Monday, December 19, 2011

EPA Seeks More Power?, Bachmann's Gay 'Myth', Winter Wind Explained, Rear-End of a Monkey, North Korea

Looks like while I was sick and sleeping there was a lot going on. 

First, there was a title to an article that struck me as quite funny. 
"EPA Seeks More Power To Regulate Environment (here)
Doesn't that kind of contradict what the Environmental Protection Agency is all about?

Then there was the fact that the 2012 candidates respond to death of Kim Jong Il. (here) Who didn't think that they would flab their jibs about that event!  They all love to hear themselves talk.  I'm sure they all will be making smart judgements about the future for that country as they do for the United States.

Along with those things, you should hear me shutter when I see Bachmann's gay 'myth'.(here) Is she gay?  I had not even fathomed that thought!  Does her husband know? 

Yes, I know that was just a teaser to get people to open the tab.  No, not living under a rock here.

"Being Santa: 7 men share tales from behind the red suit" (here) explains a lot about the wind coming from the North during winter.  However, it doesn't explain why the wind is so darn cold!  Additionally, those 7 men who were directly behind the suit, well, I'll bet their tales of survival are amazing!  I hear that one of them is Sylvester Stallone.  Maybe that is why his face is kind of interesting looking lately, and his speech has even gone past the mumble of the glory days he had in Rocky.

Again, "North Korea Test Fires Short-Range Missiles Off Eastern Coast" (here), with the emphasis on "test-fire"!

While I was sick and sleeping, I also missed Axelrod, being his very wise self, comparing former House Speaker Newt Gingrich to the rear end of a monkey. (here)  I, myself, have not actually analyzed either rear end so I couldn't tell you.  However, Axelrod's brain may be compared to the...well, I don't need to go there.

An actually serious story that needs to be addressed is the death of the 69 year old North Korean Leader and what will subsequently occur as a result.  Here is a collection of sources and parts of their stories to fill in the blanks as we know them now.
North Korean Leader Kim Jong Il, 69, Has Died
Published December 19, 2011
Kim Jong Il, North Korea's longtime leader, has died at 69 of a heart attack, state TV reported on Monday in a "special broadcast."

State media reported that Kim suffered the heart attack while riding a train on Dec. 17, and that he had been treated for cardiac and cerebrovascular diseases for some time. It said an autopsy was done on Dec. 18 and "fully confirmed" the diagnosis.

"It is the biggest loss for the party ... and it is our people and nation's biggest sadness," an anchorwoman clad in black Korean traditional dress said in a voice choked with tears. She said the nation must "change our sadness to strength and overcome our difficulties."
Kim is believed to have suffered a stroke in 2008, but he had appeared relatively vigorous in photos and video from recent trips to China and Russia and in numerous trips around the country carefully documented by state media.

The communist country's "Dear Leader" -- reputed to have had a taste for cigars, cognac and gourmet cuisine -- was believed to have had diabetes and heart disease.

South Korean media, including Yonhap news agency, said South Korea put its military on "high alert" and President Lee Myung-bak convened a national security council meeting after the news of Kim's death. Officials couldn't immediately confirm the reports.

In September 2010, Kim Jong Il unveiled his third son, the twenty-something Kim Jong Un, as his successor, putting him in high-ranking posts.

State media called Kim Jong Un the "great successor" to the nation's principles Monday, encouraging support for the heir-apparent. 

It also said saying citizens must "respectfully revere" Kim Jong Un. 

"At the leadership of comrade Kim Jong Un, we have to change sadness to strength and courage and overcome today's difficulties," it said.

Traffic in the North Korean capital was moving as usual Monday, but people in the streets were in tears as they learned the news of Kim's death. A foreigner contacted at Pyongyang's Koryo Hotel said hotel staff were in tears.
Asian stock markets moved lower amid the news, which raises the possibility of increased instability on the divided Korean peninsula.

South Korea's Kospi index was down 3.9 percent at 1,767.89 and Japan's Nikkei 225 index fell 0.8 percent to 8,331.00. Hong Kong's Hang Seng slipped 2 percent to 17,929.66 and the Shanghai Composite Index dropped 2 percent to 2,178.75.

Kim ruled North Korea with an iron fist for 17 years. He succeeded his father, revered North Korean founder Kim Il Sung, after the elder Kim's death in 1994. The nation remains one of the last remnants of the Cold War era, and is heavily isolated. 

Kim maintained absolute control of his country and kept the world on edge with erratic decisions regarding the country's nuclear weapons program. 

North Korean legend has it that Kim was born on Mount Paektu, one of Korea's most cherished sites, in 1942, a birth heralded in the heavens by a pair of rainbows and a brilliant new star. Soviet records, however, indicate he was born in Siberia in 1941.

The elder Kim fought for independence from Korea's colonial ruler, Japan, from a base in Russia for years. He returned to Korea in 1945, emerging as a communist leader and becoming North Korea's first leader in 1948.

He meshed Stalinist ideology with a cult of personality that encompassed him and his son. Their portraits hang in every building in North Korea, and every dutiful North Korean wears a Kim Il Sung lapel pin.

Kim Jong Il, a graduate of Pyongyang's Kim Il Sung University, was 33 when his father anointed him his eventual successor.

Even before he took over, there were signs the younger Kim would maintain -- and perhaps exceed -- his father's hard-line stance.

South Korea has accused Kim of masterminding a 1983 bombing that killed 17 South Korean officials visiting Burma, now known as Myanmar. In 1987, the bombing of a Korean Air flight killed all 115 people on board; a North Korean agent who confessed to planting the device said Kim had ordered the downing of the plane.

When Kim came to power in 1994, he had been groomed for 20 years to become leader. He eventually took the posts of chairman of the National Defense Commission, commander of the Korean People's Army and head of the ruling Worker's Party. His father remained as North Korea's "eternal president."

He continued his father's policy of "military first," devoting much of the country's scarce resources to its troops -- even as his people suffered from a prolonged famine -- and built the world's fifth-largest military.

Kim also sought to build up the country's nuclear arms arsenal, leading to North Korea's first nuclear test, an underground blast conducted in October 2006. Another test came in 2009, prompting U.N. sanctions.

Alarmed, regional leaders negotiated a disarmament-for-aid pact that the North signed in 2007 and began implementing later that year. The process has since stalled, though diplomats are working to restart negotiations.

Following the famine, the number of North Koreans fleeing the country rose dramatically, with many telling tales of hunger, political persecution and rights abuses that North Korean officials emphatically denied.

Kim often blamed the U.S. for his country's troubles and his regime routinely derides Washington-allied South Korea as a puppet of the Western superpower.

Former U.S. President George W. Bush described Kim as a tyrant. "Look, Kim Jong Il is a dangerous person. He's a man who starves his people. He's got huge concentration camps. And ... there is concern about his capacity to deliver a nuclear weapon," Bush said in 2005.

Defectors from North Korea describe Kim as an eloquent and tireless orator, primarily to the military units that form the base of his support.

He also made numerous trips to factories and other sites to offer what North Korea calls "field guidance." As recently as last week, the North's news agency reported on trips to a supermarket and a music and dance center.

"In order to run the center in an effective way, he said, it is important above all to collect a lot of art pieces including Korean music and world famous music," the Korean Central News Agency story read in part.

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Kim's death brings fears of North Korea hot potato

By Scott Snyder, Special to CNN
updated 9:40 AM EST, Mon December 19, 2011
The reclusive North Korean leader Kim Jong Il visits Russia in August. The world has reacted warily to news of Kim's death.
The reclusive North Korean leader Kim Jong Il visits Russia in August. The world has reacted warily to news of Kim's death.

Details Scarce About 'Great Successor' of North Korea Kim Jong Un

Published December 19, 2011
| NewsCore
The man named the "great successor" to take control of North Korea in the wake of the death of Kim Jong Il, is a baby-faced twenty-something with virtually no public profile outside of his home country.

Kim Jong Un, known only to be in his late 20s, has gained the little profile he has over the past three years -- as he has slowly been pushed forward as the man to take over from his ailing father.

On Monday, that transition was seemingly complete, with North Korean state media reporting that the younger Kim, born to the late leader's third wife, was the "great successor" to his father.

"Standing in the van of the Korean revolution at present is Kim Jong Un, great successor to the revolutionary cause of juche and outstanding leader of our party, army and people," the country's official news agency said, referring to the official ideology of juche or self-reliance, AFP reported.

"Kim Jong Un's leadership provides a sure guarantee for creditably carrying to completion the revolutionary cause of juche through generations, the cause started by Kim Il Sung and led by Kim Jong Il to victory."

But it was only in September, 2010, that the first ever adult picture of Kim Jong Un was run by state media -- after he was appointed as a four-star general and given senior ruling party posts, The (London) Times reported.

The photo shows a young man, who looks not much older than a teenager, standing next to his father at a formal event clapping his hands.

More recently, North Korean media has started calling the younger Kim the "Little General," The Times reported.
US intelligence agencies have closely studied Kim Jong Un for nearly three years after word came out of Pyongyang that a political transition had begun, The Wall Street Journal reported.

But Washington has also privately voiced concerns that the younger Kim might not be able to consolidate power as his father did after taking power in 1994, potentially leading to greater instability.

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