Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Double standard argument defeated

Now that North Korea has unabashedly joining the nuclear club, be prepared to hear the tired old arguments about the West’s double standard regarding nukes.

“Israel has nukes, India has nukes, why don’t we threaten them with sanctions?”

This argument is akin to asking why it’s okay for an upright citizen to own a gun, but not okay for a deranged psychopath with a history violence to own one.

India and Israel are both democracies. Both have open and free press’, open borders and neither poses a threat to its neighbors, provided they are not attacked. Despite all of the bluster from Arabs, they know they have nothing to fear over Israeli nuclear capabilities. They know that so long as they don’t attack Israel and threaten its very existence, Israel would never even consider the use of such weapons. Ditto for India, who has never invaded any of its neighbors, save for protecting its territory from the privations of fundamentalist Pakistan.

This is not the case with North Korea or Iran (or Pakistan, which is already nuclear), all countries with expansionist dreams of dominating and bullying their neighbors and spreading their violent, totalitarian ideologies, be they secular or Islamic.

Anybody who makes the “unfair” argument is either an idiot, or is not interested in a rational discussion about the dangers of nuclear proliferation but rather in scoring points against Israel, or both.

Stop playing games, China

Why has China acted as North Korea’s body guard for so long? Fine, I understand their support for NK during the Korean War, but what about since the 1990’s till now?

China is no longer a communist country. It is a totalitarian country with a free market. The Chinese government is well-aware that stability among their population is best maintained by economic growth. That means business and trade with other states, specifically developed ones. I don’t have the data, but I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that China does more business with South Korea than NK. After all, South Korea is one of the world’s largest economies.

In the absence of communist ideology, in light of the fact that trade and economic growth are necessary for China, the question begs: What the hell do they get out of protecting NK?

If anything, the Chinese should be embarrassed and ashamed. NK is a basket case, a crazy country ruled by a freakin’ weirdo who starves his people by the millions

It looks like the Chinese might play ball with us in the Security Council. Great, however, if they do not, or if they are about to balk, the US has to play hardball. We should let the Chinese know that we will help Taiwan go nuclear and develop enough offensive missiles to hit anywhere in mainland China. We will urge the Japanese to go nuclear and expand their military forces. We will support South Korea to the hilt, as much as they want and need our support. If they want to go nuclear, let them.

I am sure a big part of China’s support for NK is to stick a finger in our eye. But now the gloves come off. Let’s see if a nuclear East Asia is in their best interest. Let’s see if the Chinese still want to protect their psychotic little freakazoid basket case of an ally.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Wok update

Well, I’ve been putting my wok to good use. I was surprised to learn that more care goes into a wok than a normal cooking pan. For one, you have to give it a serious initial rinse in order to get rid of the coating put on at the factory. Once that is finished you have to “season” the wok. This is accomplished by heating oil in the wok and making sure the oil is spread around the entire wok. It takes about ten minutes to heat and this process must be repeated at least three times.

Once you have seasoned your wok you can start cooking. However, after using your wok it should NEVER be cleaned with soap; otherwise the seasoning process must be repeated. Essentially, your wok should always have a thin coat of oil covering it at all times to prevent rusting.

Thus far, cooking with the wok was everything I had hoped for and more. It heats up incredibly fast. I tossed in some finely chopped chili, garlic and larger piece of mushroom, bell pepper, onion, broccoli and sweet pea pods onto a dollop of super-heated olive oil, fish sauce, chili oil and soy sauce. The sizzling, crackling sound was music to my ears. The aroma was music to my nose, even though my nose can’t listen to music. I dumped my flash-cooked, stir-fried veggies onto a bed of rice and I was good to go. It was delicious, or as they say in the Far East, dericious.

Last night I experimented with deep frying. I bought tempura mix (although from now on I’ll try to make my own) and coated chopped pieces of veggies with tempura and placed them in the wok, which was filled with olive oil. I used a mix of soy sauce and fish sauce for dipping and the flavors were out of this world. Later I did the same with chicken strips. Mmm, good.

I also made a Thai volcano sauce last night, and it turned out pretty well. I’m going to keep experimenting with sauces until I really get the hang of them. It’s easy to cook veggies and make rice. The key to a good Asian or Indian style meal is the sauce.


Atomic North Korea

Here's my quick drive-by take on the North Korean atomic bomb test. Not sure I can add much to the fray, but here it goes:

The big news of the day is the apparent successful detonation of a North Korean atomic bomb. The detonation will send shockwaves far beyond the Korean peninsula.

Japan will be further emboldened to develop its military capabilities, which isn’t all together a bad thing. Maybe South Korea will consider going nuclear? Still, widespread nuclear proliferation is not a positive development.

How do we know the North Koreans won’t sell a ready-made nuclear devise to the highest bidder? They are certainly poor as all hell and have already sold ballistic missiles to rogue states like Syria (spit!).

Finally, Iran is watching this closely, especially how the Security Council will be dealing with North Korea. Will the S.C. slap on sanctions? Will the sanctions have teeth? Iran will be watching and paying very close attention.

Sit back boys and girls, this is going to get interesting—and not in a good way. As the old Chinese curse goes: May you live in interesting times.

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