Closing Thought–04Aug17

The Greeks had the Acropolis……Rome the Coliseum…Constantine had his St. Sophia…India had the Taj Mahal and Hitler had his Germania…all were massive building projects…..

Li’l Kim has his Ryugyong Hotel…his pet project after nukes and missiles that is….

While North Korea’s second launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile dominated headlines late last week, Pyongyang quietly unveiled renovations around the capital’s biggest landmark: a futuristic, pyramid-shaped 105-story hotel, the world’s tallest unoccupied building. After decades of embarrassing delays and rumors that the building may not even be structurally sound, could this be Kim Jong Un’s next pet project? If nothing else, it at least has a new propaganda sign: “Rocket Power Nation.” Walls set up to keep people out of a construction area around the gargantuan Ryugyong Hotel were pulled down as the North marked the anniversary of the Korean War armistice, the AP reports. Revealed were two broad new walkways leading to the building and the big red propaganda sign declaring that North Korea is a leading rocket power. That, of course, is Kim’s other pet project.

For more than a week leading up to the anniversary, a major holiday in North Korea, “soldier-builders” at the site in central Pyongyang were clearly visible behind the walls. Work on the building began in 1987 but it was little more than a concrete shell for decades. The shiny exterior was finished with funds from an Egyptian company in 2011 and from a distance, the glassy, greenish-blue Ryugyong looks like it’s ready for business. But it is believed to be far from complete inside and possibly even structurally unsound. How Kim can afford to pay for the apparent construction boom and his significantly accelerated testing of multimillion-dollar missiles is a mystery, but has led many sanctions advocates to point the finger at China, by far North Korea’s biggest trading partner, for not doing enough to turn the economic screws on its neighbor.

Li’l Kim’s contribution to the great wonders of the world.

Time for some rest and a beer… well, be safe…..chuq


15 thoughts on “Closing Thought–04Aug17

  1. Hard to see the point of constructing this hotel, when the DPRK has such little tourism.
    Perhaps he knows something we don’t? 🙂
    regards, Pete.

  2. Actually, it sounds just like the entire political philosophy upon which NK is based, which is the very same basis ALL governments embrace, to wit: show is more important than substance. Every government in the world relies on the public’s willingness to look at the shiny objects in one hand, while the other hand is screwing them blind…

    Pretty much status quo for human culture, I’d say, & not at all different than the theoretical wall at the the border….

    See ya….

    gigoid, the dubious…

      1. lol…. I suppose, but, the other one isn’t far behind in chin-count. But, I refer mostly to the simple fact they’re both narcissist sociopaths, whose entire existence is based on show over substance…. as long as they can feel they are the ‘show’…..


      2. Should you have quit while you were ahead? If you think Trump is a tyrant,… You have to be old enough to have some appreciation of the difference between living in the USA and North Korea. What is the point of saying such silly thing? You hate Trump? That says more about who?

        When a tyrant has power, he will exercise it. When a man has a mouth or an Internet connection…. Since it is not especially wise to be a tyrant, tyrants often make oddly foolish decisions. Sometimes it is not especially wise to speak or write, but we have better odds than tyrants.

        There is that old tale about The Emperor Who Wore No Clothes. There is a lesson there for all of us, not just the leaders of nations and empires.

        Had not heard about the hotel. Would be good if the North Koreans actually loosen up enough to make the place a tourist destination of some sort, but I suppose that is unlikely.

      3. *smile* It is always entertaining to see how others react to what I write; it’s part of why I write at all… but, I’ll first point out I did not say, nor ever will say, I hated Trump. I have very little, if any respect for him, as he is a narcissist, and a sociopath, and has never, ever done anything based on any sort of ethical basis…. at least none that I can make out; he has spent his entire life in fear, and a sense of false entitlement. His misogyny is also a rather unattractive feature of his psyche, indicating a depth of ignorance, and fearful cowardice, unusual even in so twisted a mind…

        I stand by my comparison of the two, because Kim displays the exact same characteristics in his own actions…

        But, I hate what they do, not their own pathetic selves; they are only a product of their own ignorance a fear, worthy only of my pity, not my anger. I try to reserve that for more competent targets….

        I do like the ‘dubious’ nature of your remarks; it is good to doubt….

        Be well, & happy as you may….

        gigoid, the dubious

      4. @gigoid

        So you don’t hate President Donald Trump? Well, considering all the “kind” words you have for him, I am a bit dubious about that.

        Typically, Democrat Liberals will find some way to defend the outrageous behavior of Democrats just because for some reason or another it does not matter. If nothing else, Democrat Liberals will ignore the bad behavior of Democrats and refuse to talk about it. On the other hand, we get these long lists of angry and ridiculous charges just because the guy is not a Democrat Liberal. I am a bit dubious about that too. How does anyone reconcile an obvious double standard like that?

        So yes, I have my doubts. Human beings never cease to disappoint. That’s the main reason I favor limited government. I don’t see much advantage in giving people the power to spend other people’s money on other people. Just encourages more dubious behavior. In fact, when people can use the power of the government to spend other people’s money on other people, they too often try to use that money to force other people to believe and do things they don’t believe and don’t want to do. That’s the sort of thing that makes someone like Kim Jong-un, the Supreme Leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), dangerous. He has that sort of power. North Korea is not so democratic, and it sure isn’t a republic.

        When people spend their own money, since they had to work to earn it they are less likely either to waste it or to use it make other people do things they don’t want to do. Most people prefer to spend their hard earned cash improving their own lives or the lives of their family and friends. When we confine ourselves to minding our own business, it does make things more peaceful.

        Since Trump favors limited government, I find any comparison between him and Kim quite dubious. It seems to me Kim behaves more like a Democrat Liberal, but even though Obama did things such as siccing the IRS on the Tea Party and Conservative political groups, I have not noticed anything that rivals the abuses of government power in North Korea. So perhaps even comparing Obama with Kim is a bit dubious, but it certainly more appropriate than comparing Trump with Kim.

      5. In your response, you label me a Liberal Democrat. Nothing could be further from the truth. I would say, if I MUST adopt a label, it would be that of an anarchist, for I don’t believe in the need to have leaders in whatever form of government people feel the need to adopt. It has been said, “Integrity has no need for rules.” — Albert Camus I happen to agree with that. The experiment the founding fathers (especially the one whose sobriquet you have assumed) attempted to form a democratic republic, but, as Tom himself noted, that dream was compromised almost immediately by the oligarchs, who consistently corrupt every government humans have attempted to use.

        Camus also said, “I love my country too much to be a nationalist.”, for he well knew the danger of adopting a label. When one does so, anyone with a different label becomes a potential enemy, and actual communication becomes problematic.

        I could go on indefinitely, including correcting more of your mistaken assumptions. But, it is clear you have already made the decision to wear your chosen labels, so, anything I might say would be relatively futile, for belief, in anything, is the death of learning (from R. A. Wilson). Once one believes something, further evidence, whether contradictory, or supportive, is rejected out of hand…. I gave up on knocking down brick walls with my head some years ago….

        As for Obama, he was, in my estimation, one of the worst disasters to ever hit this country; his natural ability to lie with complete sincerity made him a very dangerous man to have in a position of such power….

        But, then, anyone who wants that much power over others, in my mind, is clinically insane from the outset, & nothing good can ever come from buying into their bullshit….

        Enjoy your political engagement; me, I’m gonna go play my guitar, & try to ignore them all….

        gigoid, the dubious

      6. Did not know what label to apply to you, but the most vociferous complaints about Trump generally come Democrat Liberals.

        Anarchist? Very few people would call themselves an anarchist, but I agree an anarchist is a bit different from a Democrat Liberal.

        I refer to myself as a Constitutional Conservative. I recognize that my integrity is not perfect, and I know of no one other than Jesus Christ whose integrity is perfect. So I don’t see how we can avoid the need for a government to enforce some rules and to help us resolve our disputes. Even if in my pride I thought my own integrity perfect, I would still be stuck with the problem that some people lack perfect integrity. Therefore, I would have to concede the need for a government to solve that problem.

        The problem with the proud, however, is that they generally think they ought to be the government. Since excessive pride is a common problem, it tends to cause much strife.

        The experiment of the founding fathers illustrates this difficulty. In order to create a government that could enforce needful laws and yet still be controlled by the People, the framers of the Constitution carefully crafted checks and balances designed to keep any faction from gaining excessive power. They knew that in time what they had crafted would fail, but they did what they could, and they thanked God it worked as well as it did.

        Generations have passed. Many have forgotten the lessons that framers of our Constitution well understood. For example, we have the 16th and 17th amendments which give far too much power to the Federal Government. Thus, we have used our Constitution poorly, and today much of what that document says is ignored.

        Is Trump the solution? Can he restore our constitutional republic to its former state? Can Trump improve our government so that it is even better than what the framers gave us? I don’t think so. One man by himself can do a great deal, but not by himself. Leaders need followers both to do the work and to hold them accountable. In addition, our president does not by himself have sufficient power. To get much done, Trump needs enough like-minded people in Congress. Can we get more such people elected? Time will tell, but when the alternative is what the Democrat Liberals offer, I will support Trump, and I will try to elect Constitutional Conservatives.

        Trump is definitely not Constitutional Conservative, but he seems more akin to Conservatives than Democrat Liberals. So I think he can work with people like me.

        for belief, in anything, is the death of learning (from R. A. Wilson).

        That is a curious statement from someone who just expressed so many beliefs so adamantly. Do you have an explanation?

        Anyway, thank you for the kindness of a reply. Hope you enjoy your guitar.

      7. A very measured response, mon ami, and I appreciate both the erudition, and, more than I can say, meeting someone who can both type, and correctly punctuate… (grin…).

        I can agree with your curiosity re: my statement, attributed to R.A. Wilson; in truth, the statement made turns out to be my own take on his true words, which were, “Belief is the death of intelligence.” In my mind, I inadvertently combined it with another of my favorite social philosopher’s words, to wit: “Belief gets in the way of learning.” — Robert A. Heinlein

        I stand by the statement, either way, and my ability to voice strong opinions, which I hope are based on reason, and rationality, is easily explained by the simple fact of doubting even my own thoughts; it’s too much to expect the universe to stop changing, thus making the ability to abandon old data in favor of new, thereby opening the way to learning. It seems clear to me this becomes a key strength, if one has any expectation of surviving…. As Aristotle noted, “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought
        without accepting it.”

        Regarding the need for governments to settle potential conflict & dispute, it only becomes necessary when people forget that, as the Irish proverb goes, “it is in the shelter of each other that people live.”

        Also, thank you for calling me kind; the Dalai Lama & I take hands there, as he calls kindness his only religion. Or, as Julius Levinson, (the character in the movie, “Independence Day” played by Judd Hirsch) said, “All you need is Love.” – John Lennon. Smart man….”

        Again, thanks for the thoughtful comment; I’ll enjoy communicating with you again….

        gigoid, the dubious

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