Otto Warmbier went to North Korea with a tour group as an adventure-seeking 21-year-old. He was taken by security at the airport waiting to board his flight back to Beijing and never seen again by his family until he was released last week, in a coma. He died Monday. afternoon.
Josh Rogin, of the Washington Post, interviewed Danny Gratton, Warmbier’s roommate on the North Korea tour.Gratton was the last westerner to see Warmbier as he was taken away.
“Otto was just a really great lad who fell into the most horrendous situation that no one could ever believe,” Gratton told me in an interview Thursday. “It’s just something I think in the Western world we just can’t understand, we just can’t grasp, the evilness behind that dictatorship.”
Gratton didn’t think Warmbier took the propaganda poster he was accused of stealing. Certainly, stealing a poster isn’t worth 15 years at hard labor. That sentence would fail the test by concept of the punishment fitting the crime.
Yet some liberal publications have made hay for a year over Warmbier’s “crime.” They’ve portrayed him as a white “frat boy” type who thought he could get away with something in a foreign culture and now got his comeuppance.
They thought he deserved what he got.
How ghoulish and disgusting can they be? Are they sociopaths or just evil?
Affinity Magazine is a teen publication covering “social justice + politics + culture.” They tweeted “Watch whiteness work. He wasn’t a ‘kid’ or ‘innocent'” and “respect their laws” in reply to Rogin’s tweet linking the WaPo piece.
Is this really the opinion of the teens who write Affinity? Are they really such awful people that they’re okay with another young adult dying in a foreign country because he allegedly (there was no fair trial or evidence presented) stole a piece of paper from a wall in a hotel?
Affinity wasn’t the only group mocking Warmbier. Salon cruelly called him “America’s biggest idiot frat boy.” They convicted him of an alleged crime he may not have even committed–a prank really.
Comedy Central’s “Nightly Show” host Larry Wilmore joked “It’s just tough for me to have much sympathy for this guy and his crocodile tears.” Maybe that was a joke, and maybe Wilmore meant it. I’m not sure which is worse: joking about a kid’s languishing in a dungeon at the hands of a despotic cruel regime, or actually believing he deserved it.
Warmbier got a death sentence, and they joked about it.
Meanwhile, last March, HuffPo published a truly hateful piece on white privilege. Self-described revolutionary La Sha described an 18-year-old who was caned in Singapore for vandalizing cars, quoting her mother “He earned that.” She went on in a shameful tirade…
As shocked as I am by the sentence handed down to Warmbier, I am even more shocked that a grown man, an American citizen, would not only voluntarily enter North Korea but also commit what’s been described a “college-style prank.” That kind of reckless gall is an unfortunate side effect of being socialized first as a white boy, and then as a white man in this country.
I suppose Dennis Rodman has nothing on Warmbier. He pals around with Kim Jong Un and gets whatever he wants. Black privilege? Rodman voluntarily enters North Korea and who knows what gifts he brings out? But Warmbier was judged guilty by La Sha because he’s white, and that’s okay with her. (Because he’s white, he must have done it.)
No thought was given by any of these hay-makers to the fact that other U.S. citizens have been taken by North Korea as hostages. They simply wanted to make their points and leave it.
Where’s the compassion? Where’s the concern for other people’s lives?
If Black/Muslim/Palestinian/Hispanic lives matter, why mock the millions of North Koreans who live until a repressive regime, on the edge of starvation, while their political bosses live like royalty? Why give a pass to a man so evil he had his own step-brother assassinated by deadly poison?
What is wrong with people that they can live with themselves after aligning themselves with Kim Jong Un?
Let me address the reader directly here.
If you react like most people, with shame and disgust over these remarks, and with horror at what Warmbier and his family went through and are continuing to experience, I’m not talking to you.
But if you really think North Korea played by some cosmic moral code and delivered justice to Otto Warmbier, I might suggest you have a psychological problem. You might even be a sociopath. Or you might be evil–take your pick.
There is no excuse, no cause, no higher purpose, that justifies the mental and physical torture of a young man whose biggest potential crime is best described as a prank. The North Korean government is brutal and efficiently so. They’d have put a bullet in Warmbier’s head right at the airport if they were ordered to. They’d have massacred the entire tour group if Kim gave the command.
No shades of grey, or moral equivalence can be found here. Either you agree with the barbaric dictator or you care about people’s lives. There is no middle ground.
Warmbier is dead. If you laughed, mocked, joked, or celebrated his arrest, you need to walk that back, hard. If you don’t, you’ve made yourself into something truly horrible and cruel. You need to go back and rethink your life.
Remember what’s important in life
We all deserve forgiveness, the benefit of the doubt, and need to be reminded of what really matters from time to time. When you encounter someone who does something rude or mean or bad, avoid labeling them as a rude or bad person. Instead, give them the benefit of the doubt that they were just having a bad day/week/year and they are in a place where they have forgotten about what really matters in this life.
That it’s not about wealth and acquiring stuff. It’s about relationships and how we spend our time together. It’s about lifting each other up.
Have you ever gotten into that rut, where you have been hyper-focused on your job, or your hobby, or self-improvement? You were doing really well! You’ve gotten ahead, acquired a lot of great, new things; you make more money now, and you’ve gotten really good at whatever it is you were working on.
But then… You watch a show, a movie, maybe hear a song or a sermon, or read a story about humanity and how short this life is; About how we treat each other when we are trying to acquire too much… and it’s never enough; it’s never big enough; it never satisfies us.
But when you get that message again from that show… You recognize it, and you wake up. You stand up in the room, and you look around, and you see that all over the room everyone else still has their heads down. And very few are standing with you. But you see it now, and you say to yourself, “Why was I so focused on that? That doesn’t matter! My kids are growing up! My parents are aging, my grandparents dying. And I’ve been missing all of it… For what? For a house that’s 1000 sq. feet bigger? For a car that can drive a little faster?”
We all get sidetracked and stuck on this misleading path. That’s why we need to give each other the benefit of the doubt. Try not to label people as “bad guy” just because they did something once or twice, and recognize that people deserve forgiveness, and just need to be woken up again.
Remind them. Remind me when I forget. Please. It’s about Love. Family. Friends. Relationships.
Sell everything you own if it’s blinding you. Buy experiences instead- Experiences that you can share with one another. Hug. Laugh. Cry. Touch. Share. And remember. Remember what it’s all about.
A Memo to the Liberty Grabbers of the Left from the Pro-Liberty Right.
Hat Tip: Nazis Are Socialists (Meso)
A dose of reality for you Leftists opposing freedom on behalf of the gun owners of America.
Seeing that we gun owners been your rhetorical punching bag for several weeks, there are a few things we would like to point out to you folks opposed to the most essential of Liberties. You’ve spent all manner of airtime talking down to us, dictating what we ‘need’ with regard to our basic human rights. So now it is time for you to listen to a couple of brutal truths in the matter. These aren’t going to be ‘politically correct’, by any means, but such is usually not the case with cold hard reality.
From your ever so self laudatory language, you Liberty grabbers on the Left like to think of yourselves as noble warriors, out there ‘changing the world’ for the ‘Common good’ [Gemeinnutz in the German vernacular]. Fighting for Socialist… er. Social ‘Justice’ and all manner of flowery folderol [Cue mournful violin music]. Yes, you think of yourselves as ‘sacrificing’ for the ‘the children*’ no matter what that entails. Whether it’s all manner of fame on Youtube or Facebook, to endless praise from your echo chamber, there are no limits as to your willingness to signal your virtue to everyone.
*Unborn children excluded
Well, sorry to break it to you, but in the words of the Marchers: “We call BS!”
The fact is there is nothing more selfish than demanding that others be deprived of their ‘essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety’ for yourselves. You want others to sacrifice their freedom for some mythical gains in your perceived security. It would be one thing for you to give up your Liberty, but that isn’t the case is it? You are marching to demand that the basic human rights of others be stripped from them, that is self-centred in the extreme.
“Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves” ― Abraham Lincoln
Empathy is a very important human quality, so perhaps you should consider giving up some of your essential liberties to understand what is at stake for those of us on the Pro-Liberty side of the aisle. Maybe you should demand that you be stripped of your First amendment rights? Or perhaps Liberty Grabbers groups should be licensed before they can demand that others be deprived of their rights?
Oh, what’s that you say? You have a Constitutional right to free-speech or freedom of the press? That those rights ‘Shall not be infringed’? [to coin a phrase] Or that the slightest amount will lead to a slippery slope towards the loss of them all. Welcome to our world, where every time a Leftist lunatic decides to go on a mass murder spree, our Constitutional rights are suddenly on the chopping block. With it just being a question of how much of those rights we’re going to lose – if not everything.
Can we dictate what you ‘need’ in exercising your Rights?
Can we demand that you justify the keeping of your liberties? Can we arbitrarily decree that certain modes of speech are ‘Militaristic’ in style? Do you really ‘need’ to appear on the Tele 30 times a day? Do you really need a ‘high capacity’ smart phone? Do you really need to fire off 5 tweets in a minute just to kill off a basic human right?
Hypocrisy on parade: Liberty Grabbers have guns to protect themselves while denying that right to others.
Please note that the people in the Liberty Grabber movement you idolize are also complete hypocrites in that while they work tirelessly to take away our property and our Liberty, they are safe and secure surrounded by ARMED security. Yes, think about it, the people who rail against guns have no problem being protected by them. Were they to be true to their words, they would disarm their security details. If Citibank and Bank of America didn’t care to be hypocrites they would dismiss their armed security and announce it to the world. Oh, they have to deal with threats? So do the rest of us – and yet they want to make everyone else vulnerable to those threats while they stay safe and secure.
Here’s a hard dose of reality for you: We gun owners protect everyone, even you Liberty Grabbers.
The truth is that while you uselessly virtue signal your inestimable magnanimity, it is those of us on the Pro-liberty side who work to keep you people safe. This may come as a shock, but if you live in one of the states or localities that value Liberty, you are around concealed weapons every time you go out in public. Yes, you might find this to be too scary to think about, but every day you are protected by the deterrence effect of ordinary folks just like you [aside from their cherishing freedom that is] carrying around *Gasp* Firearms hidden from view.
Consequently, you don’t know who might be carrying a gun…. and neither do the criminals. Thus the value of an armed citizenry. They don’t know who may have the means to defend themselves, so they don’t know who to victimize, therefore everyone is protected.
The exception being The “Gun-Free” zone, that vestige of the Utopian fantasy world of the Left. Most mass shootings take place where the innocent are denied their basic human Liberty of self-defence. So what does that mean for you Leftists of the so-called “Party of Science”? It means that your absurd idea that a sign will stop a mass murder results in dead children. That is what you want everywhere, how does that even reach the threshold of rationality?
If you aren’t going to thank us for keeping you safe, could you at least leave us alone?
So why is all of this important? Because the people you have demonisd for weeks are the ones keeping you safe. Those you label as terrorist, splattered in blood are the people providing for your security. How is that for irony?
- We’re the ones who take the time endure the draconian hurdles put in the way of our basic human rights.
- We’re the ones who take the time to select the proper firearm and holster to carry concealed out in public.
- We’re the ones who practice with our weapons in case an emergency arises.
- We’re the ones who carry a cellphone and extra magazines for that potential emergency.
- And We’re the ones who will most likely have to deal myriad legal problem and legal fees for merely protecting ourselves, our families and even you people should it be necessary.
Now, we don’t expect you people to grateful for this protection you are afforded. Goodness knows you wouldn’t lower yourself to talk to those of us on the Pro-liberty side. But could you at least acknowledge the effort and perhaps stop obsessing over taking away our Liberty that keeps you safe?
The Collective Irony of the Left.
While the nation’s Socialist Left deviously pretends to be ‘Liberal’ or ‘Democratic’ it actually functions undemocratically against Liberty.
For all of their pretence about being ‘Liberal’ or ‘for the people’, the Left is extremely oligarchical. Examine the Left’s Socialist national agenda, taking note many of its beliefs that are handed down from a select few that are to be accepted by the rank and file without question. Also, consider what happens to those who stray from Leftist orthodoxy.
Contrast this authoritarianism of the nation’s Left with the free-thinking albeit chaotic nature of the Pro-Liberty, Conservatarian-Right. While the Left will all parrot the same talking points for the outrage of the week. It’s extremely difficult to convince those on the Right to use the proper word in describing the opposition. [ Leftist in place of Liberal to be exact ]
Leftists ‘Independently’ marching to the exact same music.
Look at the protest marches sponsored by the usual suspects of the oligarchical Left, events from around the nation will feature the same talking points emblazoned on the signs, the same slogans, down to the very same headwear.
Then look at what happens to those who may stray from the Left’s authoritarian plantation. Hollywood is supposedly all-inclusive of every viewpoint, except those who espouse Conservatarian, Pro-Liberty ideals.
This is the larger point inspired by a column by Dennis Prager in The Daily Wire were he first makes the point recurring point that it’s leftism — not liberalism – that is the problem here. He goes on to talk about Whatever The Left Touches It Ruins. This is endemic to cases of a small cadre of Leftists deciding what is artistic or how the country’s history should be taught.
The only way to save Western civilization is to convince more people that leftism — not liberalism — is a nihilistic force. Quite literally, whatever the left touches it ruins.
So, here is a partial listing of the damage done by the left and the Democratic Party:
The most obvious — and, therefore, the one more and Americans can resonate with — is the near destruction of most American universities as places of learning.
When you attend an American university, you are taught to have contempt for America and its founders, to prefer socialism to capitalism, to divide human beings by race and ethnicity. You are taught to shut down those who differ with you, to not debate them. And you are taught to place feelings over reason — which is a guaranteed route to eventual evil.
So, too, one cannot watch late-night television if one desires to simply be entertained before drifting off to sleep. Jimmy Kimmel, Stephen Colbert and other hosts have changed late-night TV into left-night TV. Why merely be funny when you can use your monologues to advance your left-wing views?
If you treasure American and Western civilization, fighting the left — something all liberals and conservatives need to do — is the greatest good you can engage in at this time.
This is what happens when an ever-shrinking band of authoritarian Leftists decide that art should be scatological instead of uplifting. Or the example of small groups of ‘Comedians’ deciding that we have to be made to care about their ‘progressive’ agenda. Then there is the case of the corporate leadership of Citibank or Bank of America arbitrarily deciding the limitations of our basic human Liberty of self-preservation. [Note that Wells Fargo is bucking the trend standing up for Liberty] These are all examples of a Leftist ‘elite’ making decisions from their virtual mount Olympus for everyone else to follow.
The Take Away
While the Left likes to keep up the pretence of being ‘Democratic’ or ‘Liberal’ for that matter, they are neither. This is why we must do everything we can to expose the Left’s deceptions whenever possible.