperialist running dogs — for the simple reason they know the opposite is true.

You’d never insult an armed force that would actually shoot you.

Things are rather less contrived in places where political correctness does not yet reign. There raw passions  rule. The Associated Press reported that “African peacekeepers fired into the air Thursday in Central African Republic’s chaotic capital, trying to disperse a mob bent on hunting down and killing Muslims taking refuge in a church compound.”

That lead paragraph is so wrong it is difficult to imagine it being published in any normal Western newspaper. But it is no less perplexing than this headline. “Syrian opposition seeks Islamists’ protection against al Qaeda”.

(Reuters) – Syria’s Western-backed opposition said on Thursday its military arm had invited Islamist fighters to secure its weapons depots on the Turkish frontier after an attack by al Qaeda militants.

The United States and Britain suspended non-lethal aid to northern Syria after reports that Islamic Front forces had taken buildings belonging to the coalition’s Syrian Military Council (SMC) in Bab al-Hawa on the border with Turkey.

The need to survive makes strange bedfellows.  Things don’t always work according to the narrative.  But they work according to the laws of physics.  Fantasy is a luxury good that can only be enjoyed in the absence of consequences.

Put it there pardner

Put it there pardner

The population of the West would be astonished at how brutish life can be in those bucolic countries which the Left perpetually idealizes.  The Dear Abby problems of life in Syria. “In Syria, Be Careful Who You Behead — Mistaken execution pits Islamist rebels against each other.”  Good advice. Clip it out and keep it in your wallet. You may need it in Syria.

In the West people have rather other priorities. Recently Mr. Trenton Oldfield, facing deportation for disrupting the boat race between Oxford and Cambridge appealed against his deportation to Australia on the grounds that it was “a particularly racist country”. He added:

that if deported he would be separated from his wife Deepa Naik, 36, and child. Mr Oldfield said Ms Naik had never visited Australia and couldn’t live there because some Indians in the community had suffered violent racist attacks. There was also everyday “passive water-cooler racism”, he said. “Our home is here. Australia is on the other side of the world.”

What kind of guy thinks it’s a really important cause to disrupt a boat race to protest “elitism”? What sort of person thinks Australia is worse place to live than the subcontinent?  Certainly a person who can afford to worry about such things. If he were in North Korea he’d be busy worrying about other things.

The judge granted his request and inadvertently served the ends of convenience. Mr. Oldfield will get what he wants and at least some Australians will never clap eyes on him again.

But whether the judgment served the ends of justice is a different matter. We have grown altogether too casual about the truth; far too inclined to ascribe virtue to vice and enshrine vice as virtue. The 20th century was perhaps the first time in human history when men felt entitled set aside the facts in order to serve the vanity of self-righteousness. Albert Camus, wondering how European civilization collapsed in a smoking ruin thought that perhaps it had not only lost the ability to distinguish between right and wrong, but actually exchanged their places. In the past even evil men knew they were evil; and in their depravity felt a sense of transgression.

Today we shout our inversions from the housetops.

In more ingenuous times, when the tyrant razed cities for his own greater glory, when the slave chained to the conqueror’s chariot was dragged through the rejoicing streets, when enemies were thrown to the wild beasts in front of the assembled people, the mind did not reel before such unabashed crimes, and the judgment remained unclouded. But slave camps under the flag of freedom, massacres justified by philanthropy or by a taste for the superhuman, in one sense cripple judgment. On the day when crime dons the apparel of innocence — through a curious transposition peculiar to our times — it is innocence that is called upon to justify itself.

No one apologizes any more; least of all the wicked.  We misspeak but never lie; we make excuses and evade responsibility; or worse we create new frauds to conceal the old. In place of the old injunction “go and sin no more” we have substituted the new commandment: “sin is no more.”

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Top Rated Comments   
"It is an elementary obligation of a human being to repay trust with sense of obligation and benevolence with loyalty. However, despicable human scum Jang, who was worse than a dog, perpetrated thrice-cursed acts of treachery in betrayal of such profound trust and warmest paternal love shown by the party and the leader for him."

"Jang did serious harm to the youth movement in our country, being part of the group of renegades and traitors in the field of youth work bribed by enemies. Even after they were disclosed and purged by the resolute measure of the party, he patronized those cat’s paws and let them hold important posts of the party and state."

Now he's done it. Not content with vilifying dogs, Kim has dragged in the cats. But seriously, I haven't seen this style of writing since I had to read the commie bulletins from the 1970s. Down with the renegade running dog capitalist roaders! Long live the great, glorious and correct Korean Worker's Party! Uphold the hero of the socialist masses, champion of the toilers, workers and peasants, Comrade Kim Jong-un!

Where do they find people who actually write like this? To do this properly you have to jump up at a party meeting, as if propelled by a spring, head slightly raised, back arched shouting these cadences hortatorically.

I have had the great good fortune of getting a bellyful of this completely maniacal insanity such that no amount of persuasion can ever convince me that it is any more than a mental disease. It fills me with unimaginable horror to realize that some educated Westerners actually believe this stuff. Boy, you'll be sorry.

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1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment

elkhong beat me to it. Does Fat Kim, after Big Kim and Lil Kim, have a horse or sister?

Can someone explain why thugs and tyrants insult people by calling them "worse than dogs?" Thank God I don't have to live in a country where the Leader insults our best friends or even eats them. Oh, never mind.

We see the phenomenon of moral inversion in everyday business. HR will destroy someone who curses in private but is blind to blatant abuse, if delivered by people with the special racial religious or sexual ticket.

China likes having Kim as a dog to threaten the RoKs and Japan but this could blow up on them. If the NorK regime implodes or if China decides that they can do without them, maybe to drive a wedge between the RoKs and Japan, and pulls the plug what will happen? China must see to it that refugees do not flood into Manchuria. Sending them South though will not facilitate a warming between Beijing and Seoul. What China needs is a soft landing for the North that builds bridges to the South. Their current strategy of threatening everybody, the RoKs Japan PI and Vietnam, is doing the opposite.

By the way, while our SecState may have a hard time finding it on a map Thailand may be imploding. How does China factor into this? Perhaps John Boy can go looking for answers in his magic hat.

Remember that John Kennedy said of a meeting of Nobel Prize winners, "I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered at the White House - with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone." What would an Obama Cabinet meeting with Joe Biden present qualify as?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment

Western civilization has reached the point where there is no room for proportionality. In the minds of most the disruption of the life style of the snail darter is a tragedy, while the killing of millions of pre-born babies is viewed as a constitutional right. There is no one and no thing that is not worthy of our compassion.

We mourn for Kim’s dead uncle
We care for Oldfield too
We sneer at Oxbridge and the boys
Who make up each boat’s crew
We’re filled with much compassion
For thugs without reserve
Who can’t be blamed for what they do
Or get what they deserve
We justify the trespass
Forgive the ones who kill
We pay for those who will not work
And scorn the ones who will

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (41)
All Comments   (41)
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America is the only moral country on earth. The rest of the world is hopelessly unfixable. We tried to fix it in a moral manner, and it didn't "take." Keeping the sea lanes open as the benign superpower earned us worldwide hatred. Islam is an utter basket case that turns any society where it is the majority into a sh!thole.

I view the ascendancy of China as a good thing, particularly in the Middle East. China vigorously cracks down hard on their own "restive" Muslims, and has an official policy of supporting atheism, using extreme deadly force if necessary. They are not deluded by the hallucination that Islam can be reformed, or that it is amenable to civilized government. They vigorously supported Syria's use of chemical weapons against civilians. They have the world's largest land army. It is plain the Chinese could effectuate a savage and no-holds-barred takeover of the oil lands and the utter permanent demolition of Islam, to the betterment of the whole world.

Japan and South Korea and the Philippines luxuriated and economically prospered under the free umbrella of US protection, and developed virulent strains of Anti-Americanism. The Philippines kicked Americans out of many important bases as they placed "anti-colonialism" as their primary ideology. They can now pay their own way against an assertive China.

The US needs to withdraw into its own borders and let China go about doing what needs done.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Every time I hear someone say this, I think about F2as fighting Zeros at Midway, and the civilian contractors working with Marines at Wake to emplace their coastal guns while VMF-211 tried to protect them with only F4Fs armed (4) .30s. How many Marines died because a bunch of civilians with their heads stuck, eh, well.

Put a son, a daughter or yourself in harms way first, then you can preach about how great it would be if we pretended the rest of the world doesn't exist and by-the-way, lets also go back to a 5th rate military, because that illusory world will never throw up a would be Alexander or lesser being interested in using violence to advance her country's interests against ours, and I might take you seriously.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
...The US needs to withdraw into its own borders and let China go about doing what needs done.

That's not a good idea, and it puts us in an absurdly inferior position to the rest of the world, which simply is no longer what it was in 1800.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Wretchard says: The 20th century was perhaps the first time in human history when men felt entitled to set aside the facts in order to serve the vanity of self-righteousness.

Heh. New York's self-anointed elites are getting slammed good and hard by the ACA: "With Affordable Care Act, Canceled Policies for New York Professionals"

"Many in New York’s professional and cultural elite have long supported President Obama’s health care plan. But now, to their surprise, thousands of writers, opera singers, music teachers, photographers, doctors, lawyers and others are learning that their health insurance plans are being canceled and they may have to pay more to get comparable coverage, if they can find it. They are part of an unusual informal health insurance system that has developed in New York in which independent practitioners were able to get lower insurance rates through group plans, typically set up by their professional associations or chambers of commerce. That allowed them to avoid the sky-high rates in New York’s individual insurance market, historically among the most expensive in the country.

But under the Affordable Care Act, they will be treated as individuals, responsible for their own insurance policies. For many of them, that is likely to mean they will no longer have access to a wide network of doctors and a range of plans tailored to their needs. . . . The predicament is similar to that of millions of Americans who discovered this fall that their existing policies were being canceled because of the Affordable Care Act. The crescendo of outrage led to Mr. Obama’s offer to restore their policies, though some states that have their own exchanges, like California and New York, have said they will not do so.

But while those policies, by and large, had been canceled because they did not meet the law’s requirements for minimum coverage, many of the New York policies being canceled meet and often exceed the standards, brokers say. The rationale for disqualifying those policies, said Larry Levitt, a health policy expert at the Kaiser Family Foundation, was to prevent associations from selling insurance to healthy members who are needed to keep the new health exchanges financially viable.

Siphoning those people, Mr. Levitt said, would leave the pool of health exchange customers 'smaller and disproportionately sicker,' and would drive up rates."

World's smallest violin playing in the background, I do believe.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Oh, no, it's not THAT big.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All those amenorrheic ballerinas with their bad feet and ankles, no doctor (sigh)
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Per Drudge the Chinese are ramping up the tensions in the South China Sea. They are playing the near miss games we had with the Soviets in the '60s, dangerous games that led to the first and only Navy to Navy treaty in the world.

Prior to that we (both sides) would point weapons, find-but-not-lock fire controls, play ECM games etc. Heck, I even outfitted a cold storage unit on the deck of a USNS tanker with coat hanger antenna wires just to give them something to photograph and send to Moscow.

The USN has been there and done that, and in the process maintained freedom of navigation...absolutely nothing new here, except the Obama administration.

(The particular article began raging on about guns and gun ranges, worrying about Chinese 37mm deck guns against 'lightly armored destroyers' and comparing to our 5' (127mm) guns. Seems no one has ever heard of Harpoon. What maroons)
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
We played those games off of Sakhalin in the aftermath of the KAL 007 shootdown. It was fun. Three American frigates versus something like 60 Soviet ships, escorts, and small boats. The SOP would be a Soviet warship passing close by the ships towing the side scan sonar and severing the cables, or bearing down on a collision course with Japanese civilian observers vessels. We had several incidents where we WERE were loaded, locked, cocked, and ready to rock, including weapons locks, and a few seconds one way or the other during aggressive acts by the Soviets would have resulted in an armed response from the USN. Of course, we knew that we wouldn't survive the encounter if the Soviets decided to escalate, with their control of the air. We were there to "protect and defend", not really to project power. We were the "bright red line" the Soviet's would have to cross to seriously thwart recovery efforts.

Good times! The Chinese are playing with fire. It's a bit scary, because it tells us that they really think their Navy is ready to play with the big boys, and worse, that they need to prove it. A collision at sea is the least-worse case scenario. How about a USN fast attack sub putting a couple of fish into one of their destroyers or frigates if they, or example, attempt a USS Pueblo style intervention on one of the USNS observation ships out there?

I don't think that the USN will be caught flat footed, but then with the big Zero in the White House, who knows what kind of idiotic ROE the CO's are operating under.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I was commissioned in 1971, 42 years ago.
There are no flag officers left out of my year group.
In fact, most active flag officers were commissioned between 1980 and 1990. That means they were selected between 2005 to date, thus serving as senior wanna bes under Clinton and Admirals under His O'ness, and no memory of the Soviets.
I worry.
'Course we could send the women....Kim would like it.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
''...except the Obama administration'' and its ('born to be') Sinkretary of State John F. Kerrier.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment

Mix's attorneys have asked the judge to throw out the government's case before it gets sent to the jury under rule 29.

"We all respect our courts and everyone wants justice. Justice in this case is knowing that the government went after the wrong guy and the sooner they realize it, the sooner they can go after some real bad guys. Katz summed that up when he said in the hearing, “… as an American citizen, I cannot believe that my Department of Justice thinks that that is the case that can go to the jury. I cannot believe it.” Well the Department of Justice prosecutors believe it, it has yet to be determined in the Department of Justice judge believes it.

Judge Duval has promised to make a ruling prior to the jury deliberating on Monday. About his pending decision he told the respective lawyers, “The Court has its own obligations and my ruling may be ultimately one that neither of you can believe as an American citizen or a lawyer.”

Trial resumes today as the defense calling three witnesses (none of whom will be Mix) before closing its case … closing arguments on Monday."
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
There is something worse than Rob Ford being an embarrassment to Canadian voters – what if he isn't an embarrassment to Canadian voters?

I would like to think that Kim Jong Un is an embarrassment to tyrants, if not for his brutality, then for his atrociously bad taste. (Seriously... Dennis Rodman?) The question, though, is whether Kim Jong Un is actually an embarrassment to tyrants.

A scene from the Chinese film “The Last Emperor” showed court eunuchs telling their puppet how he was all-powerful. So, the child emperor ordered one of his eunuchs to drink green ink. The order was obeyed to keep up the charade. By now, I would not be surprised if Kim Jong Un were to command one of his courtiers to drink green ink. He is like a little boy who does not know his limits.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Say what you will about Caligula, but at least he knew how to take out his relatives with style.

A bullet in the middle of the night, feh. This Kim clan has got no class at all. They're an embarrassment to megalomaniacal dictators everywhere.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
W: "I have had the great good fortune of getting a bellyful of this completely maniacal insanity such that no amount of persuasion can ever convince me that it is any more than a mental disease. "

Maybe today's western analog of the barking Korean socialist is the "Climate Change" bore or the homosexual activist. In times past, the same kind of westerner would have been a dedicated member of the Young Communists or the Hitler Youth. And in an earlier era, that same kind of person would have been a hard line Calvinist or a member of the Spanish Inquisition.

Perhaps there is a certain personality type which is attracted to exercising power over other human beings -- even though most of those types of peope personally will remain what Stalin so dismissively referred to as "Useful Idiots".

If so, the challenge for the rest of us is to find some way to channel that wierd personality type into something positive for the rest of the human race. Could a very smart leader ever scam them into believing that their destiny is to reduce the size & scope of overbearing government?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
This, and we've been intercepting Russian bombers on the edge of our own ADIZ near Alaska. Gee, what does this remind me of? I think we've all seen this movie before, but we don't have a Reagan in the White House, nor a Clancy to document...
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The reason those guys in Wretchard's mental pictures' dark corners, spring up, chins high, backs arched, and shout to the rooftops the glorious slogans:


(a couple paras, ellipse between):

A carefully crafted description of sluggish schizophrenia established that psychotic symptoms were non-essential for the diagnosis, but symptoms of psychopathy, hypochondria, depersonalization or anxiety were central to it.[45] Symptoms referred to as part of the "negative axis" included pessimism, poor social adaptation, and conflict with authorities, and were themselves sufficient for a formal diagnosis of "sluggish schizophrenia with scanty symptoms."[45] According to Snezhnevsky, patients with sluggish schizophrenia could present as quasi sane yet manifest minimal but clinically relevant personality changes which could remain unnoticed to the untrained eye.[45] Thereby patients with non-psychotic mental disorders, or even persons who were not mentally sick, could be easily labelled with the diagnosis of sluggish schizophrenia.[45] Along with paranoia, sluggish schizophrenia was the diagnosis most frequently used for the psychiatric incarceration of dissenters.[45]


In particular, the scope was widened by sluggish schizophrenia because according to Snezhnevsky and his colleagues, patients with this diagnosis were capable of functioning almost normally in the social sense.[44] Their symptoms could be like those of a neurosis or could assume a paranoid character.[44] The patients with paranoid symptoms retained some insight into their condition but overestimated their own significance and could manifest grandiose ideas of reforming society.[44] Thereby, sluggish schizophrenia could have such symptoms as "reform delusions," "perseverance," and "struggle for the truth."[44] As Vladimir Stayzhkin reported, Snezhnevsky diagnosed a reformation delusion for every case when a patient "develops a new principle of human knowledge, drafts an academy of human happiness, and many other projects for the benefit of mankind."[50]


One could let out a low whistle, as had Yossarian when Doc Daneeka told him about 'catch 22'.

"That's some catch, that catch 22," Yossarian had said.

"Yep," the doc had replied, "'s the best there is!"
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Buddy, circa 1960 some "experts" became convinced that in the USA we were doing the same thing as the USSR. One of tehse peopel even came from Czechlovokia and had personal experience with the Communist version of mental illness. As one highly influential member of that group put it, "We do not have sick individuals but rather a sick society."

They then succeeded in getting JFK's administration to push through a revised approach to mental illness.

And as a result we have people like John Hinkley and Adam Lanza out running around loose, with guns.

Their answer is to lock up the guns, not the nutjobs.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
''Root causes'' --yep, gotta hand it to the KGB's memetic warfare desk --it produced results. Our open society all-wired-together sure made --makes --for a handy weapon. ''Sick society'' is the perfect reverse of ''sluggish schizophrenia'' --wherein ''healthy society'' arrests anyone it pleases, and the individual's irritation at being arrested becomes the medical symptomatic proof of his 'sluggish schizophrenia'. Pretty slick.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
--i quoted several other select paras in the comments at VDH's "Learning through Pain" still up at PJM. Responding to Henry Reardon's comment, as i said there.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The thing to study is the stability of different economic systems.

They all involve payoffs according to the power of potential political enemies to avoid violence, most of the time.

A more open system is always better but not necessarily for the ones in power.

The discovery of human rights as if a priori is due to Western civilization, and is not necessarily itself stable.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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