Even a superficial look at Young Pioneer Tours, the people who brought American college student Otto Warmbier to North Korea, raises serious questions about the practices of the company that advertises "budget travel to destinations your mother would rather you stayed away from." Warmbier was detained while trying to leave North Korea at the end of his trip with Young Pioneer Tours and imprisoned last year. The regime returned Warmbier to his parents last week with severe brain damage. On the Young Pioneer Tours website, only a few of the many seemingly innocuous activities that the United States Department of State warns
Doesn´t sound like a trustworthy organization. NK probably lets them in to squeeze some money out of gullible tourists. As for why they would go to NK to start with, it´s probably to get some kind of thrill, thinking nothing will happen to them. Note that one student was saying how nice the people were - apparently overlooking that everything is stage managed for visitors by the evil regime.
Some of you sound like people of common sense but also rather arctic. It sounds like this young man went to China and found out about Young Pioneers Tours while there. His parents weren´t there. He probably didn´t know travel to NK was even possible and the YPT website is deceitfully upbeat. They make it sound like travel to North Korea is no more dangerous than a ski trip using youth hostel-type accommodations and blithely promise to smooth out any problems should they occur. Like many before him in life, Otto Warmbier learned a hard lesson the hard way and his story remains as a cautionary tale for others. For his parents this is a time for grieving. They must shoulder whatever blame they feel themselves. This is a time for compassion because any one who has been a parent can remember times that their children did stupid things due to a callow sense of trust.
The tour guide company sounds completely irresponsible and this is no way to be in a hard-line communist nation. The sentence for Warmbier was nothing short of ridiculous. Seventeen years?! Get real.
There were a couple of US Army defectors in North Korea. One was assigned duty of permanent henchman to beat up the other defectors, on demand, if the North Koreans called for it. So the question is what did they do to Warmbier? ´ suspect he rebelled re the hard labor and either they gave him poison, radioactive material or just beat him to one level below dead, aka coma. This is unacceptable to have an American citizen returned to us in this condition. Perhaps we should have travel bans to North Korea. It´s kind of surprising it isn´t already banned. Stop playing with that regime! No one should go there, it´s just not worth the risks. They take themselves wayyy too seriously. Read up on all the things they´ve done since the Korean war, before committing to a trip there-you just might be surprised. This encompasses kidnappings, assassinations, killing American servicemen here and there, killing South Koreans here and there and we always let them get away with it. After reviewing how evil they are, one may reconsider going there.
With all the information available via the Internet and even places like CC, any self aware college kid should have had a clue about NK. Heck, CNN even had a special some time ago on NK showing starving kids picking up grains of rice in a field and being ignored by the adults. And quite frankly, I find it rather insulting to the people of NK, other than those sanctioned by the regime, who have to tolerate these spoiled kids from the West out of desperation in trying to survive. It ´s the same reason I don´t like zoos.
The question no one is asking is why the current generation has no knowledge of North Korea and its history. they aren´t being taught. They aren´t being taught about the Soviet Union, communism, and the atrocities of communist regimes of the 20th century.
Otto Warmbier is not to blame here. We can sit and judge him about the foolish decision he made, but obviously, he did not know it was a foolish venture. Who is to blame here? Perhaps the parents, in part, but certainly there is even more blame to place on the fact that our children are not being taught the truth in public schools.
Being a ´kid´ is no excuse for flirting with dangers in the world. It´s not a video game in your parent´s basement. Thinking that you will don a Hemmingway hat, a walking stick, backpack and hiking boots and visit a dangerous place like NK is totally irresponsible. I never understood people going to war torn countries or communist controlled places and think it´s a thrill. Join the Army or Marines let them supply you with the correct paraphernalia and you can visit all you want and maybe return home safely. I feel sorry for the family but someone sure isn´t showing any intelligence about the world´s dangers.
North Korea is a giant prison/slave state. 99.9% of the population has no real rights. That includes visitors. A true socialist utopia. It is a dangerous place to visit. Anybody thinking of visiting NK needs to realize that.
That occurred to me, #16. How is it that a 22-year-old college student is so clueless about a known quantity? Because he is fed a line by the media, academia, and liberal progressives that trivializes and mischaracterizes totalitarianism. The USA is the worst bad actor on the planet, don ha know?
There´s no way I´d ever want to visit North Korea, but should you be that crazy, MIR Corporation does offer escorted tours. I´ve used them for trips to Russia/Mongolia and they are top-notch. MIR also does trips to Iran and I´d never go there either, but it takes all kinds to make a world and why shouldn´t the fools have their travel desires catered to.
In 2008, Barack Obama carried North Carolina, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. In 2016, President Trump flipped those five states on his way to a 30-state victory, the most states won in 20 years. Now those five states are in the running to land a $10 billion in a display-making factory.President Trump gets credit for this one. From Nikkei on November 18: TAIPEI -- iPhones might one day soon carry "Made in America" labels. Key Apple assembler Hon Hai Precision Industry, also known as Foxconn Technology Group, has been studying the possibility of moving iPhone production to the U.S., sources told the Nikkei Asian Review.
Oh how the media protested when President Trump fired Democrat Preet Bharara. The media portrayed him falsely as the bane of Wall Street. But Saint Preet was a sham political appointee hired from the staff of Democratic Senate Leader Crying Chuck Schumer to shakedown corrupt corporations to "donate" ti Democratic Party "charities" to avoid criminal prosecution. I explained that already. Now a judge has shown what kind of half-assed lawyer Bharara is in court.(Snip) From Newsday: A federal judge in Manhattan has reduced one count of a drug conviction and accused prosecutors of using “misleading” tactics in a case that
Oh Lordy, this is divinely funny… (Via Daily Mail) Former FBI director James Comey made a quiet visit to The New York Times on Thursday, one of few public outings since he admitted leaking stories to the newspaper about President Trump before the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 8. (Photo)Leaker Comey kept his sunglasses on and his gaze forward as he marched through the front entrance of the Times Square office building which houses the publication shortly after 6pm. He was accompanied by his wife Patrice Failor who also wore sunglasses. (read more with additional pictures)
The latest development, in the ongoing Arab state GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) initiative to stem the destabilizing behavior of Qatar, is a list of demands presented to Qatar. If you have followed the regional issues for the past few years you’ll quickly identify how each of the demands cuts to the core of the destabilizing issues.Included in the demands: *Shut down al-Jazeera, *stop cooperating with Iran and *expel Turkish military provocateurs (Erdogan). The binding thread that connects each of these demands is the effort to stop Qatar from supporting/assisting the Muslim Brotherhood. WASHINGTON (AP) — Kuwait has given Qatar a list
For the second time in four days, the White House barred television cameras from a media briefing Thursday and prohibited live audio broadcasts. Press secretary Sean Spicer also skipped the session, deploying his deputy, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, to answer questions instead. Off-camera briefings are becoming a regular occurrence in the Trump White House, especially on big news days. (Senate Republicans released their health-care plan Thursday, and the president finally said that he did not record conversations with former FBI director James B. Comey.) In keeping with a promise we made
After Democrats announced they wanted nothing to do with the Obamacare reform efforts, the Democrat leadership and their water-carrying media counterparts cried foul because they feel they were not consulted on a current Senate bill to reform Obamacare. Go figure. The original (’09/’10) ObamaCare bill was 2,700 pages and most of the toxic takeover construct was intentionally and ambiguously deferred to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius where she added an initial 74,000 pages of regulatory and compliance rules and procedures. [Those HHS regulations now total 673,448+ pages and growing.]
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell released the draft for the Senate’s healthcare reform bill Thursday. The Senate’s bill features more generous tax credits for low-income and older Americans, a slower rollback of Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, and repeals most of Obamacare’s taxes. Additionally, the Senate healthcare bill proposes to: Repeal Obamacare’s individual and employer mandate and repeal most of its taxes except for the “Cadillac tax” on premium health care plans. Keep Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion until 2020. In 2021, Medicaid expansion would phase out the expansion over three years, ending in 2024. The plan would limit Medicaid spending with per capita caps, or states can decide
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is facing unprecedented pressure, as frustrated Democrats have begun — for the first time in seven years — to talk about replacing her after a series of disappointments at the ballot box. Pelosi was hailed as a driving force behind Democrats’ victory in 2006, when the party seized both houses of Congress and set the stage for victory in the 2008 presidential election. She became the first female Speaker of the House, and set about centralizing power in the Speaker’s office, ruling her caucus with unquestioned authority and promoting an unapologetically liberal agenda. However, Pelosi’s role
The little-known “Optional Practical Training” program has grown from 91,140 new foreign job-seekers in 2009 to 329,158 new job-seekers in 2016, according to data provided by the Department of Homeland Security. That is almost a four-fold increase in seven years — and the program is growing even larger in 2017. There is no cap on the OPT program, which quietly and semi-automatically gives work permits lasting up to three years when requested by foreign students who graduate from U.S. universities and colleges. Companies are not required to even interview Americans before hiring OPT graduates — and they get tax breaks for
President Donald Trump returned to Iowa on Wednesday, rallying with thousands of supporters at an arena in Cedar Rapids. “It’s always terrific to be able to leave that Washington swamp and spend time with the truly hardworking people,” he said. “We call them American patriots.” The mood was celebratory, particularly after Republicans won congressional special elections in Georgia and South Carolina. Trump congratulated the Republican victors — Karen Handel in Georgia, and Ralph Norman in South Carolina. “All we do is win, win, win,” he said, referring to the election results. “Even the worst of them say ‘That was a
Josef Joffe’s article in last Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal, “How Trump is Like Obama” castigates President Trump and former President Obama equally for the decline of the United States as a global leader. True to the headline, Joffe places Obama’s eight years in office alongside Trump’s five months (along with the things he’s said over the years) for undermining the American leadership the world has relied upon since World War II. (Snip)Unless one can make the case that Obama’s Iran nuclear weapons deal was good for the free world (I can’t), there was very little world leadership during his eight
Exodus. It is 3,500 B.C. It is a hot day east of Memphis at the edge of the waters. With the Egyptian army at their backs and the sea in front of them, certain of the Hebrews hesitate. “Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness.” America today is in Egypt. The great industry of ordinary men and women has been idled to fill the granaries of the administrative
Jon Ossoff was on a trajectory to defeat Karen Handel narrowly, poised to deliver a humiliating blow to the White House in a race billed as a referendum of Donald Trump’s early months in office. Then the Republican voters in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District unexpectedly showed up in droves. Pollsters say sky-high turnout drove Handel, the GOP nominee, to a nearly 4-point victory on Tuesday, despite most pre-election surveys showing Ossoff with a small-but-shrinking lead. Mathematically, a 4-point loss for a Democratic House candidate in a district that has traditionally elected Republicans by wide margins is an encouraging result for
California is restricting publicly funded travel to four more states because of recent laws that leaders here view as discriminatory against gay and transgender people. All totaled, California now bans most state-funded travel to eight states. The new additions to California’s restricted travel list are Texas, Alabama, Kentucky and South Dakota. They join Kansas, Mississippi, North Carolina and Tennessee as states already subjected to the ban. California Attorney Xavier Becerra announced the new states at a Thursday press conference, where he was joined by representatives from ACLU Northern California and Equality California.
(Facebook) - Former President Barack Obama took to Facebook to ask Republicans to reconsider their efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare. "I recognize that repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act has become a core tenet of the Republican Party," Obama wrote. "Still, I hope that our senators, many of whom I know well, step back and measure what’s really at stake, and consider that the rationale for action, on health care or any other issue, must be something more than simply undoing something that Democrats did." He argued that the Republican health care bill
In a year that he would like to forget, which included his acrimonious divorce to Amber Heard, Johnny Depp appeared at a Q&A at the new Cinemageddon stage at Glastonbury. Introducing his 2004 film The Libertine, about a 17th-century poet who notoriously drank himself to an early death, the 54-year-old chose to discuss American politics. "I think [Donald] Trump needs help," he said. "There are a lot of dark places he could go." He added: "I´m not insinuating anything - by the way this will be in the press and it will be horrible - but when was the last
Most illegal immigrants who pay taxes have stolen someone else’s legal identity, and the IRS doesn’t do a very good job of letting those American citizens and legal immigrants know they’re being impersonated, the tax agency’s inspector general said in a new report released Thursday. The theft creates major problems for the American citizens and legal foreign workers whose identities are stolen, and who have to deal with explaining money they never earned. But the IRS only manages to identify half of the potentially 1.4 million people likely affected by the fraud in 2015, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax
[…] John Anzalone, Ossoff’s pollster, said the Democrat’s campaign succeeded in turning out its voters — but they were swamped by Republicans who came out in numbers that ended up dwarfing previous high-profile special elections (link) That’s a very interesting admission/statement for a Politico article. That’s also an example of what happens when President Trump’s ‘Monster Vote‘ turns out. (Politico) Jon Ossoff was on a trajectory to defeat Karen Handel narrowly, poised to deliver a humiliating blow to the White House in a race billed as a referendum of Donald Trump’s early months in office. Then the Republican voters in
The deadly collision between a U.S. destroyer and a container ship June 17 took place while the freighter was on autopilot, according to Navy officials. The Philippines-flagged cargo ship ACX Crystal was under control of a computerized navigation system that was steering and guiding the container vessel, according to officials familiar with preliminary results of an ongoing Navy investigation. Investigators so far found no evidence the collision was deliberate. Nevertheless, an accident during computerized navigation raises the possibility the container ship´s computer system could have been hacked and the ship deliberately steered into the USS Fitzgerald, an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer. A more
President Donald Trump has said he will pursue legislation that would bar immigrants from being eligible for welfare for at least five years. At a rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, last night he said ´the time has come´ for ´new immigration rules´ that would require those seeking admission to the country to be able to support themselves financially and would bar the use of welfare for a period of at least five years. He said his administration would be ´putting in legislation to that effect very shortly.´ It is unclear, however, how Trump´s proposal would change the current situation.
Attorneys for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl want to ask potential jurors in a court-martial for their views on President Trump and whether they voted for him, according to news reports Wednesday. At a pretrial hearing Wednesday, Berdahl´s lawyers submitted the questions to the judge in the case, out of concern that jurors may be swayed by negative comments Trump made in the presidential campaign about the soldier. "The principal issue has to do with ensuring we are able to identify people who have been nominated to be on the court-martial panel — the jury — who are not in a
President Obama has been out of office only a few months. But he might have both a street and an L.A. freeway named after him soon. Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson has proposed renaming Rodeo Road in southwest L.A. “Obama Boulevard” in honor of the president. Wesson noted that Obama held a campaign rally at Rancho Cienega Park on Rodeo Road when running for president and that the area already has streets named after presidents (Washington, Jefferson, Adams). In May, a plan to name a stretch of the 134 Freeway after Obama moved forward with approval from the
Ex-Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson’s testimony Wednesday should mark the definitive end of “Russia hacked the election” hysteria. Too bad it took so long to get to this point. Johnson told the House Intelligence Committee outright that the Russians failed to alter “ballots, ballot counts or reporting of election results.” Yes, it’s clear Russia (with Vladimir Putin’s full approval) orchestrated cyberattacks designed to influence the 2016 contest, and also pushed fake news. But the hack, and release via WikiLeaks, etc., of Democratic e-mails produced nothing game-changing. The biggest impact was to confirm the obvious: The Democratic National Committee favored Hillary Clinton from the
President Trump said Thursday he has "no idea" if there are recordings of his conversations with former FBI Director James Comey. "With all of the recently reported electronic surveillance, intercepts, unmasking and illegal leaking of information, I have no idea … whether there are ‘tapes´ or recordings of my conversations with James Comey, but I did not make, and do not have, any such recordings," Trump said in a two separate tweets Thursday. The president´s announcement caps weeks of speculation as to whether the president had kept recordings of his discussions with Comey, who he fired last month. Trump himself