Munching cereal

Bowl of cerealDelhi, 06:30. Watching the first Presidential Debate with the children. Munching away a bowl of cereal, little escapes their attention: “Why does Trump wear a blue tie? He always wears red”. The debate showcased no knock out punch from either side. Trump proved tough on the issues especially trade, yet failed to look like a statesman from start to finish. Hillary was more presidential by any standard, but failed to neutralize the persistent punches from her opponent. I am afraid this is going down to the wire. Ninety minutes passed by in the wink of an eye. “Okay guys, time for school”.

Come to terms

Come to termsAs long as the underlying DNA of a warzone like Syria is not altered, the armed conflict remains. It is a fair assumption that in the foreseeable future, the influx of displaced people to Europe will continue. These people will probably never repatriate. Short term fix: provide shelter, food and water, as you are obliged to help strangers in need. Medium term solution: negotiate them a country that is diplomatically viable and economically sustainable. Long term paradigm shift: come to terms with the reality that next to business and tourism, refugees might become a main source of people travelling to Europe.

Candid & Blunt

Candid & BluntThe American and Russian Presidents met in the corridors of the G20 summit in China. If Barack Obama describes a tête-à-tête with his the Russian counterpart as ‘candid’ and ‘blunt’, you can imagine the verbal fireworks that went off in the room. In diplomatic lingo, ‘candid’ should be interpreted as that there was distrust, swearing and calling each other names. ‘Blunt’ means that they both got it straight to their faces. Candid & Blunt has ring of a new detective series, and would almost sound funny, if it didn’t involve the lives of millions of ordinary citizens in Syria and Ukraine.

Impromptu response

Impromptu responseTwo kinds of topics fill the agenda of an elected official: party politics and spontaneous issues. The party politics are usually the result of careful deliberation and think thank research, drafted as political manifest for seamless implementation after the general elections. This is what they sell to voters. The spur of the moment forces spontaneous policies of our leaders: impromptu response caused by sudden circumstances. When the shit hits the fan kind of stuff. This is what voters get served. Donald Trump is the kind of politician who scares me with his party politics, yet flat out terrifies me with his impromptu response.

Toots

Toots ThielemansWhat if you were born in Brussels after the end of the First World War in a working class neighborhood, and you discovered the love for jazz at early age to become world class at playing the mouth harmonica? Now what if music became your journey in life and you played along with all the great names of jazz, and your legacy would encompass a tune so catchy, it would brighten up anybody’s day? Would you look back with a smile on your face if it all would end at age 94? Hell yeah.