Sony capitulates to cyber-terrorist threat from North Korea

With normalization of relations with Cuba, that leaves only one Communist country in the world with which the U.S. does not maintain relations: the “Hermit Kingdom” of North Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea).

This will be a tougher nut to crack. North Korea is a cult of personality, with its citizens required to worship Dear Leader, Li’l Kim (Kim Jong-un), as a demigod.

Pick up a copy of Without You, There Is No Us, by Suki Kim for a description of life in North Korea. This place is a seriously effed up hell hole.

KimJongIl2It turns out that Li’l Kim and the Hermit Kingdom are sensitive to criticism. I mean really sensitive to any criticism. Remember the controversy over Team America: World Police (2004) by South Park creators  Trey Parker, Matt Stone,and Pam Brady? Li’l Kim’s old man, Kim Jong-il was parodied in the film, and North Korea sought to ban the film in the Czech Republic. The Czechs told them to go pound sand.

Ten years later his son Li’l Kim apparently has ratcheted things up a notch, or two, or three.

Sony Pictures scheduled a Christmas day release of a supposed action-comedy, The Interview, in which the plot is that two producers of a popular celebrity tabloid TV show are recruited by the CIA to assassinate Kim Jong-un during an interview, after they discover the North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un is a fan of their show.

Yeah, assassinations are hilarious. Not at all inappropriate, especially on Christmas day.

North Korea is alleged to have hired some computer hackers to hack into Sony Pictures. The hackers call themselves the Guardians of Peace (probably because the Guardians of the Galaxy was already taken) and recently threatened violence against movie theater patrons if the movie was released.

Riiight. Somehow I can’t imagine computer hackers wanting to get their hands dirty with actual physical acts of terrorism and a risk of being captured or killed. That’s not their thing. This is the equivalent of someone phoning in a bomb threat. Nevertheless, Sony Pictures panicked and pulled the movie from release.

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President Obama’s ‘open door’ overture to Cuba is long overdue

Conservative were outraged when President Richard Nixon announced that he would normalize relations with Communist China after 18 months of secret negotiations pursuing a policy of opening China. Nixon made an official state visit to Communist China and smiled broadly while greeting Chairman Mao Zedong, the founding father of the People’s Republic of China — and a dictator who oversaw systematic human rights abuses, and whose rule is estimated to have contributed to the deaths of 40–70 million people through starvation, forced labour and executions, ranking his tenure as the top incidence of democide in human history.

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Neocon cold warriors condemned President Nixon in a statement issued by John McCain and Lindsey Graham:

“We agree with President [Nixon] that he is writing new chapters in American foreign policy. Unfortunately, today’s chapter, like the others before it, is one of America and the values we stand for in retreat and decline. It is about the appeasement of autocratic dictators, thugs, and adversaries, diminishing America’s influence in the world. Is it any wonder that under President [Nixon]’s watch our enemies are emboldened and our friends demoralized?”

Wait, that never happened. Nixon’s “open door” policy towards Communist China was hailed as a major foreign policy achievement by Conservatives and Republicans. McCain and Graham were not yet in the Senate (the good old days).

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And it goes on…

Crossposted from DemocraticDiva.com

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Despite it having been decided among the Very Serious People™, which includes those august fathers of reasonable discourse otherwise known as the editorial board of the Denver Post, that this whole “war on women” is naught but a bunch of hysterical frippery:

And contrary to (Mark) Udall’s tedious refrain, (Cory) Gardner’s election would pose no threat to abortion rights.

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Light up your life at Downtown Parade of Lights

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Lights! In Downtown Tucson on Dec. 20, starting at 6:30 p.m. Join Mayor Jonathan Rothschild at Armory Park for the tree lighting at 5:30 p.m. Here’s the map for the 20th Annual parade:

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Why Barber Lost

We all have our particular theories on why Ron Barber lost. Here’s mine:

Sandy Hook.

In the aftermath of Sandy Hook, Ron came out with a tepid statement, including the obligatory cowardly nod to the Second Amendment.

We here at Blog For Arizona tried to help him. We started a petition drive titled Congressman Ron Barber: Take the lead in Congress to address the epidemic of mass shootings. We felt that in light of his experience it was his natural place in history to stand side-by-side with Congresswoman McCarthy of New York in leading the charge for sane gun laws. Representative McCarthy, for those who don’t know, lost her husband in a mass shooting on the Long Island Railroad in 1993. She never missed a chance to speak out.

For awhile, with Sandy Hook still in focus, it seemed like Ron took our message to heart. He did several national television interviews, although I had the sense he was holding something back. Maybe not. Maybe I just assumed there had to be more inside him.

But Ron’s post-Sandy Hook persona faded at the first opportunity, seemingly because it threatened the Republican-lite persona he and his mentors at the DCCC wanted him to portray.

How crazy. When history calls, you can’t ignore the call. Ron’s former boss, Gabby Giffords, tragically wounded in Tucson, has worked tirelessly on this very issue. Not Ron. He appeared more concerned about his Blue Dog cred.

Would the right have attacked him? Maybe, although attacking a victim in a mass shooting would be a dicey proposition, even for the NRA. And getting attacked by the gun crowd would have enhanced his image.

Oh, I know, Ron’s position on guns was okay if you bothered to hunt it down. But that should be THE thing people know about Ron. And they shouldn’t know it from a website or position statement. They should know it from all the impassioned speeches and press interviews he should have given making the case for sane gun laws. All those impassioned speeches he never gave.

This was his issue. He could have moved people. He could have made a difference. He could have stood for something. He chose not to.

Should Democrats really be wringing their hands over this one?

Martha McSally declared the winner in CD 2, Ron Barber concedes

barber mcsallyThe Maricopa County Superior Court declared Martha McSally the winner in CD 2 today after the first recount of a congressional race in Arizona history, and Congressman Ron Barber conceded the race.

McSally won by just 167 votes, less than one-tenth of one percent of the vote.

Martha McSally who, other than prematurely declaring victory after the election and providing a comment on President Obama’s executive orders on immigration, has been locked away in the “cone of silence” since Election Day, not commenting on any of the controversial matters before Congress in recent weeks.

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