The Questions We Should Be Asking About North Korea

The Questions We Should Be Asking About North Korea

Sorry James Franco, no jokes here.
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In 2014, James Franco and Seth Rogen released a comedy movie that changed American diplomacy with North Korea forever entitled "The Interview". The movie dictates the story of a popular TV-host named Dave Skylark, played by James Franco who travels to North Korea after receiving word that the infamous dictator is a "super-fan" of Skylark's night-show. There, Skylark and his team plan to film the most eventful interview in TV history with the most mysterious world leader.

Aside from the PG13 humor and the usual sexual innuendos, the movie continuously mocks and derides the North Korean government and Kim Jung Un's administration. This movie is downright funny. Any country so cut-off from the world led by a man with a striking hairstyle like that is bound to be subject matter for comedians around the world. Plus, who doesn't love Seth Rogen or James Franco?

However, my problem is not with the content of "The Interview" but rather its effect: that Americans view North Korea as nothing more than a idiotic buffoonery led by its ringleader Kim Jung Un. And Kim Jung Un, he's just borderline insane. I mean, that is the only logical conclusion to make after he brainwashed his entire country, forcing them to believe he is the next Messiah, that North Korean propaganda movies are way better than anything on Netflix, and that Americans are to be blamed for every atrocity North Korea has faced. Is it even possible to change an entire nation's perspective? Especially because that is what generations and generations of North Koreans have been bred to think, so isn't it just them practicing their freedom of speech? Why would Kim Jung Un even hate America?

What even are his motives? And, is it necessary for the United States, one of the world's greatest powers, to get involved? Or more importantly, is it worth it? Current events would say: yes, yes it is.

Because every couple days or so, we get a news notification on our iPhones reading: "North Korea tests ICBMs", and what do we do? We swipe up, half-annoyed that we were even troubled with this "meaningless information", and resume our life. We scoff at any headline with North Korea, saying to ourselves "I've seen this before. This is old news". Why? Are we actually unfazed by the potential threat to our very survival? The truth is, this man, however delusional he may be, holds the key to the most destructive weapons known to man, a weapon that could obliterate an entire country in an instant at the push of a button. And at that moment, do you really care about Beyonce's newborn twins more than your life?

The last time nuclear war was a visible threat, children were trained to hide under desks at school the same way a firefighter taught us "Stop, drop, and roll". So, shouldn't we react the same in 2017 as we did in 1963? The technological advances today could have possibly doubled or tripled the effect of the bomb, so why aren't we as scared as our parents or our grandparents were fifty years ago?

Should we even be scared? That is the question. Cause after all, "Kim Jung Un is just a crazy man who has no true recollection of what he's doing". Should we react as if this were war? Our own President has tweeted extensively about North Korea and "toughening up America", but how does he really feel? But more importantly, what will he do about it?

A few more questions come to mind. Like, what if North Korea's "Supreme Leader" is actually smarter than us all? Even worse, what if he isn't actually crazy? After all, this man does control the Internet in his own country, so there isn't even a dark web in North Korea to discuss such conspiracies. And any advisor who knows him on a personal level has sworn their allegiance on a rope so thin even the slightest negative information about the dictator himself would instantaneously result in that person's "removal", or maybe a fifteen-year sentence to a labor camp-like the former University of Virginia student Otto Warmbier. The truth is, we do not know anything about the North Korean leader. So, automatically assuming he's a laughingstock with a bad hairline isn't necessarily our smartest move.

But maybe this is all a part of his diabolical plan. Maybe Kim Jung Un knew we would be more concerned with meaningless tabloid gossip than his weekly missile tests. And if he did know that, then I guess he isn't an idiot after all..we are. Or are we?




Cover Image Credit: NBC News

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The Trump Presidency Is Over

Say hello to President Mike Pence.

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Remember this date: August 21, 2018.

This was the day that two of President Donald Trump's most-important associates were convicted on eight counts each, and one directly implicated the president himself.

Paul Manafort was Trump's campaign chairman for a few months in 2016, but the charges brought against him don't necessarily implicate Trump. However, they are incredibly important considering was is one of the most influential people in the Trump campaign and picked Mike Pence to be the vice presidential candidate.

Manafort was convicted on five counts of tax fraud, two counts of bank fraud, and one count of failure to file a report of a foreign bank account. And it could have been even worse. The jury was only unanimous on eight counts while 10 counts were declared a mistrial.

Michael Cohen, Trump's personal lawyer, told a judge that Trump explicitly instructed him to break campaign-finance laws by paying two women not to publicly disclose the affairs they had with Trump. Those two women are believed to be Karen McDougal, a Playboy model, and Stormy Daniels, a pornstar. Trump had an affair with both while married to his current wife, Melania.

And then to no surprise, Fox News pundits spun this in the only way they know how. Sara Carter on Hannity said that the FBI and the Department of Justice are colluding as if it's some sort of deep-state conspiracy. Does someone want to tell her that the FBI is literally a part of the DOJ?

The Republican Party has for too long let Trump get away with criminal behavior, and it's long past time to, at the very least, remove Mr. Trump from office.

And then Trump should face the consequences for the crimes he has committed. Yes, Democrats have a role, too. But Republicans have control of both chambers of Congress, so they head every committee. They have the power to subpoena Trump's tax returns, which they have not. They have the power to subpoena key witnesses in their Russia investigations, which they have not.

For the better part of a year I have been asking myself what is the breaking point with Republicans and Trump. It does not seem like there is one, so for the time being we're stuck with a president who paid off two women he had an affair with in an attempt to influence a United States election.

Imagine for a second that any past president had done even a fraction of what Trump has.

Barack Obama got eviscerated for wearing a tan suit. If he had affairs with multiple women, then Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell would be preparing to burn him at the stake. If they won't, then Trump's enthusiastic would be more than happy to do so.

For too long we've been saying that Trump is heading down a road similar to Nixon, but it's evident now that we're way past that point. Donald Trump now has incriminating evidence against him to prove he's a criminal, and Special Counsel Robert Mueller is just getting started.

Will Trump soften the blow and resign in disgrace before impeachment like Nixon did? Knowing his fragile ego, there's honestly no telling what he'll do. But it's high time Trump leaves an office he never should have entered in the first place.

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Being A Republican In Current Times

Apparently that makes me a MAGA hat wearing chauvinist

kentaro
kentaro
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I am very proud conservative in the very liberal state of Washington.

I am also not a fan of Donald Trump. To many, those things are mutually inclusive. However, it is in my opinion that Donald Trump does not represent the character nor the platform of the Republican Party, and for that reason, I remain proud to be conservative.

There are several stark differences between the Republican Party and Trump's Republican party. The actions of a select few individuals, however powerful they may be, do not represent the intentions of a whole. Donald Trump's party preys on the most primitive of emotions, fear.

Fear that the country has forgotten the working class. Fear that the country is being overrun by illegal immigrants committing wanton acts of violence.

A leader who leads with fear is no leader at all - rather those who lack the necessary fortitude and charisma chose this approach. A quick glance at the Republican party platform shows a disconnect between the current Administration and the Party. Trump's 2018 budget has a deficit of one trillion dollars; aren't Republicans the party of fiscal responsibility? The fact that so many Congressional Republicans backed this flawed budget is disheartening and should make any true conservative apoplectic. Furthermore, the type of administration Trump runs is best shown in the cover picture. While I have my own thoughts about abortions, the way Trump handled the situation was not in the spirit of the Republican Party. It is as puzzling as it is alarming to see the lack of women represented in this photo, considering this is legislation primarily affecting female reproductive rights. As the party of Abraham Lincoln, as the champions of inclusiveness, this is not the Republican way.

To be fair, I am pretty moderate in my conservative ideals. And there are even things in the Republican platform that I personally don't agree with it, such as the abstinence-until-marriage sex education because - let's be real - is that happening? No, and all that is doing is creating young teenagers who don't fully understand their own sexual organs. But beyond minor things like that, I am conservative because I feel that government spending is out of control, that marriage is the back that built America, that taxing the rich is no way to create wealth in this nation, and that a strong American military is necessary to have peaceful resolutions to conflicts, among other things. I highly recommend every citizen at least glance at the Federalist Papers, written by 3 of our founding fathers, and I will leave you with the immortal words of Thomas Jefferson: "The Government that governs best...governs least".

kentaro
kentaro

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