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Israelis Dissing Obama

I love it when the Israelis and Americans fall out amid mutual recriminations.

The mood at the 11th annual Herzliya conference, where Israel’s top policymakers come to debate strategy and diplomacy with invited international experts, is understandably twitchy. The events in Egypt hang over the conference like the threatening grey clouds. And yesterday those clouds unleashed a savage hailstorm, in the form of a stinging attack on the Netanyahu government by Tzipi Livni, the former foreign minister who now leads Israel’s fragmented opposition. Nobody here claims that they saw the upheaval in Egypt coming, and few think that President Hosni Mubarak’s regime will be replaced by one that Israel will find anything like as easy to live with.


Placating Fools in Japan

http://hoppo-m-flip.go.jp/hoppo/kikaku/02.htmlIs this the price Japan’s PM Naoto Kan has to pay to overhaul Japan’s entitlements programs and combat the conservative farming lobbies?


Red Links, 2-5-11

It’s an all-Africa edition. I’m just as fascinated by South Sudan’s sovereignty as I am by Cairo’s protests.

Egypt Rises Up:

For some in the West, which has tended to put stability above democracy in its dealings with the Middle East, these developments are disturbing. Now that the protests have sucked the life out of Mr Mubarak’s regime, they argue, the vacuum will be filled not by democrats but by chaos and strife or by the Muslim Brothers, the anti-Western, anti-Israeli opposition. They conclude that America should redouble its efforts to secure a lengthy “managed transition” by shoring up either Mr Mubarak or someone like him.


Korean Unification Only Looks Tidy In Print

The Economist applies the example of German unification to the Koreas‘ Sisyphean task. Drawing on the two courses open to it, massive handouts or immigration, the weekly recommends Seoul split the pain and the difference.

If the Koreas reunified, the government would face a stark choice. It could try to fill the gap in living standards between North and South, through handouts, public investment and subsidies. Or it could brace itself for heavy migration, as poor Northerners moved to the South in search of higher wages.


Singer and His Rotten AGW Skepticism

Sometimes writing stinks enough to burn the nose hairs: S. Fred Singer shows how.

Humans have adapted to natural climate changes in the past; we should have no problem doing so in the future.

The weight bearing down on that “should” is enough to make me cringe. Fast forward to a not so cheery future: “Ooops, we should’ve!” says Singer/

Compare Singer and The Economist on melting Arctic ice.

Singer: Glaciers are melting and Arctic sea ice is disappearing. But this is a necessary consequence of warming and says nothing about its cause. Any warming—whether man-made or natural—will melt ice. Confusing cause and effect is faulty logic.

And,


Kaplan on the Middle Asian Lake

I can’t say I’ve always loved what Robert D, Kaplan has written, but I did enjoy what he says in this “Tea with Robert Kaplan” video (sorry, the video uploaded a bit oddly). I’m a bit skeptical about Beijing’s peaceful rise, though. Yet, I heartily agree that the key to American competitiveness in the region is to eschew territorial entanglements,

Here’s a link to Kaplan’s Monsoon. The video, though, is a much more compelling ad than this sensationalistic crap on the site.


Why Your First Love Is So Important

You Never Forget Your First LoveI still mourn for my Palm Tungsten E2. I never fully exploited its capabilities, but it left me with a 4.5 x3.1 x .59 inch handheld habit. It’s a relief to know someone else with more technical nous than I have still thinks smaller is a plus.


Red Links, 9-16-10

After the Storm (The Economist)East Asia is becoming a more mature and complicated place, demographically, politically, and economically. And, it’s not all bad. There are real gains to applaud. Now, though, cranking out the successes is no longer like manufacturing. It’s marginally costly, whether it involves a currency, building a city, or keeping a military alliance.


Hitting an Income Wall of American Making (Video)


Red Links, 9-03-10

@AFP?The EconomistThis week os a pessimistic week for The Economist. For all the optimism Technology Quarterly brings, it’s the economic doubt raised about Beijing’s role in the world, warnings about the evolution of the internet, and anthropogenic global warming, that is most compelling.


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