Thursday, April 5, 2012

Happy Birthday North Korea

“Welcome, lotto losers. Remember, you're not just losers. You're mega-losers! If it makes you feel any better, the odds of winning were 176 million to 1 — about the same odds the Supreme Court will pass Obamacare.” – Jay Leno

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"George Zimmerman's family has been all over TV this week. The dad told Fox News that the real problem is so much hate coming from Obama. You know what, man. Obama has drones and Seal Team Six. If he hated you, you'd know about it." – Bill Maher

Sometime next week, North Korea will be launching a long-range, polar orbiting missile. It has invited observers from the US to watch, but we have declined, since it's better for us to make ultimatums and throw hissy fits from a distance. North Korea is saying that the missile is for scientific purposes, to help map resources on the Korean Peninsula, and to bolster communications, yet the fear is that it will a an inter-continental ballistic missile test, instead.

North Korea makes a combination of good reasons for this missile along with some downright silly ones, which begs the question why do countries like North Korea and Iran feel that their pride and identity as a country is at stake, if they are successful or not??? Asia Times reported on this press release, the four reasons why North Korea feels it must launch this missile:

"Firstly, the satellite launch has long been planned as part of nationwide celebrations for Kim Il-sung's centenary. No one can stand in its way.
Secondly, firing a satellite into orbit is pursuant to the will of the late, great fatherly leader Kim Jong-il. For the Korean people, there is no disobeying it.
Thirdly, the Kim Jong-eun administration is only exercising its inalienable right of sovereignty. For Pyongyang to yield to outside pressure and demur on the planned satellite would suggest that North Koreans are not as proud a people as they are.
Fourthly, the payload mounted on the Unha (Milky Way) rocket is a polar-orbiting observation satellite. It is designed to transmit important prospecting data on the underground resources of the Korean Peninsula, as well as weather and mapping data."

So, we can see that they are going to launch this missile to save face for some insane dead guy, who officially began their special form of institutionalized paranoia over 40 years ago. But never fear, because the US has at least one fleet prowling the area, and the Japanese, who never have had a paranoid event in their history, will have their own missiles pointed at the North Koreans and their harmless rocket, no need to worry, what could go wrong? And here I thought that Syria or Israel would spark the next world war...

We just haven't figured out if the new Kim is more level-headed than his father and grandfather, and if the hoary old generals will let him make decisions for his country. They already decided to let people starve and launch this missile instead, ruining a deal where the US would send them some food. Enjoy that incredibly large firework, and remember, that we are all just waiting for some lame excuse to shoot it down from the sky... After all, the worst they could do with a successful long range missile, is sell it to Iran...

If you;ve never seen a rocket launch into polar orbit, it really is quite beautiful. A few years ago I worked outside at night in California, and happened to watch a missile leave our atmosphere at two o;clock in the morning. At first, I thought that I was watching a meteor, until I realized that it was going in the other direction, upwards towards space. It took several minutes before it winked out and disappeared as it left our atmosphere. My father told me the next day that the Air Force Base at Lompoc often fired missiles to send satellites into polar orbit, and what I saw had been launched over 400 miles away. I was actually able to see this one more time about three months later, which somehow made the job I was doing seem alright...

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