Thomas Barnett’s weblog has an amazing dateline today: Sjøkrigsskolen, which translates as the Sea War School.
The best part of his post, however, was his comment on the dispute between the US and Europe over ending the arms embargo on China:
|This just isn’t going to work. The US can’t trade with and invest in China like crazy, sell arms to both Taiwan and Japan, and then tell the EU not to do the same with China on both trade and arms. We just don’t get to decide which other Core powers get to arm and under what conditions. China’s rising economically, and like any other country in such a trajectory, it builds up and modernizes its military. We can’t stop that, but we can shape it and work to make that process dovetail with a rising security alliance between us two. But the Bush Admin seems to think they’re in the driver’s seat on this one, when they’re not. I mean, China’s supposed to keep buying our debt so we can spend lots on our military and then we get to tell them what they can or cannot buy in military arms?|
I don’t think you can argue with his logic. There are a raft of inconsistencies in the US policy (some of which Barnett explores further in his post). But I have to confess that I feel torn on this issue. The Realpolitik is as Barnett writes. There is, however, an amoralism about the European eagerness to get on with selling anything and everything to the Chinese, whatever the human rights record. I know the US will eagerly sell killing machines to a host of unsavoury regimes, but rushing to add another one to the list isn’t pretty.
Barry Ritholtz: “Eventually, there may be some consolidation [of social networking companies] — we see it starting already. That means two things: One, I have no idea where my personal data and address book will ultimately end up, what company or person; and B) the liklihood is that at least 2 but more likely 3 and probably 4 and maybe even 5, and quite possibly 6 of these firms will go belly up, the long dirt nap, buy a farm.
“And when that happens, the VC’s investments will be worth zero, nada, zilch, and they will seek to recoup something, anything, even just pennies on the dollar (pretty please?). And then the vultures will come in: strip the offices down to the bare walls, sell everything thats not moving for pennies on the dollar. Aeron Chairs (ha!), PCs, desks, wall cabinets, EVERYTHING.
“And when that happens, when the Bankruptcy Judge brings down the gavel, the most valuable asset these companies have — all of my personal info, plus all of your contact info, plus every person you know’s name/number/email address — will be sold to the highest bidder. They may promise that they will protect your data, but I simply do not believe they can control anything post banckruptcy. The contracts are ignored.”
In the comparatively undeveloped world of UK political blogs, someone has come up with the good idea of gathering all Labour-supporting weblogs on one site.
It doesn’t look as though it’s part of their plan to truly aggregate the sites, by bringing the various feeds directly into the site. Still, it’s a good initiative. I’ve submitted Davos Newbies in the south London category, even though I don’t often comment on intensely local issues. But my local MP, I’m happy to say, is Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sports Tessa Jowell.