Chartered Financial Consultant



In the age of GPS we rarely see The Big Picture. Recently I was driving from San Antonio to Dallas and decided to take “scenic” Texas back roads. I tried unsuccessfully to get a big paper map of Texas at the airport and the hotel. Things were going fine for four hours on Highway 281, except that my cell phone was almost out of power. And then there was a detour. I turned left when I should have turned right. Ten miles later Siri told me to turn right on a “farm-to-city” dirt road. After two miles I pulled over. The GPS had no idea where I was and I think I heard Siri laughing at me. I wouldn’t have gotten lost if I had a paper map to see The Big Picture.

Using my instinct I went back to wrong-turn city, Hico, Texas, got my bearings, called my nephew to say I’d be late, bought an iced coffee, and drove the last hour uneventfully.

Maps are crucial to understanding global politics, too.

Below is a map of North and South Korea and the countries that surround them. The Korean peninsula’s close proximity to Japan, China and Russia make you realize the potential catastrophic consequences if any conflict starts.

The closeness of these countries is frightening:

  • Mileage between Seoul (South Korea’s capital) and the North Korean border is about 25 miles.
  • The North Korea’s capital, Pyongyang, is a little over 100 miles from Seoul (a 13-minute flight). That’s as far as from Sacramento to San Francisco.korea_Japan
  • North Korea shares most of its northern border with China and 14 miles with the Russian Republic.
  • The Russian port city Vladivostok (623,000 population) is less than 100 miles from the North Korean border.
  • Mileage between North Korea and Tokyo is 650 miles. Hiroshima is closer.
  • The Chinese mainland is about 200 miles from South Korea.

Republican Senator Bob Corker from Tennessee recently said that President Trump has us “on the path to World War III.” Any kind of an armed conflict will likely involve the United States, both Koreas, China, Russia and Japan.

It’s insane for the President of the United States to shun diplomacy in favor of cryptic threats. When two volatile leaders of nuclear-armed countries are playing “chicken,” one mistake could lead to Armageddon.

“War doesn’t determine who’s right, only who’s left.” — attributed to philosopher Bertrand Russell

Bob Dreizler

Bob Dreizler