Should the USA reward Stupidity?

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Yes, I know that promoting stupidity within the ranks of government is simply what happens (Peter Principle – Thanks to Lawrence J. Peter for making it somehow respectable.). I understand that many bonuses are handed out to lazy drones who work for government. It justifies even larger bonuses for those who are in-charge and are lazier and more wasteful.

BUT – 

Should America try to free STUPID citizens who were seized by hostile regimes when they went to “visit”? 

If you are a Bible thumper and you bring the good book with you to Iran, you can expect to be arrested and held as a hostage in a cold, damp prison without bacon, for twenty years. It’s not that they need that much cause to arrest you and hold you in a prison for twenty years. They can plant the Bible in your luggage. It begs the question why anyone would go to Iran and expect to be allowed to leave.
The same is true of North Korea.
(Time) On 22 January, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) announced that it had arrested Otto Frederick Warmbier, a student tourist, for “carrying out a hostile act against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea with the tacit connivance of the US government and under its management.” The announcement did not specify the hostile act.

The actual arrest occurred in late December, according to one source. It is typical of North Korea’s police style to make the arrest at the airport as an accused boarded an aircraft for departure.

Almost anything could be a hostile act in North Korea. When the US had Department of Energy inspectors at Yongbyon, an inspector was almost killed in a fight because he had folded the North Korean newspaper so that the fold creased the front page picture of Kim Chong-il. A North Korean engineer attacked the American engineer because he had defiled Kim’s image and that is a capital offense. 
Nevertheless, the North can overlook such offenses when it is in its interest. The US engineer received a warning and instruction about North Korean laws. He was not expelled or arrested.

Suggesting that the fat little fuck who they call “Dear Leader” is anything but the divine ruler of the universe carries with it a sentence of death. Violation of any of thousands of obscure laws in the peace loving Democratic People’s Republic of Korea brings with it a sentence of death. All that being the case, why would an American visit the worker’s paradise–EVER? And having done something that STUPID, why is it in our interest to do anything other than send Otto’s parents a Darwin Award (honorable mention since he’s not dead yet)? And maybe a fruit basket or something purchased at taxpayer expense, to express condolences. (I’m not completely heartless)
When North Korea, Iran or any of those miserable hell holes gets into a diplomatic dispute with the U.S. government, they like to grab any American they can find and use them as bargaining chips. Why do we allow any US citizens to travel there? A travel ban for other than approved diplomatic purposes should receive a disclaimer: Abandon Hope all yee who enter here!

22 thoughts on “Should the USA reward Stupidity?

  1. Without bacon for twenty years…what a dreadful thought. Yeah, go to visit nice places like England or Rome or something.

    I hope when I come to Texas I don’t get arrested for eating my sausages with a knife and fork.

    Anyway, famous words from a great comedian of yours: You can’t fix stupid – Ron White.

  2. I don't think that eating a hot dog with a knife and fork in Texas is illegal. However, the bloggers should be allowed to sell tickets to the event so that the locals can see something that they're not likely to ever see again (and the bloggers can profit).

  3. I agree with you completely, but some of the cross-huger's believe that, like the apostles and the Jihadist, it is noble to die for your Lord and Savior. Jesus said to go into the highways and byways (or something like that) to spread His word… but he also said don't cast your pearls among the swine(or something like that.) Go wherever and spread the good word to those who would listen, but don't waste your time talking to idiots who will kill the shit out of you for doing so. In this case, I would really like to know his offence. I hope he didn't fold he newspaper or give a gate guard some lip.

  4. …or they felt in need of a hostage.

    My point is that anyone who goes to places like that opens themselves up to persecution and imprisonment and I'm not sure that the people back home should care.

    I've been to some hell holes in my life, and my thought was always that I might have to fight my way out or I'd just be killed. That goes with the turf. But I wasn't so stupid as to go as a tourist.

  5. On the one hand, I think that stupid people should face the consequences of their actions. On the other, any government that doesn't bother to protect its citizens abroad will forfeit any credibility it has from the world community.
    Remember, the United States was a joke until it fought the Barbary Pirates to protect and recover its citizens from the depredations in the Mediterranean.

  6. >why would an American visit the worker's paradise–EVER?
    My thoughts exactly. A few years ago a friend who travels extensively (for pleasure, hostel style) declared he was going to the DPRK because he wanted to see the Mass Games. With my usual tact I asked him if he was stupid, crazy or both. "Oh, nothing would happen to me. It's very safe as long as you stick with the guides. You can't wander off anywhere anyway (which is too bad), so I can't get in trouble."
    M: So it's "both." They'll do what they want to you, which admittedly is likely to be "nothing" but if they grab you, you can't count on Bill Clinton to go grovel on your behalf. [c.f. Euna Lee, Laura Ling, 2009] Besides, you're Jewish, by surname and appearance. The Norks aren't crazy about Israel or Jews in general, you know.
    F: I have an American passport.
    From there it degenerated into a discussion about American prestige and reputation in the Obama years.

    While I feel bad for Warmbier, I my sympathy is somewhat limited. The company he was travelling with is called "Young Pioneers Tours" which tells you something. Admittedly I'm not sure what exactly, since after loading their logo which has mock-Cyrillic backwards "E" and "R" characters, their site crashed my browser, but the Washington Post has a quote from one of their tour guides: “I’m passionate about travel to so called ‘rogue nations’ and changing people’s often incorrect perceptions of them,” wrote one of the company’s guides, Shane Horan of Ireland, on its website. Anyway, Warmbier is from a nice affluent Midwestern neighborhood and probably a nice enough progressive/idealistic fellow. I know any number of people like that, and many cannot truly believe that Bill of Rights-type protections do not extend globally, and act accordingly.

    On the topic of foolish people going to bad places, any news on what's happening with Oregon folk singer James Twyman who is off to serenade ISIS?

  7. We can always hope that this experience ends well for the kid and maybe, just maybe, opens his eyes to the lies he's being told as a "nice enough progressive/idealistic fellow".

  8. Sometimes the hot dogs are so large in Texas that it's hard eat them with your hands. This is a fact.

  9. In Chicago, if you are seen putting ketchup on a hot dog, you can reasonably expect to receive a severe beating by the flash mob that will form. If you simply eat a hot dog with a knife and fork, the mob will only yell at you.

    Just so you know.

  10. I've been saying this for decades to anyone who will listen: if you want to visit countries that are hostile to Americans, expect hostilities. Duh.

    These stupid dopes who get grabbed by rogue governments deserve every indignity they suffer. To include bacon deprivation.

  11. Depriving anyone from bacon is cruel, unusual and inhuman. But I don't think that other Americans need to die to free him from his stupidity.

  12. The Barbary Pirates attacked American flagged vessels on the high seas and seized their crews. (not unlike the DPRK attacking the USS Pueblo on the high seas and imprisoning its crew)

    Morons like the recent Iranian hostages and Otto, above, traveled into hostile lands willingly. Not unlike laying on a railroad track and waiting for the train.

    In the first case where people were attacked and imprisoned, we should in turn attack those regimes and lay waste to their lands. In the second, I don't personally feel liable to send my own family members and neighbors there to lay down their lives to free the fool.

  13. Otto is a fool, his family members are fools for allowing him to go on a "Young Pioneers tour" and likely paying for it. Let them bargain with the DPRK for his release. If any of you find out where he's being held, let me know. I'll mail him soap on a rope.

  14. I eat my hot dogs Chicago style with mustard, pickle relish, onions, tomato slices and green peppers – for the record. And I don't even live in Chicago. I eat my roast beef sandwiches with sweet peppers on them and nothing else. I understand how civilized people are expected to behave.

    LSP – you are from England too, so I don't know what to say, except that you must try to adapt to your Texas surroundings. I hope that you don't default to eating a Karen's brisket burrito with a knife and fork when I'm not around to keep you on the straight and narrow path.

  15. I am still a Canadian, loving living in America, and I think what has made me the maddest is the total disregard by the man occupying the Oval Office and all those who surround him of the Consititution which they all had to swear an oath to uphold. Not only ignoring and thumbing their noses at the people, but stomping on virtually every liberty which the Constitution is based on.
    I pray that those who are able to vote will wake up this coming year and make their voices heard in November. I still have to wonder though with the communists in Washington, will the elections make a difference? Will acorn get by as they have in the past with registering cartoon characters and dead people, or sending Black Panther thugs out to polling places to scare off voters? Will the liberals in Washington contest every election? I pray it's not too late to turn back. God Bless~

  16. It's up to the people to decide whether they will have ObamaNation or freedom. I hope that they decide wisely, but the last two go-rounds have been dismal, haven't they?

  17. That's what I said. You could just as easily say that those ship captains and crews knew the pirates were there and should have avoided the Mediterranean; therefore, they deserved what they got. ("The high seas" sounds like the open ocean, but the attacks were really in the Mediterranean "enclosed sea.")The credibility of the United States rested on its willingness to protect and recover its citizens from foreign depredations, regardless of how those foreign depredations occurred.
    I see you're not too interested in opinions that conflict with your own. Another blog I'll never read again. Saves me lots of time.

  18. Yep, he's a fool for even going there… He's nothing but a political tool for the NORKs now…

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