Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Disco Balls and Vipers' Nests

North Korea likely has not actually advanced their nuclear technology to go from a technician-pampered "device" to a rugged and miniaturize "weapon":

The accompanying article said Kim was congratulating his nuclear weapon scientists for having developed a miniaturised nuclear warhead: a claim being met with scepticism by various Western analysts.

I admit that I'm just a history major, but it looks like the North Koreans are trying to weaponize a disco ball.

Speaking of mind-numbing stupidity, check out the North Korea expert who is really upset about our larger-than-usual joint exercises with North Korea that prompted a northern temper tantrum:

Various security policy think-tanks have accused Washington and its South Korean allies of raising tensions on the Korean peninsula, calling the exercises ill-advised. Stephan Haggard from the School of Global Policy and Strategy at University of California, San Diego, who authors a blog on North Korea, told news sites like CNN, "I didn't see the logic of expanding the exercises. I personally think that upping the sizes of the exercises didn't serve any material function. It's not clear that the size will bring North Korea back to the diplomatic table, so there's no real purpose to do that. All you've done is stir the viper's nest."

Ah, the in-depth knowledge that enables an expert to put North Korea's actions in "context."

It's a viper's nest. Which means there are vipers there.

The vipers are pre-stirred, you must admit. What doesn't set off North Korea's nutball ruler?

North Korea on Wednesday sentenced an American student who admitted stealing a propaganda banner from a hotel to 15 years' hard labour for subversive activities, state media said.

And while I have sympathy for the young man's ordeal, let's ignore for now the stupidity of vacationing in North Korea and the immorality of providing that concentration camp with a UN seat hard currency to pay for that experience.

[UPDATE: I'm not the only one to feel this way:

It’s not a country, it’s a prison camp and a torture chamber. Taking a tourist trip there means spectating on the murder and abuse of your fellow human beings, and putting hard currency into the hands of the people responsible for those crimes.]

As I complained more than a decade ago about another expert who counseled working with the vipers:

What is it with some experts? Why do so many believe that the best use of their expertise is to identify the proper officials to whom we should surrender? Why do they think we need to know the precise language and manner of our surrender notice so that we don't offend them with our crude ways?

I have deep respect for the knowledge that subject experts have on their subject. What I don't have respect for is the judgment to make broader conclusions about what to do about the subject they can explain.

I swear to God, some academics simply live in an echelon above reality.