Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Andre's Book

A day after the story broke of his meth use, Andre Agassi explains why he wrote his autobiography.




Just so you know, I'm thankful for all eight of you who follow here.

Why? Well, according to this, I break pretty much every rule of popular blogging.

I suspected as much. Maybe in my next incarnation I'll narrow the focus a bit. Maybe the politically satirical musings of Korea's tennis pros.

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Sunday, October 25, 2009


The Irish Example

On Wednesday I covered a speech by the Irish ambassador on how his country has overcome economic difficulties in the past. You can read it here.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009


5 Myths About Iran

In The Washington Post, Joseph Cirincione enlightens readers regarding five myths about Iran's nuclear "threat."

1. Iran is on the verge of developing a nuclear weapon.

Iran could kick out U.N. inspectors, abandon the Non-Proliferation Treaty and reprocess the gas into highly enriched uranium in about six months; it would take at least six more months to convert that uranium into the metal form required for one bomb. Technical problems with both processes could stretch this period to three years. Finally, Iran would need perhaps five additional years -- and several explosive tests -- to develop a Hiroshima-yield bomb that could be fitted onto a ballistic missile.

2. A military strike would knock out Iran's program.

" ... after such a bombing, the Iranian population -- now skeptical of its leadership -- would probably rally around the regime, ending any internal debates on whether to build a bomb. Iran would put its nuclear program on fast-forward to create weapons to defend itself. It could also counterattack against Israel or other U.S. allies. This month, a top official of Iran's Revolutionary Guard threatened to "blow up the heart of Israel" if the United States or Israel attacks first."

3. We can cripple Iran with sanctions.

"Some mix of sanctions -- whether restricting travel, making it harder for Iranian banks to do business, further limiting foreign investment or even denying Iranian citizens basic needs, such as gas -- may be necessary if Tehran does not restrain its nuclear program or live up to its pledges. But the key is to couple such pressure with a face-saving way out for the Iranian leadership. As the 2007 National Intelligence Estimate on Iran put it, a sanctions strategy must feature "opportunities for Iran to achieve its security, prestige, and goals for regional influence in other ways." These could include Iran's inclusion in regional security talks, the suspension of sanctions and a secure supply of reactor fuel, leading up to normalized relations with the West."

4. A new government in Iran would abandon the nuclear program.

Some believe that an irrational, apocalyptic government now rules Iran and that regime change is the only solution. But there is broad support across Iran's political spectrum for the right to peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

5. Iran is the main nuclear threat in the Middle East.

The real danger is not a nuclear-armed Iran but a Middle East with more nuclear-armed nations and unresolved territorial, economic and political disputes. That is a recipe for disaster, and that is why there is no country-specific solution; we cannot play nuclear whack-a-mole.

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Saturday, October 17, 2009


Investing in Korea

To read my story on how to make investments in Korea, click here.

To read my interview with international investment guru Jim Rogers on why he won't make investments in Korea, click here.

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Thursday, October 15, 2009


North Korea Watch: Naval Clash Impending?

This made the front page at Yahoo! News, so I guess this is as good a time as any to revive North Korea watch.

SEOUL, South Korea – North Korea warned South Korea on Thursday that a rash of "reckless" incursions at their disputed maritime border could spark a naval clash.

North Korea's navy accused South Korean warships of routinely broaching its territory — 10 times on Monday alone — in the waters off the peninsula's west coast.

"The reckless military provocations by warships of the South Korean navy have created such a serious situation that a naval clash may break out between the two sides in these waters," the military said in a statement carried Thursday by the North's official Korean Central News Agency.

This, despite the fact that North Korea issued a statement of "regret" for releasing flood waters that killed six Koreans and that talks are to start tomorrow on whether the South will provide aid and the North agree to more family reunions.

And the cycle continues. The North has threatened conflicts of this sort before (and even carried them out) but it is no prelude to war. North Korea opens one hand even has makes a fist with the other, and this will not change as long as it continues to extract aid from the United States and its Southern neighbor.


Thursday, October 08, 2009


Obama No Socialist

Obama's policies are not free market, but not socialist either, as no less than Reason magazine says here.

The keeper, really, is this sentence: "There is plenty to oppose in what Obama wants to do. But can we not be stupid about it?"

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Wednesday, October 07, 2009


Unwed Mothers in Korea

The New York Times has this piece about the Korean Unwed Mothers Support Network. Only about 1.6 percent of births reported in 2007 came to unwed mothers here (compared to about 40 in the United States), but those mothers who do have a baby out of wedlock face a lifelong stigma.



Eight Years in Afghanistan

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Thursday, October 01, 2009


Glenn Greenwald, Arianna Huffington discuss Iran

Glenn Greenwald is the man.

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Eyes Wide Shut on Iran

This piece in the Columbia Journalism Review takes the major networks to task for failing to diversify their sources, falling back on those all to willing to promote bombing, including (sigh) Tom Friedman.

"the only thing the Arabs are afraid of more than an Israeli strike is the absence of an Israeli strike. I guarantee you one thing, George, if the Israelis do decide to strike against Iran, there’s going to be a lot of Arab radar off that day. “Oh Ahmed, you forgot to turn the radar on? Shame on you!” That’s really what they’re rooting for."

After calling the Iraq war an "audacious roll of the dice," why would anyone listen to this guy's opinion's on foreign policy again? Marc Lynch and Glenn Greenwald are the pundits we need to hear more from.

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