An incredible story

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The author peeks up from behind her mother’s back around 1980.

I READ A LOT because I’m smart, or maybe it’s the other way around.

Aside from my frequent mentions here that I often read a spell during the late afternoons down on the plaza, accompanied by a café Americano negro, I don’t do book reviews nor do I plug them, usually. But I’m gonna make an exception.

The Girl With the Seven Names.

girlIt’s written, along with a Welsh ghost writer named David John, by Hyeonseo Lee. I believe all Koreans are named either Lee or Park. That’s not the name she was given at birth but one of the seven she picked up along the escape route.

She fled North Korea. It’s not the first book I’ve read by North Korean defectors. It’s the second or third. But it’s by far the best, the most gripping, the most incredible.

This book was on the New York Times Best Seller List in 2015, so you may know of it. I pay no mind to best-seller lists anywhere, so it was new to me.

Kindle recommended it.

Something I did not know was that although North Korea’s southern border, the one with South Korea, is heavily guarded and difficult to pass through, the northern border with China is a walk in the park to cross. The problem with escaping that way is that the Chinese will send you right back if you’re caught.

Lee was just 19 years old when she crossed into China. The years-long, often harrowing tale of her trek to South Korea and then the added, equally gripping, story of how she managed to get her mother and brother to South Korea too is something you don’t want to miss. It’s a story of terror, love, deceit, cunning and sheer luck.

It takes you through China, Laotian prisons, Vietnam and tense bus journeys.

North Korea is usually referred to as communist, but it’s about as communist as I am. It’s an old-school Oriental despotism that’s totally misplaced in today’s world. A bit more communist, but not all that much, was Stalin’s Soviet Union and Mao’s Red China.

These facts support the common leftist claim the communism has never really been implemented, and that is quite correct. When the pie-in-the-sky notion of communism is tried, human nature swiftly comes into play, and despotism follows.

This is a wonderful book. It ends happily, and Lee is beautiful. How has this not been made into a movie? She’s in her late 30s now and lives in South Korea.

Joy of Trump

ABC NEWS and The Washington Post, two paragons of unbiased journalism, recently put their heads together to do a poll. Not shockingly in the slightest, they found that most Americans think Trump is doing a lousy job.

serveimageThe pollsters they hired, one imagines, especially me, are the same ones who predicted a Hillary landslide last November. Ooops-a-daisy!

One aspect of the Trump presidency that I have been following with smiles is his campaign against regulations. These are virtual laws put forth by people in government who’ve not been elected to anything whatsoever.

But they excel at regulations, and the United States currently staggers under regulations. One of Trump’s campaign promises was that two regulations would be canceled for every new regulation dreamed up.

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Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program. — Milton Friedman

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Trump has far exceeded the two-one rule. Last I read, it was about seven-one. Yes, seven regulations killed for each new one created. Regulations, if you’re not aware, have a very oppressive effect on the economy and society.

But bureaucrats love to create regulations. It justifies their jobs and makes them feel good about themselves. Trump’s war on regulations is one of the many fine aspects of his presidency so far. Here are more details.

Leftists will not see this as positive because they love a heavily regulated society, which is antithetical to liberty.

I propose a new regulation (at least two others will have to be destroyed). It will require everyone who votes for the Democrat Party to be rafted to Cuba. They will find many regulations there, and they will live happily ever after.

Cuba gets internet!

serveimageOH, SURE, internet has been available in Cuba for a spell for certain hotshots, but now regular Cubans will be eligible to surf the web.

Of course, the cost will be high and the connection speed will be dicey but, hey, that’s better than nothing, right?

I learned about this development from a story on the PanAm Post. Some readers will recall that we went to Cuba in 2012 for our 10th anniversary. I wrote a two-parter here that I later combined on its own website, redhellhole.

Inch by inch, Cuba is coming out of its cave, the grim time that began with the success of the Castroite Revolution that guaranteed a low standard of living for everyone. Well, except for the Castro boys and their cronies. They’re filthy rich.

To this day you run into plenty of clueless individuals who hold Cuban communism in high regard. Few, if any, of them choose to live in Cuba, of course.

Blue = red

This is no joke. Equal sign. Get it?

WHAT A coincidence! It was just a few days ago that I wrote about Equality People, a term I invented. I’ve even placed a definition in the right-side column here for your convenience.

And now I’ve discovered they actually have a flag. That’s it above, and it’s no joke. This has apparently replaced the EP’s old flag, the red one with the hammer and sickle.

This is a logical development because their old flag has become laden with baggage over the decades, what with Stalin, Mao and Fidel.

And millions murdered.

Time for a fresh flag.

Makes sense they would dump red, that now being the color of conservative states where live hillbillies, rednecks, Nazis, Pentecostals and people who wed their cousins.

Blue is soothing, and it seems to be the default color online for websites and whatnot.

They want you to be soothed. Snoring is even better.

Karl Marx must be smiling.

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(Note: Here’s the Thursday news story that alerted me to the new socialist banner. Who knew?)