Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Those Who Are In Charge

I thought this picture was really interesting. It's a shot from Earth's orbit of the power usage of North and South Korea. It helps illustrate a lot about the country's (North) lack of development. The CIA estimates that GDP in North Korea was $1800 per capita, which is comparable to what the GDP in the US was back in...1847. Unreal. (HT: Mark Perry at this post).

The editors at NRO have come out with this statement about how the US needs to take advantage of the shifting of power in that country due to the death of Kim Jong Il and apply some real pressure so that the country can make some real advancements.

It's amazing what is done by those who are in power. North Korea has been selling nuclear arms to hostile countries, it has openly killed South Koreans, and no one will do a thing about it. They are a legitimate threat to our peace, no matter how small or insignificant they might seem. And even if they're not, they're a threat to their own people, right? This is the kind of case when it illustrates just how off base Ron Paul is as a viable candidate for the POTUS. He does have a lot of views that are quite commendable, but his stance on isolationism for the United States is completely unacceptable. It is not simply a matter of, if we leave them alone, they will leave us alone. That wasn't the case with either of the World Wars, and more recently with the terrorism that has visited our shores. Enough about that though...

I meant to get to this little excerpt about the treatment of a Chinese dissident:
According to reliable sources, Huang, while in prison, was transferred to the Liyang Psychiatric Hospital in Changzhou because he appealed his sentence and refused to kneel on one knee while speaking with prison authorities. After being returned to prison, he was placed in the strict supervision block, where he was subjected to torture and physical and verbal abuse, including beating, being shocked with an electric baton on his legs and mouth, having his toes crushed, and solitary confinement. During this period, he was forced to run 150 laps a day on gravel, and, when he could not run anymore, was dragged through gravel, which tore through his clothes.

The abuses and torture resulted in torn cartilage in both of his knees and torn ligaments in his legs. He developed traumatic arthritis and inflammation of the joints. At his worst moment, he was unable to stand to walk and lost some of his ability to care for himself. The prison hospital refused him treatment.
Again, this is from those who hold all of the cards. Even actor Christian Bale tried to visit a Chinese dissident and he was strong-armed by plain clothes officers of the Chinese government to leave the premises.

It's scary how much real evil is out there. Another example? Take Egypt. Read this post for more news on the crackdown on protests there, but I think more useful is the recent appearance by the interim Egyptian Prime Minister who broke down and wept openly in front of journalists, saying that the Egyptian economy is "worse than anyone imagines." It's really something for the leader of a nation to have that kind of breakdown in public. For more on that story, go here.

Anyway, that's a lot of what's wrong in the world.

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