#redlines

What an accolade!!?

For the first time in 17 years, someone other than Hillary Clinton was named the most admired woman in America. The Gallup poll asked 1025 people across America who were the most admired people in the US. For Clinton to win for the last 16 years makes one wonder who Gallup was asking? Heavy concentrations in inner city zones in NY and CA perhaps?

We shouldn’t be surprised. How often have vloggers entered US campuses and filmed students who can identify Kim Kardashian at 100 yards in a picture but can’t identify any US politician outside of the President.

Was Kylie Jenner, the 21-yo cosmetics queen, who has become a self made billionaire not in with a shot of aspiration and admiration?

What about Simone Biles, the rubbery gymnast who blew the competition away at the 2016 Rio Olympics?

Even Serena Williams, despite her tantrums, surely was in to take this award once in the last 16 years for her tennis prowess.

What about Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez? The young 28-yo blitzed the incumbent to steal the primary in NY and then win the mid term with 80% of the vote. She may have absolutely no idea about economics or reality but goes to show that even a “Latina from the Bronx” (as she calls herself) can pull off miracles. A note to Republicans – slagging her off for stupidity is not a winning strategy.

Nikki Haley? Without doubt a hugely impressive UN Ambassador and likely a future POTUS.

It is probably a reflection of the terrible polling of Gallup to have a 16 year consecutive winner. Then again the Obamas are no stranger to receiving awards for things undeserved like the Nobel Peace Prize 9 months into Barack Obama’s first term after achieving nothing remotely notable of mention to world peace. Even afterwards red lines were drawn in invisible ink. I’m

Who could forget Michelle Obama’s hashtag #bringbackourgirls after 300 school girls were enslaved by Boko Haram? America’s foreign policy impotence revealed in one twitter handle.

Melania Trump was never in the running especially after the mainstream media took umbrage at her wearing Timberland boots to Iraq on Christmas.

Congratulations Michelle. Now you can tell all those women you said voted the way their husbands forced them to that you know best and have an award to prove it!

Folly of The Economissed

1112BF95-7829-4171-92B5-D4197936EB30.jpeg

On a flight back to Tokyo this week a copy of The Economist was in the magazine rack. A subscription had long been cancelled for its plunge into yet another group think rag. A long time ago, the magazine was regarded as the go to for objective journalism from economics, geopolitics through to specials. Now it is little more than a cheerleader. A chance was given to see if things had changed. If anything it has gotten worse. This article on the peace deal only reinforces the pathetic bias and wish that Trump losing is preferable to any alternative including world peace.

For no sooner had Trump sent a letter calling the peace talks with North Korea off, The Economist was writing about humiliation. They’ve got to be kidding?

While even the blind can see any postponement is a setback, it is not without reason. Trump has made absolutely clear from the beginning – ‘peace or business as usual. Your move Kim.’ 

This started when Kim Jong-Un fired angry remarks when long scheduled war games were  commenced by the South. If one wanted to gift the upper hand to the North Koreans in the negotiations then stopping annual war games would be a great way to do it. It was tactical.

Glass jaw or not, firing salvos at Vice President Pence or standing up US envoys is not conduct becoming peace talks. Trump’s letter sounded somewhat childish with respect to comparing arsenals again but the point being made to Kim is clear – “we’re not playing. Put up or shut up!

This is exactly what you’d want Trump to do. Not some Obama era red line which crossed carries no consequences. This is exactly why there is so much geopolitical instability thanks to 8 years of utter weakness in foreign policy. This isn’t about humiliation at all. This about a world leader who is using clear military and economic strengths at the negotiating table with a dictator who 6 months ago threatened to nuke Guam. We should not want Trump to appease at any cost which we’ve seen throughout history carry devastation.

The reason Kim was drawn to the negotiating table was because China realized the new sheriff wasn’t bluffing. Why was Beijing Kim’s first state visit before shaking hands on the 38th parallel with President Moon?? He was seeking assurances from the other dictator on staying in power lest booking a plot of land in exile in Sichuan province if things require him to step down.

Kim needs to realize that the ‘throwing toys out of the cot strategy’ of decades past no longer works. He was hoping to get an apology from Trump along with better concessions ahead of the negotiations. Trump essentially told him the ‘art of the deal’ in that the status quo remains if he doesn’t wake up to harsh realities. Sending home three American hostages was a token.

It will be China sending Kim back to the meeting table with Trump because it will ultimately be managing the protectorate after any peace is signed for its own geopolitical aims. China does NOT want US friendly forces on its border. Best keep the buffer by getting Kim to accept a lesser deal where he gets to keep his life. For a man in his early 30s he can either choose to go down fighting or see out his days with the embezzled billions and bevy of beauties in his concubine.

To take The Economist at its journalistic integrity, it will be secretly happy if North Korea doesn’t sue for peace because any victory for Trump is something it can’t swallow. For the magazine to have that level of disingenuous editorial speaks volumes about turning a once prestigious brand into a tabloid. Reading through the blurb of The Economist’s 2017 Annual Report and the trends tell the story.