This blog contains personal commentaries on developments in domestic and international business and economics, government and politics, defense and national security, diplomacy and international relations.
The brief essays reflect op-eds published in a range of venues, including The China Post, Kenosha News, The Korea Times, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, The Northwest Indiana Times, The Journal Times of Racine and others. The opinions expressed are those of the author alone, and should not be presumed those of any other individual or institution.
President Donald Trump has dramatically “decertified” Iran, arguing they are not abiding by the international agreement to deter developing nuclear weapons. This means Congress can now decide whether to re-impose economic sanctions. In fact, the Tehran government has carefully remained within the limits of the accord, while pressing at the margins.
The actual agreement does not involve only the U.S. and Iran. The P5+1 group that negotiated with Iran consists along with the U.S. of Britain, China, France, Russia – the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council - plus Germany. Secretary of State John Kerry in the Obama administration demonstrated phenomenal energy, dedication and effectiveness in brokering the complex accord.
“Glad gold is safe.”
That is what Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin tweeted after he and his designer-dressed wife visited the United States gold supply at Fort Knox, Kentucky. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) joined them and others at the scene. Everyone was at a prime location for eclipse viewing.hMeanwhile further west, adults have met at Jackson Hole Wyoming for a traditional annual conference on economic policy challenges facing the U.S. and the world at large. The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City has organized the event since 1978.
Symbols of the Confederate States of America have emerged as contemporary political targets, and the word “target” in this case has at least two meanings – a topic of intense debate, and the focus of despicable violence. In Charlottesville Virginia, the local council voted to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from a public park. Opponents of the decision went to court and secured a six-month delay in the move.
One of the largest icebergs ever recorded, estimated to be about the size of Delaware, has broken off from an ice shelf in Antarctica. The event, including dramatic pictures, provides a magnet for media.
Project MIDAS, based in Britain, monitors such developments. Scientists there testify that the iceberg is not a direct result of human action, though the wider context includes rising temperatures.
Yet one more book on John F. Kennedy has appeared, this time focusing on the 1960 presidential campaign. “The Road to Camelot” by veteran reporters Curtis Wilkie and Thomas Oliphant is worth attention. The volume reflects traditional journalism, with readable prose, serious research and analysis relevant today.
That alone is refreshing, as we are bombarded by contemporary nonstop media, which sometimes mingle fiction and fact. Traditional news reporters treated confirmed facts as their holy grail. The analogy is not strained. Crafting a fine, reliable column - or book - generated respect as well as knowledge among Americans. Too often today, corporate media sacrifice professionalism for profits, serious analysis for sensationalism.