Thursday, December 20, 2007
Two stories, two maps.
The first: the European visa-free zone increased, incorporating many of the new EU members. Germany and Austria no longer have guarded frontiers, formerly having checkpoints on the Polish, Czech, Slovak, Hungarian, and Slovene borders. Russia now borders the four members of the visa-free zone: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland (in addition to Finland and Norway).
The second is the continued dismemberment of the Russian client state, Serbia, at the hands of Brussells (and Washington, and Berlin, and...). When Kosovo declares independence, which is already a few months overdue, Serbia will find itself surrounded by eight countries -- three of whom are already in the EU, another (Croatia) which will probably be the next EU member, and the rest looking for eventual EU integration.
Relatedly: Vladimir Putin, who has been invaluable in accelerating Europe's rise, is Time's Man of the Year.
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Sunday, October 01, 2006
Ever wonder what your city looked like a century ago? The answer is available from The University of Texas at Austin's Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection (which has previously been described at tdaxp and by Catholicgauze).
Here's what the grandest city in South Dakota, Sioux Falls, looked like in 1920:
What's interesting to me is how few of the streets I am familiar with. Main and Philippes are still in the city's center, and Minnesota and Cliff are still imposing avenues. But Ridge? Colton?
I recognize some further sites -- the Big Sioux River, obviously, as well as the South Dakota
Deaf Mute Institute School for the Deaf
Sioux Falls is a beautiful city. 'Specially when we blow stuff up. And afterwards, too.
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
"Bush Turns to Fear-Mongering: Creation of 'Islamic' Bogeyman," by Juan Cole, Informed Comment, 6 September 2006, http://www.juancole.com/2006/09/bush-turns-to-fear-mongering-creation.html.
The latest column by Juan Cole (a Professor at the University of Michigan) is his usual semi-factual self
Iran has not launched a war on a neighbor since the late 1700s.
True... ish. (Never mind that in the Tanker War, Kuwait required assistance of both the Soviet Union and the United States to protect her ships from Iranian aggression.
Another comment comparing the Syrian regime to California New-Agers must be read in context to be believed.
Next, Dr. Cole attacks the usual enemies -- Christians and Texans
If you want to know what is really going on, it is a struggle for control of the Strategic Ellipse, which just happens demographically to be mostly Muslim. Bush has to demonize the Muslim world in order to justify his swooping down on the Strategic Ellipse. If demons occupy it, obviously they have to be cleared out in favor of Christian fundamentalists or at least Texas oilmen.
This paragraph leads to an interesting map where Cole defines a "strategic ellipse." The map combines the best of Barnettian and Spykmanian geopolitics.
Leaving aside Cole's incoherent rant, what we are left with is the fact that much of the world's oil and gas comes from countries we don't much trust. Hopefully President Bush is serious about a geogreen gas tax.
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
This map was seen in the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in the USA Passport Application page (accessed to verify a point for a debate over at The Korea Liberator and this blog). Among other weird aspects
- The map extends significantly north of the Korea-Chinese border, and emphasizes the topographic continuity of "Korea" through Eastern Manchuria.
- The map emphasizes irredentist claims against a fellow democracy, Japan
- The map makes no mention of the Stalinist regime which controls half of Korea's territory
More is available on Korea's bizarre "We love Dokdo" page, dedicated to Chosen's domination of the Liancourt Rocks.
During a time when North Korean refugees seek refuge in the United States, The Pyongyang Regime that is increasingly legitimized by South Korea devalues our currency, Secretary Rumsfeld is right to let South Korea defend herself. She is not an ally like Japan, and increasingly not even a partner like China.
The best idea moving forward?
1. The Israel Model: U.S. forces leave Korea, but continue giving it substantial assistance aimed toward a robust, independent self defense. This would require much larger capital and human investments by the South Koreans and an expansion of the South Korean reserves.
2. The Thailand Model (circa 1970’s): U.S. ground forces leave, except for regular exercises and relatively small units. A robust air component remains. This was sufficient to deter Vietnam at its apex after the fall of Saigon, Luang Prabang, and Phnom Penh.
3. The Taiwan Model: U.S. forces leave, U.S. assistance is tightly restricted, and the nation’s government, placing its faith in trade with its foes and hopes of an American rescue, allows its defense to gradually decline to a point of vulnerability.
7. Terminator V: U.S. forces leave Korea. Korea, with a declining human population, turns to a new race of super-intelligent warrior robots, programmed with nihilistic tendencies by a vengeful Dr. Hwang Woo-Suk. The robots, backed by their own robot air force, then conquer and subjugate both Koreas, except for a small band of ultra-nationalists on Tokdo. This band successfully defends Tokdo against the robot invasion, but starves to death a few weeks later because Tokdo is, after all, just a couple of godforsaken barren rocks.
Give Korea to the robots.
Sunday, July 23, 2006
While I was in Fort Wayne, my friend Biz suggested that I calculate the states I had visited. He says that a state only counts as visited if one had mingled among the local people by buying some thing, and that airports did not count. I thus looked online for a clickable states visited map, and I was unimpressed with what was available. So I used a clickable electoral college map similar to the one I used for my analysis of the West Wing election
While I have an absolute electoral votes without them, I have included Mississippi, Tennessee, and Georgia as "undecided." Like every other American I have spent time in Atlanta's airport, I drove through Tennessee on my recent interesting adventure, and was previously in a bus in Mississippi.
Thursday, January 19, 2006
From the 1950s!
A more serious point: one hears complaints about supposed Japanese "remilitarization," but Japan wasn't mapping her lost Empire a generation after she lost it.
View the rest of the travel maps
Monday, January 16, 2006
It's not a dispute
It's a deathmatch:
Sunday, December 18, 2005
While browsing Google Images today in the wake up my odd honor, I came across this map from the Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection's Cambridge Modern History Atlas, 1912
This map struck me because it reverses the standard view of China and Japan. Instead of a whole China and an expansionary Japanese Empire, it shows the Rising Sun's lands as just "Japan," while being careful to separate China from Chinese dependencies. Observe the rump China:
And the majestic Japan
A good reminder of what a Gap China was a century ago, and that Japan had built a Core with Creating.
Sunday, November 27, 2005
During his trip, he presented him with a plaque
Several days before the trip, I suggested that we should present Ambassador Bolton with a plaque to thank him for his blunt words about North Korea, as well as his efforts to make human rights an element of U.S. policy toward the North. I designed the plaque with one photograph, which you see here . . .
. . . and Lincoln's "half slave, half free" quote. When I presented it to him, I stated that we shared his appreciation that some issues really are black and white. I told Amb. Bolton, not quite half-jokingly, that I hoped he would put it where the Chinese Ambassador would see it. I won’t print his response, however; I’m not sure he’d want me to.
Over at Josh's discussion thread, one of Bolton's staffer's announced that the plaque is now prominently displayed in Ambassador Bolton's office!
I am the staffer who had the pleasure of meeting with you and your colleagues in New York a few days ago. While I will steer clear of the debates in this thread, I would like to confirm that the plaque you presented him with is now on display directly outside of his door.