Notes Fri nov 9

November 9, 2007 § Leave a comment

I was traveling yesterday. many conversations about the use of virtual spaces for workgroups. I think we are all getting clearer that alienation and the thinness of the human connection in VS is the real obstacle. Once the “fun” of dealing with a new medium wears off, the human connection is often not enough to sustain the conversation. There are also issues about how to navigate back through a conversation. I will be writing more about this.

GardenWorld is out to several friends for comments and “what next” advice.

On Iraq

THE ROVING EYE
Iraq: Call an air strike
There might be less violence in Baghdad, but that’s because sectarian clashes have died down as there are virtually no more neighborhoods to be ethnically cleansed. And US engagements are declining, but only because troops are spending more time in the bases. Now, whenever there is a mission in Baghdad, it inevitably means an air strike. – Pepe Escobar

Spooks refuse to toe Cheney’s line on Iran
A National Intelligence Estimate on Iran, which pulls together the judgments of the US’s 16 intelligence agencies, has been held up for more than a year because it contains views at odds with the alarmist conclusions on Iran’s nuclear program espoused by Vice President Dick Cheney. The report is expected to be released this month, but without its key findings being made public. – Gareth Porter

‘A necessary evil’
Merchant of Death by Douglas Farah and Stephen Braun
Though Russian Viktor Bout is wanted in Belgium and has been called the “Bill Gates or Donald Trump of arms trafficking”, he is secure in Moscow, overseeing an enormous shadowy airfleet. The authors’ investigative book exposes the mysterious world in which he operates, aiding Islamic militants in Afghanistan as as well as ferrying weapons and supplies for the US military. – Bertil Lintner

From Juan Cole

Musharraf Places Benazir Under House Arrest;
Moderate Daily Slams US on Iraq

Pakistani dictator Gen. Pervez Musharraf has ordered opposition leader Benazir Bhutto of the Pakistan People’s Party placed under house arrest at her residence in Islamabad. Some 5,000 members of the PPP have been rounded up, and 50 close aides of Benazir have been arrested, according to Aljazeera. The moves were aimed at preventing Bhutto from leading a mass rally in nearby Rawalpindi.

I think we need to separate the strategic questions about Iraq from he Constitutional question. About Iraq there can be differences of opinion, especially now when we have a mess crated by the war and its implementation.

But about the Constitutional question there should be no ambiguity. We need a return to constitutional integrity and a more open government than we have ever had. We need to follow the law, we need to dismantled the intelligence apparatus,

 

Salt Lake City Mayor says “We won’t take it anymore!”

October 27, 2007 City & County Building Salt Lake City, Utah

Address by Mayor Ross C. “Rocky” Anderson

Today, as we come together once again in this great city, we raise our voices in unison to say to President Bush, to Vice President Cheney, to other members of the Bush Administration (past and present), to a majority of Congress, including Utah’s entire congressional delegation, and to much of the mainstream media: “You
have failed us miserably and we won’t take it any more.”http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/?q=node/28179

On the economy. The standard line is the American consumer,is responsible for the deficit and international borrowing,  but the biggest American consumer is the war  costs. It accounts for all the imbalance. Here is an example of the typical phrasing.

Carter Dougherty wrote recently in the International Herald Tribune: “Finance ministers and central bankers have long fretted that at some point, the rest of the world would lose its willingness to finance the United States’ proclivity to consume far more than it produces – and that a potentially disastrous free-fall in the dollar’s value would result

Rogoff, who teaches at Harvard, wrote earlier this year in the Guardian: “Will the United States ever face a bill for the string of massive trade deficits that it has been running for more than a decade? Including interest payments on past deficits, the tab for 2006 alone was over $800 billion dollars – roughly 6.5% of US gross national product. Even more staggeringly, US borrowing now soaks up more than two-thirds of the combined excess savings of all the surplus countries in the world, including China, Japan, Germany, and the OPEC states. . . .

“In an era in which stock and housing prices are soaring, the central banks of Japan and China are holding almost two trillion dollars worth of low-interest bonds. A very large share of these are US treasury bonds and mortgages. This enormous subsidy to American taxpayers is, in many ways, the world’s largest foreign aid program.”

and also from Dan Froomkin – Bush’s Disastrous Dollar Policy – washingtonpost.com

“Dick Cheney’s and Donald Rumsfeld’s presumption that successful war would instill fear leading to absolute obedience and the suppression of potential rivalries and serious threats — the ‘dangerous nation’ thesis of neocon theorist Robert Kagan — has proved to be the greatest foreign policy miscalculation in U.S. history.”

Someone suggested strongly I read Trudy Hopedale by Jeffrey Frank. Done. Don’t. A single late afternoon martini.

And to see what real work for many is like

Much to be recommended: Richardson’s third volume of the Life of Picasso A Life of Picasso The Triumphant Years, 1917-1932 – John Richardson – Books – Review – New York.

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