My ‘Diplomat’ Essay on whether these Youth Protests will Spread to Asia’s Democracies


Here is a re-post of my July contribution to the Diplomat web magazine.

The International Relations Discipline and the Rise of Asia

Modern Design Museum: Hidden Gem in Hongdae

Kaplan Learns to Like China

So, Robert Kaplan is sleeping with the Commiesnow.

As before, he views the rise of the Chinese military as “wholly legitimate” — the product of growing commercial realities, not a drive for conquest. “If you governed China, with the responsibility of lifting hundreds of millions of Chinese into an energy-ravenous, middle-class lifestyle,” he writes, “you, too, would seek a credible navy in order to protect your merchant fleet across the Indian Ocean and western Pacific.”

Rupert Murdoch Wants to Help North Korea Make Him Richer

The world clock is running out on pax americana, but the DPRK just might be able to squeeze into a tailing position for a piece of the globalization pie. Could there be a clearer example of how private corporations affect diplomatic and military interactions amongst enemy governments? But, the same North Koreans who hack could also be some of its major revenue winners, according to Bloomberg. Rupert Murdoch wants to be a big player, indeed.

Clear Thinking and Satellites Save Us from Bird Flu

Remember the bird flu scare of 2005, another one of those “Chicken Little” crises currently contributing to global cynicism about science and government expenditures? It didn’t happen, and there’s a few head-slapping reasons why.

Dr Gaidet’s team analysed 228 birds from 19 species using satellite telemetry from 2006 to 2009 over the bird flu affected areas of Asia, Europe and Africa. The results indicated that migrating wildfowl do have the potential to disperse H5N1 over extensive distances as mass migration can result in infected birds covering as much as 2900km before symptoms become apparent.

Today’s Podcast Dump

I listen to so much verbiage in a given weekday commuting to my worthless say job. I need to dump the pearls of wisdom.

1. For Good Reason: Massimo Pigliucci: How to Tell Science from Bunk

Red Links, 7-31-10

Jon BerkeleyYes, I missed last week – apologies. This week brings disappointment leavened with hope – for carbon taxes, CCT’s, and sorting out the banking system and the world economy in general. I am, however, partial to a counter-terror strategy in Afghanistan. But, maybe I should read the WikiLeaks’ trove of documents now.

FinReg: From Potty Training to World Government

For at least a pair of views on the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, or Dodd-Frank, or FinReg, a helpful place to start is Chris Hayes’ The Breakdown: Will the Financial Reform Bill Prevent Future Meltdowns? with Mike Konzcal.

Mike’s got you covered. He breaks the crisis down into four interconnected sectors: an exploitative, under-regulated system of consumer finance; dark markets in derivatives; the failures of “too big to fail” banks and the ripple effects they caused; and shadow banks that were able to avoid regulations (and also lacking, as Mike says, the “toilet training” necessary to behave).

The World Is a Soccer Ball

They’re all good reasons to boycott the World Cup.

It’s inevitable, perhaps, that in a sporting event that draws together people of all classes, creeds and colors, shameful paradoxes will emerge: the interplay between child workers in Pakistan and sports industry marketing agendas; the dissonance between the overbuilt stadiums and the poverty of the workers who poured their sweat into the concrete.

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