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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.

Strike the Strike Fighter

I noticed a trend in my podcast listening. It’s about the abuse by elites of their power, and how a republic and players in the republic, contending against rivals in the marketplace and on the battlefield, vanquish the only curbs on their political rot. That’s easiest to see with the F-35 Boondoggle.

The Bulge in the Middle Kingdom (Video)

For years, I’ve listened to South Korean students, co-workers, and even my wife and family tell me how obese Americans are due to a rotten food culture, or even racial characteristics. I’ve listened patiently. I’ve not said a word about the diminutive grandmothers and grandfathers bent 90 degrees as if carrying phantom loads of cargo on their backs from the decades when the Korean diet lacked key nutrients. I also didn’t say a word about the street food, that, even if it were hallowed local favorites, still contained plenty of oil and salt for me to recognize it as fast food. And, of course, I said nothing of the plump kids with cellphones gorging themselves silly at the vendors’ carts between cram school sessions or devouring bags of chips and cookies in class. I didn’t warn them about the lure of modern society: cheap food that really is trash.

Disproportionate Scrutiny Falls on Foreigners for H1N1

Hey! Hot For Words! Meet Sparkling Chaos. H1N1 certainly looms large in Brian's life. I did get an email from a good friend, the Reuters Bureau Chef for Seoul and he said that internationally, our H1N1 story is not making a splash yet, due to the Roh suicide and the nuclear test. [...]

Not a Normal Chinese Relationship

I thought the DPP chairwoman's perspective, that a relationship with Beijing might satisfy for the short-term, but not help in the long-term, astute. Powered by ScribeFire. alternate frame of change©2009 Left Flank. All Rights Reserved..

Your Money's No Good Here

Sure, blame "international trade" for spreading the ill-gotten gain of money-launderers! What would Horatio Caine say! "Money laundering always invents new channels,"said Beer. "When it's blocked in one direction, it cuts a new stream, like water. Personally, I think that as long as American demand for illicit drugs continues, there will be a lot of incentive [...]

Talking About The Godfather and IR

I actually watched The Godfather again last night after listening to this diavlog between Eli Lake and John Hulsman. I've always admired Michael's loyalty and strength and Santino's brotherly concern for his sister. I did not like Tom, whose character seems to devolve from the Woltz episode to the end - and through to [...]

Scared to Death of Human Flu

OinkSip Originally uploaded by JaycastOn A/H1N1, I fully share the better skeptical instincts of the cynical who lampoon the perceived fear-mongering tactics of the media. Sensational headlines operate like an "11" on a ten-point scale. Only now we're at "20" with no signs that inflation will abate. The blogosphere and the comments sections are performing [...]

Political Logic on FTAs Is Bad Thinking

The Economist seems to think the ROK-US FTA could have a hope of becoming law. The president remains adamant that South Korea should do more to admit American cars. But the momentum has clearly shifted. After North Korea carried out a missile test early in April, Max Baucus, the senior Democratic senator on trade matters, and [...]

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