The news of this week's Supreme Court nomination and the California court ruling on same sex marriage has dominated coverage, but the most important story might be the deteriorating situation with North Korea and their insistence to continue with nuclear testing and a show of military bravado with missile launches and stern and defiant language.
In the summer of 2006, I visited the border between North and South Korea. It was a reminder of the stark contrast between a nation whose people have freedom and one whose people live under the dictatorial rule of a madman.
The attached photos show the negotiating building that literally straddles the two nations of North and South Korea. The South Korean guard is careful to stand in full martial arts posture at all times and to shield himself in part from the North Koreans by the building.
The door that I'm standing in front of in this shot is locked any time a visitor is present to prevent the North Koreans from grabbing the visitor as a hostage. The North Koreans have done that with South Korean soldiers in the past.
At all times, the North Koreans keep a vigilant eye on those who stand on the South Korean side. The person standing with me and the South Korean soldier is Kelly Boyd, a good friend of mine who was on my staff and with me during this visit and who graciously found and supplied these photos.
Many of the North Koreans are starving. Every aspect of their lives is totally controlled by the tyrannical government of Kim Jong-Il. The information they have about the rest of the world is carefully chosen and thoroughly filtered so as to have rigid control of even the thoughts.
There are few places more volatile today than along this line of real estate that you view in these photos and which I visited in 2006. While I'm sure the United Nations will spend a week or two drafting a really strong letter in its traditionally meaningless and misguided dysfunction, the burden will likely come to China and the United States to find a way to contain the growing threat posed by North Korea.
It's a dangerous situation to have a nation who holds the capacity to launch a nuclear weapon. It's equally dangerous to have a nation led by a maniacal dictator who is accountable to no one. When both are present, it becomes a crisis.
North Korea has nothing: no food, no modern conveniences, no stable government, no wealth. It has nothing; therefore it has nothing to lose. The rest of the world has a lot comparatively and therefore a lot to lose.
Let's hope that while President Obama is running car companies and banks and telling conventions which cities to avoid, he doesn't forget that we are in a dangerous world and there are some very crazy people that aren't launching those missiles and setting off underground nuclear tests just to hear a loud bang.
That's my view, I welcome yours. E-mail your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org