Saturday 30 May 2020 | 06:57 | SYDNEY

Blogs and blogging

Thursday linkage

Greg Sheridan argues criticisms of Prime Minister Rudd's management style, which I referred to in an earlier post, are overstated.  US Defense Secretary Bob Gates seems to never give a dull speech. This one touches on many issues, but I liked the 'modesty' theme. And here'

Wednesday linkage

FT columnist Gideon Rachman addresses a question I asked this morning: is the financial crisis a marker for the decline of US power and the rise of the rest? China in the Lowy poll: Andrew Shearer has a different take to our guest blogger Brendan Taylor. The

State of the Australian blogosphere

Technorati, a widely cited blog aggregator, search engine and ranking service, has release its 2008 'State of the blogosphere' report. The headline figures are pretty breathtaking. Technorati found blogs in 81 languages from 66 countries, making blogging a truly global phenomenon. Oddly,

Thursday linkage

NZ PM Helen Clark seems pleased that the US might join the P4 free trade deal (it might boost her waning election hopes). Seems Australia is interested in the deal too. Some sceptical analysis here. The Queen is buying the world's biggest wind turbine. Bill Clinton met with a group of

Tuesday linkage

The ABC's Mark Corcoran reminisces about Islamabad's Marriott Hotel, recently destroyed by terrorists and previously the scene of spying, journalism and political intrigue. The Delhi police force has lost one of its most prolific marksmen to terrorist bullets. But his career record

Monday linkage

A NY Times reporter goes back to Iraq after two years: 'To return now is to be jarred in the oddest way possible: by the normal, by the pleasant, even by hope.' Asian models: the new face of high fashion. Gallows humour: the financial crisis is already producing it's share of

Friday linkage: Financial crisis edition

Asia is rattled, says the NY Times. The FT agrees, worrying about recession in Singapore. The Economist has long been a cheerleader for the deregulation now being blamed for the crisis. But in its latest leader, The Economist sticks to its guns. And speaking of The Economist, here's one

Monday linkage

Don't panic about the two Russian bombers in Venezuala: It was one-eighth of their entire fleet. You can read online the introduction to a promising new book: The Limits of Power, by Andrew Bacevich. There's a blog, too, on which I found this line: 'America doesn

Thursday linkage

US Defense Secretary Robert Gates again shows his mettle, cancelling a huge weapons contract. It's all relative: A useful corrective to those who might argue that lower oil prices will hurt countries like Iran and Venezuala. Japan's most influential

Wednesday linkage

A thoughtful essay on green conservatism. Australia-Afghanistan history goes back quite a way. The end of neoliberalism?: Mark Thirlwell argued the Fannie and Freddie bailout signalled the return of government. John Quiggin goes further. Climate change may be a diabolical policy problem,

Tuesday linkage

Afghanistan: A first-hand account, with some wonderful photos, of what has been called Britain's 'largest logistics operation since World War II'. Australian troops were involved too. A debate on the pros and cons of behavioural economics. And here's a really

Friday linkage

See this story for the Kuomintang News Network for the latest redefinition of cross-strait relations, this time by Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou. Democracy 'not a goal' for Syria: That's some refreshing honesty from Bashar Assad, and to boot, a refutation of Fukuyama

Wednesday linkage

Change in the air in Libya: Not only is Condi paying a visit, but Colonel Gaddafi is a free market convert. New Mandala ponders the strange silence of the King of Thailand in the midst of political turmoil. Unlike many journos, The Australian's Washington

Tuesday linkage

Australia has signed an agreement with the US and Iceland to promote geothermal technology. (H/t Clean Break.)  Andrew Bartlett's 24 August post about the importance of political blogs is particularly apposite in light of Fairfax's job cuts.  A cracking Annabel Crabb column about

Friday linkage

A collection of video links for speeches by recent Nobel laureate economists. (H/t Marginal Revolution.) This blog post about Russia and China would make  good exam topic: 'States that are internally governed by stable rule-bound liberal institutions can forge enduring institutional ties,

Thursday linkage

A great collection of North Korean propaganda posters at Undiplomatic. ASEAN is getting ready to ratify an FTA with Japan. One interesting detail that came as news to me: Burma already has an FTA with Japan. You may not always agree with The Australian editorially, but it takes national

Wednesday linkage

The power of regulation to strangle economic activity: there are 16,000 business aircraft in the US; Japan has 60.  The Federation of American Scientists has a link to a report on China's sensitivity to Google Earth satellite imagery. The report was written by the US intelligence

Tuesday linkage

Nice interactive graphic of where US military forces are deployed worldwide. (H/t Ares.) The NY Times profiles the ugly Brit abroad. (H/t Global Dashboard.)  Comparing the Russian invasion of Georgia with the US invasion of Panama. The Woodrow Wilson Center wants to employ a Japan

Friday funny

This week's moment of respite from Russia's invasion and irascible world leaders can be found here, courtesy of the Colbert Report. The man who could teach any nationalist a thing or two about patriotism, interviewed David Walker, formally of the US Government Accountability Office. His

Friday linkage

Thailand's King, Bhumibol Adulyadej, has achieved a somewhat remarkable feat. He has been ranked the world's richest royal and despite the development challenges faced by many of his subjects is — as any visitor to Thailand is forced to admit — widely beloved. Stephanie Hanson

Tuesday linkage

Fiji's coup leader Frank Bainimarama has decided to skip the Pacific Islands Leaders' summit and delay elections. Sounds like a good time to tighten the screws on his regime with some creative middle power diplomacy. No wonder Americans are getting tired of Obama. His Campaign Manager

Friday linkage

The NY Times says Musharraf will step down within days. By 2020, every new car will be a hybrid. Four myths about Sovereign Wealth Funds. Dave Barry is a very funny columnist, and he's in Beijing. Also in Beijing, a Swedish wrestler spits the dummy over his third place finish, with

Thursday linkage

Ross McLeod addresses a point I made about his previous post on Indonesian privatisation. As Ross says, the real purpose of privatisation is not to make consumer prices lower, but to increase efficiency. Retired General Jim Molan believes we face 'a real threat to the

Wednesday linkage

With the non-oil private sector faltering, Iraq's government employee numbers have doubled since 2005. After last week's doom-laden column about the impending collapse of Western civilization, right-winger Janet Albrechtson this week argues that left-wingers are...misery merchants. You

Monday linkage

A NY Times op-ed on the militarisation of US foreign policy. How many diplomats could Australia employ for a single Super Hornet? A friend who travels regularly to Fiji wrote to me about his latest visit: '...racial tension is worse that it’s ever been. Everyday a Fijian/Indian cab

Friday linkage

The US can cut fuel consumption by 50% in 25 years. Here's how. According to Foreign Policy, this is China's best business magazine. 'How can an Iraqi like me live in America?': The answer here. No Olympics on TV in Dili. From MF in Washington: In general I am optimistic

Wednesday linkage

Further to Mark's post about Olympic productivity, the NY Times has produced a very cool interactive graphic about world rankings. A glimpse at two forgotten fly-on-the-wall documentaries about the Kennedy Administration. Asia's infrastructure boom. For the Chinese Government,

Tuesday linkage

Two data points on oil prices: OPEC President Chakib Khelil thinks oil could fall to US$70-80 per barrel in the longer term, and Boeing seems to agree, basing its long-term airliner demand projections on the same oil price. Cyclone Nargis' damage to Burma is on a par with that done

'Friday' funny

No video today, just a link to a site that will not only have you laughing, but leave you feeling a little superior as well: it's a blog devoted entirely to signs with 'unnecessary' quote marks. Oh, and there's one for apostrophe abuse too. Enjoy your weekend

Thursday linkage

Global Dashboard replies to the question I put to them yesterday about resilience and protectionism. RAND has a new study on how terrorist groups end. Asia Sentinel says Yudhoyono has made some headway against corruption, but Indonesia has a long way to go. Qualified good economic news from

Wednesday linkage

Is it cruel to observe that Gideon Rachman's attempt to write a column composed entirely of foreign policy cliches reads like a condensed Kevin Rudd speech? A blogger has done some actual investigative journalism, and found Obama's Berlin crowd figures were inflated. Effects of the

Tuesday linkage

Australian David Kilcullen, an adviser to US Secretary of State Rice, has helped write a policy maker's guide to counter-insurgency. A press write-up is here, and David occasionally blogs here. Updating Milton Osborne's post: as expected, Hun Sen has been returned to

Monday linkage

There's a blog for everything: This one is on sports law, and in this post it examines the IOC's decision to ban Iraq from the Beijing Games. Here's a ripping yarn from the ABC's Mark Corcoran about the strange company Obama kept in Kabul. The first trailer for Oliver Stone&#

Tuesday linkage

Greg Sheridan puts a strong case for the Rudd Government's decision to have a permanent Australian ambassador to the Vatican. I was unaware of the intriguing China angle. US academic John Mueller, a consistent critic of the counter-terrorism-industrial complex, asssesses the costs and

Monday linkage

Afghanistan has a new road that will facilitate access to the sea via Iran. Previously, the quickest way to a port was through Pakistan. Try to guess who paid for the road. (H/t Acorn.) China Beat has a good post by Rowan Callick, Beijing correspondent for The Australian, on how Australians

Thursday linkage

Michael Fullilove's post earlier today was the 1000th on this blog. Click on the archive in the right-hand column to survey the rest. A Robert Gates speech on the militarisation of foreign policy. The cost of car parking around the world. Sydney gets silver! Weird: at a conference

Wednesday linkage

'My daughter had an unfortunate experience this weekend...on the Shenandoah River...A boy and his father were wading in the river when suddenly the boy stepped into a hole and went down.' Click here to find out what happened, and what it says about US immigration policy. Mark Thirlwell

Wednesday linkage

This speaks well of Chinese attitudes to education: 'Stories about high school students miraculously entering universities (especially Harvard etc.) despite their modest backgrounds, financial situations or even test scores are a staple of China's newspapers, especially the more tabloid

Thursday linkage

Qatar's diplomatic activism: Where The Interpreter leads, the NY Times follows. New Chinese bank notes carry no image of Mao. In case anyone thought the carbon emissions problem might get easier over time: Boeing expects demand for 29,400 passenger jets in the coming two decades.

Wednesday linkage

Alexander Downer's response to the Peter Hartcher's profile of Downer, which we linked to last week. Gideon Rachman has an identikit newspaper column for every past and future international organisation summit. Handy. The Pentagon decided not to deploy its new F-22 fighters for duty

Monday linkage

The Fund for Peace has released its 2008 Failed States Index. (H/t Jotman.)  For the 'resilience' file: the NY Times says internet failures are less frequent but increasingly costly.   Goldman Sachs lists ten things India can do to be 40 times bigger by 2050 than it is today. (H/t

Tuesday linkage

Thanks to reader Adam for this link to an interview with Philip Bobbitt, subject of this  post from last week. Click here to find out who (allegedly) said this: 'Look mate, don't f--- us around. If there's something wrong with this plane then tell us now.' Iran wants to '

Thursday linkage

Beijing is introducing  free wireless internet around the whole city. Holy cow: 'According to Indem, a Moscow-based research center that tracks corruption, people living in Russia pay $319 billion a year in bribes. That amounts to about $2,250 for each of the country's

Tuesday linkage

Counter-intuitive claim of the day: increased promiscuity has reduced Thailand's HIV/AIDS infection rate. Canada has released details of its new defence strategy (via Ares). Asia Sentinel's piece on Brunei's botched order for three naval corvettes is a cracking read. John

Blogging in the free world

NY Times political reporter Matt Bai is in Sydney, and this morning  he spoke at the US Consulate about how the internet has changed US politics. Some interesting observations: The internet is now part of the US political mainstream, which should be no surprise, given how important it has

Thursday linkage

The NY Times says things might not be quite as bad as we thought in Burma. It's nice that Britain is sending another 230 troops to Afghanistan and Germany perhaps another thousand. but according to the former NATO commander in Afghanistan, about 400,000 troops are needed to do the job

Wednesday linkage

The Chicago Council on Global Affairs has released its Asia Soft Power Survey 2008. Global Dashboard proves there's nothing new under the sun: Foreign Affairs was talking about American decline and the rise of regional powers in 1977. 'In times of collective insecurity, empty wombs

Wednesday linkage

Following up our recent air transport thread, a reader suggests this George Monbiot piece on airships might offer a possible answer. Autopia is sceptical. Steve Clemons says the Cheney forces are gathering behind a push to strike Iran. James Fallows, on the other hand, damps down recent

Friday linkage

The Copenhagen Consensus ranks its top 30 global priorities. Note global warming is way down the list, and terrorism does not appear. India will soon have 16 shiny new MiGs for its aircraft carrier. The carrier, meanwhile, is due to arrive around 2012. Useful note of caution about Obama'

Wednesday linkage

Wired magazine surveys the world's top ten subways. It does not include the new Eurocrat-only train service between Brussels and Strasbourg. (h/t Passport.) The positive trajectory of Sino-Japanese relations continues: a Japanese warship will visit China, the first to do so since World War

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