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The North Korea conundrum: a taste of Armageddon

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Last night I watched an episode of Star Trek called “A Taste of Armageddon” (Season 1, Ep. 23). In it, two planets have been at war for 500 years, but they no longer send weapons to destroy each others’ cities. Instead, a linked computer system models the attacks and determines casualties. These casualties then have 24 hours to report to a “disintegrator” to be killed. It’s clean, neat war, without the carnage.

This episode reminded me of our conundrum with North Korea. The two Koreas have been at war for 23,356 days since the Armistice was signed on July 27, 1953–just a few weeks shy of 64 years. And while nobody reports to a death chamber, there have been casualties along the way, which continue to this day.

In Star Trek, Kirk destroys the computers that simulate war and calculate casualties. This, in the treaty which preserves the state of war between the two planets, would result in “automatic escalation” to real weapons. In doing this, he forces the two sides to negotiate in order to avoid Armageddon.

If you read the rhetoric about North Korea and America’s options, this sounds mighty familiar. Any attack, no matter how surgical, seems to bring the argument that the North will respond with Armageddon. Eleven million residents of Seoul will die, we will face “catastrophic” war (as Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis has repeatedly said).

Charles Krauthammer wrote “we have kicked the North Korean can down the road. We are now out of road.” Examining the evidence, he concluded that we must accept a nuclear, ICBM-armed North Korea. We must accept them the same way we accepted a nuclear-armed China, or a nuclear-armed Russia.

North Korea is within China’s sphere of influence, like Mexico is within America’s. Just like America wouldn’t want Chinese troops, missiles and nuclear launchers in Mexico, to China, having American troops, or a close American ally sitting on its border is a non-starter. So China is caught between a rock and Kim Jong Un’s nuclear ambitions.

So we sit and wait for this to unfold, in a stasis where nobody really wins, but the war continues.

I might suggest that someone needs to be Captain Kirk here and destroy the calculus computers. We need to face facts that the status quo is unsustainable, and in fact immoral. One day, North Korea will attack the South, after winning concession after concession due to its nuclear hegemony. And then, we will be faced with real Armageddon, or surrendering the south to the Juche-inspired north.

A war, in any capacity, in the Korean peninsula, is going to be bloody and awful. Liberals and doves in South Korea whine that President Trump has made their country less safe, as if sitting within range of 4,000 chemical-round-capable artillery and rocket batteries is or has ever been safe. We’ve spent 64 years calculating casualties, but nobody has reported for disintegration.

The reckoning will come. I don’t believe all Kim wants is to be left alone. I believe he wants the long game, to rule the Korean peninsula–all of it. If he doesn’t attain the goal, his successor will, or the next one after that. The Kims are very well trained to maintain ideological discipline (which is one reason Kim Jong Nam was assassinated), without regard to blood, friendship, or mercy.

Giving up and accepting a nuclear, ICBM-armed north is tantamount to surrender for the south. They are trapped in their nice, clean war right now, like the leaders in the Star Trek episode, so they don’t see the problem.

We haven’t dealt with North Korea because (a) until the 1990’s it wasn’t really a global security threat, (b) if there was a resumption of a large-scale shooting war, we would certainly win, and (c) we had bigger fish to fry. None of those things is true anymore. A nuclear north changes everything.

America must deal with North Korea, and I’m afraid our only option is to risk all-out war to do it. Obviously, Trump won’t telegraph his intentions, so we won’t see an announcement. But the north is watching very closely. I believe if Trump, Mattis and Secretary of State Tillerson have come to the same conclusions I (and others) have, a strike is imminent.

It’s very possible all this talk about “catastrophic” war, negotiations with China, and more sanctions is simply preparation for a military option. Or it could be preparation for acquiescence. As much as I respect Charles Krauthammer, he’s dead wrong. Acquiescence is indeed unthinkable, because it will inevitably lead to war–a war that will pull America in the way Pearl Harbor pulled us in to World War II.

We have to face facts and realize that to avoid war, we might need to risk triggering the “automatic escalation” and end the phony war we’ve had for more than six decades. We’re at day 23,356 and counting. Tick tock.

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News

UK’s May wins no-confidence vote by MPs unhappy over Brexit

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UKs May wins no-confidence vote by MPs unhappy over Brexit

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Theresa May survived a political crisis over her Brexit deal Wednesday, winning a no-confidence vote by Conservative lawmakers that would have ended her leadership of party and country.

But the margin of victory — 200 votes to 117 — leaves May a weakened leader who has lost the support of a big chunk of her party over her handling of Britain’s exit from the European Union. It also came at a steep price as she promised not to run for re-election in 2022. Britain’s Brexit problem, meanwhile, remains unsolved as May seeks changes to her EU divorce deal in order to make it more palatable to Parliament.

May said she was “pleased to have received the backing of my colleagues” but acknowledged that “a significant number” had voted against her in Wednesday evening’s secret ballot.

“I have listened to what they said,” May promised as she stood in a darkened Downing St. after what she called a “long and challenging day.”

The threat to May had been building as pro-Brexit Conservative lawmakers grew increasingly frustrated with the prime minister’s handling of Brexit. Many supporters of Brexit say May’s deal, a compromise that retains close economic ties with the EU, fails to deliver on the clean break with the bloc that they want.

The balloting came after May’s Conservative opponents, who circled the beleaguered prime minister for weeks hoping to spark a no-confidence vote, finally got the numbers they needed to call one.

The vote was triggered when at least 48 lawmakers —15 percent of Conservative legislators — wrote letters asking for a no-confidence ballot.

On Monday, May postponed a vote to approve the divorce deal to avoid all-but-certain defeat. She has until Jan. 21 to bring it back to Parliament after— she hopes — winning concessions from the EU.

The result of the vote was announced to loud cheers from lawmakers gathered in a stuffy, ornately wallpapered room in the House of Commons. Under party rules, May cannot be challenged again by fellow Conservatives for a year.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling, an ally, said the result showed that May “has the support of her party.”

“This is a clear statement by the parliamentary party they want her to go forward, they want her to lead us through Brexit,” he told Sky News.

But pro-Brexit lawmaker Mark Francois said the result was “devastating” for May, who has lost the support of a third of her party in Parliament.

“If I were her, I wouldn’t be pleased with this at all,” Francois said. “I think she needs to think very carefully about what to do now.”

Before the vote Wednesday, May had vowed to fight for the leadership of her party and the country “with everything I’ve got,” and spent the day holed up in the House of Commons trying to win over enough lawmakers to secure victory.

In a bid to win over wavering lawmakers, May indicated she would step down before the next election, due in 2022.

Solicitor-General Robert Buckland said May told lawmakers at a meeting that “it is not her intention to lead the party in the 2022 general election.”

May’s victory is a reprieve but does not lay to rest uncertainty about Britain’s EU departure, due on March 29.

Opposition lawmakers expressed astonishment and outrage at the Conservative civil war erupting in the middle of the fraught Brexit process.

“This government is a farce, the Tory party is in chaos, the prime minister is a disgrace,” Scottish National Party leader Ian Blackford said during a pugnacious Prime Minister’s Questions session in the House of Commons.

British business figures expressed exasperation at the continuing political uncertainty.

“With news that the prime minister remains in place, business communities will hope that these political games can finally be put to bed,” said Adam Marshall, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce.

“Westminster must now focus all its energy on urgently giving businesses clarity on the future and avoiding a messy or disorderly Brexit.”

The vote confirms May’s reputation as a dogged, determined political survivor. But on Thursday she will head to an EU summit in Brussels facing another difficult task. She is seeking changes to the withdrawal agreement that can win support in Britain’s Parliament. But EU leaders say the legally binding text won’t be reopened, and the best they can offer are “clarifications.”

May said she would “be seeking legal and political assurances that will assuage the concerns” of lawmakers.

Among EU leaders there is sympathy for May’s predicament — but also exasperation at Britain’s political mess.

The European Parliament’s Brexit point man, Guy Verhofstadt, could not contain a note of annoyance, tweeting: “Once again, the fate of EU-U.K. relations, the prosperity of businesses & citizens’ rights are consumed by an internal Conservative party catfight over Europe.”

On the streets of London, some felt sympathy for the embattled leader.

“It’s embarrassing for a start to the rest of the world and I feel really sorry for Theresa May — she’s being battered by everybody,” said Abby Handbridge, who was selling Christmas cards and wrapping paper at a London street market.

“I hope she stays in power and sorts it out.”

___

Follow AP’s full coverage of Brexit crisis at: https://www.apnews.com/Brexit

___

Associated Press writers Danica Kirka, Jo Kearney and Gregory Katz in London contributed.

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Guns and Crime

Yes, the President really is in trouble this time

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Yes the President really is in trouble this time

For over two years now, we’ve heard the leftist mainstream media and their Democratic Party puppet masters claiming every incident involving the President is the big one. We’ve heard that every “bombshell” means the beginning of the end, how the walls are closing in on him, and how we’ve reached a tipping point.

They even made a video about it.

Hilarious video: Bombshell, the beginning of the end, walls closing in, the tipping point

http://noqreport.com/2018/10/19/hilarious-video-bombshell-beginning-end-walls-closing-tipping-point/Most leftists remember it like a previous generation remembers when they heard JFK was killed. It was the moment they realized Donald Trump would become President of the United States. Since then, mainstream media has been incessant in their proclamations that his days are numbered.

Perhaps it’s comforting to them to continuously hear about how the latest bombshell means it’s the beginning of the end because the walls are closing in on a presidency that has reached a tipping point. Or something.

He has not only survived but thrived through these controversies. This time, it’s different. President Trump’s former attorney, Michael Cohen, and AMI, the parent company of his beloved National Enquirer, are both claiming they participated in paying hush money to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, respectively. These payments were allegedly made with the sole purpose of keeping their stories of extra-marital sexual affairs off the radar before the 2016 election.

In essence, these were unreported campaign expenditures and/or contributions. They can therefore be considered campaign finance violations, leaving only three questions unanswered:

  1. Can special counsel Robert Mueller’s or SDNY U.S. Attorney’s investigations prove then-candidate Trump participated in the crimes?
  2. If they can prove it, what actions can they take now or later?
  3. How will Democrats use this to sink the President before the 2020 election?

What’s not a question is whether or not this will affect the President’s 2020 prospects. It will. If nothing else happens with this, the damage is done. Unfortunately for the President, there are very likely many things that will now happen with this.

Prosecutors have to decide whether they want to open up the can of worms regarding indicting a sitting President. They could announce a delay in the indictments until after his term is completed. They could try to go after others in his campaign or family who are not protected by the presidential seal.

Then, there’s the Democrats. When they take over the House of Representatives next year, the possibilities are endless. They could investigate and subpoena him ceaselessly, revealing all sorts of additional dirt on him. Even if they don’t formally impeach him, the dirt they can glean from the investigative process will almost certainly reveal other corrupt, unethical, or illegal skeletons in his huge closets.

The Cohen and National Enquirer revelations are much more damaging than anything the President has faced to date. Many of his supporters won’t admit it or will refuse to see it, but this is a major blow to his reelection hopes.

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Politics

What classical liberalism is, briefly

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What classical liberalism is briefly

The progressive left and the Democratic Party have undergone many transformations over the last century. They’ve masterfully spun American understanding of language and labels to the point that history has been in a constant state of being rewritten to conform to their machinations. One of the most perverse examples of this is how they now claim the mantle of “liberalism.”

Sadly, those who embrace Natural Rights, limited government, and individualism have been forced to amend our label as liberals to become “classical liberals” for the sake of escaping confusion. Most Americans today would assume if we call ourselves “liberals” that we must be big fans of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

This video by classical liberal Dave Rubin at The Rubin Report breaks it down in less than two minutes.

Liberty-loving proponents of personal responsibility and self-governance have had our label taken from us. Today, a liberal is a progressive. It’s like saying a hamburger is a vegetable, but that’s the state of American understanding today.

This is, of course, part of the political war. Words have meaning, as leftists love to say, so they’ve done everything they can to change the meaning of many words. “Liberal” is one of them. They started with a lie and repeated it over and over again until it became… politics.

Liberalism

Over the next few weeks I’ll be going into much more detail about the ideology of classical liberalism, its history, and how it should play a role in modern politics. We’ll be asking (and answering) important questions surrounding the resurging movement, including:

  • Should classical liberals attempt to retake the “liberal” moniker from leftists?
  • Why true liberals should embrace limited government
  • Is classical liberalism really making a comeback or has it been here all along?
  • Why the progressive “liberal” left is neither liberal nor champions of progress
  • How did liberalism, born to defend individualism, become synonymous with collectivism?

Is it possible to wrest the “liberal” label away from leftists? Is it necessary? Would it simply add more confusion to the polarized political atmosphere in America? Would that be a bad thing?

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