It’s Always Earth Day in North Korea

Posted by Stranded in Sonoma

North Korea. Just saying it makes you think of cruelty, hate, starvation, inhumanity, barbarism, genocide…in other words, all of the most typical attributes of a socialist country.

And every year, the enviro-nazis want us to be more like North Korea. We are supposed to turn off our lights for an hour on Earth Day to…well, I’m not sure why. To be one with Mother Gaia? Except all it does is to make my house dark. Kind of like North Korea every frickin’ night of the year! Look at the photograph. The distinction between freedom and socialism could not be more clear. The light of freedom versus the darkness of socialism. No wonder why the intelligent people say liberals have been seduced by the dark side. Look at the largest spot of light on the Korean peninsula, just below the national border on the left. That is the capital of South Korea, Seoul. Look at it! The light of civilization stretching for miles. Not to mention all of the other points of light in South Korea. Notice the contrast?

In the 19th century, Paris was called the City of Light. NOT the city of lights. What was meant by Light was all of the learning, knowledge, freedom, innovation, discovery, industry, commerce, and science. Many great things were discovered or built by the French in the late 19th century. Louis Pasteur saved millions of lives due to his study in the fields of Chemistry and Microbiology. Ferdinand de Lesseps was a capitalist of boundless optimism whose company built the Suez Canal. Just to name two. French was considered the language of second choice for the non-French. The French did, well…everything! And when electric lighting was installed all over Paris, there could be no mistaking it as the true City of Light.

In August of 1953, the Korean War ended. Both North and South Korea started at roughly the same spot economically. Both had been ravaged by three years of war. Both were heavily indebted to a much larger benefactor country. Both had to start from scratch. But that is were the similarity ends. South Korea had United States troops to protect it from any more incursions from the North. The government was free to concentrate on the economy. They held free elections and have had 11 presidents. Their current president is Park Geun-hye. She (yes, SHE!) was the chairwoman of the conservative Grand National Party. They got most of their help from the United States. Look at what 60 years of that help has done.

In North Korea, the government demagogued the U.S. troops as possible invaders. They built the military and police forces to the detriment of a sound economy. Their royal family, the Kim’s, have been in power since the creation of the country in 1948. Yes, it is a monarchy. What do you call a family-based, bloodline oriented, non-elected national ruler? I call that a King. Which is strange because the entire reason Karl Marx wrote about communism and socialism was due to his distaste for monarchies. They got “help” from the Soviet Union and from Communist China. And look what 60 years of that “help” has done.

Do you own a Samsung TV or cell phone or even household appliance? What about a Hyundai car? Just those two companies account for 20% of the GDP of South Korea. Look at the 2010 GDP tables in this article. The province of Chungnam has the same per capita GDP as that of the United States! Its GDP growth was a whopping 12.4% in 2010! The national GDP of South Korea is $1.151 trillion!

What is the GDP of North Korea? Well, no one is really sure. It is estimated to be around $40 billion. For all we know, it could be $1.98. Discussion Question: Name me all of the products you own that are built in North Korea. Yeah, me neither. Discussion over.

Think of all of the innovation, learning, knowledge, and commerce that takes place every day in South Korea. They don’t turn their lights off to celebrate Earth Day.

Now look at North Korea. They “celebrate” Earth Day, every day.



What’s Retro is New

Posted by Stranded in Sonoma

My wife and I went shopping the other night and she wanted to look at…blenders. So, we headed on over to JCPenny mostly because she had a 20% off coupon. There was lots of remodeling going on but finding the housewares section was pretty easy. I wanted to get some clothes and the housewares section was moved right to where men’s clothes used to be!

Well, we started looking at all of the fancy, heavy plastic, computer-controlled blenders and none seemed right. Then I spotted the retro model in the photo to the left. Massive glass pitcher — check! Brushed metal base — check! Single three-place metal-post toggle switch — double check! Look at that beast! Flip the 1940’s RadioShack high tech toggle switch up, and it locks in the on position. Back to the middle is off. Push to the bottom and it turns on, but letting go, springs the switch back to the middle off position. Geez! That “technology” is older than ME! I didn’t know they even made these anymore. This blender is so retro, I felt like I was channeling Fred Waring. Unfortunately, we didn’t buy it. Maybe 60 bux is a bit much for a glorified whisk.

The Information Superhighway to Nowhere, CA

Posted by Stranded in Sonoma

Remember when California was the technology leader in the United States? Remember when California was the technology leader in the WORLD? Remember when Silicon Valley was the place to be for your high-tech company, established or start-up? Remember when California would do all it could to attract high-tech innovators and leading edge technology?

Of course you remember it because none of the above is the case now and hasn’t been for some time. Oh sure, Google is still there, along with Apple and Hewlett-Packard. But when was the last time you heard of major progress in the high-tech industry being exhibited in California? All we get now are liberal tax and spend boondoggles like the “high speed” rail that will just become another big hole in the ground into which tax money is poured.

Google’s new innovation, Google Fiber, is a fiber optic network that allows 1 gigabit internet speeds into your home. If was first introduced in Kansas City and just recently in Austin, Texas. Now, most people are probably doing fine with what they have. They don’t need that much speed and may not see major improvement over what they have now. But this is kind of like Highway 101 in Marin and Sonoma counties. For the longest time, U.S. 101 got little improvement over its original implementation. In 1973-74, it was moved east of Novato so you no longer had to drive through the city. Just before the Novato improvements, a new viaduct was built in San Rafael as an adjunct to the original one that only allowed 2 lanes of traffic per direction. Sonoma County got zero improvements until the mid to late 1990s. Unfortunately, as the population grew due to the migration from Marin to Sonoma, U.S. 101 stayed the same. Most of that migration happened in the 1980s. At one point, the section of 101 including Petaluma and the Cotati Grade was seeing over 90,000 vehicles an hour. It is now 2013 and most of the approved upgrades have finally been finished for Sonoma County. Those should have been done 20 years ago. Highway 101 south of Petaluma and north of Novato, where Marin and Sonoma counties meet, has changed just once when an overpass to the county dump was built due to the number of fatal accidents with cars and trucks trying to cross the north-bound lanes of traffic. That section is still just a divided highway and not a freeway.

Now picture that type of people/traffic backlog on the web. Eventually we will need to start upgrading all of our networking infrastructure. We need to do this now before the old infrastructure no longer meets the needs of the growing number of internet users. But not in California! Here is Google’s reasoning why.

Many fine California city proposals for the Google Fiber project were ultimately passed over in part because of the regulatory complexity here brought about by CEQA [California Environmental Quality Act] and other rules. Other states have equivalent processes in place to protect the environment without causing such harm to business processes, and therefore create incentives for new services to be deployed there instead.

In other words, California is where technology, innovation, progress, and intelligence go to die. Do you have a great idea for some technological improvement that will benefit millions? Don’t bother with California. All you’ll get are rules and regulations designed to thwart progress, stifle business, and kill innovation. That is the socialist way in California.