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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I'm The Girl Who'd Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

You raise your protest picket signs and I’ll raise my white picket fence.
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Social Media feeds are constantly filled with quotes on women's rights, protests with mobs of women, and an array of cleverly worded picket signs.

Good for them, standing up for their beliefs and opinions. Will I be joining my tight-knit family of the same gender?

Nope, no thank you.

Don't get me wrong, I am not going to be oblivious to my history and the advancements that women have fought to achieve. I am aware that the strides made by many women before me have provided us with voting rights, a voice, equality, and equal pay in the workforce.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Who Would Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

For that, I am deeply thankful. But at this day in age, I know more female managers in the workforce than male. I know more women in business than men. I know more female students in STEM programs than male students. So what’s with all the hype? We are girl bosses, we can run the world, we don’t need to fight the system anymore.

Please stop.

Because it is insulting to the rest of us girls who are okay with being homemakers, wives, or stay-at-home moms. It's dividing our sisterhood, and it needs to stop.

All these protests and strong statements make us feel like now we HAVE to obtain a power position in our career. It's our rightful duty to our sisters. And if we do not, we are a disappointment to the gender and it makes us look weak.

Weak to the point where I feel ashamed to say to a friend “I want to be a stay at home mom someday.” Then have them look at me like I must have been brain-washed by a man because that can be the only explanation. I'm tired of feeling belittled for being a traditionalist.

Why?

Because why should I feel bad for wanting to create a comfortable home for my future family, cooking for my husband, being a soccer mom, keeping my house tidy? Because honestly, I cannot wait.

I will have no problem taking my future husband’s last name, and following his lead.

The Bible appoints men to be the head of a family, and for wives to submit to their husbands. (This can be interpreted in so many ways, so don't get your panties in a bunch at the word “submit”). God specifically made women to be gentle and caring, and we should not be afraid to embrace that. God created men to be leaders with the strength to carry the weight of a family.

However, in no way does this mean that the roles cannot be flipped. If you want to take on the responsibility, by all means, you go girl. But for me personally? I'm sensitive, I cry during horror movies, I'm afraid of basements and dark rooms. I, in no way, am strong enough to take on the tasks that men have been appointed to. And I'm okay with that.

So please, let me look forward to baking cookies for bake sales and driving a mom car.

And I'll support you in your endeavors and climb to the top of the corporate ladder. It doesn't matter what side you are on as long as we support each other, because we all need some girl power.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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The Revival Of The Coal Industry Is Unattainable

Clean beautiful coal will never be a reality. President Trump's backing of a declining industry is misguided and will have despairing environmental impacts.

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The coal industry and its workers were placed at the forefront of American politics during the 2016 election cycle. President Trump promised a revival of the coal industry and promised to secure the jobs of coal country. The President, halfway through his first term, has so far taken measures to do just that. Trump withdrew from the Paris Climate Agreement, threw out Obama's Clean Power Plan, and did away with an Obama-era regulation that would prevent coal ash from entering streams and other bodies of water.

On one hand, it's quite extraordinary for a politician to do good on his campaign promises. On the other hand, is anyone considering whether or not the President is putting all his eggs into the wrong basket? Coal has been on the decline for about a decade now. Even without environmental regulations, the energy produced by coal is expected to reduce by 20% by 2030. Renewable energy such as wind and solar are replacing coal.


For an election campaign, it's easy to see why a candidate would align with coal. States like West Virginia and Pennsylvania are key when running a national campaign. The votes are there in those counties that support the coal industry. They will vote for any candidate who sides with their industry. But from an environmental standpoint, there's more on the line than just an election. It's about our clean air and water. Climate change is real and the effects of coal will only accelerate the process.

Coal ash that finds its way into water streams can damage that water supply for good. It could also impact the wildlife within the area. Coal also pollutes the air we breathe. Clean coal is a myth. Plain and simple. Coal is anything but clean. Clean coal sounds good in a stump speech, but we all know it's a fallacy.

Mountaintop mining also has a deep environmental impact. The Appalachian mountains have been destroyed from surface mining. West Virginia residents hold their beautiful mountains in high regard. Now, some of them look very different and the destruction is permanent. If the mining continues, the mountains of the Appalachia region will be gone. It would be a shame if you went to West Virginia to admire their mountains, and none were left.

In 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt passed the American Antiquities Act of 1906. Roosevelt protected 230 million acres of land during his presidency. Roosevelt understood the importance of conservation and preserving our nation's natural beauty. The same natural beauty that God envisioned. We should not take that for granted. We should restore our mountains, forests, and lakes so that our children's children can reside in the richness of our natural environment.

President Roosevelt also ended the coal strike in 1902. The United States was much more dependent on coal in the 20th century than it is now. Roosevelt knew the coal strike had to be resolved because the cold winter would have been fatal. The change of the Republican party over a century later is quite intriguing to ponder. The party went from a strong conservationist in Roosevelt to Trump, who is willing to move mountains for a dying industry.

All of these facts surrounding the coal debate cannot be ignored. The rest of the western world will move on to new forms of renewable energy. While the United States will be stuck in neutral, reviving coal. Renewable energy should be strongly considered if we are to protect our water, air, and lands.

Disclaimer: I understand the risks coal miners make when they show up for work. I know that safety regulations are not always up to par and that coal mining is a very dangerous profession. I also understand the viewpoint of coal miners and their reasoning for disagreeing with me. I know they want to work and provide for their families. That's what we all want to do. As I write this, I wish not to offend coal miners, I only aim to critique the President and his policies about the coal industry.

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