I don't think I"ve ever logged this, but I have the most interesting uncle you can imagine. And yesterday evening, as I was watching BBC world news there he was, front and center, live from New York: Donald P. Gregg, former ambassador to South Korea.
All my life I've known Uncle Don and yesterday I couldn't have been more proud of my genealogical connection to him.
Don has been a republican for as long as I can remember (as is most my family I think) but that never really interested me. It was his 'hotline' red phone to the whitehouse that I always thought was cool. I once lifted the receiver to this red 'don't touch' device and was startled to immediately hear a voice say "Whitehouse Mr Gregg, everything allright?" Shit, I was 8 or 9 at the time and totally freaked out. Don's position at the CIA and as NSA for VP Bush sr. ofcourse completely warranted such cool gadgets.
You can read quite a bit about Don online and you may not like all of what you see.
In short, Don retold the story he so eloquently presented to the senate just months ago (I republished it on my server, as it was only available as a word doc.). This is only a three page document and required reading if you are interested in the safety of american soil. In essence Don says: "The US must hold high-level talks with North Korea, or these people will go nuclear". That last bit isn't in his speech, but was repeated to me on the phone by his wife, Aunt Meg. The frustration level is extremely high and the administration must quickly realize that even children need embracing after a 'time out'. And basically the administration is treating NK like a child who it doesn't want to 'reward for bad behaviour'.
When I still worked for MTV, Don and I would often talk about similarities between american and korean youth, values and dreams. He's a serious dude, who is now combatting his former bosses and probably some freinds on the hill and in the whitehouse. That effort should be rewarded by reading his report and expert view on the situation. As far as I see, North Korea only wants a little bit of (high ranking) respect and just that could save everyone a lot of trouble and most likely lives.
I plan on visiting Uncle Don and Aunt Meg soon on a trip to the US and will do my utmost to get Don up and running on a weblog. This is a guy who would make a great president.