europe

NATO’s Biggest Problems in the Future will be Internal, not External


Letter from Korea, May 2011

Suwon, South Korea
24/5/2011

 Dear Ireland,

The summer is upon us. Of course we all have different ideas of what the summer is. For me, it’s the holidays. This June, I will be working through my summer holidays but don’t worry; I have two months of holidays so working through them isn’t as big a catastrophe as it might sound. This summer I will be in Dublin (What of the letter from Korea?  Well perhaps I’ll compromise). Every summer Dublin fills with Europeans students who come to study English. This summer will be no different. I make a living out of this.


Listen! The Pharaohs Are Laughing!

 An Egyptian boy holds a megaphone while chanting anti-government slogans in Tahrir Square the afternoon of January 31, 2011 in central Cairo, Egypt. Protests continued unabated in Cairo January 31, as thousands marched to demand the resignation of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarek. (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images)  Continue reading at NowPublic.com: Egypt Protests In Cairo | NowPublic Photo Archives http://www.nowpublic.com/world/egypt-protests-cairo-1#ixzz1ClfYjrfj“‘We want a leader who has used public transportation.’” (The Second World, p. 201) Put that on a placard!


Brian Deer on the Wakefield Autism Scandal

I’m really pleased Russ Roberts stepped outside of his usual economics beat, to talk with Brian Deer on Autism, Vaccination, and Scientific Fraud about the Andrew Wakefield controversy. It’s a real public service.

Before Deer’s inquiries, Wakefield had appeared to all the world to be an independent, if controversial, researcher. Tall and square-headed, with hooded eyes and a booming voice, he was the son of doctors (a neurologist and a family practitioner), had grown up in Bath, a prosperous, west-of-England spa town, and joined the Royal Free in November 1988, after training in Toronto, Canada. His demeanour was languid – he was privately educated – and, born in 1956, he was a lingering example of the presumed honour of the upper middle class.


Earthcircuit Exhibition: One Long Road

Date: 
Friday, December 17, 2010 - 19:00

Earthcircuit presents an exhibition of their travels from London to Seoul - overland through Russia.... photography, video and word -  see their website or their facebook group for more details... The location is at Ruff Namsan Studio and Bar:l001_01


Ozawa Unplugged

One aspect of Confucian culture that can make me cringe is how it allows both elderly curmudgeons and comedians to really express themselves in their dotage after lifetimes of slavish thrall to convention. Ozawa Ichiro has finally revealed his inner comedian. It’s time to put him out to pasture.

“I like Americans, but they are somewhat monocellular,” the former Democratic Party leader said. “When I talk with Americans, I often wonder why they are so simple-minded.”

Ozawa didn’t elaborate on what aspect of Americans made him compare them monocellular organisms, a term also used to mean shortsighted or dumb.

(…)


Artsy Weirdness from Pyongyang

Believing is seeing, and when the Dear Leader sends ‘Flowers for Kim Il Sung’ abroad, we see the DPRK as he wants us to see it.

The unique show is the result of a close cooperation between MAK and the relevant ministry in Pyongyang. The curators in Vienna had to find a “consensus” with the North Korean functionaries, says MAK director Peter Noever. The most sensitive pieces were the 16 portraits of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jung Il, Noever says, explaining that it took a long time for the museum to persuade the skeptical North Koreans to let them include the portraits in the show.


American Business Turns Sour on China

James Mann punctures the inevitable “truthiness” of the freer trade position with a report on how “Corporate America Turns Against China”.

American and European companies have vied for centuries, through all of China’s upheavals, to dominate what used to be called “the China market.” Now, increasingly, China wants to keep that market for itself.

It opened up to foreign companies in the 1980s and 1990s not because it believed in free trade or because it thought the visitors were wise and wonderful, but rather because it wanted their technology and know-how. But China no longer needs the multinational companies as it once did. The Chinese government has proved ever more adept at running an industrial policy that privileges its own companies, many of them state-owned.


Red Links, 6-03-10

A lot of opinion this week, and none of it pleasant. Even more depressing is the realization, that most of the solutions offered for stem rust, financial reform, or cyber warfare, start with solons ruling uncharacteristically wisely, like hitting a bulls eye.


A Left-Libertarian Solution for BP’s Disaster (Video)

Centrism, “getting the job done”, pragmatism, whatever. I want the right response to the Deepwater Horizon disaster. But, it’s not an ideological target I’m looking for. So, why then, does Byron King try to scare taxpayers with his homily on BP’s sainted role in the American economy?

And for as much as people in the U.S. are thinking this is a British company, this is really an American company as well. Out of 80,000 worldwide employees, over 30,000 are in the U.S. Of the stock market ownership, about 40 percent of BP shares are owned by — by — you know, within the U.S.

And BP is the largest oil producer in Alaska. It is half owner of the Alaska pipeline. It’s the largest oil producer in the Gulf of Mexico. Globally, BP produces over four million barrels of oil equivalent per day, which is about 5 percent of the total global world oil output.


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