Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Anything Goes Wednesday

Back from my first day of teaching at Seoul Women's University. Surfacing from the deep well of estrogen into which I was plunged this morning and early afternoon, I give my verdict:

Oooooooh, yeah.

But it's just as I expected: the ladies in my classes are all undergrads, and while there may be plenty of hellcats among them, there are some ground rules of human conduct every moral man of 34 must obey:

1. You do not talk about Fight Club.

2. You DO NOT BANG YOUR STUDENTS, especially when they all look "barely legal."

Upon these two greatest commandments hang the Law and the Prophets.

While there were plenty of cuties in the classes, the cutest cutie was one I saw outside while walking home from my final class. I doubt she was staring at me because she found my gut sexy; more likely she was thinking to herself, "Yet another sweaty foreigner bringing the odor of phallocracy and kyriarchy to our abode of sapphic delights. I'd bite off his hairy orchids right here if I could get away with it." I got similar stares while in the Science Building's cafeteria to get a drink. Animal attraction or simply the urge to bite off the foreigner's balls?

In any case, the cutie's lingering stare caused subterranean stirrings. She looked like a grad student, too-- should've snagged her by the elbow and asked her to marry me.

Yes, this might be an interesting semester.

In other news-- I'm experiencing a mini Marmot-lanche and... Anus-lanche? My thanks to both Robert and KBJ for their links, undeserved though they be.

One of the cool things about Anything Goes Wednesday is that I can catch up on cool links I missed on Monday and Tuesday.

Andi's blog has a whole host of posts worth reading; here's a link to the entire blog. Just keep reading. She makes me wonder if she isn't writing a second book, piece by piece.

Rathbone Press has a must-read about "the China factor."

Pythi Master's fisking of Rumsfeld-- with footnotes-- deserves a thorough reading. Wooj made the right decision to wait for his wrath to cool down and coalesce into something more precise and deadly. Rumsfeldians? Your reply? Also of note is Wooj's link to Rumsfeld's meltdown on "Face the Nation," in which he had his own words quoted back to him re: the "imminent threat" issue. I suppose a defender of Rumsfeld could get nitpicky about the quotes, but watch Rumsfeld himself in that clip: he's clearly uncomfortable, and I was left cringing for him, despite being-- sorry, Wooj-- something of a Rummy fan.

I should explain my own Rummy fanitude. It's mainly because I agree with his military philosophy: slimmer, sleeker, better-coordinated armed forces, more oriented to surgical strikes and multifront conflict, with less emphasis on the ability to conduct huge, WW2-style campaigns. Aside from that, I like Rummy for the same reason others hate him: he's not very diplomatic. So yes, he comes off as an asshole; the only question at that point is your attitude toward assholes. And whether it's important for the assholes to be on your side.

Carpemundi sends me the following article (subscription to JP required), which looks at both Teh(e)ran's and Pyongyang's nuclear assholery. One great snatch from this article reads:

The nuclear weapons ambitions of both Pyongyang and Tehran beg the question: how do we reverse nonproliferation violators?

Enforcing treaties in the anarchical world of international politics is an old problem. But in the current era it is all the more important given the risk that nuclear materials can migrate into the hands of terrorists.

The solution calls for new international standards that would promise nonproliferation treaty violators sure and swift consequences. Embodied in a new nonproliferation action template, enforcement would begin within two weeks of an IAEA declaration of noncompliance. Sanctions against the violator would become progressively more intense and mount quickly:

Weeks 1 to 2, international calls for compliance "or else."
Week 3, suspension of international commerce.
Week 5, ban on international travel.
Week 7, naval and air blockades to enforce all prohibitions.
Week 9, military action.

The very next sentence had me rolling, though, because it's a good candidate for Understatement of the Year:

But there remains a practical problem: the enforcement mechanism.

The rest of that paragraph sounds just as British:

The Security Council would be the obvious candidate. It best represents the cross section of global interests. But as Iraq and North Korea cases demonstrate, the Council has the propensity to dither. Furthermore, the United Nations itself has no standing instrumentality for enforcement.

I love the 9-week calendar approach. But as Aesop asked, and it's the UN's question as well: "Who among us mice is going to put the bell on the sleeping cat?" To appreciate the actual situation, in which powerful UN member states are stymied by tiny North Korea, you have to imagine the mice are the size of Great Danes, but still afraid of the cat.

"Propensity to dither" indeed!


No comments:

Post a Comment


All comments are subject to approval before they are published, so they will not appear immediately. Comments should be civil, relevant, and substantive. Anonymous comments are not allowed and will be unceremoniously deleted. For more on my comments policy, please see this entry on my other blog.

AND A NEW RULE (per this post): comments critical of Trump's lying must include criticism of Biden's lying on a one-for-one basis! Failure to be balanced means your comment will not be published.