Saturday 30 May 2020 | 07:10 | SYDNEY

Blogs and blogging

Thursday linkage

Via Global Dashboard, a British Council paper on the future of cities in the age of global warming. On a related theme, Malta will build the world's first national smart utility grid. Senior finance industry players are surveyed at Davos on who is to blame for the GFC. Apparently, it's

Thursday linkage

A neat graphic representation of what the financial crisis has done to the market capitalisation of major banks.  Meanwhile, representatives of a number of those same banks are in Baghdad, advising Iraq on reform of its bank sector. Davos hosts a refugee

Wednesday linkage

Malaysia takes delivery of its first submarine. With a crew of just 31, they might avoid the crewing problems suffered by Australia's sub fleet. The world's first openly gay head of government. What we have to look forward to: some historical data on unemployment, debt and deficits

Tuesday linkage

In reaction to this post from Friday, reader Andrew suggested this link for more reading about cognitive biases. This, on the art of decision-making, might also be of interest. Joint Strike Fighter costs blowing out. A new blog dedicated to keeping an eye on

Friday linkage

'How moral is you nation's foreign policy?', a global public opinion survey asked. Speaking of surveys, a new American poll of political priorities for 2009 ranks global warming at 20th place. The NY Times' green energy blog notes that European carbon prices are falling

Thursday linkage

'Arguably, Australian governments have never effectively used their access in Washington to try to shape American policy towards Asia in positive and constructive ways.' So says Professor Michael Wesley at East Asia Forum. Via Global Dashboard, a Foreign Affairs essay on the geopolitics

Wednesday linkage

Change has also come to whitehouse.gov The Egyptian Embassy in Jakarta was firebombed apparently in connection with its position on the Gaza-Egypt border. The first hearing in the Khmer Rouge trials is set to begin on 17 February. The defendant is Kaing Guek

Friday linkage

South Korean media is reporting that Kim Jong Il has chosen a successor, his third son, Kim Jong Un. One Free Korea has a collection of links. A new American Enterprise Institute report: An American Strategy for Asia. Corporate governance in India: how it compares with the

Thursday linkage

Australian JSF showdown: Dennis Jensen MP versus Air Vice Marshal John Harvey. Further to Rodger Shanahan's thoughts on 'smart power', this blog post examines the origins of the term. China overtakes Germany in GDP. But are China's economic statistics reliable? I wrote a

Wednesday linkage

More bridges to nowhere?: Marginal Revolution looks at Japanese infrastructure spending to see where Obama's stimulus package might go wrong. Some surprising new figures on global wine consumption. Stuart Harris at East Asia Forum addresses some of my queries about China's recent

Tuesday linkage

Allan Behm proposes an agenda for joint Australian-Indonesian action on climate change. A handy roundup of recent East Asian financial developments from a World Bank blog, which even includes some good news. Speaking of which, this paper argues the global recession will be

Monday linkage

Anthony Cordesman from CSIS questions whether Israel's tactical gains in Gaza are worth the strategic and political cost. You know the world is changing when the CEO of Exxon calls for a carbon tax. Speaking of signs that the world is changing, the North American car of the year is...a

Friday linkage

Looks like Rory may get his wish: the Government is considering sending a frigate to Somalia on anti-piracy operations. Last August Stephen Grenville said that, in regard to the trial of a senior intelligence official accused of the murder of a human rights campaigner, the Indonesian justice

Thursday linkage

Some Bush haters will call this naive, but it's somehow hard to believe this account, which argues Bush  invited John Howard to stay at Blair House only after he turned down the Obamas. One plausible take on Israel's Gaza operation: it's all about eventual withdrawal from much of

Tuesday linkage

This article on US Israel policy is creating a lot of talk on the US blogosphere. Glenn Greenwald asks, 'Is there any other significant issue in American political life...where...citizens split almost evenly in their views, yet...the leaders of both parties adopt identical lockstep positions

My books of the year

I have just been reading Menzies' Afternoon Light which hasn't exactly been my book of the year, but was an interesting insight into how much politics has changed. You almost feel sorry for the current Prime Minister, who is derided as Kevin 747, when Menzies describes in great detail

My blogs of the year

Yes, I did actually read a few books this year, just none worth mentioning. So instead of an end-of-year books post, I thought I'd select some blogs of the year. Many of my long-time favourites are still around — Arms Control Wonk, Sullivan, Ares, Passport, Drezner — but here are

Friday linkage

Did you know China is re-establishing its ties with Laos? The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has published a comprehensive review of India's nuclear arsenal. Baghdad's Mutanabi book market has reopened after a 2007 car bombing. An interactive map that lets you track oil exports to

Thursday linkage

Russia is offering Lebanon 10 MiG-29 fighers. Any chance they're the same aircraft Algeria returned because of their 'inferior quality'? Foreigners living in China were paid to attend a petroleum exhibition so that the event would look international. (H/t Marginal Revolution.)

Friday linkage

The Asia Foundation has released a report assessing the business-friendliness of Vietnam.  Irony alert: Chicago has just hosted a Government Ethics conference. Chicago, of course, is in Illinois, and the Governor of Illinois is... 2008 was a bad year for

Thursday linkage

The  World Bank has released its half-yearly East Asia economic report. This is the best suggestion I have read so far for a suitable replacement for the term 'soft power'. A historical note on Michael Fullilove's post about Americans and cricket

Wednesday linkage

The Observer predicts as many as five million people could descend on Washington for Obama's inauguration dwarfing the previous record number that turned out for Lyndon Johnson (1.2 million). Now you can watch quite a few Lowy Institute talks on Fora TV.

Tuesday linkage

 'We spend more on defence in about 12 days than on DFAT in a year.' That's from an op-ed by former senior diplomat Rawdon Dalrymple. Congresswoman gets call from Obama. She thinks it's a prank. Hilarity ensues. The Japanese Government's poll numbers are in free fall.

Monday linkage

Shorter John Bolton: Iran is going to get its nukes. Deal with it.  In November, Mark Thirlwell explained why Greg Sheridan was wrong to claim purchasing power parity is, as an economic measure, a 'con'. Now Ian Castles at East Asia Forum sticks the other boot in. Charlie Edwards

Friday linkage

Coal is assumed to be an abundant resource. But is it?  Industrial espionage? An Airbus presentation about rival Boeing's troubled 787 program has leaked. A couple of the pages are marked 'Boeing Proprietary'. Did you know locals have taken to referring to Beijing's iconic

Wednesday linkage

Global Dashboard takes issue with the 'democracy vs. mob rule' characterisation of the Bangkok protests. Meanwhile, Jotman explains that the Thai crisis will hurt Laos and Cambodia too. A presentation on 'Facebook/Twitter diplomacy' from US Under Secretary of State for Public

Friday linkage

 The scale of India's terrorism problem is far beyond what the West faces, yet Indians show tremendous resilience. A photo of President Bush congratulating strident Bush critic Paul Krugman on his Nobel prize has inspired a caption contest. The winner will be judged by

Wednesday linkage

Visit New Mandala and Bangkok Pundit for blog coverage of the violence in Bangkok. Eighteen thousand party officials have fled China with misappropriated money since the mid 1990s. I said yesterday that it would be interesting to see an Australian equivalent to the

Tuesday linkage

Lowy Institute visiting fellow Hugh White made an appearance on episode 2 of the ABC documentary The Howard Years last night, discussing the 1999 Timor operation. Here's a paper Hugh wrote earlier this year with more detail on the strategic decision-making process. Europeana is a huge new

Wednesday linkage

The NSW State Government cannot find the money for a proper Sydney metro. Baghdad authorities seem to be more visionary... 007, anti-imperialist: '(Daniel) Craig's Bond is an intimation of the sort of Britain that could have been, if Tony Blair had stood up to Bush...' Via Public

Tuesday linkage

The Interpreter is lucky to have one of the world's leading Burma experts guest blog for us occasionally. Today, Andrew Selth has an op-ed in The Age arguing that it is not realistic to try to remove the regime — we should put our energies toward helping the Burmese people. New Mandala

Monday linkage

China wouldn't be increasing its troop presence on its North Korea border if it thought all was well in Pyongyang. Last week I argued that even if US automakers are developing greener cars, that's no reason to bail them out. Josh Marshall thinks they should be bailed out, for that very

Friday linkage

Five reasons why we shouldn't expect too much from the G20 summit. I guess a sixth would be George Bush's lame-ducktitude. The NY Times reports rather gleefully on a Sarah Palin-related hoax that revealed 'the shoddiness in the traditional news media and especially

Blogging will be light today...

...as I've been laid low by a cold. Actually, it's a bit more serious than that. I don't wish to shock you, gentle reader, as I know you are concerned for my welfare. But I am, in fact, suffering from...gulp...a man cold

Tuesday linkage

 Thanks to Rory for this link: 'Asia Matters for America provides a hub for American and Asian audiences to explore the importance and impact of Asia in the United States...' George Packer is right — the cover of the latest New Yorker is gorgeous. Nice piece of detective work from

Monday linkage

The latest issue of Inside Indonesia focuses on Indonesian Papua, and includes this handy collection of online Papua-related resources. I loved this quote: 'There is ample support in economic theory for your view – it is just a shame there is little support for it in practice.'

The Lowy Institute and the Ozblogosphere

It's sad to see the end of one of the first and best Australian political blogs, Road to Surfdom. The retirement of Surfdom's creator, Tim Dunlop, from the Ozblogosphere (Tim also recently quit his mainstream media blogging gig, Blogocracy) puts a bit of a dent in the optimism I have

Monday linkage

With prices dropping sharply, where have all the Peak Oil believers gone? (H/t Oil Drum.) John McCain's appearance on sketch comedy program Saturday Night Live was quite funny, but James Fallows argues it was also an admission of defeat. The Mark

Thursday linkage

The PM's office denies that Bush ever asked Rudd, 'What's the G20?' Also from The Australian, it looks like our Defence Minister is in the Robert Gates camp when it comes to focusing on the wars we're in rather than the wars we might get in. That will please my colleague

Wednesday linkage

Leading indicator?: Oil prices may have fallen by half, but that hasn't stopped an 'alarmingly fast paced and and widespread' drop in global airline traffic. Foreign investment in Thailand plummets as the political crisis continues. Stocking

Tuesday linkage

According to the People's Daily, there are now over 100,000 Chinese students in Australia. Hans Blix is hip: Not only did he get a starring role in Team America, now there's a band named after him. (H/t Total Wonker.) The Australian Government has

Wednesday linkage

A locally produced 50-part (!) TV series on the life of Bruce Lee is apparently a big success in China. Here's the trailer. You can now watch selected Lowy Institute presentations on Slow TV. I'd never heard of Arab Media & Society, but it has a nice website and the latest issue

Tuesday linkage

China releases plans for universal public health care, and announces major land reforms. The University of Sydney's US Studies Centre has a pretty cool election website. Thailand and Cambodia plan jaw-jaw instead of war-war over their border dispute. Photos of India's much-delayed

Monday linkage

Colin Powell's endorsement of Obama is compelling, particularly his comments (from the 4.25 mark) on American Muslims.  Hope for capitalism yet: T-shirts for sale with a financial crisis theme. Retired General Jim Molan has thoughts on Australia's

Normal blogging service will now resume

To those of you who couldn't connect to The Interpreter on the weekend, apologies for the outage. But we're back today, and later we'll continue the North Korea debate we started last week (here's the last post in the series, containing links to the others). Look out also for a post

Thursday linkage

Newsweek says Indonesia is booming and could be the next India. Another useful idiot's guide to the financial crisis. The UN gives its Timor staff some very UN-like advice on how to deal with crocodiles: monitor the situation. The 2008 Prosperity Index is out, and AUSTRALIA WINS! Be

Monday linkage

Via Peter Martin, one of Australia's better economics bloggers, here's a cartoon guide to how the financial crisis got started (contains strong language). Uh-oh: Singapore is in recession. The episode of CSI: Miami screened in Australia last night centered on one of our (so far)

Friday linkage

A China milestone: 8 October marked the day on which modern China had 'lived for more time under the reform and opening up era than under Mao’s era.' And just to drive home the point about Chinese modernisation, this week saw the launch of a new Chinese news magazine called Blog

Thursday linkage

Here's a NY Times article from 1999 on Fannie Mae's decision to enter the sub-prime mortgage market: 'In moving, even tentatively, into this new area of lending, Fannie Mae is taking on significantly more risk, which may not pose any difficulties during flush economic times.

Tuesday linkage

The two US presidential candidates don't only represent ideological alternatives, they're also emblems of two different models of decision-making.  China's demographic future: the rise of the elderly. Stink bombs: Non-lethal weapons are a growth industry, and Israel is taking a

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