South of the Border

Photo © Globaljuggler from Wikipedia Commons

“The North Koreans are not a reasonable people,” Ms. Lee said at the beginning of our trip. It was less a warning than a statement of fact.

The bus tour of the Korean Demilitarized Zone—the four-kilometer-wide ribbon of land that bisects the Korean Peninsula—left from downtown Seoul at eight in the morning but had begun raining long before. The travel agency was clear about the dress code: “No faded or torn jeans, sandals, leather pants, shorts, sleeveless shirts, sweatpants, slippers, or military-style clothing.”

Politics and Porn

Anthony Weiner

On Monday Radar Online released X-rated Facebook transcripts between New York Representative Anthony Weiner and Las Vegas blackjack dealer Lisa Weiss. Everyone paying attention to the news should be aware of the details of this political sex scandal so I won’t go into them. Weiner’s confession comes only weeks after another prominent ‘ex’-politician, Arnold Schwarzenegger, admitted to having an affair and fathering an illegitimate child with his housekeeper ten years ago. In an unfortunate turn of events Weiner’s wife, and aide to Hillary Clinton, has revealed that she is pregnant with their first child.

A Cautionary Tale

Egypt

Everyone is imprinting their hopes on the revolution in Egypt. China and America have both stressed the need for a peaceful and stable transition of power; and though both hope that this transition will swing conditions in the region in their favor, no one knows what the country or its government will look like after the dust settles.

A Peaceful Rise to Glower

Photo © aktivioslo from Flickr

What makes the events surrounding this year’s Nobel Peace Prize so disheartening is what it portends for future geopolitics. China didn’t surprise the world by denouncing Liu Xiaobo and the Norwegian Nobel Committee; much worse, it confirmed suspicions that the country is as oppressive and obstinate as ever.

Playground Politics

A 10-year-old Arkansas boy named Will Phillips has refused to stand up in class and recite the pledge of allegiance as he feels that gays are not allowed to get married and are not included as part of a nation that provides ”liberty and justice for all.” My first instinct: well done, young sir! I commend your brave and principled political stand against the forces of evil. More people should be sticking up for the oppressed, especially in the so-called “Land of the Free.”

Then I read on.

Obama’s Trip to China

President Barack Obama recently completed a three-day tour of China as part of his week-long Asia trip. He held a town hall meeting with students in Shanghai and visited the Great Wall and the Forbidden City between meetings with Chinese leadership in Beijing. What can we glean about the future of these two countries based on his visit?