Hermit Kingdom Linux, Giant Juche Rabbits, and the Dear Leader's Hennessey Problem


Warren Buffett and His Giant Korean Rabbit

Via the kids over at Digg, a wonderfully informative poster on the "craziest country the world," the Democratic Republic of North Korea. And while I knew about the plan to breed a species of giant rabbits that would feed the population and destroy class enemies, I was either unaware or attempted to forget that the Dear Leader was at one time the largest single importer of Hennessey in the world. He'll drink up all the Hennessey you got on your shelf, but just let him introduce himself

As the poster notes, it is an offense punishable by death for a North Korean comrade to "make an international phone call," a feat usually achieved by accessing a Chinese mobile network with a smuggled phone. And these aren't idle threats, as yesterday's Guardian makes depressingly clear:

A North Korean factory worker has been executed by firing squad for sneaking news out of the country on his illicit mobile phone, Seoul-based radio said today.

The armaments factory worker was accused of divulging the price of rice and other information on living conditions to a friend who had defected to South Korea years ago, Open Radio for North Korea reported.

The man, surnamed Chong, made calls to the defector using an illegal Chinese mobile phone, according to an unnamed North Korean security agency official cited by the report.

The execution took place by firing squad in late January in Hamhung, according to Open Radio for North Korea. The station broadcasts into North Korea, which tightly controls news.

The Diggers, it seems, are possessed with a mild case of Dear Leader obsession. See, for instance, this story (one of today's most Dugg) which explains that North Korea has developed its own Linux distribution (Screenshots available here). It includes a build of Firefox 3.6, incidentally, with which members of the political elite are allowed to access material passed on by former North Korean factory workers.

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  1. How many North Koreans actually have thier own computers to install any operating system on in the first place?

  2. When’s the next big Reason article on my favorite totally insane national leader, Hugo Chavez? He’s importing Castro officials like the US imports oil.

    We now return you to the regularly scheduled bi-polar midget programmng.

    1. Stupid joke handles.

  3. Your link to the Guardian story on the execution of a factory worker actually goes to the youtube of the Humpty Dance.

    1. That’s the new rickroll.

    2. His name is Jong Il
      Pronounced with an Ong Il

      1. Yo ladies, how you’ll like my kim-chee…

  4. Is that a jackalope?

    1. I believe that’s a descendant of the Rabbit of Caerbannog. Only a Holy MOAB would slay such a vile beast.

      1. Look at the BONES!

    2. No, this is a Jackalope. They make a great chipotle spiced bacon cheeseburger.

    3. It’s an esquilax! A horse with head of a rabbit, and the body… of a rabbit!

    4. I stole that picture from a CNN article about huge animals a couple years ago. I used it as my profile picture in our corporate directory.

  5. I’ve seen some giant rabbits up close, rabbits that people can’t leave in their back-yards unattended because if a cat sneaks in it’ll attack the rabbit and get killed.

    The giant rabbits bite into and hold onto a cat’s face or neck when they’re attacked, and then they uses their giant rear feet to disembowel the cat–not a pretty sight.

    Like I said, I’ve seen some big rabbits, but that rabbit in that picture, that’s the biggest friggin’ rabbit I’ve ever seen in my life. We’re talkin’ Jurassic Park arguments here–don’t let that thing get loose…

    He’ll make you his girlfriend.

    1. I’ll bet it lays some pretty big fucking Easter Eggs.

      Here’s the Easter rabbit, hooray!

      1. Here’s a whole bunch of Easter rabbits.


    2. Ever see Night of the Lepus? Classic movie about how nature takes her revenge on mankind by summoning giant rabbits . . . hilarity ensues. Plus, it’s got the original “Bones” McCoy.

      1. it’s got = it has

        1. it has = it’s has gotten

    3. It’s true. Like other carnivores, cats tend not to take much account of the size relationship, and will attack animals that can, and will, kick their ass. Dr. Klinghammer reported that a cat got into a wolf pen at Wolf Park and was killed. The scientist reconstructed the situation as one where the cat, rather than fleeing back over the fence that it could’ve easily escaped by, must’ve chosen to threaten the wolf pack instead. He mentioned that in the context of a cat that had come up to the outside of the fence and was hissing at the wolves, who were whining in frustration at their inability to get at a nice snack, and maybe were hoping Dr. Klinghammer was going to throw it in with them.

      Animals must have some sense of their relative sizes, because they adopt threat postures that make them look bigger, but that signal is apparently easily overridden in their judgment.

      Rabbit bites are ragged and nasty.

  6. The rabbit illustrated is , alas no more.

    This shoo-in candidate for Easter Bunny Great Leader was alas stir-fried and devoured by the lagophagic Dear Leader & his guests at his 2007 birthday banquet in Pyongyang .

    I blogged the gory details at


    1. “The 23 1/2 pound uberbunny was sent to Pyongyang last year along with 11 others “with the aim of setting up a breeding program to alleviate famine, ” but they ended up on the table at Dear Leader Kim Jong-il’s February 16 birthday banquet.”

      Why anyone would trust the Dear Leader, especially with a living entity, is beyond me.

  7. FYI, another Communist Dictatorship, Cuba, also has its own Linux Distro

    1. Anyone still thinking that NK is communist state in anything other than name alone should read R. B. Myers excellent new book, “The Cleanest Race.”

      Myers does a pretty reasonable job (YMMV) of explaining it as a paranoid nationalist state which has adopted various public guises (communism, juche, etc) in the service of its real ideology (racist, exceptionalist, paranoia).

      Heck the midget himself has claimed that Juche is superior to any other existing political theory. 😉

        1. Nice try…

          You just learn that one?

          Mine is not that argument…

          Mine is that a cold-war mindset has blinded the west from seeing what a “Scottsman” really is..

          In fact.. people who refuse to accept new takes on NK are the people indulging in that fallacy…

          Fetch a mirror, mate..

          1. So, Charles Montgomery, why is it that every single nation that has ever claimed to be Communist has been a tyranical dictatorship? Can you name even one Communist country that has not been one? Even one? Just one is all I am asking for.

            1. Good luck, Charlie!

            2. Mises dealt with that decades ago.

      1. You make it sound like communism is incompatible with paranoia, nationalism, racism, etc.

        It isn’t.

        Communism is a flavor of authoritarianism which can include any or all of those yummy extras.

        1. of course it isn’t incompatible….

          did I say that?


          You wanted to read that.

          but NK essentially began dropping “communism” at the time the USSR went down (see “Juche”). This was a practical decision by an ultimately “practical” government.

          It takes special glasses to see the NK as commie, when in fact it is uber-Korean (in terms of homogeneity and outlook)…

          1. Communists aren’t atheists, either. Communism is irrational, and atheists are by definition rational.

            Ach, gie me a true Scotsman any day!

            1. And Stalin was a conservative. UC-Berkeley researchers who published a 2003 study on the psychology of conservatives make this point clear:

              ‘The researchers conceded cases of left-wing ideologues, such as Stalin, Khrushchev or Castro, who, once in power, steadfastly resisted change, allegedly in the name of egalitarianism.

              ‘Yet, they noted that some of these figures might be considered politically conservative in the context of the systems that they defended. The researchers noted that Stalin, for example, was concerned about defending and preserving the existing Soviet system.’

              1. I understand the point you are making. Not not think it is lost on me. But, I am increasingly of the view that the terms “conservative” and “liberal” are meaningless in the field of politics. In New Zealand, for example, if you say someone is Liberal it will have a very different meaning than in the United States.

                1. “Not not” from above = “Do not”

                2. I am aware of the limitations of the words ‘conservative’ and ‘liberal’ – especially in the U.S. where there’s confusion not only vis-a-vis the European meaning, but also vis-a-vis mutually-hostile schools of conservatism.

                  But the particular American researchers I cited (and not just them) used ‘conservative’ to mean ‘the forces of wickedness’ or ‘the focus of evil in the modern world’ or (which comes to the same thing) ‘people who disagree with our beautiful, compassionate progressive agenda.’

                  1. “or (which comes to the same thing) ‘people who disagree with our beautiful, compassionate progressive agenda.'”

                    Ahhh! So both Lew Rockwell and the folks who run Strike-The-Root (which is back up by the way) are conservatives because they oppose the Progressive agenda. I understand now 🙂

                    1. correct – under George W. Bush, their criticism of the Republicans might make them Honorary Liberals, but now that they’re criticizing Obama, they are back to being conservative evildoers.

  8. That shar pei has pretty big ears.

  9. You fucked up your links, Michael. I at least wanted to see the poster.

  10. I conjure you, by that which you profess, Howe’er you come to know it, answer me: Though you untie the winds and let them fight Against the churches; though the yesty waves Confound and swallow navigation up; Though bladed corn be lodged and trees blown down; Though castles topple on their warders’ heads; Though palaces and pyramids do slope Their heads to their foundations; though the treasure Of nature’s germains tumble all together, Even till destruction sicken, answer me To what I ask you.

  11. It annoys me to no end when lefties try to apologize for socialism by saying what North Korea has is not socialism. Sorry guys, North Korea and Cuba as the closest we have today to what Marx and Engels were advocating. Just because they aren’t producing your desired goals does not mean that they aren’t Marxist states. The means of production are indeed in the hands of the state, and not in the hands of the greedy individuals. Just like you want.

    Dear Leader is what you get when you apply Marx to real world human beings.

    1. Well said. This is the No True Scotsman Fallacy.

      1. LOL…

        one-trick pony, you…

        1. So, Charles Montgomery, why is it that every single nation that has ever claimed to be Communist has been a tyranical dictatorship? Can you name even one Communist country that has not been one? Even one? Just one is all I am asking for.

  12. He must think it’s a Playboy bunny. What’s he doing with his left hand?

  13. Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

    1. Ha! Oh, that one always gets me…

  14. at least they didn’t capture and execute Cheech when he defected to South Korea.

    1. If you want to find out what actually happens to people who defect to North Korea read this book:

      1. Wait, someone defected INTO North Korea? On purpose?

        1. 6 billion people. Statistically, someone is bound to be that clueless.

        2. You don’t remember that army guy who defected to NK in the 60s to avoid Vietnam. It was big news in Japan when he tried to go back to the US (around 2002~3). The US was pretty much silent on the issue if I recall it correctly.

          1. The book I link to above is about him.

  15. Could North Korea really be crazier than Burma?

    1. Yes, yes it could.

    2. North Korea is crazier and more surreal than anywhere else.

  16. Dude, no way man thats like the biggest rabbit I ever seen! Wow.


    1. Oh, Anonymity Bot, I am so disappointed in you. You could have made a Holy Grail/killer rabbit joke, and you failed. It seems that your profundity streak is over.

      1. Or at least referenced Bigwig from Watership Down

        1. I was thinking General Woundwart.

          1. Crap – you’re right. He was the big Nazi rabbit, right?

    2. I saw one like that on film years ago. It was bigger than the guy hunting it, for Christ’s sake. And it could talk!

  17. I just had to come back to note that, damn, that is one big bunny

  18. Hah! That was immature – I like

  19. Were the Dear Leader any shorter, Seoul might find a Trojan Bunny parked on the 38th parallel

  20. In North Korea, rabbits eat you.

    1. I have to wonder if it was an earlier product of this North Korean rabbit breeding program that famously attacked Jimmy Carter?


  21. That poster link doesn’t work, and Googling seems to only get me North Korean propaganda.

  22. The Vice Guide to North Korea.


    This is hilarious.

    1. Holy shit, that was disturbing.

      1. But I gotta say it was worth watching, especially for the clip of him belting out that Sex Pistols tune at the karaoke bar. That had to feel great after so many days of tightly-controlled bullshit.

  23. Since the man died to get us the information, why aren’t the newsies telling what the hell the price of rice is in North Korea?


    1. They are just practicing ethical journalism. They’re waiting for a 2nd source.;-)

  24. Looks like Moynihan posted and left for the weekend. Here’s the Guardian link. Here’s another Guardian story about the hypocrisy of the Dear Leader’s family.

  25. And for those of you interested, here’s a Daily NK story that includes the price of rice in North Korea.

    1. Thanks for the link. It is depressing – interesting – but depressing.

    2. The whole fucking country is insane.

      1. And that North Korea place is pretty screwed up too!

  26. Anyone here defending NK ?
    No? No?

    Okay, good. just checking.

      1. Charlie don’t surf!

  27. That’s one big fuggin’ rabbit.

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