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​The Winter Olympics vs. A Nuclear Winter

by Charlie Barber | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Last Word | January 17th, 2018

Minotaur– An ancient Greek monster with the head of a bull and body of a man.
 - Encyclopedia Britannica

“Therefore, the tormented spirit that glared out of bodily eyes, when what seemed Ahab rushed from his room, was for the time but a vacated thing, a formless somnambulistic being, a ray of living light to be sure, but without an object to color, and therefore a blankness in itself. God help thee old man, thy thoughts have created a creature in thee; and he whose intense thinking makes him a Prometheus; a vulture feeds upon that heart forever; that vulture the very creature he creates.”
– Herman Melville,Moby Dick

“The McCarran Act (McCarran-Walter, Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952) is an attempt to change laws to correspond to administrative policy. The attempt may succeed, but if and when complete success has been achieved, there will also have been achieved the complete demoralization of the staff of the Department of Justice and large sections of the American people. It is a comparatively simple thing to mobilize majorities in Congress to pass laws, and for judges and administrators to set out to apply them. But you cannot reverse the whole historical past and traditions of a people by packaged legislation and loud propaganda. Certain policies demand total destruction of a legal system, its replacement by a new one, totalitarian indoctrination of the population in the new doctrines, and storm troopers or G.P.U. (KGB) men to enforce them. Try to carry them out by grafting them onto a traditionally democratic system, and the result is complete chaos. I saw that happen to a nation [between] 1934 and 1939."
– C.L.R. James, Mariners, Renegades & Castaways: The Story of Herman Melville and the World We Live In

Korea offers an extreme example of what occurs when, for 1500 years, …Individuals rely on patrons, chance, personal appearance, family, and, in recent times education, to bring them success, but not on organization. This tendency has long inhibited the formation of true political parties, and such groupings as have existed have been temporary associations of individuals whose desire for personal power has far outweighed any wish for group continuity. This is a phenomenon of the vortex (whirlpool) in Korean politics both present and past.
– Gregory Henderson

I am always amazed when I hear people saying that sport creates goodwill between the nations… At the international level, sport is frankly mimic warfare.
– George Orwell, 1945

“After Olympic deal, North Korea figure skaters may lead team.” 
– Bismarck Tribune, 01/10/18

As Donald Trump continues his manic pursuit of unenlightened self interest, Republican Senators Chuck Grassley (IA) and Lindsey Graham (SC) have enabled him by deceptively criminalizing messengers of the President’s unique “madness,” despite their vetting by the FBI and bold release of Fusion GPS transcripts by Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA). (See Luke Harding, Collusion: Secret Meetings, Dirty Money, and how Russia Helped Donald Trump Win)

I don’t get it. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan just pulled off a major victory for Minotaurs (“Millionaires in Need of Tax Relief”) and Trump signed it. They don’t need Trump, or Steve Bannon, anymore. What could possibly go wrong? The American economy hums along, and whining do-gooders, liberals, and Democrats can be ignored, as usual. Such naysayers are insufficiently awed by technological progress which allegedly benefits all, but they can be cowed by attacks on their patriotism and threats of a government shutdown.

Except for two things I suppose: Alabama and Korea. The traditional 21st Century Republican tactics of divide and rule through racism, tribalism and fear mongering aren’t working so well there, and the whole world knows about it.

In Alabama, black voters and white Republican men and women teamed up on December 12, 2017 to elect a white man, a Democrat, to the U.S. Senate on issues of decency, and outrage against organized contempt against women in particular and human rights in general. Perhaps worse, on January 8, 2018, the Alabama “Crimson Tide” won the NCAA college football championship with a Hawaiian kid at quarterback, and the opposing coach from the University of Georgia didn’t question his citizenship. It is now official that tolerance has broken out in the Deep South that clearly benefits the “Deep State,” known to all but right wing wackos as “government of the people, by the people and for the people.”

In Korea, despite Donald Trump’s nuclear sabre rattling, North and South Koreans are preparing for the decidedly “peaceful” Winter Olympics of 2018, in the faith that, despite Orwell’s gloomy forebodings, the “mimic warfare” of international sport is infinitely superior to nuclear warfare from any motive whatsoever. It was clear to me that I would have to turn to my KGB Husky insiders for answers.

High Plains Reader: Hello there old friends, I see you have some company!

Putin: Yes. This is our colleague Kim Dog Un. She is a Siberian Husky from a family of huskies going back to when the Soviets were letting North Korea use MIG jets in the Korean War of 1950-1953.

HPR: Wasn’t the Korean War a war between the U.S. and Communist China?

Rasputin: Of course. Mao was a pawn of Stalin in that case, in an attempt to wear down the resolve of the U.S. and the West to stand strong in Berlin and Europe.

HPR: The ploy didn’t work did it? Despite the disastrous involvement of the U.S. in Vietnam, where the people there didn’t like China anymore than the Koreans did, the western alliance held firm long enough to ensure the fall of the Soviet Union in 1989-1991, President Vladimir Putin’s primary reason for hating the U.S.

Kim Dog Un: Correct. But China got tired of being Russia’s pawn; and Maoism, for that matter. Chinese Communism’s only real advantage had been to restore historical Chinese strength lost by a succession of weak rulers in the 18th and 19th Centuries. By the time that President Richard Nixon brokered détente in 1972, China was open for business.

HPR: Which really got American corporations excited with the cheaper labor available to undercut high wages in the U.S.

Putin: Naturally. Just think of China as one big corporation, as well as the oldest of the world’s great civilizations, and you can get a better handle on it.

Kim Dog Un: And Koreans, North and South, have always been caught between China, and the Japanese. Remember them?

HPR: I do. Japan is the reason why the U.S. is the only nation so far to use nuclear weapons in anger. President Harry Truman deemed it more reasonable than to risk the one million Allied casualties estimated to occur in the event of an attempted landing in Japan in 1945.

Kim Dog Un: Today’s world leaders all know what happened then, and realize that nuclear war is bad for business, especially the business of international sports we know as the Olympics. North Korea’s Kim Jong Un surely knows this as well. He uses his nuclear arsenal threat only because he doesn’t have any other weapons to maintain his family in control. He knows very well that the corporate model applied to South Korea is far superior to anything that his regime can produce for his people. It’s quite possible for North Koreans to find out about what’s going on in South Korea, just as it was for former Communist East Germans to find out what was going on in prosperous, and capitalist, West Germany.

HPR: But won’t the Winter Olympics expose inadequacies of North Korea?

Rasputin: It’s a better risk for Kim Jong Un than nuclear war. Or drinking with Dennis Rodman. Even Russia’s doping ban is a bigger risk to the games than that.

HPR: What about Trump? Doesn’t he frighten Kim Jong Un?

Putin: Sure he does. But Trump doesn’t frighten China or Russia. They’ve been through worse, and they know that, although Trump is corrupt to the core, he is a businessman who sees no percentage for himself in nuclear war. Besides, they don’t have to worry about a Bob Mueller!

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