Wednesday, January 22, 2003

Extra! Media is missing a potential story in the making!
Yet more evidence for the "North Korea is getting unstable" theory.
Last year, 1,141 North Koreans defected to South Korea, most of them through China. The number was a sharp increase from the 583 in 2001, up from the 312 in 2000 and 148 in 1999.
I'm getting increasingly suspicious about this, especially right after I found out about the new chinese program mentioned in my previous post. Just how stable is North Korea?

Monday, January 20, 2003

Here is an interesting story I found on Google that sheds some new light on the Bush North Korean Policy:
Chinese Policemen rounded up 58 refugees from North Korea
Chinese police have rounded up 58 North Koreans preparing to make what would have been an unprecedented and daring mass escape to freedom in South Korea and Japan, international refugee activists said on Monday.
Fascinating stuff, but in another article, I found this little statistic:
China, the statement said, launched a massive manhunt for North Korean hideouts in early December and deported thousands to their homeland.
As of mid-January, 3,200 North Korean civilians in China were "repatriated as a result of this so-called 100-day campaign," the group said.
Its statement said 1,300 others were awaiting deportation in detention centers in Tumen and Longjing, along the border with North Korea.

Now why is China launching a "massive manhunt" for these North Korean refugees at this moment?
Because there are a lot more refugees in the past few months than there have been in quite some time. Why would there be more refugees? My guess is that the regime in North Korea might be less stable than people think. I mean, if this increased refugee rate is resulting after only a couple a months of the "no aid" policy of the U.S., what is going to happen in six?

Thursday, November 28, 2002

Machinists reject concessions, increase odds of UAL bankruptcy
In rejecting wage and benefit concessions early Thursday morning, a group of machinists at United Airlines has increased the chance that the world's second-largest air carrier will be forced to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy just as the busy holiday travel season begins.
The rejection comes as United is facing a Monday deadline for making a $375 million debt payment. United officials said Thursday that they would decide on Monday whether to make the payment or take advantage of a 10-day grace period.

Bankrupting the corporation that pays you? Now that's really, really, dumb.

About 160 people have fallen sick aboard a Disney boat.
Frankly, anybody who goes onto the same boat with a giant rodent is begging for the plague.
Christopher Hitchens wrote a lette explaining why he left The Nation. In the letter, he illustrates what is wrong with much of the left today.
At public forums in the past several months, debating with Oliver Stone in one case and with Michael Moore in another, and with several others in between, I have heard witless applause for fatuous debating points and for fatal casuistry, and have realized that I am hearing the magazine's propaganda and attitude being played back to me. It may now seem trite to say that September 11 and other confrontations "changed everything." For me, it didn't so much change everything as reinforce something. I am against aggressive totalitarian states and I am resolutely opposed to religious fanaticism. I am also sickened by any attempt to call these hideous things by other names. Most especially in its horrible elicitation of readers' letters on the anniversary of September 11, The Nation joined the amoral side. It's the customers I want to demoralize, not just the poor editors. I say that they stand for neutralism where no such thing is possible or desirable, and I say the hell with it.
Powerful stuff.

Tuesday, November 19, 2002

Observant folks might be able to tell that I have changed my title. Tell me what you think of it.

Monday, November 18, 2002

Nearly three million dollars worth of equipment has gone missing from Los Alamos National Labratory.
Gee, if they keep this up, they might be half as bad as the EU when it comes to keeping track of money.
Oh, this makes me soooo confident in the inspectors abilites.
Inexperience marks team of inspectors
As the first UN inspectors land in Baghdad and resume work halted in 1998, they will have newer technology and a no-holds-barred mandate. But they will be lacking in one crucial area: experience.
Seventy-five percent of the roughly 270 UN inspectors from 48 countries will be visiting Iraq for the first time.
"It can be very disorienting to be in Iraq, and almost everything we saw was ambiguous," says Jonathan Tucker, a former UN bioweapons inspector. An inspector "may go into a facility and feel something is not quite right.... There can be very subtle clues of illicit weapons production. It's a very challenging task, especially if Iraq plans to conceal things."

75% percent of the inspectors have never been in Iraq? I wouldn't accept that figure for a group of tour guides, much less an inspection force pitted against the Iraqi army.

Sunday, November 17, 2002

A senior Al-Queda member has been arested in Yemen.
Suck it, Osama!
President Bush: "I loathe Kim Jong II. — I've got a visceral reaction to this guy because he is starving his people. It appalls me. — I feel passionate about this. — They tell me, well we may not need to move too fast, because the financial burdens on people will be so immense if this guy were to topple. — I just don't buy that."
(I got the quote here.)
The Iranian government blinked first.
Sucks to be Gore!
Only 1/3 of the Democratic party thinks that Gore should run again for President.
Abba Eban, Israel's most eloquent diplomat, has died at the ripe old age of 87. Abba Eban was an enourmously gifted speaker and writer who was invaluable in making the case for Israel. He was by all accounts, an extrodinary man. Say the kaddish for him if you can.

Wednesday, November 13, 2002

Bush has asked Congress to shift $49 million dollars away from the INS and give it to a new task force that would track immigrants with potential ties to terrorism.
Hopefully, this is the start of the complete replacement of the current INS with an agency that can at least grant visas to suspected terrorists in a timely manner.