Author Topic: American detained in North Korea for four months wants his job held open  (Read 8682 times)

Goldie

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I have been following the news of the Americans who have been held in North Korea for months. I just came upon this article and thought of my Mustachioed friends.  As I read it, this man's employer is working to get him an early retirement and pension, but the man wants his job held open ... I guess indefinitely?

I think if I didn't go to work for four months and exhausted my vacation time I'd be out of a job. Getting an exception granting me a pension while sitting in jail sounds like a good deal. I think the city he worked for sounds plenty generous.



NORTH KOREA — UPDATED: Jeff Fowle, the Moraine street department worker held for nearly four months in North Korea, is close to losing his job because of his prolonged absence, the city manager said Monday.

In an internationally televised interview from North Korea on Labor Day, Fowle, 56, expressed concern about his job and his family. During the CNN interview, Fowle said he was being treated well, but becoming increasingly desperate about losing the job he has held for about 26 years in Moraine.

"If this goes beyond the end of September, then I'm in grave danger of losing my job. That's when my vacation benefits run out and I'll be out of a job and Tatyana will be out of an income. My kids might be out on the street. Our house is paid for but there's all kinds of expenses," Fowle said during the interview.

The West Carrollton man has been held since his arrest on May 7 for leaving a Bible in a nightclub in the northern port city of Chongjin. Christian proselytizing is considered a crime in North Korea.

Fowle's wife,Tatyana, and children, Alex, 13; Chris, 11; and Stephanie, 9; continue to live on a small farm in West Carrollton.

The city of Moraine needs Fowle to return quickly or face termination, City Manager Dave Hicks said.

"We're going to have to do something with that pretty soon," he said. "At some point, we can't let this go on forever."

Hicks said he had suggested officials from Fowle's union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, apply for a pension for Fowle to support his family.

The city needs someone working in Fowle's position, the city manager said.

"He's there because he chose to go there," Hicks said. "Everyone's accountable for the decisions we make."

Hicks also said he has worked with the union to ensure the city's handling of Fowle's situation is considered an anomaly, rather than setting a precedent the city would be expected to follow if other employees had prolonged absences.

Fowle is one of three Americans being detained by the North Korean government. The others are Kenneth Bae and Matthew Todd Miller.

Fowle says he's asked for forgiveness

Fowle told CNN, "I've admitted my guilt to the government and signed a statement to that effect, and I've also put in a request for forgiveness from the people and the government."

"You guys should convey my desperate situation," Fowle said, adding he was staying in a hotel suite and being treated well. "I hope and pray that continues whether I'm here two more days or two more decades, whatever the case is."

"I'll come home as soon as I can. My family is the biggest thing on my mind right now. I've got a wife and three elementary school-aged kids that depend on me for support and my mother-in-law is staying with us too, so there are six of us in my household," Fowle said, adding he was the family's primary bread winner.

Fowle's family has been assisted by their congregation at Urbancrest Baptist Church in Warren County. The church pastor, Rev. Tom Pendergass said the church was working "behind the scenes" to help the family, but declined further comment.

"The kids are helping as much as they can but stuff is piling up. I need to get back to doing what I do around the house there, getting back to work. Hopefully that job will be open when I get back soon," Fowle said. He, Bae and Miller were interviewed by CNN and the Associated Press.

Fowle calls for Clinton, Bush to help

The U.S. State Department has been conveying messages between Fowle and his family, he said. He also expressed appreciation for work by the Swedish embassy and the Russian government, indicating his wife is part Russian and carries dual citizenship.

The Russian government has responded to his wife's letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Fowle said.

"I'm good for the time being but I need to let people know I'm getting desperate. I'm getting desperate for help," he said, urging former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush to help negotiate his release and the release of Bae and Miller.

U.S. officials indicated they continued to monitor all three cases and appealed to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) for their release. In North Korea, the Embassy of Sweden acts as protecting power for U.S. citizens in North Korea, U.S. State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said in an email.

"We are in regular, close coordination with representatives of the Embassy of Sweden" Psaki said.

Swedish officials visited Fowle on June 20, Miller on May 9 and June 21 and Bae 12 times since his detention, according to the State Department.

"There is no greater priority for us than the welfare and safety of U.S. citizens abroad. Out of humanitarian concern for Jeffrey Fowle, Matthew Miller and their families, we request the DPRK release them so they may return home. We also request the DPRK pardon Kenneth Bae and grant him special amnesty and immediate release so he may reunite with his family and seek medical care. We continue to work actively to secure these three U.S. citizens' release," Psaki said.

Local members of Congress are keeping a close eye on the Fowle situation.

"We continue to be in close contact with the State Department and are monitoring the situation closely," U.S. Rep Mike Turner, R-Dayton, said in an email Monday.

National Security Council spokesman Patrick Ventrell said, "Securing the release of U.S. citizens is a top priority and we have followed these cases closely in the White House. We continue to do all we can to secure their earliest possible release."

Ventrell noted that the State Department has issued a travel warning recommending against all travel to North Korea for U.S. citizens.

Staff Writer Lauren Clark and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

Jack

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Re: American detained in North Korea for four months wants his job held open
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2014, 08:05:28 AM »
The city manager knows what's up:

Quote
"He's there because he chose to go there," Hicks said. "Everyone's accountable for the decisions we make."

What kind of idiot intentionally goes to North Korea to do something to get himself arrested when he's not FI and has a family to support? Save that kind of stuff for when you're either young or old and don't have responsibilities.

BlueMR2

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Re: American detained in North Korea for four months wants his job held open
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2014, 10:07:05 AM »
The city manager knows what's up:

Quote
"He's there because he chose to go there," Hicks said. "Everyone's accountable for the decisions we make."

What kind of idiot intentionally goes to North Korea to do something to get himself arrested when he's not FI and has a family to support? Save that kind of stuff for when you're either young or old and don't have responsibilities.

I saw an interview with one of those guys on TV the other night.  He was complaining about how the USA wasn't rushing to his rescue.  Apparently he planned ahead of time to go there on a special trip with the purpose of breaking the law.  Well, gee, guess he got what he deserved.  USA citizenship isn't a get out of jail free card.  Can't just go around violating other societies and then expect to get rescued.

EricL

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Re: American detained in North Korea for four months wants his job held open
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2014, 12:24:20 PM »
Really hard to feel any sympathy here.  Any westerner going to North Korea should know he or she  could be harassed and made a political football at any time.  I guess it's better than going on a trip to Syria but not by much.
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fallstoclimb

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Re: American detained in North Korea for four months wants his job held open
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2014, 12:37:10 PM »
He LEFT a BIBLE out in NORTH KOREA??  Holy crap.  I am usually a super supportive and nonjudgmental person but what a moron.

Dicey

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Re: American detained in North Korea for four months wants his job held open
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2014, 12:40:02 PM »
While I sincerely appreciate his passion for his beliefs, he is responsible to his higher power for the safety and well being of the family he has been granted. Raise your children, fulfill your obligations and then go after your dreams. It is also unfair for his employer or his family to be penalized for his own free will actions.

Another lesson in this story is why a paid-off mortgage is inferior to money in the bank. His former mortgage lender is not going to refund part of his payments so his family can stay afloat and yours won't either.
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Jack

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Re: American detained in North Korea for four months wants his job held open
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2014, 03:47:04 PM »
Another lesson in this story is why a paid-off mortgage is inferior to money in the bank. His former mortgage lender is not going to refund part of his payments so his family can stay afloat and yours won't either.

Well, he his wife could get a cash-out refi.

Goldie

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Re: American detained in North Korea for four months wants his job held open
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2014, 07:18:21 PM »
He LEFT a BIBLE out in NORTH KOREA??  Holy crap.  I am usually a super supportive and nonjudgmental person but what a moron.

I've read other articles stating he left Korean-English Bibles with his name and contact info and pictures of his family in them in various places like a nightclub and in his hotel.  He claimed at first they fell from his pocket but apparently these are not pocket-sized (I don't know any Bible that could be, those are thick!).  The contact info inside the Bibles was how the police got him; they picked him up at the airport on his way out of the country.

usmarine1975

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Re: American detained in North Korea for four months wants his job held open
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2014, 08:09:08 PM »
But its good we traded terrorist for a deserter.  Guess we won't hear more about that. 

I have a hard time having sympathy for him. But I do for the wife and kids.

I do think its a bit harsh to be jailed for leaving books in a nightclub. Sure I get it its illegal and he should know better.  Personally have no desire to visit any Country that lacks basic freedoms.

Dicey

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Re: American detained in North Korea for four months wants his job held open
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2014, 12:07:37 AM »
Another lesson in this story is why a paid-off mortgage is inferior to money in the bank. His former mortgage lender is not going to refund part of his payments so his family can stay afloat and yours won't either.

Well, he his wife could get a cash-out refi.
With what for income? I can only assume you were joking.
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BlueMR2

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Re: American detained in North Korea for four months wants his job held open
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2014, 10:08:11 AM »
He claimed at first they fell from his pocket but apparently these are not pocket-sized (I don't know any Bible that could be, those are thick!).

There are pocket sized, tiny print, Bibles.  Oftentimes just the New Testament, but I've seen complete ones as well.  Think comparable in size to a smartphone in height/width, but much thicker, so fit in coat pockets, etc.

olivia

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Re: American detained in North Korea for four months wants his job held open
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2014, 11:03:49 AM »
The city manager knows what's up:

Quote
"He's there because he chose to go there," Hicks said. "Everyone's accountable for the decisions we make."

What kind of idiot intentionally goes to North Korea to do something to get himself arrested when he's not FI and has a family to support? Save that kind of stuff for when you're either young or old and don't have responsibilities.

Ditto.  I love that he wants special treatment for willfully breaking the laws of another country.
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Goldie

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Re: American detained in North Korea for four months wants his job held open
« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2014, 05:39:58 PM »
He claimed at first they fell from his pocket but apparently these are not pocket-sized (I don't know any Bible that could be, those are thick!).

There are pocket sized, tiny print, Bibles.  Oftentimes just the New Testament, but I've seen complete ones as well.  Think comparable in size to a smartphone in height/width, but much thicker, so fit in coat pockets, etc.

Oh, I didn't know that. I read in another article that these were NOT pocket-sized Bibles, so it makes more sense that those do exist. Anyway, he did admit to his tour group leader that he'd left those for people to find and read.

I can't wait to see how this story develops. I am just shaking my head.

One comment I read on an article mentioned Michael Fay, which is comparable. He got his caning for spray-painting cars in Singapore. I can't believe there are people who think that because they're American they can break the law in another country and be excused. Especially when it's so well known about the consequences of going to North Korea of all places!

Argyle

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Re: American detained in North Korea for four months wants his job held open
« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2014, 05:46:16 PM »
Okay, he made an unwise move, but clearly the punishment is way disproportionate to the crime.  Let's have some human feeling here.  I think compassion is usually a better choice than scorn and contempt.

gimp

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Re: American detained in North Korea for four months wants his job held open
« Reply #14 on: September 04, 2014, 10:14:45 PM »
I'm sure God will provide for him.

GuitarStv

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Re: American detained in North Korea for four months wants his job held open
« Reply #15 on: September 05, 2014, 05:39:25 AM »
Okay, he made an unwise move, but clearly the punishment is way disproportionate to the crime.  Let's have some human feeling here.  I think compassion is usually a better choice than scorn and contempt.

Whether the punishment is proportionate to the crime or not is irrelevant in this case.

He knew (or ought to have known) that his behaviour was unacceptable, and that there were likely to be repercussions for his actions.  He chose to accept the repercussions of his actions and perform them anyway.  Why should we be compassionate that his choices have led him to (by far) the most likely and predictable outcome?

fallstoclimb

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Re: American detained in North Korea for four months wants his job held open
« Reply #16 on: September 05, 2014, 07:47:55 AM »
Okay, he made an unwise move, but clearly the punishment is way disproportionate to the crime.  Let's have some human feeling here.  I think compassion is usually a better choice than scorn and contempt.

I don't think anyone is defending North Korea.  Of course you shouldn't be arrested for passing out literature, that's a basic human freedom.  But this is NORTH KOREA and he knew exactly what he was doing when he went there and did this. 

usmarine1975

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Re: American detained in North Korea for four months wants his job held open
« Reply #17 on: September 05, 2014, 07:56:08 AM »
At one time it was illegal for blacks to sit in the front of a public bus or to drink from certain water fountains.  I guess at that time we should have just told them they knew it was illegal and we shouldn't feel compassion for them or try and encourage change.  How easily we forget what basic freedoms are. 

Again I don't think he was smart in what he did, but to write off the punishment just because it's N. Korea.  He is still an American Citizen and we need to do what we can for him.

Russ

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Re: American detained in North Korea for four months wants his job held open
« Reply #18 on: September 05, 2014, 07:59:36 AM »
but clearly the punishment is way disproportionate to the crime.

Is it? The crime isn't leaving a book at a club, it's trying to undermine an entire country's belief system. I'm not saying whether they're right or wrong, but surely you can see where North Korea is coming from.

GuitarStv

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Re: American detained in North Korea for four months wants his job held open
« Reply #19 on: September 05, 2014, 08:34:53 AM »
At one time it was illegal for blacks to sit in the front of a public bus or to drink from certain water fountains.  I guess at that time we should have just told them they knew it was illegal and we shouldn't feel compassion for them or try and encourage change.  How easily we forget what basic freedoms are. 

Again I don't think he was smart in what he did, but to write off the punishment just because it's N. Korea.  He is still an American Citizen and we need to do what we can for him.


As a stranger on vacation, attempting to impose your beliefs by spreading banned foreign religious manuals around a country is not remotely similar to people struggling on their own behalf for civil rights.  There's also a pretty big difference between the effectiveness of disobeying rules in an authoritarian regime and in a democratic country.

Jack

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Re: American detained in North Korea for four months wants his job held open
« Reply #20 on: September 05, 2014, 11:32:04 AM »
At one time it was illegal for blacks to sit in the front of a public bus or to drink from certain water fountains.  I guess at that time we should have just told them they knew it was illegal and we shouldn't feel compassion for them or try and encourage change.  How easily we forget what basic freedoms are.

You do such civil rights activists a disservice by equating them with this guy. The difference is that they had the integrity not to whine* about their unjust punishment, and their strength of character was what helped sway other people to their cause.

(*note: there is a difference between whining and protesting. Complaining that what you did was not wrong and that you are being jailed unjustly is protesting. Complaining that some innocent third-party is failing to give you special treatment is whining.)

Argyle

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Re: American detained in North Korea for four months wants his job held open
« Reply #21 on: September 05, 2014, 11:46:42 AM »
"Trying to undermine an entire country's belief system" is pretty strong for the situation. "Undermine their belief system" is strong language for "change their minds."  I guess I'm trying to undermine your entire belief system by discussing this, aren't I?  Or — just change your mind?  It could also be argued that he's giving them a choice of what to believe, by letting them see some documents that have been forbidden by the state — something that their own dictator is not doing.  "Knowledge is power."

Sure, he's trying to persuade them to adopt Christianity.  And as a non-Christian, I'm not especially in sympathy with that aim.  But if we're Americans, don't we believe in freedom of expression?  Or we think it's only a good in our own country, but not a good thing unless the local despots approve of it?  What about "I may not agree with your beliefs, but I would defend to the death your right to express them"?  In this case we don't need to defend to the death, we just need not to agree with the North Korean dictatorship that what he did was evil and inexcusable. 

And as Mustachians, we're used to swimming against the tide and standing up for what we believe in.  No?  This guy was doing the same.  He has beliefs that I don't agree with, such as that the only way people will be saved will be to adopt Christianity.  But he's endangered himself in standing up for his beliefs.  I can respect that even if I don't agree with the specifics.

GuitarStv

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Re: American detained in North Korea for four months wants his job held open
« Reply #22 on: September 05, 2014, 12:01:47 PM »
I can't follow the part where you equate evangelizing to giving someone a choice of what to believe.

North Korea is a bastion of crazy.  No real change can ever happen in the country until China stops supporting their crazy little buddy.  Best case scenario by dropping a couple bibles among the populace is what . . . a few conversions who will then be found, jailed, and executed?  What a great boon for North Korean human rights.

usmarine1975

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Re: American detained in North Korea for four months wants his job held open
« Reply #23 on: September 05, 2014, 12:08:33 PM »
At one time it was illegal for blacks to sit in the front of a public bus or to drink from certain water fountains.  I guess at that time we should have just told them they knew it was illegal and we shouldn't feel compassion for them or try and encourage change.  How easily we forget what basic freedoms are.

You do such civil rights activists a disservice by equating them with this guy. The difference is that they had the integrity not to whine* about their unjust punishment, and their strength of character was what helped sway other people to their cause.

(*note: there is a difference between whining and protesting. Complaining that what you did was not wrong and that you are being jailed unjustly is protesting. Complaining that some innocent third-party is failing to give you special treatment is whining.)

I don't think that I do them a disservice.  My point was at the time they were considered Whiners because they didn't like the way things were.  Christians in some Countries face Death for doing what they feel called to do.  You don't have to agree with the religion or be a believer to see the sacrifices made.  Regardless of the reasons etc.  In the United States Religion is considered a protected Right by our constitution. 

As for the whining I can't speak to if he is or is not whining.  The articles that I have read are more then 1 source from the actual person.  No American journalist that I am aware of has been in contact with the individuals.  At the present time it's 3 individuals.  I would want my Country to stand in for me if I ended up getting detained.  Granted as stated earlier North Korea is not on my list of Countries to visit.

Argyle

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Re: American detained in North Korea for four months wants his job held open
« Reply #24 on: September 05, 2014, 12:09:12 PM »
Isn't evangelizing always giving someone a choice of what to believe?

GuitarStv

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Re: American detained in North Korea for four months wants his job held open
« Reply #25 on: September 05, 2014, 12:22:07 PM »
Isn't evangelizing always giving someone a choice of what to believe?

Not really.  Christianity is certainly not an unknown in North Korea.  The choice already exists.

Argyle

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Re: American detained in North Korea for four months wants his job held open
« Reply #26 on: September 05, 2014, 12:51:58 PM »
If the choice already exists, then he's not really undermining a monolithic belief system, is he?

Speaking truthfully, I very much doubt if finding a Bible is going to have much of a conversion impact on anyone.  But clearly this man hopes it will. 

If we believe in free speech, then I think we have to believe in it for him too.  It's not just for people making smart choices.

Russ

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Re: American detained in North Korea for four months wants his job held open
« Reply #27 on: September 05, 2014, 01:21:27 PM »
"Trying to undermine an entire country's belief system" is pretty strong for the situation. "Undermine their belief system" is strong language for "change their minds."  I guess I'm trying to undermine your entire belief system by discussing this, aren't I?  Or — just change your mind?  It could also be argued that he's giving them a choice of what to believe, by letting them see some documents that have been forbidden by the state — something that their own dictator is not doing.  "Knowledge is power."

Sure, he's trying to persuade them to adopt Christianity.  And as a non-Christian, I'm not especially in sympathy with that aim.  But if we're Americans, don't we believe in freedom of expression?  Or we think it's only a good in our own country, but not a good thing unless the local despots approve of it?  What about "I may not agree with your beliefs, but I would defend to the death your right to express them"?  In this case we don't need to defend to the death, we just need not to agree with the North Korean dictatorship that what he did was evil and inexcusable. 

And as Mustachians, we're used to swimming against the tide and standing up for what we believe in.  No?  This guy was doing the same.  He has beliefs that I don't agree with, such as that the only way people will be saved will be to adopt Christianity.  But he's endangered himself in standing up for his beliefs.  I can respect that even if I don't agree with the specifics.

I'm not sure you understand what I'm saying; perhaps I didn't do an adequate job of explaining so Ill try again.

The biggest clarification I can make is that North Korea is officially atheist and any challenge to that is a challenge to the authority of its government, which can be nothing less than absolute in order to preserve the current way of things. Like I said, I don't care whether the guy's actions are right or wrong. Personally, yeah, I agree that he ought to be more free to distribute whatever literature he'd like, but that's irrelevant. What you said was:
clearly the punishment is way disproportionate to the crime.
and I'm saying it's not. The crime and its punishment are defined from the perspective of the North Korean government whether we agree with them or not, and to them trying to undermine their authority is one of the least permissible things imaginable.

again, this is independent of whether I think what the guy did should or should not be a crime, or if so what the punishment should be.
 
I'm not saying whether they're right or wrong, but surely you can see where North Korea is coming from.

GuitarStv

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Re: American detained in North Korea for four months wants his job held open
« Reply #28 on: September 05, 2014, 01:35:33 PM »
If we believe in free speech, then I think we have to believe in it for him too.  It's not just for people making smart choices.

My belief in the importance of freedom of speech does not change the probable outcome of ignoring the rules of another country.  He made a stupid decision and is now paying the obvious consequences for it.

Argyle

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Re: American detained in North Korea for four months wants his job held open
« Reply #29 on: September 05, 2014, 02:23:32 PM »
My point is that if you agree that he is paying an appropriate penalty for his actions, then you are buying into the rightness of the North Korean dictatorship. Would you agree that it would be right for Americans in the U.S. to be arrested and detained for leaving Bibles in public places?  If not, then you agree that he's undergoing an unjust punishment.  It may have been predictable.  That doesn't mean it's just.

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Re: American detained in North Korea for four months wants his job held open
« Reply #30 on: September 05, 2014, 02:32:49 PM »
At one time it was illegal for blacks to sit in the front of a public bus or to drink from certain water fountains.  I guess at that time we should have just told them they knew it was illegal and we shouldn't feel compassion for them or try and encourage change.  How easily we forget what basic freedoms are.

You do such civil rights activists a disservice by equating them with this guy. The difference is that they had the integrity not to whine* about their unjust punishment, and their strength of character was what helped sway other people to their cause.

(*note: there is a difference between whining and protesting. Complaining that what you did was not wrong and that you are being jailed unjustly is protesting. Complaining that some innocent third-party is failing to give you special treatment is whining.)

I don't think that I do them a disservice.  My point was at the time they were considered Whiners because they didn't like the way things were.  Christians in some Countries face Death for doing what they feel called to do.

Then you have no clue WTF you're talking about. Let's compare and contrast this idiot with Rosa Parks:

Rosa Parks:
Quote from: Wikipedia
Parks moved, but toward the window seat; she did not get up to move to the redesignated colored section.[20] Blake said, "Why don't you stand up?" Parks responded, "I don't think I should have to stand up." Blake called the police to arrest Parks. When recalling the incident for Eyes on the Prize, a 1987 public television series on the Civil Rights Movement, Parks said, "When he saw me still sitting, he asked if I was going to stand up, and I said, 'No, I'm not.' And he said, 'Well, if you don't stand up, I'm going to have to call the police and have you arrested.' I said, 'You may do that.'"[21]

This idiot:
I've read other articles stating he left Korean-English Bibles with his name and contact info and pictures of his family in them in various places like a nightclub and in his hotel.  He claimed at first they fell from his pocket but apparently these are not pocket-sized (I don't know any Bible that could be, those are thick!).  The contact info inside the Bibles was how the police got him; they picked him up at the airport on his way out of the country.

Quote from: Article
Fowle told CNN, "I've admitted my guilt to the government and signed a statement to that effect, and I've also put in a request for forgiveness from the people and the government."

"You guys should convey my desperate situation," Fowle said, adding he was staying in a hotel suite and being treated well. "I hope and pray that continues whether I'm here two more days or two more decades, whatever the case is."

If you can't figure out the difference from those quotes, there's not much I can do to help you. Nevertheless, I'll point out that Rosa Parks (and other civil rights activists) stood up for themselves, while this idiot folded like a cheap suit. That is why this idiot is so contemptible and why your statement equating him with Mrs. Parks is so offensive!

Rosa Parks made no excuse for her actions, and that's precisely what made her heroic. If she'd instead said "oh, excuse me Mr. White Man, sir, I didn't hear you ask me to stand up. I'm so sorry, sir, I'll move to the back of the bus right away" -- which would have been equal to what this idiot did -- then we wouldn't be talking about her right now.

My point is that if you agree that he is paying an appropriate penalty for his actions, then you are buying into the rightness of the North Korean dictatorship.

Nobody's saying that, though! We're saying that he needs to have the goddamn cojones to accept the unjust penalty since that was the entire fucking point of the exercise! He went to North Korea with the explicit purpose of getting arrested in order to focus attention on their repression (whether he thought it through to that point or not), then turned into a chickenshit once it happened.

Instead, all he's accomplished is to turn himself into a pawn of the North Koreans and become an embarrassment both to Americans and Christians.

EricL

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Re: American detained in North Korea for four months wants his job held open
« Reply #31 on: September 05, 2014, 02:37:11 PM »
I don't think it's just or good for people playing hopscotch in heavy traffic to get turned into chunky salsa.  But one should understand the consequences of their actions and if they don't (provided they aren't actually mentally retarded) I just don't have much sympathy.  Especially if I have to pay to clean up crew.  If this guy was broke and sniveling because he couldn't save enough of a $200k annual salary we'd be laughing at him. 
Gentleman of Leisure

Argyle

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Re: American detained in North Korea for four months wants his job held open
« Reply #32 on: September 05, 2014, 02:42:28 PM »
I don't think there's any call to get intemperate about the whole subject, Jack. 

Russ

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Re: American detained in North Korea for four months wants his job held open
« Reply #33 on: September 05, 2014, 03:17:32 PM »
My point is that if you agree that he is paying an appropriate penalty for his actions, then you are buying into the rightness of the North Korean dictatorship. Would you agree that it would be right for Americans in the U.S. to be arrested and detained for leaving Bibles in public places?  If not, then you agree that he's undergoing an unjust punishment.  It may have been predictable.  That doesn't mean it's just.

I'm not agreeing that he's paying an appropriate penalty for his actions, and I've said nothing that should indicate either way on that. I do think that he's paying an appropriate penalty for the crime, which exists independently of whether or not we think it should.

If you can't see the difference there is no discussion I suppose.

electriceagle

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Re: American detained in North Korea for four months wants his job held open
« Reply #34 on: September 07, 2014, 06:22:52 PM »
Another lesson in this story is why a paid-off mortgage is inferior to money in the bank. His former mortgage lender is not going to refund part of his payments so his family can stay afloat and yours won't either.

Well, he his wife could get a cash-out refi.

The lender will probably require his signature for the refi. "Husband jailed in north korea" is probably not in the mortgage officer's handbook and would create a complex case.

At one time it was illegal for blacks to sit in the front of a public bus or to drink from certain water fountains.  I guess at that time we should have just told them they knew it was illegal and we shouldn't feel compassion for them or try and encourage change.  How easily we forget what basic freedoms are. 

There's a big difference between a resident of a country performing some civil rights action that is illegal and someone from elsewhere doing the same thing. The resident has to do it because, by luck of location of birth, it is his home and he has the right and responsibility to make it better.

Further, from a practical standpoint, the resident knows the lay of the land. I'm sure than an actual north korean Christian could find better ways to act than leaving bibles in random places. An actual north korean would also be cognizant of the risk to the un/lucky people who picked the book up.

Expecting this not to end badly is akin to looking for drivers who appear to be texting, jumping in front of them and then acting surprised when you get hit by a car.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2014, 06:40:02 PM by electriceagle »

usmarine1975

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Re: American detained in North Korea for four months wants his job held open
« Reply #35 on: September 07, 2014, 08:03:22 PM »
Jack your right I have no idea what I am talking about but not for the reasons you think I do not.

Reason number 1. I have never been asked to give up my seat for another capable person because of the color of my skin.  I have also never been arrested for refusing to do so.

Secondly I have never been detained in a foreign country and have no idea what that may be like. 

I can only make assumptions. 

I didn't use the Rosa Parks case to compare the actions of the individuals.  My intent was to compare the perceptions of those around the situation.  From what I know of the Rosa Parks situation which is limited to what I have read or heard. As I was born in the 70s. Many would have felt she was whining and not doing what she was supposed to.  The law supported the bus driver.  She was also bailed out the same day. Not detained for more than a couple hours.  So the situations do not quite compare.  But the perceptions of those around do from what I know.

Again I don't think his actions were smart if what we are being told is true.  It is N Korea we are talking about not Alabama in the 50s.  The two don't quite compare. Again I do not think my comparison is a did service to either. Distinctly because I am comparing public perception not the individuals or situations surrounding it. 

Foley as I understand has admitted to leaving a Bible in his hotel room with pics of his family.  The question is did he leave it on purpose by accident etc?  I don't know. 

As stated earlier I wouldn't travel to N Korea just seems silly to me.  S Korea is a different story.

usmarine1975

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Re: American detained in North Korea for four months wants his job held open
« Reply #36 on: September 07, 2014, 08:10:27 PM »
I hope my last comment clarifies the point I was trying to make in a better light.

oldladystache

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Re: American detained in North Korea for four months wants his job held open
« Reply #37 on: September 07, 2014, 08:35:02 PM »
 "Don't do the crime if you can't do the time."  -- Baretta's Theme - 1976

Goldie

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Re: American detained in North Korea for four months wants his job held open
« Reply #38 on: September 07, 2014, 10:13:34 PM »
I got to thinking about this thread this afternoon again and realized that my issue is this: I'm a lawyer, and one thing that's always been stressed in my career is how to effect change in a legal manner. If you don't like a law, you don't break the law to make a point. You can protest, you can advocate your representatives or general assembly, but you don't violate the law simply because you think it's a dumb law.

I was texting with a friend who has a stepson in high school. She and her husband let him drink alcohol at home and look the other way at his pot consumption.  I don't agree with either of those statutory violations at all. If they want the drinking age lowered or pot legalized in our state, they need to lobby for change. Breaking the law because you don't agree with it isn't acceptable.  If they got into trouble for hosting underage drinking, I'd say they have no room to complain about the punishment.  It's known it's against the law.

This Fowle guy detained in N. Korea broke the law that he didn't agree with in his very small-scale operation that he didn't even have the guts to stand behind. Instead of trying to effect change through a legal manner and proper diplomatic channels it seems this guy thinks he can bring about change by traveling across the globe to drop off a couple books and endanger his companions.  He's not running for Congress on this platform or trying to get Obama to do something or tweeting at Dennis Rodman to talk to his buddy over there. He chose to break the law and put his family's financial wellbeing in jeopardy.  Every time something else comes out about this case, it rubs me the wrong way.  This complaint about the job not being held for him is repugnant to me. If I got arrested in Mexico on Spring Break for trafficking cocaine and was detained for four months, it wouldn't occur to me to complain to the media that I lost my job due to exhausting my vacation time.

gimp

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Re: American detained in North Korea for four months wants his job held open
« Reply #39 on: September 08, 2014, 05:10:47 PM »
Do you exceed the speed limit, Goldie?

Protesting a law by breaking it is absolutely a valid choice, as long as you have the stones to stand behind your decision when consequences come.

Goldie

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Re: American detained in North Korea for four months wants his job held open
« Reply #40 on: September 08, 2014, 05:36:20 PM »
Actually, no I don't, Gimp. I don't want to pay for a speeding ticket! A mustachian financial decision, right?

gimp

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Re: American detained in North Korea for four months wants his job held open
« Reply #41 on: September 08, 2014, 07:06:20 PM »
That's impressive. Do you by chance live in Portland or Norcal?