Margaret Thatcher, Pablo Neruda, Cher, Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Shelagh Rogers, Nutella, Crisps, Bed Bugs

Podcast 38 | Week of 14.04.2013

margaretthatcher

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North Korea is a crime organization masquerading as government

North-Korea

WITHIN DAYS of the return of Dennis Rodman, the ad-hoc US Secretary for DPRK-American Goodwill, we now have for our consumption James R. Clapper’s “Worldwide Threat Assessment,” presented March 12 to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. In his crisp overview, titled “Iran and North Korea Developing WMD-Applicable Capabilities, ” the Director of National Intelligence makes ample use of the phrase “we do not know” — and though you may be tempted to deride, this is the Hermit Kingdom we’re speaking of, after all.

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Sinkholes, Supreme Court, Toronto Crane Tweets, Free Speech, Dennis Rodman, Pessimism, Sequestration

Podcast 32 | Week of 03.03.2013

Toronto

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The Conservative Party’s courting of China is shameful

I KNOW FROM experience the most efficient way to start a fist-fight in some circles is to use, without irony, the word evil. As in the phrase Axis of Evil. On this principle, George W. Bush was mocked for years by lefties who noted condescendingly (though correctly) that the President’s eyes were just a bit too close together for the nation’s good. One afternoon in the mid 90s, the man who would memorably link Iran, Iraq and North Korea — Bush Jr’s speechwriter, David Frum — passed in front of my car while I was at a red light. I confess repressing an urge to step on the gas. Some years on, however, I’ve a greater respect for Mr. Frum, and in part it’s due to the fact that I think there really is such a thing as evil, perhaps even in axis form.

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Holding Out for the Bloodless Revolution

WITHIN THE space of days a bottomless media appetite will undertake the task of digesting 2011. A year of surprises, rebellion, and upheaval, its closing weeks now deliver the news that Václac Havel and Kim Jong Il have died. It is an offense against taste to fadge these two men in a final recollection, but it happens that mere chance has given us an occasion to ruminate on the just-maybes of 2012.

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An Unwelcome Birthday Gift For Kim Jong Il


It seems to me that Kim Jong Il’s birthday is a good day to reflect upon the fact that the regimes of North Korea and China are this world’s most depraved and dangerous abominations. The former constitutes “the world’s greatest ongoing atrocity,” and the latter, which appears to compete for that honour, has an ever-growing sphere of influence reflecting its ambition to become the leading world power. So the question ought to be asked, What do you suppose are the prospects if the “international community” continues to shrink from the firmness of commitment that these times require? Before you answer, consider the following.

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