Saturday, September 20, 2008

Opportunity International

Russia, France Put Aside Woes. The U.S. Snarls.

Russia, France put aside Georgia war differences | International | Reuters

SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) - Russia and France put aside disagreements over the August war in Georgia in a move to promote bi-lateral relations, especially in key energy projects. We will conduct with Russia

"Analysts say the new rift with the West over Georgia have scared investors, adding to Moscow's financial woes in the face of recent global stock market turmoil."

I wonder - - which would the US government deem more of a national risk -- upsetting the world markets while the US is already reeling from Wall Street's troubles....or harping, toothless and snarling, with threats about Russia's recent actions in Georgian territory? I mean, really - is the Bush administration hallucinating? After French negotiations with Russia, not one single project has been put off or suspended between France and Russia. Meanwhile, Dick Cheney's still flapping his gums about his ever-rotting dream of a US-led new world order in Eurasia while offering millions upon millions of dollars that the US taxpayer can hardly bear to pay anymore... and while Sec'y of State Rice is "buying a one-way ticket to insignificance."

India apparently won't wait for the U.S. 123 nuclear agreement between India and the US ... with India deciding to sign a "landmark nuclear framework agreement with France during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Paris later this month." While the Bush administration runs ineffective wars, works at a snail's pace for treaties and agreements, and uses idle threats against other nations, business goes on with those nations that understand what realistic cooperation in the 21st century means.

Heckuva job, Dick and Condi. A change can't come soon enough, and brother McCain sounds more like your twin soul than his own man on this faded brand of foreign policy.

Jim Sciutto Talks About "Against Us"

Eye on Books

Hating America is no longer limited to wild-eyed fringe fanatics in the Arab world, according to veteran journalist Jim Sciutto. In his role as ABC News Senior Foreign correspondent, Sciutto has traversed the Middle East, finding that al Qaeda's view of America is increasingly being adopted by middle-class, well-educated, mainstream Arabs. And frighteningly, Sciutto has concluded that the Iraq war is, indeed, a shockingly fertile breeding ground for enemies of America. His book is called "Against Us."


Friday, September 19, 2008


The Renewed Mind Is the Key

Don't ask. Just watch.
*Tip o'the hat to Chris Abraham. ;)

Ray Anderson on Sustainability

Blogging about carpet tiles isn't sexy by any means. Give one listen to Ray Anderson of Interface Inc [the word's largest modular carpet company], though, and you'll begin to see a glimpse of social changes through better business practices that will make room and make a sustainable home for the generations yet to come.

Ray Anderson on Sustainability

This video is one businessman's testimony of a private and public evolution toward environmental consciousness and vision. See the book that inspired Mr. Anderson: "The Ecology of Commerce" by Paul Hawken and the poem that inspired Mr. Anderson - "Tomorrow's Child" by Glen Thomas.

"..Tomorrow's Child, my daughter-son,
I'm afraid I've just begun
To think of you and of your good,
Though always having known I should.

Begin I will to weight the cost
Of what I squander; what is lost
I should never forget that you
Will someday come to live here too..."

Obama's New Economic Philosophy

Senator Barack Obama did his best this afternoon to reassure the shaken American public that he had not only a new philosophy on the ways government should better guard the public interest, but also an initial plan to calm the troubled waters on Wall Street with a temporary plan to protect working Americans. [see transcript of Obama's remarks].

Senator Obama recognized that most Americans were "hurting long before Wall Street was hurting." One of the most compelling parts of his talk this afternoon was his stated principle regarding "mutual responsibility and reciprocity." Obama expressed, with an air of calm under the pressure of some horrific news on Wall Street this week, that his philosophy and plan would entail creating a "broad-based prosperity" in the U.S. rather than the kind of prosperity that enriched a few who are reckless as they've "walked away with the golden parachutes while taxpayers have been left holding the bag."

Stating that this crisis is "no accident of history," Obama pointed to government's past failures to act promptly to avoid the kind of unethical business practices that have caused more and more inequality in the U.S. He said that government has all too often "looked the other way until it was too late" and that government needs to provide common-sense regulation and oversight in order to best protect the public interest.

I imagined, after hearing him speak this morning, what it would be like to have the "broad-based prosperity" of which Obama offered as a realistic vision. The more you spread the opportunity, the better a reflection of the will of the people; the heart and soul of the people.

At Huffington Post, Steven G. Brant hopes that "at least some of our business and political leaders are in enough of a shock that they will look for new ideas and new answers" to this crisis.

Ten years ago, Mr. Brant wrote about the "fog" is being (and, for years, has been) created by "the tendency to see globalization from a perspective grounded in our history of living in a world of separate, independent nations."
The world's economy has become one interdependent system, yet we continue to view it through independent eyes.

What's really going on, from a systems perspective, is that a new, single, global system is struggling to be seen for what it is--a system that can prosper only if all of its parts prosper. It is a single system, one that innately knows that either all of it will make it or none of it will. That's the way healthy systems work. The business world will prosper beyond its wildest imagination once it cuts through this fog and stops viewing the future through "past-focused eyes."

Ex-G.O.P. Official Supports Obama for Values Reasons

For Ex-G.O.P. Official, Obama Is
Candidate of Catholic Values

Source: NY Times
Constitutional scholar Douglas Kmiec explains his current stance in "Can a Catholic Support Him? Asking the Big Question about Barack Obama," which will be published in two weeks by Overlook Press.

I believe that this interview, conducted by email with Professor Kmiec, will please neither pro-choice nor pro-life proponents....and I think the grey areas are an important reflection upon the American electorate's general views on the issue. He says,
"Senator Obama is articulating policies that permit faithful Catholics to follow the church’s admonition that we continue to explore ways to give greater protection to human life."
Professor Kmiec does his best to put the controversial abortion issue aside for just a moment to lay out a plethora of other current social and economic issues that bring about his belief that Obama and Biden's experience and campaign promises best reflect his own Catholic values. He cites, as examples, "the payment of a living wage, access to health care, stabilizing the market for shelter, special attention to the needs of the disadvantaged and the importance of community," saying that those issues are "all part of the church’s social justice mission."

Book Ref: "Can a Catholic Support Him?: Asking the Big Question About Barack Obama"
Barnes and Noble

Earth Sings the Ages' Unspoken Wisdom

as we walked the hills
where our mothers and fathers
were laid to rest
t'was mystic
the silent profundity of spirit
the years of unspoken wisdom
springing from the earth

*My own ancestor Isabell, born in 1780 with troubles raging all around in the new country, rests today on a hillside not far from my own home.

From Susan B Anthony to..Sarah Palin?!

Sarah Palin and Women Voters | Newsweek Politics: Campaign 2008

"Odd, yes, but there we are. Still, history suggests issues of policy will ultimately trump the politics of identity."

Excerpts that I found worthy of discussion:

ONE: "Decades of experience, stretching back to the suffrage movement, suggest that the brew of excitement (for Palin), horror (from the Democrats) and drama (who knows how it will end?) is fully in keeping with the tumult of the world the women of Seneca Falls, N.Y., made all those years ago."

TWO: "This was the great revelation of the 1920s: women do not all think the same. They reason, and vote, as individuals, not as a pack. [..] "Since 1980, women have skewed Democratic. And, until fairly recently, women have been loath to vote for other women—particularly stay-at-home mothers and elderly women. But the moose-shooting, defiant Palin may be changing that. Her gender is an asset —particularly in an election where sexism has been the subject of heated exchanges."

THREE: [NAOMI WOLF QUOTE] "She's pressing every single button that says 'working-class white woman'." Women candidates like Hillary Clinton had an "Ivy League gloss." Not Palin.But it's a very superficial button."

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Petraeus: Troops Alone Won't Quell Violence in Afghanistan

While stressing the need for economic and political progress in both Iraq and Afghanistan, General David Petraeus told the AP:
"You don't kill or capture your way out of an industrial strength insurgency."