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The Tally Ho

Monday, October 09, 2006

The long dark teatime of the soul.

(This is a guest post by the lovely and talented janeorben.)

I'm sick. As sick as I've been since I lived in Korea! That's what I get for teaching. :-) But who cares about such small things as my personal health - North Korea just tested a nuke!

Yup, NK finally did it. And now they're offering nukes to any nutjob with enough money to buy one. If this problem isn't nipped in the bud soon, I'm pretty much resigned to having a nuclear attack on some Western, probably American, city in the next 10 years. And as the analysts keep shouting, and our administration keeps plugging its ears, military force only increases terrorism.

And, yes, I do put part of the blame on President George W. Bush's shoulders. Clinton had worked hard to diplomatically deal with North Korea (not an easy thing to do), and in those negotiations had promised them a powerplant to help with their energy crisis. But then Bush got into office, refused to fullfill Clinton's offer, and then started shooting his mouth off about an "axis of evil". Then he launched a pre-emptive war with Iraq.

So of course North Korea pulled out of the nonproliferation nuclear treaty. Of course North Korea got fast and furious about finishing up their nukes. Of course North Korea has been beating its chest and talking smack about America. They will do everything in their power to avoid being next on the USA's hit list, and also to keep their own economy afloat so their government doesn't collapse. Now that they have nukes, nobody will risk attacking them. And now that the legit powers in the world won't aid them, they will turn back to selling arms to less scrupulous powers. Why should they care where they get the money?

Gee, Mr. Bush, now on top of a healthcare crisis, skyrocketing college tuition prices, an insane amount of national debt, and fear of corporations taking over the Internet and thereby limiting the ability of grassroots organization and independent media circulation, I get to feel a lot less safe from foreign attack too - thanks!

Now step in the other regional powers, and they perhaps say; the enemy of my enemy is my friend? http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Korea/HJ10Dg03.html

This grand idiocy on the part of NK seems to be inspiring China (NK's longtime friend), South Korea (who has been working at reconcilliation with NK for 10 years) and Japan (longtime enemy of both China and both Koreas) to work together against NK. This could be a good or bad thing, the question is will the three use sanctions against NK (it's not like the aid ever reaches the starving people anyway) or whether this will start an arms race in the region where Japan and possibly even SK attempt to develop their own nukes.

*sigh* I'm going back to bed now.

(read janeorben's other posts here: http://janeorben.livejournal.com/ Thanks for letting me re-post!)

Sunday, October 08, 2006

On Foley

The best things I've read on the Foley scandal are Bitch PhD's analysis of the conservatives' attempt to invert the public and private spheres, and Hanne Blank's social critique putting Foley's bad behavior into perspective as a stinkpot being led by his dick, while recognizing our society's penchant for panic around anything which smacks of Teh Gay or Teh Teen Sex.

In public, everyone wants to talk about this man, from the NPR gurus commenting over and over on how ugly this political race and every other has gotten in the past month* to the knitters recalling their own young-professional ordeals trying to outrun the smarmy lech at the office. I get it, I really do. Foley is a dirty old man. If we're smart, we can examine this national obsession critically to learn something about our own culture. If we're even smarter, we'll stop giving Foley air time and start talking about the Military Commissions Act already.
*I heard this same report three days running on Morning Edition. "Local X race turns to mudslinging!" Is this really still news?