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“Transparency Is the Thing This Century”

John Batchelor spoke to John Bolton at the American Enterprise Institute For Public Policy Research (AEI), regarding Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico and Eric Schmidt.

Bbelow, I (Bronwyn) added information about Eric Schmidt about Google’s embassy to Pyongyang, North Korea.

John Batchelor continued: We puzzled as to what to say about this scale of diplomatic stunt. The still photo and the video (below) are propaganda gems for the DPRK. John Bolton opines that a charitable explanation is that Eric Schmidt is naive about the international threat presented by the nuke-armed and ICBM selling North Korean predatory state.

CAPTION: >Eric Schmidt of Google and Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico visit a Potemkin village Internet facility in Pyongyang.

“Bolton adds that Eric Schmidt waited until he was in Beijing before he called for the DPRK to allow the Internet for its brutalized citizen,” wrote John Batchelor in his post, ““Transparency Is the Thing This Century.”

After I (Bronwyn) visited John Batchelor’s post, I looked up an article at Wired.com, “Eric Schmidt’s North Korea Trip May Not Be as Ridiculous as It Sounds”:

Google chairman Eric Schmidt’s planned trip to North Korea promises few returns for the company’s shareholders. But for the world’s most locked-down country, where only a few thousand citizens have internet access at all, his visit could offer the strongest hint yet of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s tortured longing for openness.

To be sure, the gulf between Google and North Korea couldn’t seem wider.

“The face of probably the most important facilitator of borderless information in the world is going into the hyperstate for the control of information,” says Victor Cha, a director of Asian affairs for the National Security Council during the second Bush administration and now a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. … Wired.com

The darkness of the DPRK also illustrates the semi-darkness (militant twilight) of the PRC, which has recently imposed new restrictions that are well beyond the Great Firewall of the last years.

There is the additional farcical twist that the PRC policies drove Google from China two years ago.

George Bernard Shaw tried this with the Soviets in the 1930s and dented his jovial reputation by providing cover for Stalin’s Ukraine famine.) I follow a generous rule with celebrity folly: The first time it’s accident; the second time it’s coincidence; the third time it’s darkness visible.

Creatively self-promoting Governor Bill Richardson struck out as a geopolitical thinker a long time ago. Eric Schmidt has two strikes to go.

(Still, the Pyongyang Richardson-Schmidt video above reminds me of Hanoi Jane Lite: the North Koreans at the desktops are wearing their coats, because the hall is unheated. This looks like the Dictator’s UnMusuem, filled with artifacts from a culture that cannot ever be.

The pose (left) with DPRK soldiers staring at an Internet screen, with the photos of the two previous Kim family brutes on the wall, is rubbish agitprop, a photo created by the North Koreas to distribute to their pals in Beijing for a laugh.

The whole video performance is an inside-out Potemkin Village — wherein the visitors are the make-believe exhibit. Is this rogue-slumming by billionaires? …

To read more of John Batchelor’s article, ““Transparency Is the Thing This Century,” please visit his site.

  • MG6

    Here is a quote I found in another blog, loved it.

    ” To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he
    disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical. ” ….. Thomas Jefferson

    ” All laws which are repugnant to the Constitution are null and void ” — Marbury v. Madison, 5
    U.S. (2 Cranch) 137 (1803)

  • MG6

    Here is a lesson from Thomas Jefferson.

    “Tyranny is defined as that which is legal for the government but illegal for
    the citizenry.”
    – Thomas Jefferson