25 APR – 1 MAY Training Week; "Home Fires" NY Times Series

This past week shows continued development. Approximately 47 miles, including a 10 miler yesterday (at 7:30/mile pace). With today, being Sunday, off (trying to keep the Sabbath holy and, well, for family purposes). So 6 days, 47 miles, nearly an 8 mile/day average.

The broken foot still feels not quite right, but, certainly not broken anymore. I have a follow up in a couple weeks with the orthopedic doctor to confirm (via x-ray) that I haven’t left myself with a stress fracture. The knee continues to make progress, albeit slow. It still hurts in its own way, but the pain is slight enough to not warrant serious attention. I’m hoping for continued improvement each week until it’s just about gone entirely (but maybe that’s wishful thinking).

Continue reading “25 APR – 1 MAY Training Week; "Home Fires" NY Times Series”

NZDF and Recent Torture Charges

The May 2011 edition of Metro magazine, and Auckland-based publication, includes an article by Jon Stephenson entitled “Eyes Wide Shut: The Government’s Guilty Secrets in Afghanistan.” Unfortunately, the article is not published online, so even as I have read it, I don’t want to infringe on the publisher’s ability to make money…so I won’t scan and post online. I will, however, include some links to as to bring any readers up to speed on the issue if you haven’t read the piece.

(photo above: Lt. General Mateparae and PM John Key)

23 APR 11: Scoop News, “Torture & the SAS: The Gov’ts Guilty Secrets in Afghanistan”

22 APR 11: NZ Herald, “NZ SAS prisoners tortured”

26 APR 11: Op Ed, Dominion Post, “More than a day of remembrance”

The central challenge in this post is that, although I’ve posted some local coverage of the article in question, I’ll principally be responding to “Eyes Wide Shut.” I’ve made five main observations, which I will briefly walk through below. These are next day reactions, meaning, I’ve read the piece and had about 16 hours to reflect. So what follows are first reactions.

1. The nature of military operations and the concept of military necessity is wholly ignored. Continue reading “NZDF and Recent Torture Charges”

China, Botox and there’s no Easter Bunny

It’s clear that the Chinese economic rise is fundamentally affecting the world, as I (and many others) have written about before. But what does this mean? The average citizen takes home roughly $7,500 USD (at Puchasing Power Parity) per year. Amazingly, that salary has increased roughly 8-10% per year for quite a long while. It’s hard to imagine what it would be like to see pay raises of 10% every year. I’ve seen some jumps in pay as a result of promotions, but, even at my best I’d guess that it was never more than 4% or so (which is about what it will be when I’m promoted to Major later this year). So what are the Chinese putting their new found wealth into?

Continue reading “China, Botox and there’s no Easter Bunny”

For Memorial Day: How Kiwis Remember

Image of the Wellington (New Zealand) Cenotaph, courtesy of Wikipedia

**Note: what follows is a written reflection (with a few minor modifications) from my experience at an ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) Day Dawn Service at the Wellington (New Zealand) Cenotaph on April 24, 2011.  As we pay our respects on Memorial Day, it seemed appropriate to consider how our friends and allies commemorate the fallen.**

I have just returned from the ANZAC Day Dawn Service at the Wellington Cenotaph with good friends from the NZ Defence Force. It was a touching ceremony, lasting about a half an hour, starting about 5:45am. The time, in and of itself, is striking…the American equivalent for veteran remembrance is, of course, Veteran’s (and/or Memorial) Day. Veteran’s Day celebrates the armistice reached for World War I, famously at the 11th hour (11:00am) on the 11th day of the 11th month (November 11th). ANZAC Day is a day of remembrance of those that gave their lives in the unsuccessful landings at Gallipoli. Continue reading “For Memorial Day: How Kiwis Remember”

17-24 APR Training Week; Yoga for the Wounded and Weight Bearing for Soldiers

It was, in all dimensions, a great training week for me. I did two leg strengthening workouts and visited the acupuncturist on Friday. Actually, this was a pretty tough acupuncture session in that Dr. Yan decided that I’ve progressed to “graduate” level: he had me sit in a chair while he put the needles in my knee. Wow. Let me just say that there are very few moments that you truly lose your breath (meeting my wife was one of them)…this easily makes that list. It was stunning, but, as with other treatment sessions, the initial pain goes away quickly and the healing process continues.

Continue reading “17-24 APR Training Week; Yoga for the Wounded and Weight Bearing for Soldiers”

ANZAC Day Dawn Service, Wellington Cenotaph – Reflections

I have just returned from the ANZAC Day Dawn Service at the Wellington Cenotaph (photographed to the left) with good friends from the NZ Defence Force. It was a touching ceremony, lasting about a half an hour, starting about 5:45am. The time, in and of itself, is striking…the American equivalent for veteran remembrance is, of course, Veteran’s Day. Veteran’s Day celebrates the armistice reached for World War I, famously at the 11th hour (11:00am) on the 11th day of the 11th month (November 11th). ANZAC Day is a day of remembrance of those that gave their lives in the unsuccessful landings at Gallipoli.

I thought I would write about the key reflections I have of the ceremony. Essentially, these are snap judgments, differences that stick out to an American military officer about how Kiwi’s honor war’s casualties. One must remember that the sample size is small and recognize that full conclusions are not possible in observing one event.

Continue reading “ANZAC Day Dawn Service, Wellington Cenotaph – Reflections”

Economic Interrelatedness


In a separate post, I’ve outlined the amazing growth of the Chinese economy. In this post, I’ll highlight it’s resultant impact on the region and the world. To the left is a fantastic image pulled, I think, from a Wall Street Journal article from last month. It depicts the relative level of trading between China an eleven of the G20 nations. Between 2000 and 2010, China has grown to become the top trading partner of 6 G20 nations,
and the second trading partner of another 5 (including the United States). That’s quite a shift. Especially when one looks at India and South Africa (10th to 1st), and Russia (6th to 1st), and Brazil (10th to 2nd). That carries with it a considerable amount of leverage, that, I think, even the Chinese are just beginning to comprehend. In Chairman Mao’s era, it seems that China often sought to export ideology in the Asia-Pacific; now, China is moving economic goods much more successfully.

When one looks at the above image, it’s clear to see there’s a cluster at the far left that has something in common…they all have security guarantees with the United States. In fact, the US has 5 of it’s 7 total Mutual Security Treaties in the PACOM AOR:

Japan – security treaty with US in 1951/1960 – #1 trading partners with China.
South Korea – security treaty with US in 1953 – #1 trading partners with China.
Australia – security treaty with US in 1952 – #1 trading partners with China.
Philippines – security treaty with US in 1951 – #2 trading partners with China.
Thailand – security treaty with US in 1954 – #2 trading partners with China.

Continue reading “Economic Interrelatedness”