Defense Minister Han Min-koo: South Korea Has Plan to Assassinate Kim Jong Un

1474654589546

A top South Korean defense official admitted this week that Seoul has a plan in place to assassinate North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un.

The Asia Times reported that Defense Minister Han Min-koo made the remarks Wednesday during a parliamentary meeting in the country’s capital. He was asked about rumors circulating about such a plan.

“If it becomes clear the enemy is moving to attack the South with nuclear missiles, in order to suppress its aims, the concept is to destroy key figures and areas that include the North Korean leadership.”

— Defense Minister Han Min-koo

“If it becomes clear the enemy is moving to attack the South with nuclear missiles, in order to suppress its aims, the concept is to destroy key figures and areas that include the North Korean leadership,” Han said. He said Seoul is “considering launching a Special Forces unit to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.”

Meantime, North Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs Ri Yong Ho railed against the United States in his United Nations General Assembly address, warning the U.S. of “tremendous consequences” for its aggression and justifying Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program and nuclear tests to defend North Korea from American hostility. Read the rest of this entry »


From Hiroko to Susie: The Untold Stories of Japanese War Brides

tolbertcoverimage16x9

Who are these women and what do we, their children, know about them?

Kathryn Tolbert writes: I thought she was beautiful, although I never understood why she plucked her eyebrows off and penciled them on every morning an inch higher. She had been captain of her high school basketball team in Japan, and she ran circles around us kids on a dirt court in our small town in Upstate New York. I can still see this Japanese woman dribbling madly about, yelling “Kyash! Kyash!” That’s how she said Kath, or Kathy.

[Above: Hiroko and Bill with Kathy, left, Sam and Susan. The video is the trailer to a short documentary film, “Fall Seven Times, Get Up Eight: The Japanese War Brides,” which features Hiroko and two other war brides.]

She married my American GI father barely knowing him. She moved from Tokyo to a small poultry farm just outside Elmira, N.Y., and from there she delivered eggs all over the county and into Pennsylvania. My sister describes her as having a “core of steel.” She raised us as determinedly as any mother could, and yet, looking back, I barely knew her.

Some people think the film I co-directed, “Fall Seven Times, Get Up Eight: The Japanese War Brides,” is a paean to loving Japanese mothers. When one interviewer suggested as much to me and fellow director Karen Kasmauski, we exchanged a look that said, “Shall we tell him the truth?” The film, titled after a Japanese proverb, is about strong women, for sure. Warm and loving mothers? No.

So who are these women and what do we, their children, know about them?

They are sisters and daughters of the ferocious enemy that attacked Pearl Harbor in the “day of infamy,” an enemy that surrendered four years later after waves of firebombing on Japanese cities and the dropping of atomic bombs. They married men who occupied their country and came to the United States. And then? They disappeared into America. There were tens of thousands of them, yet they vanished from public awareness — Japanese women who were barely a blip in immigration history, who married into families of North Dakota farmers, Wisconsin loggers, Rhode Island general store owners.

[Read the full story here, at The Washington Post]

They either tried, or were pressured, to give up their Japanese identities to become more fully American. A first step was often adopting the American nicknames given them when their Japanese names were deemed too hard to pronounce or remember. Chikako became Peggy; Kiyoko became Barbara. Not too much thought went into those choices, names sometimes imposed in an instant by a U.S. officer organizing his pool of typists. My mother, Hiroko Furukawa, became Susie.

How did it feel to be renamed for someone in the man’s past, a distant relative or former girlfriend? My mother said she didn’t mind, and others said it made their lives easier to have an American name.

The brides, as many as 45,000, landed in the home towns of their husbands, places where Japanese people had been visible only on World War II propaganda posters. Was their skin really yellow? One war bride in South Carolina was asked to pull up her sleeve since no yellow was visible on her hands and wrists.

Hiroko Furukawa Tolbert, 85, mother of Kathryn Tolbert, arrived in Elmira, N.Y., in 1952. Her in-laws called her Susie. (Karen Kasmauski for The Washington Post)

My mother, once a daughter of privilege, came to her in-laws’ chicken farm. She has lived in the same two square miles of countryside ever since. It has been 64 years.

[Read the full text here, at The Washington Post]

I read and reread the transcripts from interviews I had recorded with my mother when I was pregnant with my own daughter more than 20 years ago, when I realized I didn’t have even a timeline of her life. Six hours of tapes and they didn’t tell me what I now wanted to know. So I went back to her recently to try to understand what she could possibly have been thinking when she made the choice to marry an American soldier she barely knew. “I wasn’t thinking. I just had to get out,” was one of her succinct responses.

I didn’t know other women like her, although I had two journalist friends who were also daughters of Japanese war brides. When they proposed making a film about our mothers, I readily agreed because I had always wanted to tell her story. And she’s such an excellent raconteur that, sitting beside her in the film as her interviewer, I’m almost an unnecessary prop.

Read the rest of this entry »


Why Government Doubles Down on Policy Mistakes

Lawmakers, press and the public need to understand the strength of this “doubling down” phenomenon of and guard against it when adopting policy positions.

In simplified form, the dynamic runs as follows:

1)  Government, in response to a perceived need, takes action to meet that need in a manner that distorts economic behavior and produces predictable adverse effects.

2)  The public consequently experiences problems and expresses concern.

3)  The problems themselves become justification for additional government actions that worsen the distortions and the resultant problems.

4)  As problems worsen, the public more urgently demands corrective actions.

5)  Steps #3 and #4 are repeated ad infinitum.

We have seen and continue to see this dynamic operate in many areas of economic policy. To cite but a few:

Worker Health Benefits

With the best of intentions the federal government has long exempted worker compensation in the form of health benefits from income taxation. Lawmakers aren’t scaling back the flawed policy that fuels these problems.There is wide consensus among economists that the results of this policy have been highly deleterious. As I have written previously, this tax exclusion “depresses wages, it drives up health spending, it’s regressive, and it makes it harder for people with enduring health conditions to change jobs or enter the individual insurance market.” Lawmakers have reacted not by scaling back the flawed policy that fuels these problems, but rather by trying to shield Americans from the resulting health care cost increases. This has been done through the enactment of additional health programs and policies that further distort health markets and which themselves drive personal and government health spending still higher.

Federal Health Programs

The federal government has enacted programs such as Medicare and Medicaid to protect vulnerable seniors and poor Americans from ruinous health care costs.
The positive benefits of these programs co-exist with well-documented adverse effects. For example, it is firmly established that creating these programs pushed up national health spending, driving health costs higher for Americans as a whole. Consumer displeasure over these health cost increases subsequently became a rationale for still more government health spending, rather than reducing government’s contribution to the problem. Examples of this doubling down include the health exchange subsidies established under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), as well as its further expansion of Medicaid. As the problem of high health care costs remains, proposals have proliferated to expand government’s role still further; for example, some have proposed making Medicare available to the entire US population. Though intended to provide relief, such legislation inevitably adds to national health spending growth. Read the rest of this entry »


Changing Who Controls ICANN Jeopardizes Our Presidential Election

It matters to all of us whether we live in the United States or not, if a hostile country can undermine our democratic process.

There is even more alarming evidence this is happening during this election cycle.

Theresa Payton reports: Changing who controls the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) so close to our presidential election will jeopardize the results of how you vote on Nov. 8 unless Congress stops this changeover. When the calendar hits Sept. 30, a mere 6 weeks before our election, the United States cannot be assured that if any web site is hacked, the responsible party will be held accountable. We cannot be sure if a web site is a valid. We cannot be sure if one country is being favored over another. These are all the things ICANN is responsible for and has worked perfectly since the Internet was created. Why change it now and so close to the election? Why does that matter to you as a voter?

Take a look at recent cyber activity as it relates to the election. The Democratic National Convention was breached comprising the entire party’s strategy, donor base, and indeed, national convention. Everything the DNC had done to prepare for a moment four years in the making (if not longer) was undermined by a hacker who had been in their system for some time but waited for the optimal moment to spring it on the DNC – opening day of the convention. The FBI and other U.S. agencies, as the headlines blare, suspect Russia is responsible for the hack. Recently, Vladimir Putin went so far as to say, “Does it matter who broke in? Surely what’s important is the content of what was released to the public.”

It matters to all of us whether we live in the United States or not, if a hostile country can undermine our democratic process. There is even more alarming evidence this is happening during this election cycle. Russian hackers are suspected of breaching voter registration systems in Illinois and Arizona. Arizona went so far as to shut down the state’s voter registration system for a week. No data was stolen but it was downloaded. As for Illinois, some voter data was stolen!

Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Florida Debate Audience Breaks Into Laughter After Candidate Calls Hillary Clinton ‘Honest’ 

During a Florida congressional debate, the audience began to jeer and guffaw after one of candidates said he was voting for Hillary Clinton because of her honesty.

Republican Florida Congressman David Jolly is locked into a heated race with former Republican-turned-independent-turned-Democratic governor Charlie Christ in Florida’s 13th district. Monday night, the two candidates debated for the first time at St. Petersburg College.

“I am proud of Hillary Clinton. I think she’s been a very good Secretary of State, a very good senator from the state of New York,” Crist said when asked if he would vote for his party’s candidate. “The thing I like most about her is she is steady. I believe she is strong. I believe she is honest.” It was the last remark that caused a sudden swell of laughter. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] North Korea TV Show Mocks Obama

636095430257070220-screen-shot-2016-09-15-at-1-29-39-pm

“Are you all right Mr. President?” the North Korean playing a White House aide said to the other actor whose head is wrapped with a bloody bandage, NK News reported.

“I smacked my head on the bathroom floor and broke four tiles on it,” the president answered, “as I was so shocked from the North’s hydrogen bomb detonation!”

“So Mr. President, you were testing the hardness of your skull while the North was testing its hydrogen bomb? ” the aide joked, according to NK News.

“I smacked my head on the bathroom floor and broke four tiles on it, as I was so shocked from the North’s hydrogen bomb detonation!”

The 80-minute comedy show’s title roughly translates as “The stage of optimism that Songun (military-first policy) presented — Volume 11.” The skit was televised Sept. 1, according to a South Korean government database. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] The Obama legacy: More Tyranny and Chaos Abroad

Part of a magazine series examining The Obama Legacy. Read more about this series here.

In foreign affairs, unlike math, the ultimate determination of success or failure isn’t immediately obvious. Major foreign events — wars, revolutions, coup d’etats and treaties — can take a long time to play out.

csadsofweaaeldm

The Korean Conflict, once nearly as unpopular as the Vietnam War, is now probably viewed by most Americans as a “good war,” and Washington’s 63-year defense of Seoul as a worthwhile investment. Thirty-seven thousand U.S. servicemen, a number that dwarfs those killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, didn’t die in vain.

Historical judgments are temperamental and subject to change until sufficient good news or bad piles up — and even then things can change given the mood and character of the nation looking back.

[Read the full story here, at the Washington Examiner]

Few Democrats really want to expend much effort touting the foreign-policy successes of Jimmy Carter; more Democrats, but still not many, want to remember how ardently they believed Ronald Reagan would bring on Armageddon. Read the rest of this entry »


FULL-SCALE NON-STOP GLOBAL PANIC: Freaked Democrats Lash Out at Media

Shutterstock

Hillary Clinton cannot seem to seal the deal with voters, and the left is lashing out at the media in frustration.

Noah Rothmans writes: For months, frustrated liberals have bemoaned the fact that Donald Trump receives any fair coverage at all. His xenophobic policies and racially toxic rhetoric, they contend, render him beyond the pale. To “normalize” him as though he were just another politician is irresponsible, and the press should not be giving him equal footing with a more responsible candidate like Clinton.

trump-hair-tv

This view has recently received traction among liberal commentators and mainstream Democrats as it becomes ever clearer that Hillary Clinton’s post-convention halo is gone. Worse, Donald Trump continues to be mired in scandal, panic-bettyalleged misconduct, and potential fraud, and yet none of it seems to be affectinghis polling.

“He is playing you guys like a Stradivarius. Dominating news instead of Newsweek story, Trump Foundation. Pathetic.”

— the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza

Instead, superficial matters like the health of both candidates—propelled along by absurd displays like Trump’s apperance with celebrity physician Dr. Oz—are sucking up all the oxygen. These have been the prevailing conditions since Donald Trump entered the political fray, but only when Clinton became vulnerable did they become intolerable.

[Read the full story here, at commentary]

“He is playing you guys like a Stradivarius. Dominating news instead of Newsweek story, Trump Foundation,” perennial Republican critic Norman Ornstein barked at the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza. “Pathetic.”

panic-hitchcock

“[Y]ou can ask any question about Trump, Trumpism or anti-Trumpism except the existential ones,” wrote  newly minted GQ pundit Keith Olbermann, “because the existential ones could lead him to stop calling in to your morning show and providing you with your highest-rated hour for free.”

climate-freakout

[Read the full text here, at commentary]

Even President Barack Obama has become a media critic. “We cannot afford suddenly to treat this like a reality show,” Obama said, lambasting the press for covering the 2016 campaign as though both candidates were acceptable alternatives. “We can’t afford to act as if there’s some equivalence here.” Read the rest of this entry »


Should the U.S. Keep Control of Group that Handles Internet Domain Names?

tedcruzarticle2

‘Under the guardianship of the United States and the First Amendment the internet has become truly an oasis of freedom, but that could soon change.’

During an often-contentious hearing Wednesday, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, took on the Obama administration for what has become his latest signature issue: internet oversight.

“It is not a democratic body.”

— Senator Ted Cruz

The Obama administration is due to relinquish U.S. control Oct. 1 over a private-sector, nonprofit organization that administers internet domain names and designations. Cruz warned that the Internet Corp. for Assigned Names and Numbers will not on its own honor U.S. protections of free speech, and he is leading an effort to delay or stop the transfer.

0624-ANSA-NSA_Phone_Records_Big_Data_full_600

“A number of significant questions related to the transition remain unanswered, including whether the transition will yield an unconstitutional transfer of United States government property, how the transfer will affect human rights and free speech issues, if U.S.-controlled top-level domains such as .gov and .mil could be compromised or if ICANN will be subject to increased antitrust scrutiny.”

“Under the guardianship of the United States and the First Amendment the internet has become truly an oasis of freedom, but that could soon change,” Cruz said at a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight, Agency Action, Federal Rights and Federal Courts, which he chairs.

internet-freedom-medium

“It is not a democratic body,” Cruz said of the organization, which includes such internet stakeholders as Google and Facebook and is based in Los Angeles. And he warned that authoritarian countries such as China, Russia and Iran could exert control over the organization and censor internet use in their countries.

[Read the full story here, at McClatchy DC]

We are a nonpolitical technical entity. Göran Marby, CEO and president, Internet Corp. for Assigned Names and Numbers

The Obama administration maintains that the transfer involves technical matters that do not affect the substance of websites or the flow of information. Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., the ranking member on the subcommittee, said the transition was really a “clerical process.” “The United States does not own the internet,” he said.

Internet addiction is worrying China. Boot camp-style correctional facilities hope to deprogram those who live in online worlds. Source: Supplied

Cruz is poised to add an amendment to a temporary government funding bill to block the transfer – the same tactic he used in 2013 to stop funding the federal health care law, which led to a partial federal government shutdown. However, this time, Cruz has mainstream support from powerful Republicans.

[Read the full text here, at McClatchy DC]

Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, who is the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, attended the subcommittee hearing and was supportive of putting off the transfer. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Obama Talks About Himself 137 Times During Speech for Hillary 

Kyle Olson reports: Barack Obama was out stumping for the ailing Hillary Clinton today, but that didn’t stop him from talking about himself.

A lot.

The president rallied with Clinton supporters in Philadelphia and when doing so, managed to mention himself 137 times.

At one point, after running down a list of what he considered accomplishments of his presidency, someone in the audience shouted out about lower gas prices.

“Thank you for reminding me,” he replied. “Thanks, Obama,” he said to himself. Read the rest of this entry »


Reason to Avoid Quarreling

img_0552


South China Morning Post Closes its Chinese-Language Websites Without Warning

South_china_morning_post_cover.jpg

Things just keep getting worse and worse for Hong Kong’s paper of record.

Now, if you try to log onto South China Morning Post‘s Chinese-language news site or lifestyle site you are redirected to the paper’s English-language website and informed that SCMP’s Chinese-language services have been closed in order to better “integrate resources.” The message concludes, “We thank you for your past support.”

scmp_chinese_gone.jpg

And just like that years of Chinese-language reporting by the SCMP has been wiped out. Current and former employees told Quartz that they were not told in advance about the decision to close the site. This is backed up by the fact that SCMP’s Chinese-language news site, nanzao.com, was still posting stories on Facebook as late as this afternoon. Read the rest of this entry »


BEHOLD Hillary Clinton’s Spectacular Feat of Superhuman Strength! 

strength feat

Take that, you conspiracy mongering kooks!

The tables turned on her detractors after it was revealed she was maintaining a grueling work schedule while battling pneumonia.

Peter Daou, with a straight face, apparently, reports:

September 11 was a wild day in campaign 2016. After Hillary Clinton overheated and became weak at a 9/11 ceremony, an ugly feeding frenzy ensued that capped weeks of increasingly shrill conspiracy-mongering about her health...(read more) Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] What is Social Justice? 

yale-university-social-justice-rally-ap-640x480

“Social Justice” is a term you hear almost every day. But did you ever hear anybody define what it actually means? Jonah Goldberg of the American Enterprise Institute tries to pin this catchall phrase to the wall. In doing so, he exposes the not-so-hidden agenda of those who use it. What sounds so caring and noble turns out to be something very different.


[VIDEO] DIPLOMACY! Montage: 18 Times Obama Trashed America in Asia

Here are 18 separate attacks he unloaded while in China and Laos:

  1. There are still too many poor children in the United States
  2. Too many children in America are not getting enough to eat
  3. Despite America’s wealth, we’re not providing sufficient educational resources in poor communities
  4. America lacks the “political will” to help poor inner cities that have suffered discrimination.
  5. Americans are “lazy” in thinking we don’t need to learn about foreign nations.
  6. Colin Kapernack is justified protesting the National Anthem, as the NFL star is raising “real, legitimate issues” about things America needs to be talked about.
  7. America suffers from racism, conflicts between ethnic groups, and discrimination against immigrants.
  8. Criticisms of America being imperfect and having problems with racism discrimination are accurate.
  9. America still has “situations where women are not treated equally.”
  10. America “didn’t think through” our policy in Vietnam War, as dropping cluster bombs proved counterproductive to “winning hearts and minds.”
  11. America’s treatment of Native Americans was “tragic.” Read the rest of this entry »

Bill Clinton, After Needlessly Smearing Opponents as Racists, Gets Defensive

defensive-clinton

In a series of swing-state appearances this week, Mr. Clinton struck back at criticism of the family foundation, by turns sarcastic and almost pleading.

At last, Bill Clinton could not help himself.

He paced the stage during a speech on Tuesday in North Carolina, holding his microphone close. He raised his left index finger. And at once, the meandering address turned sharply, and without prompting, to his charitable foundation, a magnet for criticism in recent weeks.

“We live in a Snapchat-Twitter world,” Mr. Clinton lamented, tilting his head theatrically — a septuagenarian embracing his age, decades after reveling in saxophone cool.

“It’s so much easier,” he said, “just to discredit people and call them names.”

isis-bill-clinton-575x340

For Mr. Clinton and his extended circle, this election has at times felt like a campaign devised to discredit the former president and call him names.

And after more than a year of uncharacteristic restraint — a notable shift from eight years ago, when his simmering instincts often burdened Hillary Clinton’s first presidential run — Mr. Clinton seems to have had enough.

“Did I solve every problem? No,” he told a crowd on Wednesday in Orlando, Fla. “Did I get caught trying? You bet.” Read the rest of this entry »


Good News! 29% of Doctors Polled by the Association of American Say Hillary’s Health Concerns ‘Not Serious’

smoking-relaxing-drs-orders

TUCSON, Ariz., Sept. 8, 2016, PRNewswire reports:  Concerns about Hillary Clinton’s health are “serious—could be disqualifying for the position of President of the U.S.,” say nearly 71% of 250 physicians responding to an informal internet surveyby the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS). About 20% said concerns were “likely overblown, but should be addressed as by full release of medical records.” Only 2.7% responded that they were “just a political attack; I have confidence in the letter from her physician and see no cause for concern.”

hillary-cough-cough

While more than 81% were aware of her history of a concussion, only 59% were aware of the cerebral sinus thrombosis, and 52% of the history of deep venous thrombosis.

More than 78% said the health concerns had received “not enough emphasis” in the media, and only 2.7% 1208_angry-doctor_400x400-300x300that there had been “too much emphasis.”

Nearly two-thirds said that a physician who had a concern about a candidate’s fitness to serve for health reasons should “make the concerns known to the public.” Only 11% said a physician should “keep silent unless he had personally examined the patient,” and 10% that the candidate’s health was “off limits for public discussion.”

Eighty-eight respondents submitted comments. One said that “the public interest will ALWAYS override either privacy rights or rights of self-determination in the case of a presidential candidate.” Another mentioned Clinton’s “so called loss of memory claimed during her FBI questioning about her email server.” Beyond the specific questions, one remarked that “I think that the candidate should be honest with the public about his/her health!” The history of the concussion was concerning: “The public must watch the movie Concussion to realize that such an injury does affect thought process.”

drudge-health

poll of 833 randomly selected registered voters by Gravis Marketing showed that nearly half (49%) were not aware of the “well documented major health issues that Hillary Clinton has.” Nearly three-fourths (74%) were unaware of Bill Clinton’sstatement that Hillary suffered a “terrible” concussion requiring “six months of very serious work to get over.” The majority (57%) thought that candidates should release their medical records. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Krauthammer: It’s Obvious Obama ‘Did Not Want Anybody to Know’ About Iran Ransom

Arguing that the Obama administration is affected by the Iran payment, Charles Krauthammer said that the information as well as how it came to light are humiliating.

Obama-and-Ben-Rhodes