Stop! PayPal Holdings Inc (PYPL) Stock Is Not a Bargain!   
InvestorPlace Stock Market News Stock Advice amp Trading Tips The success of PayPal Holdings Inc NASDAQ PYPL spawned the investing careers of Peter Thiel and Elon Musk neither of whom need an introduction as the head of Founders Fund and Tesla Inc 160 NASDAQ
          Feminism in London 2009   
The second Feminism in London conference held last Saturday (October 10th) at Conway Hall was a great success. As the London Pro-feminist Men's Group we felt very privileged to be able to take part, contribute and support the second LFN conference this year.

We took part in the conference in two main ways as a group. Firstly we supported the LFN conference, by providing childcare and secondly we contributed to the conference by facilitating a workshop entitled "What are the issues for pro-feminist men?".

We had two aims whilst we created the workshop, which were (1) to give a practical introduction to what we do in the London Pro-feminist Men's Group and (2) to get feedback from both men and women on issues for pro-feminist men and what we should / should not do.

By this we hoped to start answering the question posed in the workshop about the connection between men's life issues and the struggle for feminism. In the next part I will outline our aims for the workshop in more detail.

Ad 1.) In the introduction of the workshop we focused on what we do in our group, the essence of which is the traditional feminist practice of consciousness-raising, based on the idea that the personal is political. With men – since we are part of the oppressor group - this is a tricky process. We have to keep our attention on the ways that we are sexist, but making us feel bad about ourselves will not be helpful. Also, it is fairly easy to deal with the ways in which we are consciously sexist, but there are many unconscious ways in which we are sexist. These are often ways of being into which men are socialised from very early age. To change this conscious and unconscious sexism requires sustained work on oneself.

Obviously being a man comes with lots of advantages. We as men generally get what we want and can get away with pretty much everything, We have the luxury to be selfish, we earn more money, we are not expected to bother about our appearance or bother about childcare. At some point, when one looks at oneself and wider society though, it has to become clear that the way we traditionally act as men is not good for society on the whole and that in the long run it is also not good for us. In the end, one has to come to the conclusion that the ways we are treated as boys and the roles we are taught to play as men are not good and that if we continue to act, think and behave in sexist ways, they will cause us major difficulties in our lives - even as they give us dominant positions in society and power over women.


With that background, we felt it should be fairly clear why it is useful for men to meet separately: (i) in order to understand how we have been socialised as men, we need to share common life experiences; (ii) meeting without women is important in order to create the safety to be able to admit sexist behaviors (iii) men need to learn to create a real relationships with and get support from each other, rather than relying on women for emotional support.

Ad 2.) In the second part of the workshop we split into two groups - one female and one male. During the preparations for the workshop we had decided that we would facilitate the discussion in the men’s group and would not prescribe what the women would discuss. We had decided to do it like that, because we – as men – did not want to prescribe women what they should or should not talk about in a feminist environment. We did however encourage the women to talk about what it is they would / would not want from pro-feminist men.

In the end, two of us from the LPMG (London Pro-feminist Men’s Group) facilitated the men’s discussion, whilst LFN volunteer Jan volunteered on the spot to lead the women’s group discussion.


We started our discussion with a round in which we gave our names and an example of being sexist recently. Issues that came up were issues such as:

- interrupting women when they’re talking
- not challenging sexist jokes and comments in a group setting
- not listening to women when they give us feedback – perceiving it as nagging
- stereotyping women
- seeing women as objects

We then talked about how often one of us had organized childcare in the past year, if we had noticed how often man / women had talked in group settings or how often we’d felt fearful when we’d approached a stranger of the opposite sex in the street.

Not surprisingly none of us had organized childcare or felt fearful when approaching a stranger of the opposite sex in the street. We did feel however that men tend to speak more in mixed groups when compared to women. We used this exercise to underline the fact that women’s and men’s lives are very different and how different our positions in life are. Maybe in a way how harder and less safe it must feel to be a woman and how privileged we men are in our daily lives.

Due to time constraints we unfortunately did not get much chance to discuss how socialisation into boyhood / manhood had felt for us, which was what we’d originally planned to do. We did however shortly touch on the subject of pornography within our culture and the effects it has on men and our relationships to women.


At the end of the workshop the women that took part in the workshop gave us the following feedback.

the women wanted us (the men) to:


the women did not want us (the men) to:


Luckily, we had time to go through these, as we felt it was important that we get direct feedback from the women’s group. It was helpful to see that some of the issues we had discussed as men also had been talked about in the women’s group. Unfortunately there was not enough tome to think together about how we could practically work on these issues and what men can do to become more of a part in the struggle for feminism. In a sense though, I feel that some ideas about this came up in the initial discussion at the start of the workshop. The senses of what we – as men – can do in the struggle for feminism is (1) to get more involved in feminism and expose ourselves to feminism by attending events, conferences, fundraisers, marches and protests, (2) get involved or support in all-gender groups that support equality and struggle for feminism (e.g. OBJECT - or the FAWCETT SOCIETY - talk openly about our feminism with our friends and spread our thoughts and ideas in our circle of friends and acquaintances. Only if we as men do these important things, as well as keep in mind the "dos & donts" the women in our workshop presented us with, will we as men be able to make a practical contribution to the struggle for feminism.

A big thank you to everyone who came to the Feminism in London conference and a special thank you to everyone who came to our workshop. It was great working with you and we thought it was very valuable to hear all your thoughts and ideas! We were very pleased with the outcome of the workshop. Thank you also for your feedback on our workshop. If you have any further comments or questions with regards to our workshop, please send us an email.
          Interesting article   
Below is an interesting article about men and feminism which some of you might be interested in. Thanks to Sarah for sending this in our direction.

Men and gender justice: old debate, new perspective

Emily Esplen

The expanding intellectual interest in "masculinities" is welcome but needs greater involvement by gender-justice and women's-rights specialists if it is to be the vehicle of progress, says Emily Esplen.

28 - 02 - 2008

The nature of men's involvement in the struggle for gender justice has long fiercely divided gender-equality advocates. After nearly three decades of disagreement this seam of tension doggedly persists, little engaged with and largely unresolved.

Even as the women's movement remains hesitant, often bordering on hostile, to the idea of men's involvement, the "masculinities agenda" is striding forwards with innovative work on men and masculinities - even though it is at times often flawed in its understanding of power and in the way it merely counterposes to the idea of women's empowerment a focus on working with men "for their sake".

The most promising work in this field is happening at the level of the personal: it concentrates on transforming men's sexual behaviour, challenging violence against women and relations of fatherhood. The pioneering work of organisations like the Instituto Promundo in Brazil, which supports young men to question traditional gender norms and promote gender-equitable behaviours and attitudes, has shown that, yes, men can change. Other organisations, like the Sonke Gender Justice Network in South Africa are taking work with men in exciting new directions, reorienting existing projects aimed at individual men and politicising it in order to promote men's broader mobilisation around structural inequities and injustices. Futhermore, organisations working with men are themselves coming together to facilitate sharing and learning, enabling a stronger, more coherent struggle, as with the recently established "Men Engage" global alliance which seeks to involve men and boys in reducing gender inequalities.

A unique opportunity

This current momentum offers a unique opportunity to advance the common goal of realising gender equality. But while the proliferation of organisations working with men for gender justice is welcome, it is notable that very few of them have close and direct relationships with the women's movement. True, some do have looser connections or networks that include people active in the women's movement in individual countries, but even these are rare. This creates a discernible danger that "masculinities" will become - or has become already - a discrete field of thinking and practice, somehow disconnected from the women's movement and from gender and development more broadly.

Indeed, a depressing reality is coming into view whereby "gender" seems - even among those most committed to the gender agenda - repeatedly to be conflated with women. As long as connections between the women's movement and those working with men remain fragile (at best) to non-existent (at worst), femininities are likely to be rendered invisible in evolving masculinities discourses. The result is that - once again - the fundamental interconnectedness of men and women and the relational nature of gendered power will be lost.

Indeed, I've been repeatedly struck at recent seminars and conferences on "engaging men in gender equality" by the meagre representation from the gender and development field: a couple of us at most, in an audience comprised overwhelmingly of specialists in sexual and reproductive health and rights. In part, this points to one of the weaknesses of the current masculinities field: the overwhelming focus on sexual health and violence, and the corresponding failure to engage sufficiently with equity issues: among them equal pay and leave entitlements, representation in politics, parental rights and benefits, and domestic work/housework. The lack of attention to such issues results in the waste of opportunities to advance shared concerns.

A false equivalence

There are other dangers in refusing to engage constructively with the evolving men and masculinities discourse. While many organisations working with men are deeply informed by feminist thinking and practice, others are less grounded in a pro-feminist framework. As the masculinities bandwagon gathers momentum, there is a temptation to slip into modes of thinking and language that (for example) regard women and men as equivalently vulnerable (i.e. women are harmed by femininity and men are harmed by masculinity), or even describe men as "worse off" than women.

This is reflected in the way that much of the discourse of men and masculinities has been expressed in terms of a "crisis in masculinity". It's certainly the case that many men share with the women in their lives similar experiences of indignity as a result of social and economic oppression. Yet it is important to recognise the real differences in power and privilege experienced by women and men on the basis of gender, and to avoid glossing over men's accountability for the ways in which they choose to act out their privilege. While it's important to engage with poor men's realities, this should be done without positing men as the "new victims".

At a symposium in October 2007 on "Politicising Masculinities", organised by the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), it was noted that this issue of false equivalence surfaces frequently in discussions of men's own experience of violence. It is not uncommon to hear the statement that "men are also victims of violence at the hands of women". Such comments can be profoundly unhelpful, not least because this violence is nothing like on the same scale as the many forms of violence experienced by women from men. Alan Greig made clear at the IDS symposium that the mere counterposing of women's and men's experience and perpetration of violence is a trap; the challenge is rather to help illuminate the workings and functions of violence within the systems of oppression that organise our different societies, while holding accountable the individuals and institutions (mostly men and male-dominated) that are responsible for enacting this violence.

But to have some influence over the evolving masculinities discourse and practice in a way that avoids positing men as the "new victims" requires working in solidarity with those in the masculinities field who do understand power and the core issues of gender equality and justice. Now is an opportune time to open up the debate and advance thinking on what it would take to build bridges between the feminist/women's movement and those working with men. The eleventh Association for Women's Rights in Development (Awid) forum in November 2008 is on the horizon, with a timely focus on the power of movements; Men Engage are hosting their first global conference in early 2009 on engaging men and boys in gender equality; and the fifty-third United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) will focus on engaging men in caring for people living with HIV.

These spaces offer a much-overdue opportunity for open, constructive dialogue between the feminist/women's movement and organisations working with men for gender justice. It's high time we started to have these conversations - to ask some of the questions people don't like to talk about. It's striking how little we really know or understand about women's hostility towards working with men, or indeed about men's experiences of trying to work with feminist and women's organisations. What will it take to build bridges? How can we promote dialogue and foster greater solidarity? How can we reframe our engagement with questions of masculinities and power so that new alliances can be created, bringing work on masculinities into the heart of movements for social and gender justice?

I don't have the answers - in fact, I doubt that straightforward or singular answers exist. But I do believe these are questions that badly need to be asked if we are to progress beyond the current polarisation of issues that ought to be everyone's concern. The inadequacies of focusing on women in isolation have long been recognised; if we are really serious about achieving a gender-just world, it's time for a more open debate to begin.

Emily Esplen is research and communications officer at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex

          Ulverston Charter Festival   
The Charter Festival is a celebration of the granting of the Market Charter in 1280 by Edward 1 The aim of the festival is to provide entertainment by local people. All proceeds collected during the festival go towards the Mayor’s Charity Fund which is distributed at the end of the Mayoral year. The main Charter […]
          Recent discussion on homophobia and other issues   
Minutes from 20/1/08

We talked about how we were feeling and tried to answer the question “how have we experienced life as a man in the last 2 weeks?”

>>Men and Emotions<<

We talked about how the majority of men we come in contact with just don’t talk about their emotions. We agreed it’s very hard to “reach out to” these men sometimes and there was some disagreement over how important it is to try to “convert” other men to be more profeminist.

>>Learning from Women’s Groups<<

We discussed how (probably due to socialisation into a more caring and thoughtful role) women’s way of doing politics is often much more inclusive in terms of making new people to a group feel at ease and welcomed and that as men we feel we’re not taught to be good at this! This led us to thinking about whether we want to emulate women’s “way of doing politics”, following a kind of women’s lib model, raising consciousness etc. and to what extent that just wasn’t possible (or desirable) as a men’s group. We didn’t get very far on this but agreed it should be a topic for further discussion another week.

>>On Homophobia<<

We talked about our own understandings of homophobia from an early age and how we’d all been called “gay” as an insult at school. We mentioned our various sexual experiences and fantasies about other men, and also discussed our own homophobic attitudes that we wished we didn’t have. One of these attitudes was finding overtly camp and flamboyant gay men intimidating and having some unconscious desire for other men to be “sensible”. Another was about feeling insulted when called gay.
We also mentioned (although didn’t really develop) the idea of how homophobia is a key ingredient in dominant masculinity and how homophobia supports patriarchy.

More positively we also talked about the feeling of loving to be surrounded by queer people, trans, or overtly camp gays or butch lesbians. How exciting it is being with people breaking norms. But then we questioned whether this could be a sort of “politically correct” form of solidarity, that you HAVE to like this or else you’re not a real tolerant left wing profeminist! We even questioned whether it is not a form of homophobia to even feel that we have to react or have to have an opinion about camp flamboyant gay guys, trans people etc. In response to this idea we discussed how enjoying a certain culture/atmosphere normally doesn’t represent a form of discrimination but is most probably a celebration of that culture. However, we never really know what’s going on in our subconscious, so who can really say!

This led us to talk about …

>>Self Criticism<<

We agreed that self criticism and reflection are fundamental to recognising and starting to deal with our own sexism and that this group should foster such self criticism.
We discussed how self critical it was appropriate to be, particularly in the light of some men’s habit of being overly self critical in front of others in order to elicit pity and reassurance. We agreed that this ought to be a safe place to be as self critical as possible and that the other men could be supportive in correcting someone who was being too harsh on themselves. We then wondered if this might become a form of male solidarity with us all letting each other off the hook for being sexist or using porn or whatever, and that this might not be very helpful. Someone knew a guy who’d been in profeminist groups before who felt that the biggest pressure to change his behaviour came from feminist women telling him off quite violently(!), not from the other men in the group. This reminded us of the importance of keeping close friendships with feminists and the importance of also being in mixed gender groups. We also questioned, from personal experience, whether this “being told off” by feminist women would change attitudes and feelings as well as behaviour.

Minutes from 3/2/08

We talked about how we were feeling and tried to answer the question “how have we experienced life as a man in the last 2 weeks?”

>>On Homophobia<<

- We discussed how the “flamboyant camp gay man” was an unhelpful stereotype to keep bringing up. It was suggested that this behaviour could, on some level, be a kind of “I’m proud of being gay so deal with it” to all the homophobes out there. We questioned why we’d focussed on it at all. We decided it’s because for some of us it was an important part of our homophobia; that we tended to focus on this particular stereotype.
- Men shaking hands with other men but kissing a woman in a social situation, this reinforces gendered behaviour (obviously) but also keeps men’s bodies apart and could be related to homophobia between men.
- We wondered whether men in activist groups could be crudely characterised by saying the more direct action focussed they are the more likely they are to be masculinist and homophobic because of it being a macho type activity.
- Male homophobia keeps men apart and they lose out on tenderness and affection. One thing suggested by Basil Elias in his article “Starting your own group for men against sexism” which Jon read on, was for the men in the group to try walking round the block holding hands together to start to break down some of these homophobic barriers. He also says (rather hilariously) “How many guys, when hugging, look like we’re burping each other?”!
          Comment on On the Record with Michael Aron by KDinMorris   
Transportation FUND What BS. This state is insolvent. Decades of finger pointing,.... ' It's the other politicians that are irresponsible'. $32 + billion in tax & revenue and its not enough? We need more money we're melting.... Please get a articulate independent NJ citizen on this program, you know one of the majority.. in order to counter this nonsense.
          Los medios de información restan importancia a la violencia femenina colocando noticias de violencia de género   
Martes, 20 de Junio, 2017

Cuando abres el enlace fuente para leer el artículo y acceder a la información lo primero que nos encontramos son dos noticias relacionadas con la violencia de género. Es una de las estrategias de los medios de información de género para restar importancia al lector sobre la violencia femenina.

Estos de medios de información y comunicación se lucran también de los 24.000 millones anuales que Europa destina a España para esta materia, con lo cual contribuyen a los intereses de género.

En la noticia una mujer española de 46 años ha sido detenida por la Guardia Civil acusada de apuñalar a un varón de 51 años, su pareja. De haber sido al revés, el hombre el acusado de apuñalar a su pareja, hubiera sido un delito de violencia de género, y seguro que además de no encontrar los enlaces de otras noticias en primer lugar, el medio fuente hubiera colocado una foto como mínimo del lugar de los hechos, sino hubiera encontrado otra que causará mayor impacto al lector.

Nos tenemos que ir a medios por no subvencionados o sometidos al poder de la ideología de género, para leer titulares muy distintos y encontrar una imagen que represente la violencia femenina.

Violencia Feminista: grave un hombre tras ser apuñalado por su mujer en Madrid

Tampoco aparece la calificación de maltratadoar o agresora, ni siquiera como supuesta, pues la intención es clara de convertir los términos en exclusivamente masculinos. Aquí en este aspecto los agentes lingüísticos de género no creen importante su intervención.

Intervino el Summa, y la víctima, un varón apuñalado, fue trasladado al Hospital de Villalba.

varón de 51 años que presentaba una puñalada profunda, de unos ocho centímetros de longitud, en la zona abdominal, al parecer, causada por un cuchillo.

artículo completo
Detenida una mujer por apuñalar presuntamente a su pareja en Collado Villalba
          Una madre que prefirió matar a sus 3 hijos antes que volviesen a ver a su padre   
Sábado, 17 de Junio, 2017

La justicia ordenó que los menores recuperarán el contacto con su figura paterna. Sin embargo la madre de los 3 menores con la colaboración de los abuelos maternos se encargaron de que los menores no volviesen a retomar el contacto nunca más con su padre, al menos vivos.

Tres menores inocentes de un sistema que deja actuar a la madre, y que cuando se decide a aplicar justicia ya en muchos casos además es tarde. En otros casos donde la madre no mata a los hijos, éstos declaran hasta en público que prefieren morir a volver a ver a su padre.

Difundimos esta noticia y sus por menores en este enlace, en donde adjuntamos información sobre casos españoles a cuyas madres manipuladoras encima se les ha premiado e indultado, aparte de ser tratadas por el feminismo como heroínas y ejemplo a seguir por otras madres.

Una madre alienadora mata a sus 3 hijos porque el juez ordena que los menores vuelvan a recuperar el contacto con su padre

Mireya envenenó a sus tres hijos antes de entregárselos a su expareja; los menores sufrían del SAP, es decir, eran persuadidos para odiar al padre" 

artículo completo

Alienación parental, odio hacía el padre
          A BOA FILHA AO BLOG VOLTA....   

Espero que todos estejam bem...
Eu estou ótima Graças a Deus!!!!
Estava com muuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuita saudades de escrever no meu Blog e claro que também estava com saudades de todos vocês... 
Aproveito logo para agradecer os diversos recados deixados nesse período da minha ausência... ADORO receber esse carinho...
Minha vida está repleta de novidades... mas irei postando aos poucos pois senão teria que ficar por aqui mais de uma semana escrevendo sem parar... hahahaha
Hoje vou falar um pouquinho sobre o meu "sumiço" da Blogosfera...
Eu precisava ver se eu conseguia ser eu mesma... afinal estava deixando de ser a paciente para ser novamente a Juliana... que trabalha, que estuda, que vai e que volta sozinha, que já consegue realizar atividades sem se cansar tanto... que tem cabelos e que não mais é olhada pelas ruas... que é esposa... que faz faxina... que cozinha... que dirige... que é filha... que é irmã... que é tia... que é amiga... que é VIVA!!!!
Espero que vocês me entendam... e no fundo não sei se algum de vocês também se sentiu assim...
Depois que passamos pelo diagnóstico de um câncer e pelo tratamento que ao meu ver é a parte mais pesada dessa história... ainda temos que enfrentar o segundo round... o fantasma de caminhar por 5 cinco anos realizando os exames de acompanhamento...
Confesso que cada vez que tenho que comparecer ao ICESP meu coração acelera... sinto borboletas na barriga e lá vem o medo da incerteza dos resultados de cada check-up...
Por outro lado sei que somos mais uma vez privilegiadas... pois quem além de nós realiza exames tão específicos e importantes a cada 3 meses???
Agora estou conseguindo dormir e acordar cada dia mais confiante e segura...
Sempre entrego TUDO nas mãos de Deus e acredito na minha cura... mas como diz um velho ditado: "Gato escaldado tem medo de água fria" né? hahahahaha
Fiquem com Deus!!!!
Beijos no coração...

          Las "malasmadres" no quieren la custodia compartida e imponen la custodia para la madre por sus intereses egoístas personales   
Miércoles, 14 de Junio, 2017
El artículo fuente fue publicado hace más de 2 años.

La verdadera "malamadre" es aquella que prima más sus intereses egoístas personales que los de sus propios hijos. Como excusa para pretender impedir la custodia compartida puede poner cualquiera, pero detrás de ello se esconden unos intereses personales configurados en favor del egoísmo de esa madre. No es aquella que quiere divertirse y aprovechar la vida, pues ello en normal, tan normal como que por encima de sus intereses personales se encuentren los deberes y obligaciones con sus hijos.

Han acusado siempre al padre de no interesarse por sus hijos, de delegar sus responsabilidades y obligaciones en la figura materna, pero ni siquiera en el pasado podemos creer que fuera cierto, y contando con que la educación a los hombres ha sido machista, y ello ha contribuido en gran medida a que los hombres pensasen que los hijos con quien mejor estarían sería con la madre.

Son muchos los hombres criados y convencidos de tal argumentación machista que tras firmar el convenio en donde la madre asume la guarda y custodia de los menores, se han dado cuenta del grave error cometido. Hombres que han visto como sus hijos eran víctimas del abandono de una madre que usaba la vivienda familiar para dar cobijo a sus nuevos novios, y que dejaba a la suerte a los hijos dedicando mayor atención a los nuevos novios y a su vida sentimental que a la crianza de sus propios hijos.

Los resultados de la custodia materna son más que visibles. El fracaso escolar y el número de menores ingresados en centro de menores son la muestra patente de ello. Son madres, pero muy lejos de ser esas personas que creyeron muchos hombres que estaban dispuestas a sacrificar la vida por sus hijos, Es muy bonito de palabra repetir a cada instante que lo primero son tus hijos, llevar fotos en la cartera, bolso o en el móvil de tus hijos, pero luego los hechos nos muestran que ocurre en el interior del hogar.

En la noticia aparece una abogada, María Dolores Cárdenas, como nueva asesora del "Club de las malasmadres". Esta profesional de la abogacía es además de letrada, profesora asociada en la Universidad de Alicante y malamadre.

De la lectura del texto encontramos también algunos tintes muy feministas, pues los lactantes pueden perfectamente disfrutar de la custodia compartida cuando sus progenitores se han separado, como lo hacían previo al estado de la ruptura. Detrás de esa imposición de la que habla (típico en el discurso feminista), se esconde la verdadera imposición que pretende mantener vigente el feminismo, la imposición de la custodia materna y con ello el apartar al padre del cuidado de los hijos  a cambio de una pensión de alimentos y el uso de la vivienda familiar.
  • Para una malamadre la custodia compartida es, en muchas ocasiones, la mejor solución para resolver una situación de ruptura con la pareja. “Quiero que mis hijos no lo pasen mal”. Esta es la frase con la que se inicia el 99% de las consultas que hacen en mi despacho las madres que se van a separar – y también las que hacen los padres. 
  • Decidir que los hijos vivan por períodos equivalentes de tiempo con cada uno de los progenitores es algo difícil de asumir para una malamadre, sobre todo si alguno de los niños es muy pequeño.
  • si existe un hijo lactante, la custodia compartida no se tiene que imponer desde el principio, sino que se alcanzará de manera progresiva, mediante visitas cada vez más amplias, a medida que el niño vaya adquiriendo independencia de la madre.
artículo completo

Enlaces relacionados con este club de malasmadres:
- ¿Quieres descubrir si eres una «malamadre»?
- Laura Baena, fundadora del club de las malas madres: "No hacemos croquetas, ni disfraces"


          FELIZ NATAL!!!!!   

Eu e minha árvore de Natal....
Espero que todos estejam bem...
Eu estou ótima Graças a Deus!!!!
Passo hoje para deixar uma linda mensagem...


Senhor, neste Natal,
armar uma árvore e nela
pendurar, em vez de bolas,
os nomes de todos os meus amigos.
Os amigos de longe, de perto. Os antigos
e os mais recentes. Os que eu vejo cada dia e os
que raramente encontro. Os sempre lembrados e
os que ás vezes ficam esquecidos. Os constantes e os
intermitentes. Das horas difíceis e os das horas alegres.
Os que, sem querer, eu magoei, ou sem querer me magoaram.
Aqueles a quem conheço profundamente e aqueles de quem conheço
apenas a aparência. Os que pouco me devem e aqueles a quem muito devo.
Meus amigos humildes e meus amigos importantes. Os nomes de todos os que já;
passaram pela minha vida. Uma árvore de raízes muito profundas para que seus nomes
nunca sejam arrancados do meu coração. De ramos muito extensos para que novos nomes vindos
de todas as partes venham juntar-se aos existentes. Uma árvore de sombras muito agradáveis para
que nossa amizade,
seja um momento de
repouso nas lutas da vida.
Que o Natal esteja vivo em cada dia do Ano que
se inicia para que possamos juntos viver o amor !!!

Fiquem com Deus!!!!
E tenham todos um ótimo Natal!!!
Beijos no coração...

          A Child's War - a video made in Second Life by Global Kids   

This video was the year-end project for the Global Kids youth leaders in Queens, New York who spent the year working in Global Kids' Virtual Video Project, at the Museum of the Moving Image, funded by the MacArthur Foundation.
The video is based on research done by the youth about the situation of child soldiers in Uganda and the upcoming trial and the International Criminal Court.

          Global Kids PSAs on Digital Media, in Second Life   

This collection of five 30 second Public Service Announcements were created in Teen Second Life by Global Kids after school program, the Virtual Video Project, funded by the MacArthur Foundation and developed with the support of the Museum of the Moving Image. These were the first videos created by the students, to learn the basic of creating machinima around social issues.
Their final project will focus on child soldiers.

          Post-Brexit Blues? Schwachsinn!   

Also ganz ehrlich, mir geht das ganze Gejeiere rund um den Brexit und was man jetzt tun könnte, um das Vereinigte Königreich für die EU zu retten, ziemlich auf den Geist. Die Berichte über Leute, die angeblich nicht wussten, was sie da ankreuzen. Und dass die Mehrheit der Briten eigentlich eh für die EU wäre, wenn sie sich rechtzeitig informiert hätten.

Oder Robert Misik, der überhaupt meint, die Labour Party sollte das jetzt ausnutzen, um mit dem Slogan, das Referendums-Ergebnis nicht zu befolgen, eine Wahl zu gewinnen.

Gehts noch?


Erstens: Es war ein Volksentscheid, und ein solcher ist in einer Demokratie nun mal einzuhalten und umzusetzen, auch wenn dabei etwas herausgekommen ist, das ich für einen Fehler halte. Eine Abstimmung so oft zu wiederholen, bis herauskommt, was eine bestimmte gesellschaftliche Schicht will, halte ich für gefährlich und undemokratisch. In einer Demokratie hat nun mal das Volk das Recht und die Macht, Dinge zu beschließen, die schlecht für das Land sind (übrigens auch inklusive der Auflassung der Demokratie). Im Nachhinein zu behaupten, die hätten sich nicht ausgekannt oder wären sogar zu blöd zum Wählen, zählt nicht, denn erstens ist das eine unzulässige Pauschaldiskreditierung, zweitens hatten sie Monate Zeit, um sich zu informieren (und ich nehme an, dass sie das in dem Ausmaß getan haben, das sie für nötig befunden haben), und drittens sind die Leute nur so blöd, wie es das Bildungssystem eines Landes zulässt.

Wenn jetzt manche Politiker dumm dreinschauen, weil sie mit der Entscheidung der Bürger, die sie sich mit jahrzehntelangen Einsparungen im Bildungs- und Sozialsektor herangezogen haben, nicht zufrieden sind, dann habe ich mit diesen Politikern wenig Mitleid. Schon gar nicht, wenn es sich dabei um Politiker handelt, die mit Lügengebäuden mit dem Schicksal von Millionen spielten, um ihre eigenen Eitelkeiten zu pflegen.

Ebensowenig Mitleid habe ich übrigens mit den Journalisten, die jetzt Entsetzen heucheln, nachdem sie ebendiese Leute ebenso jahrzehntelang gegen die EU, gegen die Zuwanderer und gegen die Politik insgesamt aufgehetzt haben. Darüber, dass die Gier nach hohen Verkaufszahlen nun mal gesellschaftspolitische Auswirkungen hat, hätten sie vielleicht nachdenken sollen, bevor sie ihre Blödmaschinen angeworfen haben.

Zweitens: Seit der Grexit-Drohung interessiert mich, was wirklich passiert, wenn ein Land die EU verlässt. Das war nämlich bisher immer graue Theorie, eingehüllt in den Nimbus des Grenzkatastrophalen. Zusammenbruch der Wirtschaft, Weltuntergang, irgend so etwas wurde da immer ausgemalt, ohne dass klar war, was nun wirklich passiert. Jetzt bietet sich die Chance, das herauszufinden.

Beim Grexit waren wir ja kurz davor, dass ein Land in diese Situation gezwungen wird. Nun hingegen hat sich die Mehrheit der Bevölkerung des Vereinigten Königreichs in einer Abstimmung freiwillig und mit zum Teil ziemlichem Enthusiasmus dafür entschieden, sich selbst gewissermaßen als Versuchskaninchen für dieses Langzeitexperiment mit unsicherem Ausgang zu Verfügung zu stellen. Das kann zwar schlecht ausgehen, sollte aber auch als Chance gesehen werden.

Denn: geht das Experiment schief, dann wird den diversen Exit-Strategien der europäischen Rechtspopulisten und -extremen der Wind aus den Segeln genommen. Für die Zukunft der EU kann, so hart das klingt, ein Scheitern Großbritanniens außerhalb der EU durchaus von Vorteil sein. Zugegeben, das kann (zumindest vorübergehend) für die Briten bitter werden, aber die rechtliche Möglichkeit eines Wiederbeitritts oder einer EWR-Mitgliedschaft ist ja gegeben.

Geht das Experiment nicht schief, dann hat Großbritannien ja auch keinen Nachteil. Blöd wäre das aber insofern, als dann nicht nur die ganzen rechten Parteien Europas auch diverse Austrittsreferenden abhalten und möglicherweise gewinnen würden, sondern auch, weil das ja auch hieße, dass die EU einen wesentlichen Teil ihrer Daseinsberechtigung ganz einfach nicht hat. Die Frage, wozu man eine EU in der derzeitigen Form braucht, wenn es anders auch problemlos geht, ist ja nicht unwesentlich.

In diesem Fall könnte der Brexit dazu dienen, einen Denkanstoß zu geben, um herauszufinden, wofür wir die EU brauchen. Das Vereinigte Königreich hat die EU immer nur als Freihandelszone verstanden. Wenn es ohne eine solche auch geht oder wenn der EWR alleine ausreichend ist, wie kann die EU dann zum Nutzen Europas beitragen? Vielleicht mit etwas weniger Bürokratie und Regelungswut? Etwas weniger Neoliberalismus? Dafür mehr gemeinsame Sozialpolitik, Bildungspolitik, Umweltpolitik und Friedensinitiativen?

Das ist eigentlich das, worin der eigentliche Mehrwert des Brexit besteht - dass wir eine Antwort auf die Frage bekommen, ob es die EU in der derzeitigen Form braucht, und wenn nein, dann wie wir sie umgestalten müssten, damit wir mehr Nutzen von ihr haben. Zugegeben, dass das au Kosten von 64 Millionen britischer Staatsbürger herausgefunden wird, ist mehr als nur hart, aber deren demokratische Mehrheit wollte eben genau das herausfinden, und die Antwort ist ganz wesentlich für den Fortbestand und die anzustrebende künftige Entwicklung der EU.

          Der Schwedenplatz-Wettbewerb und die 6 Entwürfe   

Im Wettbewerb für die Neugestaltung des Schwedenplatzes wurde jetzt die Shortlist von 6 aus 60 eingereichten Gestaltungsentwürfen vorgestellt. Wie nicht anders zu erwarten, sind die Entwürfe irgendwo zwischen brav und pseudomodern angesiedelt und sagen mehr über die Vorstellungen von Architekten über urbane Plätze aus als darüber, wie sich solche Gestaltungen auf die Bewohner und Nutzer dieser Plätze auswirken.

Das lässt sich ehrlich gesagt auch nicht trennen. Meine Kommentare zu den sechs vorgestellten Entwürfen orientieren sich auch daran, welche Ansprüche und Vorstellungen ich von einem an diesem Ort möglicherweise funktionierenden Platz habe.

Meine Kriterien

Ähnlich wie der Karlsplatz ist der Schwedenplatz weniger ein Platz als eine Gegend; auch hier haben wir keine klassische umbaute Piazza, sondern eine nach einer Seite offene Straßenaufweitung. Auch hier befindet sich auf der offenen Platzseite eine mehrspurige Hauptverkehrsstraße mit entsprechender Lärm- und Abgasbelastung. Dazu kommt, dass der Wettbewerb nicht nur den eigentlichen Schwedenplatz, sondern den gesamten Bereich zwischen Marc-Aurel-Straße und Postgasse betrifft, also ein momentan klar in drei unterschiedliche Bereiche geteiltes Areal: Morzinplatz, Straßenbahn- und U-Bahn-Station Schwedenplatz und den Platz vor dem Hotel Capricorno. Ersterer ist ein weitgehend ungestalteter Grünbereich über einer Tiefgarage, zweiterer eine dem Verkehrslärm ausgesetzte Betonwüste und letzterer ein von dichtem Baumbestand umschlossener Grünbereich. Insgesamt ist das deutlich eher eine Gegend als ein Platz.

Mein eigener Ansatz für eine Planung wäre es, dieser Straßenaufweitung einen über die ganze Länge durchgehenden Platzcharakter zu geben. Dazu wären einige grundsätzliche Interventionen notwendig:

1. Zum einen müsste der Platz klar von der Hauptverkehrsstraße getrennt werden. Eine Umbauung ist natürlich weder möglich noch sinnvoll, aber eine durchgehbare Begrenzung durch Baumreihen (und zwar über die gesamte Länge des Platzes) würde schon die notwendige halbdurchlässige Sichtbarriere schaffen, um einen Piazza-Charakter zu erzeugen und Verkehrslärm und -abgase zu mildern.

2. Der Platz sollte weitgehend als offene Fläche gestaltet werden. Es sollte in einem urbanen Raum dieser Größe keine Randzonen geben, deren Nutzung sich deutlich vom Kernbereich unterscheidet. Während kleine, möglicherweise auch noch unübersichtliche Bereiche leicht von Randgruppen eingenommen und besetzt werden können - es reichen dafür mitunter schon 3 Personen, die möglicherweise als Bedrohung empfunden werden -, ist es bei einem durchgehend gestalteten Platz ohne Nischen nicht so einfach möglich, diesen in Beschlag zu nehmen. Außerdem bergen Nischen immer das Potenzial, bei Nacht zu Angsträumen zu werden; auch dies spricht für eine weitgehend offene Gestaltung.

3. Plätze sind Kommunikations- und Interaktionszonen; es ist also darauf zu achten, dass durch ein Nutzungskonzept und eine subtile Gliederung selbst bei einem großen Platz Bereiche für Kommunikation und andere Nutzungen vorgegeben werden, ohne dass einerseits der Platz zerteilt wird oder andererseits eine große leere Fläche entsteht.

4. Der Bereich der Straßenbahn-/U-Bahnstation präsentiert sich momentan als Betonwüste, die direkt dem gesamten Verkehrslärm samt Abgasen ausgesetzt ist. Laut Stadt Wien steigen täglich 150.000 Fahrgäste pro Tag am Schwedenplatz um, an die 10.000 verlassen hier eine Straßenbahn. Ganz wesentlich über den Erfolg eines umgebauten Schwedenplatzes wird also der Eindruck entscheiden, den die wartenden Straßenbahnfahrgäste vom Platz haben. Es wird also dringend nötig sein, die Straßenbahnstation ansprechender zu gestalten, sie besser vor Verkehrslärm und -abgasen zu schützen und auch den schon sehr in die Jahre gekommenen und stark verhüttelten U-Bahn-Abgang komplett zu erneuern.

5. Gerne vergessen wird bei Architekturentwürfen für den öffentlichen Raum, dass dieser öffentlich ist und nicht alle Nutzer den Platz wohlwollend nutzen. Es sollten also Materialien und Objekte verwendet werden, die keinen schnellen Alterungsprozessen unterworfen sind; es ist darauf zu achten, dass sich keine Bereiche als "offene Mistkübel" oder Urinierplätze anbieten; es ist die Taubenabwehr zu berücksichtigen, und es sollen keine Flächen geschaffen werden, die für Graffiti oder zum wilden Plakatieren genutzt werden können.

Aus diesen Grundsätzen nun meine Gedanken zu den sechs Wettbewerbsbeiträgen:

N.B.: Aus rechtlichen Gründen darf ich die Bilder von der Website nicht hier einbetten; ich werde daher immer die Überschrift zum entsprechenden Bild- und Informationsmaterial verlinken.

Beitrag 1

Dieser Entwurf trennt den Bereich genz bewusst in vier separate Plätze, was die Möglichkeit untergräbt, dem gesamten Bereich eine Identität zu geben. Ob sich verweilende Personen der vorgesehenen Nutzung entsprechend verteilen werden, scheint wenig wahrscheinlich. Dass gerade die abgelegeneren Randzonen als Ruhe- und Rastzonen ausgeführt werden sollen, wird wohl dazu führen, dass diese vermehrt Randgruppen anziehen und somit Attraktivität verlieren werden. Der Platz vor dem Hotel Capricorno bleibt ein separarierter Fremdkörper.

Der Bereich an der Straßenbahnhaltestelle bleibt quasi unverändert; es ändert sich nichts an der Lärm- und Abgasbelastung für die wartenden Fahrgäste, wodurch nicht zu erwarten ist, dass diese den Platz positiver oder aufgewertet wahrnehmen.

Die beleuchteten "Sonnenschirme" sind eine nette Gestaltungsidee, aber es bleibt offen, ob die weißen Membranen auch nach 5-10 Jahren noch attraktiv aussehen werden.

Positiv fällt auf, dass zumindestens im westlichen Teil versucht wird, mit einer Baumreihe entlang der Straße und einem zentralen Platz in Verlängerung des Rabensteigs eine Art Platzgefühl zu schaffen; dass die Vegetationsflächen überhöht ausgeführt werden sollen, grenzt jedoch den Platz ein und schafft teilweise enge Korridore und Nischen, die dem Sicherheitsgefühl nicht förderlich sind.

Grundsätzlich ein gut gemeinter Versuch, eine Art Park an die Straßenbahnstation anzuhängen, aber als urbaner Platz finde ich das nur beschränkt bis gar nicht brauchbar.

Mein Fazit: 4/10

Beitrag 2

Dieser Entwurf beschränkt sich auf zwei Interventionen, ist dabei aber erstaunlich radikal: zwischen Hauptverkehrsstraße und Platz ist hier nämlich eine 2-3-reihige Baumallee vorgesehen, in deren Mitte die Straßenbahn fahren soll. Diese Allee zieht sich über die gesamte Länge und bildet bei der Straßenbahnstation sogar ein kleines Wäldchen, was - sobald die Bäume einmal groß genug sind - eine ganz deutliche Verbesserung der Aufenthaltsqualität bringen wird und auch ein sehr spannendes Platzgefühl erzeugen kann.

Als zentrales Element im Westteil wird eine Art große hügelige Stadtwiese vorgeschlagen; dies, und vor allem die etwas arbiträr wirkende Einbettung in den Stadtraum ist wiederum ein wenig merkwürdig, vor allem, weil das durch die Baumreihen ermöglichte "Piazza-Gefühl" wieder untergraben wird, indem statt der Piazza eine Art riesiges Blumenbeet mit Wiese den Platz füllt. Das kann funktionieren oder auch nicht, es kommt dabei darauf an, wie das genau gestaltet wird und welche Nutzungsvorschläge eingebaut werden. Positive Gestaltungsbeispiele, wie etwa die Promenade du Paillon in Nizza, gäbe es ja. Aber reine Liegewiesen in der Stadt können auch ziemlich schief gehen.

Mein Fazit: 7/10

Beitrag 3

Wer in diesem Architekturbüro hat beschlossen, eine Visualisierung in diesen Farben einzureichen? Dieses Bild löst in erster Linie Assoziationen von realsozialistischer Architektur aus den 1970er Jahren aus, und es ist anzunehmen, dass der Beitrag allein wegen des Bildes wohl wenig wohlwollend aufgenommen wird.

Die Idee des Platzes als "Stadtbühne" ist ja an sich nicht schlecht. Die Anhebung der westlichen Platzfläche ist eine brauchbare Idee, um zu erreichen, dass Fußwege nicht mehr durch ein klaustrophobes Gangsystem von überhöhten Pflanztrögen führen, was auch das Sicherheitsgefühl positiv beeinflussen kann. Es gibt keine Nischen und unübersichtliche Bereiche, die zu Angsträumen werden könnten. Der Platz ist "bespielbar", nur sollte dafür auch außerhalb der Christkindlmarktsaison ein anrainerfreundliches Nutzungsprogramm erstellt werden, denn sonst bleibt dieser Platz ein kahler, leerer Präsentierteller. Ob es ein erfolgreicher urbaner Platz wird, steht und fällt also mit der Bespielung.

Der Beitrag bietet allerdings keine Lösung für den Bereich der Straßenbahnstation, wo die Lärm- und Abgasbelastung für die wartenden Fahrgäste unverändert bleibt, und der Platz vor dem Hotel Capricorno wird zwar nach Westen hin geöffnet, ansonsten wirkt dieser Beitrag aber ein wenig unschlüssig, was er damit tun soll.

Mein Fazit: 6/10

Beitrag 4

Man mag das ein wenig brav und hausbacken finden, aber das ist der Entwurf, der mir am besten gefällt. Er erinnert mich auch an Platzlösungen, die ich in Frankreich gesehen und dort als sehr gut gelungen empfunden habe. Dies ist der einzige der sechs Beiträge, der den gesamten Bereich vom Figl-Hof bis zum Hotel Capricorno wirklich als Einheit begreift und durchgängig gestalten will, ohne ihn in einzelne Sektoren aufzuteilen. Trotz Querungen und Straßenbahn-/U-Bahn-Station wird hier ein schlüssiges gesamtheitliches Konzept geboten, ohne dass einer der Bereiche wie ein Fremdkörper wirken würde. Allein dadurch wird der Platz auch für eine fußläufige Durchquerung über die gesamte Länge attraktiv.

Sehr positiv ist der über die gesamte Länge gezogene Grünstreifen mit Baumreihe zur Straße hin, wo zwar mehr Bäume möglich wären, der aber trotzdem den Autoverkehr optisch und aktustisch etwas vom Platz verdrängt, was eine Grundvoraussetzung dafür ist, dass Personen hier verweilen wollen. Viele kleinere, punktuelle Grünbereiche auf der gesamten Platzfläche schaffen ein deutlich freundlicheres Grünkonzept als andere Vorschläge mit wenigeren, größeren Grünflächen.

Gut finde ich auch den in einen Grünrahmen eingebetteten Platz in Verlägerung des Rabensteigs, da hier eine ausgewogene Kombination aus urbanem Raum und Grünflächen entstehen könnte - es vereint Elemente von Platz und Park, wirkt dabei aber trotzdem urban. Das Schattendach als Mittelpunkt in diesem Platz schafft eine Analogie zur U-Bahn-Station im östlichen Bereich des Platzes; es entsteht im Westteil des Platzes ein gutes Gegengewicht zum Schwerpunkt im Ostteil, wodurch der gesamte Bereich weniger "einseitig" wirkt.

Bedenken habe ich primär beim "Gedenkort" am Morzinplatz. So gut ich es finde, dass dieser eingeplant und etwas separiert ist, so hat dieser Bereich bei Nacht wegen der engen Zugänge doch ein Angstraumpotenzial.

Mein Fazit: 8/10

Beitrag 5

Dieser Entwurf löst bei mir ungläubiges Staunen aus. Der Platz verschließt sich zur Bebauung hin, öffnet sich zur Straße hin, am Morzinplatz wird ein Erdhügel aufgeschüttet und eine Brückenkonstruktion spannt sich über die ganze Länge des Platzes und anschließend auch noch über den Kai.

Die Überführungen mögen einen barrierefreien Zugang zur Ruprechtskirche ermöglichen, sind aber ein architektonisches Stilmittel der autofreundlichen 1960er und 70er Jahre, zerteilen den Platz und schaffen potenzielle Angsträume, Urinierwände und Graffitiflächen (Brücken sind für Graffiti besonders beliebt, da wegen der erhöhten Lage besonders gut und von weitem sichtbar).

Der offensichtliche Versuch, den Straßenraum und den Aufenthaltsraum ineinander zu integrieren, schafft einen leeren, kahlen "Verweilraum", in dem wegen des zu erwartenden Lärms (viel glatte Beton/Asphaltfläche, keine Lärmdämmung hin zum Kai) niemand außer Obdachlosen verweilen wollen wird. Das funktioniert schon am Praterstern ganz ausgezeichnet, aber ich halte es nicht für zielführend, auch den Schwedenplatz auf diese Weise "attraktiv" zu machen.

Dem Beitrag fehlt die menschliche Dimension, er erzeugt keine Räume, die als angenehm empfunden werden oder emotionale Bindungen zum Ort schaffen. Stattdessen definieren die Brücken den städtischen Platz als Transitort. Statt nutzbarem Stadtraum bietet diese Lösung architektonischen Schnickschnack, der kurzfristig Eindruck schinden mag, aber keine Funktionalität für einen Platz im Sinne eines Kommunikations- und Interaktionsraumes hat.

Mein Fazit: 0/10

Beitrag 6

Dieser Entwurf versucht wie auch Entwurf 4 eine Art "Park-Intervention" mit verschiedenen parktypischen Nutzungen, verzichtet dabei aber auf den zentralen Platz in der Mitte, wodurch es eben mehr Park und weniger Platz wird und nicht so ganz als urbaner Raum wirkt; hier ist der Rückzugsfaktor stärker als der Interaktionsfaktor, und es gibt hier wiederum Nischen, aber ohne dass der Platz zerteilt würde; er wird schon in seiner Gesamtheit gesehen.

Positiv also auch hier das gesamtheitliche Konzept, die Nutzungsvorschläge, die Trennung des Platzes von der mehrspurigen Straße durch einen Grünstreifen mit Bäumen, wodurch der Straßenverkehr zumindest optisch, aber hoffentlich auch akustisch etwas vom Platz verdrängt wird. Positiv auch die Multifunktionalität, die an diesem Platz wichtig ist, da sich verschiedene Personengruppen nicht auf einzelne Sektoren aufteilen lassen werden.

Als problematisch erachte ich dafür die vorgesehene Fußgänger-/Radfahrerbrücke, da diese einerseits aufgrund der Rollstuhltauglichkeit eine extrem lange Rampe haben muss, die den Platz zerteilt und Angsträume schaffen kann, und andererseits die Pfeiler und seitlichen Brückenteile prädestiniert dafür sind, als Urinier- und Graffitifläche benutzt zu werden. Wie sich die Rampe zum Donaukanal hinunter mit rollstuhltauglichem Gefälle ausgehen soll, bleibt rätselhaft.

Die genaue Gestaltung der Straßenbahnstation bleibt unklar; hier scheint eine Art großes Dach vorgesehen zu sein, aber anscheinend keine Maßnahme, um die wartenden Straßenbahnfahrgäste besser vor dem Straßenlärm zu schützen; der Grünstreifen ist an dieser Stelle nämlich merkwürdigerweise unterbrochen. Immerhin sind hier Grünflächen in Form von Rasengleisen für die Straßenbahn vorgesehen.

Mein Fazit: 7/10


Meine Präferenz wäre also Beitrag 4 mit seinem ganz gut gelungenen Kompromiss aus Piazza und Park. Beitrag 6 finde ich okay, ist aber halt mehr Park als Piazza, was ich für so eine zentrale Lage in der Innenstadt nicht so gut finde. An Beitrag 2 imponiert mir die kompromisslose Baumallee, aber die Wiese mitten auf dem Platz ist irgendwie hochmerkwürdig und hat für mich keine echte urbane Funktionalität. Beitrag 3 ist zu kahl und steht oder fällt mit der Bespielung, Beitrag 1 und 5 mögen bitte nie ernsthaft in Erwägung gezogen werden.

Und jetzt?

Da die Rückmeldungen im derzeitigen Bürgerbeteiligungsverfahren nur eine "Grundlage für die Empfehlungen des Preisgerichts an die Wettbewerbsteilnehmenden für die Überarbeitung und Präzisierung der 2. Wettbewerbsstufe" bilden, ist davon auszugehen, dass keiner der Entwürfe in der vorliegenden Form umgesetzt werden wird. Und selbst das Gewinnerprojekt der nächsten Wettbewerbsstufe kann noch an der Ausführung scheitern - wir denken mit Grauen an andere Plätze in Wien, deren Entwürfe eigentlich eh irgendwie brauchbar waren, die dann aber so minderwertig gebaut wurden, dass das Ergebnis nur noch als Tragikum bezeichnet werden kann.

Es bleibt also spannend.


F-Score เป็นดัชนีชีวัดคุณภาพของหุ้นด้วยเกณฑ์ทางด้านพื้นฐาน โดยแบ่งเป็นคะแนน 0-9 ยิ่งหุ้นที่มีคะแนน F-Score  มากๆ ก็ยิ่งแสดงว่าพื้นฐานดี สำหรับโปรแกรม Efinance ได้นำค่า Fscore มาช่วยให้นักลงทุนที่ไม่เชี่ยวชาญการวิเคราะห์ปัจจัยพื้นฐานได้ดูคุณภาพบริษัทในเบื้องต้นได้ง่ายขึ้น

F-Score คืออะไร

 Piotroski F-Scoreเป็นการวัดปัจจัยพื้นฐานโดยเป็นเชคลิซ โดยมีเกณฑ์ 9 ข้อคือ
  • การทำกำไร
    • ROA >0
    • ROA เพิ่มขึ้น
    • CFO > 0
    • CFO > กำไร
  • หนี้สิน
    • Current Ratio เพิ่ม
    • DE ratio ลด
    • ไม่มีการเพิ่มทุน
  •  ประสิทธิภาพการดำเนินงาน
    • GPM เพิ่ม
    • Asset turnover เพิ่ม
ยิ่งหุ้นมีคะแนนสูงๆ ก็แสดงว่าพื้นฐานน่าจะดี

 F Score และผลตอบแทนของหุ้น

การกระจายตัวของผลตอบแทนแยกตามคะแนน F score
จะเห็นว่าหุ้นกลุ่มที่มี F-Score สูงๆ จะมีการกระจายตัวของผลตอบแทนที่สูงขึ้นไปได้ ดังนั้นเลือกหุ้นที่คะแนน F-score สูงๆไว้ก่อน น่าจะรอดในการลงทุนได้

ตารางสรุปผลตอบแทนของหุ้นแยกตามคะแนน F-score

ดูแล้วหุ้นที่ F score สูงๆน่าจะรอดได้


ในการลงทุนเราอาจต้องการหุ้นที่มีคะแนน f-score สูงๆ เราก็สามารถเพิ่มเงื่อนไขลงไปในสูตรสแกนได้ครับ จากนั้นใส่สูตร เทคนิคอะไรก็ได้ตามที่เราถนัด
ค่า F-score ในเครื่องมือสแกนหุ้นของ Efin
หรือจะเข้าไปดูค่าของหุ้นรายตัวในเครื่องมือ Fundamental status ก็ได้ครับไม่ยากเลย
ค่า F score ในเครื่องมือ Fundamental status

จะเห็นว่าค่า fscore ช่วยให้เราสามารถลงทุนได้ง่ายขึ้นครับผม โชคดีมีชัยในการลงทุนครับผม


หนังสือใหม่จ้า ผ่าความลับงบการเงิน

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หรือสอบถามราบละเอียดและลงทะเบียนได้ที่ Line; pat4310, หรือโทร 086-503-5023 เพิ่มเพื่อน
          ทำไมต้องเอาเงินสำรองไปลงทุนในหุ้น ???   
ช่วงนี้กระแสความสงสัยว่าทำไมต้องเอาเงินสำรองไปลงทุนในหุ้น กำลังมาแรงครับ หลายคนก็ยังงงๆ เอาไปลงทุนในหุ้นทำไม คุณ  axe.aroonkittichai [1]ได้เขียนบทความอธิบายไว้ดีมากครับ เชิญอ่านโดยพลัน

ก่อนอื่น .. ต้องเข้าใจกันก่อนว่าเงินทุนสำรองทางการมาจากไหน และมีเอาไว้ทำอะไร เงินทุนสำรองทางการนั้นเป็นผลมาจากการดูแลเสถียรภาพค่าเงินบาท … เอาง่ายๆ ก็แทรกแซงนั่นแหละ คือถ้ามีเงินทุนไหลเข้า แล้วเราไม่อยากให้ค่าเงินบาทแข็งค่าเร็วเกินไปทำให้ภาคการส่งออกได้รับผลกระทบ ธปท. ก็จำเป็นจะต้องเข้าไปดูแล ก็คือขายบาทและซื้อเงินดอลลาร์ สรอ. เข้ามานั่นเอง ทำให้มีการสะสมเงินดอลลาร์ สรอ. มาอย่างต่อเนื่อง

แล้วมีเงินสำรองทางการเยอะๆ แล้วได้อะไร? ก็ว่ากันว่าหากมีเงินทุนสำรองทางการเยอะๆ แล้วจะสามารถป้องกันในกรณีที่มีเงินทุนไหลออกอย่างเฉียบพลันในจำนวนมาก ทำให้แบงค์ชาติมีเงินดอลลาร์ สรอ. มากเพียงพอที่จะรองรับและดูแลไม่ให้ค่าเงินบาทอ่อนค่าเร็วจนเกินไป (ก็คือการทำกลับข้างกัน ขายดอลลาร์ สรอ. และซื้อเงินบาท) แล้วมีแค่ไหนถึงจะเพียงพอ? อันนี้ก็ต้องแล้วแต่การศึกษาและการประมาณการต่างๆ แต่ก็บอกได้ว่าแบงค์ชาติเองก็ศึกษาเรื่องนี้มาอย่างต่อเนื่องและยาวนาน เช่นกัน

เอาล่ะ .. ทีนี้จะเริ่มไปลงรายละเอียดกัน


ก่อนอื่น ต้องถามว่า เงินสำรองทางการมีต้นทุนหรือไม่? ต้นทุนในการถือเงินสำรองทางการนั้นมีแน่นอน และเป็นต้นทุนทางการเงินที่แท้จริงด้วย คือ การที่แบงค์ชาติเข้ามาดูแลค่าเงินด้วยการซื้อดอลลาร์ สรอ. และขายบาทออกไปนั้น แบงค์ชาติจำเป็นจะต้องดูสภาพคล่องค่าเงินบาทด้วย เพื่อให้สภาพคล่องค่าเงินบาทอยู่ในระดับที่เหมาะสมและไม่กระทบการอัตราดอกเบี้ยระยะสั้นและภาคการเงิน และเครื่องมือที่ใช้ในการดูดสภาพคล่องเงินบาทกลับมานั้นก็ต้องใช้เครื่องมือต่างๆ ทั้งอัตราดอกเบี้ยและอัตราแลกเปลี่ยน ซึ่งมีต้นทุนในการทำ และใกล้ๆ เคียงกับอัตราดอกเบี้ยนโยบายระยะสั้นของไทย ถามว่าถ้าแบงค์ชาติอยากได้เงินจากเราไป โดยไม่ให้ผลตอบแทนอะไรเราเลย เราเอาไหมครับ … เราก็ไม่เอา เพราะฉะนั้นก็ต้องจ่ายดอกเบี้ยเราด้วย อย่างให้ก็ให้กับที่เราได้จากธนาคารพาณิชย์ ถูกต้องมั้ยครับ ดังนั้นทุกบาททุกสตางค์ที่แบงค์ชาติเข้าแทรกแซงนั้นมีต้นทุน .. ก็ใกล้ๆ เคียงกับอัตราดอกเบี้ยระยะสั้นนั่นแหละ

อ่าว .. แล้วผลตอบแทนละ .. ผลตอบแทนนั้นเกิดจากการเอาเงินดอลลาร์ สรอ. ที่สะสมมาไปลงทุน ซึ่งอย่างน้อยก็ต้องรักษากำลังซื้อของดอลลาร์ สรอ. ให้ได้ แน่นอน ไม่มีใครเถียงว่าแบงค์ชาติไม่ได้มีหน้าที่หากำไร .. แบงค์ชาติก็ไม่เคยหากำไร เพราะเพียงแค่รักษาไม่ให้มูลค่าของเงินดอลลาร์ สรอ. ที่ถืออยู่เสียไปก็เป็นเรื่องที่ยากมากแล้ว จากข้อจำกัดหลายๆ อย่าง ที่ว่ากันว่ามีมาเพื่อป้องกันไม่ให้แบงค์ชาติเก็งกำไรนี่แหละ ดังนั้นผลตอบแทนส่วนใหญ่ที่ผ่านมาเกิดจากการเอาเงินไปซื้อพันธบัตรรัฐบาลที่มีอันดับความน่าเชื่อถือสูงๆ ดีๆ (บอกได้เลยว่าดีกว่าประเทศไทยเกือบทั้งนั้น)

แต่โลกเราในปัจจุบันอยู่ในช่วงที่พันธบัตรรัฐบาลขอลประเทศที่มีอันดับความน่าเชื่อถือสูงๆ เหล่านั้น ติดลบจากนโยบายการเงินแบบผ่อนคลายพิเศษต่างๆ … อ่าวแบบนี้ก็เรียกว่าขาดทุนนิ (จริงมั้ย?) เอาเงินไปซื้อพันธบัตรรัฐบาลประเทศอื่น 100 บาท แต่ได้กลับมา 99 บาท เป็นต้น (แล้วจะไปซื้อทำไม?) อีกอย่างนึงแม้ตลาดที่อยู่ในภาวะปรกติ อัตราดอกเบี้ยนโยบายของไทยซึ่งเป็นประเทศกำลังพัฒนาก็มีแนวโน้มสูงกว่าประเทศที่พัฒนาแล้วอยู่แล้ว เพราะฉะนั้นต้นทุนของเงินสำรองทางการของเราก็มีแนวโน้มสูงกว่าผลตอบแทนที่ได้รับจากการลงทุนโดยธรรมชาติ

ต้นทุนที่มีมากอีกอย่าง และแบงค์ชาติโดนกระหน่ำโจมตีมาอย่างต่อเนื่องยาวนาน ก็คือต้นทุนทางบัญชี โดยในทุกๆ ปีจะต้องมีการประกาศงบการเงิน โดยฝั่งสินทรัพย์ของแบงค์ชาติจะอยู่ในรูปของสินทรัพย์ต่างประเทศ ในขณะที่หนี้สิน (คือพันธบัตรต่างๆ ที่ใช้ดูดสภาพคล่อง เงินฝากธนาคารพาณิชย์ เงิน) จะอยู่ในรูปของเงินบาททั้งสิ้น ทีนี้ในปีที่ค่าเงินบาทแข็งค่า สมมติว่าจะ 40 บาทต่อดอลลาร์ สรอ. เป็น 30 บาทต่อดอลลาร์ สรอ. เวลาแปลงสินทรัพย์ต่างประเทศกลับมาเป็นเงินบาทเพื่อเทียบกับส่วนหนี้สิน มันก็ต้องแปลงมาได้ลดลงอยู่แล้วจาก 40 บาทเป็น 30 บาท ก็ทำให้เกิดส่วนต่าง และถูกตีมูลค่าเป็นขาดทุน … ก็ด่าอีก ทั้งที่โอกาสที่สินทรัพย์ต่างประเทศจะถูกขายมาเป็นเงินบาทแทบไม่มี

เอ๊ะยังไง .. ต้นทุนก็แพง ตีมูลค่าขาดทุนก็ด่า

2.ขนาดนั้นสำคัญ (Size does matter !)

การสะสมเงินสำรองทางการในปริมาณมากๆ นั้น ทำให้เกิดปัญหาตามมาอีกอย่างหนึ่ง คือ การเอาเงินไปลงทุนจะทำได้ยากมากยิ่งขึ้น เพราะขนาดที่ใหญ่ จะส่งผลกระทบทางด้านราคา … เช่น แบงค์ชาติเคยนำเงินไปลงทุนในพันธบัตรรัฐบาลเพื่อนบ้านซึ่งมีอัตราดอกเบี้ยใกล้เคียงกัน เพื่อให้ต้นทุนของเงินสำรองและผลตอบแทนใกล้เคียงกันมากขึ้น แต่ซื้อไปได้ไม่ทันไร เจ้าบ้านโทรกริ๊งกร๊างมาถามสายตรง … ว่า พวกแกทำอะไรกันอยู่ มาถล่มตลาดบ้านชั้นทำไม … เงิบกันไป

งั้นกลับไปลงทุนในตลาดที่มีขนาดใหญ่พอ ซึ่งกลับมาปัญหาเดิม 2 ใน 3 นั้น ผลตอบแทนพันธบัตรรัฐบาลติดลบ … ให้เจ้าหนี้ยืมเงินยังต้องแถมเงินให้เพื่อ? จะทำไปทำไม

อ่าว แล้วทำไมไม่ลดขนาดของเงินทุนสำรองทางการลง จริงๆ แล้วทางเลือกในการลดขนาดนั้นมีอยู่ 2 ทาง อย่างแรก คือ ขายให้ตลาดคืนไป ซึ่งแน่นอนว่าด้วยขนาดเงินสำรองทางการขนาดนี้ ตลาดค่าเงินบาทกระเทือนแน่นอน … การจะขายไม่ให้ตลาดกระเทือนนั้นอาจใช้เวลาหลายปี นานมากกว่าที่สะสมมาเสียอีก แล้วก็ไม่แน่ว่าอาจจะมีการดำเนินนโยบายดังกล่าวอยู่แล้วด้วยซ้ำ อย่างที่สองก็คือ เอาให้รัฐบาลไปใช้ประโยชน์เลย ไม่ว่าจะในรูปของกองทุนโครงสร้างพื้นฐาน (Infrastructure Fund) กองทุนความมั่งคั่งแห่งชาติ (Sovereign Wealth Fund) อันนี้ก็อาจทำได้ หากรัฐบาลมีความโปร่งใสในการนำเงินก้อนดังกล่าวไปใช้จริง แต่ใครจะกล้ามั่นใจเรื่องนี้ได้จริงๆ ???!!!! จะสร้างรถไฟรางคู่ รางเดี่ยวยังด่ากันเต็มไปหมดเลย (เขียนเสร็จอาจโดนอุ้มไปอบรมได้) หรือหากเป็น SWF ก็อาจนำเงินไปลงทุนอย่างอื่น เช่น น้ำมัน ทรัพยากรธรรมชาติ … อ่าว ถามหน่อย แล้วมันไม่เสี่ยงเหรอ พวกน้ำมัน หรือ ทรัพยากรธรรมชาติ ???!!!! แบงค์ชาติลงทุนในดัชนีหลักทรัพย์ ซึ่งปรกติมีมันก็มีการกระจายความเสี่ยงอยู่แล้ว (เหลือแต่ Systematic Risk)

ธนาคารกลางประเทศอื่นๆ ก็มีทำกัน ไม่ใช่ชาติเราอย่างเดียว แต่จริงๆ ก็ไม่ใช่ประเด็นไม่ว่าคนอื่นจะทำหรือไม่ หากถูกต้องเหมาะสม ก็จำเป็นต้องทำ ไม่ใช่เพื่อใคร ก็เพื่อส่วนรวม

(อย่าลืมว่าพนักงานแบงค์ชาติ ไม่ได้รับผลตอบแทนเพิ่มแต่อย่างใดจากการเอาเงินไปลงทุนให้หุ้น …)

3.การลงทุนในสินทรัพย์เสี่ยงที่เหมาะสมช่วยลดความเสี่ยงได้ !!

(หากใครเข้าใจเรื่อง Diversification Benefit ก็ข้ามไปเลย)
การลงทุนในสินทรัพย์เสี่ยง โดยเฉพาะหุ้น ภายใต้สัดส่วนที่เหมาะสม บวกกับการดูแลควบคุมความเสี่ยง การประเมินผลที่มีประสิทธิภาพ จะช่วยให้ความเสี่ยงลดลง .. ในปัจจุบัน สินทรัพย์หลักที่แบงค์ชาติลงทุนก็คือพันธบัตรรัฐบาล การกระจายไปลงทุนหุ้นบางส่วนจริงๆ อาจจะช่วยลดความเสี่ยงได้
ลองอธิบายให้เห็นภาพง่ายๆ ได้ เช่น ในเวลาที่หุ้นตก ส่วนใหญ่มักจะเกิดในช่วงที่เศรษฐกิจไม่ดี บริษัทห้างร้านต่างๆ ทำกำไรได้ไม่ดี ซึ่งในภาวะดังกล่าวธนาคารกลางต่างๆ ต้องดำเนินนโยบายการเงินแบบผ่อนคลาย ด้วยการลดอัตราดอกเบี้ย และส่งผลให้ราคาพันธบัตรปรับสูงขึ้น ดังนั้น หากขาดทุนจากหุ้น ก็กำไรจากพันธบัตรแทน หรือกลับกัน

ยกตัวอย่างเช่น หากหุ้นลงร้อยละ 20.0 แต่เราถือหุ้นไว้ร้อยละ 5.0 ทำให้เราขาดทุนจากการลงทุนในหุ้นร้อยละ 1.0 แต่ราคาพันธบัตรปรับสูงขึ้นร้อยละ 5.0 แต่เราถือพันธบัตรไว้ร้อยละ 95.0 ทำให้เราได้รับผลตอบแทนจากพันธบัตรร้อยละ 4.7 ก็หักลบกันไปได้ ในภาวะที่ไม่ดี เป็นต้น ซึ่งจริงๆ แล้วจะทำให้ผลตอบแทนไม่ผันผวนด้วยซ้ำ

แต่ทั้งนี้ การลงทุนในหุ้นจำเป็นต้องมาพร้อมกับความพร้อมของบุคคลากร ระบบวัดความเสี่ยง และการบริหารที่ดีพอด้วย การปล่อยให้ลงทุน แต่ให้ทำอย่างโปร่งใสต่างหาก คือสิ่งที่เราต้องเรียกร้อง ไม่ใช่ต่อต้านโดยไม่ฟังเหตุผลอะไรเลย

การเลือกที่จะไม่เสี่ยงอะไรเลย เพื่อรักษาเงินต้น ก็เป็นความเสี่ยงที่สูงสุดอย่างหนึ่งเหมือนกัน เนื่องจากเราไม่ได้อยู่ในยุคหินที่เอาข้าวของมาแลกกัน ในตลาดทุนแค่นอนหลับตื่นมาอีกวันนึง มูลค่าของเงินก็ลดลงแล้ว ไม่ว่าเราจะเลือกมันหรือไม่

การใส่ไขไว้ในตะกร้าเดียวกันตกแล้วแตกหมดก็เสี่ยง แต่การเอาไข่ใส่ไหฝังไว้ไม่เอาใส่ในตะกร้าอะไรเลยก็เสี่ยง หนอนไชไม่รู้ตัว ไข่อาจเน่าทำให้ไม่มีกินในอนาคตได้เหมือนกันอยู่ดี


ส่วนนี้อาจวิชาการสุดใน 4 ส่วน แต่จะพยายามทำให้ง่ายๆ ความน่าปวดหัวอันมากมาย ของการไปลงทุนพันธบัตรรัฐบาลต่างประเทศ คือ อัตราแลกเปลี่ยน ซึ่งความเสี่ยงที่แท้จริงนั้นอาจจะมากกว่าความเสี่ยงจากตัวพันธบัตรรัฐบาลเองด้วยซ้ำ สมมติเราเห็นประเทศ A ให้อัตราดอกเบี้ยสูงๆ เอาเป็นว่าร้เอยละ 5.00 ซึ่งมากพอสำหรับต้นทุนของเงินสำรอง แต่การไปลงทุนในประเทศ A จะมาพร้อมกับอัตราแลกเปลี่ยน ซึ่งมีให้เลือก 2 ทาง คือ หนึ่ง ป้องกันความเสี่ยงจากอัตราแลกเปลี่ยน … แต่การป้องกันความเสี่ยงไม่ใช่ของฟรี มันมีต้นทุน ซึ่งต้นทุนในการป้องกันอัตราแลกเปลี่ยนจะใกล้เคียงกับส่วนต่างอัตราดอกเบี้ยระยะสั้น แต่เป็นในทางตรงกันข้าม เช่น การป้องกันความเสี่ยงจากสกุลเงินของประเทศ A ก็จะใกล้เคียงกับร้อยละ 5 ลบอัตราดอกเบี้ยระยะสั้นของบ้านเรา สรุปคือไม่ได้อะไรนอกตากจะลงทุนในพันธบัตรระยะยาวขึ้น เช่น 3 ปี 5 ปี แต่พันธบัตรระยะยาวก็มาพร้อมความเสี่ยงทีเพิ่มขึ้นอยู่ดี สองคือไม่ป้องกันความเสี่ยงจากอัตราแลกเปลี่ยน แต่ก็เป็นอันรู้กันว่าอัตราแลกเปลี่ยนมีความผันผวน และอาจสูงกว่าหุ้นเสียด้วยซ้ำในบางเวลา เพราะหุ้นแบงค์ชาติคงลงทุนในสัดส่วนน้อย แต่อัตราแลกเปลี่ยนนั้นมีความเสี่ยง (Exposure) ของเงินสำรองทั้งก้อน … ความเสี่ยงเราก็มีอยู่แล้วโดยธรรมชาติ

ท้ายสุด ……….

ประเด็นเดียวง่ายๆ ก็คือ แบงค์ชาติก็ศึกษากันมาอย่างยาวนาน และคงต้องไตร่ตรองอยากรอบคอบแล้วว่าการลงทุนในหุ้นบ้างส่วน น่าจะให้ผลดีกว่าการไม่ลงทุน ซึ่งมันก็ค่อนข้างชัดเจน เราควรเอาใจช่วยและส่งเสริมมากกว่า ความโปร่งใสในการลงทุน ขั้นตอนที่ชัดเจนมีกระบวนการต่างหาก คือ สิ่งที่เราต้องการ ดีกว่ามาด่ากันอย่างสาดเสียเทเสีย ทั้งๆ ที่อาจจะไม่เข้าใจเต็มที่เสียด้วยซ้ำ

คนชอบด่าพวกแบงค์ชาติว่าจะไปรู้อะไร แต่ผมเห็นสองข้างแล้ว .. ผมว่าต่างคนก็ต่างไม่รู้และเข้าใจงานอีกข้างมากกว่า คนเราก็รู้และเชียวชาญในสิ่งที่เราทำนั่นแหละ ไม่มีใครโง่กว่าใคร

ไม่เคยเขียนอะไรยาวขนาดนี้ ซัดไปซะ 4 หน้า A4 หมดไป ชม กว่าๆ ก็เพราะทนไม่ไหวจริงๆ เห็นแบงค์ชาติโดนด่าอย่างไม่เป็นธรรม คนไม่เคยทำไม่เคยรู้ว่า แม่งโคตรจะยากเลย การบริหารกองทุนนี้ .


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          Comment on Product Review: SafeSleeve – the world’s first anti-radiation phone wallet by Pippa   
I bought a few of these for me and the rest as gifts, paid high import taxes to the UK as wanted a good quality product...that's NOT what I got! The phone cover material absorbs any sweat from your hands leaving a stained patchy, dirty look and IT DOESNT WIPE CLEAN! So you are left with a permanently grubby looking phone case. Safesleeve customer service is very poor, I was in communications with them for 3 months before I ordered, making sure I ordered from the right company and waiting for the correct size phone cases to be in stock..Yes, this took 3 months! As soon as I realised the problem with the phone covers I requested a refund....they will only refund 50% of some of the phone covers if I send them back, not the others! How does that rectify my problem or compensate me for them providing a poor product? Let alone waiting 3 months! They were happy to respond and be helpful when I was looking to purchase from them but now they won't respond even to my request as to a link where I can provide feedback. I wouldn't order from them again. I gave them weeks to rectify this but they chose not to - POOR QUALITY PHONE COVER AND POOR CUSTOMER SERVICE.
          The Other Incumbent Rule   

LA CROSSE, Wis.—The past six years have not been kind to political rules of thumb. During the primary season, a candidate who leads in both the polls and in fund raising on Jan. 1 is supposed to be guaranteed the nomination. Ask Howard Dean about that one. In the general election, the national popular vote is supposed to coincide with the vote in the Electoral College. Ask Al Gore how that went. And during midterm congressional elections, the president's party is supposed to lose seats in the House. About that one, ask Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

The next political axiom to be tested will be polling's "incumbent rule," which dictates that undecided voters break overwhelmingly for the challenger on Election Day. (Another way to put it is that an incumbent president's polling number typically equals or exceeds the percentage share of the vote he'll receive.) Because most final state polls show President Bush polling below 50 percent in nearly every swing state, history is on John Kerry's side Tuesday. But recent elections have shown that past performance is no guarantee of future results.

What's more, if the election turns out to be close, there's another way incumbency could be the determining factor in the election, as Randy Broz, a Democratic strategist and fund-raiser for House candidates, pointed out to me last week. This rule, call it the "other incumbent rule," favors President Bush. In the unlikely scenario of "another Florida"—litigation or just a long recount in a decisive state—the president, by virtue of his incumbency, will hold a decisive public-relations advantage. During the 2000 recount, Republicans cried that Al Gore was trying to "steal the election" from Bush based on nothing more than the fact that the TV networks had declared Bush the winner on Election Night. Had Bush been a sitting president, the outcry would have been more persuasive. Trying to oust a wartime incumbent through litigation would be nearly impossible.

Kerry will need to win clearly and convincingly at the ballot box in order to unseat Bush, and for what it's worth, most reporters seem to think that he's going to do it. The Kerry campaign staff is confident, and it appears to be genuine, rather than bluster. "I never told anyone in 2000 that Al Gore was going to win by 6 points," Bob Shrum—taking a shot at Karl Rove's record in election forecasting—told reporters on the campaign plane. For the past week or two, the campaign has spoken confidently of winning "big states"—presumably Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania—that would assure Kerry the presidency.

By Monday evening, reporters from news organizations that have colleagues traveling with Bush started saying that the Bush folks have clammed up, or that they seem unusually tight. Kerry's final events had a giddy air. The traveling press credentials for the night's last "major rally" in Cleveland featured a head shot of longtime Kerry spokesman David Wade, who gladly autographed a few. To the New York Daily News reporter, he wrote, "At least you're not the Post." And to the New York Post, he tweaked the paper's veep "scoop" by writing, "Go Kerry-Gephardt!" I heard rumors of, but did not witness, a dancing Mike McCurry. I even read it as a sign of confidence that traveling press secretary Allison Dobson was eager to join a proposed Electoral College betting pool. Teresa Heinz Kerry's slightly unusual political talk in Cleveland—about an America that is "young" and "imperfect" but "growing," and how Kerry knows America's "thorny parts" as well its idealism—came across as charming rather than ludicrous.

In Toledo, at a midnight rally that Kerry dubbed "the first stop of Election Day," Gen. Tony McPeak criticized the Bush administration for wrapping itself in the flag to hide its "incompetence." "You wanna shoot 'em, you gotta put a hole in the flag," McPeak said. "We got a guy in John Kerry who stands in front the flag. He says, you gonna hurt that flag, you're gonna have to run through me."

When Kerry arrived here in La Crosse for a photo op at 1:25 a.m. Central time, a man in the crowd held aloft a scrawled sign reading, "Tomorrow Is Here, President Kerry." Kerry leapt into the crowd of a couple hundred people, clutching and grabbing and high-fiving hands. He seemed to realize that this was it, his last full day as a presidential campaigner. Just a couple weeks ago in Des Moines during a joint appearance with John Edwards, Kerry had walked down a catwalk next to his running mate, who was reaching down into the crowd enthusiastically with both hands. Kerry, by comparison, touched a voter's hand only occasionally, and only at the end of the walk did he extend both arms to clasp hands with anyone. This time, Kerry eagerly embraced the throng for 20 minutes, perhaps not ready for this day to end.

Predictions are dangerous, but I'll make one: Tuesday night, the incumbent rule holds, and on Jan. 20, we'll have a new incumbent.

          The Bush Victory Party   

George W. Bush's last victory party, which took place four years ago in Austin, Texas, never quite got underway. There was some annoying business about a withdrawn concession phone call and a steady downpour of rain. This year's party, held inside the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C., was in one respect an improvement. There was no rain.

The evening began in the Reagan Building's giant, sloping atrium. The GOP herded its youngish volunteers into a mosh pit, jammed between the stage and the TV cameras. Vodka tonics were consumed, and the twentysomethings seemed poised for giddy celebration. Just after 12:30 a.m., Fox News awarded Ohio to Bush, bringing the president's electoral tally, by the network's count, to 266. Four more years! Alaska followed 20 minutes later, nudging Bush to 269. Four more years! At that point, a portly man wearing a blue suit and pin-striped shirt removed his "W Is Still President" lapel pin, held it aloft like a cigarette lighter, and began to lurch toward the stage.

But as soon as the crowd began to rock, Bush's glorious night ground to a halt. More than three hours passed without Fox awarding Bush a single electoral vote. Some of the other networks refused to give him Ohio. It wasn't that the remaining states were breaking for Kerry; they simply weren't breaking at all. The country band playing at the victory celebration exhausted its playlist and began glancing up nervously at the TV monitors. A producer with a ponytail and "W" hat waddled onstage and told them to keep playing. Reporters in the press row reached for their cell phones: The news from Boston was that John Edwards would take the stage and extend the election.

Ed Gillespie, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, dashed to the podium and, in a speech that lasted for the exact duration of Edwards', declared that Kerry couldn't possibly unearth 100,000 more votes in Ohio. The crowd whooped, but malaise was setting in. Wouldn't the president just get over here and declare victory already? Better yet, wouldn't Kerry just give up?

The heavy eyes were a marked shift from the evening's start, which was brimming with cautious optimism. As Bush swept the early states, Jeremy Bouma, a member of something called the Center for Christian Statesmanship, told me the expected surge in Democratic turnout would be offset by new evangelical voters. "My prayer going into this was that the evangelical vote was the X Factor," he said. Rosario Marin, a former U.S. treasurer, thought that Bush had succeeded in increasing his support among Hispanic voters. She was telling me why Latinos did not, in fact, oppose to the Iraq war when Gillespie announced that ABC had called Florida for Bush.

Aaaaaaaaah! she screamed, into my right ear."Oh, sorry." Then: Aaaaaaaaaah! "Oh, sorry." Aaaaaaaaaaaah! I told her she should go ahead and scream. After she caught her breath, Marin said: "I'm so happy. I'm so excited. My heart is pumping. I've got to call my husband." And then she was gone.

Bush never appeared at his 2000 victory party. Around 3 a.m. Wednesday, a question arose as to whether, in fact, he would appear at this one. CNN's John King reported that Bush had stormed into Karl Rove's office and asked the guru to let him declare victory. The reporters in the press room that weren't asleep let out a whoop. King later reported that Rove told the networks that if they would just call New Mexico for Bush, the president would make his way to the Reagan Building. The message was clear: I know you're tired. So give me the damn state.

At 5:05 a.m., an end—sort of. CNN reported that Bush wouldn't appear in person Wednesday morning; Andy Card, his chief of staff, would speak in his place. Card arrived in a room with a few dozen listless Republicans and said nothing memorable. Mario H. Lopez, one of the listless, declared, "I don't know how I cannot describe this night as historic." Then he glanced at someone's watch and said, "I think we're gonna get some breakfast and then get ready to go to work."  ... 3:17 a.m.

Party Monster: Welcome to George W. Bush's "victory" party in Washington, D.C. Sorta. Us news reporters have been herded into a giant white tent, yards away from the actual party, and contact with revelers looks unlikely. This is what the mob outside Studio 54 must have looked like, if only you upped the dweeb factor.

As the Washington Post's "Reliable Source" column notedthis morning: "Reporters wishing to cover the president's election night party will have to pay $300 for the privilege of a 3-by-2-foot work space and a padded seat in a tent nearby to watch the proceedings on television. … Small groups of media will be escorted into the atrium of the Ronald Reagan Building to look around—but they won't be allowed to talk to participants." For a White House that hates the press, handcuffing reporters on Victory Night seems appropriate.

Last-minute indicators of victory: The handful of people I saw shuffling out of the White House grounds looked grim. Someone who identified himself as a Homeland Security apparatchik looked ebullient. On Fox News, Bill Kristol and Mort Kondracke are wearing prepared smiles. ... 4:05 p.m.

Recriminations Watch—Hispanic-Vote Edition: In the category of what my friend Noam Scheiber calls "possibly meaningless anecdotal evidence," my relatives in Northern New Mexico report an inordinate number of Bush signs in the poor Hispanic colonias—communities that figured to go overwhelmingly to Kerry. The same relatives report that Hispanic men profess to have a cultural affinity with Bush, who they see as a tough, macho sort of guy. Again, meaningless, but it underscores a point: That's about the only thing Bush has going for him with the Hispanic community. The Bushies, who heralded their leader's minority-outreach miracles as Texas governor, have done a shoddy job of courting Hispanics since entering the White House.

A few months back, Antonio Gonzalez of the William C. Velasquez Institute told me that Kerry staffers had whiffed at the Democratic Convention. They featured too few Hispanic speakers; and the preoccupation with Iraq drew attention away from domestic issues affecting the poor. All Karl Rove had to do, Gonzalez said, was goad his keynote speakers into mumbling a few "qué pasas" and the Hispanic vote might tilt slightly to Bush. Well, it didn't happen and it hasn't happened. Most surveys show Bush polling around 30 percent to 35 percent of the Hispanic vote, about what he did in 2000. Even GOP apparatchiks, wishing for miracles, don't put Bush much above 40 percent.

If Bush loses tight races in Florida and New Mexico (and, God forbid, Nevada and Colorado), an early recrimination theory might be that Bush spent too little time chasing Hispanic voters. Then again, perhaps he didn't have a chance. The sour economy disproportionately affects Hispanic and black communities; so does the Iraq War, which draws foot soldiers from the poorest segments of the population. Though both candidates ran Spanish-language ads in the Southwest, the campaigns seemed, at times, to forget about Hispanic voters entirely. Remember the fixation on the gringo Spanish spoken (haltingly) by Al Gore and Bush in 2000? Did Bush and Kerry ignore Hispanic voters, or has the media processed them as stable members of the electorate?

Even if Bush should lose, the GOP would be wise to thank him for ratcheting up their Hispanic numbers to Ronald Reagan levels—and up from depths plumbed by the Bob Dole and George H.W. Bush campaigns. But for a man who wonEl Paso County in his 1998 gubernatorial race, 35 percent doesn't seem like much of a miracle. ... 1:11 p.m.

Tom DeLay's Poetic Justice: Tom DeLay's push to rejigger Texas' congressional districts, an effort that caused such a kerfuffle last year, has faded under the onslaught of Swift Boat Veterans, the Osama tape, and Al Qaqaa. But DeLay's gambit has been no less effective. Five Texas Democrats face re-election Tuesday in GOP-friendly districts, and even the most optimistic Dems predict that only one or two of them (probably Martin Frost or Chet Edwards) can survive. There's a better-than-even shot that allfive Democrats will lose, giving the House GOP majority an enormous boost.

But it's not all sad news. With an influx of new Republicans comes an infusion of unwitting comic genius. Most of this can be seen in the personage of Ted Poe. Poe, a former Houston felony court judge, kicked off his national political career in August by boldly proclaiming, "Now is not the time to be a French Republican."

On the bench in Houston, Poe styled himself as a remorseless, Wild West, hangin' judge in the tradition of Roy Bean. His brainchild was something he called "Poetic Justice." With "Poetic Justice," Poe sentenced criminals to public humiliations to teach them a lesson. Shoplifters who found themselves in front of Poe, for instance, had to stand outside the stores they pinched from carrying signs identifying themselves as criminals.

When a man robbed legendary Lone Ranger star Clayton Moore, Poe made the perp shovel manure 20 hours a month at the Houston police department's horse pens. The sentence was to last for 10 years.

The Club for Growth's Stephen Moore reports that Poe made convicted car thieves hand over their own cars to their victims. Convicted murderers were forced to visit their victims' grave sites; others felons had to hang their victims' pictures in their cells and, upon release, carry them in their wallets. According to the Houston Press, Poe slapped one homicidal drunken driver with the following the rap:

… boot camp; erecting and maintaining a cross and Star of David at the accident site; carrying pictures of the victims in his wallet for ten years; observing the autopsy of a drunk-driving victim; placing flowers on the graves of the two victims on their birthdays for the next ten years; and carrying a sign outside a bar that reads, "I killed two people while driving drunk."

This article describes the ambiance of Poe's Houston office: "a poster of Alcatraz, a painting of a scene from the battle of Gettysburg and a sign proclaiming, 'I really don't care how you did it up north.' "

As the Houston Chronicle reports, victims' relatives have charged that Poe would often fail to follow through on the harsh sentences—a revelation which comes as something of a relief. Slate eagerly awaits the punishments Poe metes out on congressional Democrats. ... 11:12 a.m.

A Snowball's Chance: If the election drifts into Mountain Time Tuesday, will John Kerry regret stiffing New Mexico? That's one theory being floated on Joe Monahan's superb New Mexico political blog tonight. George W. Bush visited the state Monday, Dick Cheney over the weekend. So, New Mexicans will wake up Tuesday to read triumphant Bush headlines like this and this, while they'll see news pictures of Kerry overnighting in Wisconsin.

Bill Richardson pulls all the puppet-strings in New Mexico, but there's mounting evidence that Kerry may be in trouble. The polls have looked limp. And there's a theory that Al Gore's slim margin in 2000—366 votes, all found days after the election—may be attributable to one thing: snow.

On Election Day 2000, a freak snowstorm blanketed "Little Texas," the swath of southeastern New Mexico known for its cultural and political kinship with its neighbor. Conservative voters in three counties stayed home in droves. With Gore running strong in northern New Mexico and narrowly winning Albuquerque, the snowed-in voters may have cost Bush the state.

Tuesday's weather report: This site says "rain and snow showers will linger" near the region. Kerry may need every flake and drop.  … 12:01 a.m.

Monday, Nov. 1 2004

The ESPN Primary: "Mr. President, I am wondering how you feel about taxpayers having to have a financial burden placed on them for building new stadiums and new facilities for existing teams?" So went The Candidates: Election 2004,ESPN's special last night that valiantly tried to make Tuesday's contest into a referendum on professional sports. Jim Gray, the thinking man's Ahmad Rashad, the guy who hones his interview technique on coaches trying to sneak off the court before halftime ("So, uh, how do you prepare for the second half?"), landed interviews with both candidates. With its modus operandi inching ever closer to that of Sabado Gigante, it's groovy to see ESPN put on its serious face once in a while—for the shtick to give way to grave pronouncements about THE WORLD BEYOND SPORTS. Except that Gray never acknowledged that such a thing existed.

In response to a question about ticket prices, Bush replied, "I was always concerned when I was with the Rangers that our ticket prices would become so high that the family would be priced out of baseball." Perhaps this is why Bush helped build the Ballpark at Arlington, one of the most expensive venues in baseball and one of its most soulless. For his part, Kerry repeated his I-stand-with-the-working-man pabulum, suggesting that fathers were looting their children's college funds to sit at club level.

Asked to name his favorite athlete, Kerry, of course, straddled, ticking off a fair slice of the Boston Bruins' first line and, for swing-state mojo, a handful of Detroit Red Wings. Bush got another chance to coo about his clutch performance during the 2001 World Series. And that's about as deep as our man Gray got. There are some reasonably interesting questions to ask about sports, such as why it remains one of the viciously anti-gay segments of public life, a black mark that is ignored when it isn't celebrated.

But why get huffy when you can ask both candidates, as Gray did, what should be done about Pete Rose, who after his selfless act of contrition last winter finds himself no closer to baseball's Hall of Fame? This is the kind of spitball that will get you hooted off most respectable sports radio shows, but the candidates tried their level best. Bush said Rose had never really apologized to baseball. Kerry straddled, then agreed. You could see the nervous flicker in both men's eyes—Bush: Christian values!; Kerry: Cincinnati values!—as they tried outflank one another on Charlie Hustle's quagmire.  ... 10:02 p.m.

          What Would John Paul Do?   

COLUMBUS, Ohio—Al Gore couldn't carry Tennessee. But will John Kerry lose his home faith? Among Catholic voters in this state, a recent poll done by Ohio University showed Kerry trailing Bush 50 percent to 44 percent, while the race among Protestants was closer, with 50 percent backing Kerry and 49 percent behind Bush. (Though both results are within the margin of error.) The question isn't just a matter of trivia: In Sunday's New York Times, Adam Nagourney raised the question of whether a Kerry defeat would "make it more difficult for another Catholic to capture the Democratic nomination any time soon." Kerry's opposition to Church teaching on abortion (at least in public policy) led to several controversies, including the one where some bishops announced they would not give Kerry Communion if he were in their congregations. Losing a bishop or two is one thing; if Kerry can't carry the Catholic vote comfortably in swing states, electability-driven primary voters may look more skeptically at future Catholic candidates.

Nationally, the polls have been mixed, and some recent polls have shown Kerry gaining ground among the flock. Last week's Zogby Poll showed Kerry leading among Catholics, and at Beliefnet, Slate's "Faith-Based" columnist Steven Waldman noted that undecided white Catholics broke for Kerry in two polls after the first debate. But despite that support, the debates over whether Kerry is a "real Catholic" have put liberal Catholics on the defensive and made them feel like an embattled minority. A convention of political journalism has added to the feeling: the unfortunate tendency to pronounce that "white men" or "married women with children" or "churchgoers" believe certain things, even when as many as 45 percent of the members of the demographic disagree. Journalism has no reservations about the tyranny of the majority.

So, when several hundred Columbus-area Catholics, including a nun and several priests, gathered Sunday afternoon for a "Catholics for Kerry" rally, the event had the air of a coming-out party. The speakers on stage embraced each other as each one finished addressing the audience. "It feels good, doesn't it?" said Sen. Dick Durbin, a Democrat from Illinois. A member of the Columbus City Council, Maryellen O'Shaughnessy, sounded a we're-here-get-used-to-it note. "We won't be afraid to speak out on whom we support," she said. "We will not be cowed by some extremists who would have us be quiet."

At times, the speakers at the event seemed more interested in rebuking the leaders of the Church who have criticized Kerry than in praising the candidate himself. It wasn't a sober gathering filled with theological and canonical explanations of where Kerry's politics fit in with Church teaching. Too often, the rally was an angry, if understandable, rant. Father James Colopy read a letter written by his aunt to the New York Times and a local newspaper after the Republican convention. Her brother was burned to death in Vietnam, and she was outraged at the Purple Heart band-aids worn by delegates. The Purple Heart "should be honored as the flag is honored," she wrote. "And [Bush] calls himself a pro-life president," Colopy said. "Lies, all lies." Father Greg Jones agreed that Bush was not pro-life in the Catholic sense—because he prosecuted an unjust war, because he executed more than 150 people as Texas governor, because his abortion policy "is full of asterisks"—and alluded to the Church's pedophilia scandal when he said, "Tainted leadership has promoted the lie." The pope and the Catholic Church demand respect for all life, "from conception to natural death, not death in the Texas deathhouse," Jones said. "You see, life doesn't end at birth." And minority groups are alive, too, Jones said. You're supposed to nurture the lives of all of them, "not just one lesbian in the White House." (Jones did have a funny riff on Lynne Cheney's outrage over her daughter's "outing": "Hello? She's a professional lesbian," who worked for Coors doing gay outreach. "She actually traveled the country with Mr. International Leather. That's pretty lesbian.")

The speakers were smart men and women of faith, but they sometimes came across as imbued with the same self-righteousness as their political opponents. Eric McFadden, the man who organized the event through his Web site (and who was interviewed by Nightline beforehand), said he doesn't like it when the Bush campaign shows photos of the president with members of the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic organization. As a fourth degree Knight, "That's an affront to me, because he does not walk with Christ," McFadden said. Father John Ardis, Kerry's pastor from the Paulist Center in Boston, explained that Kerry's Catholic faith dictated his support for Democratic slogans like "closing the gun show loophole" and "extending the assault weapons ban."

The quieter, less political moments were more effective. "God is real in John and Teresa's lives," Ardis said. "While they could undoubtedly choose to sit back and enjoy lives of relaxed leisure, they do not." By the time Sen. Durbin mentioned the Gospel story of the self-righteous prayer of the Pharisee and the humble prayer of the tax collector, his question—"How can those on the other side be so convinced of their righteousness?"—came as a rebuke not just to the religious right but, unintentionally, to the assembled religious left.

On Monday, I went to McFadden's house to talk about the rally with him. He agreed that parts of the rally may have come across as self-righteous, but added, "What was said yesterday had to be said. My organization shouldn't have to exist." They started it, he said. "They drug my religion into it, my faith. We didn't ask for this." For example, the Bush campaign shows pictures of the president meeting with the pope. "At that meeting, Pope John Paul II scolded him and condemned his war." The pope supports a multilateral approach to fighting terrorism, he continued. "Pope John Paul hasn't said a word in these last two months about abortion. But Pope John Paul has condemned the war twice. … To me, the pope has endorsed the platform that John Kerry is running on with regards to the war on terror."

McFadden, who is anti-abortion, concedes that some of Kerry's positions, such as his support for federal funding for abortion, are "tough," but says Catholics shouldn't be single-issue voters. And rallies like the one here on Sunday make him feel better. "I kind of felt like I was alone at the beginning."

If John Kerry becomes president, the long-simmering divide between conservative and liberal Catholics will probably widen. But whether Kerry becomes president—and whether the Democrats wait four more decades before nominating another Catholic—may depend on just how not-alone McFadden is.

          I Want My GOTV   

COLUMBUS, Ohio—With only nine days until this election is over (or so everyone hopes), we've reached the stage of the campaign when the political press evaluates each side's ground game. The media's track record on this is not encouraging. Almost exactly nine months ago, reporters were wandering around Iowa judging the merits of everyone's "organization, organization, organization." The verdict: Howard Dean and Dick Gephardt were the men to beat. We were dazzled by Gephardt's union support and by Dean's "Perfect Storm" of door-knocking, orange-hatted, out-of-state volunteers. They both got creamed.

In hindsight, Dean's Perfect Storm has been judged a debacle on two levels: It annoyed Iowans, who don't like outsiders, and it tied up Dean's staff with organizational headaches—where should we house the Stormers? How can we keep them busy?—when the staff's time would have been better spent figuring out how to get Iowans to the caucuses. But at the time, it got great press.

So, perhaps it's a bad omen for Kerry's ground game in Ohio when I discover that Christy Setzer, the woman who handled press for the Perfect Storm, has been assigned to deal with national reporters who parachute into Columbus to watch America Coming Together, the New New Thing of the general election, in action. That's not meant as a slap at Setzer—she's a terrific person who's good at her job (see the aforementioned glowing press)—but the parallels are irresistible. Like the Storm was for the caucuses, the George Soros-funded ACT is the Big Question Mark of the general election: How many of the new voters it registered in the past year are authentic? How many of them will show up to vote? Can this unconventional strategy win Kerry the presidency?

ACT's army of red-coated canvassers are Kerry's Afghan warlords: He's outsourced his base campaign, his voter-registration drives, and a healthy chunk of his get-out-the-vote operation to them. Much of the rest of the operation will be handled by the groups (including ACT) that make up America Votes, another 527 that coordinates the voter-contact and voter-turnout operations of a host of interest groups, from the AFL-CIO to Planned Parenthood, to ensure that everyone's on the same page. In a sense, America Votes does for the liberal ground game what Grover Norquist's weekly meeting does for conservative talking points.

When I ask Setzer to compare ACT to Dean's Storm, she says it differs in important ways. For one, the canvassers are paid workers and not volunteers, and the organization tries to hire locals instead of out-of-towners. More important, perhaps, the canvassers are supposed to identify voters and get them to the polls, not tell voters their personal stories of how far they've traveled and why they're committed to Howard Dean (or John Kerry). But the real key is that they don't work for just one weekend.

The secret to turnout is frequent face-to-face contact with voters. That's a lesson Steve Rosenthal, the national head of America Coming Together, learned during his years as the political director of the AFL-CIO. Many people attribute Al Gore's victory in the popular vote in 2000—and his wins in every close state except Florida—to Rosenthal's turnout operation for the unions in 2000. Donna Brazile has called Rosenthal "the last great hope of the Democratic Party" and has compared him to Michael Whouley and Karl Rove. ACT is a national version of what Rosenthal did for Philadelphia Mayor John Street in 2003. In that race, 38,000, or 44 percent, of the 86,000 new voters Rosenthal registered came to the polls, he told National Journal earlier this year, compared to 28 or 29 percent of what the magazine called "voters from the same neighborhoods and similar socio-economic backgrounds who had registered on their own."

In Ohio, ACT sends out between 200 and 250 paid canvassers each day. They get paid between $8 and $10 an hour. Setzer reels off impressive numbers: We've knocked on 3.7 million doors in Ohio, had more than 1 million conversations. On Election Day, ACT will send out 12,000 volunteers, each paid a stipend of $75 for travel and expenses, to make sure voters get to the polls. ACT and the partner organizations that make up America Votes have registered about 300,000 new voters in Ohio, and they'll consider it a success to turn out just half of them. Those voters alone, though, wouldn't swing the election. Four years ago, Bush's margin of victory was nearly 180,000 votes. In all, Ohio has between 700,000 and 800,000 new voters for this election, though Setzer points out that some of that could just be churn from voters who moved.

My trip to watch two ACT canvassers in action wasn't very impressive, but that's because it was a Potemkin canvass, organized for the benefit of an MSNBC reporter and his camera. Malik Hubbard, 26, and Julian Johannesen, 32, walked up and down a few blocks in a largely African-American neighborhood in Columbus on a Saturday afternoon. As ACT's field directors for Franklin County, which includes Columbus, Hubbard and Johannesen don't usually canvass themselves. Each man carried a Palm Tungsten T2, which contained the addresses of the voters they were supposed to contact. It's Saturday afternoon on the day of the Ohio State homecoming game, so it's not optimal door-knocking time, but they do their best to put on a good show. When a voter answers the door, the canvasser gives him or her a flyer that has the address of the local polling place stamped on it. He explains that the polls will be open from 6:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m., advises the voter to bring some form of identification to the polls in case their registration is challenged, and asks if there are any questions. On two separate occasions, a voter worries about a false rumor that the neighborhood's voting machines have been replaced with punch-card ballots. After talking to each voter, Hubbard and Johannesen input the data into their Tungsten T2s.

Over the next nine days, canvassers will follow up with voters, continuing the personal contacts. For what it's worth, the Bush-Cheney campaign in the state is following a similar strategy, though it doesn't partly rely on an outside organization to carry it out. "I'm not saying we're gonna outperform the other side, because they have the potential to be spectacular," says Dave Beckwith, a Bush-Cheney spokesman in Ohio. "I'd just rather be where we are, with a real solid model." The model is the Republican "72 Hour Program," Karl Rove's get-out-the-vote operation from 2002, which helped the Republicans gain House and Senate seats in the midterm elections. Like ACT, the 72 Hour Program relies on frequent face-to-face contact with voters, what Bush's Ohio campaign manager Bob Paduchik calls "the volunteer-to-voter interface."

"By and large, it is an effort to move closer to the Democrat knock-and-drag vote drive," Beckwith says. Republicans have traditionally relied on things like direct mail to get out the vote, but this time, "We are going to the personal contact system." The Bush-Cheney campaign has printed up small pamphlets that contain a list of each committed Bush voter in a neighborhood, along with voters' phone numbers and a map of the area. On Election Day, a volunteer takes the book and checks off each voter after they go to the polls.

Beckwith admits that the Democrats have registered more new voters than the Republicans, but he says that their work was done by "mercenaries"—and they have "people signed up by crack addicts"—while his side employs volunteers, or "liberty-loving free men." Beckwith then drifts into a reverie about the Battle of San Jacinto and explains how Sam Houston knew that "conscripts" and the forces of "despotism" couldn't defeat free men. The enemy was saying, "Me no Alamo," Beckwith says with a laugh. (At another moment in the interview, Beckwith observes of the Kerry-Edwards campaign offices, "I think they're on Gay Street, which is interesting, because we're on Rich Street.")

At the Bush-Cheney headquarters, I mention to Paduchik, Bush's Ohio campaign manager, how the media overestimated the effectiveness of Dean's Perfect Storm. Paduchik says the evidence of Bush's organization in Ohio is the size of his crowds, because the campaign distributes its tickets through its volunteers. When you see 22,000 people in Troy, Ohio, or 50,000 people in Westchester, Ohio, you know you're looking at "a real organization," he says. "It's not because we had tickets you could download from the Internet. It's not because we had put them on car windows, or had people pick them up at a 7-Eleven, like the other side does."

On the way out, I'm reminded that all this work on both sides isn't necessarily a sign of confidence. As we walk to the door, Beckwith points to an empty portion of the Bush-Cheney offices. That's where the staff for Sen. George Voinovich works, he says. "These cocksuckers are up 30 points and they're never in here."

          Kerry vs. His Script   

WATERLOO, Iowa—Since the final presidential debate, John Kerry has traveled around the country delivering a series of speeches that his campaign calls his "closing argument." The topics vary, but the theme is always the same, the "Fresh Start for America": Friday in Milwaukee, a "fresh start" for jobs; Monday in Tampa, a "fresh start" for health care; Tuesday in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., a "fresh start" for fiscal responsibility and Social Security. The speeches are supposed to convince Americans of Kerry's fitness for the presidency, but a side effect has been to demonstrate how inept he is at delivering prepared remarks.

The campaign gives reporters the text of each of Kerry's speeches "as prepared for delivery," apparently to show how much Kerry diverges from them. During his stump speeches and town halls, Kerry makes the occasional Bush-style error, such as the time I saw him tell a blind man in St. Louis that he would "look you in the eye." Tuesday night in Dayton, Ohio, Kerry tried to thank teachers for spending money out of their own pockets on students, but instead it came out as a thank-you to Mary Kay Letourneau as he said, "And they're putting out for our kids." His pronunciation of "idear" grates on my ears far more than Bush's "nucular." But the authentic Kerryism emerges only when he gives a formal address.

Kerry proves incapable of reading simple declarative sentences. He inserts dependent clauses and prepositional phrases until every sentence is a watery mess. Kerry couldn't read a Dick and Jane book to schoolchildren without transforming its sentences into complex run-ons worthy of David Foster Wallace. Kerry's speechwriters routinely insert the line "We can bring back that mighty dream," near the conclusion of his speeches, presumably as an echo of Ted Kennedy's Shrum-penned "the dream will never die" speech from the 1980 Democratic convention. Kerry saps the line of its power. Here's his version from Monday's speech in Tampa: "We can bring back the mighty dream of this country, that's what's at stake in these next two weeks."

Kerry flubs his punch lines, sprinkles in irrelevant anecdotes, and talks himself into holes that he has trouble improvising his way out of. He steps on his applause lines by uttering them prematurely, and then when they roll up on his TelePrompTer later, he's forced to pirouette and throat-clear until he figures out how not to repeat himself. He piles adjective upon adjective until it's like listening to a speech delivered by Roget.

Kerry's health-care speech Monday in Tampa was a classic of the form. The written text contained a little more than 2,500 words. By the time he was finished, Kerry had spoken nearly 5,300 words—not including his introductory remarks and thank-yous to local politicians—more than doubling the verbiage. Pity his speechwriters when you read the highlights below. It's not their fault.

Kerry's Script: Most of all, I will always level with the American people. 

Actual Kerry: Most of all, my fellow Americans, I pledge to you that I will always level with the American people, because it's only by leveling and telling the truth that you build the legitimacy and gain the consent of the people who ultimately we are accountable to. I will level with the American people.

Kerry's Script: I will work with Republicans and Democrats on this health care plan, and we will pass it.

Actual Kerry: I will work with Republicans and Democrats across the aisle, openly, not with an ideological, driven, fixed, rigid concept, but much like Franklin Roosevelt said, I don't care whether a good idea is a Republican idea or a Democrat idea. I just care whether or not it's gonna work for Americans and help make our country stronger. And we will pass this bill. I'll tell you a little bit about it in a minute, and I'll tell you why we'll pass it, because it's different from anything we've ever done before, despite what the Republicans want to try to tell you.

Kerry's Script: These worries are real, and they're happening all across America.

Actual Kerry: These worries are real. They're not made up. These stories aren't something that's part of a Democrat plan or a Republican plan. These are American stories. These are the stories of American citizens. And it's not just individual citizens who are feeling the pressure of health care costs. It's businesses across America. It's CEOs all across America. This is an American problem.

Kerry's Script: That's wrong, and we have to change it.

Actual Kerry: Well, that's wrong, my friends. We shouldn't be just hoping and praying. We need leadership that acts and responds and leads and makes things happen.     

Kerry's Script: That's wrong, and we have to change it.

Actual Kerry: Well, that's wrong. We had a chance to change it in the Congress of the United States. They chose otherwise. And I'll talk about that in a minute.

Kerry's Script: It's wrong to make it illegal for Medicare to negotiate with the drug companies for lower prices.

Actual Kerry: But not satisfied to hold onto the drug company's profit there, they went further. Medicare belongs to you. Medicare is paid by the taxpayer. Medicare is a taxpayer-funded program to keep seniors out of poverty. And we want to lower the cost to seniors, right? It's common sense. But when given the opportunity to do that, this president made it illegal for Medicare to do what the VA does, which is go out and bulk purchase drugs so we could lower the taxpayers' bill and lower the cost to seniors. It is wrong to make it illegal to lower the cost of tax and lower the cost to seniors. 

Kerry's Script: And if there was any doubt before, his response to the shortage of flu vaccines put it to rest.

Actual Kerry: Now, if you had any doubts at all about anything that I've just said to you, anybody who's listening can go to or you can go to other independent sources and you can track down the truth of what I've just said. But if you had any doubts about it at all, his response to the shortage of the flu vaccine ought to put them all to rest.

Kerry's Script: I believe we need a fresh start on health care in America. I believe we need a President who will fight for the great middle class and those struggling to join it. And with your help, I will be that kind of President.

Actual Kerry: I believe so deeply—and as I go around, Bob and Bill and I were talking about this coming over here from other places—that the hope that we're seeing in the eyes of our fellow Americans, folks like you who have come here today who know what's at stake in this race. This isn't about Democrat and Republican or ideology. This is about solving problems, real problems that make our country strong and help build community and take care of other human beings. I believe we need a fresh start on health care in America. I believe we need a President who's going to fight for the great middle class and those who really are struggling, even below minimum wage now. And they won't even raise it. With your help, ladies and gentlemen, I intend to be that kind of President who stands up and fights for the people who need the help.

Kerry's Script: Families will be able to choose from dozens of different private insurance plans.

Actual Kerry: Now George Bush is trying to scare America. And he's running around telling everybody—I saw this ad the other night. I said, "What is that about? That's not my plan. That may be some 20 years ago they pulled out of the old thing." But here's what they do, they are trying to tell you that there is some big government deal. Ladies and gentlemen, we choose. I happen to choose Blue Cross/Blue Shield. I could choose Kaiser. I could choose Pilgrim. I could choose Phelan. I could choose any number of different choices. That's what we get. And we look through all the different choices and make our choice. You ought to have that same choice. The government doesn't tell what you to do. The government doesn't run it. It gives you the choice.

Kerry's Script: Ladies and Gentlemen, here's the Bush Health Care Plan: Don't get a flu shot, don't import less-expensive drugs, don't negotiate for lower prices, and most of all, don't get sick.

Actual Kerry: So, Ladies and Gentlemen, if you had doubts about it at all, here's the Bush Health Care Plan: Don't get a flu shot, don't import less-expensive drugs from Canada, don't negotiate for lower prices on prescription drugs. And don't get sick. Just pray, stand up and hope, wait—whatever. We are all left wondering and hoping. That's it.

          Unanswered Questions   

SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ.—There are lots of questions going into the third and final presidential debate of the 2004 campaign: Will President Bush find his inside voice? After two debate victories, will the overconfident, coasting "Bad Kerry" return? Will Bush wire himself with an earpiece so he can listen to the baseball playoffs? What bad Red Sox joke will Kerry make? Most important, wouldn't the nation be better off if this were another foreign-policy debate?

If you've paid any attention at all to the presidential campaign for the past seven months, you know the basic differences between Bush and Kerry on taxes, health care, education, abortion, same-sex marriage, Social Security, outsourcing, or whatever your favorite domestic issue is. There are no unanswered questions for the two men that I can think of. Instead, Wednesday night's debate will be a shallow exercise in political point-scoring, with each candidate trying to highlight the embarrassing parts of his opponent's record.

Normally, I'd think such an event would be both great fun and worthwhile. But on foreign policy, the central issue of this election, there's still a great deal of confusion as to where each candidate stands, despite a presidential debate and a half, and a vice presidential debate, on the subject. Do you know, for example, what John Kerry's position is on how the nation should deal with state sponsors of terrorism? Does he agree with Bush that those who harbor terrorists are as guilty as the terrorists themselves? What's his opinion of the Bush Doctrine? Would he amend it? If so, how? Does he think the nation should adhere to a foreign-policy doctrine, or should we just take an ad hoc approach to terrorism and other global problems?

None of those questions were addressed in the first three debates. The campaign's focus on unilateralism vs. internationalism has obscured the more fundamental foreign-policy difference between Bush and Kerry: their views on the role of states, and state sponsors, in the war on terror. Matt Bai's New York Times Magazine piece on John Kerry's view of the war on terror elucidates this difference between the two men more clearly than any article yet written on Kerry's foreign policy, including manful attempts by the Atlantic and TheNew Yorker.

Bush's war on terror assumes that states are the main actors in international affairs. After 9/11, Bush expressed skepticism that a mere "network" could have pulled off such a feat. Bush, Bai writes, does not believe that terrorists "can ultimately survive and operate independently of states." The Bush National Security Strategy calls terrorists "clients" of rogue states. The Bush war on terror is remarkably state-centric. After the fall of Afghanistan, the administration immediately began looking for the next state to topple.

Kerry focuses on nonstate actors, international networks that operate outside of state control. "Kerry's view, on the other hand, suggests that it is the very premise of civilized states ... that is under attack," Bai writes. Kerry's internationalism stems from his view of the war on terror, rather than vice versa: "And no one state, acting alone, can possibly have much impact on the threat, because terrorists will always be able to move around, shelter their money and connect in cyberspace; there are no capitals for a superpower like the United States to bomb, no ambassadors to recall, no economies to sanction."

The clear implication of Bai's article is not, as the Bush campaign would have it, that Kerry wants only to reduce terrorism to a "nuisance" while Bush wants to eliminate it. It's that Bush would seek to topple more regimes in his second term, while Kerry wouldn't. Perhaps everyone already knew that. But don't you want to know more about it? I've already proposed several questions for Kerry. Here are some for Bush: Mr. President, you say John Kerry has a "fundamental misunderstanding" of the war on terror when he says it is only a war against al-Qaida. Does this mean that you are likely to try to change other regimes by force in the Middle East in your second term—those that harbor, say, Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad? You say those who harbor terrorists are as guilty as the terrorists themselves. What countries in the world are harboring terrorists, and how do you plan to punish them for their guilt? When you mock Sen. Kerry for saying the war on terror is in large part a "law enforcement operation," are you saying that breaking up terrorist cells is insufficient for victory in the war? What is sufficient for victory? Other than Iraq and Afghanistan, where do you see the next battleground in the war on terror?

If you want to know about the candidates' health-care plans, you can read about them on their Web sites and in newspaper articles. We're a nation at war. Don't you wish the two candidates had to answer some more questions about who exactly we're at war with?

          The $84 Question   

ST. LOUIS—Mike McCurry may have set a new standard in expectations-lowering when he predicted before Friday's debate that his candidate would actually lose in his face-off with President Bush. About a half-hour before Bush and John Kerry walked on stage at Washington University, McCurry made this prediction to a group of reporters in the media filing center: "I guarantee you the story will be"—putting on his best "Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!" announcer voice—"'Bush bounced back from a dismal performance and sets up the exciting showdown in Arizona ...' "

It sounded good, and in a sense it's true. Bush did bounce back. This wasn't "the Old Testament version of Bush," as McCurry called the bumbling caricature who showed up for the first debate. But it wasn't the return of the charmer of 2000, either. The consensus on the Bush press bus—I'll be traveling with the president between this debate and the finale Wednesday in Tempe—on the way back to our hotel was that Kerry had bested the president once again. Or perhaps it was a tie, but most reporters thought that a draw favors Kerry, because he's got the momentum, and he just has to convince people that he's not a vacillating weakling to get their votes.

Here's my predicted storyline: Before last week's debate, the speculation was whether Bush could knock Kerry out of the race with a decisive win. Heading into next week's debate, my guess is that the speculation will be about whether Kerry can put Bush away and end the campaign before the final three-week stretch begins. In particular, there will be a lot of focus on how the debate favors Kerry because the subject will be domestic policy.

But based on this debate, Bush may have the upper hand next week. Kerry had his foreign-policy answers nailed. He dominated the early portions that dealt with Iraq. But when the questions turned homeward it was Kerry, not Bush, who was on the defensive. A little of the meandering, incoherent Kerry returned, particularly in his answers to the questions on tort reform, stem-cell research, and federal funding for abortions. (But at least Kerry didn't bring up the Dred Scott decision. President Bush: Against chattel slavery.) Kerry may also just be easier to caricature, despite what the polls say, on domestic issues. Surely people are more apt to believe that Kerry will tax them to death than to believe the "global test" nonsense being peddled by the Bush campaign.

Though that wasn't the Bush spin Friday night. The Bush surrogates came into Spin Alley ready to sell the idea that Kerry failed to distance himself during the debate from the "global test" they call the "Kerry doctrine." Unfortunately, their decision highlighted one of the central flaws in Spin Alley: The spinners don't watch the end of the debates. By the time the candidates get to their closing remarks, the campaign staffers and surrogates have positioned themselves near the assembled press, and they're readying themselves for questions and TV appearances. So, maybe Bush campaign communications director Nicolle Devenish didn't hear Kerry say in his closing statement, "I will never cede the authority of our country or our security to any other nation. I'll never give a veto over American security to any other entity—not a nation, not a country, not an institution." Despite Kerry's clear renunciation of a foreign "permission slip," here was Devenish's spin as soon as the debate ended: "What was striking to me was that Kerry didn't even try to retract the global test. He has now accepted the Kerry doctrine as his own." Bush deputy campaign manager Mark Wallace said something similarly erroneous: "He affirmed the global test today, that would say there has to be permission from the world before you can take action." Actually, Kerry did the exact opposite.

Still, Devenish was the only Bush spinner I spoke to after the debate who didn't try to defend the president's strange assertion about the Duelfer report, that it shows that sanctions weren't working in Iraq. "I have to confess to being a campaign official and not an NSC spokesgal," she said. By contrast, here was Dan Bartlett: "Charlie Duelfer said both in the report and in his testimony that sanctions were unraveling, that the gaming of the system that Saddam Hussein was doing was doing just that. He was trying to game it by bribing people." But Saddam was trying to bribe people to get the sanctions lifted, and he wanted them lifted because they worked, because they prevented him from reconstituting his weapons programs. Here's Wallace: Saddam "was making a concerted effort to avoid sanctions," and "he had the means and the ability to reconstitute his WMD program." But, wait—the sanctions were precisely what were keeping Saddam from doing that. He had "the means and the ability" only if the sanctions had been lifted, and a Bush veto in the United Nations could have kept the sanctions in effect permanently. Ed Gillespie and Ken Mehlman cited the oil-for-food program as evidence that the sanctions didn't work. But again, Saddam's bribes were an attempt to get out of the sanctions that had stripped him of his chemical weapons, his biological weapons, and his nuclear program.

The defensible position for Bush would have been to argue that we had no way of knowing whether sanctions were working before we invaded. But instead he's resorted to this preposterous idea that because Saddam was trying to evade the sanctions, somehow that was evidence that the sanctions weren't working. Somehow the fact that Saddam has no weapons and no stockpiles was evidence that sanctions weren't working.

After Vice President Cheney's frequent difficulties with the truth on Tuesday, President Bush's veracity was under increased scrutiny in this debate. But that didn't stop his campaign from peddling another "global test" lie, nor did it stop Bush from misconstruing Kerry's health-care plan and willfully distorting the conclusions of the Duelfer report. (Let's call Bush's unwillingness to admit a mistake a self-deception, rather than a deception foisted upon the public.) If President Bush weren't running such a truth-stretching campaign, his strangest untruth of the night, denying that he received $84 in income from a timber company, wouldn't be a big deal. After all, it's only $84. Then again, maybe the president voted for the truth about the $84 before he decided against it.

          The Post-Debate Debate   

ORLANDO—Sen. John Kerry, you just walloped President Bush in the first 2004 debate. What are you going to do now? Go to Disney World, apparently: The Kerry campaign and his traveling press spent Friday night at the Swan & Dolphin Hotel at Walt Disney World, possibly the only place more unreal than the presidential campaign bubble. There couldn't be a more appropriate place for Kerry to stay the night after the debate, because right now, Democrats think they're in the happiest place on earth.

As the press bus arrived at the Fort Lauderdale airport Friday morning, a reporter jokingly pronounced a crowd of Kerry supporters to be "30 percent more excited" than they would have been before Thursday's debate. But he underestimated the enthusiasm among Democrats for Kerry's performance. In 90 minutes, Kerry erased the nagging complaints within his party about the effectiveness of his campaign, and he crushed any incipient Dean nostalgia.

On the stump, Kerry has discovered a new applause line, simply uttering the word "debate." At the University of South Florida in Tampa on Friday, Kerry walked out to the loudest and longest ovation I've seen in more than a year on the campaign. Kerry's still a 40-minute rambler at his campaign events—he should consider traveling with a podium equipped with green, yellow, and red lights that tell him when to stop—but he didn't have to do anything more than ask the crowd, "So, did you watch that debate last night?" to get the rumbling foot-stomping and cheering started again. In Orlando later that night, Kerry uses his new line—"Did you watch that little debate last night?"—as his opener, and again its gets the crowd roaring.

Kerry has even taken to ridiculing the president for his underwhelming showing. On Friday night, he mockingly impersonated Bush as a stammering Porky Pig. (Not Elmer Fudd, as the New York Times claims. Get your cartoon references right, Gray Lady!) The next day, Kerry was at it again, poking fun of Bush's repetition of the phrase "hard work" at the debate: "He confuses staying in place, just kind of saying, 'It's tough, it's hard work, you gotta make a decision,' "—laughter—"he considers that, and confuses that, with leadership."

Those Democrats who aren't already buoyed by the debate will take heart in Saturday's Newsweek poll, which shows the race in a statistical tie: Kerry at 47 percent and Bush at 45 percent, with a 4-point margin of error. Kerry adviser Joel Johnson dismissed the poll's significance during a conference call with reporters, saying, "It's probably a poll that we took issue with in the past," such as when Newsweek showed the president leading by 11 points coming out of the Republican convention.

In the wake of all these good signs for Kerry, the Bush campaign is busy trying to Gore him, to kill the Democratic buzz by turning Kerry's debate victory into a defeat. A White House pool report Saturday from the Baltimore Sun's David Greene reported that Bush communications director Nicolle Devenish said, "Nobody is going to look back on November 3 and remember that first debate for anything other than a night when Kerry made four serious strategic mistakes." Here's how Greene summarized the mistakes: "1) Kerry spoke of a 'global test.' 2) Kerry called the war in Iraq a mistake then later said Americans were not dying for a mistake. 3) Kerry spoke of the troops deserving better after saying in an interview before the debate that his vote on funding was made in protest. 4) Kerry offered what Nicolle called a 'new insult' for allies when he said the coalition is not 'genuine.' "

Thursday night after the debate, the Bush surrogates emphasized Devenish's second point, to reinforce its caricature of the Democratic nominee as a habitual flip-flopper. By Friday and Saturday, however, the Bush campaign had seized upon Kerry's mention—a virtual aside—of a "global test" for pre-emptive war as their chance to reverse the perception that Kerry won the debate. (Based on Devenish's comments, they've also dropped their initial nobody-won spin in which they sounded like Kevin Kline in A Fish Called Wanda: "We didn't lose Vietnam! It was a tie!")

On Friday afternoon, the Bush campaign e-mailed excerpts of remarks the president made in Allentown, Pa., including this quote: "Senator Kerry last night said that America has to pass some sort of global test before we can use American troops to defend ourselves. He wants our national security decisions subject to the approval of a foreign government. Listen, I'll continue to work with our allies and the international community, but I will never submit America's national security to an international test. The use of troops to defend America must never be subject to a veto by countries like France." Scott McClellan piled on, as distilled by another White House pool report, saying that Kerry's comment "showed a fundamental misunderstanding of the war on terrorism," and that the remark "shows something that is very disturbing."

By Saturday, Bush himself had taken to calling the "global test" the "Kerry doctrine," which would "give foreign governments veto power over our own national security decisions." In the afternoon, the Kerry campaign dispatched Richard Holbrooke to rebut "Bush's misleading rhetoric on the stump" in a conference call. Nearly every question was about what Kerry meant during the debate by "global test," and about the Bush's campaign's rhetoric of a "global permission slip" and the "Kerry doctrine." Holbrooke read Kerry's debate statement in full: "No president, through all of American history, has ever ceded, and nor would I, the right to preempt in any way necessary to protect the United States of America. But if and when you do it, Jim, you have to do it in a way that passes the test, that passes the global test where your countrymen, your people understand fully why you're doing what you're doing and you can prove to the world that you did it for legitimate reasons."

Holbrooke said the "Bush attack" was "another flagrant misrepresentation by the administration of what Sen. Kerry said," and added, "Who in their right mind would not wish to be sure that the use of force preemptively, or for that matter, any use of force, gets support and understanding from the rest of the world and from the American people and is fully justified?" He called it "longstanding American doctrine" and "a standard position, all presidents have taken it since at least 1945." Sounding irritated about the repeated mentions of the "Kerry doctrine" by reporters, Holbrooke said, "Don't call it a Kerry doctrine. That would suggest that John Kerry has enunciated something new, and he didn't."

An hour later, at 2:30 p.m., Kerry adviser Joel Johnson and Democratic National Committee adviser Howard Wolfson held a conference call to "discuss the results" of the presidential debate. The first question, from a Knight Ridder reporter, was about "this alleged Kerry doctrine." Would the campaign make any "paid media response"? No, Johnson said, we're going to focus on the economy in our TV ads, as planned. "We don't feel like this one is one we're going to have to respond in any way" in paid media.

The Republicans are "trying to take away the medal from the Olympic gymnast after the contest is over," Wolfson said. ABC's Dan Harris asked, "Aren't you opening yourself up to the charge that you've failed to learn the lessons of August?" referring to the Swift Boat ads and the Kerry campaign's belated response. "We're focusing on the failed economy," Johnson said. But you should know, "He'll never give a veto to any other country, period." Harris replied, "But boy, it really sounds like you're letting that charge hang out there." Johnson: "Well, we'll take that under advisement."

Shortly after that conference call ended, the Bush campaign e-mailed its script for a new TV ad, called—surprise—"Global Test." The ad says in part, "The Kerry doctrine: A global test. So we must seek permission from foreign governments before protecting America? A global test? So America will be forced to wait while threats gather? President Bush believes decisions about protecting America should be made in the Oval Office, not foreign capitals." Within a couple of hours, the Kerry campaign had changed its mind about whether to release its own ad. Their script begins, "George Bush lost the debate.  Now he's lying about it." The Kerry ad also tries to change the subject, to a New York Times story that comes out Sunday. That day's conference call is billed as, "What President Bush Really Knew About Iraq's WMD Programs Before the War."

During his conference call, Joel Johnson complained, "The Bush campaign is trying to concoct arguments that the president couldn't make the other night in the debate." That's exactly right. The mystery is why Johnson didn't think his campaign would have to do the same for Kerry.

          Daydreaming About Dean   

MIAMI—Can we change horses in midstream? Democrats wanted Republicans and independent voters to be asking themselves that question at this stage in the presidential campaign, but with little more than a month to go before Election Day, some Democrats are asking it of themselves. It's the seven-month itch: The long general-election campaign has led the voters who settled down with Mr. Stability to wonder what would have happened if they had pursued their crushes on riskier but more exciting candidates. What if dreamy John Edwards were the nominee instead of John Kerry? Would he be better able to explain his votes for war and against the $87 billion to fund the war? Would his campaign have been leaner and more effective than Kerry's multitudes? Or what about Democrats' first love, Howard Dean? Remember him? Would his straightforward opposition to the war in Iraq look more prescient now than it did during the Iowa caucuses, which were held shortly after Saddam Hussein was captured?

The most surprising Democrat to engage in this daydreaming is one who never dated Dean in the first place: Peter Beinart, editor of the New Republic. Writing in Time, Beinart says, "[T]here's reason to believe [Democratic primary voters] guessed wrong—that Dean would be doing better against Bush than Kerry is." Deaniacs can be forgiven for being a little bit piqued at the timing of Beinart's conversion. After all, most Dean supporters thought Beinart's magazine did its best to torpedo the Dean candidacy for much of 2003, including an online "Diary of a Dean-o-Phobe." But TNR also ran glowing profiles of Dean and his campaign manager, Joe Trippi, and it never married Kerry, either. Although the magazine ultimately endorsed Joe Lieberman, its endorsement issue contained an article praising every other major Democratic contender—Dean, Edwards, Dick Gephardt—except John Kerry. So, it's understandable why Beinart would be one of the first to fantasize about divorce.

Beinart argues that Dean's clarity on the war, his straight-talking authenticity, and his lack of a Senate voting record would have forced President Bush to focus on the issue of Iraq, rather than the character of John Kerry. Not everyone who worked for Howard Dean during the primaries agrees that the Vermont governor would have been a stronger nominee—in fact, some say just the opposite or even burst into laughter at the notion—but one senior Dean adviser that I talked to Wednesday agrees strongly. "If Howard Dean were the nominee right now, nobody would be wondering where he stands on Iraq, nobody would be accusing us of not fighting back, and we wouldn't be fighting to hold on to our base," said the adviser, who asked that his name not be used. Kerry's "thoughtful and nuanced positions" might be an admirable quality in a president, but they're difficult to defend during a campaign.

A Dean general-election campaign would have contrasted Dean's record with Bush's in three ways: Dean being against the war versus Bush being for it; Dean's record of balancing the Vermont budget while providing health care versus Bush's largest deficits in history with no health care; and a new wrinkle that was only hinted at during the primaries, Dean's mysterious, infrequently mentioned "tax reform" vs. Bush's irresponsible tax cuts. Yes, Dean would have repealed the entire Bush tax cut, the senior adviser said, but he would have proposed replacing it with some Dean tax cuts, including the elimination of payroll taxes on the first $20,000 of income. The message: Bush cuts taxes from the top down, but Dean cuts them from the bottom up. Why didn't Dean introduce this during the primaries, when his tax-hiking ways made some Democrats think he would be an electoral disaster, the second coming of Walter Mondale, in the fall? He wanted to wait until after the Feb. 3 primaries because "he didn't want people to think he was pandering," the adviser said.

The Dean adviser did go out of his way to insist that he was not criticizing the Kerry campaign. The Republicans "might have destroyed Howard Dean," too, he said, but "I just think Howard would have matched up differently and better." The Dean adviser praised Kerry's maligned convention, which made voters believe that Kerry was a viable commander in chief who was as good as Bush or better on the issues of terrorism and homeland security. "They were in perfect position after the convention to win this thing," he said, quickly adding that he's not saying they've lost it. But then he added, "They basically are hoping that Bush shits the bed in the debates."

Of course, it's pretty obvious that the Republicans would have run a different campaign against Howard Dean than they did against John Kerry. But that doesn't mean it would have been any less effective. And if Dean couldn't beat Kerry, what exactly would have made him so formidable against President Bush? Would Dean's support for civil unions in Vermont have made gay marriage a much bigger issue in the fall? Was there something in his past that we didn't learn about? Would the aggressive campaign he would have waged in the spring and summer—leaping instantly on every bit of bad news from Iraq, from Abu Ghraib to Fallujah—have backfired? Would Dean have been able to build a campaign that brought together his divided Vermont and D.C. factions? It's impossible to know, though divining that impossibility is exactly what Democratic primary voters charged themselves with this time around.

Falling in love with Dean all over again ignores what made Democrats fall out of love with him in the first place. An incomplete list: his infuriating stubbornness and refusal to admit mistakes; his lousy white-background TV ad in Iowa; and his shift from a straight-talking, budget-balancing, health-care-providing Vermont governor to the shrieking leader of a cult movement. In Iowa, Dean's poor showing was exacerbated by the fact that he was the second choice of no one. He and Kerry found out that in American democracy, it's better to have a large number of people barely tolerate you than to have a smaller number like you a lot. By the weekend, it will be clear whether Kerry managed to rally a nose-holding majority to his side at Thursday's debate. If not, expect to hear a lot more conversations like this over the next 33 days.

          Anniversary Edition   

BOSTON—John Kerry's words were inadequate Saturday morning, but whose wouldn't be? Kerry spoke during a commemoration of the third anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001, and he couldn't help but be overshadowed by the simple eloquence of the relatives of 9/11 victims in attendance. "This is not about politics," Kerry says often on the stump. He didn't say it today, but for once, the statement would have actually been true.

Flight 11 and Flight 197, the planes that struck the World Trade Center, took off from Boston's Logan Airport. The Massachusetts 9/11 Fund honored the dead with a brief ceremony at the Boston Opera House. A speaker read from an e-mail written by a girl who was 7 years old when her father died; she said she missed hearing his laugh in their house. The daughter of another woman spoke of how her mother's wedding ring was found in the rubble, months after the tragedy, on her mom's birthday. A son talked of how he relives the murder of his father every day, on TV news and in campaign ads.

There were brief mentions, like that one, of politics, but they came from the relatives, not from Kerry. Sonia Puopolo, the daughter who held aloft her mother's wedding ring during the ceremony, said she spoke for her mother by "asking and praying for a president, a president named John Kerry, to bring peace to a terribly troubled world." Others were more oblique. One of two 9/11 widows who are raising money to help widows in Afghanistan—to "help widows who have been affected by war and terrorism in other parts of the world" and to try to provide them with the financial and emotional support that 9/11 families have received—said in videotaped remarks, "We strongly believe that the only way to fight terrorism is through education." Franklin Ross, the son who spoke, was the only one who mentioned the attackers, but even he expressed sympathy for their loved ones. "The people who did this will pay, and so will their families, and I feel sorry for that," he said.

Kerry paid tribute to the victims and the heroes and the survivors and the families, but he did not draw attention to the criticisms made by some of the speakers before him. The day before had been different. At a rally on Friday in Allentown, Pa., Kerry said that he met with some 9/11 widows beforehand. "And they looked at me, and every single of them said, our husbands didn't die on Sept. 11 because of what happened with Iraq. [It was] what happened with al-Qaida, with Osama Bin Laden, in Afghanistan," he said. "And what George W. Bush has done is try to scare Americans, and make you believe that one is the other, and the other is the same."

There is a place for the candidates to talk about Sept. 11 in this election. For most Americans, the race is about nothing except what happened on one day three years ago and how the Bush administration responded. Just not today.

          Runter ja - rauf nein   
Moritz hat gute Musik auf einer Online-Tauschbörse gefunden. Auf CD gebrannt wäre die doch ein prima Geschenk! Aber könnte er da Ärger kriegen? Sicherheitshalber fragt er den Juristen Till Kreutzer. (c) 2008 Landeszentrale für politische Bildung NRW.
          Kerry's Deathbed Conversion   

CLEVELAND—Everything you need to know about Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential run—and therefore, everything a Democrat needs to know about taking the White House from an incumbent—is supposed to have been scrawled on a wipeboard in Little Rock 12 years ago by James Carville. "It's the economy, stupid," the phrase that has become holy writ, was only one-third of Carville's message. The other two tenets of the Clinton war room were "Change vs. more of the same" and "Don't forget health care." John Kerry has been running on two of those three planks, the economy and health care. But one day after talking with President Clinton on his deathbed—Kerry's, not Clinton's—the candidate has finally embraced the third: change.

Kerry offered a taste of his new message Monday morning at one of his "front porch" campaign stops in Canonsburg, Penn., but he waited until the afternoon in Racine, W.V., to unveil his new stump speech in full. The new message: Go vote for Bush if you want four more years of falling wages, of Social Security surpluses being transferred to wealthy Americans in the form of tax cuts, of underfunded schools and lost jobs. But if you want a new direction, he said, vote for Kerry and Edwards.

It's a simple and obvious message, but Kerry hasn't used it before. There were other new, even more Clintonesque wrinkles, too. Kerry talked about the same issues—jobs, health care, Social Security, education—that he's talked about in the past, but he had a new context for them: how Bush's policies were taking money out of taxpayers' pockets. The deficit, the Medicare prescription drug plan that forbids bulk-price negotiation and the importation of drugs from Canada, and the "$200 billion and counting" Iraq war all "cost you money," Kerry said, by increasing the cost of government. Kerry even pushed his health-care plan as a selfish device to put more money in voters' wallets (rather than an altruistic plan to cover the uninsured), in the form of lower health-insurance premiums ($1,000, he says). He also talked about a Clinton favorite, putting 100,000 new cops on the street during the 1990s, and he said he wanted to cut taxes for corporations by 5 percent to lower the cost of doing business in the United States. Talking about corporate tax cuts on Labor Day—if that's not a New Democrat, I don't know what is.

In West Virginia and later Cleveland, Kerry framed most of the new message around a mantra: "W stands for wrong. Wrong choices, wrong judgment, wrong priorities, wrong direction for our country." If you like those wrong choices, the lost jobs, "raiding Social Security," rising health-care costs, and "a go-it-alone foreign policy that abandons America," then vote for George W. Bush, Kerry said. If not, vote for me. The cost of the Iraq war is coming out of your pocket, he said, and it's taking away from money that could be used for homeland security. "That's W.; that's wrong," he said. With each issue Kerry raised—from Iraq to rising Medicare premiums to Social Security to jobs—he concluded his criticism of the president's policy by repeating, "That's W.; that's wrong."

It's not a perfect speech, nor is it delivered all that well. Kerry will never win an oratory contest with Bush, and he is fond of bizarre extemporizing. For example, he said, after being given a shotgun by a union leader to emphasize his support for hunting, "I'm thankful for the gift, but I can't take it to the debate with me." Still, even with Kerry's shaggy delivery, the speech—and more important, the message, if he sticks with it—should be good enough to get his campaign out of its latest sinkhole.

Sometimes, Kerry even improvises well. During the event in Canonsburg, Kerry was heckled by a small but noisy group of Bush supporters. But he managed to pull something out of Clinton's bag of tricks. When Kerry began talking about how the average family's tax burden has risen during the past four years, a man shouted, "Yeah, you're average, Kerry!" In response, Kerry adopted the tactic that Clinton used at the Democratic Convention in Boston: He embraced his affluence. "Just to answer that guy, 'cause he's right," Kerry said. "I'm privileged," just like President Bush. As a result, "My tax burden went down," Kerry said. "And I don't think that's right. I think your tax burden ought to go down."

Before today, Kerry's public image was starting to resemble that of a different Democratic candidate of recent vintage: the Republican caricature of Al Gore, a self-promoting braggart with a weakness for resume-inflating exaggerations. When Kerry was so angered by a Washington Post headline last week that he decided to speak directly after Bush's acceptance speech at the Republican Convention, he appeared to be imitating Gore's unfortunate tendency to let his campaign strategy be driven by the whims of the political media. Some Democrats feared that, by shaking up his campaign over the weekend and bringing in John Sasso and Michael Whouley, Kerry was overreacting in Gore-like fashion to some bad August press. On Monday, anyway, those fears seem overstated. The revamped Kerry campaign looks more like the Democrat who beat a president named Bush than the Democrat who lost to one.

          The Right Rev. George W. Bush   

COLUMBUS, Ohio—"I feel like a talk-show host," President Bush says midway through Thursday's first campaign event. He's standing next to a stool and a lectern, and he paces in circles to address the audience seated on all sides around him. Even from a distance, I can see why Bush charmed the press corps during his 2000 campaign. He's likable, winning, and self-deprecating. He's also quick on his feet, not with an instant recall of statistics but with snappy retorts that break up the room. This event was billed as an "Ask President Bush" forum, and although there didn't turn out to be much time for questions, from the outset the intimate setting made it more interactive than a typical presidential visit.

The president didn't get it quite right when he called himself a talk-show host. He opens more in the vein of a revival-tent preacher, albeit a subdued one, and he concludes as a standup comic. "I think you have to ask for the vote," Bush says near the beginning, as he always does. "You got it!" yells someone, the first of many call-and-response moments. Then Bush segues into something that sounds more like a sermon than a stump speech.

"All of you are soldiers in the army of compassion," the clergyman-in-chief tells the crowd. "And one of the reasons I'm seeking the office for four more years is to call upon our citizens to love your neighbor just like you'd like to be loved yourself." After his usual endorsement of the Golden Rule, Bush speaks of souls, which also isn't unusual for him: "We can change America one soul at a time by encouraging people to spread something government cannot spread, which is love."

Bush goes on to talk about his desire to have the government fund more faith-based initiatives. "If you're an addict, if you're hooked on drugs or alcohol, sometimes government counseling can work. But sometimes it requires a change of heart in order to change habit," he says. "There are people who are empowered to change hearts in our society. Not by government, by a higher calling, and therefore government ought to welcome these words of compassion and healing."

Bush isn't a fire-and-brimstone preacher, talking about sinners in the hands of an angry God. He's a hippie priest, emphasizing the Christian message of brotherly love. I can almost hear the guitars and tambourines. He says, "I know we can change America for the better by calling on those who are change agents, those who are willing to put our arm around someone who needs love and say, 'I love you, brother. I love you, sister. What can I do to help you have a better life here in America?'"

From there, Bush becomes a teacher, imparting "the lessons of September the 11th, 2001." "We'll never forget!" a man seated among the firefighters calls out. Bush's Lesson 1: "We're facing an enemy which has no heart, no compassion. And that puts them at an advantage in a way, because we're a country of heart and compassion." Lesson 2: "In order to defend the homeland, we got to be on the offense. We must deal with those people overseas, so we don't have to face them here at home." Lesson 3: "In order to be able to defend ourselves, we've got to say to people who are willing to harbor a terrorist or feed a terrorist, you're just as guilty as the terrorists." Lesson 4: "When we see threats, we must deal with them before they fully materialize." Lesson 5 is a corollary of Lesson 4: "We saw a threat in Iraq."

Even while Bush is in his teaching mode, the whole event has a Sunday-morning air. Bush says of Saddam, "He had used weapons of mass destruction. Remember that? He had used them on his own people." The crowd murmurs back, "That's right, that's right." When Bush mentions that John Kerry and John Edwards were two of only 12 senators—whom Wednesday he called "a small, out-of-the-mainstream minority"—to vote against the $87 billion for the war in Iraq, someone else yells out, "Shame on them!"

Bush almost gets weepy later, when he tells a story "that touched my heart," about seven Iraqi men who visited him in the Oval Office. The men's right hands were chopped off by order of Saddam Hussein, and they had X's burned into their foreheads. An American organization provided them with prostheses. "A guy took my Sharpie, wrapped his new fingers and wrote, 'God bless America,' in Arabic," Bush says, his voice choking up. "What a contrast," he says. In America, "We want to heal you, no matter who you are," his voice catching again.

So, are we going to abandon Iraq? Bush asks the crowd. "Are we going to be a country of our word?" he asks. "Or are we going to go timid and weary and afraid of the barbaric behavior of a few?" The crowd shouts back: "No!"

As the event winds down, Bush gets looser and funnier. He points to a member of the crowd, one of the hand-picked Ohioans intended to represent a particular Bush policy, and says that she can explain it better than he can. Then he turns to another audience member and says, "You didn't have to agree with her." When another of the Representative Americans tells Bush that she recently received her associate's degree, magna cum laude, Bush replies, "That's better than I did, I want you to know."

Bush says a CEO in the audience has an interesting idea to share. The man doesn't say anything. "Flex time," Bush says. "I'm glad you told me what my interesting idea was," the CEO says appreciatively. Bush replies, "I'm not a lawyer, but it looks like I'm leading the witness." "I appreciate that," the CEO says, and Bush shoots back, "You appreciate the fact that I'm not a lawyer?"

After last week's Democratic convention, I felt that John Kerry had become the favorite in the presidential race. Now, after only two days with President Bush, I'm not so sure. He's that good. Unlike many people, I'm not threatened by the president's religious rhetoric. It must be the Midwestern Catholic in me. Like the people in the audience, I find it familiar and comforting. I can see why so many people believe the president is "one of us," no matter how rich or how elite his background. And I can see that Kerry will have a tough time besting Bush in all three debates.

Still, not everything goes perfectly. When Bush gets ready to leave, he announces, "I'm off to Saginaw, Michigan," forgetting what must be a central tenet of Buckeye State politics: Never mention the state that is Ohio State's biggest rival, especially in Columbus, home to the university. For the first time all day, two men near me boo.

          Looking Backward   

MANKATO, Minn.—After watching President Bush speak for only a couple of hours on the 2004 stump, it's easy to see the main tenets of his re-election campaign: My opponent is un-American, or at least less American than me and you. My opponent, much like Al Gore, doesn't know who he is. My opponent is a tax-hiking, big-government liberal. Worse, he wants to ask other countries for permission for America to defend itself against its enemies. Last, and most important, my wife is better than his wife.

What you don't hear from President Bush's stump speech, or from his surrogates, is what he plans to do were he given another four years as president. The problem is particularly glaring on matters of foreign policy. There are glimmers of a domestic agenda in the president's two campaign events Wednesday: He wants to reform America's high schools, increase math and science education, and increase the use of the Internet in schools. He wants more ethanol subsidies. He wants to make health care more available and affordable. He wants less regulation. He likes community colleges. He wants workers to be able to acquire flex time and comp time in lieu of overtime pay.

Bush also gives his audiences a rehash of the greatest hits from his 2000 campaign mantras. He likes tort reform and dislikes "frivolous lawsuits." (A favorite line of Bush crowds: "You cannot be pro-patient and pro-doctor and pro-trial lawyer at the same time. You have to choose. My opponent made his choice, and he put him on the ticket.") He wants private Social Security accounts for younger workers. He likes marriage and the family, which always gets him a big cheer, because what it really means is he's against gay marriage. He's for a "culture of life," "judges who faithfully interpret the law instead of legislating from the bench," and a "culture of responsibility." Not to mention the responsibility society and the ownership society. He's still against the soft bigotry of low expectations. And of course, he wants everyone to love their neighbor just like you'd like to be loved yourself.

Bush doesn't talk much about the future. He talks about the past. The biggest portions of Bush's speech are spent mounting a vigorous defense of his presidency. When Bush's campaign foundered in New Hampshire four years ago, he retooled his strategy in response to John McCain and began billing himself as a "reformer with results." He's not using that slogan yet, but the rhetoric is similar. "It's not enough to advocate reform," he says. "You have to be able to get it done." The closing section of his speech ends with the mantra, "Results matter." On education, health care, the economy, farms, and security, Bush concludes by saying, "Results matter." Of his Medicare prescription drug benefit, Bush says, "Leaders in both political parties had promised prescription drug coverage for years. We got the job done."

Bush spends the longest amount of time defending his policies after Sept. 11. He takes credit for the creation of the Homeland Security Department (one of those things that Bush voted against before he voted for it), and he takes pride in the Patriot Act. Afghanistan has gone from being the "home base of al-Qaida" to being a "rising democracy." Pakistan, once a "safe transit point for terrorists," is now an ally. Saudi Arabia, he says, "is taking the fight to al-Qaida." Libya has given up its quest for weapons of mass destruction.

Most of all, Bush defends the war in Iraq. He repeats the litany of reasons for going to war: Saddam was defying the will of the United Nations, he harbored terrorists, he funded suicide bombers, he used weapons of mass destruction against his own people. "In other words, we saw a threat," Bush says. "Members of the United States Congress from both political parties, including my opponent, looked at the intelligence and came to the same conclusion."

What Bush doesn't acknowledge is what went wrong: The WMD were never found. We weren't welcomed as liberators. Oil revenues haven't paid for the war. It wasn't a cakewalk. What went wrong? Why? Given four more years, what does Bush plan to do about it? He hasn't told us yet, other than suggesting "more of the same."

"Every incumbent who asks for your vote has got to answer one central question, and that's 'Why?'" Bush says. "Why should the American people give me the high privilege of serving as your president for four more years?" The answer Bush gives to that question is his record. He says he deserves re-election because of what he has already done. At Wednesday's first event, in Davenport, Iowa, U.S. Rep. Jim Nussle embodies this attitude when he introduces Bush to the crowd. "There is no one I would have wanted to be at the helm of this country these last four years than you," Nussle says.

Bush and Nussle are asking the wrong question. The real question an incumbent faces is, what now? What's next? So far, Bush isn't telling. A president's record matters, but the reason it matters is because it has predictive value. Bush's defenders say he is a transformational figure, that he's willing to take on big problems and challenges. Wouldn't you like to know what Bush believes those big problems and challenges would be in foreign policy over the next four years? Are there gathering threats that, like Iraq, he thinks need to be tackled "before they materialize"? The president says that is the lesson of Sept. 11, that the nation must confront its security problems pre-emptively. Where else does he plan to apply that lesson? Does he plan to tell us?

After the 2002 midterm elections, when Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill objected to another round of tax cuts for the rich, Vice President Cheney told O'Neill to discard his worries. We won the midterm elections, Cheney said. "This is our due." As much as liberals dislike President Bush's record over the past four years, it's the prospect of another four years that terrifies them. What they want to know—what keeps them awake at night—is what President Bush hasn't answered yet: What are you going to do next? This time, what will be your due?

          John Kerry's Five-Star Campaign   

NEW YORK—Never mind the arrival of John Edwards; I knew the general election had begun when I got my own butler. During the penny-pinching primary season, when the candidates were constantly on the brink of bankruptcy, I followed campaigns that stayed at discount hotels and even supporters' homes. Not John Kerry—at least, not anymore. In the past three days, we stayed at the Westin in Pittsburgh, the Sheraton Sand Key Beach Resort in Clearwater, Fla., and the St. Regis Hotel in midtown Manhattan, where each room comes equipped with a 24-hour on-call Jeeves and where the rate for my room, picked up by Slate, was $299 a night. (On, it goes for $445.) Somewhere between March and July, the presidential campaign turned into an episode of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.

Not that there's anything wrong with that! "Say what you will about Kerry, at least he travels better than Gore," one reporter tells me. "Gore was all Super 8s and Econo Lodges." In Gore's defense (or Kerry's, depending on your perspective), the former vice president didn't have $180 million to burn.

Flush with cash—and still raising it, with $2 million flowing into the campaign after Thursday night's Radio City Music Hall gala and another $1.2 million after two Friday morning fund-raisers—the Kerry campaign is engaged in a scheme not unlike the one Richard Pryor is tasked with in Brewster's Millions: seeing how much money it can spend on deadline. Unless Kerry takes the unprecedented step of opting out of the public-financing system for the general election, he has to spend his remaining millions in the next three weeks. Once he formally accepts the Democratic nomination on July 29, he's got only $75 million for the next three months. By mid-August, my reporter friend might start grumbling again.

At least she'll still have the Kerry planes to enjoy. They're a long way from McFun, the Ford E-350 I rode in with Howard Dean nearly a year ago. I have yet to reach the hallowed ground of the real Kerry plane, which is reserved for the press pool, but the secondary press plane—paid for by its passenger-reporters—is a four-across, first-class affair, and the only restriction upon its travelers appears to be the assigned seating chart. Cell phones, Blackberries, and laptops whir throughout the flight. There are flight attendants, but they're there to lavish the press corps with food, not to take away our drinks during takeoff and landing or burden us with demands to wear our seatbelts, put away our tray tables, and place our seats in the upright position. Yet another media myth demolished: The national political press are alleged by some to be engaged in a devious scheme to force socialism upon an unwitting American public, but when we fly, we take Libertarian Airlines.

(A few overhead compartments burst open during our landing Wednesday in Cleveland, prompting some frenzied journalists to leap to their feet to prevent their belongings from spilling onto colleagues' heads. That's the price of freedom, I guess.)

The other big change from the primaries to the general election is the quality of the celebrities who support John Kerry. The Radio City Music Hall fund-raiser draws A-listers such as Sarah Jessica Parker and Wyclef Jean. In the lead-up to Kerry's surprising win in Iowa, by contrast, one press release heralded a "celebrity-studded RV tour" featuring—I am not making this up—Max Weinberg, some guy from Party of Five, and Kelly from The Real World: New Orleans.

Did anything of substance occur this week? Not really. Just your normal, run-of-the-mill campaign stops, with voters wearing T-shirts of the president surrounded by the words "International Terrorist" and the candidate making homoerotic jokes about his running mate. "I said to [Edwards], we've got to stop hugging like this," Kerry told a women's fund-raiser Friday morning. He then described a Jay Leno bit in which photos of Kerry and Edwards hugging and gazing adoringly at each other were aired to the tune of "You Are So Beautiful." Kerry loved it. "I just want you to know," he told the assembled audience, "I thought we made a great couple."

And I thought, you know what, John Kerry can be charming. When he's not irritating, that is, as he was Thursday night when he followed his boast that the Democratic ticket had "better hair" with, unbelievably, a pander to the bald vote. "My wife told me earlier, you just lost the bald vote," Kerry said. "Please don't. We're just having fun. You've gotta have fun."

          Trading Places   

LOS ANGELES—John Kerry did something I thought was impossible tonight. He turned himself into John Edwards. This may be the secret of Kerry's success in the Democratic primaries: What Bill Clinton did to infuriate the Republican Congress during his presidency, Kerry does to his fellow candidates. He co-opts their issues, their message, even their language. When Howard Dean was the obstacle in Kerry's path, the Massachusetts senator talked about throwing the special interests out of Washington and putting the people back in charge. Now that Edwards is the lone serious contender, Kerry pitches himself as the positive, optimistic candidate with "real solutions."

"I've offered a positive vision of what we ought to be doing in America," Kerry declared in the opening moments of Thursday's debate. "Once we have a nominee, this country will have an opportunity to hear a positive vision of how we can offer hope to Americans, optimism about the possibilities of the future, not divide America but bring it together to find real solutions. And that's what I'm offering: real solutions." Edwards must have felt like a sitcom character, the candidate for student council president watching his classmate deliver a stolen version of his speech. The "Real Solutions Express" is the name of Edwards' campaign bus. "Real Solutions for America" is the name of Edwards' 60-page policy booklet. It's also the phrase plastered across the top of Edwards' campaign Web site.

But unlike the sitcom character, who takes the podium and falls flat on his face, Edwards dominated the early portion of the debate. He throttled Kerry—with an assist from an aggressive Ron Brownstein—after Kerry couldn't explain why he thought the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional in 1996 but that a constitutional amendment isn't needed now to ensure that states are not forced to recognize gay marriages from other states. After Kerry's long-winded and unsatisfactory answer to whether he would vote for the Defense of Marriage Act today, Edwards jabbed, "I'm not sure what he said about that. But I would not vote for it." Then Edwards deftly moved to Kerry's left on the issue, saying he believes the federal government ought to be required to recognize gay marriages if they are recognized by a state. Edwards also looked strong when he confronted Al Sharpton to defend his support of the death penalty.

Despite the inclusion of Sharpton and Dennis Kucinich, they weren't much of a factor. They sat on the far end of the table away from the TV camera, and they were confined mostly to interjecting asides to the main debate between Kerry and Edwards. They seemed like the political debate version of the two grumpy old men who issue catcalls from the balcony during The Muppet Show.

But despite Edwards' strong start, by the end of the debate a second impossible transformation had occurred. John Edwards turned into John Kerry. Kerry answered a difficult question from Larry King about his opposition to the death penalty—"A person who kills a 5-year-old should live?"—clearly and directly. "Larry, my instinct is to want to strangle that person with my own hands," he said. But the system is flawed, it's applied unjustly, and as a matter of principle, "the state should not engage in killing." That's the best answer you can give to that unpopular position. Edwards, by contrast, sounded like the Kerry of old when he tried to explain why he supports a system that King said "nearly executed over 100 people who didn't do it." He talked about how "serious" the issue was, and how "serious steps" need to be taken, such as "making the court system work." Finally, King bailed him out: But why do you favor capital punishment? Oh yeah, Edwards seemed to think, that's what I should be talking about, and he brought up some liberal red meat: "Those men who dragged James Byrd behind that truck in Texas, they deserve the death penalty."

On another occasion, Brownstein had to repeatedly query Edwards to get him to explain whether there were any substantive differences between him and Kerry on the issue of reforming the way Washington works. "Do you view Sen. Kerry as part of the solution or part of the problem?" Brownstein asked. Edwards dodged the question. "Is there a difference in your commitment to this cause and what you see from Sen. Kerry?" Brownstein tried again. "Yes," Edwards said, because I'm an outsider. But that's not substantive, Brownstein objected. "He is saying many of the same things. Are you saying that he is less committed?" Edwards demurred.

Then Kerry swooped in to damn Edwards with praise. "I don't think there fundamentally is a difference," he said. "I mean, John has raised almost 50 percent of his money from one group of people in the United States"—"Is that the trial lawyers?" King interrupted—"That's correct. And I don't ever suggest that he is beholden to them," Kerry continued magnanimously. "Because I know he stood up on the patients' bill of rights."

The real Kerry returned a few moments later, with a preposterously unclear statement on his first executive order: "Reverse the Mexico City policy on the gag rule so that we take a responsible position globally on family planning." But then Edwards picked up the Kerry torch when Los Angeles Times editorial page editor Janet Clayton asked him how he can criticize the president for a war that he voted for. Edwards tried to appear thoughtful and serious, saying he gave "an awful lot of thought and study to it." Not only that, "I was worried about it. All of us were. I took this responsibility seriously." But why did you vote for it? "What we did is we voted on a resolution," Edwards stammered. And Bush didn't conduct the war properly. "So are you saying you were suckered?" Clayton asked.

King asked Edwards if he regrets his vote for the war. "I did what I believed was right at the time," Edwards said. "Do you regret it?" King asked again. "I did what I believed was right at the time," Edwards repeated. "Do you regret it?" King asked again, this time to laughter. "We don't get to go back, Larry," Edwards insisted. "Well, you can regret something," King said.

Kerry pounced on his chance to play Edwards to Edwards' Kerry. "Let me return a favor from the last debate to John," he said. "You asked a yes-or-no answer: 'Do you regret your vote?' The answer is: No. I do not regret my vote. I regret that we have a president of the United States who misled America and broke every promise he made the United States Congress." Substantively, this is the same answer Edwards gave, but it was clear instead of evasive and concise instead of tortuous.

It couldn't have been clearer: Edwards had become Kerry and Kerry had become Edwards. Kerry's critics will likely see this as more evidence of flip-flopping opportunism. Kerry will likely see it as victory.


MEMPHIS—This is the way a campaign ends. It clings to flailing hopes that Rupert Murdoch and the National Enquirer will bring down the front-runner. The candidate's wife complains to a TV reporter about the media's coverage of her husband. The Washington Post beat reporter says his newspaper is pulling him from the campaign, whether the candidate keeps going or not. During a three-hour ride from Nashville to Memphis, the campaign doesn't provide a campaign spokesman on the press bus. Phone calls and pages go unanswered. The press bus joke is whether the new Clark campaign song should be Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire" ("down, down down ..."), Frank Sinatra's "That's Life" ("I thought of quittin', baby, but my heart just ain't gonna buy it"), or Beck's "Loser." Asked about comments from the candidate's son that major changes could be happening in the campaign after the Virginia and Tennessee primaries, Ian Alberg, a campaign staffer says, laughing, "Fire me please," so he can collect unemployment. And, with the possible exception of Wes Clark Jr., anytime anyone says anything interesting, it's off the record.

Exactly a week ago, everyone was certain that Wesley Clark was going to drop out of the presidential campaign after the Feb. 3 primaries until he pulled off a last-minute win in Oklahoma. On Tuesday morning, the Magic 8-Ball once again says that signs point to yes, but there's enough conflicting evidence to keep things muddled for much of the day. The campaign's primary-night party was going to be in Nashville, but it gets moved to Memphis—presumably because Memphis is three hours closer to Clark's home in Little Rock, where he would go after quitting the campaign. But Wes Clark Jr. tells reporters that his father will continue to Super Tuesday, no matter what, because his father told him so Monday night. At a polling place in Nashville, Clark sounds like Howard Dean, telling a voter that he's just waiting for voters to tire of John Kerry. "What's gonna happen is buyer's remorse," he says. "You know, the purpose of a campaign is to wring it out." The day before, to another voter, he said, "I've got a real shot in Wisconsin," and a lot of support in Hollywood.

Still, no one really believes that Clark is staying in the race. At 1:55 p.m., Alberg says, "We're going to Wisconsin tomorrow," but within 20 minutes, reporters on the press bus are still calling sources to arrange interviews for post-mortem stories about the campaign. No one knows who to trust for news about the campaign. Does the staff know? Does Wes Jr. know? Does the general know?

At a stop at Noshville, a Nashville deli, candidate Clark doesn't bother with talking to voters, despite his staff's admonitions. Instead, he sits down and eats lunch for an hour. On the bus to Memphis, he takes a nap. "It's been a pretty nice day, all told," he says once we arrive in Memphis. "It's one of the more restful days I've had on the campaign."

At 5:30 p.m., we stop at a polling place in Memphis. "This is a hallelujah day," a voter calls out to the general. "We're gonna win this thing." Clark's staff urges him to talk to voters on their way in to the polls. "I don't want to be running, like I'm assaulting people," he objects. "You've got to be subtle about it." He tells a voter holding a piece of campaign literature, "My name's on that ballot. No, it isn't. That's a different ballot. Where's my sample ballot?" A staff member hands it to him. "That's my name, Wesley Clark. There's a lot of other people's names, but you don't pay attention to them." He's a four-star general and a major-party presidential candidate, handing out sample ballots. It should be an inspiring example of democracy in action. Instead, it's kind of sad.

Clark, however, is having a blast. "This is pretty much fun, isn't it?" he says. When his staff tells him its time to go, he complains. "Do we have to go? Why can't we just stay?" At another point, he just bursts out giggling. "It just kind of tickles me to see it," he tells the assembled reporters. What's so funny? "You're looking at me. The election's not abut me. It's about all these people who are voting." Since that answer doesn't make any sense, I can only speculate that Clark was struck by the the absurdity of the entire day. In the latest sign of the campaign's impending demise, staffers begin taking pictures of each other like it's the last day of summer camp.

Back on the press bus, we hear that CNN has reported that Clark canceled a fund-raiser in Houston. "Nothing's been canceled," Alberg says. Traveling press secretary Jamal Simmons says, "There is no plan to exit anything tonight except Tennessee." Later, Alberg adds, "He's going to make a speech tonight. He's not going to concede tonight."

It sure sounds like a concession speech. Clark hits strange notes, such as "It just doesn't get any better than this." He congratulates Kerry and John Edwards, calling them "patriots." He doesn't talk about his future plans or where he's going next. Instead, he talks broadly and praises the Democratic Party. He may have lost this race, he says, but "we're not going to lose the battle for America's future." And the song they play at the end is the one that Clark lobbied to have as his campaign song, one that's disliked by his staff: Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'." Following his father on the way out of the room, Wes Jr's eyes are moist.

Shortly after the speech, 19 journalists huddle outside Clark's room—the Danny Thomas Suite—at the downtown Marriott to demand information on what the campaign is going to do next. The person staying across the hall walks out, and I think he's going to complain about the noise. Instead, it turns out that he's a fellow reporter. He says he overheard some people—he was watching them through his room's peephole—say that Clark had already notified his staff that he was dropping out. But he didn't recognize the speaker.

Just before 10 p.m., we're told that communications director Matt Bennett will come to the press filing center at 11:15 p.m. with an announcement. We pile in the elevator and go downstairs. At about 10:05, we're told that Bennett is coming now. Before he arrives, CNN flashes on the crawl: "AP: Wesley Clark abandons presidential campaign." Bennett shows up and confirms the report.

Not that we really needed confirmation. The candidate had said as much in the ballroom after his speech. He was shaking hands and thanking his supporters. I wish you had competed in the Iowa caucuses, says a supporter. "I wish I had, too," Clark replies. "Everything might have been different if I had done that." Then he walked out.

          Closing Arguments   

NASHUA, N.H.—I'm feeling sorry for Dennis Kucinich. And the feeling just makes me feel even sorrier, because pity isn't the emotion he's trying to evoke. Kucinich is standing in front of more than 1,000 Democrats at a fund-raiser Saturday night for the New Hampshire Democratic Party, at which every candidate in the New Hampshire primary except Al Sharpton is scheduled to speak. Kucinich must know that he's not going to win Tuesday night, but at the same time he surely fantasizes that this is his moment, this is his chance to make a winning, last-ditch appeal for his unlikely candidacy.

I am the only candidate who voted against the Iraq war and the Patriot Act, Kucinich proclaims to fervent applause. I am the only candidate "who insists on an immediate end to the occupation." Imagine a presidential debate between President Bush and my opponents (other than Al Sharpton), he says. They supported the war, they voted for the invasion, or they support the occupation. "Where's the debate with President Bush?" he asks.

And it's not just the war. Kucinich wants not-for-profit single-payer health care, and his opponents don't. "This is the time," Kucinich is saying, but I can't hear the rest. He's being drowned out, at least in the back of the room where I stand, by cries of "How-ard! How-ard! How-ard! How-ard!" coming from the hallway, where Howard Dean must have just arrived. Nearly a year of campaigning by the Ohio congressman for the highest office in the land is summed up in this moment. What must it be like to imagine yourself as the leader of an incipient movement for progressivism and then to have that movement led by another man, one that you view as a charlatan?

The night's other tragic figure is Joe Lieberman. He's begging for scraps of support by appealing to state pride, the last refuge of a second-tier candidate. "Hey, let me tell you this, I love New Hampshire," he says. "Did you see me at the debate the other day? I swore to God to fight to the death to protect the first-in-the-nation status of the New Hampshire Democratic primary." Lieberman knows he's not popular, but he's hoping against hope, too. "Looking around this room, I see there are some people supporting some other candidates for president, and I respect that diversity," he says.

See, Lieberman's not a conservative Democrat. He's diverse! "I have never wavered for a moment" on the need to remove Saddam Hussein, he says, and it sounds like three people clap. I'm more electable than the others, he says, because there are "a surprising number of Republicans who are disappointed with George W. Bush and ready to go for an acceptable alternative." There's a winning Democratic primary message: The candidate whom Republicans kinda like!

Lieberman can't get it right even when he's shoring up his liberal bona fides by talking about his plan to fight poverty. "Is it right for George W. Bush to have turned his back on 35 Americans in poverty?" he asks, omitting the crucial word, "million." But he's not discouraged. "I feel something happening in this campaign for me," he says. "My staff says that in New Hampshire today, there is an outbreak of 'Joe-mentum,' and I hope so." That's only the latest painful "Joe" pun in a Lieberman campaign list that includes the "Joe-vember to remember" and the campaign vehicle, the "WinnebaJoe."

As he's wrapping up, thanking "the people of New Hampshire for the warmth and respect" they have given him, Lieberman's speech has the feeling of a farewell, very much like a speech I saw Dick Gephardt give the night before the Iowa caucuses. Miracles do happen, and the Lieberman campaign is circulating a poll that shows him in a fight for third place (most polls show him mired in fifth), but inside this room it feels as if Lieberman, like Kucinich, is clinging to a fantasy.

Of the other candidates, Wesley Clark comes across the worst. "I haven't been a member of this party for very long," he says, and the crowd grumbles. "I know," shouts one man, while another calls out, "No shit!" Now that Dean has turned down his volume, Clark is the race's screamer, and he sounds a little unhinged. "We Democrats have got to take out that president," he says, in an unfortunate turn of phrase for one of the two candidates that has actually killed people. The crowd's applause is polite but tepid, and the race feels like it's slipping away from Clark, too.

The chair of the Democratic Party, Kathy Sullivan, introduces Dean as if he's a figure from the distant past, praising him for energizing the party "at a time when we were tired and unsure of ourselves." Dean draws big cheers, but they mostly come from the people in the back rows and in standing-room-only. A woman calls out to him, "Howard, don't ever give up." A man yells, "Give 'em hope, Howard!" Dean's eyebrows rise as he smiles his wicked grin. "I'm going to resist the temptation," he says.

Nearly a year ago, Dean appeared before the Democratic National Committee's winter meeting and declared, "What I want to know is why in the world the Democratic Party leadership is supporting the president's unilateral attack on Iraq." He pricked the post-9/11 bubble surrounding Bush and in the process transformed himself from a curiosity into a contender. But his speech Saturday barely touches on Iraq. He also says something I don't think I've ever heard him say before: "I ask for your vote."

John Edwards captivates the crowd. Edwards doesn't transfix me the way he does other members of the press. His way of merely describing his message as "positive" and "optimistic" and "uplifting" rather than, you know, actually having a message that embodies those qualities grates on me. What's the difference between Edwards' rhetoric and the awkward "Message: I care" rhetoric of George H.W. Bush? Edwards also has this new gesture he's using, where he puts a finger to his lips to appear thoughtful, that makes him look like Austin Powers.

But his message undoubtedly connects. He enters to enthusiastic applause, though it's not Dean-level. His speech about two Americas, about the importance of fighting poverty, and the borrowed Deanisms about restoring American democracy and taking it away from "that crowd of insiders in Washington, D.C.," and the "I believe in you" conclusion wins nearly everyone over. Edwards has become Howard Dean in the body of a good-looking, smooth-talking Southerner, and as he did in Iowa, he feels hot, hot, hot.

Of course, they're all Dean now. (Or, as The Nation'sDavid Corn put it, they're "the Angry Populist, the Calm Populist, the Polite Populist, the Executive Populist, and the Radical Populist.") John Kerry, who I think has the support of the majority of the crowd, says he wants to "break the grip of the powerful interests in this country and put the people in charge."

If Kerry, or whoever is the party's nominee, becomes president in 2005, he'll have Howard Dean to thank. Dean won. That's why he's losing.

          Organization Man   

DES MOINES, IOWA—Tim Connolly should be scared, maybe even terrified, that Howard Dean is going to lose and lose big. Not because of the much-touted polls that show Dean sinking to a four-way tie in Iowa with the caucuses less than 48 hours away, but because Connolly, the Dean campaign's Iowa state field director, has seen the campaign's internal numbers. And using traditional Iowa math, the numbers don't look good.

"We did an analysis of our 'ones' "—the voters the campaign has determined are committed to caucusing for Dean (a "two" is a leaner, and a "three" is undecided), Connolly says. "Sixty-five percent of them have never caucused before, which is an extremely high number and would scare the shit out of most campaigns," because they'd be worried that the voters wouldn't show up Monday night. But Connolly's not scared. "Common sense would say I should be, but I'm not," he says. "We have the organizational strength to meet that challenge."

Organization. It's the mantra of every pundit on television and every campaign on the ground two days before the caucuses. At most of the candidate events I've attended since arriving in Iowa Thursday, I had the feeling I was watching a sideshow from the real campaign that was taking place somewhere else: on the streets and in people's homes. The story of the final days of Dean's Iowa campaign isn't his bus trip or his stump speeches. It's his 3,500 out-of-state volunteers who've come from all over the country—and farther, including three expatriates from Tokyo—to canvass the state. Over the course of the campaign's final three days, they're knocking on more than 200,000 doors. If Dean wins Monday, Connolly and the campaign will have proved that the Internet's effect on politics isn't just about fund-raising or Meetup or blogging. The Internet can win the ground war.

"We did an analysis of every precinct that is walkable, which is not a precise science," Connolly says. Those walkable precincts make up only about a third of the state's 1,993 precincts, but they include probably 85 percent to 90 percent of the delegate total. The Dean campaign mapped each one using computer software, and it determined the address of every registered Democrat and independent voter in the precincts. Suitably armed with the map, the addresses, and the right amount of Dean paraphernalia, the volunteers are swarming the state. Even if they don't convert a single voter, they return with important information—who's supporting Kerry or Edwards or Gephardt, who's undecided but going to the caucuses, who likes Dean but needs a babysitter to be able to caucus—that the campaign can use to fine-tune its strategy up to the final hours.

What does this have to do with the Internet? The vast majority of the volunteers who make up this weekend's "Perfect Storm" for Dean signed up online, transmitting their names, their housing needs, their flight information, and more. "We could not do the Storm without the Internet," Connolly says. Nor could the campaign have been prepared well enough to have specific jobs ready for each volunteer as he or she arrived. "It's still just the Stormers knocking on a door. But the back end—they would not be here and effectively employed and utilized were it not for the Internet."

The Net is the tool that's enabled the Dean campaign to capitalize on the grass-roots energy created by its candidate. In the past, an insurgent candidate like Dean would generate excitement, but he wouldn't be able to turn it into an organization. "This happened with Gary Hart," says Connolly, who worked for Hart's '84 campaign. "You got excited about the guy named Gary Hart, you liked what he was saying, but there was no local office to call, you couldn't go to a Meetup, etc."

The Internet excels at just keeping people involved with the campaign. "A volunteer who has nothing to do will become discouraged and no longer volunteer," Connolly says. "You used to do things. You'd have cases of envelopes, and you'd have people address them. And when they're done, you'd throw them away." Or you'd have volunteers enter unnecessary data into computers. Just to keep people involved and interested in the campaign and the candidate. The Dean blog serves the same function, while also serving as a communications medium and a fund-raising tool. The role of the Internet and the blog in the campaign's ground organization is what Dean's skeptics haven't understood, Connolly says. "They think that the Dean campaign is simply a cybercampaign. They don't realize that each of those people also lives in the analog world."

Just a couple of hours after I finished talking with Connolly, the Dean campaign was hit with its latest piece of bad news: the latest Des Moines Register poll, which shows Kerry in the lead with 26 percent, followed by Edwards at 23 percent, Dean at 20 percent, Gephardt at 18 percent, and a 4 percent margin of error. Connolly told me he doesn't "lose any sleep over the Zogby poll or any other poll," because he knows their strength on the ground.

Of course, every campaign hails its organizational strength. Gephardt spokesman Bill Burton told the Des Moines Register of his candidate's campaign, "This has been an organizational force in the state that has never been seen before by anybody, Democrats or Republicans." I asked Connolly what he'd be banking on if he were Gephardt's field director. Organized labor, the fact that he's won Iowa before, "and just the general denial that goes on in campaigns," he said. Monday night, we'll see who's in denial.

          Mira el tráiler de Other Music, un documental muy “Indie”   

El año pasado, Other Music, la legendaria tienda de discos independiente de Nueva York presente desde 1995, cerró sus puertas. Ahora, la historia de la tienda de discos busca ser narrada en el film, según Pitchfork. El documental incluirá apariciones de los fundadores, Josh Madell, Chris Vanderloo y Jeff Gibson, así como actuaciones grabadas de […]

La entrada Mira el tráiler de Other Music, un documental muy “Indie” aparece primero en Freim.

          A Browser's Guide to Campaign 2004, Cont'd   

On Aug. 14, 1991, Vermont Gov. Richard Snelling died and was replaced by his mostly unknown lieutenant governor. The state's press corps could only wonder, "Who is Howard Dean?" writes David Moats, the editorial page editor of the Rutland Herald, in the introduction to Howard Dean: A Citizen's Guide to the Man Who Would Be President. The book is written by "a team of reporters for Vermont's Rutland Herald & Times-Argus" who purport to know Dean best. Moats writes, "It took the next decade for those of us in the press, and our readership, to gain an understanding of the energetic, ambitious politician who was sworn into office that summer afternoon in 1991."

Unfortunately for the nation, the Vermont press corps can't give us 10 years to gain an understanding of Howard Dean. Instead, they've given us 245 pages. The book sketches a pretty positive portrait, but fair or not, the juicy parts tend to be Dean's lesser-known lowlights:

Like father, unlike son: After being rejected for World War II service "on medical grounds," Dean's father volunteers for a civilian job helping the Allied cause in North Africa. (When Dean bypassed Vietnam under similar circumstances, he went skiing.)

Strange bedfellows: Brother Jim Dean (who now works for the campaign) describes his brother's 1971 graduation from Yale: "We get to Howard's room, and he isn't there, but there are a bunch of people apparently living there who aren't Yale students but are kind of street people with tattoos and all."

Governor who? On the day he took office, "Dean was considered a relatively minor figure, almost a lightweight," writes Darren Allen, chief of the Vermont Press Bureau. "Democratic Lt. Gov. Howard Dean outstripped other Vermont politicians for anonymity," the Associated Press had reported that morning. "Dean has been elected to statewide office three times, but 39 percent of those questioned had no opinion of him or had not heard of him."

Lights out: In one of Dean's first major decisions as governor, he sided with power companies in favor of a 25-year contract to purchase electricity from Quebec. Environment groups opposed the project because of Hydro-Quebec's damming of state rivers; human-rights groups worried about the fate of the Cree Indians, whose land would be flooded; and consumer groups worried whether the plan would even save Vermont money. The consumer groups, at least, turned out to be right: "In the late 1990s, Vermont's two biggest power companies nearly became insolvent as they struggled to pay what turned out to be high costs for Quebec power." Vermont consumers and businesses received "steep rate increases."

Not-so-green Dean: As governor, Dean turned out to be pro-conservation but anti-regulation, a position that some environmentalists find hard to reconcile. The state bought and preserved more than 470,000 acres of wild land, but Dean's administration also gutted or ignored Vermont's environmental regulations in order to land new business development. Upon retirement, the executive officer of Vermont's Water Resources Board charged Dean's administration with underfunding the state's Agency of Natural Resources and with politicizing environmental science: "ANR has not been given the resources to adequately do its job and too often the scientifically sound recommendations by ANR technical staff are overruled in final permit decisions by political appointees." (Dean's budget chief admits in the book that some agencies, including the Department of Natural Resources, were underfunded: "I agree that they didn't have enough money to do what they were authorized to do.")

In general, Dean showed a disdain for Vermont's legal and regulatory processes in favor of ad hoc deal-making and what he called "common sense" and "reason." Dean's critics say he abandoned a 20-year approach of appointing locally respected officials to environmental commissions. Instead, he "seems to have looked to people who wouldn't oppose his philosophy, who wouldn't demand tiresome scientific data and who wouldn't mind working for a governor who might inject himself in cases," writes Hamilton E. Davis, former managing editor of the Burlington Free Press. Some of Dean's defenders argue that he "never really understood the damage he was doing to the regulatory system."

Like governor, like candidate: Dean "never quite grasped the idea that he was something other than a normal guy," Davis writes. "He was smarter than most, of course, and with an unusual job, but otherwise he seems to have considered himself an ordinary guy who could say pretty much whatever crossed his mind without getting too wrought up over it."

More love from fellow Democrats: The book relies in many places on All Politics Is Personal, a memoir by Ralph Wright, the Democratic speaker of the Vermont House during much of Dean's political life in the state. "I guess this was the one thing I never could understand about Howard Dean. He always seemed so ready to abandon his cause at the first sign of defeat," Wright complains. "Maybe it was his medical training that toughened him to the certain failures that awaited us all. Maybe it was an unwillingness to have any cause at all, at least any cause for which he was willing to risk his political skin. … It wasn't just causes he was willing to abandon, he was capable of acting the same with people."

Safety second: Dean, at a press conference explaining why he wanted Vermont's Agency of Transportation to stop removing some steep rock walls along a section of the interstate that the agency had deemed too dangerous: "I got sick and tired of looking at [the construction] on my way back and forth between Montpelier and Burlington. … I'm not a safety expert. … If someone gets killed, then it's one someone who didn't have to die. It's very hard to second-guess this. But I react the way a Vermonter has to, to this. I don't like it."

Davis, the former Burlington Free Press managing editor, cites the incident as a good example of Dean's managerial style, "which was to give the agency secretaries something close to full autonomy, but then to hold them accountable publicly." 

Dean's Kentucky campaign begins poorly: Letters received by Dean after he signed Vermont's civil-unions bill: "I was really sorry to read where you have allowed the passage of a bill recognizing queers to marry," wrote someone from Kentucky, "who vowed never to vacation in Vermont again." "I have been a Democrat all my life, but now that the Democrats are turning into queers, I am switching to the Republican Party. I hope you and all your queer buddies rot in hell."

Another said, "Dean Is a Faggot Lover. All Homosexuals, Go to Vermont, Dean Loves You. All Normal People, Stay Away From Vermont. A State Full Of Perverts—Run By Perverts. Boycott Fag Run Vermont." On one fund-raising walk after the bill-signing, an elderly woman walked up to Dean and said, "You fucking, queer-loving son of a bitch."

          "We'll See If It Happens"   

NASHUA, N.H.—The metaphor of choice for Howard Dean's Internet-fueled campaign is "open-source politics": a two-way campaign in which the supporters openly collaborate with the campaign to improve it, and in which the contributions of the "group mind" prove smarter than that of any lone individual.

Dean campaign manager Joe Trippi has admitted on numerous occasions (including this Slashdot post) that his time in Silicon Valley affected his thinking about politics. "I used to work for a little while for Progeny Linux Systems," Trippi told cyber-guru Lawrence Lessig in an August interview. "I always wondered how could you take that same collaboration that occurs in Linux and open source and apply it here. What would happen if there were a way to do that and engage everybody in a presidential campaign?"

But tonight, at the end of a town hall meeting at Daniel Webster College, is the first time I've seen the metaphor in action. Even if it had nothing to do with the Internet.

At the end of tonight's event, Paul Johnson, an independent voter from Nashua who supported John McCain in 2000 and has supported Dean since May, tells Dean that he's "deeply troubled" by the idea that his candidate is going to turn down federal matching funds and bust the caps on campaign spending. Politics is awash in too much money, Johnson says. Why not take the moral high ground and abide by the current system? That sounds like a great idea until Bush spends $200 million, Dean says. Well, then "challenge him to spend less," Johnson replies. Tell him you'll stay under the spending limits if he does, too. Dean's face lights up. "I'll do that at the press conference on Saturday," he says. "That's a great idea." (Saturday at noon is when Dean is scheduled to announce the results of the campaign vote on whether to abandon public financing.)

I walk over to Dean's New Hampshire press secretary, Matthew Gardner, and tell him his candidate just agreed, in an instant, to announce on Saturday that he'll stay under the federal spending caps for publicly financed candidates, if President Bush agrees to do the same (which, admittedly, is more than a little unlikely.) Gardner looks puzzled, then laughs. "That'll be interesting," he says. "We'll see if it happens."

          Notes From New Hampshire   

MANCHESTER, N.H.—Notes on a day in New Hampshire:

The first Wednesday of every month is Meetup day for Howard Dean supporters, so they're gathered in a cramped restaurant called Merrimack, waiting for the candidate to arrive. It's close to a Holiday Inn where Dean and the other candidates will participate in a "women's issues" debate sponsored by Planned Parenthood. Merrimack is packed with media, including Joe Klein ("Hi, Joe," Dean says when he gets there) and George Stephanopoulos, who appears to be dressed in the same black turtleneck Wesley Clark and Dennis Kucinich wore Tuesday night.

Once Dean arrives, he stands atop a chair to address the crowd. "It's not true that I'm the shortest candidate in the campaign," he says. "In fact, I may be in the top half." This isn't as preposterous as it sounds. There are nine candidates, and only John Kerry, John Edwards, and Dick Gephardt are indisputably taller than Dean. Dennis Kucinich and Carol Moseley Braun are shorter. That leaves a fierce battle for the vital center among Dean, Wesley Clark, Al Sharpton, and Joe Lieberman. Maybe at the next debate they should all line up in their stocking feet.

During his speech, Dean clearly urges his supporters (who are voting this week on whether the campaign should turn down federal matching funds) to let him bust the federal spending caps: "It's a gamble, and there's good things to be said for both sides. But I fundamentally do not believe we can compete with George Bush if we limit our spending to $45 million."

Earlier in the day, Dean delivered a speech in New York (which I watch from the comfort of my Manchester hotel room, on to announce the vote. What catches my eye: While criticizing President Bush's "powerful money-bundlers," Dean said, "They are people like Walden O'Dell, a 2004 Pioneer, who is also manufacturing electronic voting machines to count our votes, and has said that he is, quote, 'committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year.' " Does Dean believe that the Republican Party is going to manipulate electronic voting machines to steal the 2004 election? At Merrimack, I ask him. He admits that he doesn't know much about the subject, but he sounds open to the possibility. "I think it's a serious issue," he says.

A line Dean says to a supporter that he might want to consider dropping: "The only difference between me and McGovern is we're going to be in the White House."

Things of interest during the Planned Parenthood debate:

The candidates are asked to grade themselves on their parenting, and Dean and Clark give the most interesting answers. "I will not pretend for a moment that I did 50 percent of the work, but I did a lot," Dean says. Clark is even more honest. "I don't give myself a very good grade, but I had an A-plus wife," he says. "Sometimes you get better than you deserve in life, and I've been lucky."

They are also asked, "Do you practice a faith, and would you invoke the name of God when discussing a policy?" Nearly every one of them gives the safe answer, that their faith is important to them, but that they respect the separation of church and state. "I pray every night, but don't go to church very often," says Dean. "My religion does not inform my public policy, but it does inform my values," is Edwards's answer, and he adds, "The president of the United States should not be setting policy for the country based on his or her faith."

Only Kucinich dissents. (Along with Clark, Kerry, and Braun, he's one of four Catholics at the debate. Although Braun and Clark self-identify as Catholics, Braun attends an Episcopal church and Clark attends a Presbyterian one.) He says that within the context of a pluralistic society, religious values can and should influence public policy. "We must live our spiritual values in our public policy," such as full employment, health care, and education, he says. "A government that stands for peace reflects spiritual values." After the debate, I try to ask Kucinich about the relationship between his faith and his public policy, but I get off on the wrong foot by saying that he changed his abortion position to pro-choice "right before" he started running for president. "Wrong," Kucinich says, it was spring 2002. The discussion goes nowhere from there.

Since the topic came up, after the debate I also ask Clark why he converted to Catholicism as a young man, and why he no longer practices.

"When I was in England during the Vietnam War, the Nonconformist churches over there were just extraordinarily political. And I just couldn't go to service and have them condemn the armed forces that I was serving in. I mean, they were my West Point classmates there, and they were being accused of terrible crimes, and it wasn't so," he says.

"I believed in the structure, and the balance, and the long-term durability of the Catholic Church, and that's why I converted to Catholicism. But over the years as we went from location to location and saw the church, we found that our spiritual needs were better met by attendance at Protestant services. The services were richer in their spiritual meaning. And of course I still consider myself a Catholic. But I enjoy the singing, I enjoy the sermon, I enjoy the fellowship in the Protestant services. It's just a much deeper spiritual experience. That's for me."

Back to the debate. Three of the candidates say 18-year-old women should be required to register for Selective Service, just like 18-year-old men. "If you have different standards, that begins the path toward discrimination," Dean says. Clark and Kerry say yes, too. Edwards says no, and Braun says it would be OK if it weren't for the fact that one in four women at the Air Force Academy are victims of sexual assault or rape. Kucinich gives my favorite answer, an attempt to have it both ways: "No, not that they can't, if they want to."

What role would a "first lady, first man, or first friend" play in their administrations? There are three interesting answers. Dean confirms that "I'd very much like to be the first president who has a working wife in the White House" who does not participate in his career. Braun, who is divorced, says, "This is an impossible question. There has never been a First Man or First Gentleman." Like Dean, but with more flair, she concludes, "You'll get me, but you'll get no one for free."

But it's Kucinich, who also is divorced, who steals the show. "As a bachelor, I get a chance to fantasize about my first lady. Maybe Fox wants to sponsor a national contest or something," he says. He adds that he wants "someone who would not want to just be by my side," but would be a "dynamic outspoken women who was fearless" in her support for peace in the world and universal, single-payer health care. So, "If you're out there, call me."

          Psychedelica 2011   

The ICA (Institute of Contemporary Arts in London) Home to the best new art and culture from Britain and around the world is hosting its fundraising party

La historia de la antigua ciudad de Santa Fe se descubre en las Ruinas de Santa Fe La Vieja, antiguo emplazamiento en el que pueden admirarse las huellas del ayer.


El sitio corresponde al asentamiento en el que estuvo la ciudad de Santa Fe desde su fundación en 1573 hasta la década de 1660, cuando fue trasladada 78 kilómetros hacia el sur. Su localización y excavación se debe a Agustín Zapata Gollán (1895-1986), quien inició sus investigaciones a mediados de 1949. En el sitio pueden distinguirse dos áreas que tuvieron usos y formas de ocupación diferenciadas: el entorno de la Plaza de Armas, con solares dedicados a usos religiosos, administrativos y viviendas, y la zona de las "cuadras", dedicadas a cultivos urbanos (frutales y viñedos). El río San Javier ha erosionado el sector próximo a la Plaza, donde se encontraban la Iglesia Matriz, la Iglesia de la Compañía de Jesús, la iglesia de San Roque y la casa del propio Juan de Garay. El área actual del sitio de casi 69 hectáreas corresponde a las dos terceras partes de la traza fundacional. En este sector se ubican el remanente de la Plaza de Armas, las iglesias conventuales de San Francisco, Santo Domingo y La Merced, el Cabildo y un número significativo de viviendas, entre ellas: las de Cristóbal de Garay, nieto del fundador, y las de Alonso Fernández Montiel, Francisco de Páez, el escribano Juan de Cifuentes, Juan González de Ataide y Manuel Ravelo. De las construcciones originales se conservan partes bajas de los muros y sus cimientos, construidos con la técnica de tapia o tierra apisonada, además de fragmentos de tejas, algunas de ellas con dibujos e inscripciones. En relación con estas estructuras, las investigaciones arqueológicas han puesto a la luz un importante caudal de objetos que testimonian la vida de la ciudad hasta mediados del siglo XVII: cerámica indígena, hispano-indígena y española, porcelana oriental, tejas, ladrillos, monedas, medallas, cuentas de collares y rosarios, amuletos, útiles de labranza y herramientas. El registro arqueológico da cuenta de una sociedad compleja y pluriétnica en la que conviven españoles, mestizos, aborígenes y africanos. Dentro del recinto de los templos las excavaciones dejaron al descubierto los restos de los pobladores allí enterrados, dos centenares de sepulcros de los cuales Zapata Gollán pudo identificar algunos de los más importantes, entre ellos los de la hija de Garay, fundador de la ciudad, y su esposo Hernandarias de Saavedra, el primer gobernador criollo del Río de la Plata.


  • Campo de la Doma

  • Reserva ecológica

  • Museo de Sitio

  • La Posta

  • Parque

  • Cabildo

  • Iglesias de San Francisco, Santo Domingo y La Merced

  • Casas de González de Ataide, Garay, Páez, Cifuentes, Fernández Montiel

  • Casa ambientada de Vera Muxica

  • Plaquetario

  • Parque Santa Fe de Granada

  • Ambiente natural

  • Borde Río San Javier

          "La lectura no entusiasma a los chicos de hoy. ¿Acaso lo hacía en el pasado?"   
Entrevistada por Claudio Martyniuk.

De la exigencia por memorizar en la Edad Media a la necesidad actual de manejar todos los soportes, leer es siempre una actividad que oscila entre el placer y los obstáculos. La escuela no es ajena a visiones tan extremas.
La historia de las tecnologías de escritura y lectura, así como de los soportes materiales de los textos, se entrelaza con la historia de la alfabetización. Y la lectura de ese pasado brinda una renovada comprensión del presente y de las tareas de la escuela ante un objeto clave de nuestra cultura: el libro. Sobre él descansa, ambiguamente, la pretensión civilizatoria. Anne-Marie Chartier es una especialista en la historia de las prácticas de enseñanza de la lectura y escritura reconocida internacionalmente. Visitó Buenos Aires para dictar un seminario en el posgrado en Lectura, escritura y educación de Flacso. En la Edad Media pocas personas sabían leer y accedían a los libros. En los conventos surgió la lectura silenciosa, interna. Esa innovación, ¿qué proyección tuvo?Fue muy importante porque instaló los gestos intelectuales del trabajo con los libros que se mantienen hasta hoy. Pero si bien instaló la lectura mental, moderna y muy rápida, hay una diferencia fundamental con la manera de leer actual: en el medioevo, leer era memorizar íntegramente los textos fundamentales, mientras que hoy lo que esperamos de la lectura mental es la extracción de las informaciones principales de un texto y no su memorización literal. Durante siglos se enseñó a los niños que leer era fijar la memoria literal de un texto. Y los saberes que eran considerados fundamentales para los niños eran los religiosos, los cuales son leídos, repetidos, cantados, recitados. El lugar donde hoy podemos encontrar este estilo de lectura es la poesía. La lectura de poesía nos da una idea de lo que era la lectura en la Edad Media.La minoritaria lectura de poesía en parte parece tener que ver con la falta de lectura en voz alta. ¿Es una pérdida irremediable?No. Felizmente existen los cantantes. El lugar donde nos vemos obligados a pensar la relación entre la voz y el texto son las canciones. En el espectáculo, también en la ópera, esa cuestión de la relación entre la voz y el texto no es algo residual. En la publicidad y en los medios modernos se integran imagen, texto y voz. Pienso que los medios audiovisuales, con las revoluciones de la imagen y el sonido, restituyeron a nuestra vida de lectores una tradición de lectura en voz alta que muestra que nuestra memoria fija las cosas con más fuerza cuando lee con todos nuestros sentidos, con la imagen, el texto y la voz.Sin embargo, la "Galaxia Gutenberg", centrada en el libro, parece desplazada por la imagen. La "Galaxia Gutenberg" perdió el mundo de la imagen y del color para entrar en un mundo en blanco y negro, un mundo gris. Ese descubrimiento extraordinario de la modernidad -la imprenta- en parte suprimió la riqueza de la tradición medieval que vinculaba imagen de color y texto. En la modernidad, la introducción de imágenes en el texto exigió un largo tiempo de trabajo tecnológico hasta llegar a insertar viñetas, pequeñas láminas en el interior de los libros. En la actualidad, reencontramos la riqueza estética medieval en textos que incluyen imágenes en color. La novedad es el sonido. Texto, imagen, color y sonido están conectados en los nuevos soportes tecnológicos.Pero es problemática la comprensión de las imágenes. El procesamiento de la imagen no es secuencial o lineal, como lo es el procesamiento del texto escrito, y hay interacciones entre las imágenes y el texto que no son fáciles de analizar. No hay un procedimiento de lectura de imágenes que pueda enseñarse como se enseña la alfabetización. Siento preocupación cuando se habla de leer imágenes o situaciones, como si la lectura fuera el paradigma de todo entendimiento. Es una metáfora: no se leen las imágenes, las imágenes se comprenden, se analizan, se perciben, se sienten. Decir que las leemos es una manera de hablar que obstaculiza. Las imágenes funcionan de la misma manera en diferentes culturas, y niños que no hablan el mismo idioma pueden comprender la misma imagen. Hay fenómenos que son específicos de la imagen. Yo puedo leer un libro del siglo XVIII con el sentimiento de que hay una continuidad entre esa escritura y la actual. Pero la forma en que están ilustrados los libros del siglo XVIII no tiene nada que ver con la ilustración de los libros actuales. Para la educación esto es un problema porque no hay tradición en la escuela de una cultura de la imagen que no sea una ilustración de lo escrito. En la escuela primero está lo escrito y la imagen aparece como un complemento para adornar, mientras que en la vida no es así.¿Sólo esa función cumple la ilustración en los libros escolares?Hay una evolución desde fines del siglo XIX, con la creación de la escuela republicana -con Sarmiento, aquí en Argentina, y Jules Ferry en Francia; la historia de la creación de la escuela republicana en Argentina y en Francia se parece mucho. En ella, lo prioritario es el texto y las imágenes están para fijar la memoria, utilizando también la emoción en la representación de los próceres de la patria. El libro de Héctor Rubén Cucuzza "Yo, argentino. La construcción de la Nación en los libros escolares (1873-1930)" muestra que ante los próceres que marcaron la historia -que es como la historia de los santos que marcaron la historia de la Iglesia- hay un relato mítico que necesita imágenes, porque ellas fijan la representación de los héroes que jalonan el relato del texto. También los textos de ciencias tienen imágenes.Pero es distinta la ilustración de esos libros escolares que quieren dar una idea del discurso científico con lecciones sobre el agua, el aire o la circulación de la sangre. Se ilustran con esquemas. Los chicos tienen que reproducir el esquema de circulación de la sangre, por ejemplo, mientras que no se les pide que dibujen al prócer. Hay una introducción al gesto científico de representación abstracta de la realidad, la que parece aportar una verdad invisible. En libros escolares muy simples aparece la representación de la variedad de los discursos que existen en el mundo científico. En geografía es el mapa, y en la escuela cada disciplina científica está marcada por un tipo de uso diferente de la articulación imagen-texto. La alianza imagen-texto funciona como un indicador disciplinario, y los chicos saben de inmediato, al abrir un libro, en qué disciplina están, aunque no sepan leer. La escuela encontró un medio muy eficaz para darles a los niños una clasificación de los saberes.¿Hoy los chicos no se entusiasman con la lectura?Parece que no, pero tampoco en el pasado, ¿no cree? En definitiva, habría que probar que la lectura no entusiasma a los chicos hoy y que los entusiasmaba ayer. No hay que mezclar los recuerdos nostálgicos de los amantes de los libros con la realidad de la generación anterior. Yo no tengo la sensación de que en la generación de mi abuela había entusiasmo por los libros. Existía mucha desconfianza respecto de los libros y cuando a las chicas les gustaba leer, se pensaba que eran malas amas de casa y madres y que perdían el tiempo. Había desconfianza hacia los libros en los sectores populares; los consideraban pasatiempo de ricos. Y la mayoría de la gente no leía, salvo el diario para saber las noticias locales y quiénes habían muerto, pero no se tenía la idea de que a uno le faltaba algo cuando no leía. Esto se ha olvidado. Se tiende a reconstruir el pasado con la cultura de las clases medias, que son las clases que enseñan. La extensión de la alfabetización, ¿generó más lectores?Se esperaba, con la generalización de la alfabetización y de los estudios prolongados, un aumento del número de personas que irían a bibliotecas, comprarían libros y leerían. Cuando eso se volvió posible -con los libros de bolsillo y los diarios accesibles- llegó la revolución tecnológica de la televisión y después Internet. ¿Y qué puede hacer la escuela en esa batalla?La escuela está tironeada por dos objetivos: existe para desarrollar una cultura general, científica y literaria, pero debe preparar a los chicos para el mercado de trabajo, algo que nunca antes había tenido que asumir. La cuestión del mercado laboral dependía de una formación profesional o de la demanda local, pero no era rol de la escuela preparar a los niños para oficios, simplemente porque la mayoría de los oficios no requería saber leer. En la actualidad, todos los oficios, aun los de bajo nivel de calificación, exigen el conocimiento de la lectura y la escritura. Un ejemplo: en los hoteles Accor, una cadena internacional, el personal de limpieza tiene un protocolo de 40 ítems para verificar. Cada vez que entran en una habitación, deben ver si funciona la luz, etc. Es una lista escrita y se debe tachar con una cruz. Una mujer que no sabe leer y escribir no puede ser mucama. Eso era impensable antes, cuando para las tareas manuales se requería fuerza de trabajo, no competencia de lectura. ¿Cómo afecta esto a los maestros?Los docentes no desean quedar sometidos a la demanda económica, pero saben que los chicos vienen a la escuela también con una expectativa de inserción social y de éxito en el mercado laboral. Esos imperativos económicos pesan y, como consecuencia, los imperativos culturales de la escuela quedan un poco como de lujo. Se duda: "¿Es necesaria la poesía en la escuela?" Esto trae un problema de identidad cultural en los docentes porque no eligieron la profesión con esa perspectiva.

Copyright Clarín, 2009.

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          Interest Rate Strategy Analyst - Plano TX   
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          India and the Balance of Power   

India is arriving on the world stage as the first large, economically powerful, culturally vibrant, multiethnic, multireligious democracy outside of the geographic West. As it rises, India has the potential to become a leading member of the "political West" and to play a key role in the great political struggles of the next decades. Whether it will, and how soon, depends above all on the readiness of the Western powers to engage India on its own terms.


India's grand strategy divides the world into three concentric circles. In the first, which encompasses the immediate neighborhood, India has sought primacy and a veto over the actions of outside powers. In the second, which encompasses the so-called extended neighborhood stretching across Asia and the Indian Ocean littoral, India has sought to balance the influence of other powers and prevent them from undercutting its interests. In the third, which includes the entire global stage, India has tried to take its place as one of the great powers, a key player in international peace and security.

Three things have historically prevented India from realizing these grand strategic goals. First, the partition of the South Asian subcontinent along religious lines (first into India and Pakistan, in 1947, then into India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, in 1971) left India with a persistent conflict with Pakistan and an internal Hindu-Muslim divide. It also physically separated India from historically linked states such as Afghanistan, Iran, and the nations of Southeast Asia. The creation of an avowedly Islamic state in Pakistan caused especially profound problems for India's engagement with the Middle East. Such tensions intertwined with regional and global great-power rivalries to severely constrict India's room for maneuver in all three concentric circles.

The second obstacle was the Indian socialist system, which caused a steady relative economic decline and a consequent loss of influence in the years after independence. The state-socialist model led India to shun commercial engagement with the outside world. As a result, India was disconnected from its natural markets and culturally akin areas in the extended neighborhood.

Finally, the Cold War, the onset of which quickly followed India's independence, pushed India into the arms of the Soviet Union in response to Washington's support for Pakistan and China -- and thus put the country on the losing side of the great political contest of the second half of the twentieth century. Despite being the largest democracy in the world, India ended up siding with the opposite camp on most global issues.

The last decade of the twentieth century liberated India from at least two of these constraints; state socialism gave way to economic liberalization and openness to globalization, and the Cold War ended. Suddenly, New Delhi was free to reinvent its foreign policy -- positioning itself to face the rise of China, shifting its strategic approach to its other neighbors, and beginning to work closely with the world's existing great powers.


India's recent embrace of openness and globalization has had an especially dramatic effect on the country's role in the region. As the nations of the subcontinent jettison their old socialist agendas, India is well positioned to promote economic integration. Although the pace has been relatively slow, the process has begun to gain traction. The planned implementation of the South Asian Free Trade Agreement this summer signals the coming reintegration of the subcontinent's markets, which constituted a single economic space until 1947.

At the same time, optimism on the economic front must be tempered by an awareness of the problematic political developments in India's smaller neighbors. The struggle for democracy and social justice in Nepal, interminable political violence and the rise of Islamic extremism in Bangladesh, and the simmering civil war in Sri Lanka underscore the potential dangers of failing states on the subcontinent. There are also the uncertain futures of Pakistan and Afghanistan: defeating religious extremism and creating modern and moderate states in both countries is of paramount importance to India. A successful Indian strategy for promoting peace and prosperity within the region would require preventing internal conflicts from undermining regional security, as well as resolving India's own conflicts with its neighbors.

In the past, great-power rivalries, as well as India's own tensions with Pakistan and China, have complicated New Delhi's effort to maintain order in the region. Today, all of the great powers, including the United States and China, support the Indian objective of promoting regional economic integration. The Bush administration has also started to defer to Indian leadership on regional security issues. Given the new convergence of U.S. and Indian interests in promoting democracy and countering extremism and terrorism, New Delhi no longer suspects Washington of trying to undercut its influence in the region. As a result, it is more prepared than ever to work with the United States and other Western powers to pursue regional goals.

Meanwhile, the external environment has never been as conducive as it is today to the resolution of the Indo-Pakistani conflict over Kashmir. The conflict has become less and less relevant to India's relations with the great powers, which has meant a corresponding willingness on New Delhi's part to work toward a solution. Of particular importance has been the steady evolution of the U.S. position on Kashmir since the late 1990s. The support extended by President Bill Clinton to India in its limited war with Pakistan in 1999 removed the perception that Washington would inevitably align with Islamabad in regional conflicts. But India remained distrustful of the Clinton administration's hyperactive, prescriptive approach to Kashmir. It has been more comfortable with the low-key methods of the Bush administration, which has avoided injecting itself directly into the conflict. The Bush administration has also publicly held Pakistan responsible for cross-border terrorism and has extracted the first-ever assurances from Pakistan to put an end to the attacks. New Delhi does not entirely believe these promises, but it has nonetheless come to trust Washington as a source of positive of influence on Islamabad.

These developments have opened the way for a peace process between the two governments. With the growing awareness that the normalization of relations with Pakistan would end a debilitating conflict and help India's regional and global standing, New Delhi has begun to negotiate seriously for the first time in decades. Although the pace of talks has not satisfied Pakistan, the two sides have agreed on a range of confidence-building measures. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has rejected the idea of giving up territory, but he has often called for innovative solutions that would improve living conditions and for common institutions that would connect Kashmiris across the Line of Control. Singh has made clear that the Indian leadership is ready to risk political capital on finding a diplomatic solution to Kashmir.

India's recent effort to resolve its long-standing border dispute with China has been just as bold. New Delhi decided in 2003 to seek a settlement with Beijing on a political basis, rather than on the basis of legal or historical claims. As a result, during Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to New Delhi in April 2005, India and China agreed on a set of principles to guide the final settlement. The two governments are now exploring the contours of mutually satisfactory territorial compromises.

India's search for practical solutions to the disputes over Kashmir and its border with China suggests that the country has finally begun to overcome the obsession with territoriality that has consumed it since its formation. Ironically, the nuclearization of India and Pakistan in 1998 may have helped in this regard: although nuclearization initially sharpened New Delhi's conflicts with both Islamabad and Beijing, it also allowed India to approach its territorial problems with greater self-assurance and pragmatism.


Progress on the resolution of either of these conflicts, especially the one over Kashmir, would liberate India's political and diplomatic energies so that the country could play a larger role in the world. It would also finally release India's armed forces from the constraining mission of territorial defense, allowing them to get more involved in peace and stability operations around the Indian Ocean. Even with all the tensions on the subcontinent, the armies of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh have been among the biggest contributors to UN peacekeeping operations. The normalization of Indo-Pakistani relations would further free up some of the best armed forces in the world for the promotion of the collective good in the greater Middle East, Africa, and Asia.

Even as the Kashmir and China questions have remained unsettled, India's profile in its extended neighborhood has grown considerably since the early 1990s. India's outward economic orientation has allowed it to reestablish trade and investment linkages with much of its near abroad. New Delhi is negotiating a slew of free- and preferential-trade agreements with individual countries as well as multilateral bodies including the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and the Southern African Development Community. Just as China has become the motor of economic growth in East Asia, a rising India could become the engine of economic integration in the Indian Ocean region.

After decades of being marginalized from regional institutions in different parts of Asia, India is also now a preferred political partner for ASEAN, the East Asian Summit, the GCC, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and the African Union. Moreover, it has emerged as a major aid donor; having been an aid recipient for so long, India is now actively leveraging its own external assistance to promote trade as well as political objectives. For example, India has given $650 million in aid to Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban. Meanwhile, the search for oil has encouraged Indian energy companies to tail their Western and Chinese counterparts throughout the world, from Central Asia and Siberia and to western Africa and Venezuela.

On the security side, India has been actively engaged in defense diplomacy. Thanks to the strength of its armed forces, India is well positioned to assist in stabilizing the Indian Ocean region. It helps that there has been a convergence of U.S. and Indian political interests: countering terrorism, pacifying Islamic radicalism, promoting democracy, and ensuring the security of sea-lanes, to name a few. The Indian navy in particular has been at the cutting edge of India's engagement with the region -- as was evident from its ability to deploy quickly to areas hit by the tsunami at the end of 2004. The Indian navy today is also ready to participate in multinational military operations.


The end of the Cold War freed India to pursue engagement with all the great powers -- but especially the United States. At the start of the 1990s, finding that its relations with the United States, China, Japan, and Europe were all underdeveloped, India moved quickly to repair the situation. Discarding old socialist shibboleths, it began to search for markets for its products and capital to fuel its long-constrained domestic growth. Economic partnerships were easy to construct, and increasing trade flows provided a new basis for stability in India's relations with other major powers. India's emergence as an outsourcing destination and its new prowess in information technology also give it a niche in the world economy -- along with the confidence that it can benefit from economic globalization.

Barely 15 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, India's omnidirectional engagement with the great powers has paid off handsomely. Never before has India had such expansive relations with all the major powers at the same time -- a result not only of India's increasing weight in the global economy and its growing power potential, but also of New Delhi's savvy and persistent diplomacy.

The evolution of Sino-Indian ties since the 1990s has been especially important and intriguing. Many see violent conflict between the two rising Asian powers as inevitable. But thanks to New Delhi's policy of actively engaging China since the late 1980s, the tensions that characterized relations between them from the late 1950s through the 1970s have become receding memories. Bilateral trade has boomed, growing from less than $200 million in the early 1990s to nearly $20 billion in 2005. In fact, China is set to overtake the European Union and the United States as India's largest trading partner within a few years. The 3,500-kilometer Sino-Indian border, over which the two countries fought a war in 1962, is now tranquil. And during Wen's visit to India in April 2005, India and China announced a "strategic partnership" -- even though just seven years earlier New Delhi had cited concerns over China as a reason for performing nuclear tests, prompting a vicious reaction from Beijing.

India has also cooperated with China in order to neutralize it in conflicts with Pakistan and other smaller neighbors. In the past, China tended to be a free rider on regional security issues, proclaiming noninterference in the internal affairs of other nations while opportunistically befriending regimes in pursuit of its long-term strategic interests. This allowed India's subcontinental neighbors to play the China card against New Delhi when they wanted to resist India's attempts to nudge them toward conflict resolution. But now, Beijing has increasingly avoided taking sides in India's disputes, even as its economic and security profile in the region has grown.

China is not the only Asian power that India is aiming to engage and befriend. Japan has also emerged as an important partner for India, especially since Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has transformed Japanese politics in the last few years. During a visit to New Delhi just a couple of weeks after Wen's in April 2005, Koizumi announced Japan's own "strategic partnership" with India. (This came despite Japan's harsh reaction to India's nuclear test in 1998, which prompted Japanese sanctions and an effort by Tokyo to censure India in the United Nations and other multilateral forums.) Amid growing fears of a rising China and the incipient U.S.-Indian alliance, Japan has elevated India to a key player in its long-term plans for Asian security.

Recognizing the need to diversify its Asian economic portfolio, Tokyo has also, for political reasons, begun to direct some of its foreign investment to India (which has overtaken China as the largest recipient of Japanese development assistance). Since the start of the Bush administration, Japan has also shown increasing interest in expanding military cooperation with India, especially in the maritime domain. India, too, has recognized that it shares with Japan an interest in energy security and in maintaining a stable balance of power in Asia. Japan actively supported India's participation in the inaugural East Asian Summit, in December 2005, despite China's reluctance to include New Delhi. Neither India nor Japan wants to base their political relationship exclusively on a potential threat from China, but both know that deepening their own security cooperation will open up new strategic options and that greater coordination between Asian democracies could limit China's impact.

India's relations with Europe have been limited by the fact that New Delhi is fairly unimpressed with Europe's role in global politics. It senses that Europe and India have traded places in terms of their attitudes toward the United States: while Europe seethes with resentment of U.S. policies, India is giving up on habitually being the first, and most trenchant, critic of Washington. As pessimism overtakes Europe, growing Indian optimism allows New Delhi to support unpopular U.S. policies. Indians consistently give both the United States and the Bush administration very favorable marks; according to a recent Pew Global Attitudes poll, for example, the percentage of Indians with a positive view of the United States rose from 54 percent in 2002 to 71 percent in 2005. And whereas a declining Europe has tended to be skeptical of India's rise, the Bush administration has been fully sympathetic to India's great-power aspirations.

Still, India does have growing economic and political ties with some European powers. Although many smaller European countries have been critical of the U.S.-Indian nuclear deal, the continent's two nuclear powers, France and the United Kingdom, have been supportive. Paris, in particular, bet long ago (well before Washington did, in fact) that a rising India would provide a good market for high-tech goods; with this in mind, it shielded New Delhi from the ire of the G-8 (the group of eight highly industrialized nations) after India tested nuclear weapons in May 1998. In the last several years, the United Kingdom has also started to seize economic opportunities in India and has been generally accommodating of New Delhi's regional and global aspirations.

In the wake of the Soviet Union's collapse, India also worked to maintain a relationship with Russia. The two states resolved residual issues relating to their old semi-barter rupee-ruble trading arrangements, recast their 1971 peace and friendship treaty, and maintained military cooperation. When President Vladimir Putin succeeded Boris Yeltsin, in 2000, India's waiting game paid off. A newly assertive Moscow was determined to revive and expand its strategic cooperation with India. New Delhi's only problems with Moscow today are the weakening bilateral trade relationship and the risk of Russia's doing too much to strengthen China's military capabilities.


At the end of the Cold War, the prospect of India's building a new political relationship with the United States seemed remote. Washington had long favored Pakistan and China in the region, India had in turn aligned itself with the Soviet Union, and a number of global issues seemed to pit the two countries against each other. Yet after the Cold War, India set about wooing the United States. For most of the Clinton administration, this sweet-talking fell on deaf ears, in part because Clinton officials were so focused on the Kashmir dispute and nonproliferation. Clinton, driven by the unshakable assumption that Kashmir was one of the world's most dangerous "nuclear flashpoints" and so needed to be defused, emphasized "preventive diplomacy" and was determined to "cap, roll back, and eventually eliminate" India's nuclear capabilities. Of course, Clinton's approach ran headlong into India's core national security concerns -- territorial integrity and preserving its nuclear option. Pressed by Washington to circumscribe its strategic capabilities, New Delhi reacted by testing nuclear weapons.

But even as it faced U.S. sanctions, New Delhi also began to proclaim that India was a natural ally of the United States. Although the Clinton administration was not interested in an alliance, the nuclear tests forced the United States to engage India seriously for the first time in five decades. That engagement did not resolve the nuclear differences, but it did bring Clinton to India in March 2000 -- the first American presidential visit to India in 22 years. Clinton's personal charm, his genuine empathy for India, and his unexpected support of India in the 1999 war with Pakistan succeeded in improving the atmospherics of the relations and in putting New Delhi on Washington's radar screen in a new way.

It took Bush, however, to transform the strategic context of U.S.-Indian relations. Convinced that India's influence will stretch far beyond its immediate neighborhood, Bush has reconceived the framework of U.S. engagement with New Delhi. He has removed many of the sanctions, opened the door for high-tech cooperation, lent political support to India's own war on terrorism, ended the historical U.S. tilt toward Pakistan on Kashmir, and repositioned the United States in the Sino-Indian equation by drawing closer to New Delhi.

India has responded to these sweeping changes by backing the Bush administration on missile defense, the International Criminal Court, and finding alternative approaches to confronting global warming. It lent active support to Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan by protecting U.S. assets in transit through the Strait of Malacca in 2002, agreed to work with the United States on multinational military operations outside of the UN framework, and, in 2005 and 2006, voted twice with Washington against Iran -- an erstwhile Indian ally -- at the International Atomic Energy Agency. India also came close to sending a division of troops to Iraq in the summer of 2003 before pulling back at the last moment. Every one of these actions marked a big departure in Indian foreign policy. And although disappointed by India's decision to stay out of Iraq, the Bush administration recognized that India was in the midst of a historic transformation of its foreign policy -- and kept faith that India's own strategic interests would continue to lead it toward deeper political cooperation with Washington. New Delhi's persistence in reaching out to Washington since 1991 has been driven by the belief that only by fundamentally changing its relationship with the world's sole superpower could it achieve its larger strategic objectives: improving its global position and gaining leverage in its relations with other great powers.

But India's ability to engage everyone at the same time might soon come to an end. As U.S.-Chinese tensions grow and Washington looks for ways to manage China's influence, questions about India's attitude toward the new power politics will arise: Can India choose to remain "nonaligned" between the United States and China, or does India's current grand strategy show a clear bias toward the United States?

The nuclear pact unveiled by Bush and Singh in July 2005 -- and consolidated when Bush went to New Delhi in March 2006 -- was an effort by Washington to influence the ultimate answer to that question. Bush offered to modify U.S. nonproliferation laws (subject to approval by Congress, of course) and revise the global nuclear order to facilitate full cooperation with India on civilian nuclear energy. New Delhi, in return, has promised to separate its civilian and military nuclear programs, place its civilian nuclear plants under international safeguards, and abide by a range of nonproliferation obligations. India's interest in such a deal has been apparent for a long time. Having failed to test weapons before the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty was drafted, in 1968, India was trapped in an uncomfortable position vis-à-vis the nuclear order: it was not willing to give up the nuclear option, but it could not be formally accommodated by the nonproliferation regime as a nuclear weapons state.

India's motives for wanting a change in the nuclear regime are thus obvious. But for the Bush administration, the deal is less about nuclear issues than it is about creating the basis for a true alliance between the United States and India -- about encouraging India to work in the United States' favor as the global balance of power shifts. Ironically, it was the lack of a history of mutual trust and cooperation -- stemming in part from past nuclear disputes -- that convinced the Bush administration that a nuclear deal was necessary.


Many critics argue that the Bush administration's hopes for an alliance are misplaced. They insist that the traditionally nonaligned India will never be a true ally of the United States. But such critics misunderstand India's nonalignment, as well as the nature of its realpolitik over the past 60 years. Contrary to a belief that is especially pervasive in India itself, New Delhi has not had difficulty entering into alliances when its interests so demanded. Its relationship with the Soviet Union, built around a 1971 peace and friendship treaty, had many features of an alliance (notwithstanding India's claim that such ties were consistent with nonalignment); the compact was in many ways a classic response to the alignment of Washington, Beijing, and Islamabad. India has also had treaty-based security relationships with two of its smaller neighbors, Bhutan and Nepal, that date back to 1949-50 -- protectorate arrangements that were a reaction to China's entry into Tibet.

In fact, there is no contradiction between India's alleged preference for "moralpolitik" (in opposition to pure power politics, or Machtpolitik) and the Bush administration's expectation of an alliance with India. New Delhi is increasingly replacing the idea of "autonomy," so dear to Indian traditionalists, with the notion of India's becoming a "responsible power." (Autonomy is thought appropriate for weak states trying to protect themselves from great-power competition but not for a rising force such as India.) As India starts to recognize that its political choices have global consequences, it will become less averse to choosing sides on specific issues. Alliance formation and balancing are tools in the kits of all great powers -- and so they are likely to be in India's as well.

That India is capable of forming alliances does not, however, mean that it will necessarily form a long-term one with the United States. Whether it does will depend on the extent of the countries' shared interests and their political capacity to act on them together. The Bush administration expects that such shared interests -- for example, in balancing China and countering radical Islam in the Middle East -- will provide the basis for long-term strategic cooperation. This outcome is broadly credible, but it is by no means inevitable, especially given the United States' seeming inability to build partnerships based on equality.

When it comes to facing a rising China, India's tendency to engage in regional balancing with Beijing has not come to an end with the proclamation of a strategic partnership between the two nations. Indeed, preventing China from gaining excessive influence in India's immediate neighborhood and competing with Beijing in Southeast Asia are still among the more enduring elements of India's foreign policy. Despite Western concerns about the military regime in Myanmar, New Delhi has vigorously worked to prevent Yangon from falling completely under Beijing's influence, and India's military ties with the Southeast Asian nations are expanding rapidly. In 2005, when Pakistan pushed for giving China observer status in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, India acted quickly to bring Japan, South Korea, and the United States in as well. Given India's deep-seated reluctance to play second fiddle to China in Asia and the Indian Ocean region -- and the relative comfort of working with a distant superpower -- there is a structural reason for New Delhi to favor greater security cooperation with Washington.

In the Middle East, too, India has a common interest with the United States in preventing the rise of radical Islam, which poses an existential threat to India. Given its large Muslim population -- at nearly 150 million, the third largest in the world -- and the ongoing tensions stemming from the subcontinent's partition, India has in the past acted on its own to avert the spread of radical Islam. When Washington aligned with conservative Islamic forces in the Middle East during the Cold War, India's preference was for secular nationalist forces in the region. When the United States acted ambivalently toward the Taliban in the mid-1990s, India worked with Russia, Iran, and the Central Asian states to counter the Taliban by supporting the Northern Alliance. Now, although some in India are concerned that alignment with the United States might make India a prime target for Islamist extremists, there is no way India can compromise with radical Islam, which threatens its very unity.

But shared interests do not automatically produce alliances. The inequality of power between the two countries, the absence of a habit of political cooperation between them, and the remaining bureaucratic resistance to deeper engagement in both capitals will continue to limit the pace and the scope of strategic cooperation between India and the United States. Still, there is no denying that India will have more in common with the United States than with the other great powers for the foreseeable future.

While New Delhi has acknowledged that U.S. support is necessary for India's rise to be successful, Washington has recognized India's potentially critical role in managing emerging challenges to global order and security. As a major beneficiary of accelerating globalization, India could play a crucial role in ensuring that other developing countries manage their transitions as successfully as it has, that is, by taking advantage of opportunities while working to reduce the pain of disruption. Given the pace of its expansion and the scale of its economy, India will also become an important force in ensuring that the unfolding global redistribution of economic power occurs in an orderly fashion. Meanwhile, India could become a key player in the effort to modernize the politics of the Middle East. If nothing else, India's success in ensuring the rights and the integration of its own Muslim minority and in reaching peace with Pakistan would have a powerful demonstration effect.

To secure a long-term partnership with India, Washington must build on the argument of "Indian exceptionalism" that it has advanced in defense of the recent nuclear pact, devising a range of India-specific policies to deepen cooperation. India is unlikely, however, to become a mere subsidiary partner of the United States, ready to sign on to every U.S. adventure and misadventure around the world. It will never become another U.S. ally in the mold of the United Kingdom or Japan. But nor will it be an Asian France, seeking tactical independence within the framework of a formal alliance.

Given the magnitude of the global security challenges today, the United States needs more than meek allies. It should instead be looking to win capable and compatible partners. A rising India may be difficult at times, but it will act broadly to defend and promote the many interests it shares with Washington. Assisting India's rise, then, is in the United States' own long-term interest.

          estocando no fundo da esposinha e gosando dentro   
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          Behind the scenes :: CFG Creative Conference   
Planning a creative conference to fundraise for charity in under five weeks with no budget and a small squad of volunteers is not for the faint of heart. At various points of the planning stage I questioned our collective sanity, both privately and publicly. Now that it has been a month since Creating for Good […]
          minha priminha adora uma vara no fiofó;;;kc   
anal, pornstar, hardsex, gostosa, puta, brasileira, safada, amador, na, vagabunda, profunda
          The Real Secret of Cambodia’s Mythic Warrior: Archaeological Insight   
By Kent Davis
Originally posted at

…like a good Indiana Jones movie, the real story of this lost treasure began with a flash of archaeological insight in a remote Asian jungle half a world away….

Koh Ker, Cambodia – Protests from the Kingdom of Cambodia recently halted the multi-million dollar Sotheby’s sale of an ancient stone statue with the support of the United States government. When the Cambodians sought help bringing the thousand-year-old Khmer statue back to their country the New York Times ran a detailed article entitled “Mythic Warrior Is Captive in Global Art Conflict.”

10th century Cambodian sculpture previously scheduled for a multi-million dollar Sotheby’s sale.
Their investigation reveals that the legal and moral issues surrounding the ownership and sale of ancient art are quite complex. In this case, one generous art collector may actually provide a positive solution. But like a good Indiana Jones movie, the real story of this lost treasure began with a flash of archaeological insight in a remote Asian jungle half a world away.

Mystery of the Missing Men of Koh Ker

One thousand years ago, the Khmer Empire ruled most of what is now Southeast Asia from its capital in Angkor. During their heyday, the architecturally and artistically sophisticated Khmer people created some of humanity’s most extraordinary stone temples and statues. Apart from a few stone inscriptions, however, no written records of the civilization survived. Out of necessity, archaeologists have had no alternative but to piece the story of the Khmer people together, clue by clue and stone by stone.

Rising above 30 meters in height, Koh Ker’s central temple-mountain of Prasat Thom was built 100 years before Angkor Wat. Photo: Khmersearch, Panoramio.
Early in the 10th century (for reasons that are still unclear), King Jayavarman IV and his son Harsavarman II relocated the empire’s capital from Angkor to an isolated plateau 100 km to the northeast. There they built the city of Koh Ker, a huge new complex of temples and shrines, where they established their throne for a brief 16 year period (928-944 AD). Like all great Khmer cities, Koh Ker was ultimately abandoned and swallowed up by the jungle. The rediscovery of the Khmer civilization by Westerners didn’t begin until French explorers arrived in the second half of the 19th century.

In 2007, stone conservator Simon Warrack was working with the German Apsara Conservation Project (GACP), a scientific organization that had been doing critical restoration on Angkor Wat temple for more than a decade. In May, Warrack took a side trip to the Koh Ker site (Google Map link) to consider future conservation needs there.

At Koh Ker, Warrack noticed two distinctive pedestal platforms in the first enclosure of Prasat Chen. There, by the west gopura (an entry structure), he saw the feet where two statues had clearly been broken off. But the gods that once stood there were nowhere to be found. The mystery sparked his imagination.

The two Koh Ker pedestals as Warrack found them at Prasat Chen in May 2007. The pedestal circled in red shows a fabric section still attached in the center.
Virtually Connecting Ancient Dots…and Stones

From my own research cataloging the devata of Angkor I can attest that field work is generally hot, uncomfortable and distracting. Almost all of my discoveries happen at my desk in Florida examining photos taken weeks or years before at remote locations. Warrack continued his search in similar fashion.

The Norton Simon dvarapala featured in “Adoration and Glory”, p. 149
He pondered the distinctive bases and began searching for photos in books and research archives. Finally, he found a possible solution. In “Adoration and Glory – The Golden Age of Khmer Art” by Emma Bunker and Douglas Latchford one image stood out. It showed a figure identified as a dvarapala (guardian) at the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena California. That statue was missing its feet, but many are. The key to solving this puzzle was the unique tail at the bottom of its clothing element. After scanning images and digitally combining them Warrack confirmed the close match between the two fragments.

Warrack’s 2007 digital superimposition of the base and body of the Koh Ker statue.
Warrack immediately wrote a short paper to seek opinions from others in the field of Khmer studies. He forwarded copies to friends and associates as well as to key authorities including the APSARA Authority, which manages the Angkor region’s heritage assets; the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts in Phnom Penh; and the École française d’Extrême-Orient (EFEO), a French organization dedicated to Asian studies that has been active in conservation efforts at Angkor since 1907. I met Simon in 2007 shortly after his find and the photos above come from the original article he shared with me.

Everyone who saw his image realized the importance of this observation. Determining the original location of displaced objects can be a huge help in interpreting their meaning and significance within the context of an ancient civilization. The record shows that the Norton Simon piece was acquired legitimately and is on public display for educational, artistic and cultural appreciation. But not all art ends up this way. Much of it disappears into private collections, out of view.

Such was the case of the complimentary statue that stood face to face with this one more than a thousand years ago at the Khmer capital of Koh Ker.

Sotheby's twin Khmer warrior. Note the unbroken base of the fabric tail.
The Long Lost Twin Reappears

In the summer of 2010, a “noble European lady” contacted Sotheby’s to discuss the sale of a “spectacular tenth-century Cambodian sculpture, 160 centimeters in height and exceptionally well carved.” Word got out quickly to the worlds of art and archaeology. When pictures began to circulate it was instantaneously clear that this was the long-lost companion to the statue Warrack had connected to the Norton Simon Museum three years earlier.

Meanwhile, in New York, the matching sculpture was estimated to sell for millions of dollars. According to the owner’s records, she legally acquired the piece in 1975 from the now-defunct London art dealer Spink & Son. The Norton Simon Museum also acquired their piece that year. Some evidence suggests that both statues left Cambodia in the late 1960s, but exactly when and how that happened, and who arranged it, is unknown.

Paraphrasing Sotheby’s Senior Vice President Jane A. Levine, the New York Times article stated “Ms. Levine countered that the statue could have been removed any time in its thousand-year history, and said the word ‘stolen’ was often ‘used loosely.’ ” Meanwhile, Christie’s auction house acquired Spinks in 1993 and claims that the 1975 records of the statue’s origin are “no longer available.”

Regardless of the lack of facts, the ownership of both statues seems quite legal under international laws. Which brings us to a question at the heart of this matter.

Who Should Own Historical Art?

An idealistic answer is “humanity” but even this dream can have unexpected consequences as we’ll discover below. My personal goal would be for historical assets to be accessible to everyone who wants to respect them, preserve them, appreciate them and learn from them. But this philosophy wouldn’t get me through the front door at most of the world’s public institutions holding these assets (let alone to private collections).

Most of us are fortunate enough to live in a free society. We can buy, sell and own personal property within the law. The laws protecting heritage assets have evolved considerably over the past few decades, and they continue to do so. But the fact remains that countless artifacts were legally acquired by collectors (“noble ladies” included) as well as public museums since the beginning of time. Isn’t it their right to display, use and sell their property as they see fit?

Let’s consider some difficult questions raised by recent news:

The taller Buddha of Bamiyan before and after destruction. Photo: Wikipedia.
1. Can a government or private entity decide to demolish old structures? This happens every day in every city around the world. Sometimes historical societies rally to save a site. Sometimes they can’t, as seen in the shocking annihilation of the Buddhas of Bamiyan. Was that government right? Were those people right? And who are you to judge? Do you live there?

In Sarasota Florida some local groups rallied to have this mural erased from a shop.
2. Can a government or private entity destroy something offensive or blasphemous to their values or religion? How far does freedom of expression go? This Yale article discusses the destruction of Buddha images in the Maldives. But it also mentions things like Henry VIII’s systematic destruction of all the monasteries in England, Wales and Ireland. Near my home in Sarasota Florida a debate has run for months about erasing a mural that may promote gangs. Acts of artistic control and destruction happen all the time.

Sunken treasure found by Odyssey Marine 1700 feet deep in the Atlantic Ociean.
3. Can a private group use its own funds to recover or preserve historical objects that were clearly abandoned by the original owners hundreds or even thousands of years earlier? In other words, does everything actually belong to some hypothetical “rightful owner”? And who owned these things before them? Odyssey Marine Exploration in Tampa Florida just got a harsh lesson in how arbitrarily this question can be answered. Odyssey spent years working to locate and salvage a ship in international waters off the coast of Portugal. It lay, unknown and untouched for two centuries in 1700 feet of water. US courts just ruled against Odyssey and returned all the artifacts to Spain.

Ironically, that silver and gold was mined in Peru by peasants working under slave-like conditions. Peru, of course, came under Spanish control in the 16th century when conquistadors brutally subjugated the Inca civilization in their quest for territory, power and treasure. But to the US courts, 200 years of ownership was enough to confiscate assets for an “original” owner…but not 400 years. Peru’s claim to the artifacts was ignored.

On the other side of the gold coin, salvage operations generally destroy much of the archaeological evidence that exists on a wreck site. I took an archaeological research diver workshop at a Florida galleon site, and I’ve also had the privilege of discussing this topic with the father of underwater archaeology, George Bass. I am quite opposed to the wholesale destruction of history to recover precious metals on land or at sea.

But in this case, Odyssey Marine consistently gathers a lot of archaeological data from their sites. And is it reasonable to ask when and how carefully archaeologists would be excavating this particular site more than half a kilometer deep? It seems we can all learn much from Odyssey’s digital photos, detailed site maps and the thousands of objects recovered. More than we would have known if the site was never found. Now the responsibility falls to Spain to educate and inspire us with their recovered objects. The world watches.

The “Angel of Beng Mealea” - March 5, 2006 and February 12, 2007.
4. Do poor people have the right to take abandoned objects from public places just to survive? I wrote about my own painful experience with this at Beng Mealea in this article “Death of an Angel.”

There are countless examples. There will be countless more. Each situation is different. Right and wrong are not always clear. And certainly never appear the same to opposing parties in a disagreement.

Back in 2008 I bought a used car legally. But what if the original owner (or the factory, or the country where it was built) tried to reclaim it because “I parked it too long” or “I wasn’t taking care of it” or “they want to study it” or “it belongs in the original place”? I can’t say I’d be too happy.

But there are solutions to these issues…as there are to most human conflicts: communication, empathy and diplomacy. Fortunately, a combination of these factors may lead to a resolution to the quandary of the Sotheby’s statue sale.

Collectors Who Share

Cultural sensitivity about who historical objects should belong to is a fairly new concept. As noted above people have the right to own private property. This has been going on for a long time. Humans are an acquisitive species by nature.

It’s worth noting that some of the most successful “acquirers” (Rockefeller, Carnegie, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates come to mind) have also proven themselves as some of our most generous givers. And some art collectors have proven themselves in this way, too. After a lifetime of actively hunting, obsessively gathering and painstakingly preserving the rare objects they crave…many end up donating their collections to public institutions.

In the world of Khmer art, Douglas Latchford, co-author of “Adoration and Glory” with art historian Emmy Bunker, is one example. He began collecting Khmer artifacts 56 years ago (1956). Over the years he and his friends have shared financial gifts with the National Museum of Cambodia. More significantly, he is the museum’s biggest contributor of artifacts (read more about Douglas Latchford on KI-Media).

Now another collector may assist with a solution to the thorny situation of the Koh Ker statue at Sotheby’s.

Dr. István Zelnik, founder of the Gold Museum in Budapest, Hungary.
During the 1970s, Dr. István Zelnik served as a Hungarian diplomat in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. Like many passionate collectors he invested his money in rare books, antiques and works of art. Motivated by a love of art and curiosity about the objects he found, he became an increasingly sought after consulting expert for museums and archaeologists around the world. In 2011 his dreams culminated with his greatest achievement: founding the Zelnik István Southeast Asian Gold Museum in Budapest Hungary.

In a statement to the New York Times Dr. Zelnik expressed the possibility that he may purchase the statue for donation to the people of Cambodia. A generous, diplomatic and expedient solution in our complex world. The owner would be compensated for her private property, huge amounts of time and money would not be wasted on legal litigation, and the people who respect and admire the art of the Khmer people could once again see this expression of creativity in the land where it was born.

I wish him success and encourage him along with Mr. Latchford and other collectors to continue sharing the objects of their passion with the world.

The two mythic Cambodian warriors as they one faced each other at Koh Ker. Below, Simon Warrack asks if they can one day be reunited?
Could Two Ancient Brothers Meet Again?

To conclude this article I contacted Simon Warrack to ask his current ideas about the ownership of historic art. Here’s what he had to say:
“The concept of “ownership” may be the wrong place to start when considering important objects. It is the value and significance of an object that should be thought of first, rather than who it belongs to.

”The questions should really be about the object itself, not who it belongs to. Where is the object best valued? Where is it best appreciated? Where is it best understood? Where is it best conserved?

“Who an object belongs to should be secondary. As one of my colleagues observed ‘Objects are not important because they are in museums. They are in museums because they are important.’ The object itself is the important factor, not the museum that possesses it.

“After finding the empty pedestals seven years ago actually seeing both Koh Ker statues is remarkable. The possibility now exists that, one day, they may be reunited.

“Today, I called HE Hab Touch to ask his opinion on this matter. He is optimistic but noted that at this early stage no decisions or agreements are in place. However, Cambodia is ready and there are at least two suitable, secure locations where the pieces could be located for public appreciation. In the National Museum, of course, but plans are also being made for a museum at Preah Vihear, the same province where Koh Ker is located. There, the museum will become a gateway to the World Heritage Site and these figures could, once again, provide a wonderful center piece to welcome visitors from around the world.”
Simon closed by mentioning a concept from the book, Who Owns Antiquity by James Cuno. Cuno observes that national museums in wealthy nations host “encyclopedic” collections of objects from around the world, while national museums in less wealthy countries host indigenous local art relating to their own history.

He suggests that the global exchange of art would be a good direction to head in. Just as it is good for a child in Pasadena to experience the art of Cambodia, wouldn’t it also be wonderful for a child of Cambodia to see pieces of American history? Or the creations of Greece, Rome, Egypt, Mexico, etc.?

With communication, empathy and diplomacy we can all grow and learn.

          A Guide in Article Writing: How to Make Outlines   
Making outlines if a fundamental writing skill. Outlines can be useful for anything that you write including articles, essays, and research papers. Outlining is one of the most basic and first techniques taught to young writers to help them organize their thoughts and structure their arguments. Unfortunately, although outlining is one of the first skills we learn, not all people make them while writing.

The Internet has placed a new emphasis on writing. Most websites rely on the written word to get across their messages. Writers that write clear, concise, and to the point articles get rewarded. All of these reasons reinforce the need for people to gravitate to writing better by using outlines. Yet some people still do not.

Although challenging, writing could be a very rewarding career. It is indeed funny to think that some people would choose to work at some sort of menial job rather than sit down with a pen and write. Those who do write, enjoy the freedom of being able to work wherever they choose to along with unlimited potential for creativity.

Creating outlines before immediately starting to write is a good way to gather your ideas and organize your thoughts. Having a well-prepared outline makes writing go smoothly because of the prep time you already put in to carefully plan the sequence of your thoughts.

An outline serves as a framework for your article. It helps you in structuring the introduction, body and conclusion of your

article. While outlining, you can and should write down just about anything that comes to your mind about your topic. The next step is to organize this collection of ideas.

Here are some tricks on how to effectively outline :

  • Jot down everything in your head. Do not worry about it making sense. Just go ahead and squeeze out all you can from your brain. Take all the time you need but remember you might have a deadline, so manage your time wisely.
  • Label your thoughts. After gathering your ideas on a subject matter, think about what would make these ideas pop out to the reader. In this stage, go for captivating words for your subtitles.
  • Connect the dots. You now have everything you need to start working on the article. So start on sequencing your collected thoughts and make logical sense of them.
  • Write a draft. This is your trial and error stage, and with practice, eventually you might end up just doing this once.
  • Proofread your work. A good writer always make sure that the message you want to be delivered to your readers are perfectly conveyed, which is why you need to recheck for grammatical errors and place the right punctuations in stressing out your point.
  • Have fun making your outlines and most importantly, enjoy writing!

          Can you beat that?   

A Cambodian woman rides on her motorbike loaded with vegetables for sale in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 01 March 2012.
A Cambodian motorized cart loaded with firewoods drives on a street in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 01 March 2012. Cambodia's economy is expected to grow 6.5 percent in 2012, up from 5.75 percent in the year 2011, the International Monetary Fund said in its annual review, adding that government policies to boost the investment climate were paying off. EPA/MAK REMISSA - 1 March, 2012

          Más luminarias para Quilmes   
El intendente de Quilmes, Martiniano Molina, firmó un convenio con el ministro de Ambiente y Espacio Público del Gobierno de la Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires, Eduardo Macchiavelli, para incorporar más de 3 mil luminarias en el distrito. 
“Agradezco el apoyo del Jefe de Gobierno de la Ciudad, Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, ya que esta acción nos permitirá reforzar la iluminación en los barrios de Quilmes que más lo necesitan”, indicó el jefe comunal.
Molina concurrió al encuentro acompañado del secretario de Servicios Públicos, Sergio Chomyszyn, quien detalló que “se trata de luminarias que se recambiaron y se repararon por completo en la Ciudad. Sin lugar a dudas, representan un aporte fundamental al esquema actual de alumbrado público”.

          Cambodia stands out among CLMV [... for Thai investments]   
January 20, 2012
The Nation

Among Cambodia, Laos, Burma and Vietnam, widely abbreviated as CLMV, Cambodia is the most outstanding investment destination for Thai companies thanks to the country's free-trade policy and abundant natural resources, according to the Trade Negotiations Department.

Srirat Rastapana, director-general of the department, said that though Cambodia was the last to join Asean in 2009, its trade policy is the most liberalised among the four countries under the government’s policy to draw foreign investment and reduce poverty.

"Cambodia sets its sight on infrastructure investment, particularly road connection with neighbouring countries and hydro power plants. Beside, it possesses a competitive edge, over natural resources. Offshore oil and gas reserves were discovered. This could help eradicate poverty, but it depends on the efficiency and transparency of revenue to be derived from the resources," she said.

In 2010, Cambodia attracted FDI worth US$782.6 million (including $349 million from other Asean countries), up 45.2 per cent from the previous year. Among 10 Asean nations, in terms of FDI, it was ranked the 7th. Cambodia is also a member of key international organisations like the World Trade Organisation, International Monetary Fund and Asian Development Bank.

Srirat noted that the Asean community paves way for Thai investment. Low labour cost would also be on the plus side. Attractive investment areas are in parawood processing, hotel, food and spa, aside from construction.

          Rescuing the classics: saving traditional music from extinction   
Khse Diew artist performs a traditional song in the CLA studio. (Mathew Wakem/Phnom Penh Post)
Friday, 20 January 2012
Diana Montaño
The Phnom Penh Post

Some of Cambodia’s most renowned musical masters will gather this year to create a recording of musical forms in danger of being lost, as part of the “Documentation of Three Khmer Musical Traditions” project spearheaded by the local NGO Cambodian Living Arts.

The project, funded by a grant from the US Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation, will create audio-visual documentation of three traditional forms: Kantaoming, classical funeral music; classical wedding music; and Smote, a unique combination of poetry and chanting performed in Buddhist ceremonies, particularly funerals.

Cambodian Living Arts was founded in 1998 as the Cambodian Masters Performers Program with the mission of rescuing and reviving artistic traditions virtually wiped out during the Khmer Rouge era. The organisation has worked to bring together living masters of traditional Khmer arts to create recordings and performances, and teach younger artists.

According to Marion Gommard, communications director of Cambodian Living Arts, 90 per cent of Cambodian artists were killed during the 1975-1979 Khmer Rouge era, decimating the largely oral cultural tradition. Without any written record and few surviving masters, these classical art forms are in danger of being permanently lost.

“Historically, transmission has only been oral,” she says. “That is why it’s so important to record, so artists can pass down knowledge.”

Sarin Chhuon, CLA’s studio manager, says there is an urgency to record these forms while master musicians are still alive, since most of them are in their 80’s and 90’s.

“We have to do this now. In the next five or 10 years, they may be gone,” he says. “Most of the songs are in their brain, they’re not written down.”

Sarin Chhuon says that while these forms are still popular among Cambodians during wedding or funeral ceremonies, most people have lost touch with the classical styles.

“People are still using it but it has disappeared in its original form,” he says. “They just use really bad cassette tapes, or they have one or two musicians playing modern wedding music. They don’t even know what the real music is like. So slowly, it is being lost.”

Smote, the more religious of the three forms, is a blend of poetry and chanting conducted at Buddhist ceremonies, though most Cambodians associate it with funerals. “With the chanting, people feel free and let it go. It describes comfort to people who are dying. In a funeral, the chanting lets the family know it’s OK,” says Sarin Chhuon.

CLA is forming an advisory board for the project, and hopes to begin recording by February. Three musicians working as CLA teachers in their provinces have already agreed to participate, and the organisation hopes more musicians will get involved. The three artists, all renowned masters from the ’50s and ’60s, are Sok Buch, a Kantaoming master in Takeo and Siem Riep, Ling Srey, a classical wedding musician from Siem Riep, and Koeut Ran, a Smote master from Kompong Speu.

There are plans to release 3000 CDs of the “Documentation of Three Khmer Musical Traditions” project recordings. The organisation has released two CDs of its master artist recordings in the past, but the $12 selling price has been too expensive for most Cambodians, according to Sarin Chhuon.

With this project CLA hopes to make CDs available to Cambodians for $1 or $2. By making the recordings more accessible, CLA hopes ordinary Cambodians will rediscover the classical forms of these popular musical styles.

“We want people will use the CDs in their ceremonies,” says Sarin Chhuon. “I hope they will throw away those old tapes.”

          Syrian refugee flood continues unabated: UN needs $1 billion   

GenevaLunch News GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The UN says it will need $1 billion for the first six months of 2013 to cope with the massive flow of refugees who continue to flee Syria, where the bloodshed and chaos of the country’s civil war continue unabated. The funds will be needed to handle the most basic needs of […]

Syrian refugee flood continues unabated: UN needs $1 billion © GenevaLunch News, See license terms.

          Nearly CHF1b of Arab spring dictators’ funds blocked by Swiss   

GenevaLunch News Returning assets to the people is a priority, says ambassador GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – More than CHF1 billion in assets linked to the regimes of dictators who fell during the Arab spring, as well as Syrian assets, have been frozen and it’s a priority for these to be returned to the countries, Ambassador Valentin Zellweger, who […]

Nearly CHF1b of Arab spring dictators’ funds blocked by Swiss © GenevaLunch News, See license terms.

          Swiss president, US attorney general discuss tax issues at IMF meeting   

GenevaLunch News Switzerland to share seat with Poland, pledges additional $10 billion to IMF BERN, SWITZERLAND – Swiss President Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf and US Attorney General Eric Holder met on the fringes of a key International Monetary Fund (IMF) meeting in Washington 20-21 April. Bern’s statement was brief, noting that the two met “in order to discuss bilateral […]

Swiss president, US attorney general discuss tax issues at IMF meeting © GenevaLunch News, See license terms.

          Go Skateboarding Day   

Har du inte dammat av brädan efter vintern är det hög tid att göra det innan 21 juni. Då är det nämligen ”Go Skateboarding Day”. GSD förenar den globala brädfamiljen för att ha kul, samla in pengar och uppmärksamma de lokala skateparker och välgörenhetsåtgärder som görs i olika delar av världen. GSD är ett påfund […]
          chupetinha da   
blowjob, amateur, boquete, gozada, esposa, garganta, profunda, amateura
          morena oferecida dando show no chupeta!   
cum, blow, amateur, oral, job, deep, boquete, shot, gozada, mamada, casal, amador, caseiro, chupando, boqueteira, garganta, profunda, chupou
          Recruiter/Sales (Accounting & Finance) - (Boston)   
Are you looking for a service/sales career with unlimited income potential? For an opportunity to leverage your previous service/sales success and be a creative solution finder for top companies in the marketplace, read on Roth Staffing has appeared on the Inc. 500 list three times and continues to be recognized as an industry leader through our three full-service staffing divisions, Ultimate Staffing Services, Ledgent, and Adams & Martin Group - and all of our growth has been organic and without venture capital funding. By honoring our company with this prestigious opportunity, Inc. Magazine also recognizes the fact that "Roth only hires the most talented people and is unwilling to compromise from being the very best".
          Advertising and Marketing Sales - (Holyoke)   
SenText Solutions ServiceJoin a leader in text message marketing. SenText Solutions provides a text message marketing service that enables local merchants the ability to instantly send a single text message to all their existing customers and within a moments' notice every customer knows about the merchant's promotions, announcements, sales, events, special hours, contests, etc.Merchants Want Our ServiceOnly 2% of our merchants leave us each month.Customers Want To Hear From Their Local MerchantsOnly 1.6% of our merchant's customers opt- out each month.The Power Of Text Messaging 100% of all cell phones can receive text messages Only 50% of cell phones can receive emails 98% of all text messages are read in minutes Text message marketing is a permission based service- customers want to receive the messages It costs 6 times more to get a new customer than to keep an existing customerCOMPENSATION Lifetime Vested Residuals and Commission Lifetime Vested Residual potential By the 12th month make $6,000 to $10,000 per month By the 24th month make $10,000 to $17,000 per month By the 36th month make $14,000 to $23,000 per monthHere's what we need from you: -A proven track record getting to decision makers-A proven track record selling to merchants-The desire to build a lifetime vested residual income-The desire to get paid every day-forever-The desire to get involved with a proven company with a proven service-A desire to make over $200,000 per year within 3 years-A desire to work independently but loves to be a part of a teamOutside Sales - B2B. If you've sold credit card, bankcard, merchant or payment processing, gift cards, check guarantee, cash advance, merchant funding, print or radio advertising, insurance or any other product to merchants this is the perfect fit for you.
          Recruiter - Entry Level - (Lynnfield)   
Recruiter, Entry Level - Waltham, North Shore and Boston, MAWhat the role entails: * Working a Split or Full Desk* Weekly training * Fostering new business relationships through Business Development * Selling on multiple levels * Coordinating interviews and negotiating salaries * Accompanying candidates throughout the entire recruitment process with clientsWhat we are looking for: * Strong communication skills, professionalism, resilience and perseverance * Competitive personality, MUST be sales minded* You must have a positive attitude and a strong desire to succeed (an entrepreneurial type of attitude)* Proven track record of success * You should be willing to fully invest yourself to the role and work hard in order to reap the rewards Compensation:Entry Level Recruiters base starts between $40K-$50K with a competitive tiered commission RightSkill ProgramEssentials of Recruiting for the Staffing Industry is designed to be completed in within one week and will teach you the in-demand skills you will need to become a successful recruiter. You will hear from industry experts on what has made them successful and learn the fundamental skills you need to start your own exciting career recruiting for the staffing industry.If you are self-motivated, ambitious, have a passion for helping others and are looking for an exciting new career, the RightSkill Recruiter Program may be right for you.Capella Learning Solutions and CareerBuilder have partnered to create RightSkill. This initiative will help individuals enhance and develop skill sets in the field of recruiting.
          Macy's Locker Room Assistant Manager Part-Time - (Boston)   
Location: Boston (Downtown)450 Washington StreetGenerate SalesProduce sales gains, by providing customer service.To meet or exceed Company Objectives in all individual statistics.Learn to provide consistent, documented appraisal of an associate's sales performance. Provide support by giving feedback on areas of strength and opportunity while keeping in line with Company Objectives.Adhere to current visual guidelines includes: proper merchandising, signage and store cleanliness.Maintain a professional appearance consistent with Dress Code Policy.Control ExpensesProtect Company assets within guidelines of LIDS Retail policies.Assist in preparation of store schedules that provide proper store coverage and are within the Company guidelines for wage control.Follow all policies to accurately manage store inventory including receiving, transferring, completing price changes and conducting product counts.Perform proper documentation and record keeping per LIDS Retail policies as well as state and federal laws.Open and close the store as required following the procedures per the Operations P&P Manual.Support and adhere to all LIDS policies, procedures, and guidelines.Supervise AssociatesParticipate in LIDS Training Programs, adhere to set goals (for sales and tasks) and regular follow up.Assist in recruiting and training store personnel on proper store operations and procedures.Encourage store associates' direct compliance of established company policies, procedures and guidelines including (but not limited to) safekeeping of company inventory, funds and property.Perform work of subordinates as needed.Communicate with employees at all levels of the company.Other duties as assigned.Education and/or ExperienceHigh school diploma or equivalent plus one year relative experience.Established ability to produce sales results while minimizing loss.Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate verbally in a clear professional manner.Ability to operate a computer, as well as maneuver relative software programs.Ability to lift up to 50 pounds.Ability to climb a ladder and work with hands overhead.Standing required for up to 100% of the work time.Ability to work unsupervised. Source:

Ensino Fundamental completo, experiência em descarga, movimentação de produtos a granel, limpeza de equipamentos e instalações. Vaga exclusiva para portadores de deficiência. Remuneração: A combinar. Benefícios Oferecidos: A combinar. Horário de Trabalho: A combinar. Dias a trabalhar: A combinar. Atividades: As atividades a serem realizadas pelo profissional devem ser com total responsabilidade, eficiência e qualidade.…

O post VAGAS DE AUXILIAR DE OPERAÇÕES -SANTOS-SP apareceu primeiro em Emprega Baixada.

          Significado de safira   
Conocer el origen de los nombres es algo de lo más interesante y que si profundizamos en ello nos podemos encontrar con verdaderas sorpresas. Si lo que estáis buscando son nombres originales y que tengan un origen increíble no lo dudéis y seguid leyendo. Por que hablaremos sobre el significado del nombre Safira. Que significa […]
          A BIG THANK-YOU to the Manahawkin Walmart!   
On Friday, May 26, 2017, some members of Friends attended a 7:00AM celebration at the Manahawkin Walmart store known as 1921. The celebration was the culmination of an intense 10 week renovation project of the store. As part of the celebration, the Walmart Foundation which is partially funded by contributions from Walmart employees gifted three […]
          Angels & Jules For Others Benefit—SUCCESS!   
Friends!  A BIG THANK YOU to the Angels & Jules For Others Benefit and to the Captain’s Inn in Forked River for a wonderfully successful event!  A good time was had by all!  Thank you to everyone who came or supported the event and helped us raise much needed funds to help the homeless pets […]
          Reminiscencias de un SIGLO   

Bien con el fin de compartir algunas NOSTALGIAS del Municipio de La Plata  he creado esta entrada para todos aquellos que quieren tener algo de historia de nuestro municipio, espero tener el permiso de todas las personas que se muestran en las fotografias ya que gracias a ellas es que hoy en dia podemos disfrutar de éste hermoso municipio porque son las fundadoras de todo lo que hoy se puede apreciar.

Con motivo de conservar algunos nombres en las fotografias he querido subirla tal cual y como las he conseguido sin ningun tipo de modificacion ni de aspecto ni de tamaño.

PACK CON 169 FOTOS (diferentes resoluciones y tamaños)

          Naturaleza Colombiana I   

Colombia, desde un punto de vista geográfico, posee tres grandes cordilleras, la oriental y la occidental, a las que se une la central, que divide las dos anteriores. En ellas, ríos, lagunas, selva, extensos bosques se funden con las ciudades, los volcanes y las costas del Océano Pacífico y del Mar Caribe. Todo ello forma este paisaje tan increíble presidido por el Pico Cristóbal Colón, en Santa Marta, con 5775 metros de altura.
Si comenzamos nuestro recorrido por la parte oriental, la zona más pegada al Mar Caribe y al Océano Dentro de los ríos de Colombia, también debemos destacar el Río Atrato, el Río Magdalena y el Río Cauca. De los volcanes, debemos destacar el Nevado del Huila, así como el Nevado del Ruiz, y de sus cumbres, el pico Cristóbal Colón, que tiene más de 5700 metros sobre el nivel del mar.

Las zonas geográficas más destacables de Colombia son la andina, la caribeña, la de la Amazonas, la de la Costa del Pacífico y la insular. De todas ellas la andina es la más poblada.

En Colombia, hablar de naturaleza es también hablar del SINAP, o Sistema Nacional de Áreas Protegidas, un área que gestiona el Ministerio de Medio Ambiente, y que cuenta con una red de parques nacionales y naturales que ocupan más de 14% del territorio nacional, donde encontramos parques nacionales, parques naturales, santuarios, áreas protegidas... debemos destacar el Parque Nacional Natural los Nevados en la región de Risaralda. Atlántico, descubrimos tierras planas, llanuras, mucha masa forestal y ríos que fluyen hasta el Orinoco o el Río Amazonas. En esta zona también debemos destacar las pequeñas Islas.

          Tumbas de San Andres De Pisimbala /Cauca   

Tierradentro paraíso de mágica belleza, territorio de lleno de encantos misteriosos, de lagunas cristalinas, de cascadas fantásticas, de paisajes inolvidables entre fabulosas montañas de cañones abismales. El Parque Arqueológico de Tierradentro está localizado en el departamento del Cauca, municipios de Belalcázar e Inzá. Se puede llegar a él desde Popayán (100 km) o víaLa Plata (60 km).  Los vestigios arqueológicos son abundantes en la región, incluyen tumbas subterráneas o hipogeos, de grandes dimensiones excavados en la roca.  Los hipogeos son tumbas subterráneas que sorprenden por su diseño arquitectónico. Alcanzan una profundidad hasta de 9 metros y están conformados por un pozo de descenso con ingeniosas escaleras que sirven de acceso a la cámara funeraria.


Pack de 58 fotos de alta resolucion

          Monumentos de la Ciudad de Neiva - Huila   


Fundada en 1612 por Diego de Ospina y Medinilla sobre el fértil valle del Alto Magdalena, a una altura de 442 mt y con una temperatura promedio de 28 grados C. Establecida en la orilla derecha del río Magdalena, también es bañada de oriente a occidente por los ríos Las Ceibas y El Loro. Se considera un importante centro administrativo, comercial y cultural de la región y está catalogada como ciudad universitaria, por sus establecimientos educativos.


Edificio Nacional de Correos y Telégrafos. Patrimonio histórico y arquitectónico del Huila y en proceso de declaratoria como monumento nacional. Construido en 1933 bajo la influencia del estilo morisco.
Estación del Ferrocarril. Monumento nacional y patrimonio histórico y arquitectónico del Huila por su arquitectura que data de 1915. Actual sede de la Casa de la Cultura y del Parque Andino, sede de eventos culturales. Está ubicado allí el Parque Mitológico, donde se observan estatuas de los principales personajes de las leyendas huilenses.
Hacienda Matamundo. En la guerra de los Mil Días, sirvió de refugio para los patriotas. Ahora funciona como hostería y su interior es un reflejo del pasado.
Templo Colonial. En uno de los costados del Parque Santander, este templo del siglo XVII conserva originales los pisos de ladrillo, las paredes de tapia pisada, los techos de madera y otros elementos que defienden su importancia histórica.  Catedral Inmaculada Concepción. Patrimonio histórico y arquitectónico del Huila por su construcción de estilo gótico que domina todas las miradas de propios y extraños. Se encuentra en el marco del Parque Santander. Parque Santander. Anteriormente la plaza de mercado y hoy el epicentro de Neiva. En su área se localizan la Catedral, el edifico de la Gobernación, el Instituto Huilense de Cultura, la Biblioteca Departamental, el Palacio de Justicia, el Templo Colonial y el Hotel Plaza. Se destaca el lindo mural alegórico a las maravillas del mundo.  Parque Isla del Moháán. Sobre la avenida Circunvalar con calle 9, a orillas del río Magdalena, este parque de 47 hectáreas permite la contemplación del entorno gracias al sendero que recorre varios puntos de la isla. El paseo es en bicicleta o a caballo y hay la opción de practicar la pesca deportiva o deportes extremos.
Monumento a la Cacica Gaitana. Obra del maestro Arenas Betancourt, que representa el tesón de la cacica, en cuya cabeza se llevó a cabo la rebelión indígena al conocerse la muerte de su hijo Timanco a manos de los españoles. La obra, de 16 mt de altura y 12 de ancho, muestra una cara de amor y otra de venganza. El Monumento a los Potros es un homenaje del mismo escultor al escritor José Eustasio Rivera.

Monumento a La Raza. También del maestro Arenas Betancourt y fue erigido en honor al mestizaje de la región y del país.

Pack de 150 fotos de alta resolucion


          Customer Service Representative - City of Kansas City - Kansas City, MO   
Responds to information requests, processes court payments, cash, bonds, ticket refund requests and receives complaints.... $14.35 - $22.70 an hour
From City of Kansas City - Mon, 26 Jun 2017 15:31:35 GMT - View all Kansas City, MO jobs
          Sabey secures $200M from Wells for former Verizon building   
The Sabey Corporation locked in nearly $200 million in financing for its commercial condominium in the former Verizon building at 375 Pearl Street, according to records filed with the city Wednesday. Wells Fargo is the lender on the 29-floor commercial condo. The financing includes a $96.4 million gap mortgage and assumes a $103 million acquisition loan provided by Indure Build-to-Core, a real estate fund from the Washington, D.C.-based electrical workers union IBEW, the documents show. […]
          GB sprinter explains sponsor auction   
Speaking to the BBC Breakfast team, GB sprinter James Ellington explains why he has turned to auction site eBay to try to raise funding that would allow him to train full-time ahead of the London 2012 Olympics.
          29.06.2017 | Miniera di Villandro   
Villandro / La miniera di Villandro ore 10.30
Nel medioevo la miniera di Villandro, locata sul monte Pfunderer, era una delle cave più importanti del Tirolo.
          Singer Rory Feek to perform again after wife Joey's death   
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Rory Feek, one half of the Grammy-winning country duo Joey + Rory, announced on Tuesday he will perform publicly for the first time since his wife Joey died last year to raise funds for the Music…
          Zayn Malik cancels Japanese concerts   
Zayn Malik has cancelled his planned shows in Japan with fans receiving full refunds for his no show.
          Vitaminas para la caida del cabello

Vitaminas caida cabello
 Algo tan simple como unas vitaminas son fundamentales para prevenir la caída del cabello. Es más,

Este artículo es un contenido original del Blog de champuanticaida

          Rivendell: El software libre para broadcasters   
Parece que se le viene la competencia al Audicom 7, ya que Rivendell, un software de código abierto para ser usado por los broadcaster que usan el sistema operativo GNU/Linux , tiene similitud con este programa ya que sirve de manager, editor y programador de canciones. Les dejamos con algunas características interesantes. Editor de audio : Permite cortar audio dentro y fuera del aire. Además tiene un buen editor que permite establecer el punto In y Out, así como los fade. Herramienta fundamental en las radios.

Continuar leyendo para leer todo el artículo

CD Ripper
: Herramienta que importa canciones de CD's y que evita que el usuario tipee manualmente el artista y el álbum. Además regula el volumen de las canciones (dB) y modificar los canales de salida. También puede usarse en pantallas touch-screen. Amplio soporte para Live assist, con múltiples paneles de sonido disponible para usarse con el dedo. Soporta los formados de sonido PCM y MPEG Layer.

Ventanas de ayuda (Logs): Aparte de tener una interfaz simple y amigable, Rivendell posee 2 logs auxiliares . Función manual y automática para reproducciones de música. Configuración de pausas y stop en el transcurso la programación. Además es compatible con audio analógico y digital

Panel de control: Desde una computadora se puede administrar a otras 3 en diferentes cabinas por el panel de Rivendell. Lo resaltante de esto es que tiene una base de datos Backup que permite hacer copias de todos los archivos con solo presionar un botón y recuperar los perdidos con el sistema Restore database.

Especificaciones técnicas: Se necesitará como mínimo un CPU Pentium 4,256 MB de memoria RAM, sistema operativo Linux Professional 9.x, adaptador de audio AudioScience y como opcional un monitor de pantalla táctil para economizar el trabajo del dj o locutor. No estaría mal descargar uno de estos softwares ya que es muy útil, práctico y sobre todo, gratuito.

Web principal: Rivendell
Area de descargas: link
          Africa - China (Belt and Road Initiative); #SGRLaunch: A new chapter of China-Africa cooperation (Madaraka Express)   
Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta is on the maiden voyage of the Madaraka Express. China officially handed over the Standard Gauge Railway to Kenya at a special ceremony. High-level Kenyan and Chinese dignitaries have praised the project as a sign of deepening relations between the two countries. The SGR is the biggest infrastructure project in Kenya since independence. It runs over 4-hundred and 72-kilometres between the port of Mombasa and the capital, Nairobi. The railway will reduce the travel time from 10 hours to less than five. The name - Madaraka Express -translates as independence, freedom or liberty. Chinese and Kenyan leaders have lauded the project, which is one of the first outcomes of the ambitious Belt and Road Intitiative.

One of the stops along the route is Mtito Andei. It's the nearest station to the Tsavo National Park. President Kenyatta is expected to stop here on the inaugural journey later on Wednesday. Kathryn Omwandho reports.

Kenya's standard gauge rail line is an ambitious project, that has taken five years to build. The SGR is Built and funded by China, and the rail line is part of China's bridge and road initiative CTGN's Robert Nagila went to the streets of Nairobi to find out what Kenyans think of this mega project

Kenya is about to witness its first modern railway. The Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway, or SGR, will massively boost the country's economic growth, and possibly the whole of East Africa. The railway, which is built according to Chinese standards, is another great example of China-Africa cooperation. Here is more on that story

The train is not just a milestone for Kenyan construction, but for gender equality too. Eight women were selected to go to China to learn how to drive the SGR. Four of them will be driving the inaugural train. CGTN's Maria Galang met one of these extraordinary ladies.

There's a lot of excitement in Nairobi since in a matter of hours, the new SGR train will be arriving in the Kenyan capital. CGTN's Kane Kiyo is at the Nairobi Terminal to share the excitement.

As the Kenyan President officially launches the first phase of the new Standard Gauge Railway, Kenyans say the new raiway will not only improve lives but make it easier to do business.

On the vast African savannah, a steel dragon crawls through the terrain. It is part of the East African Master Plan - the Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway. By introducing Chinese standards, technology, equipment and management to this fast-growing continent, Chinese builders are also bringing hope and love to the people. Today we will visit Maasai Primary School near the Nairobi South station, and listen to their story

Local manufacturers in Kenya have been major beneficiaries of the just launched Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway. Already, 40% sourcing of materials was dedicated to the local market, generating inflows of about 95 million dollars. Now that Kenya's first modern railway is complete, local players are still set to win big. Earlier on, I had a chat with the CEO of Kenya's manufacturers association, Phyllis Wakiaga, about the benefits of this project to the country's manufacturing sector

It is clear that East Africa is a natural extension of the Maritime Silk Road. During the Ming Dynasty, four of the famous admiral Zheng He's seven expeditions reached the east coast of Africa, where they promoted friendship between China and the continent. The Chinese-built Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway had to pass through Tsavo, an important wildlife reserve in Kenya. In this episode, we will see how the Kenyans and the Chinese worked together to guarantee that the project was completed successfully without affecting the local wildlife.

And ordinary kenyans who were lucky to experience the maiden trip have been speaking out as well

          Africa - China (Belt and Road Initiative); Comparing Kenya's old Railway to the new modern SGR    
As Kenya moves into the era of modern transport with the new Mega Railway soon to be launched, we take a look back at the century old railway system and what the future holds with the new one.

And now for the next installment of our special series ahead of the launch of Kenya's Standard Gauge Railway. Several Kenyan women train drivers have been sent to China to learn how to operate the SGR. They're back now, and four of them will be driving the train on launch-day. Take a look.

The Standard Gauge Railway links East Africa's biggest port -- Mombasa to Nairobi, the Kenyan capital. The official launch takes place on Wednesday the 31st of May. The 400 and 72-kilometre line will reduce travel time from 10-plus hours to less than five. The SGR is the biggest infrastructure project in Kenya since independence in 1963. It's also the first stage in a network that will eventually stretch across much of East Africa -- transforming transport, trade and economic development as part of China's Belt and Road Initiative.

The Standard Gauge Railway has been widely acclaimed as a signature feature for the East African country

The Managing Director of Kenya Railways, Atanas Maina, says the SGR will bring a range of benefits to the country.

After more than a century, Kenya is betting on a new Chinese-built route to cement its position as the gateway to East Africa. President Uhuru Kenyatta will see off the first cargo train later today, while the first passenger coach will undertake the 4-hundred and 72-kilometere journey on Wednesday. The multibillion-dollar railway links the Kenyan capital Nairobi with the port of Mombasa.

It will reduce the cost of transporting goods inland -- and cut travel time from 10-plus hours to less than five. The next leg of the SGR will connect Nairobi with the Rift Valley town of Naivasha. Authorities have hailed the economic benefits of the train.

China has officially handed over the Standard Gauge Railway to Kenya. President Uhuru Kenyatta has been joined at the Port of Mombasa by dozens of top officials from the Chinese companies that helped build and fund the railway project. The handover ceremony included traditional dancing and singing to mark this momentous occasion.

The railway will eventually link up to the entire East African region. It's been called a potential game changer for Kenya and the region. President Kenyatta is due to leave from the Mombasa station on Wednesday morning to take the inaugural train to Nairobi. Well, our team is in Mombasa and has been getting us more on the SGR, the projects that go with it, and the potential benefits. Here's Ramah Nyang with more.

          Global Advisors Names itBit, Gemini Trust as Custodians for Bitcoin Fund   
Digital currency hedge fund Global Advisors has named Gemini Trust Company and itBit as custodians for its flagship Global Advisors Bitcoin Investment Fund ahead of a possible listing on the Channel Islands Securities Exchange by the end of this year.
          London Update   
Went to Edinburgh, Scotland. The trip was a dampner, mainly due to bad weather and somewhat due to our bad luck. We wanted to hire a car and drive & enjoy the beautiful country side of Scotland. Couldn't do since we didn't have any credit cards on us. It might have worked with our debit cards also, we didn't have the pin numbers! The highlight of the visit was our trek up the Aurthur's Seat (which I abandoned mid-way :-). But it's a great town and nice place to visit. May be some other time I'll make a better visit to Scotland and spend more time.
The TV channels we get at our service apartments suck big time! Very rarely do we get to see some interesting program. Between time to watch a cricket match & telecast of that match, till now I've been able to get just one. I missed the world cup final too (oh well, but that was a let down anyway).
Routine during weekdays has ceased to look so bad. I've got used to it, I guess. I get up around 7, reach office by 8:30, lunch at around 12:30 and dinner around 7:30 (in office), be back home by 8:30-9 & sleep by 11:30. Started to get hang of the work also, actually liking it. Another three weeks before I fly back to India. Got somewhat encouraging feedback from office junta, but have to push a little more. I guess coming three weeks are going to be busier (wish me luck ! :-).
Things I learnt the hard way -
1) You can visit Switzerland on UK work permit, but 3 months' work permit won't do.
2) £80 can get you round trip to Geneva with
3) refund in case you want to/have to cancel.

          Withdrawal Symptoms   
Ever tried getting down a running bus? Yup, the inertia funda. Physics, class XI, CBSE.

My prolonged stay at home, after the months spent at IIMC, has put me in that kind of situation. When I was always chasing deadlines at IIMC, I would have laughed at someone had he suggested that nothingness can bore you. And yet here I am, toppled into the abyss of deep boredom. Despite the long sleeping hours, longer hours spent in front of the TV, the days just don't get over.

And the mercury is rising too! Its tough to imagine that the day I arrived here I slept in a rajayi. Now its almost imbearable to be out in the sun. The ceiling fan is no longer adequate to beat the heat. Glad that I won't be here to face the worst.

All's not lost tho', all the cricket happening about half the globe away keeps me company. The idleness compels me to listen to the pre-match chat show too, not that it makes me any wiser or happier. Tut-tut, India's out; but still the arena is wide open! My predictions: Semifinalists - Aus, SA, SL and NZ & Dream Final - Aus vs SA with SA claiming the cup. Long way to that though.

And I'm reading again. A lot, by my own standards. Some recommendations -
  • A Corner of a Foreign Field - Amazing work about mostly pre-independence history of cricket in India. Even if the WC debacle left a bitter taste in mouth, don't miss this masterpiece, for the love of the game. Hat's off to Guha for doing all the hard work in researching the anecdotes and stories to present in such lucid form! (and if cricket still fancies you, pick Pundits from Pakistan also!)
  • Above Average - Doesn't dwell too much on the IIT connection. Very interesting, very piquant. Very nostalgic for any IITian, more so for IITD junta (I guess). Its characters reminded me of many lost faces from my IIT days.
  • Spy Princess: The Life of Noor Inayat Khan - The story is definitely very thrilling & impressive, though the narration lacks punch. It's told just like a chronological record of facts. Bit drab in parts, still quite enjoyable as a whole.
  • Being John Mcenroe - Rather than being just descriptive, this book tries to analyze the reasons behind & effects of John Mcenroe on Tennis. Great insights about the genius and his times.
  • A Short History of Nearly Everything - Masterpiece! Absolute masterpiece! Would appeal to anyone with slightest bend of mind towards Science & tiniest tinge of curiosity towards Nature. Simply unputdownable.
  • The IITians - Just started this one. Starts on perhaps a bit too laudatory note, but is building up nicely. Should be a good read.
Apart from all this, I've also started reading blogs again. But my BSNL dial-up doesn't allow me to surf much. By the way, till very recent I wasn't aware that you can just put the BSNL phone cable in your laptop, do simple registration once and can start surfing @ ~40 kbps on totally on-use-basis rates! Check out Account free Internet dial up access based on CLI.

All my bags are not yet packed and I'm not yet ready to go, still another week left. But most of my shopping is done, barring some last minute items. Not yet thinking much about the upcoming internship, but I hope it would be interesting time. Reminds me of an ancient Chinese curse - "May you live in interesting times." Hmm, we'll see that.

Couple of things I have to do in London -
  1. Watch a cricket match, county-shounty, anything!
  2. Watch a soccer match. Some decent clubs whose names I know, hopefully.
  3. Visit some typical Irish pubs (just to check out the atmo, Mom!)
  4. Buy long-pending lenses for my camera and click loads of pictures.
  5. Travel a bit. Bath, Oxford, some coastal towns, perhaps.
Time to hit the bed.
          Film Review: Just Married   
It seems a whole lot of Bollywood directors discovered Love Actually recently. The funda of having multiple parallel love-stories, capturing various shades and emotions, is literally beaten to death in last couple of months.

No "action" for Fardeen
No action for audience

In the race of duplicating ideas, its the laggards who lose worst. Thats why after Salaam-e-Ishq & Honeymoon Travels, its just impossible to digest Just Married.

And that's just first of the many MANY problems with the movie! The pace of the movie is another. The movie just drags and drones, without any point in sight. The story has loopholes of the size of India Gate where from Siddhu can pass with his tractor! I don't think there are still homes in uber-urban Delhi where US-return Marketing Heads would agree to marry some girl without even talking to her. And someone please tell me what actually was the issue in the film? Why was Isha Deol screaming - "Kya sex hi sab kuch hai aapke liye?" Because Fardeen touched his shoulder or because the cockroach touch her legs (eh.. talking to Fardeen or Cockroach)? Oh, and there were other couples too. Mostly artificial and boring. Faces from the TV serials, bringing the typical rude onslaught of emotions from the small screen. Waaaay over the top! See, the issue with the movie is - there is no story!!

Which is saddening, given the fact that it the debut movie of Meghna Gulzar, daughter of famous poet & lyricist Sampooran Singh aka Gulzar. Coming to that, the music of the film was another flop show. Only one song - "Gudgudee" - is worth noting.

Now the acting, Fardeen Khan gave yet another Man-Behind-The-Iron-Mask performance. He definitely beat Isha Deol in Look-I'm-So-Expressionless contest, but by a very narrow margin. I can imagine both set of celebarents (new term coined by me - celeb+parents!) scratching their heads (Firoz very delicately) about where to fit in their wards. Action didn't work, neither did emotion. No chance in romance and too young for bhabhi-bhaiya roles. Well, tough luck. But please move over and spare the poor audience.

And if you've read till here, you must be rewarded with my own PJ. The mention of cockroach brought it forth in my memory. So,
Q. What did the nephew roach call his uncle?
A. Kaka-roach! :-P

          Fundraising Manager - Force of Nature Alliance - Vancouver, BC   
Experience with community organizing and electoral campaigning is an asset. _Force of Nature is a non-profit organization working to stop fossil fuel expansion... $47,500 a year
From Indeed - Fri, 17 Mar 2017 04:33:29 GMT - View all Vancouver, BC jobs
          Saudi-arabische Botschaft spricht Angehörigen Beileid aus   
Ein saudi-arabischer Diplomat hat in Berlin offenbar einen tödlichen Unfall verursacht. Die Botschaft des Landes spricht den Angehörigen des Verstorbenen „unser tief empfundenes Beileid“ aus.
          Retweet Worthy Tweets: #amwriting    

This next one is interesting.
Can an author fund a book or even make a living while writing a book?
Perhaps with Patreon!

Some great proofing tips.

          Pandapaar für Berliner Zoo gefunden   
Ab Juli sollen wieder zwei Pandabären im Berliner Zoo leben. Ein Männchen und ein Weibchen sind bereits ausgewählt worden. Allerdings ist China mit dem Gehege noch nicht zufrieden.
          Pode um cristão participar de apostas e jogos de sorte?   
As apostas e os jogos de sorte são amorais e perigosos quando o jogador prejudica o seu sustento. Pior ainda é quando ele põe em risco os fundamentos econômicos dos outros, nomeadamente dos que lhes estão confiados. [2413] Assista também: Jogos de azar são permitidos pela Igreja? Em termos morais, é altamente … Continue Lendo
          Todo Mundo é Crítico! Especial: João Amorim   
Ensaio sobre a obra de João Amorim.

Parte I de III
“Obrigado a matar”

              Primeiramente queria agradecer pela oportunidade de analisar e decifrar obras tão complexas e delicadas como são as obras de João Amorim.

              Como crítico de cinema e amante da sétima arte não pude, claro, deixar de sentir-me lisonjeado e envaidecido. Três grandes trabalhos desse grande autor serão discutidos em três seções. Primeiramente trataremos de sua obra mais conhecida e de maior aceitação pela crítica: Obrigado a Matar. Seguido pelo incompreendido e incompleto: Os Tropeiros. E por fim pela sua obra mais audaciosa e desafiadora: O Forasteiro. Parte I e parte II.

             Espero que gostem das análises dessa obra, que podemos considerar como algo singular pela coerência e fidelidade de continuidade e que pela sua força de roteiro, sua montagem rápida vertiginosamente perspicaz e pela dinâmica de atuação poderíamos compará-la com as obras de Quentin Tarantino, Gaspar Noé e até mesmo Chan-wook Park. Mas o que seria completamente equivocado, pois como se nota, João Amorim é incontestávelmente incomparável.

Of course, Buckley wasn't the first singer to die with whom Cornell shared a close bond. Late in 2016 Cornell toured with Temple of the Dog, the supergroup he formed to pay tribute to Andrew Wood, with whom Cornell had a formed a close and intense bond. That Wood's death still haunted Cornell was made clear in an interview given while touring with TOTD:
“With all that’s been written about Temple of the Dog recently, it’s reminded me of the original meanings of those songs. Say Hello 2 Heaven, for example, was one of the songs I wrote directly for Andy Wood and the amount of times someone has requested I play that song for someone else who’s died have been numerous. 
That’s great that it’s become this anthem that makes somebody feel some comfort when they’ve lost someone, but recently I’ve become a little more possessive of the idea that this song was actually written for a specific guy and I haven’t forgotten that person. So I’ve been reminding myself and those in the audience where that song came from.”
“I don’t know if you can ever take him out of [my heart and soul].”
Seven years later he'd lose Buckley, who became his confidant while the two wrestled with the pressures of fame. Buckley idolized Cornell and the two spent a lot of time talking on the phone while on tour. These talks were so important to Cornell that he'd take Buckley's old telephone onstage with him during his solo tours.
In 2011 Cornell started turning up on stage to do solo shows with his red phone on a stool next to him. People would shout out what’s the phone for, one day he came clear and said Jeff’s mum gave it to him, Jeff owned that phone and he put it on stage hoping Jeff might call one night.”

Buckley had a lot in common with Andrew Wood- more than a bit androgynous, prolific, eclectic, magnetic. Buckley would heavily influence Cornell's solo career, and the former Soundgarden singer even adopted a weird adaptation of Buckley's hairstyle while promoting his first album Euphoria Morning, which featured a tribute to Buckley that saw Cornell channeling his late friend.


Some have speculated if Buckley's own death was suicide but he often liked to swim in the Wolf River on hot days. He was swimming there with a friend while waiting for his band members to arrive at the Memphis airport. Apparently this kind of behavior was typical for Buckley. A friend said:
“The guy just made a big mistake — put some Led Zep on I’m going to go for a swim, I’ve got my Doc Martens on, what a great idea. He’d actually gone swimming on the Gold Coast with his girlfriend Joan (Wasser) the year before he died. His tour manager John Pope said to me everyone talks about him dying in the river in Memphis but we had to go and pluck him out of the surf. It’s not suicidal, it’s recklessness. That’s how he lived his live from what I could tell. He might have slowed down in his 30s if he made it.”
The Wolf River was once a popular swimming spot but as with Buckley its placid surface disguised a powerful current that led to drowning deaths:
All too often, those tranquil waters proved dangerous, however. More than one child drowned in the swiftly flowing stream, and in the 1950s, when yet another child — a young boy named Ronnie Jones — died there, city leaders decided enough was enough. Funds were raised to build a public swimming pool in Gaisman Park, so the children in North Memphis could have a safer place to play. 
As I've written about extensively, Buckley's death was the last act of a real-time Mystery Play, in which the gifted young singer found himself messing around with forces he didn't quite understand.
There's something else at play, some poetic -or mythic- ending, beneath the exoteric narrative. Something floating around the Symbolic Realm. I can just see it in Euripides and Aeschylus. 
It goes like this: A beautiful and talented young troubadour gets drunk on his own charisma and thoughtlessly toys with a delicate soul who is playing host to something that crossed over from the Other Side. Two thousand years ago, the omens and portents would have been recognized by everyone, from old women to schoolchildren. 
They would have warned him- don't break the Siren's heart.


Indeed, Buckley's fatal error was to toy with the tender heart of Elizabeth Fraser, who had a hit with a cover of Buckley's father's "Song to the Siren." Buckley idolized Fraser and pursued her while she was on tour for the Cocteau Twins' album Four Calendar Cafe. The two enjoyed a brief but powerful affair, which also came when Fraser was at her most emotionally fragile and least able to manage the strange force possessing her.

But Buckley, young rock god, wasn't interested in anything serious:
Buckley had a reputation as a lover man, DNA from his body was kept in case of future paternity cases. 
“He liked the ladies, the ladies liked him. When people’s stars begin to rise there’s a lot of people attracted to them, like moths to a flame, Jeff was like that. At one of his memorial services all these crying women going ‘Oh, you too?’ He had relationships with a lot of ladies over a short period of time. Not just sexual, but close personal friendships. Some didn’t know each other. He squeezed a lot into 30 years and specifically into the last five or six years of his life. Once he got to New York for the tribute to his father, which is where his career started, it was non stop until the time of his death.”
Buckley might have been racking up conquests but Fraser had other ideas. She wrote a number of raw-wound songs about him and even produced a painfully-imploring shortform video addressed to him called Rilkean Dreams shortly after their split. 

It would carry a chilling foreshadowing:
A short film called Rilkean Dreams (Fraser compared Buckley to the poet Rilke) was made in 1994 as a promo for the EP, named after the heart-rending "Rilkean Heart." It's hardly a promo as much as it is a nakedly confessional video love-letter to Buckley, with Fraser explicitly apologizing in song for being too needy and clingy here and then accusing Buckley of being selfish and immature there. But it's the symbolism that gets you. 
The opening shot of Rilkean Dreams is of a slowly rushing river 
Followed by a sunset.  
If ever there was an argument for teaching the art of divining omens and portents in school, that's pretty much it.
Fraser would receive news of Buckley's death at a pivotal time:
The news that Buckley had disappeared – he drowned, swimming in the Wolf river in Memphis – came while Fraser was recording Teardrop with Massive Attack. "That was so weird," she says. "I'd got letters out and I was thinking about him. That song's kind of about him – that's how it feels to me anyway."
The death devastated Fraser and the Cocteau Twins split not long after, seemingly exorcising Fraser and sending her into a semi-retirement ever since. In a bizarre twist, her first solo record would be called 'Underwater.'

And then there's this:
 It seems she (Fraser) is haunted by guilt: for not being there for Buckley, for everything. As she puts it: "I need to forgive myself."
What an odd turn of phrase.

As I detailed in previous posts on this frankly bizarre story, Fraser's discography is rife with startling premonitions of this archetypal drama. Discussing the Cocteau Twins' seminal album Heaven or Las Vegas, we see this:
Omens ignored: OK, here's where this story gets insane. 
The 8th and 9th songs on this album are 'Wolf in the Breast' and the almost unbearably mournful 'Road, River and Rail'.  
Jeff Buckley drowned in the Wolf River in Memphis, which runs parallel to a railroad and is crossed by Interstate 40. 

The Wolf River is on the 89th Meridian West.

The neighborhood at the end of the Wolf River is named Frayser.
Further a reader informed me that the spot where Buckley entered the Wolf River was near the Bayou Gayoso. Fraser also sings the lyric "from out of the bayou" in 'Road, River and Rail.'

Why is any of this relevant? Well, Fraser is an interesting woman. The lyrics to the first Cocteau Twins album (Garlands, 1982) are absolutely soaked in the iconography of witchcraft and the occult. 

Not to mention a song about a river called "Shallow then Halo." As in you're in shallow water (like Buckley actually was) and then you drown.  

In 1982

Fifteen years before Buckley's death.

And soon after Fraser underwent a somewhat startling transformation:

The lyrics to Garlands speak to a more-than-casual familiarity with witchcraft on someone's part, presumably Fraser's. In that context, it should be noted that the singer underwent a rather stunning metamorphosis from 1982 to 1983. 
Her appearance, her wardrobe, her voice, her lyrical style, and her comportment all underwent a radical change. Gone were the punk togs; the provocative leather minis, fishnet stockings and high-heeled boots and in their place were billowy, neo-Victorian frocks (Fraser always wore long sleeves to hide her tattoos). Her lyrics began evolving towards the near-total glossolalia of Treasure, though the lyrics on Head Over Heels still retain the violence and menace of Garlands. 
Even allowing for the effect of makeup, her face (most noticably, her irises) seemed to change- she looked like an entirely new person. You can see it in the live videos as well, where lighting and makeup have less power to disguise (or did back then).
Those are some Thomas Jerome Newton looking eyes

Remarkably, Fraser herself* said she believed she was channeling another force or entity in a 1984 interview. She also claimed her music "wrote itself " (shades of 'Stairway to Heaven'). 

And you know what? I believe her. Without question. Everyone seemed to sense it at the time.


Now what does any of this have to do with Chris Cornell, aside from his shared association with Jeff Buckley?

Well, just like all the Siren symbolism that connects to Jeff Buckley's death, it just so happens that Chris Cornell died just minutes away from the location of a very similar legend:
The Indian demi-god, Sleeping Bear, had a daughter so beautiful that he kept her out of the sight of men in a covered boat that swung on Detroit River, tied to a tree on shore; but the Winds, having seen her when her father had visited her with food, contended so fiercely to possess her that the little cable was snapped and the boat danced on to the keeper of the water-gates, who lived at the outlet of Lake Huron. 
The keeper, filled with admiration for the girl's beauty, claimed the boat and its charming freight, but he had barely received her into his lodge when the angry Winds fell upon him, buffeting him so sorely that he died, and was buried on Peach Island (properly Isle au Peche), where his spirit remained for generations—an oracle sought by Indians before emprise in war. 
His voice had the sound of wind among the reeds, and its meanings could not be told except by those who had prepared themselves by fasting and meditation to receive them. Before planning his campaign against the English, Pontiac fasted here for seven days to "clear his ear" and hear the wisdom of the sighing voice. 
But the Winds were not satisfied with the slaying of the keeper. They tore away his meadows and swept them out as islands. They smashed the damsel's boat and the little bark became Belle Isle. Here Manitou placed the girl, and set a girdle of vicious snakes around the shore to guard her and to put a stop to further contests. These islands in the straits seem to have been favorite places of exile and theatres of transformation.  
Myths and Legends of our Own Land, by Charles M. Skinner (1896)
So we have a variation on the Siren/Lorelei myth here, right near the Fox Theater. 

Jesus. What are the odds?

• We have a victim known for his powerful voice. Right near the Fox Theater.

• We have glossolalia as we have with Elizabeth Fraser.

• We also have a "girdle of vicious snakes." On the last Cocteau Twins album Fraser sings of a "Serpentskirt." 

Fraser posed naked for the cover of that album, which featured a number of songs written about Jeff Buckley (Fraser was clearly still smitten, as this performance indicates) , dedicating "Love and a Thousandfold Rose" to him.  Buckley answered her with the song "Thousandfold", written in Memphis. It included the line "Long time ago I'd died and gone."

• Like Mud Island, Belle Isle is located in a river off a major city. 

• 'Road, River and Rail' not only mentions the bayous but also namedrops the Isle de la Cite in Paris. Both Memphis and Detroit trace their establishment to French colonists. 

• And Jesus, I don't even know how to say it- OK, try this: CHRIS CORNELL RECORDED A SONG CALLED 'THE KEEPER'. In it he sings, "I am the keeper."

Are you getting all this now?

Strangely, Chris Cornell is credited as the author on several different lyric sites of 'Siren Song', written by Cocteau superfan Robert Smith. The lyrics are clearly inspired by Tim Buckley's 'Song to the Siren' and reference "crystal eyes." It also includes the couplet "She sang "Give me your life or I must fly away/And you will never hear this song again."

What's likely is that Cornell covered the song during a concert (Temple of the Dog covered the Cure's 'Fascination Street') and it was mistakenly credited to him by fans. The synchronicity of it all (not to mention "Let Me Drown") and how it seemed to ensnare him is par for the course in the apparently still-unfolding drama of the Siren. 

UPDATE: Now this is going from insane to downright arcane. We saw the juxtaposition of 'Wolf in the Breast' and 'Road, River and Rail' acting as a prophecy of Jeff Buckley's death on the Wolf River. A body of water which- again- terminates at a place called Frayser. We saw the deeply disturbing premonitions- the river and underwater footage running throughout Fraser's heartbroken petitions to Buckley- in Rilkean Dreams. 

And of course the title itself could be interpreted as a reference to the water of the Wolf River in the lungs.

But there's a little detail I overlooked- the lyrics to 'Wolf in the Breast', at least some of which are in English. Now you have to be careful with the lyrics posted on the Internet- they're nearly all guesswork by fans and don't bear any relation to what Fraser actually wrote

That being said, a phrase recognizably repeated throughout is "I'll revenge all I need that day." 

Mind you, this is a song that seems mostly concerned with taking care of a baby.

Now of course, Fraser herself was never consciously aware of this. She hadn't even met Jeff Buckley at this time. But by her own admission she wasn't always in control of the songwriting process, that the songs often wrote themselves. Who may have assisted in this process then? I guess we'll never know.

But given the Celtic extraction of the main players in the drama it's worth looking into the myth of the Leanán Sidhe: 

In Celtic folklore, the leannán sí "Fairy-Lover"[1] (Scottish Gaelic: leannan sìth, Manx: lhiannan shee; [lʲan̴̪-an ˈʃiː]) is a beautiful woman of the Aos Sí ("people of the barrows") who takes a human lover. Lovers of the leannán sídhe are said to live brief, though highly inspired, lives.   
The leannán sídhe is generally depicted as a beautiful muse who offers inspiration to an artist in exchange for their love and devotion; however, this frequently results in madness for the artist, as well as premature death.
Like the Siren, the Leanán Sidhe is said to live at the bottom of the ocean.

UPDATE: It should also be kept in mind that Fraser was recording "Teardrop" with Massive Attack when Buckley died, a song she wrote about their breakup. The lyrics include lines about "black flowers blossom," a common symbol for death.

UPDATE: A Jesus Christ Pose in Detroit? Soundboard recording of Wolf in the Breastfrom 1990. Uploaded in 2015.

UPDATE: Our Gordon reminds us that Memphis- Egypt- literally had a Temple of the Dog, ie., Anubis.

*Fraser was studying Theosophy and Anthrosophy in 2012 at Emerson College, Sussex.

Again, David Lynch tried to license Elizabeth Fraser's version of 'Song to the Siren' for Blue Velvet but was unable to. He later used it in Lost Highway.

          The Cold War Kabuki   

Well, you all know what the big story was this past week. I wasn't going to post on it but enough people have asked and it seems germane to the ongoing Reality Show we're all unwitting (and unwilling) extras in. In case you've been on media blackout or a vision quest, here's a brief thumbnail sketch:
The United States launched a military strike Thursday on a Syrian government airbase in response to a chemical weapons attack that killed dozens of civilians earlier in the week. 
On President Donald Trump's orders, US warships launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at the airbase that was home to the warplanes that carried out the chemical attacks, US officials said.
As it happens, the airstrikes apparently didn't even seem to have the desired deterrent effect. The air base was up and running soon after the strikes:
Syrian warplanes took off from the air base hit by US cruise missiles yesterday to carry out bombing raids on rebel-held areas, in a defiant show of strength. 
Just hours after the al-Shayrat airfield was bombed with 59 US Tomahawk cruise missiles fired from warships in the Mediterranean, aircraft struck targets in the eastern Homs countryside, according to a monitoring group. 
The airstrikes were carried out on Khan Sheikhoun - the same town Bashar al-Assad’s regime is accused of attacking with chemicals - and seven other towns around eastern Homs, some of which controlled by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil).
This rebound seemed to catch the War Party off guard, since CNN reported on the same story but appeared to ascribe the airstrikes to phantom warplanes. I mean, it couldn't be the Syrians or the Russians, right?:
(CNN) New airstrikes targeted a town in Syria that was hit by a chemical attack earlier this week, activists said, less than a day after the US bombarded a Syrian air base to "send a message" to the Assad regime. 
It wasn't immediately clear who conducted the strikes on Khan Sheikhoun, which was hit on Friday and Saturday, though only Russian and Syrian regime aircraft have been bombing that area of rebel-held Idlib province.
CNN, who've been hammering Trump around the clock since he humiliated their network head in a post-election tantrum, suddenly changed their tune when he started raining bombs on Syria. Sam Kriss reports:
The media was kind to Trump’s attack on Syria. Every pompous outlet that has spent the last five months screaming incessantly about the threat to democracy, the inevitable deaths and the terror of wars, had nothing but applause as soon as the wars and the deaths actually got going. 
 A fleshy and dangerous idiot, a vulgarian, an imbecile – until those first perfect screaming shots of Tomahawk missiles being fired were broadcast – that’s our guy, you show them Donny! This is when, as Fareed Zakaria put it on CNN, Trump ‘became the president.’
The same mainstream media, which has become a hornet's hive of conspiracy theorizing since the election, was quick to shoot down any conspiracy theories about the Syria Bombshow.
A volley of US cruise missiles had barely been launched into Syria before the internet filled up with fact-free theories about the real reason for the international crisis.
A popular one on the right-most fringes: the US government actually carried out the chemical weapons massacre in Syria last week - a "false flag" to trick President Donald Trump into retaliating, thus entangling himself in a foreign war. 
A slightly more convoluted strain on the left: Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the chemical weapons massacre to help Trump - distracting Americans from an investigation into Trump's campaign ties to Russia by provoking the missile strike.
Alt-left conspiracy theorists prefer the idea that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the chemical weapons massacre to help Trump - distracting Americans from an investigation into Trump's campaign ties to Russia.
Ron Paul, whose son Rand is now a rising star in the Senate, was perhaps the most prominent public figure to cast shade on the Syria op:
“Before this episode of possible gas exposure and who did what, things were going along reasonably well for the conditions,” the former Texas congressman stated. “Trump said let the Syrians decide who should run their country, and peace talks were making out, and Al Qaeda and ISIS were on the run.” 
“It looks like, maybe, somebody didn’t like that so there had to be an episode, and the blame now is we can’t let that happen because it looks like it might benefit Assad.”
For his part, Doctor Bones speculates that the real mark for a possible elaborate sting wasn't Assad or Putin, but in fact another player altogether. The timing seems hard to argue with:
A gas attack launched by the fleeing Syrian rebels, a side quickly losing it’s CIA-sponsorship and well aware it’s continued health depends on American funds, sure has a shit-ton more to gain from wide swathes of civilians dying on camera. Even better if they die particularly gruesomely and in a way the rebels claim they couldn’t be responsible for despite being photographed with all the tech to do so. 
How does Trump’s seemingly pointless explosion-show play into this? The answer: perfectly...
Consider also that the Chinese President was in Mar-a-Largo when the strike was underway, that Trump not only told him it was going to happen but actually ate dinner with him as it went on and the event spirals into even greater significance. A show of force full of technical prowess in a contested warzone while the Russians stood back and watched sends a powerful message to a foreign leader currently dining in enemy territory.
Is this just swivel-eyed speculation? Is there any reason to believe this wasn't all some improbable coincidence, that Xi Jinping was indeed dining with Trump while the Bombshow began? Because if it's not a coincidence then it's one hell of a psyop; running a mindfuck on your most dangerous frenemy during a state visit. What's this all about then? Joseph Farrell reports:
While there have been a spate of articles recently about growing Russo-Chinese defense and security ties, matching their growing financial and economic ties, this one left me stunned, for there was a statement within it that caught my eye, and Mr. B's as well, and I'm sure the reader saw it as well. As one can imagine, this one fueled my "high octane speculation" mode to the nth degree. Here's the statement, and a bit of surrounding context:
Russia and China are tired of Washington's "defensive" military installations in their backyards — and they're already taking action. 
According to the Atlantic Council and other responsible thinkers, the Untied States reserves the right to park its missile shields anywhere it wants, whether it be in Europe, East Asia, or the dark side of the Moon.  
I guess we should have seen all this coming, no? Shortly before the Bombshow, Trump's top Praetorian removed Trump's assumed consigliere from the NSC:
President Trump on Wednesday removed controversial White House chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon from the National Security Council, part of a sweeping staff reshuffling that elevated military, intelligence and Cabinet officials to greater roles on the council and left Bannon less directly involved in shaping the administration’s day-to-day national security policy. 
The restructuring reflects the growing influence of national security adviser H.R. McMaster, an Army three-star general who took over the post after retired general Michael Flynn was ousted in February and who is increasingly asserting himself over the flow of national security information in the White House. 
Do yourself a favor and set a news alert for "McMaster." That's a name you're going to be hearing more of in the days ahead. Or you won't. Which is probably the more troubling scenario.

And with Bannon off the NSC there's apparently an effort to shuffle him off to some fat-salaried thinktank glue factory.  The not-news of Bannon's interest in The Fourth Coming was dragged out yet again, this time by The New York Times. But the article planted a helpful hint of why Bannon is on the elbow list and might be giving us a grim preview of the year ahead:
Bannon’s Views Can Be Traced to a Book That Warns, ‘Winter Is Coming’

WASHINGTON — Stephen K. Bannon has read the book three times. He still keeps a copy of it — one that’s creased and copiously underlined — in a library with the rest of his favorites at his father’s house in Richmond, Va. 
The book, “The Fourth Turning,” a 1997 work by two amateur historians, Neil Howe and William Strauss, lays out a theory that American history unfurls in predictable, 80-year cycles of prosperity and catastrophe. And it foresees catastrophe right around the corner. 
It also leads to unavoidable questions about war and whether Mr. Bannon, who has recommended the book to countless friends and made a film about it in 2010, is resigned to catastrophic global conflict. He says he is not. 
And he remains unconvinced that the United States can effectively intervene in overseas conflicts like the one unfolding in Syria. As one of the voices in the administration who expressed skepticism about a military strike in response to the Assad regime’s chemical attack on its own citizens, Mr. Bannon insists he is no warmonger.
Well, there you have it.

Is the Syria proxy war threatening to heat up again, or is this all just another dance in the Cold War Kabuki? Have actions like the Bombshow  become like sacrificial actions in ongoing magical actions? Or is the real war is for your mind and is playing out in thousands of manufactured headlines, blizzards of 30 second videos with deceptive text crawls and the endless babbling of overpaid talking heads?

I feel stupid even asking the question.

Just in case you're worried that this is all leading to nukes raining down on American cities,  the cognitive warriors seem to be trying to defuse any expectations of impending Armageddon: 
White House national security adviser H.R. McMaster says that while the U.S. would push for regime change in Syria, “We’re not the ones who are going to effect that change.” 
“What we’re saying is, other countries have to ask themselves some hard questions,” McMaster said in an interview on "Fox News Sunday." “Russia should ask themselves, ‘What are we doing here?’ Why are we supporting this murderous regime that is committing mass murder of its own population and using the most heinous weapons available?’”
Translation: No way in Hell we have the readiness needed for a hot war with a military superpower.

And since the mindfuck is the mother's milk of Cog-War, the careful inoculation of mixed messages into the mediafeed becomes just as vital a weapon as a cruise missile. Scratch that- much, much more so.
Trump Administration Is Contradicting Itself On Regime Change In Syria 
The Trump administration appears divided on whether the U.S. is pursuing a policy of regime change in Syria, days after the first direct American military attack against the Syrian government. 
Thursday’s strike “was related solely to the most recent horrific use of chemical weapons,” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos on Sunday. The goal of the attack was to send a message to Syrian President Bashar Assad and its ally Russia that the U.S. wouldn’t tolerate the use of chemical weapons, he continued. “Other than that, there is no change to our military posture.”
But United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley said there can be no peace in Syria with Assad in power. “There’s not any sort of option where a political solution is going to happen with Assad at the head of the regime,” she told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday. “Regime change is something that we think is going to happen because all of the parties are going to see that Assad is not the leader that needs to be taking place for Syria.​”​
Though Haley stopped short of indicating the U.S. would take military action to overthrow the Syrian dictator, her comments reflect a sharp change from the administration’s previous position.
The difference here, of course, is that Tillerson sets and executes policy and Haley sits in a glorified debating society and blows smoke and fairy dust for a bunch of bored bureaucrats wishing they had their real government jobs back, the ones they enjoyed before being pushed upstairs to their present posts. The media only pays attention when bombs are falling.

It's all black magic, make no mistake about it. There are different terms and epithets for it all now,  but when you strip all the twenty-dollar words and the credentials and the technology away the intent and the effect is no different than a witch doctor's curse. 

William S. Burroughs understood this, since his uncle Ivy Lee was the creator of one of these modern strains of black magic, so-called "public relations." Burroughs considered his uncle a bonafide "evil genius." And Lee was a piker compared to the algorithm-fired masters of the dark arts striding the globe today.

Here's a story that probably won't pop up on your Facebook feed. Anyone paying attention to the Russia hacking story probably knows how incredibly weak the hacking evidence actually is,* but now Wikileaks is teasing out the Seth Rich mystery again.
‘Guccifer 2.0’ Chat With Nude Model Sparks New Conspiracy Theories About Murder of DNC’s Seth Rich 
New chat logs between alleged Democratic National Committee hacker Guccifer 2.0 and a Playboy centerfold model surfaced today via Wikileaks on Twitter, throwing more fuel on the conspiracy theories surrounding murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich. The Twitter conversation, conducted via direct messages, purports to reveal Rich as the primary leaker of the DNC e-mails that proved highly disruptive during the 2016 presidential election. 
In direct messages dated August 25, 2016, Guccifer 2.0 mentioned having a whistleblower at the DNC, and said he was looking for a “person of trust who can be a guarantee in case anything happens.”
When Young suggested trusting Julian Assange, Guccifer 2.0 called him “unsafe” and that he “may be connected with Russians” despite being his hero. 
“I’d like to find a journalist who can do an investigation and teel [sic] the real story of his life and death,” he said, and revealed that the whistleblower he was referring to was none other than a person named “Seth.” 
“I suppose u know who I’m talking about,” he said, adding that he felt sorry about the murdered DNC staffer’s parents and that he wished for journalists to uncover the truth of his murder.
Seth Rich, a 27-year-old mid-level DNC staffer, was shot and killed in the early morning of July 2016 in Washington DC, while he was walking home from a bar and talking with his girlfriend on his mobile phone. Rich’s killers left his watch and wallet untouched on his body. 
This wasn't floated by Alex Jones or David Icke, it popped up on Heat Street, which is owned by the Dow Jones Company and Rupert Murdoch's NewsCorp. This story looks like it's going to grow some legs yet.

So are you sick of the Cog-War and the Cold War Kabuki yet? Tired of your social media hijacked by proxy warriors fighting battles for cliques within the Intelligence community? Burnt out on the whole Reality Show Presidency and its discontents altogether?

Start looking into ashrams in Sri Lanka, then. This machine is just getting warmed up. 

*Maybe some bright young spark should see if maybe the hacking an inside job by intel people who correctly judged a Trump White House would be easier to dominate than a bloated, top-heavy Clinton one. Just throwing that out there for giggles and grins.

          Spy vs Spy: Stuck in the Funhouse   

Funhouses are only fun when you can leave them. When the distorting mirror images become your new, day-to-day reality construct, then it's not so much fun anymore. 

I dreaded the 2016 Election because I had a very strong feeling that no matter who won we'd be plunged into a dystopian paradigm in which major power blocs would erupt into all-out warfare. And I sensed that neither Trump nor Clinton possessed the political skills or the communicative powers to keep the carnage fully out of our view. Or our path.

And I was right.

Trump's only been in office for a little over two months and I'm exhausted already. I'm certainly not alone in this. It all feels like a TV sitcom in its seventh season, well after the writers ran out of story ideas. The shark has been good and jumped. And the ratings (the approval ratings, in this case) are plunging too.

What is truly demoralizing though is the utter transparency of the secret war playing out, the seemingly endless spy vs spy thrust and counter-thrust, and the obvious deceptions. Even more so is the Animal Farm-like metamorphosis of the Democratic Party into a full-blown, funhouse mirror of McCarthy-era Republicans, but with Glenn Beck-worthy conspiracy theories thrown in for good measure.

I don't know about you but all of a sudden the world seems especially cold, hard, gray, harsh. Masks are coming off, velvet gloves tossed into wastebins. It doesn't seem to matter who wins the scorpion fight, you're still stuck with a scorpion.  

We can't call out the play-by-play because it's largely being acted out behind closed doors. But we can look at the collateral damage and make certain speculations. There's no doubt that it would all be just as bad-- probably worse-- if Hillary won. Even so, this all feels especially grating.

You've probably seen this story:
Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones on Friday apologized to the owner of a Washington pizzeria that became the subject of a conspiracy theory about human trafficking last year. 
Pizza shop Comet Ping Pong was thrust into the spotlight last year after a gunman allegedly fired a shot inside the restaurant. The suspect said he was investigating the unsubstantiated conspiracy theory that Hillary Clinton and her campaign chairman, John Podesta, were operating a child sex trafficking ring out of the restaurant. 
The theory, which became known as Pizzagate, had circulated among far-right conspiracy theory websites and social media accounts. 
“In our commentary about what had become known as Pizzagate, I made comments about Mr. Alefantis that in hindsight I regret, and for which I apologize to him,” Jones, who runs Infowars, said in a video. James Alefantis is the owner of Comet Ping Pong. 
Jones said his website relied on reporters who are no longer employed by Infowars and that video reports about Pizzagate were removed from the website. He also invited Alefantis onto the show to discuss the incident.
It was preceded by this story:
According to McClatchy News, the FBI’s Russian-influence probe agents are exploring whether far-right news operations, including the pro-Donald Trump sites Breitbart News and Infowars, “took any actions to assist Russia’s operatives.”  Trump’s ousted national security adviser Michael Flynn and his son, a member of the Trump transition team, were among those who boosted the so-called “PizzaGate” pedophile conspiracy theory.
I doubt this will quell the fervor among the Pizzagaters on sites like 4chan and Voat. Given the suspicion many on the fringes regard Jones with it may in fact give the flagging movement a fresh jolt. Jones' apology may also have to do with the drive to purge YouTube of "extremist" content and the controversy over the use of advertising on videos corporate clients find objectionable. A World without Sin, as our Gordon might put it. 

Washington Post headline, pre-election.

So much for theories that the FBI was ready to make mass arrests of prominent Washington figures related to Pizzagate.  Has any "mass arrest" Internet story ever panned out?  

Maybe it has:
Donald Trump became president on Jan. 20. And in one short month, there were more than 1,500 arrests for sex crimes ranging from trafficking to pedophilia.  
Big deal? You bet. In all of 2014, there were fewer than 400 sex trafficking-related arrests, according to FBI crime statistics. Liz Crokin at has put together a great piece on the push by the Trump administration to crack down on sex crimes. And she notes that while "this should be one of the biggest stories in the national news... the mainstream media has barely, if at all, covered any of these mass pedophile arrests. This begs the question – why?
This may have nothing to do with Trump-- in fact, it's likely it doesn't-- since these kinds of actions are planned out months in advance. The arrests continue, in case you were wondering, with major busts going down on a near-weekly basis. Someone's cleaning house. 

For what it's worth, I always reckoned that Pizzagate was in fact cover/distraction for a more hidden struggle, one that would take place under the radar*. As I noted back in November:

No one is saying as much but this very much feels connected to a deeper, more covert war. 
Why would I say such a thing? Because at the same time the Pizzagate story went dark we've seen major strikes taken against international pedophilia, which actually is a global conspiracy, with its own networks, secret codes and moles within established centers of power such as schools, police departments and governments.  
With such combustible accusations-- and such potential for a scandal that could quickly spread out of control (ie., involve political figures you're not trying to destroy)-- you'd naturally expect the action to go dark and the fall guys to be placed pretty far down the foodchain. (Remember that a prior investigation bagged one of the most powerful people in Washington at one time, former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert).†


It may be sheer coincidence, but James Alefantis' former partner suffered a major heart attack this week
Media Matters for America founder David Brock was rushed to a hospital on Tuesday after suffering a heart attack. 
According to a press release from MMA, the founder of the liberal media watchdog and analysis website was rushed to the hospital early Tuesday afternoon and received treatment.
Sure, it may be coincidence. But I couldn't help but remember this story, published soon after the election
Dems to David Brock: Stop Helping, You Are Killing Us 
Democrats know they need someone to lead them out of the wilderness. But, they say, that someone is not David Brock.

As David Brock attempts to position himself as a leader in rebuilding ademoralized Democratic Party in the age of Trump, many leading Democratic organizers and operatives are wishing the man would simply disappear.
"Disappear." Huh. 
Many in the party—Clinton loyalists, Obama veterans, and Bernie supporters alike—talk about the man not as a sought-after ally in the fight against Trumpism, but as a nuisance and a hanger-on, overseeing a colossal waste of cash. And former employees say that he has hurt the cause.
It's worth remembering that Andrew Breitbart died of a heart attack at the age of 43. A year before he'd posted a cryptic tweet that some have since linked to the Pizzagate imbroglio.  Just before his death he hyped some revelation about Barack Obama's past. 

A coroner in the office handling Breitbart's body subsequently died of arsenic poisoning. The day Breitbart's autopsy results were revealed, in fact.


We also saw James Comey revive Russiagate, which had been flatlining after Vault 7. Any illusions among Trump fans that the FBI was secretly on their side were ground into powder, between this revelation and the Pizzagate conspiracy investigations. 

One can't help but wonder if the New Praetorians (I've noticed that the Praetorian meme has been picked up by more prominent commentators, but you heard it here first) are losing their last shred of patience with Donald Trump's shenanigans and are planning imminent regime change: 
WASHINGTON (AP) — The FBI is investigating whether Donald Trump’s associates coordinated with Russian officials in an effort to sway the 2016 presidential election, Director James Comey said Monday in an extraordinary public confirmation of a probe the president has refused to acknowledge, dismissed as fake news and blamed on Democrats. 
In a bruising five-hour session, the FBI director also knocked down Trump’s claim that his predecessor had wiretapped his New York skyscraper, an assertion that has distracted White House officials and frustrated fellow Republicans who acknowledge they’ve seen no evidence to support it.
How surreal is the world in which you know live in? So much so that mainstream political site The Hill is comparing the action in Washington to a Stanley Kubrick film, one which has become notorious for the conspiracy theories that have been projected onto it (and is well familiar to Synchronauts):
On the 40th anniversary of the publication of The Shining, Stephen King must be wondering if Washington is working on its own sequel. For the last couple months, Washington has been on edge, like we are all trapped in Overlook Hotel with every day bringing a new “jump scare,” often preceded by a telltale tweet. Indeed, a Twitter whistle has replaced suspenseful music to put the entire city on the edge of their seats. 
In this Shining sequel, however, people are sharply divided on who is the deranged ax-wielding villain in this lodge, the president or the press. Ironically, with the recent disclosure that some of the Trump campaign may indeed have been subject to surveillance, the president is looking more like Danny Torrence, a character dismissed for constantly muttering “redrum, redrum” until someone finally looked in a mirror at the reverse image to see the true message.
Yeah, I'm not really feeling that metaphor there, but whatever. It's been that kind of year.

Now the Internet is burning up with theories that disgraced National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has "turned" and is going to testify against the Trump Administration, or at least figures attached to it. 

It's hard to imagine a three-star general can be stupid enough to be guilty of things Flynn's been accused of but that may speak to a culture of impunity in Washington, in which your misdeeds are only punished if you get on the wrong side of the wrong people.


One wonders if the secret war has spread outside Washington. Car service giant Uber seems to be having a major run of rotten luck lately: 
Uber Technologies Inc. is suspending its self-driving car program after one of its autonomous vehicles was involved in a high-impact crash in Tempe, Arizona, the latest incident for a company reeling from multiple crises. 
In a photo posted on Twitter, one of Uber’s Volvo self-driving SUVs is pictured on its side next to another car with dents and smashed windows. An Uber spokeswoman confirmed the incident, and the veracity of the photo, and added that the ride-hailing company is suspending its autonomous tests in Arizona until it completes its investigation and pausing its Pittsburgh operations.

The incident also comes as Uber, and Chief Executive Officer Travis Kalanick, are currently under scrutiny because of a series of scandals. The ride-hailing company has been accused of operating a sexist workplace. This month, the New York Times reported that Uber used a tool called Greyball to help drivers evade government regulators and enforcement officials. Kalanick said he needed "leadership help" after Bloomberg published a video showing him arguing with an Uber driver.
So who did Kalanick piss off? 

Coincidentally- there's that word again- the crash comes soon after Wikileaks revealed that CIA hackers had the ability to override the computer systems in automobiles. From Mashable:

WikiLeaks has published a trove of files it says are linked to the CIA's hacking operations — which apparently includes efforts to hack into cars.  
The first in a series called "Vault 7," "Year Zero" supposedly comprises 8,761 documents and files from an isolated, high-security network situated inside the CIA's Center for Cyber Intelligence in Langley, Virginia.  
"Year Zero" details the CIA's malware arsenal and "zero day" exploits against Apple iPhones, Google's Android operating system, Microsoft Windows and even Samsung TVs.  
 According to a document from 2014, the CIA was also looking at infecting the vehicle control systems used by modern cars and trucks. 
Oh, that's reassuring. Speaking of control systems, apparently pimps are controlling prostitutes with RFID chips:
It turns out this 20-something woman was being pimped out by her boyfriend, forced to sell herself for sex and hand him the money. 
 “It was a small glass capsule with a little almost like a circuit board inside of it,” he said. “It's an RFID chip. It's used to tag cats and dogs. And someone had tagged her like an animal, like she was somebody's pet that they owned.” 
This is human trafficking. It’s a marginal issue here in the U.S. for most of us. Part of that is because the average person isn’t sure what human trafficking – or modern day slavery – actually means.
Technology is our friend, right? And now this: 
Turkish Hackers Threaten To Wipe Millions Of iPhones; Demand Ransom From Apple 
Today, courtesy of CIO, we learn that a group of hackers referring to themselves as the "Turkish Crime Family", has been in direct contact with Apple and is demanding a $150,000 ransom by April 7th or they will proceed to wipe as many as 600 million apple devices for which they allegedly have passwords. 
The group said via email that it has had a database of about 519 million iCloud credentials for some time, but did not attempt to sell it until now. The interest for such accounts on the black market has been low due to security measures Apple has put in place in recent years, it said.

Since announcing its plan to wipe devices associated with iCloud accounts, the group claimed that other hackers have stepped forward and shared additional account credentials with them, putting the current number it holds at over 627 million.

According to the hackers, over 220 million of these credentials have been verified to work and provide access to iCloud accounts that don't have security measures like two-factor authentication turned on.
Of course, if credible, with an ask of just $150k, this is the most modest group of hackers we've ever come across.
Given the war that's erupted between the increasingly aggressive Turkish government and the EU, money may clearly not be the object here. Turkish PM Erdogan is clearly set on reconstructing the old Ottoman Empire and shivving Apple might just be part of the march.

Besides, Turkey is taking that recent coup attempt-- which is almost universally blamed on the CIA-- very personally.

Speaking of the EU, we've seen stories that Trump advisor Steve Bannon wants to dissolve the union. Which may be why Trump-adversary John McCain announced his unalloyed support for it- and the "New World Order" (his words, not mine):
The world "cries out for American and European leadership" through the EU and Nato, US senator John McCain said on Friday (24 March). 
In a "new world order under enormous strain" and in "the titanic struggle with forces of radicalism … we can't stand by and lament, we've got to be involved," said McCain, a former Republican presidential candidate who is now chairman of the armed services committee in the US Senate. 
Speaking at the Brussels Forum, a conference organised by the German Marshall Fund, a transatlantic think tank, he said that the EU and the US needed to develop "more cooperation, more connectivity". 
"I trust the EU," he said, defending an opposite view from that of US president Donald Trump, who said in January that the UK "was so smart in getting out" of the EU and that Nato was "obsolete". 
He said that the EU was "one of the most important alliances" for the US and that the EU and Nato were "the best two sums in history", which have maintained peace for the last 70 years. "We need to rely on Nato and have a Nato that adjusts to new challenges," he said.
Would McCain speak this way to a domestic audience? Of course not. Or maybe he would- I can't tell which way is up anymore. But either way it's good to know where he really stands.

Like McCain, China continues to sound a similar note of support for globalization, on which its very economic survival so desperately depends:
Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli told a gathering of Asian leaders that the world must commit to multilateral free trade under the World Trade Organization and needs to reform global economic governance. 
“The river of globalization and free trade will always move forward with unstoppable momentum to the vast ocean of the global economy,” Zhang said. China will remain a strong force in the world economy and for peace and stability, he said, adding that countries must respect one another’s core interests and refrain from undermining regional stability. 
I suppose this is why China is off the target list for our new Cold (?) Warriors.

I've resisted posting on all this because it's all so depressing. I've actually written a few pieces on this chicanery that I ended up roundfiling. But I suppose I just wanted to go on the record about all this skullduggery, for posterity's sake.

UPDATE: Sex trafficking arrests and trials continue to proliferate. Most recent bust, an international ring in Minnesota. There is way too much activity going down in too short a time for this to be spontaneous.

* Which is exactly why I refrained from commenting on it here for the most part, instead noting that it had become a kind of memetic virus in much the same way that the Franklin/Boy's Town scandal had in the 90s. (Note that prior to the election-- and Pizzagate-- Trump nemesis the Washington Post was all over the issue of sex trafficking in the nation's capital). 

† The ongoing legal and police actions coinciding with the moves to shut down the Pizzagate fringes on the Web seem like the exact kind of action one would expect if there were a serious operation at work. Shutting down the Internet chatter makes perfect sense in this context because it can only complicate cases made by prosecutors. 
          Walt Whitman: Singer of the Body Electric   
The fire, the sweet hell within,
The unknown want, the destiny of me.
— Walt Whitman
“By the time he was 12 years old, an apprentice printer in Brooklyn, Walt had lived in about a dozen different houses, each one more cramped than the last. Of the eight Whitman children who survived infancy, one was a mental defective and three were psychic disasters; three were normal, and one became the chief celebrant of what William James called ‘the religion of healthy-mindedness,’” wrote Justin Kaplan in Walt Whitman: A Life.
“Walt’s father … owned a copy of The Ruins, a celebrated attack on Christianity and supernaturalism by the French savant Count Constantin de Volney. Like others who grew up on such literature, Walt believed that a long, dark tyranny over man’s mind and body was at last coming to an end; the Children of Adam would be able to walk in their parents’ garden. Leaves of Grass borrowed the insurgent and questioning spirit of these mentors along with literal quotations from their writings.”
“Words, when he acquired language, became life itself, links to the external world and to his unconscious,” Kaplan wrote, quoting Whitman: “ ‘A perfect writer would make words sing, dance, kiss, do the male and female act, bear children, weep, bleed, rage, stab, steal, fire cannon, steer ships, sack cities, charge with cavalry or infantry, or do any thing that man or woman or the natural powers can do.’ Words were instruments of command and of relationship to a world waiting to be named for the first time.”
Whitman had the dubious benefit of a “…thrifty and national scheme of education devised by an English Quaker, Joseph Lancaster,” Kaplan noted. “Assisted by hierarchies of student monitors, one teacher was able to distribute rote learning, together with fundamental social values and strict notions of the good and the useful, to 200 and more pupils.
“Sometimes he invoked muscular Christianity and resorted to the birch rod, the cowhide strap and, in Whitman’s words, ‘other ingenious methods of child torture,’ mental as well as physical. He demanded unison, unquestioning obedience to regulations, undivided attention and a physical discipline that dictated the precise way to hold and close a book during recitations and the position of hands when students stood at parade rest.
“The Lancaster method was designed to separate children from their ignorance as cleanly and impersonally as Eli Whitney’s cotton gin separated fibers from seeds. It proved to be stupefying even for pupils less jealous of their emotional freedom than Walt.”
Whitman said that the first time he wanted to write anything was “…when I saw a ship under full sail, and had the desire to describe it exactly as it seemed to me.”
Whitman loved swimming with other young men, nude in the fashion of the 19th century, their bodies electric.

Poise on the hips, leaping, reclining, embracing, arm-curving and tightening,
The continual changes of the flex of the mouth, and around the eyes,
The skin, the sun-burnt shade, freckles, hair,
The curious sympathy one feels, when feeling with the hand the naked meat of the body,
The circling rivers, the breath, and breathing it in and out…

“The young men ran dancing and laughing along the sand, bathed in the surf, fished, dug clams, speared messes of fat, sweet-meated eel,” wrote biographer Kaplan. “He loved swimming, of a passive sort — ‘I was a first-rate aquatic loafer,’ he recalled. ‘I possessed almost unlimited capacity for floating on my back.’ Cradled, rocked and drowsing, his body rolling ‘silently to and fro in the heave of the water,’ he lay suspended between the depths and the light, between the unconscious and the world of necessity.”
As a young man, Whitman wrote a bad didactic novel about the evils of drink, and edited a newspaper attacking Catholics and the Irish. For solutions, like other Americans, he looked West.
“Continentalism and Union were to shape Whitman’s poetic vision (‘I am large. I contain multitudes’),” Kaplan wrote. “ ‘California’s shores’ were not only the western boundaries of the Union — they were the boundaries of the found and the ‘yet unfound,’ the measure of his psychic growth. (‘Eastward I go only by force,’ Thoreau said, ‘but westward I go free.’)”
Unfortunately, Whitman’s enthusiasm for freedom only went so far. While sympathetic to the plight of individual black people, Whitman regarded their race as unfit for freedom and decried the “ranting” and “abominable fanaticism” of the abolitionists.
“Sylvester Graham, temperance reformer, physiological guru and eponym of the delicious cracker, joined in the battle against dyspepsia, or indigestion, a malady of epidemic proportions for Americans,” wrote Kaplan. “The “Peristaltic Persuader,” as he was called, favored internal and external applications of cold water and repasts of boiled vegetables and bread made from unsifted whole-wheat flour. Alcohol, tea, coffee and red meat were proscribed, on the grounds that they stimulated the lower nature.
“In a celebrated lecture on chastity, Graham argued that there had to be something amiss with any organ that sent priority messages to the brain — an erect penis was no more wholesome than a bloated stomach or an infected finger. According to him and other popular theorists of the day, the seminal loss for a man in one act of sexual intercourse was the equivalent of 40 ounces of blood, a fifth of the body’s supply. This appalling figure was a warning against sexual overindulgence — meaning more than once a month — could cause tuberculosis, convulsions, indigestion and even imbecilism; sex — especially masturbation — withered the thinking organs of men, just as thinking withered the reproductive organs of women. Sex was a major disorder, even a catastrophe; it was a wonder the species had lasted as long as it had.”
And then came Whitman. “By 1855, when Whitman presented himself coatless and bare-necked, his pelvis thrust forward, in his Leaves of Glass frontispiece, men of fashion were dressed from head to toe like black tubes,” Kaplan wrote. “No other poet of his century wrote about the body with such explicitness and joy, anatomizing it at rest and cataloguing its parts, celebrating it as an instrument of love:

“Without shame the man I like knows and avows the deliciousness of his sex,
“Without shame the woman I like knows and avows hers.

“No other poet of his century paid such a continuing high price for his boldness, ostracism, ostentatious neglect, ridicule, censorship, suppression.”
“…Whitman saw few encouraging signs in 1850. Democratic hope was at an ebb tide. Two years earlier, the overthrow of Louis Phillipe in France had touched off a wave of revolutions all over Europe. Americans rejoiced in the expectation that soon no throne would be left standing anywhere.

“‘God, ‘twas delicious,’ Whitman wrote,
‘That brief, tight, glorious grip
‘Upon the throats of kings.

“But the forces of liberal nationalism — Emerson’s ‘party of the Future,’ ‘the Movement’ — were crushed with appalling ferocity. The revolutionaries of 1848 died on the battlefields, at the barricades and before firing squads, or they fled into exile. Karl Marx spent the rest of his life in London writing Das Kapital in the reading room of the British Museum. Mazzini and Carl Schurz also took shelter in London; Giuseppe Garibaldi dipped candles on Staten Island. Whitman was to see the Hungarian patriot Louis Kossuth riding up Broadway. Reaction, repression and militarism prevailed once again.”
And then came the Civil War.
Whitman poured his love of young men onto the emotional desert of war, soothing its victims at great cost to himself.
“(H)e dedicated all his resources of physical and emotional strength into service to wounded soldiers, the maimed, the sick and the dying, for well nigh three years — until his strength broke down and he was prostrated for six months, probably the start of his later paralysis,” wrote A.L. Rowse in Homosexuals in History.
“He did an extraordinary job as a nurse-missionary-almoner all on his own; the doctors said that his services in the Washington war-hospitals and camps were more valuable than their own. Today he would be described as a psychotherapist; he was healer, father-confessor, dispenser of consolation and gifts he collected for the men. But his outpouring of love was the most important. A good lady-worker told him that the men were unresponsive. Little did she know: with limbs shattered, sick or dying, they longed to be kissed. Here was one young wounded New Yorker among thousands. ‘He behaved very manly and affectionate. The kiss I gave him as I was about leaving he returned fourfold. I had several such interviews with him. He died just after the one described.
“One cannot go into all that Walt did for these men, writing their letters, always bringing presents, spending all he could collect on them to keep their spirits going, consoling, hearing their prayers, taking their last messages.”
Neil McKenna, in his The Secret Life of Oscar Wilde, reported that in his trip to America in 1882, “Oscar desperately wanted to meet Walt Whitman, whom he and many others considered to be America’s living poet… Whitman’s poetry spoke of the potency of friendship and love between men, particularly between working-class men, and positively oozed homoeroticism. Indeed, the Calamus section of Whitman’s great poetic cycle Leaves of Grass was so intensely homoerotic that it gave rise to the short-lived term ‘calamite’ to denote a man who loved men.”
They spent hours together, drinking elderberry wine. “One of the first things I said was that I should call him ‘Oscar,’” Whitman reported. “‘I like that so much,’ he answered, laying his hand on my knee. He seemed to me like a great big, splendid boy. He is so frank, and outspoken, and manly. I don’t see why such mocking things are written of him.”
And Wilde’s reaction? David Friedman wrote that, “A Philadelphian joked that it must have been hard for Wilde to swallow the homemade wine Whitman had offered. For once Wilde rejected an invitation to snobbery. ‘If it had been vinegar, I should have drunk it all the same,’ he said. ‘I have an admiration for that man which I can hardly express.’”
Bronson Alcott, Louisa May’s father, was present when Whitman met Henry David Thoreau in 1856.
“Observing the edgy traffic between them, Alcott was reminded of ‘two beasts, each wondering what the other would do, whether to snap or run,”” Kaplan noted.
“He decided that either Henry was afraid Walt would steal his woods or Walt had recognized that for once he had met his match in Henry, ‘a sagacity potent, penetrating and peerless as his own,; an ego as unbiddable, an eye as hawklike. (Emerson surmised that perhaps Henry’s ‘fancy for Walt Whitman grew out of his taste for wild nature, for an otter, a woodchuck or a loon.’)… Each had his own vector of self-willed resistance to a trade- and conformity-minded society.”
Thoreau became an evangelical booster of Leaves of Grass.
Ralph Waldo Emerson urged Whitman to cut some of the more physically vivid passages from the expanding editions of Leaves of Grass. No more “love-flesh swelling and deliciously aching” or “limitless limpid jets of loves hot and enormous.” And please no more references to…

…The young man that wakes, deep at night, the hot hand seeking to repress what would master him;        
The mystic amorous night — the strange half-welcome pangs, visions, sweats,        
The pulse pounding through palms and trembling encircling fingers — the young man all color’d, red, ashamed, angry;

Whitman asked Emerson if the book would be as good without such passages. Emerson paused, then replied, “I did not say as good a book. I said a good book.”
Years later, Whitman said, “Expurgation is apology — yes, surrender — yes, an admission that something or other was wrong. Emerson said expurgate — I said no, no... I have not lived to regret my Emerson no.”
Whitman’s optimism was hard-pressed during the Civil War. In a single year, 1864, Whitman’s brother George became a prisoner of war and Whitman had his violent brother Jesse committed to the Kings County Lunatic Asylum. His alcoholic, widowed sister-in-law Nancy became a prostitute and gave birth to a son who was run over and killed by a brewery wagon in 1868. And Whitman’s nursing of all those shattered and dying soldiers he loved finally brought him to the verge of physical and mental collapse.
Yet, faced with calamity, Whitman determined “…to be self-balanced for contingencies,
“To confront night, storms, hunger, ridicule, accidents, rebuffs, as the trees and animals do.”
Kaplan wrote: “Somehow I seem’d to get identity with each and every thing around me, in its condition,” (Whitman) said at Timber Creek. “Nature was naked, and I was also.” Earth rocks, trees and small living beings were lessons in imperturbability, concreteness and strength. “Being” was superior to “the human trait of mere seeming,” The human habit of “persistent strayings and sickly abstractions.”
Ironically, while Whitman could identify with small living beings, apparently he couldn’t do so with large ones who happened to be black.
Although opposed to slavery, Whitman remained a racist. Watching five black regiments of Gen. Ambrose Burnside’s army march in review, Whitman remarked, “It looked funny to see the president standing with his hat off to them just the same as the rest.”
The following is from a Bill Moyers essay: “American democracy grew a soul, as it were -- given voice by one of our greatest poets, Walt Whitman, with his all-inclusive embrace in Song of Myself:

“Whoever degrades another degrades me,
and whatever is done or said returns at last to me...
I speak the pass-word primeval — I give the sign of democracy;
By God! I will accept nothing which all cannot have their counterpart of on the same terms...
(I am large -- I contain multitudes.)”

Author Kathleen Kennedy Townsend has vividly described Whitman seeing himself in whomever he met in America. As he wrote in I Sing the Body Electric:
“-- the horseman in his saddle,
Girls, mothers, house-keepers, in all their performances,
The group of laborers seated at noon-time with their open dinner-kettles and their wives waiting,
The female soothing a child — the farmer’s daughter in the garden or cow-yard,
The young fellow hoeing corn --”
…Whitman saw something else in the soul of the country: Americans at work, the laboring people whose toil and sweat built this nation.  Townsend contrasts his attitude with the way politicians and the media today — in their endless debates about wealth creation, capital gains reduction and high corporate taxes — seem to have forgotten working people. “But Whitman wouldn’t have forgotten them.” She writes, “He celebrates a nation where everyone is worthy, not where a few do well.”
I dream in my dream all the dreams of the other dreamers.
And I become the other dreamers….
Now in a moment I know what I am for, I awake.
— Walt Whitman

Whitman was apparently subject to kenshō, that spontaneous mental state described by Dumoulin as “… an insight into the identity of one’s own nature with all of reality in an eternal now, as a vision that removes all distinctions.”
“He had shared the experience of countless people, irreligious by common standards, who had flashes of illumination or ecstasy — even Caliban saw the clouds open and ‘cried to dream again,’” Whiteman biographer Justin Kaplan wrote. “These experiences have a remembered correlative or ‘trigger.’ With Whitman it was the sea, music, the grass, the green world of summer. The rhythm of these experiences is sexual and urgent — tumescence, climax, detumescence — but the ‘afterglow’ may last a lifetime, as it did with him, and he invited it an prolonged it through poetry; the poet was the shaman of modern society — a master of ‘the techniques of ecstasy.’"

          Commentary: Fundamental limitations of meta-analysis of cohort studies, epidemiological challenges and the stage of obesity epidemic   
Meta-analysis can generate useful results but can be controversial or confusing. Flegal’s meta-analysis showed that overweight did not increase mortality risk,1 but a much larger meta-analysis found that overweight did increase risk when the analysis was restricted to nonsmokers at baseline.2 Both were based on baseline body mass index (BMI) and did not account for health and obesity status before and after baseline; but both showed clearly that obesity kills. The World Health Organization (WHO) advocates for healthy diet and physical activity to halt the rise of global obesity, but weight reduction is not highlighted.3
          Ramon Novarro: Ben-Hur on Sunset Boulevard   
In a turn of events that reminded more than one person of Sunset Boulevard, the 69-year-old former silent film star Ramon Novarro was murdered by two brothers who were male hustlers.
At their murder trial, defense attorney Richard Walton told the jury, “Back in the days of Valentino, this man who set female hearts aflutter was nothing but a queer. There’s no way of calculating how many felonies this man committed over the years, for all his piety. What would have happened if Paul had not gotten drunk on Novarro’s booze, at Novarro’s urging and at Novarro’s behest? What would have happened if Novarro had not been a seducer and traducer of young men? The answers to those questions will determine the issue and degree of guilt of Tom Ferguson and the issue and degree of guilt of Paul Ferguson.”
Being beaten to death is what an officer of the court felt free to argue that a gay man deserved in 1969, two months after the Stonewall Riots.
In 1876, during a train journey, a former general and failed attorney named Lew Wallace was humiliated.
While debating religion with the famed agnostic author Robert G. Ingersoll, Wallace realized that he knew next to nothing about his own Christian faith.
Wallace devoted three years to studying the Bible and researching Christianity, and the result was an adventure novel, Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ, which eventually outsold every book in the United States except the Bible.
I was fascinated to learn that the first dramatic adaptation of the story was notthe silent film version, but a six-act, three-and-a-half-hour 1899 Broadway play which boasted spectacular lighting, large onstage crowds and, as biographer Andre Soares noted, “…two horse-drawn chariots darting at full speed on parallel treadmills, with a Circus Maximus backdrop revolving behind them.” Half a million people saw the play on Broadway, and more than 20 million saw it on tour throughout the world.
His starring role in the tortuous production of the 1925 film Ben-Hurwould cap Novarro’s career.
Throughout most of the 1920s, Novarro had an intense personal, professional and presumably sexual relationship with movie journalist Herbert Howe.
Their relationship had cooled by 1928, and in a 1931 article for The New Movie Magazine, Howe hinted why. “All his emotions are adolescent,” Howe wrote. “He never hates because he never loves too much. He is not a particularly good companion. As he often said: ‘I have so little to give.’ His life is expressed in acting, not in thought or conversation. You get the essence of him seeing him on the screen. Off the screen he is … a theater with the lights out.”
In April 1930, when he was one of America’s most popular screen stars, Novarro wrote a check for a new car and drove away with it. The embarrassing call came later. His check had bounced.
He’d earned $248,000 in 1928, $170,000 in 1929 and $125,000 for his last movie alone, and had $160 left in his bank account. Novarro had entrusted his business affairs to a (presumed) former lover, Louis Samuel, now married, who had embezzled the money to cover his brother’s stock market losses and to pay the mortgage on his own home in Hollywood Hills, one designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Novarro refused to press charges against his former friend, and scrambled to recover from the devastating financial blow. He was able to secure a refund on his income taxes, which helped him get by.
Declining box office receipts for his pictures cost Novarro his contract with MGM in the mid-1930s. A series of uncertain career moves didn’t help the situation, nor did his growing dependence on alcohol.
On Dec. 12, 1940, on the way home from a birthday party for Laura Hope Crews, a drunken Novarro was seriously injured in a head-on collision. He lied to friends about the accident’s cause and displayed not the slightest interest in the other driver, whom he might have killed.
“The man who could be so generous with his money could also be unabashedly self-centered when trying to shield himself from recriminations — whether from the law, from friends and relatives, or from within,” wrote Soares in Beyond Paradise: The Life of Ramon Novarro. “Even so, such tactics fell far short of total effectiveness. The law would find him guilty of reckless driving a number of times; his family … was ‘extremely embarrassed’ by his drunken driving arrests; and Novarro himself was undoubtedly aware of both his culpability in the car accident and his alcoholism. Despite his attempts at self-deceit, Novarro knew he had a serious problem that he was unable to solve.”
Novarro spent the rest of his life alternating between shameful alcoholic episodes and self-righteous periods of arch-Catholic religiosity, I think at least in part because he no longer had an effective way to express his artistic impulses. He never found a creative path off the dead end of Sunset Boulevard.

          Community Fundraising Speaker - Ayrshire - Action On Hearing Loss - Scotland   
Regular support will be given by your Volunteer Coordinator, especially in the early stages of your role as you settle in....
From Action on Hearing Loss - Thu, 23 Mar 2017 10:59:49 GMT - View all Scotland jobs
          William S. Paley: The Limits of Power   
In 1965, the new Eero Saarinen-designed building on 52nd Street at Sixth Avenue — swiftly dubbed “Black Rock” — was CBS President Frank Stanton’s baby.
“Consistent with his own taste in art, the furnishings and fixtures reflected a sleek, modern look,” wrote Lewis J. Paper in his book Empire: William S. Paley and the Making of CBS. “Glass, chrome and modern paintings dominated the interior space. Even the location and quantity of plants received careful consideration.
“The only exception to the master plan was (CBS Chairman of the Board Bill) Paley’s office. It continued to reflect his own (and very different) tastes. The French gaming table remained as his desk, rich paneling still adorned the walls, comfortable couches were placed strategically, exquisite paintings hung on the walls, and various artifacts — an old CBS microphone, the cigar-store Indian and later a photograph of Edward R. Murrow — all helped to provide a warmth that seemed even more pronounced because of its stark contrast with the rest of the building.”
But the urbane and sophisticated gourmet Paley had his own baby —a haute cuisine restaurant on the ground floor, eventually to be called The Ground Floor.
“The notion of owning a restaurant had always appealed to Paley, especially as the years went by,” Paper said. “Decades of culinary experience had only added to his knowledge and heightened his interest in planning a restaurant. It would, of course, have to feature the best in everything — from its design to the food to the service. Friends noticed the considerable energy he put into the restaurant — picking a name, shaping the décor and planning the menu.”
The interior design reflected the exterior of Black Rock, but the restaurant’s manager, Jerry Brody, thought that was a mistake. “He felt the building was too cold and stark for a restaurant,” Paper said. “Then there was the cost of the fixtures. Bill Paley wanted the best, but the cost made it that much more difficult for the restaurant to show a profit. All of which might have been overcome if the restaurant became popular, but Bill Paley’s zest for food was not matched by his success as a restaurateur.”
Brody suggested a northern European steakhouse, but Paley said no. It must be French cuisine.
“He went to France almost every year, knew the food and it would draw the right kind of customers — sophisticated people, those who appreciated the finer things. But all these plans and hopes and expectations could not guarantee results. No matter how much time Paley spent in the kitchen tasting the soups and other fare (which he did almost every day), The Ground Floor did not produce the business that Bill Paley wanted, that he felt he deserved.”
In 1968, restaurant critic Gael Greene described the chilly ambience. “The Ground Floor is a perfect room to end an affair in,” she wrote. “The tables are far enough apart to announce the break in a firm voice, and the ambiance is stern enough to discourage sloppy emotionalism.”
“But Boss Paley mingles with everyday folk in the dining room. Leonard Lyons moves through the grill, antennae clicking off the celebrities du jour – Donald Pleasence, Sloan Simpson, an author or two drinking breakfast. And good grief! Bob Dylan’s manager Albert Grossman tieless, unjacketed, grizzled gray locks to the shoulder, Ben Franklin specs … the oldest hippie in the world. Mostly, though, the grill is lined with youngish executives expense-accounting each other. Restrained, subdued: That is not a bar to get sloppy drunk in … not a room to unlax in.”
“It was a never-ending source of frustration,” Paper wrote. “He knew food, he knew New York City and yet he could not make the kind of mystical connection to customers that he had made with his programming. And those who confronted him with the obvious truth proceeded at their peril.
“There was the time, for example, when Stanton, Fred Friendly and Bill Leonard met with Paley one afternoon shortly after The Ground Floor had opened. Paley asked the three executives if they had eaten at the restaurant. In fact, they had all just eaten there — and thought it was terrible. Neither Stanton nor Friendly dared to speak the truth, though. They mumbled that it was fine, just fine. But Bill Leonard loved food as much as Paley, and the two of them had spent many occasions passing away hours discussing food. Leonard could not compromise the truth on so important a matter, and he blurted out, ‘It was awful. The food was terrible. Fred had a fish dish and got sick. The service was bad and the prices were way out of line.’
“As Leonard continued, on and on, the color started to drain from Stanton’s face, and the effect on Paley was obvious.
“‘It was as though I had said his mother had been caught with a young man,’ said Leonard. The meeting ended more quickly than anyone had anticipated, and the phone was ringing for Friendly almost as soon as he and Leonard returned to the news offices on West Fifty-seventh Street. Friendly reported that it was Stanton with a message for the deputy news chief.
“‘Tell Leonard,’ said Stanton, ‘that he has just set the News Division back 10 years. He’s wrecked everything. All Paley can talk about now is the restaurant.’”
“All he wanted, he told friends in 1965, was a simple place where a secretary could go downstairs and have lunch for seven or eight dollars,” David Halberstam wrote in the Atlantic. “His pleasure was enormous when the restaurant finally opened, and his disappointment equal when it was not a wild success. At one point Paley, puzzled by the lack of its success, turned to the restaurateur running it for him, Jerry Brody, and suggested that they might try a supper club for those who eat around 11 p.m., something that Paley liked to do after an evening of concerts or theater.
“ ‘Bill,’ said Brody, ‘there ain’t no supper business in this town.’
“ ‘No?’ answered Paley, puzzled. ‘Why not?’
“ ‘Because everyone’s home watching the tube.’”
Paley’s restaurant evolved into the Ground Floor Café, the American Charcuterie and then the sixth incarnation of the venerable Rose Restaurant. Today the location offers the haute Asian fusion of the China Grill.
Who was Paley? The son of an Eastern European Jewish immigrant to Chicago who’d started a successful cigar company, William S. Paley was, by 1928, a young man looking to make a mark in a young industry, broadcasting.
He’d received a million dollars worth of stock in the Congress Cigar Company, and wanted to use part of it to buy a controlling interest in New York-based UIB, the United Independent Broadcasters, a rival to the industry leader, NBC. But he couldn’t do that without his father’s approval.
“After thinking it over, Sam told his son that he approved of the UIB purchase, that Bill should use $400,000 of his stock funds to buy (Jerome) Louchheim’s interest, and that the family would contribute another $100,000,” wrote Paper. “Paley was delighted and surprised, but most of all surprised. He had convinced himself that Sam would never release him from the cigar business, and he could not resist asking his father why he had yielded. Sam replied that it was all a matter of good business sense. ‘Well,’ he told Bill, ‘if you succeed, it’ll be a bigger business than what you’re in now; and if you don’t succeed,’ his father added, ‘you will have had a lot of experience which might be very useful in the cigar business and to me, and so, on balance, I think you ought to try it.’”
After some hard bargaining, Paley succeeded in securing 50.3 percent of UIB’s stock for $503,000, the day before his 27th birthday.
“Paley was no doubt excited when he arrived at UIB’s office on an upper floor in the tower of the Paramount Building in midtown Manhattan. But the reception was something less than he had hoped for. A stocky office boy refused to admit the boyish-looking president, demanding to see credentials and to know the purpose of his visit.”
The purpose of his visit was to run the company for several decades, as soon as he changed its name to CBS.
Programming was always Paley’s first love at CBS, and his desire for both quality and profits wasn’t easy to satisfy. In Paper’s book, programming chief Mike Dann recalled that day in the 1960s when he entered Paley’s office to deliver the good news that CBS now had nine of the top 10 daytime programs. Paley’s response was, “That damn NBC always hangs in there for one.”
Paley’s programming instincts may have been strong, but they weren’t infallible. In the late 1950s, Paley “…rejected any suggestion that the network make use of Ian Fleming’s stories about James Bond, believing that the American public would have no interest in the escapades of a British spy,” Paper wrote.
Shaken by CBS’s extremely costly debacle in experimental color television, Paley seemingly lost his nerve. The sure, instinctive executive touch was gradually replaced by indecision. His confidence about programming also suffered.
“Paley was too far removed from his audience,” wrote Sally Bedell Smith in her Paley biography In All His Glory. “For decades, he led a rarified life. He did not carry cash, never stood in line, and each morning his faithful valet Dean knotted his tie. Early in 1977, after CBS acquired Woman’s Day magazine as part of its Fawcett Publications purchase, Paley asked Jack Purcell, president of CBS Publishing, ‘Who would buy this? It’s nothing but recipes.’ Purcell told him that eight million women bought the magazine every three weeks. Paley was amazed. ‘Where do they go to buy it?’ he said. ‘Supermarkets,’ said Purcell, who could tell by Paley’s quizzical look that the CBS chairman had never been in that kind of store. Purcell subsequently took Paley to a supermarket on the West Side. After walking all around the store to inspect the displays, Paley stood transfixes as women moved through the check-out lines buying Woman’s Day or Family Circle.”
But while he may never have been a man of the people, Paley’s principled and fairly consistent support for the independence of CBS News set a journalistic standard that ultimately benefited the American public at large.
Whatever his private misgivings, if any, Paley backed Edward R. Murrows nation-rattling broadcast expose of the fascist Sen. Joe McCarthy’s witch hunts in 1954, in a show that risked reprisals against his own network. Murrow biographer A.M. Sperber noted that, “In the morning there had been a  call from Paley: He’d be with Ed tonight and tomorrow as well — a personal gesture for which Murrow was understandably grateful.  Paley also urged Murrow to offer McCarthy reply time on the air: Beat him to the punch,he said.”
The charming and aloof Paley’s central position at CBS during decades when CBS was central to American society seemed to make him something more than self-centered. After decades of such power, Paley finally seemed to regard even mortality as just another problem to be solved by an executive decision.
In 1974, his wife Babe was diagnosed with lung cancer. “Bill Paley … now faced the prospect that his 58-year-old wife could die, leaving him, alone in his old age,” wrote Smith. “His perfectly constructed world threatened to unravel. Paley, so accustomed to controlling virtually every aspect of his existence, worked furiously to conquer Babe’s illness. ‘He was motivated by concern for her,’ recalled Kidder Meade. ‘But he also was confronted by something he couldn’t control. He had an extreme impatience of any failure.’”
“The idea of Babe dying was a terrible shock to me,” Paley said. “I had such faith in myself and believed that, somehow, I was going to beat the rap.”

He didn’t. When his wife died in 1978, Paley sank into two years of depression and disorientation, once complaining to a friend, “My memory is so poor now. I can’t even remember whom I sat next to at dinner last night.”

“Uno, dos, ultraviolento”, “La Naranja Mecánica”, Piltrafa, Stanley Kubrik, José Bleger, J. B. Watson, la Psicología, La conducta, El conductismo y yo.

L a primer vez que vi al tipo del sombrerito bombín con mameluco blanco, un bastón de madera, los ojos delineados, y una conducta que todavía hoy no sé como describir, no fue en la gran película de Kubrik “LA NARANJA MECANICA[1]” sino en el escenario de “Cemento”, hace muchos años, en un recital de “Los Violadores”[2], pero esto es anecdótico (o no tanto)y lo que nos convoca hoy en estas líneas es más bien un breve ensayo o reflexión sobre el conductismo. 
L a psicología, como otras tantas disciplinas como la historia, la sociología, etc.  se encontraron,  con el problema de no poder encajar a estas en el marco de la ciencia, debido a que no quedaba delimitado con exactitud el campo de operación (objeto de estudio). Este tipo de problemas fueron resueltos más fácilmente por ciencias como la física y la química, primero, la biología después, y así la mayoría de las ciencias que tenían más fácilmente delimitado su campo u objeto de estudio.
Y ahora que pasa, eh?
Nos quieren transformar
No lo lograran
No lo lograran
No, no lo lograran
No... no, no, no…”
Respecto del objeto de estudio de la psicología, diremos que esta estudia a los seres humanos, pero desde un enfoque particular. “Los intentos de hallar un objeto especifico y privativo para cada ciencia tienen mucha relación con los supuestos metafísicos de estudiar entidades o sustancias, y esas falacias han conducido históricamente a la psicología a definir su objeto de estudio como el alma, la conciencia, la mente, el psiquismo olvidando que estas son entidades abstractas[3]decía Watson explicando ese enfoque particular.
El Conductismo
Titchener y James, proclamaban que era la conciencia el objeto de estudio de psicología, el conductismo por el contrario, sostiene que es la conducta humana  el material de estudio que va a abordar el psicólogo conductista y afirma que “…el concepto de conciencia no es preciso, ni siquiera utilizable.”[4]Y relaciona a la conciencia con la magia y la superstición.
Wundt, en 1879, tras intentar una psicología científica, de proporcionarle un método a un objeto de estudio bien definido, crea la psicología experimental.
En 1912, los psicólogos objetivistas, no satisfechos con las formulas de Wundt, deciden que era preciso  “renunciar a la psicología o transformarla en una ciencia natural”.
Tras haber comenzado por plantear el problema de la psicología, eliminando de su vocabulario conceptos y palabras como sensación, percepción, deseo, y hasta pensamiento. Los conductistas se preguntaron, ¿Por qué no hacer de lo que podemos observar el verdadero campo de la psicología? Limitarse a lo observable  y formular leyes relativas a estas.
En el laboratorio se encontró con experiencias que le demostraron que, por ej.  el estimulo del cosquilleo en la mejilla  del recién nacido hace volver la boca hacia el lado estimulado, o el estimulo de una vara en la palma de la mano le provocaría el cierre de la misma, etc. También que hay ciertas respuestas que van a estar relacionadas con la edad del niño.
 Con estos experimentos los conductistas supieron que centenares de cosas despiertan respuestas de miedo en niños criados fuera de la “nurserí” y se pregunta. Si al nacer el niño solo dos estímulos le provocan miedo, un sonido fuerte, o la falta de sustentación, ¿Cómo es posible que esas otras cosas le provoquen miedo? Respuesta que por supuesto encontraron a partir de la experiencia con ciertos elementos y estimulaciones que dieron como resultado lo esperado, la reacción de miedo en el niño y denominaron el hecho como “respuesta emocional condicionada”.
Esta forma positivista de accionar, una vez tenido el resultado esperado, al formar parte de un método, creían era aplicable a todos los individuos y en todos los laboratorios.
Esto bien se ve en la película “La naranja Mecánica” en el momento en que al protagonista, a partir de estímulos con imágenes y sonidos lo inhiben de tener reacciones violentas, tratamiento que provoco en él, no la cura a ese comportamiento “ultraviolento sino, la anulación por medio a reacciones dolorosas al momento de reaccionar violentamente. En esta película se muestra esto como una cura de este tipo de conductas y universalizan esa “tratamiento” (sería aplicable a todos los individuos con los mismos resultados) para solucionar el tema de la seguridad.
Watson dirá que para comprender el conductismo hay que observar a las personas, este sería el punto fundamental del conductismo.
El conductismo “es pues, una ciencia natural que se arroga  todo el campo de las adaptaciones humanas” Así lo define Watson y dice que conforme se avance en este sentido podrían llegar a preguntarse si es posible diferenciar la Fisiología del conductismo.
 El interés del conductista en estas acciones humanas significa un poco más que el de ser un mero espectador. Corresponde al conductismo, reunir datos científicos mediantes métodos y procedimientos experimentales para poder anticipar y fiscalizar la actividad humana. Esto esta muy bien planteado en la impresionante película de Kubrik, y descripto y expresado en la canción de Los Violadores, en esa canción que los hicieron “Ultraconocidos”.

Uno-Dos Ultraviolento
Uno-Dos Ultraviolento
Uno-Dos Ultraviolento
Uno-Dos Ultraviolento
Varias debotchas
caminan por ahi
Mueven sus scahrros
con frenesi
Los mal chicos de cuero
nos queremos divertir
Con mis drugos
al ataque vamos a ir
Y ahora que pasa, eh?
Y ahora que pasa, eh?
Y ahora que pasa, pasa:
Uno-Dos Ultraviolento.
Sin militscos en la esquina
Es mas fácil para mi
El dremcom en la goloba
Me hace decidir
La de grudos mas bolches
La quiero para mi
Crobo rojo entre sus capas
Les haremos salir
Y ahora que pasa, eh?
Nos quieren transformar
No lo lograran
No lo lograran
No, no lo lograran
No... no, no, no
Y ahora que pasa, eh?

[1]A Clockwork Orange (La naranja mecánica) film de KUBRIK Stanley.
[2]Los violadores, Banda de Punk Rock Argentina de la década de los 80, pioneros del ese estilo de música, que se hicieron “ultraconocidos” con el tema “Uno, dos, ultraviolento”
[3]JOSÉ, Bleger. Psicología de la conducta. EUDEBA 1963.
[4] J. B. Watson. El Conductismo. Ed. Paidos

          SARMIENTO.... EN FIN...   
Domingo Faustino Sarmiento
(1811 - 1888) Fragmento de la biografía por Felipe Pigna
El 15 de febrero de 1811, nació en el Carrascal uno de los barrios más pobres de la ciudad de San Juan, Domingo Faustino Sarmiento. Los primeros "maestros" de Domingo fueron su padre José Clemente Sarmiento y su tío José Eufrasio Quiroga Sarmiento, quienes le enseñaron a leer a los cuatro años. En 1816, ingresó a una de las llamadas "Escuelas de la Patria". Marchó al exilio en San Francisco del Monte, San Luis, junto a su tío, José de Oro. Allí fundaron una escuela que será el primer contacto de Sarmiento con la educación.
Poco después, regresó a San Juan y comenzó a trabajar en la tienda de su tía. "La Historia de Grecia la estudié de memoria, y la de Roma enseguida…; y esto mientras vendía yerba y azúcar, y ponía mala cara a los que me venían a sacar de aquel mundo que yo había descubierto para vivir en él. En 1827, se produjo un hecho que marcará su vida: la invasión a San Juan de los montoneros de Facundo Quiroga.

Decidió oponerse a Quiroga incorporándose al ejército unitario del General Paz. Con el grado de teniente, participó en varias batallas. Pero Facundo parecía por entonces imparable: tomó San Juan y Sarmiento decidió, en 1831, exiliarse en Chile. Se empleó como maestro en una escuela de la localidad de Los Andes. Sus ideas innovadoras provocaron la preocupación del gobernador. Molesto, se mudó a Pocura y fundó su propia escuela. Allí se enamoró de una alumna con quien tendrá su primera hija, Ana Faustina.

En 1836, pudo regresar a San Juan y fundar su primer periódico,
 El Zonda
. Pero al gobierno sanjuanino no le cayeron nada bien las críticas de Sarmiento y decidió, como una forma de censurarlo, aplicarle al diario un impuesto exorbitante que nadie podía pagar y que provocó el cierre de la publicación en 1840. Volvió a Chile y comenzó a tener éxito como periodista y como consejero educativo de los sucesivos gobiernos.

"¿Que es pues un periódico? Una mezquina hoja de papel, llena de retazos, obra sin capítulos, sin prólogo, atestada de bagatelas del momento. Se vende una casa. Se compra un criado. Se ha perdido un perro, y otras mil frioleras, que al día siguiente a nadie interesan. ¿Qué es un periódico? Examinadlo mejor. ¿Qué más contiene? Noticias de países desconocidos, lejanos, cuyos sucesos no pueden interesarnos. (...) Trozos de literatura, retazos de novelas. Decretos de gobierno. (...) Un periódico es el hombre. El ciudadano, la civilización, el cielo, la tierra, lo pasado, lo presente, los crímenes, las grandes acciones, la buena o la mala administración, las necesidades del individuo, la misión del gobierno, la historia contemporánea, la historia de todos los tiempos, el siglo presente, la humanidad en general, la medida de la civilización de un pueblo." D. F. Sarmiento,
 El Zonda 
Nº 4.

En Chile, Sarmiento pudo iniciar una etapa más tranquila en su vida. Se casó con Benita, viuda de Don Castro y Calvo, adoptó a su hijo Dominguito y publicó su obra más importante:
 Facundo, Civilización y Barbarie. Eligió el periodismo como trinchera para luchar contra Rosas. Fundó dos nuevos periódicos: La Tribuna y La Crónica,
desde los que atacó duramente a Don Juan Manuel.

Entre 1845 y 1847, por encargo del gobierno chileno, visitó Uruguay, Brasil, Francia, España, Argelia, Italia, Alemania, Suiza, Inglaterra, EEUU, Canadá y Cuba. En cada uno de estos países, se interesó por el sistema educativo, el nivel de la enseñanza y las comunicaciones. Todas estas impresiones las volcó en su libro
 Viajes por Europa, África y América
. A fines de 1845 conoció en Montevideo a Esteban Echeverría, uno de los fundadores de la generación del ’37 y como él, opositor a Rosas y exiliado. Estando en Francia, en 1846, tuvo un raro privilegio: conocer personalmente al general San Martín en su casa de Grand Bourg y mantener una larga entrevista con el libertador.

Sarmiento pensaba que el gran problema de la Argentina era el atraso que él sintetizaba con la frase "civilización y barbarie". Como muchos pensadores de su época, entendía que la civilización se identificaba con la ciudad, con lo urbano, lo que estaba en contacto con lo europeo, o sea lo que para ellos era el progreso. La barbarie, por el contrario, era el campo, lo rural, el atraso, el indio y el gaucho. Este dilema, según él, solo podía resolverse con el triunfo de la "civilización" sobre la "barbarie". Decía: "Quisiéramos apartar de toda cuestión social americana a los salvajes por quienes sentimos sin poderlo remediar, una invencible repugnancia". En una carta le aconsejaba a Mitre: "no trate de economizar sangre de gauchos. Este es un abono que es preciso hacer útil al país. La sangre es lo único que tienen de seres humanos esos salvajes". Lamentablemente el progreso no llegó para todos y muchos "salvajes y bárbaros" pagaron con su vida o su libertad el "delito" de haber nacido indios o de ser gauchos y no tener un empleo fijo.
La obra literaria de Sarmiento estuvo marcada por su actuación política desde que escribió en 1845: "¡Sombra terrible de Facundo, voy a evocarte, para que, sacudiendo el ensangrentado polvo que cubre tus cenizas, te levantes a explicarnos la vida secreta y las convulsiones internas que desgarran las entrañas de un noble pueblo! (...) Facundo no ha muerto ¡Vive aún! ; está vivo en las tradiciones populares, en la política y las revoluciones argentinas; en Rosas, su heredero, su complemento. (...) Facundo, provinciano, bárbaro, valiente, audaz, fue reemplazado por Rosas, hijo de la culta Buenos Aires, sin serlo él, (...) tirano sin rival hoy en la tierra". Estos párrafos del
nos muestran el estilo de Sarmiento. Facundo, a quien odia y admira a la vez, es la excusa para hablar del gaucho, del caudillo, del desierto interminable, en fin, de la Argentina de entonces, de todos los elementos que representan para él el atraso y con los que hay que terminar por las buenas o las malas.

Sarmiento desde Chile alternó su actividad periodística con la literaria y educativa. En su libro
 Viajes (1849) se reflejan mucho más que las impresiones de un viajero atento y observador; allí se ocupó de lo que lo maravilla de los países que visita y que quisiera ver en su tierra. En su libro Argirópolis 
(1850) dedicado a Urquiza, expresó un proyecto para crear una confederación en la cuenca del Plata, compuesta por las actuales Argentina, Uruguay y Paraguay, cuya capital estaría en la Isla Martín García. El modelo de organización era la Constitución norteamericana y proponía fomentar la inmigración, la agricultura y la inversión de capitales extranjeros.
En 1862 el general Mitre asumió la presidencia y se propuso unificar al país. En estas circunstancias asumió Sarmiento la gobernación de San Juan. A poco de asumir dictó una Ley Orgánica de Educación Pública que imponía la enseñanza primaria obligatoria y creaba escuelas para los diferentes niveles de educación, entre ellas una con capacidad para mil alumnos, el Colegio Preparatorio, más tarde llamado Colegio Nacional de San Juan, y la Escuela de Señoritas, destinada a la formación de maestras.

En 1863 se produjo en la zona el levantamiento del Chacho Peñaloza y Sarmiento decretó el estado de sitio y como coronel que era, asumió personalmente la guerra contra el caudillo riojano hasta derrotarlo. El ministro del interior de Mitre, Guillermo Rawson, criticó la actitud de Sarmiento de decretar el estado de sitio por considerar que era una decisión exclusiva del poder ejecutivo nacional. Sarmiento, según su estilo, renunció. Corría el año 1864.

Sarmiento llegó a Nueva York en mayo de 1865. Acababa de asumir la presidencia Andrew Johnson en reemplazo de Abraham Lincoln, asesinado por un fanático racista. Sarmiento quedó muy impresionado y escribió
 Vida de Lincoln
. Frecuentó los círculos académicos norteamericanos y fue distinguido con los doctorados "Honoris Causa" de las Universidades de Michigan y Brown.

Mientras Sarmiento seguía en los Estados Unidos, se aproximaban las elecciones y un grupo de políticos lo postuló para la candidatura presidencial. Los comicios se realizaron en abril de 1868 y el 16 de agosto, mientras estaba de viaje hacia Buenos Aires, el Congreso lo consagró presidente de los argentinos. Asumió el 12 de octubre de ese año.

Cuando Sarmiento asumió la presidencia todavía se combatía en el Paraguay. La guerra iba a llevarse la vida de su querido hijo Dominguito. Sarmiento ya no volvería a ser el mismo. Un profundo dolor lo acompañaría hasta su muerte.

Durante su presidencia siguió impulsando la educación fundando en todo el país unas 800 escuelas y los institutos militares: Liceo Naval y Colegio Militar.

Sarmiento había aprendido en los EE.UU. la importancia de las comunicaciones en un país extenso como el nuestro. Durante su gobierno se tendieron 5.000 kilómetros de cables telegráficos y en 1874, poco antes de dejar la presidencia pudo inaugurar la primera línea telegráfica con Europa. Modernizó el correo y se preocupó particularmente por la extensión de las líneas férreas. Pensaba que, como en los EE.UU., el tren debía ser el principal impulsor del mercado interno, uniendo a las distintas regiones entre sí y fomentando el comercio nacional. Pero éstos no eran los planes de las compañías británicas inglesas, cuyo único interés era traer los productos del interior al puerto de Buenos Aires para poder exportarlos a Londres. En lugar de un modelo ferroviario en forma de telaraña, o sea interconectado, se construyó uno en forma de abanico, sin conexiones entre las regiones y dirigido al puerto. Este es un claro ejemplo de las limitaciones que tenían los gobernantes argentinos frente a las imposiciones del capital inglés. La red ferroviaria paso de 573 kilómetros a 1331 al final de su presidencia.

En 1869 se concretó el primer censo nacional. Los argentinos eran por entonces 1.836.490, de los cuales el 31% habitaba en la provincia de Buenos Aires y el 71% era analfabeto. Según el censo, el 5% eran indígenas y el 8% europeos. El 75% de las familias vivía en la pobreza, en ranchos de barro y paja. Los profesionales sólo representaban el 1% de la población. La población era escasa, estaba mal educada y, como la riqueza, estaba mal distribuida. Sarmiento fomentó la llegada al país de inmigrantes ingleses y de la Europa del Norte y desalentó la de los de la Europa del Sur. Pensaba que la llegada de sajones fomentaría en el país el desarrollo industrial y la cultura.
Entre las múltiples obras de Sarmiento hay que mencionar la organización de la contaduría nacional y el Boletín Oficial que permitieron a la población en general, conocer las cuentas oficiales y los actos de gobierno. Creó el primer servicio de tranvías a caballo, diseñó los Jardines Zoológico y Botánico. Al terminar su presidencia 100.000 niños cursaban la escuela primaria.

Al finalizar su mandato en 1874, Sarmiento se retiró de la presidencia pero no de la política. En 1875 asumió el cargo de Director General de Escuelas de la Provincia de Buenos Aires y continuó ejerciendo el periodismo desde
 La Tribuna
. Poco después fue electo senador por San Juan.

Durante la presidencia de Roca ejerció el cargo de Superintendente General de Escuelas del Consejo Nacional de Educación. En la época en que Sarmiento fomentaba la educación popular, el índice de analfabetos era altísimo. En el campo había muy pocas escuelas porque la mayoría de los estancieros no tenían ningún interés en que los peones y sus hijos dejaran de ser ignorantes. Cuanta menos educación tuvieran más fácil sería explotarlos.

Pero Sarmiento trataba de hacerles entender que una educación dirigida según las ideas y los valores de los sectores dominantes, lejos de poner en peligro sus intereses, los reproducía y confirmaba. "Para tener paz en la República Argentina, para que los montoneros no se levanten, para que no haya vagos, es necesario educar al pueblo en la verdadera democracia, enseñarles a todos lo mismo, para que todos sean iguales... para eso necesitamos hacer de toda la república una escuela."

De todas formas le costó muchísimo convencer a los poderosos de que les convenía la educación popular y recién en 1884, logró la sanción de su viejo proyecto de ley de educación gratuita, laica y obligatoria, que llevará el número 1420.

Una de sus últimas actuaciones públicas data de 1885. El presidente Roca prohibió a los militares emitir opiniones políticas. Sarmiento, que no podía estar sin expresar su pensamiento, decidió pedir la baja del ejército, y opinar libremente a través de las páginas de su diario
 El Censor

Pocos años antes había dejado escrito una especie de testamento político: "Nacido en la pobreza, criado en la lucha por la existencia, más que mía de mi patria, endurecido a todas las fatigas, acometiendo todo lo que creí bueno, y coronada la perseverancia con el éxito, he recorrido todo lo que hay de civilizado en la tierra y toda la escala de los honores humanos, en la modesta proporción de mi país y de mi tiempo; he sido favorecido con la estimación de muchos de los grandes hombres de la Tierra; he escrito algo bueno entre mucho indiferente; y sin fortuna que nunca codicié, porque ere bagaje pesado para la incesante pugna, espero una buena muerte corporal, pues la que me vendrá en política es la que yo esperé y no deseé mejor que dejar por herencia millones en mejores condiciones intelectuales, tranquilizado nuestro país, aseguradas las instituciones y surcado de vías férreas el territorio, como cubierto de vapores los ríos, para que todos participen del festín de la vida, de que yo gocé sólo a hurtadillas".

          COMUNICADO DE LAS F.E.S. (Federación de Estudiantes Secundarios) EL BOLSON   
El sábado 10 de septiembre la Federación de Estudiantes Secundarios Comarcal  se reunió con la Ministra de Educación de la provincia de Río Negro, Norma Nakandakare, con la finalidad de encontrar respuestas a un conjunto de demandas y necesidades, que las comunidades educativas vienen expresando desde hace años y en estos últimos días los estudiantes movilizados hemos exigido con respuestas concretas.   
Desde la FES se esperaba que la señora ministra se hiciese presente con personal de arquitectura escolar (ya que los estudiantes habíamos presentado el miércoles pasado, informe de asesoramiento del Colegio de Arquitecto de El Bolsón, que expresa las condiciones poco aptas para un edificio público en que se encuentra el CEM30-48-94) y también con el conocimiento profundo del pliego de demandas que hemos puesto juego.  
Lamentablemente se hizo presente sólo con la directora del ETAP. Una pauta que ya nos indicaba que pocas respuestas íbamos a tener.
 Luego de una extensa reunión, en la cual fueron expresadas con innumerables argumentos la necesidad de que el Ministerio de Educación diera un fuerte mensaje a la sociedad, ante los reiterados hechos de maltrato e intimidación que venimos sufriendo y denunciando los estudiantes (desde la Delegación de Educación y la Policía de Río Negro), la señora ministra reiteró una y otra vez que “está mal sacar fotos” y que  dejará que actúen los mecanismos burocráticos del Ministerio de Educación.  En referencia a las demandas de aumentos de presupuesto y mejoras de las condiciones edilicias (con la declaración de emergencia edilicia del CEM30-48-94), la señora ministra se limitó a: comprometerse a enviar para el próximo martes o miércoles personal de Arquitectura Escolar, los cuales realizarán un relevamiento de la situación edilicia; y una nueva reunión FES y Ministra de Educación para el sábado 17 de septiembre (ha confirmar).
No obstante esta situación, en la cual terminamos con la misma sensación que estábamos días atrás, la FES espera movilizados la concreción de las escasas e insuficientes promesas de la señora ministra. Un ejemplo más de nuestra paciencia y voluntad de encontrar soluciones reales, concretas y con fechas razonables, con el diálogo. Esperemos que el Ministerio de Educación  pueda hacer una correcta lectura de lo que está pasando en las escuelas de la comarca y dé comienzo a una nueva etapa en la cual todos podamos sentirnos satisfechos y orgullosos de nuestro sistema educativo.  


          Camila Vallejo, líder estudiantil chilena en un discurso memorable   
El Bolsón (M.P).- El siguiente es un discurso de una estudiante chilena, Camila Vallejo, una de las líderes de la F.E.S. (Federación de Estudiantes Secundarios) de Chile, pronunciado en el marco de una larga lucha por la educación libre y gratuita en su país.
21 Julio 2011
Discurso de asunción a la Presidencia Federación de Estudiantes de Chile: Mi nombre es Camila Antonia Amaranta Vallejo Dowling y quisiera, antes que todo, poder expresarle a los presentes el orgullo y el desafío que significa para mí encabezar la Federación de Estudiantes más importante de Chile, es una gran responsabilidad que significa hacerse cargo de 104 años de historia, 104 años de aventuras y desventuras, 104 años de lucha en el seno del movimiento estudiantil.
Y es un orgullo y un gran desafío porque vengo de aquellos lugares que no reciben condecoraciones, de los cuales poco y nada se dice, porque poco y nada se sabe, lugares que a veces incluso se les llega a olvidar.
Mis estudios secundarios los cursé en un pequeño colegio cuyo nombre significa tierra florida; extraña paradoja, ya que en sus patios se respiraba más tierra que flores y en sus salas de madera se acumula el polvo de generaciones de alumnos no emblemáticos, que nunca llegaran a ocupar los puestos de poder más importantes de nuestro país.
Mi carrera, una de las más pequeñas de esta Universidad, casi no se encuentra en el consciente colectivo, se pierde entre los pasillos de la FAU y se confunde con otras disciplinas. La Geografía en esta Universidad casi no tiene tiempo ni espacio, otra paradoja.
Sin embargo, lo más terrible es darse cuenta que de pronto esto no pasa solo en Geografía, sino que también en Administración Pública, que es carrera de ocho a seis, porque después de las seis de la tarde no hay Universidad para ellos, una carrera que debiese ser fundamental para fortalecer el sistema público. Y también ocurre en Educación y de pronto, nos damos cuenta que no son solo unas pocas carreras, sino que es toda una rama del saber, es toda un área del conocimiento la que ha caído en la pobreza universitaria como consecuencia de las lógicas del mercado implementadas ya a lo largo de estos últimos treinta años.
Y de lo pequeño y olvidado de mi lugar de origen, se suma además, mi corto tiempo de vida, con 22 años, vengo a ser la segunda mujer presidenta de la FECH en más de cien años de historia. Y usted rector tendrá el privilegio de ser el segundo en la historia de la Universidad que es acompañado por una mujer en la presidencia de nuestra federación de estudiantes.
Ahora bien, puede que en este momento me toque a mí ejercer el cargo de Presidenta, sin embargo, debo decir que yo sola jamás habría logrado todo esto y que mis manos son tan solo un par más dentro de tantas otras, y en donde todas juntas son las que levantan este proyecto colectivo que se llama Estudiantes de Izquierda, el cual ya se encamina a su tercer período consecutivo al mando de nuestra Federación.
Si me permiten contarles un poco acerca de Estudiantes de Izquierda, debo decirles que como colectivo político estamos presentes en amplios espacios de nuestra Universidad, que en nuestro interior se expresa la máxima diversidad estudiantil, que entendemos que la izquierda debe construirse con participación y democracia y que esta elección en donde hemos aumentado en casi 400 votos respecto de la elección anterior, nos demuestra que como movimiento estamos vinculados orgánicamente con las bases estudiantiles de nuestra Universidad.
Como Estudiantes de Izquierda sentimos la responsabilidad ética de hacer política, porque la administración del poder por los poderosos de siempre nos obliga a entrometernos en sus asuntos, porque estos asuntos son también nuestros asuntos y porque no podemos dejar que unos pocos privilegiados sean quienes eternamente definan las medidas y contornos que debe tener nuestra patria, ajustándola siempre a sus pequeños intereses.
Creemos que la clave del éxito para el movimiento estudiantil está en volver a situar a la Federación en una posición de vanguardia a nivel nacional, en volver a entretejer redes sociales con los pobladores, los trabajadores, las organizaciones sociales y gremiales, los jóvenes que se quedaron fuera de la Universidad pateando piedras, en otras palabras, hablamos de volver nuestra mirada al conjunto de los problemas sociales que hoy rodean a la Universidad y con los cuales estamos íntimamente vinculados y comprometidos.
Debemos romper con aquella burbuja universitaria que instala el individualismo, la competencia y el exitismo personal como patrón de conducta para los estudiantes por sobre ideas y conceptos fundamentales como lo son la solidaridad, la comunidad y la colaboración entre nosotros.
Somos contrarios a la visión de que la Universidad es solo venir, sacarse buenas notas, y abandonar cuanto antes sus aulas para salir pronto a ganar dinero en el mercado laboral, tenemos los ojos lo suficientemente abiertos como para darnos cuenta que afuera hay un mundo entero por conquistar, que este mundo requiere de nuestra entrega, de nuestro esfuerzo y de nuestro sacrificio y que para quienes ya hemos abierto los ojos a las inequidades sociales que asoman por todos los rincones de nuestra ciudad, se nos vuelve imposible volver a cerrar la puerta y hacer como que nada hemos visto o como que nada ha pasado. Nuestro compromiso por la transformación social es irrenunciable.
Porque necesitamos hoy, más que nunca, una profunda discusión respecto del país que queremos construir y a partir de aquello cuál es el tipo de Universidad que se pondrá al centro de dicha construcción.
Porque no creemos en la Universidad como un espacio neutro dentro de la sociedad, la universidad es un agente vivo en su construcción y en el desarrollo del proyecto país que como ciudadanos levantamos día a día. Nuestra responsabilidad está en generar organización al interior de aquella, lo cual nos permita transformar la universidad, para así poder transformar la sociedad.
Nuestro concepto de Universidad nos habla de un espacio abierto, participativo y democrático, con una comunidad universitaria activa, dialogante, una comunidad que se involucra en el diseño y conducción de su casa de estudios.
Nuestra visión es la de una Universidad que se ubique ya no en los primeros rankings de la competencia o el marketing universitario, de los cuales hoy en día mucho se habla, sino que se ubique en el primer lugar de aporte al desarrollo social del país, el primer lugar en el fomento de la equidad en cuanto a la composición social de sus estudiantes, que ocupe el primer lugar en el desarrollo de la ciencia y tecnología al servicio de los intereses de Chile y su pueblo.
Creemos en una Universidad permanentemente vinculada con los problemas que nuestro pueblo le presenta, activa en la búsqueda de soluciones y en la entrega de aportes por medio del conocimiento.
Sin embargo, nuestra realidad actual dista mucho de estos conceptos brevemente aquí esbozados, hoy la Universidad es cada vez más un proyecto sin otro norte que no sea el que le señala el mercado, a la educación superior se le ha puesto precio y nuestras Universidades son medidas por criterios industriales de producción como si fueran una empresa más dentro del esquema productivo de la nación, una empresa especial con muchas comodidades en su proceso productivo, pero empresa al fin y al cabo.
En este esquema, un rol fundamental lo jugó el desfinanciamiento sistemático que vivió la Universidad Pública al momento de implementarse las políticas neoliberales. El autofinanciamiento, establecido como doctrina, fue un golpe seco que dio en la esencia misma de lo que constituía el quehacer universitario hasta ese momento, condicionando y sometiendo a la Universidad a lógicas y esquemas mercantiles que le eran desconocidos. La Universidad Pública tuvo que verse obligada a competir en situaciones desfavorables en lo que se llamó âel nuevo mercado de la educación superiorâ, se le puso precio, tuvo que venderse a sí misma para poder captar mayores recursos y continuar así con su proyecto educativo, perdió su brillo y su color, perdió su esencia transformadora y quedó botada en un rincón, ya incapaz de reconocerse a sí misma.
Estamos hablando que se operó un cambio estratégico en el desarrollo de la Universidad, el cual ha sido irremontable hasta este momento. Con ello hubo sectores importantes del quehacer universitario que producto de su no rentabilidad económica fueron cayendo rápidamente en la desgracia y el abandono, las Universidades Públicas se volcaron a sí mismas, viviendo casi un chauvinismo institucional, donde cada una se preocupaba de su propia sobrevivencia, perdiéndose la visión de conjunto que poseía nuestro antiguo sistema de educación superior pública.
Este procedimiento operado en plena dictadura, siguió su curso con los gobiernos de la Concertación, la cual no operó mayores cambios, más bien, se dedicó a administrar con comodidad el modelo heredado y en algunas líneas, incluso, lo profundizó. No obstante lo anterior, pasaron los años y el control del gobierno volvió a las manos de quienes tiempo atrás habían gobernado con trajes de civiles detrás de los uniformes de soldado.
Según nuestra mirada, esto representa un peligro fatal para la Universidad Pública hoy día, creemos que el gobierno de los empresarios busca poner el broche de oro a la privatización total de la educación superior, sellando definitivamente la obra que iniciaron desde las sombras en los años ochenta. La designación de Harald Beyer y Álvaro Saieh en nuestro Consejo Universitario, dos grandes defensores del modelo de mercado y el actual presupuesto nacional en el área de la educación superior son dos grandes indicativos de aquello. Son medidas que nos muestran nítidamente que el gobierno se apresta a poner en marcha una agenda privatizadora a gran escala y que, por lo tanto, el año 2011 será estratégico en su implementación.
Esta será una batalla importante que enfrentará nuestro sector el próximo año, para dar respuesta a este desafío debemos desplegar un movimiento que escape a tan solo los estudiantes, necesitaremos de los académicos, los trabajadores, las autoridades universitarias, todos juntos en las calles exigiendo que el Estado cumpla con sus Universidades, que el Estado cumpla con la educación superior pública de nuestro país.
Pero el problema no pasa tan solo por exigirle al Estado lo que a nuestras Universidades le debe, sino que también debemos mirarnos con visión autocritica y preguntarnos qué es lo que como Universidad le estamos entregando a nuestro pueblo. Necesitamos un nuevo trato del Estado para con la educación superior pública de nuestro país y, a la vez, necesitamos un nuevo compromiso de las Universidades Públicas para con el pueblo de Chile y sus intereses, esta Universidad tiene que ser la Universidad de todos los chilenos y no solo la de unos pocos.
A nadie le es indiferente que en nuestra casa de estudios se perpetúen desigualdades fundamentales que determinan, por ejemplo, que el 20% más rico de la población tenga más del 50% de las matrículas, en cualquier sociedad que se precie de ser justa y democrática esta desigualdad fundamental es inaceptable.
¿Seguiremos educando solo a las élites socioeconómicas?, o, ¿nos aseguraremos de implementar un sistema de acceso que permita que todos los jóvenes con talentos y habilidades, independiente de su origen y capacidad de pago, puedan permanecer en la Universidad?
¿Seguiremos dejando que solo aquellas disciplinas que son rentables en el mercado alcancen niveles de desarrollo armónicos y de excelencia?, o, ¿aseguraremos de manera efectiva que todas las áreas del conocimiento tengan un trato justo y así puedan contribuir a consolidar la sociedad que anhelamos, ya no solo en términos económicos, sino que en términos culturales, intelectuales, cívicos, valóricos, es decir, con seres humanos íntegros?
Por más que quieran hacernos creer lo contrario, para nosotros la Universidad no puede ser un negocio ni mucho menos la educación puede ser una mercancía.
La pelea será dura, pero está el futuro de la Universidad en juego y en esta batalla nosotros no bajaremos los brazos.
No quiero terminar mis palabras sin antes aludir a un hecho que para mí reviste gran notoriedad, algo señalaba más arriba pero quisiera ahora poder extenderme un poco más en aquello, me refiero a mi condición de mujer.
Como mujer puedo ver y vivenciar en carne propia las actuales formas de opresión de la que somos víctimas en la actual configuración machista de la sociedad. En Chile nos decimos un país desarrollado y nos llenamos de orgullo por nuestro reciente ingreso a la OCDE, no obstante, detrás de la cortina del progreso económico y del optimismo del jaguar latinoamericano se esconde una historia de opresión y sexismo que aún perdura hasta nuestros días. Las mujeres seguimos sufriendo hoy día todo tipo de discriminaciones, a la hora de buscar trabajo, en los planes de cobertura para nuestra salud, en la escala de sueldos, incluso a la hora de participar en política.
Tan solo ayer leía unas ideas que quisiera poder trasladarles en este momento ya que me parecen esclarecedoras respecto de lo que les quiero decir, abro comillas ârespecto de las mujeres, cuando buscan trabajo, además de calificación se le pide presencia y no basta con que sean amables y generosas, sino que deben además ser graciosas, simpáticas y coquetas, pero no mucho. Se les exige estar presentables y cuando juzgan que se ha pasado un milímetro, se les critica por presuntuosas. Se les elogia por ser madres y se les excluye por tener hijos.
De la mujer se sospecha cuando es joven porque desestabiliza a la manada y se le rechaza cuando los años pasan porque ha perdido competitividad. Es excomulgada por fea y también cuando es bella. En el primer caso se dice que es repulsiva, en el segundo provocadora. Cuando no es lo uno ni lo otro la tildan de mediocreâ, cierre de comillas.
Estas son las condiciones en las cuales las mujeres nos desarrollamos actualmente, estas son las condiciones que desde mi Presidencia también buscaré transformar.

          The Best Anti Aging Products That Are Inexpensive   
The Best Anti Aging Products That Cost Just a Few Bucks

Are you interested in looking younger, extending your potential lifespan, boosting your energy levels, improving your skin tone, getting rid of wrinkles, and conquering an unhealthy lifestyle? If so, you may need to learn more about the best anti aging products. One of the most exciting inexpensive products is ResVeratrol. Some of the benefits of this product that make it one of the best anti aging products are :

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In addition, losing pounds can be a great compliment for any of the best anti aging products in an attempt to look younger and fel better. When you are heavy, you feel tired and slow and you put a strain on your body. When you are , it places you in jeopardy for hypertension, heart attacks and strokes.

That's why it's so significant to lose weight as you embark on program using any of the best anti aging products. To get the maximum benefit from ResVeratrol, you should add a weight loss part. One of the best anti aging products for weight loss is by trying an easy weight loss product like MaxAcai Boost. Maxacai Boost is a great program that provides significant benefits like :

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Remember, the trick to maximize your benefits is to use these 2 best anti aging products together. The links to both free trial products are included below:

MaxAcai Boost.
          Comment on Carlo Tateo Shot and Killed in San Francisco’s South of Market Neighborhood on Folsom Street by Antonio N   
Please help the family
          Ottawa's L-SPARK to Foster Growth for Innovative Enterprise Software Entrepreneurs   

L-SPARK Formed to Cultivate a Distinctive Canadian Startup Ecosystem with $7.7 Million in Funding Over 5 Years

(PRWeb November 03, 2014)

Read the full story at

          Quality Assurance Analyst - B2B Bank - Toronto, ON   
¿ Knowledge of FundServ, CANNEX, FATCA, CRS, Mutual Funds, Investment Loans, and Web Applications. The incumbent is responsible for ensuring that applications...
From B2B Bank - Tue, 27 Jun 2017 22:51:06 GMT - View all Toronto, ON jobs
          Fund Services.FATCA Administrator - Citco - Toronto, ON   
Maintain knowledge of FATCA and CRS (AEOI) regulatory and compliance environment as it impacts service and/or clients, conducting additional research as...
From Citco - Sun, 18 Jun 2017 05:59:55 GMT - View all Toronto, ON jobs
          That’s Amoré   
“That’s Amoré” (that’s love) was the title of the Italian-themed Junior Senior Banquet on Friday evening, May 5. Most of the junior class, and nearly all of the senior class attended the banquet. The juniors came up with with the ideas and paid $10 to attend, but the parents and junior advisers put it together. The junior class fundraised and accepted […]
          AP Courses – Teacher view/Student view   
AP Exams are taking up the first floor hallway this week and next week, and we thought you might like to hear from some of our AP teachers and students: Mr. Yu-Huan Wu – AP Chemistry teacher:  “I like to challenge students and make them think just beyond fundamentals.” Eason Li, AP Chem student: “I […]
          Duża hala to alternatywa dla murowanych chlewni   
Bezfundamentowa, lekka konstrukcja w postaci hali, niesie ze sobą zarówno korzyści ale i pewne niebezpieczeństwa w utrzymaniu dużych grup świń.
          Veterans’ groups voice concerns over GOP health care bill   
Major veterans' organizations are voicing concerns about a Senate GOP bill to repeal the nation's health care law, fearing the impact of rising insurance costs and worried the underfunded Department of Veterans Affairs won't be able to fill the coverage gap.
          Your rental property can be seized as Proceeds of Drug Money Laundering   
Here is the situation;

Couple owns a few rental properties that they rent to [second chance] ex cons, people down on their luck, homeless people trying to re establish themselves, low income housing.

Police decide that rent payments made to the Landlord in cash must be the proceeds of crime since the only form of income for the tenant is dealing drugs.

This very scenario is playing out right now in the Ontario Courts under the Civil Forfeiture Act.  

Here are the details in Broad strokes;

Margaret and Terry Reilly are from Orillia, Ontario. The Reilly's own several rental properties, some of which are former single-family homes that they have converted into rooming houses for low-income tenants. Margaret has been involved in alleviating poverty and homelessness since her father became the priest at an inner-city Anglican church in Toronto and opened a youth hostel there, while Terry has served on the City of Orillia Homeless Committee. Providing housing to marginalized members of society has always been a deliberate choice for the Reilly's.In 2008, after police surveillance confirmed drug activity at two of the Reilly's rental properties, a branch of the government called the Director of Asset Management took control of them. Since then, the properties have languished largely unoccupied, falling into progressively worse repair. Stripped of their rights as landlords, the Reillys had no choice but to watch their properties deteriorate physically and depreciate in value. Then, in 2012, the Government of Ontario brought a motion to permanently seize and sell the properties on the grounds that some of the tenants’ rents may have been paid, in part, with the proceeds of their drug activity. There is no evidence that any funds paid by tenants was derived from drug money; the state merely assumed that cash payments must have come from the proceeds of illegal activity. 

This property(S) were seized under the Forfeiture Act without anyone being charged.
This family has NEVER had their day in court but had their property taken away.

The lesson here is monitor your tenant activity; visit twice of more time per year to ascertain the activity in YOUR PROPERTY.   Be more diligent in your tenant screening. Bad things can happen to good people. 


Use a realtor to screen tenants in your rental condos.

Ready to invest?   If  I haven't scared you call me at 647 218 2414 
          Comment on Medical Marijuana Business Attracts Hedge Funds, Venture Capitalists by weed online   
Legalize and tax it!
          One in 10 could be behind with their mortgage   
The high level of debt carried by Home Owners in Toronto is exceeding their capacity to safe for their rainy day fund.   One singular event, a car accident or if one wage earner is laid off can have serious consequences.

We may qualify at the posted rates and take a mortgage at the variable rates; additional expenses make it harder to save for retirement or that annual vacation.

Who says so?   CD Howe Institute.  December of 2015

 The portion of mortgage indebted households with a primary mortgage debt-to-disposable income ratio in excess of 500 percent has climbed from 3 percent in 1999 to 11 percent in 2012.December 9, 2015 – The federal government should pay close attention to several pockets of risk in the Canadian housing market, according to a new C.D. Howe Institute report. In “Mortgaged to the Hilt: Risks From The Distribution of Household Mortgage Debt,” authors Craig Alexander and Paul Jacobson expose pockets of vulnerability by going beyond national averages and focusing on the distribution of house mortgage debt by income, age and region, all of which matter most when assessing risk.
“Household mortgage debt has risen dramatically and traditional economy-wide averages understate the degree of financial risk for those that carried mortgages because they typically divide the value of mortgages across the income of households with and without mortgages”, remarks Alexander.
Using the data from the Survey of Financial Security, the authors find that the ratio of the value of mortgages on primary dwellings have jumped from 144 percent of after-tax income in 1999 to 204 percent in 2012.  However, this also understates the degree of financial risk for a significant minority of households.
The author’s analysis suggests that a significant minority of Canadians having taken on a high degree of financial risk. The portion of mortgage indebted households with a primary mortgage debt-to-disposable income ratio in excess of 500 percent has climbed from 3 percent in 1999 to 11 percent in 2012. Their analysis of the distribution of mortgage debt is as follows:
  1. Income: The increase in highly mortgage-indebted households has been in all income groups, but more so in lower-income quintiles.
  1. Age: The increase in financial risk is also evident across all age groups, but more so for younger Canadians who have entered the market most recently.
  1. Region: As one might expect, there has been greater concentration of mortgage debt in the provinces with the strongest housing booms.
Additionally, the authors find that roughly 1-in-5 of mortgage indebted households have less than $5,000 in financial assets to draw upon in response to a loss of income or to higher debt service costs. 1-in-10 mortgage-indebted households have less than $1,500 in financial assets to address any shock. This represents an inadequate financial buffer, as average mortgage payments are more than $1,000 a month, before taxes and operating costs.
The federal government may want to consider further policy actions to lean against the shift towards significantly higher mortgage burdens. However, such policy measures should not be unduly heavy handed and should be targeted to address the distributional nature of the risks.
For example, potential targeted measures would be to tighten underwriting requirements by lifting required credit scores, capping total debt-service ratios at lower levels, lifting qualifying interest rates when doing income testing, or varying the minimum downpayment by the size of mortgage to target higher-priced markets. Such measures would build on the regulatory tightening already done to date without posing a material threat to Canadian real estate markets.    Click here for the full report

Getting the correct Mortgage Advice; living with your means and eliminating HIGH Interest rate credit card debt all count towards securing your long term comfort.  I recommend a debt check up with

Because the best mortgage is NO mortgage at all.

David Pylyp

TXT 647 218 2414 or Email
          It's 2016 Why do Real Estate Agents Still Exist?   
Being Online everything has UBERed many business's into extinction!

Amazon delivers in 24 hours!

The internet should be killing real estate agents!
National Association of Realtors, agents are as widely used as ever: 89 percent of buyers retained one in 2012, up from 69 percent in 2001. It's the same on the seller side, where only 9 percent sold a home without an agent, down from a high of 20 percent in 1987.
Ontario has 42,000 registered agents 

So what's different?

Buyers are International.
Showings are via Virtual Technology with Matterport 3D Tours. Buyers can pre inspect from the comfort of their computers. This reduces stress for you in showings. 

Financing is more complicated
Buyers over bidding on properties may not get funded because of appraisal or other legal issues. Some buildings / complexes has huge supply of condos available. Size does matter.

Home Sellers Insurance
Coverage is available to protect you from unforeseen expenses 

I know people and Have VETTED THEM
Whether they are the painters, landscapers, electricians, flooring contractors, appraisers, home inspectors, bankers, mortgage brokers or lenders; at some point I have used them and found them better than gambling on Craigslist for short notice services required.

Home Verified Reports
Used by Insurance Companies they provide a HISTORY of claims for flood etc.

Real Estate is a local 
I can display for you homes that have sold in proximity to the neighbourhood you want; design a canvass plan just for your search and Flyer / door knock the streets that you would like to live. VIMO applications for reports. 

Using Social Media and my personal network of professional realtors we can reach out to those that are active in local communities and search out pocket listings and coming soon.
Matterport Tours are available at

How you receive the information has changed. 
My function has not.

I look forward to your enquiries.  Call or email today to get started

David Pylyp
647 218 2414
          The Deal: Regency Energy Pays Premium for PVR   

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Houston energy midstream services provider Regency Energy Partners said Thursday it agreed to buy PVR Partners of Radnor, Pa., for $5.6 billion, expanding it from the Permian Basin, South Texas and northern Louisiana into Appalachia's Marcellus and Utica shale plays and the Mid-Continent. The deal includes $1.8 billion in debt assumption.PVR was surging on the news, gaining 12% to $25.65, while Regency was losing 8% to $25.61. Holders of PVR common units, Class B units and special units will receive 1.020 common units of Regency for each PVR unit they hold and a one-time cash payment at closing estimated at $40 million. Together, the stocks and cash were valued at $28.68 per unit, a 25.7% premium over PVR's closing price Wednesday of $22.81. Both partnerships' boards have approved the deal. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014 if it clears PVR unitholders and Hart-Scott-Rodino. CreditSights Inc. analysts Andy DeVries and Charles Johnston wrote in a report Thursday that Regency is paying a full multiple for PVR at 19.5 times Ebitda for the last 12 months, 17 times this year's estimated Ebitda and 14 times next year's Ebitda, versus the bidding war for Southern Union Co. that went over 10 times Ebitda ("and everybody thought that was expensive," they wrote). "While the 14 times is high relative to historic norms, that is being driven by the Fed and investors chasing yield in MLP's," they said, noting that 14 times is in line with current merged GP/LP MLP valuations like MarkWest Energy Partners LP (13.9 times) and Enterprise Products Partners LP (14.2 times). CreditSights said it was surprised by the deal, as it expected Regency would instead get merged into Energy Transfer Partners LP. It was also surprised that Regency used equity to fund the deal, as Regency yields 6.7% while Sunoco Logistics Partners LP, also owned by Energy Transfer, yields only 3.7% and thus is a much more richly valued currency for making acquisitions. "We understand PVR is in a different business line than SXL [Sunoco] but we assumed SXL could find its own acquisitions," it wrote. CreditSights is also concerned about Regency picking up PVR's coal royalty business, which makes up 20% of its earnings. "While less than 10% of the combined company's Ebitda, coal is clearly a negative for MLP [master limited partnership] investors," it said. "We assume the negative of the coal business is offset by O&M [operations and maintenance] synergies." PVR also merged with its general partner in 2011 so there are no incentive distribution rights impacting financials, CreditSights noted.The two companies claimed that the deal will create a leading gas gathering and processing platform with a scaled presence across North America's premier high-growth unconventional oil and gas plays in Appalachia, West Texas, South Texas, the Mid-Continent and northern Louisiana. The combination will be slightly dilutive to next year's discounted cash flow. However, the partnerships said it's not expected to affect anticipated cash distribution growth next year, and the enhanced scale, balance sheet strength and diversification are expected to provide substantial Ebitda and discounted cash flow growth over time. Moreover, the deal is expected to better-position the combined company to capitalize on the long-term growth momentum of North American gas production through incremental, high-value expansions around its core asset base and other growth and acquisition opportunities. "This acquisition enhances our overall geographic diversity by providing Regency with a strategic presence in two prolific producing areas, the Marcellus and Utica shales in the Appalachian Basin and the Granite Wash in the Mid-Continent region," Regency CEO Michael Bradley said in a statement. "These are tremendously complementary businesses, and as a result, we expect the increased footprint and scale to create significant synergies and provide substantial organic growth opportunities that will continue to support our goal of increasing distributions and creating unitholder value." PVR chief executive William Shea Jr. said in a statement the merger creates a larger, more diversified operating platform that will be highly attractive to investors, customers, creditors and employees. "We believe that the size and scope of the combined enterprise will be highly beneficial to our unitholders, offering added diversification and critical mass which will provide the needed financial flexibility to fully execute and benefit from the significant portfolio of organic growth projects we have developed over the past three years, especially in our Eastern midstream operations." Bradley will continue as president and CEO, and Thomas Long will continue as CFO. Regency and PVR expect to establish a transition team made up of members of both management teams to prepare for and to oversee the integration. The partnerships said the combination will have assets in many of the most economic, high-growth unconventional oil and gas plays in North America: the Wolfcamp, Bone Springs, Avalon and Cline shale plays in the Permian, the Eagle Ford shale play in South Texas, the Marcellus and Utica shale plays in Appalachia, the Granite Wash play in Oklahoma and Texas and the Haynesville Shale and Cotton Valley formation in North Louisiana. The increased scale and footprint will position Regency to build deeper customer relationships and secure and execute additional accretive growth opportunities, the partnerships said. Regency used Bank of America Merrill Lynch's Michael Cannon and Andrew Castaldo, UBS Investment Bank's Rob Pierce and Carlos Rivero and a Baker Botts LLP team including Neel Lemon, Breen Haire, Joshua Davidson, Steve Marcus, A.J. Ericksen, Daniel Gottschalk, Rob Fowler, Paul Cuomo, Scott Janoe, Doug Rayburn and Luke Weedon. PVR tapped Citigroup Global Markets Inc.'s Claudio Sauer and Drew Horn; Evercore Partners' Ray Strong, Rob Pacha, Eric Bauer, Amit Bushan and Joyce Zhang; and Vinson & Elkins LLP's Mike Rosenwasser and Michael Swidler.--By Claire Poole in Houston

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          The Deal: ECOtality Enlists Help for Restructuring   

NEW YORK (TheStreet) - Despite raising more than $8 million in June, ECOtality Inc. may be on the road to bankruptcy court after losing its funding from the Department of Energy and experiencing issues with its products.

The San Francisco-based provider of clean electric transportation technologies warned that it is currently exploring its options for a restructuring or the sale of its company after being unable to obtain financing to fund its continued operations.

According to an Aug. 12 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, ECOtality has hired FTI Consulting as its restructuring adviser. FTI Consulting declined to comment. ECOtality, which builds electric vehicle charging stations, may also be facing a bankruptcy petition "in the very near future," it said in the SEC filing. ...

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          Shorts Battle Over Linn   

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Linn Energy has become a news story without much news, courtesy of TheStreet founder Jim Cramer and the very aggressive short war being engaged by Barron's magazine and a research firm looking to make a name for itself.

So the battle over Linn is pitched, but let's take a look, not as an analyst but as a trader should -- trying less to find a winner in the numbers and rhetoric, but instead understanding the trading psyche that encircles this beleaguered name.

First, understand that Linn uses the Master Limited Partnership structure in a very unique way and some could argue it abuses this structure, both in the tax advantages it gains and the distributions it looks to pass along to its shareholders. I won't opine on whether turning an energy company into a registered MLP is a fair or unfair organizational trick, but I will say that it can make proper valuation of this name difficult for the retail investor -- there is no other energy company quite like Linn. >>Also see: Coal Is First Casualty of Energy Abundance>> The retail shareholder is what the stock action has been all about. Linn is not an institutional name -- its holders are mostly all retail punters, easily frightened and sensitive to "bear raid" activity. With almost 5% short interest in the stock, there is a good financial reason for certain funds to very much want to see those shares go down....

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          La Prisión - Maná   
por Javier Rubio Hípola 

Experiencia: El abuso y la violencia son lo contrario del amor. De la misma manera que la Prisión de una relación de abuso sexual es lo contrario de un amor familiar armónico. El hombre está hecho para amar siendo libre. 

Vídeo Musical: La banda de Maná toca la canción en un desierto y entre escenas se desarrolla narrativamente el caso de una mujer que logra escapar de una situación de abuso por parte de su pareja. Intercaladas se muestran algunas tomas de personas con el rostro pintado a rallas simbolizando las rejas de la prisión silenciosa del abuso donde viven esclavizadas tantas personas en todo el mundo.

Significado de La prisión: Maná nos ofrece este sencillo poderoso y cargado de denuncia social. En el mundo del siglo XXI, también en el occidente primermundista se dan aún casos alarmantes de abuso de pareja. En este sentido todavía existe la esclavitud: la esclavitud del que vive atrapado en una relación de abuso. 

Nada más lejos de la propuesta de amor y de familia anunciados por el pensamiento cristiano en sus enseñanzas sociales. La familia debe ser el motor y fundamento de cualquier sociedad. Pero debe tratarse de una familia que promueva la educación de los hijos. Y ese ambiente sólo puede darse sobre los cimientos de un amor dispuesto a respetar y a valorar antes que a golpear y a abusar.

Pregúntate: ¿Cuáles crees que deben ser las tres características principales de una relación sana? ¿Por qué motivos crees que se dan casos de abuso en la sociedad? ¿Qué se puede hacer en la práctica para solucionar ese problema?  

No regreso a tu cárcel 
No regreso a tu prisión, a la opresión 
Que por miedo a perderte 
El silencio me invadió y mi vida encarcelo 

Quiero ahogarme en otros labios 
En otro sol, liberación 
Voy a liberarme, voy a rescatarme 
No regreso a tu prisión... 

No regreso corazón 
A la prisión 
No volveré 
Voy a liberarme hoy 

No no! No mi amor! 
No no, no regreso a tu cárcel 
No no, no mi amor, no mi amor 
Uoh uoh! 

Fui cayendo en la demencia 
Con la urgencia de escapar, para no volver jamás 
Ya no aguanto las paredes 
Ni las redes del el control, no soporto tu prisión 

Quiero ahogarme en otros labios 
En otro sol, liberación 
Voy a liberarme, voy a rescatarme 
No regreso a tu prisión 

No regreso corazón 
A la prisión 
No volveré 
Voy a liberarme hoy 

No no! No mi amor! 
No no, no regreso a tu cárcel 
Prisión, no mi amor, prisión 
No no, uoh uoh yeh, no mi amor 
Jamás regreso a tu cárcel no 

No regreso a tu prisión, no no 
No regreso a tu prisión 
No regreso a las paredes 
De las redes del control 
No mi amor! 

          Hoy será - Antonio Orozco Javier Rubio Hípola 

Experiencia: ¿Es la vida como un baile, como una fiesta? ¿O es algo más? Para algunos el paso del tiempo no es un motivo para aprovecharlo ayudando a los demás, dejando una huella de bien en este mundo. Para otros es una excusa para abandonarse al placer. 

Vídeo Musical: Se trata de una cadena de actos de generosidad, de caridad, de amabilidad gratuita: personas que, ayudando a los demás, terminan encerrados en un "círculo virtuoso" de obras buenas. Cuánta razón hay en la afirmación de que el bien tiende a difundirse. Sobre el misterio de la libreta final: quiero pensar que es la libreta donde Antonio escribe sus canciones de esperanza, que termina precisamente en manos de quien más la necesita.

Significado de Hoy será: Antonio nos propone una canción sobre la esperanza. Y no se trata de una esperanza que se "auto-resuelve", sino que consiste en el esfuerzo y en la generosidad de las personas que están dispuestas a sacarle provecho. Es cierto que "hoy será" y que "la suerte está cambiando". Pero no menos cierto es que la suerte sonríe a los audaces, a los que están dispuestos a luchar y a conquistar el mundo hasta ponerlo a sus pies. 

Tenemos que aprender de "las penas del pasado" y confiar en el hoy para poder construir un mejor mañana.

Pregúntate: ¿En qué tienes puesta tú la esperanza? ¿Qué es aquello que, según tu punto de vista, en cuanto se resuelva te va a solucionar la vida de forma definitiva? ¿Cuál es tu papel en esa esperanza? ¿Protagonista, espectador o víctima?  

No estemos serios aquí no pasa nada, 
Hoy es el día no puede haber más ganas. 
Está llegando, te dije que esperaras 
La vida está llamando, ¿quién dijo que mañana? 

Hoy será, sabes, hoy será. 
Se trata de lo nuestro, se trata de empezar 
Y hoy será, sabes que hoy será. 
La suerte está cambiando y vamos a ganar. 

Siente que el mundo está a tus pies, 
Siente que hoy todo puede ser. 
Hoy será, sabes que hoy será, 
Las penas son de ayer. 
Sabes que hoy todo puede ser. 

No queda tiempo, sujeta bien las alas, 
Hoy esperamos lo de ayer no pesa nada. 
Tus manos son las velas, tus pies serán dos balas. 
Estamos (reliquiendo y en do no manda nada) 

Hoy será, sabes, hoy será. 
Se trata de lo nuestro, se trata de empezar 
Y hoy será, sabes que hoy será. 
La suerte está cambiando y vamos a ganar. 

Siente que el mundo está a tus pies, 
Siente que hoy todo puede ser. 
Hoy será, sabes que hoy será, 
Las penas son de ayer. 
Sabes que hoy todo puede ser. 

"Barcelona, Madrid, Sevilla, 
Valencia, San Juan de Puerto Rico, 
México, Buenos Aires, Bogotá, Hospitalet, 
Como solo, solo todo el mundo lo sabe" 

Siente que el mundo está a tus pies, 
Siente que hoy todo puede ser. 
Hoy será, sabes que hoy será, 
Las penas son de ayer. 
Sabes que hoy todo puede ser. 

          NEW Improved Protecting Condominium Owners Act now in place    
With almost 600,000 condominium units in the Province of Ontario and more coming; the Condominium Act was slated for review.

I disagree with an additional layer of government that is ruled by Tribunals that require paralegal representation and will require funding [ we pay ] as compared to legal redress. This also will cure many self managed Condo buildings that run rogue over residents.

However the Top Talking points are;

A new Condominium Authority will be established in 2015 to prevent common disputes and serve as a cheaper alternative than the court system to resolve problems. It will be an independent, not-for-profit corporation self-funded by a $1-per-unit monthly fee and will fall under the oversight of the provincial auditor general.

There will be mandatory licensing and education requirements for condominium managers. The new administrative authority is designed to regulate condo managers and property management companies through a compulsory licensing system and a code of ethics.

Governance requirements for those on condo boards will include training of directors. Boards would no longer have to pass a by-law in order to hold a conference call or virtual meeting online. And they would be required to update owners regularly on insurance and any legal proceedings.

There will be clearer rules to protect owners from sticker-shock costs after purchasing newly built units. Developers will be required give buyers a guide to condominium living at the time of sale and the Ontario new home warranty will soon also apply to some condo conversion projects in older buildings.

Improved regulation for condo corporations should help curb financial mismanagement and organizational bungling and reduce fraud. It would forbid condo corporations from finalizing some maintenance contracts unless they have sought competing bids for work and give owners more information about their corporation’s finances and clarify rules about reserve funds.

The Protecting Condominium Owners Act 2015  Bill 106 
is available here

Better or Worse Its here

What do you think?

          Pastillas Para Dormir - Estopa   
por Javier Rubio Hípola 

Experiencia: A veces el escape parece la vía más fácil: simplemente dejar atrás las experiencias e intentar sumergirse en el olvido. Pero el hombre no está hecho para vivir solo...  

Vídeo Musical: En espera.

Significado de Pastillas para dormir: Canción de su octavo disco de estudio, "Rumba a lo desconocido". Es una canción sobre un amor que ha ido perdiendo su frescura hasta quedar seco. La reacción es huir: irse sin equipaje, sin recuerdos. El valor de la unidad se deforma y el nuevo lema de vida es ese "me voy, hasta luego". Las pastillas para dormir simbolizan precisamente el recurso de la separación: ya no sales ni en los sueños, así que uso pastillas para dormir. Pero ¿es posible huir de nuestro pasado? ¿Olvidar simplemente porque quiero olvidar? El hombre no está hecho para la soledad, para vivir solo. Y nuestro corazón nos lo recuerda continuamente.

Pregúntate: ¿Qué tipo de amor crees que puede llenar de verdad el corazón humano? ¿Un amor pasajero, construido a base de experiencias de placer? ¿O un amor con sentido, que nos hace mejores personas? ¿Has sentido alguna vez en tu corazón el eco de un amor trascendente, eterno, más allá de los confines de esta vida?  

Hoy me voy sin equipaje 
Me he perdido tantas veces en el viaje 
No contestaré mensajes 
Y ya hace tiempo que me hace falta el coraje 

Ya no sé si te odio o si te quiero 
Déjame que quiero seguir viviendo 

Hoy yo me voy hasta luego 
Será que ya no nos echamos tan de menos 
Se nos secó el aguacero 
Será que ya no nos tenemos ni en lo sueños 

Si llueve por el camino 
Me voy hasta luego 
Si no sales ni en los sueños 
Me voy hasta luego 
Pastillas para dormir 
Yo me voy hasta luego 
Y me quito el sombrero 

Y en mi soledad 
Si no tengo más raíces 
Que las que me han dejado las cicatrices 
Paso las noches en vela 
Confundiendo el invierno con primavera 

Ya no sé si te odio o si te quiero 
Déjame que quiero seguir viviendo 

Hoy yo me voy hasta luego 
Será que ya no nos echamos tan de menos 
Se nos secó el aguacero 
Será que ya no nos tenemos ni en lo sueños 

Si llueve por el camino 
Me voy hasta luego 
Si no sales ni en los sueños 
Me voy hasta luego 
Pastillas para dormir 
Yo me voy hasta luego 
Y me quito el sombrero 

Hoy yo me voy hasta luego 
Será que ya no nos echamos tan de menos 
Se nos secó el aguacero 
Será que ya no nos tenemos ni en lo sueños 

Si llueve por el camino 
Me voy hasta luego 
Si no sales ni en los sueños 
Me voy hasta luego 
Pastillas para dormir 
Yo me voy hasta luego 
Y me quito el sombrero 

Quiero mi soledad

          Drilling for Energy Stocks to Buy   

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Nymex crude oil peaked at $100.42 per barrel on Sept. 14, which was the day after the FOMC announced QE3. Oil subsequently declined 15.9% to $84.05, into Nov. 7. On Dec. 12, the FOMC announced QE4. Since then, oil has moved sideways to up.

Analysis of Nymex Crude Oil ($87.72): On Dec. 14, I wrote FOMC QE4 Foolishness Pushes Stocks to Cliff Edge. In this post I projected that crude oil had upside potential to its 200-day simple moving average at $92.62. A daily close above the 50-day SMA at $87.63 would enhance this upside potential. A close this week above the five-week modified moving average at $87.79 shifts the weekly chart profile to positive. The chart support is the 200-week SMA at $84.27.

Fundamentally, ValuEngine shows the oils-energy sector 5.2% undervalued, with the oil & gas exploration & production industry 10.0% undervalued; the oil & gas field services industry 2.0% undervalued; oil & gas international integrated industry 10.5% undervalued; the oil & gas drilling industry 3.6% undervalued; the oil & gas machinery & equipment industry 5.1% overvalued; and the oil refining and marketing industry 7.2% overvalued....

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Click to research the Energy industry.

          Ponte las Pilas - América Sierra   
por Javier Rubio Hípola 

Experiencia: Una canción pop-ranchera sobre la justicia del esperar. 

Vídeo Musical: En espera.

Significado de Ponte las pilas: Las rancheras son un estilo musical muy local de México, cada vez más popular en los países colindantes. Su temática es normalmente un aspecto de un amor desajustado, una historia de un amor frustrado o una traición pura y simple. En este caso América Sierra invita al recipiente de su amor que se "ponga las pilas" porque la vida es corta y no está dispuesta a esperar para siempre. Un sentimiento completamente válido que nos invita a hacer una doble reflexión: sobre el valor del tiempo en nuestras vidas y sobre la perseverancia en el amor.

Pregúntate: ¿Qué te dice el ritmo -entre festivo y melancólico- de este tipo de canciones? Sobre el tiempo, ¿te has parado a pensar lo corta que es la vida? ¿Has pensado alguna vez que las mayores auto-recriminaciones son no por cosas que hemos hecho mal sino por cosas buenas que no nos atrevimos a hacer?  

Decide pronto si me quieres o no 
No la hagas de emoción 
Un día me dices que no vives sin mí 
Y otros soy de lo peor 
Pasas peleando por tonterías 
Y tantas broncas yo no las tenía 
Decide pronto que otros esperan mi compañía 

No vayas a pensar 
Que siempre voy a estar apartando tu lugar 
Cuando hay tantos amores que me quieren 
Que me buscan 
Y se mueren por un beso de mi boca 
Son capaces de matar 

No vayas a pensar 
Que soy muy presumida pero esa es la verdad 
Cuando hay otros amores que me quieren 
Que me buscan 
Y se mueren con un beso de mi boca 
Son capaces de volar 

Tú chiquitito estás confundido y 
No van conmigo las hipocresías 
Ponte las pilas que otros esperan mi compañía 

Póngase al tiro mijo, porque le comen el mandado 
América Sierra 
Ponte las pilas que no te espero toda la vida

          Honey, I'm Good (Cariño, estoy bien)- Andy Grammer
por Javier Rubio Hípola 

Experiencia: Andy Grammer nos enseña que la FIDELIDAD es una parte fundamental del amor. Vamos a encontrar gente atractiva y amable a lo largo del camino. Pero el verdadero amor supone permanecer fieles a nuestra otra mitad hasta el final. 

Vídeo Musical: Es un collage de escenas de parejas de todas edades, razas y orientaciones sexuales (quizá el único "pero" que tengo a este mensaje: la fidelidad no justifica un acto sexual moralmente desviado), que nos muestran lo felices que han sido viviendo juntos. Resulta inspirador ver todas esas parejas que han aguantado "en las duras y en las maduras", en un mundo donde, tristemente, el divorcio es algo más que una moda social.

Significado de la canción Cariño, estoy bien: Es la historia de un hombre que se encuentra con una chica guapa en un lugar (seguramente un bar o algo parecido). La chica percibe atracción, pero el hombre debe rechazar amablemente sus avances: tiene en casa a su mujer, la ama y le quiere ser fiel. Andy es perfectamente consciente de la debilidad del hombre: mejores hombres que yo han caído, pero esa debilidad no es capaz de borrar de su memoria a la mujer de su vida. Es un himno a la fidelidad respresentada gráficamente en las escenas de tantas parejas fieles y acentuado por el ritmo alegre de un genuino estilo country.

Pregúntate: ¿Cuál es el valor concreto que tiene la fidelidad en mi vida? ¿He sido fiel en mis relaciones de amor, de amistad, de trabajo, con mis padres, con mis hijos, con mi pareja? ¿Qué factores crees que te han ayudado? ¿Cuáles han sido los momentos más difíciles? ¿Por qué?

LETRA (en español):

Nah nah cariño, estoy bien
Podría tener a otra, pero probablemente no debería
Tengo a alguien en casa

Ha sido una larga noche aquí, una larga noche allí.
Y estas piernas largas, largas, están en todas partes.
Espera un momento:
Eres guapa, no te voy a mentir
Pero si me preguntas si voy a pasar la noche,
tendré que decir: oh baby, no baby, no me has entendido baby
Mi cariño en casa tiene ya todo mi amor

Así que nah nah Cariño, estoy bien
Podría tener a otra, pero probablemente no debería
Tengo ya a alguien en casa, y si me quedo puede que no salga solo
No, cariño, estoy bien
Podría tener a otra, pero probablemente no debería
Te tengo que decir adieu
Voy a permanecer fiel a otra
Voy a permanecer fiel
Voy a permanecer fiel
Voy a permanecer fiel
Voy a permanecer fiel

Ahora bien: hombres mejores que yo han caído
Han bebido de ese grial profano
Ahora: fíjate
La tengo a ella, ella me tiene a mí
Y tu tienes ese culo... pero amablemente te tengo que decir
oh baby, no baby, no me has entendido baby
Mi cariño en casa tiene ya todo mi amor

Así que nah nah Cariño, estoy bien
Podría tener a otra, pero probablemente no debería
Tengo ya a alguien en casa,
 y si me quedo puede que no salga solo
No, cariño, estoy bien
Podría tener a otra, pero probablemente no debería
Te tengo que decir adieu
Voy a permanecer fiel a otra
Voy a permanecer fiel
Voy a permanecer fiel
Voy a permanecer fiel
Voy a permanecer fiel

Oh, Te aseguro, te aseguro que le vas a hacer la noche a alguien más
Pero te aseguro, te aseguro, que no voy a ser yo

Oh No, cariño, estoy bien
odría tener a otra, pero probablemente no debería
Tengo ya a alguien en casa,
 y si me quedo puede que no salga solo
Oh No, cariño, estoy bien
odría tener a otra, pero probablemente no debería
Te tengo que decir adieu
Voy a permanecer fiel a otra

No, No, cariño, estoy bien
odría tener a otra, pero probablemente no debería
Tengo ya a alguien en casa,
 y si me quedo puede que no salga solo
Oh No, cariño, estoy bien
odría tener a otra, pero probablemente no debería
Te tengo que decir adieu
Voy a permanecer fiel a otra
Fiel... ooo, ooo

Canta: Oh whoa oh 
(Voy a ser fiel)
Canta: Oh whoa oh 
(Voy a ser fiel)
Canta: Oh whoa oh 
(Voy a ser fiel)
Canta: Oh whoa oh 
(Voy a ser fiel)


Nah nah honey, I’m good
I could have another but I probably shouldn't
I’ve got somebody at home

It’s been a long night here, and a long night there
And these long long legs are damn near everywhere
hold up now
You look good, I will not lie
But if you ask where I’m staying tonight
I gotta be like oh baby, no baby, you got me all wrong baby
My baby’s already got all of my love

So nah nah Honey, I’m good
I could have another but I probably should not
I’ve got somebody at home, and if I stay I might not leave alone
No, honey, I’m good
I could have another but I probably shouldn't
I’ve got to bid you adieu
To another I will stay true
who who I will stay true
who who I will stay true
who who I will stay true
who who I will stay true

Now better men, than me have failed
Drinking from that unholy grail
Now check it out
I’ve got her, and she got me
And you’ve got that ass, but I kindly gotta be like
Oh baby, no baby, you got me all wrong baby
My baby’s already got all of my love

So nah nah Honey, I’m good
I could have another but I probably should not
I’ve got somebody at home, and if I stay I might not leave alone
No, honey, I’m good
I could have another but I probably should not
I’ve got to bid you adieu
To another I will stay true
who who I will stay true
who who I will stay true
who who I will stay true
who who I will stay true

Oh, I’m sure ya, sure ya will make somebody’s night
But oh, I assure ya assure ya, it sure as hells not mine

Oh No, honey, I’m good
I could have another but I probably shouldn't
I’ve got somebody at home
And if I stay I might not leave alone
No honey I’m good
I could have another but I probably shouldn't
I’ve got to bid you adieu
To another I will stay true

No, no, honey, I’m good
I could have another but I probably shouldn't
I’ve got somebody at home
And if I stay I might not leave alone
No honey I’m good
I could have another but I probably shouldn't
I’ve got to bid you adieu
To another I will stay true
True ooo, ooo

Sing it now Oh whoa oh 
(I will stay true)
Sing it now Oh whoa oh 
(I will stay true)
Sing it now Oh whoa oh 
(I will stay true)
Sing it now Oh whoa oh 
(I will stay true)

          This Summer's Gonna Hurt - Maroon 5
Experiencia: Este mes Maroon 5 nos ofrece una canción con un título peculiar: Este verano va a doler... Será una historia de amor que fracasa otra vez... ¿Por qué motivo? (Advierto que buena parte del vídeo y de la letra de la canción es de bastante mal gusto con lenguaje explícito).

Vídeo Musical: Una colección de clips de vídeo de personas que se hacen daño intentando superar alguna prueba... o simplemente por gusto, en algún caso. Se subraya el tema del dolor físico para acompañar la letra. Sin lograr crear un verdadero sentido de conjunto: no hay nada peor que pretender hacer un vídeo artístico (arte meramente pop) y que se rompa cuando lo juntas con la canción.  

Significado de This Summer's Gonna Hurt: Sabemos que el plato preferido de Maroon 5 son canciones de amor imbuidas de pesimismo. Sabemos que esta nueva historia de amor no puede acabar bien... Esta vez han dado directamente el salto a una canción explícitamente de mal gusto, llena de insultos y de expresiones subidas de tono. Con versos facilones que se repiten una y otra vez. Realmente ningún tipo de ofensa o de sufrimiento justifican un rebajamiento de este este tipo. 

Pregúntate: ¿Crees que existe algún tipo de relación de amor o de amistad que no implique algo de sufrimiento por ambas partes? ¿Por qué? ¿Cómo te ha tocado a ti experimentar ese sufrimiento en tus relaciones personales?

LETRA (en español):

Este verano va a doler demasiado
Este verano va a doler demasiado

Su cuerpo es caliente
Su cuerpo es como el verano
Estoy en un trance o algo
Su mente no, no
Tan fuerte como todos sus diamantes
Ella ha de estar fumando algo
La he visto bailando en las calles
Sorbiendo champagne en la playa
Es tan caro cuando ella come
Porque ella es tan caprichosa
La veo cuando voy a dormir
Reviso mi teléfono cuando me despierto
Ella nunca me pone nada profundo
Porque es tan caprichosa

Este verano va a doler demasiado
Este verano va a doler demasiado

Ella lo quiere todo
Ella siempre está tomando algo
Y ahora estoy acá sin nada
Me estoy estafando, oh
Estoy estafando el vendaje
Porque solo ya no me puedo parar
La veo bailar como una tonta
Como si tuviera diecisiete y fuera genial
Ella realmente piensa que puede moverse
Pero es asquerosa
La veo cuando voy a dormir
Reviso mi teléfono cuando me despierto
Ella nunca me pone nada profundo
Porque es tan caprichosa

Este verano va a doler demasiado
Este verano va a doler demasiado

Tiene que tenerlo todo
Persigue a cualquier estrella
Ella es tan popular


Tiene que tenerlo todo
Persigue a cualquier estrella
Ella es tan popular


La he visto bailando en las calles
Sorbiendo champagne en la playa
Es tan caro cuando ella come
Porque ella es tan caprichosa
Porque ella es tan caprichosa

Este verano va a doler demasiado
Este verano va a doler demasiado


This summer's gonna hurt like a motherf... 
This summer's gonna hurt like a motherf...

Her body's hot 
Her body's like the summer 
I'm in a trance or something 
Her mind is not, no 
As sharp as all her diamonds 
She must be smoking something 

I see her dancing in the streets 
Sipping champagne on the beach 
So expensive when she eats 
Cause she's so fancy 
I see her when I go to sleep 
I check my phone when I am weak 
She never posts anything deep 
Cause she's so fancy 

This summer's gonna hurt like a motherf...
This summer's gonna hurt like a motherf...

She wants it all 
She's always taking something 
And now I'm left with nothing 
I'm ripping off, oh 
I'm ripping off that bandage 
Because I just can't stand it 

I see her dancing on a fool 
Like she's seventeen and cool 
She really thinks that she can move 
But it's just nasty 
I see her when I go to sleep 
I check my phone when I am weak 
She never posts anything deep 
Cause she's so fancy 

This summer's gonna hurt like a motherf...
This summer's gonna hurt like a motherf...

Has to have it all 
Chases every star 
She's so popular 
Has to have it all 
Chases every star 
She's so popular 

This summer's gonna hurt 
It's gonna hurt 

I see her dancing in the street 
Sipping champagne on the beach 
So expensive when she eats 
Cause she's so fancy 
Cause she's so fancy 

This summer's gonna hurt like a motherf... 
This summer's gonna hurt like a motherf...

This summer's gonna hurt like a motherf...
This summer's gonna hurt like a motherf... 

This summer's gonna hurt like a motherf...

          Anthem - Ida Lafontaine
Experiencia: Ida Lafontaine nos propone un reto: ¿cuál es el Himno que nos saca de los momentos duros de nuestra vida? ¿Es el mismo que el que ella nos enseña?

Vídeo Musical: Un vídeo lleno de baile, discoteca y brazos saliendo de la pared. En él se conjugan elementos de brillo y espectáculo con momentos de inocencia, infancia: la metáfora de una niña que da sus primeros pasos como joven/adulta. De esta experiencia Ida sacará fuerzas para dar forma a su Himno.

Significado de Anthem (Himno): La música tiene un poder extraordinario para expresar e incluso alterar lo que llevamos en lo más profundo de nosotros y de nuestro corazón. En Anthem, Ida LaFontaine nos habla de cómo deberíamos encontrar una canción, un himno, un ideal expresado en arte que nos ayude a recordar los valores más importantes de nuestra vida en los momentos más difíciles.

Pregúntate: ¿Cuál es mi "himno"? ¿Coincide con el de Ida? ¿Qué valores deberían aparecer en mi himno?

LETRA (en español):

Oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh oh
Oh no esa canción en la radio, radio, radio
Da vueltas como diez veces en línea, en línea, en línea.
No se ajusta a mis vibras: es demasiado lenta, lenta, lenta.
Así que vuelvo al ritmo que me sé, que me sé, que me sé.

Voy a cantarlo, gritarlo, arrojar el verso.
Me trae el recuerdo de cuando lo escuché por primera vez,
la música me rompe mi universo.

Porque todo el mundo necesita un himno.
808 en tu sistema,
rompiendo como si tu corazón fuera un bombo.
Es tu himno,
Yeah, sagran los altavoces,
Haz que la música alivie tu dolor.

Yeah, oh eh oh eh oh , yeah
Enciende tu himno
Yeah, oh eh oh eh oh , yeah
Enciende tu himno

A vees mi mente está fuera en el frío, en el frío, en el frío.
Pero ese estribillo siempre me trae a casa, a casa, a casa.
Me enciende en llamas ¡Ohwoah!
Arde en mi estéreo, estéreo, estéreo.

Voy a cantarlo, gritarlo, arrojar el verso.
Me trae el recuerdo de cuando lo escuché por primera vez,
la música me rompe mi universo.

Porque todo el mundo necesita un himno.
808 en tu sistema,
rompiendo como si tu corazón fuera un bombo.
Es tu himno,
Yeah, sagran los altavoces,
Haz que la música alivie tu dolor.

Yeah, oh eh oh eh oh , yeah
Enciende tu himno
Yeah, oh eh oh eh oh , yeah
Enciende tu himno

Enamórate del ritmo,
Golpea la pared como un gong-gong
Pisa el suelo como un tom-tom
Enamórate del ritmo,
Golpea la pared haciendo gong-gong
Pisa el suelo como un tom-tom

Porque todo el mundo necesita un himno.
808 en tu sistema,
rompiendo como si tu corazón fuera un bombo.
Es tu himno,
Yeah, sagran los altavoces,
Haz que la música alivie tu dolor.

Yeah, oh eh oh eh oh , yeah
Enciende tu himno
Yeah, oh eh oh eh oh , yeah
Enciende tu himno


Oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh oh
Oh no that song on radio radio radio
It spins like ten times in a row, in a row, in a row
Don't fit my vibe it's just too slow, just too slow, just too slow
So I'm gonna go back to the beat I know, beat I know, beat I know

I'm gonna sing it shout it lay down the verse
Takes me back where I heard it first
Music brakes me out of the world
Cause everybody needs an anthem
808 in you system
Breaking out like like your heart's a kickdrum
It's your anthem
Yeah we're bleeding the speakers
Make the music your pain reliever

Yeah, oh eh oh eh oh , yeah
Put, your anthem on
Yeah, oh eh oh eh oh , yeah
Put your anthem on

Sometimes my mind's out in the cold, in the cold, in the cold
But that chours always takes me home, takes me home, takes me home
Sets me on fire ohwoah
It's burning through my stereo, stereo, stereo

I'm gonna sing it shout it lay down the verse
Takes me back where I heard it first
Music brakes me out of the world
Cause everybody needs an anthem
808 in you system
Breaking out like like your heart's a kickdrum
It's you anthem
Yeah we bleeding the speakers
Make the music your pain reliever

Yeah, oh eh oh eh oh , yeah
Put your anthem on
Yeah, oh eh oh eh oh , yeah
Put your anthem on

Fall in love with the rythm
Bang the wall like a gong gong
Pound the ground like a tom tom
Fall in love with the rythm
Bang the wall like a gong gong
Pound the ground like a tom tom

Cause everybody needs an anthem
808 in you system
Breaking out like like your heart's a kickdrum
It's you anthem
Yeah we bleeding the speakers
Make the music your pain reliever

Yeah, oh eh oh eh oh , yeah
Put your anthem on
Yeah, oh eh oh eh oh , yeah
Put your anthem on

          G.D.F.R. - Flo Rida (ft. Sage The Gemini & Lookas)

Experiencia: Un rap/dance bastante pegajoso de Flo Rida y compañía que vuelve a mostrar la imagen predominante de la mujer en el mundo de la música. ¿Es este un estándar socialmente sano?

Vídeo Musical: Una especie de baile/espectáculo/partido que mezcla el baloncesto con un free style (estilo libre) al ritmo de la canción. A pesar de las patentes habilidades deportivas del equipo de chicas, el partido no parece importarle mucho a los presuntos entrenadores (Flo Rida y Sage). Los raperos insisten en exprimir el atractivo físico de sus deportistas para el disfrute de los espectadores.  

Significado: Las siglas de la canción GDFR (Going Down for Real- Bajando de verdad) revelan -detrás de su pantente connotación sexual- la visión profundamente distorsionada de la relación hombre-mujer que predomina en una sociedad en la que la literatura de pornografía sádica es garantía de éxito en ventas. Se trata de un escenario en el que todo queda reducido a la animalidad del hombre y a la instrumentalización de la mujer. Ciertamente hay artistas que proponen una perspectiva más espiritual, más humana, del amor que supera las fronteras del puro sexo. Pero canciones como GDFR tendrán siempre más "likes" en Youtube.

Pregúntate: ¿Para ti cuáles son los criterios fundamentales de conducta de un hombre para con una mujer en una relación de amistad-amor? ¿Crees que la imagen presentada por Flo-Rida puede afectar a la sociedad y a la familia? ¿Cómo?

LETRA (en español):

Sé lo que viniste a ver aquí
Si eres un fenómeno,
entonces vienes a casa conmigo
Y sé lo que viniste a hacer aquí
Ahora ábrelo y déjame verte sacurdirlo
Lo está haciendo en serio
Lo está haciendo en serio
Lo está haciendo en serio

Chica, acabas de besar a una chica
Le hago a las bi
Sacúdete por una sacudida
Lanzo estos Emirates al cielo
Girando este trasero de salame
Saludos al D.I.N.E.R.O
Amo mis playas, playas del sur
Surfboard y olas altas
Podría simplemente descansar
Porque soy grandioso
Como pastel de cumpleaños tráeme un cobra
Bugatti de verdad, soy frío
Ese Rover autobiográfico
Tengo la llave para mi ciudad
No son putas, solo Anna Kournikova
Dije raquetas, trinquetes sostenidos
(Dije raquetas, trinquetes sostenidos)

Sé lo que viniste a ver aquí
Si eres un fenómeno,
entonces vienes a casa conmigo
Y sé lo que viniste a hacer aquí
Ahora ábrelo y déjame verte sacurdirlo
Lo está haciendo en serio
Lo está haciendo en serio
Y ya me conocen
Lo está haciendo en serio

Está yendo más abajo que el fémur
Chicas más húmedas que el Katrina
Nunca has visto a mi chica
Porque mi limusina está polarizada
Mi toque es el de Midas
Te bajamos de más a menos
Mi equipo aspirando ese golpe
Te hace toser, cof-cof, eso es bronquitis
Levanta tus manos
Es un asalto, no más maquillaje
Pon ese trasero en el suelo
Chicas, pónganse lápiz labial
Doble sentido, doble sentido
Mientras tú odias yo gano dinero
Luego duplico en músculos

Sé lo que viniste a ver aquí
Si eres un fenómeno,
entonces vienes a casa conmigo
Y sé lo que viniste a hacer aquí
Ahora ábrelo y déjame verte sacurdirlo
Lo está haciendo en serio
Lo está haciendo en serio
Lo está haciendo en serio
Lo está haciendo en serio
Lo está haciendo en serio

Levántalo, hazlo caer, sacúdelo, sácalo
Levántalo, hazlo caer, sacúdelo, sácalo
Levántalo, hazlo caer, sacúdelo, sácalo
Levántalo, hazlo caer, sacúdelo

Lo está haciendo en serio
Lo está haciendo en serio
Lo está haciendo en serio
Lo está haciendo en serio
Lo está haciendo en serio


(Sage the Gemini)
I know what you came here to see
If you're a freak, then ya coming home with me
And I know what you came here to do
Now bust it open let me see you get loose
It's going down for real
It's going down for real
It's going down for real

(Flo Rida)

Your girl just kissed a girl
I do bi chicks
Shake for a sheik
I'm throwing these Emirates in the sky
Spinning this As-salamu alaykum
Peace to M.O.N.E.Y
I love my beaches, south beaches
Surfboard and high tide
I could just roll up
Cause I'm swoll up
So that birthday cake get a cobra
Buggati for real, I'm cold bruh
That auto-biography rover
Got the key to my city it's over
It's no thots, only Anna Kournikova's
I said rackets, ratchets hold up
(I said rackets, ratchets hold up)

(Sage the Gemini)

I know what you came here to see
If you're a freak, then ya coming home with me
And I know what you came here to do
Now bust it open let me see you get loose
It's going down for real
It's going down for real
And they already know me
It's going down for real

(Sage the Gemini)

And they already know me
It's going down further than femurs
Girls get wetter than Katrina
Yeah my girl you never seen her
Cause my tints by limousines
My touch is the Midas
We de-plus your man to minus
My team blowing on that slam
Make you cough-cough that's Bronchitis
Put your hands up
It's a stick up, no more makeup
Get that ass on the floor
Ladies put your lipstick up
Double entendre, double entendre
While you're hating I get money
Then I double up tonkers

(Sage the Gemini)

I know what you came here to see
If you're a freak, then ya coming home with me
And I know what you came here to do
Now bust it open let me see you get loose
It's going down for real
It's going down for real
It's going down for real
It's going down for real
It's going down for real

(Flo Rida)

Lift it, drop it, shake it, pop it
Lift it, drop it, shake it, pop it
Lift it, drop it, shake it, pop it
Lift it, drop it, shake it

(Sage the Gemini)

It's going down for real
It's going down for real
It's going down for real
It's going down for real
It's going down for real

          El Perdón - Nicky Jam ft. Enrique Iglesias Javier Rubio Hípola 

Experiencia: Lo único que importa está en tu corazón. Nicky Jam expresa la experiencia de un hombre que se cree insuficiente. Y por eso pide perdón... Pero vale la pena luchar por lo que uno quiere. 
Vídeo Oficial: En un barrio pobre de una ciudad de latinoamérica, Nicky Jam y Enrique Iglesias aparecen paseando, absortos en su memoria y en su reflexión, con imágenes cortas pero intensas de la mujer de sus amores. Tan distraídos están que no parecen darse cuenta de cómo a su alrededor cae la noche y con ella, aparece de nuevo la mujer, envuelta en un ambiente onírico, como si no fuera más que un sueño .

Siginficado de El Perdón: Es una canción que demuestra que el género no condiciona irrevocablemente el tema. Un reggae puede también tratar un tema noble con cierta profundidad. Y Nicky toca esa profundidad en esta canción. El tema del perdón en el amor no es muy habitual, pero tampoco original del todo. Sí es original el motivo por el que se pide perdón: no es por una traición, por algo que se ha hecho para dañar a la persona amada. Nicky pide perdón por no estar a la altura, por sentirse insuficiente... Pero al final de la canción supera la autocrítica con un valiente: pero vale la pena luchar por lo que uno quiere.  

Pregúntate: ¿Te parece correcta la valoración que Nicky Jam se hace de sí mismo? ¿Crees que se deben cumplir una serie de "requisitos mínimos" para poder ser parte de una relación? Si es así, ¿cuáles son esos requisitos? ¿Cómo se refleja esto en tu vida? 


[Enrique Iglesias] 
Dime si es verdad... 
Me dijeron que te estas casando 
Tú no sabes lo que estoy sufriendo 
Esto te lo tengo que decir 

[Nicky Jam] 
Tu despedida para mi fue dura 
Será que te llevo a la luna 
Y yo no supe hacerlo así 

[Enrique Iglesias] 
Te estaba buscando 
Por las calles gritando 
Eso me está matando oh no 

[Nicky Jam] 
Te estaba buscando 
Por las calles gritando 
Como un loco tomando oh... 

[Enrique Iglesias] 
Es que yo sin ti 
Y tu sin mi 
Dime quién puede ser feliz 
Esto no me gusta 
Esto no me gusta 

[Nicky Jam] 
Es que yo sin ti 
Y tu sin mi 
Dime quién puede ser feliz 
Esto no me gusta 
Esto no me gusta 

[Enrique Iglesias] 
Y yo sin ti 
No aguanto más 
Por eso vengo a decirte lo que siento 
Estoy sufriendo en la soledad 

[Nicky Jam] 
Y aunque tu padre no aprobó esta relación 
Yo sigo insistiendo a pedir perdón 
Lo único que importa está en tu corazón 

[Enrique Iglesias] 
Te estaba buscando 
Por las calles gritando 
Esto me esta matando oh no 

[Nicky Jam] 
Te estaba buscando 
Por las calles gritando 
Como un loco tomando oh... 

[Enrique Iglesias] 
Es que yo sin ti 
Y tu sin mi 
Dime quién puede ser feliz 
Esto no me gusta 
Esto no me gusta 

[Nicky Jam] 
Es que yo sin ti 
Y tu sin mi 
Dime quién puede ser feliz 
Esto no me gusta 
Esto no me gusta 

[Enrique Iglesias] 
Yo te juré a ti eterno amor 
Y ahora otro te da calor 
Cuando en las noches tienes frío oh oh 

[Nicky Jam] 
Yo se que él te parece mejor 
Pero yo estoy en tu corazón 
Y por eso pido perdón 

[Enrique Iglesias] 
Es que yo sin ti 
Y tu sin mi 
Dime quién puede ser feliz 
Esto no me gusta 
Esto no me gusta 

[Nicky Jam] 
Es que yo sin ti 
Y tu sin mi 
Dime quién puede ser feliz 
Esto no me gusta oh yeah... 

Dicen que uno no sabe lo que tiene 
Hasta que lo pierde, pero... 
Vale la pena luchar por lo que uno quiere 
Y hacer el intento 

Nicky Jam 
Enrique Iglesias 
(No quiero que me dejes por favor) 
Haciendo historia 
Saga White Black 
(Y te pido perdón)

          Libros de Enero 2015   
Acá va mi lista de los Libros que termine en Enero del 2015.

The Martian

Definitivamente uno de los mejores libros que he leido en mi vida, fue leerlo de corrido hasta terminarlo practicamente, la historia y la forma en que esta narrado es genial.
Cuando lo termine quise inmediatamente ir a buscar otro libro del autor, pero resulta que esta fue su novela debut, y por ahora no tiene otros escritos.
Según IMDB, este año saldría la pelicula sobre este libro, vamos a ver que resulta de eso.

 Dos Metros Bajo Tierra

Esta es una novela, la primera de una saga, que esta escribiendo mi hermano, en algún momento saldrá publicada y ahí habra mas detalles :P

Bovedas de Acero

Este libro ya lo habia leido hace unos años, pero estoy actualmente releyendo toda la Saga devuelta, porque de los 15 libros que conforman la saga solo leí 7. Queria tener la saga completa en libros impresos, y despues de mucho tiempo de tratar de conseguir los libros que me faltaban, ahora es momento de leerla de principio a fin en el orden recomendado por Asimov (no el orden cronológico de publicación).

La saga esta compuesta por:
  • Yo, Robot
  • Bóvedas de acero
  • El sol desnudo
  • Los robots del amanecer
  • Robots e Imperio
  • En la arena estelar
  • Las corrientes del espacio
  • Un guijarro en el cielo
  • Preludio a la Fundación
  • Hacia la Fundación
  • Fundación
  • Fundación e Imperio
  • Segunda Fundación
  • Los límites de la Fundación
  • Fundación y Tierra

DSP através da sua equipa de "Lambe-Botas" está cavando cada vez mais a sua própria cova, adiantando cada vez mais o seu fim.
Somente alguns acreditavam que foi ele quem estava por trás do "Progresso Nacional" o blog onde começou toda essa história de Mentiras, Calunias, Difamações, Ameaças e tantos outros agressões tóxicas ao espírito humano, a todos os que não estão do seu lado e cujo o único objectivo, era ser chamado de rei dos réis da Guiné.
Comandou o Progresso Nacional assim como Bin Laden comandou a Al-Qaeda e acabou por fracassar. Pensou, repensou e resolveu voltar novamente ainda com mais TERROR e está a comandar o Guiné Puro tentando levar toda a nação ao abismo assim como o ISIS quer levar a humanidade.
Camaradas, Guiné Puro assim como o falecido Progresso Nacional é o reflexo do espirito de DSP, alí é possivel ver tudo e quanto o sujeito é baixo. DSP é um hipócrita e um anarquista moderno.

"ACHAS QUE AS NOSSAS MARCHAS SÃO RESULTADO DE VENDAS E COMPRAS?!" essa foi uma das frases da recente publicação que mostram por quem e para que fim, é dirigido o Guiné Puro ou melhor o blog do terror como podem ver já a seguir.
Demonstraram mais uma vez claramente que o "MCCI" pertence a DPS, pois uma publicação dessa no próprio blog do ganancioso só pode ser das duas uma: "Boca capli elis ou Foronta passanta e dicidi ca sucundi rostu".
Camaradas, Domingos Simões Pereira afundou seu próprio barco devido a sua ganância e complexo de superioridade.

"I pirigu pa i faladu ba cuma, el i unicu alguim cu bai escola na Guiné" seu ultimo desejo é "afundar com todos, inclusive o PAIGC".



Olá a todos, ainda bem que descobriram que o Pirata informático- hackec é o Marcos Galina Barbosa, Eng. Informático. Tentei várias vezes avisar o Ticha Aly Silva mas ele não respondeu e nem deu importância julgo eu. No tempo da campanha para a liderança do Paigc, este indivíduo era um fervoroso apoiante do Bá Quecuto no Facebook e a técnica que usava era o envio de Phishing aos apoiantes do Dsp, recolhia informações pessoais das pessoas que posteriormente eram expostas no Blog do Doka. Tentou comigo mas não resultou. Tenham cuidado com este sujeito que está nas mãos de B. Camara.

Outra coisa, gostaria de conhecer a vossa página no Fecebook.

Estamos Juntos.


 Nota GP: Até jovens inocentes, Lesmes, Masta Tito e demais outros, os tais vendidos e comprados foram as tuas vítimas. teu filho da puta que o bandido de Baciro Djá trouxe para Bissau para funções no aparelho de Estado e dizes que outros recebem favores. Desde quando é que és mais honesto ou mais competentes que os outros? Pagas e até pode ser com a tua vida para perceberes as irresponsabilidades dos teus actos.

Publicada por O País à(s) 06:14 

          Friday, June 23, 2017 - The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus - Has pride come in the way of your encountering Jesus? What will you do about it today?   
To read the texts click on the texts: Dt 7:6-11; 1 Jn 4:7-16; Mt 11:25-30

The feast of the Most Sacred Heart is a movable feast, but is always celebrated on the third Friday after Pentecost. Ever since the seventeenth century when St. Margaret Mary Alacoque was granted visions of the Sacred Heart and asked to spread this devotion, the Jesuits represented by her confessor St. Claude de la Colombière, played a fundamental role in spreading this devotion. Colombière, spoke with Margaret Mary a number of times and after much prayer, discernment and reflection became convinced of the validity of her visions.

In recent times, one of the most loved and admired Generals of the Society of Jesus Fr. Pedro Arrupe was instrumental in reviving this devotion and placing Jesuits once again at the forefront of spreading this devotion.  This devotion according to Arrupe was “the centre of the Ignatian experience”. It is an “extraordinarily effective means as much for gaining personal perfection as for apostolic success”. 

The feast of the Sacred Heart is to be celebrated as a privilege and grace. However, it is also a responsibility. 

First, the love that we receive from the Sacred Heart of Jesus is not a private possession, but one that must be shared with all. Just as the Father makes no distinction and makes the sun rise on the evil and on the good (Mt 5:45), so must we in our sharing of the love of Christ.
Second, the concern that God has for us and our Universe must be a concern which we must show to our world. The wanton destruction of nature, excessive and abusive use of scarce resources like water, indiscriminate cutting of trees for selfish gain, unlawful and criminal killing of wild animals are signs that we are working against God’s concern. If God cares for us so much, must we not care for our world?
Third, the intimate connection of the Sacred Heart and Eucharist reminds us that just as Christ is so easily available to us, we must also be to each other. The Eucharist and the feast of the Sacred Heart ought not to be private and passive devotions, but celebrations that make us ready to reach out in service and availability to anyone who needs us.

The text for the feast is from the Gospel of Matthew. To understand it fully, two points must be kept in mind. The first is that it is placed by Matthew after three “negative” passages which begin at 11:2. These are the response of Jesus to the disciples of John the Baptist to their question whether Jesus was the Messiah, the exasperation with the crowd who do not recognize John nor Jesus, and the denunciation of the cities of Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum. Indeed, this entire section of Matthew’s Gospel seems to lean on a sense of apparent “failure” on the part of Jesus to measure up to the expectations that all around him had in terms of what a “Messiah” would look like or act like.
The second point is that this text is clearly a Matthean composition and is made of three elements. The first two of these are found in Luke but in different contexts and the third is exclusive to Matthew. In Matthew the audience is clearly the crowds and so the words of Jesus here are meant for all. 

The passage appearing as it does in this context seeks to state that despite so much of doubt and negativity, that despite so much of blindness and closed attitudes, this is not the last word. Despite the fact that Jesus’ message has been questioned by John the Baptist, rejected by many and especially the wise and understanding and not paid heed to by the cities, yet the invitation and message will find acceptance among the open and receptive of which there are still some left. There is no arbitrariness in this. Rather, it is simply true that for the most part the wise tend to become proud and self-sufficient in their wisdom and particularly unreceptive regarding the new and the unexpected. This is because they have already made up their minds about what kind of Messiah is to come. 

On the other hand the childlike are most often unself-conscious, open, dependent, and receptive. They are willing to let God work in their lives. They have not decided in advance how God must act and are willing to let God be God. Thus everything comes down finally to the person of Jesus and the nature of the fulfilment he brings. He cannot be understood if he is restricted to preconceived categories; he will not conform to human conceptual frameworks. He must be understood as God knows him, as the one who on behalf of the Father always does his will.

          ZTE Blade V8: una buena doble cámara para un móvil bonito y poco potente (Vídeo)   
Esta semana el análisis tecnológico de Libertad Digital profundiza en los detalles del teléfono móvil ZTE Blade V8.
          Winner: Bracelet for TeamBrad2013   
Update May 1st:  Flora - will you please claim your prize by MONDAY, May 6th.  Thank you!

At last - potential winner for the bracelet pictured on the blog entry here:  April 12th Blog Entry.  Folks in Alabama drew a name... *HOWEVER*, online names sometimes don't match with bank records (different names, etc...).  So, name that was drawn:  Flora Pinkerton.   Flora - would you please email me (info (at) bluebeehivestudio (dot) com) or message me on Facebook at BlueBeehiveStudio with your donation date and address, I would appreciate it ! ! ! !
          April - Fundraising Give-Away (April 12th - April 26th, 2013)   

April 29th Update:

At last - potential winner for the bracelet pictured on the blog entry here:  April 12th Blog Entry.  Folks in Alabama drew a name... *HOWEVER*, online names sometimes don't match with bank records (different names, etc...).  So, name that was drawn:  Flora Pinkerton.   Flora - would you please email me (info (at) bluebeehivestudio (dot) com) or message me on Facebook at BlueBeehiveStudio with your donation date and address, I would appreciate it ! ! ! !

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

So I've got a personal favor to ask...  I have a very remarkable friend who I admire from high school.  Like many folks, she got married, had a child, then separated.  Her and her ex-husband eventually found new spouses, but both stayed on great terms, in part to be amazing role models for the son they share. 

Unfortunately, her ex-husband has been recently diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer.  He and his current wife have five children, and while they have insurance, it does not cover everything.  To help them out, I'm doing a fund-raising giveaway (details below) for the charm bracelet pictured above.


1. First, help out and show support!  Please "Like" their Facebook page Team BRAD 2013  Their family is very appreciative of all the showering of support and caring words they receive. If you've already done so, terrific!

2. Please donate to help them out - donations between April 12th and April 26th midnight will be used for the draw.  They have an account at Regions, their local bank in Fayetteville, TN, as Team Brad under Brad & Michele Wright.  Give what you can, but please try to put in at least $4.00.  You can pay via PayPal (using PayPal or Credit Card) at teamBRAD2013.

3.  Lastly, when you are feeling down, what inspires you to keep going? A walk in a garden? A particular song?  Follow this blog, on Twitter @theBlueBeehive, or my Facebook page Blue Beehive Studio and if you would like, comment on what keeps you going.  Please write "TeamBrad2013" at the start of your comment, or #teamBrad2013 in Twitter.  You do not need to write what inspires you, but following one of the sites will help me contact you if you win!

On April 27th, one name will be drawn from folks who have done ALL THREE above in this give-away fundraising event, so please check back in!!!  I will post your name here, on Twitter, and on my Facebook page so you can contact me regarding your mailing address.  I will send the package to you, but you are responsible for your own state taxes (and any international taxes/fees if shipping out of the country).  Thank you!
The charm bracelet is designed in the Team Brad 2013 color blue from my shop Blue Beehive Studio.  Bracelet is rhodium plated, approximately 6.5" (can be lengthened or shortened).  Charms used are imitation turquoise, natural shell, acrylic beads, and small Swarovski crystals, with a silver plated lobster claw clasp. 

Feel free to email me at: info (at) bluebeehivestudio (dot) com if you have any questions!

          Comentario en Listado de las 175 universidades de excelencia que reconoce la SENESCYT por ARLET LEON FERNANDEZ   
Deseo informaciòn para un convenio de estudiantes graduados en Tecnica Profesional en Sicologia, con enfasis en Terapia de Pareja y de Familia en Barranquilla (Colombia). para profesionalizarce en LICENCIATURA EN SICOLOGIA, en la Fundacion ILUMINANDO VIDAS y/o CENTRO DE FORMACION PARA EL TRABAJO Y DESARROLLO HUMANO FUNDIVID. Estamos ubicados en la calle 45 No. 8C-44. Espero pronta respuesta. Mil gracias y que Dios los bendiga
          Comentario en Listado de las 175 universidades de excelencia que reconoce la SENESCYT por ARLET LEON FERNANDEZ   
          [Fechamento] Abril/2015   
Salve salve Guerreiros.

Quintal da futura casa de campo do Migrante.
Este mês rolou um aporte violento. Na verdade foi uma migração do fundo de reserva do Migrante (o qual não é contabilizado como patrimônio) para um aporte em LCI, era parte de uma grana da rescisão do meu trampo velho que estava parada perdendo pra inflação na poupança.

Hoje meu patrimônio beira 50% RF. Não é o meu objetivo. Sempre quis alocar a maior parte dos recursos em RV (algo como 75%), porém com esse país maldito de taxas de juros exorbitantes e mercado acionário pífio (com economia afundando cada vez mais), temos que desfrutar dessa "renda fácil". Enquanto a população sofre, aqueles que poupam se beneficiam!

Vamos aos números:

Fechei o mês com R$ 197.688,24.
Variação patrimonial: +22,43%  
Rentabilidade pelo sistema de cotas de: +5,20%. (carteira geral)
Rentabilidade pelo sistema de cotas de: +9,24%. (somente renda variável)  x IBOV +9,93%

Fico assim bem próximo de ultrapassar a barreira psicológica dos 200k.
Já daria pra comprar um kitnet, flat studio, "apertamento", hein?!
Mas ainda assim é uma miséria. Provavelmente nunca chegarei à um patrimônio de 10Mi nessa vida, não nesse ritmo...  no máximo levar uma vida tranquila na velhice. Vida de merda...


          Ebook Download More Money Than Brains: Why School Sucks, College is Crap, Idiot Think They're Right (Globe and Mail Notable... Free PDF Online   

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          Different roles for the father of the bride   
Different roles for the father of the bride
Popular movies and televisions shows give the impression that the job of the father of the bride in a wedding is ultimately about making sure the festivities are adequately funded. In the movies, fathers fret about the costs of everything from flowers to photos.

          But is it really capitalism?   
A few years ago at a conference about queer video games, I said to an acquaintance, “It seems like there are some financial barriers to creating good queer video games.” My acquaintance says, “Yeah, well that’s capitalism.” But is it? Is it really??? Sure, capitalism makes it hard to make well-funded games catering to a […]
          Food Cycle Ride: Sunday, May 28th   
This mass-participation event for fun, fitness and fundraising follows trail routes of 20 to 40 km and road routes of 35 to 75 km through beautiful countryside. Over its first six years, the Ride has raised over $66,000, with the proceeds assisting the Food Bank’s Community Kitchen. Everyone is invited to sign up individually, form a […]
          Los abonos son la peste   
El año pasado sobraron en San Isidro 200 abonos. Este otoño (he leído por ahí) de momento van por los 1000.

En Las Ventas los abonos contribuyen a falsear la entrada. En una plaza con el 90% abonado sería importantísimo saber este dato: en una corrida cualquiera ¿qué porcentaje de la plaza ha pagado por su asiento?

Muchísimos titulares de abono van a las que les interesan y el resto las regalan… No poseo datos pero sí experiencia personal. Pienso que es ilícito contar a las personas que van gratis como “aficionados” o “clientes” pues estos, en realidad, no están dispuestos a pagar.

Si los titulares de abonos hacen esto es fundamentalmente por dos razones. La primera es que Madrid es una ciudad grande y rica y por lo tanto hay mucha gente a la que el bolsillo le da para eso. La segunda es que luego los carteles de relumbrón se llenan y por lo tanto solamente se puede conseguir las entradas importantes de esa manera. 

Pues bien, debido a la crisis, ya no hay tanta gente con el bolsillo tan lleno, y aunque Madrid sigue siendo rica y Las Ventas sigue siendo barata, es probable que la crisis se empiece a notar. Y ello va a destruir también la segunda razón. Si los abonos no se agotan, quedan muchas más entradas para los días importantes y, por lo tanto, son más fáciles de conseguir, conclusión: no hace falta sacar los abonos.

Creo que un pequeño porcentaje de los abonados ha empezado a hacer esto y el efecto va a ir a más.

La conclusión más evidente es que la gente que iba gratis va a desaparecer de la plaza, y en las corridas “medias” la plaza va a estar mucho más vacía, con el evidente detrimento en ingresos para la empresa.

Es decir, mi hipótesis principal es que en Las Ventas el descenso de espectadores debido a la crisis no va a ser en absoluto lineal. Existe un punto crítico a partir del cual los espectadores en la mayoría de las corridas van a caer en picado. Esto se va a deber a que muchos titulares de abono se van a pasar a las entradas sueltas y las personas que iban gratis a las sobras del abono jamás tuvieron intención de pagar.

Me atrevo a vaticinar que, además, esto a la empresa simplemente no se le ha ocurrido y le va a pillar a contrapié. Probablemente este San Isidro o el que viene.

Todo lo que aquí pone es de mi propia invención y he querido ponerlo por escrito porque, si acierto, sería un subidón, subidón.

PD: Los primeros negocios que van a caer, si no han caído ya, son los de la reventa al 20% más, y bien caídos estarán porque son perniciosos.

PD2: Si la empresa de Las Ventas hace unos buenos estudios de mercado con una toma de datos ortodoxa será capaz de prever esta situación y actuar en consecuencia, si no lo hace, me ofezco candidata a un módico precio (por aquello del Pisuerga que pasa por Valladolid).
          O NATAL NA TRADIÇÃO INICIÁTICA – 1 - Introdução   
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Quando pesquisamos a verdadeira origem do Natal, somos levados por caminhos que nos colocam diante de rituais e deuses pagãos. E constatamos que Jesus Cristo foi colocado numa festa que nada tinha haver com o seu nascimento. Esta festividade tem sua origem fixada no paganismo. Era um dia consagrado à celebração do “Sol Invicto”. A história do Natal, portanto, começa pelo menos sete mil anos antes do nascimento de Jesus. É tão antiga quanto a civilização e tem um motivo bem prático: celebrar o solstício de inverno, a noite mais longa do ano no hemisfério norte, que acontece no final de dezembro. Dessa madrugada em diante, o sol fica cada vez mais tempo no céu, até o auge do verão. É o ponto de virada das trevas para luz: o “renascimento” do Sol. Num tempo em que o homem deixava de ser um caçador errante e começava a dominar a agricultura, a volta dos dias mais longos significava a certeza de colheitas no ano seguinte. E então era só festa. Mas nem por isso a moderna história do Natal deixa de ter importância para aqueles que estudam os mistérios da natureza. O verdadeiro simbolismo de Natal oculta transcendentes mistérios que apresento aqui sob três aspectos: o aspecto astrológico, o aspecto histórico e o aspecto místico. Os textos dos próximos 5 capítulos é uma livre tradução do livro “O Natal e a Páscoa na tradição iniciática”, do Mestre Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov (1900-1986), filósofo e Mestre Espiritual, que nasceu na Bulgária em 1900. Em 1937 foi para França onde viveu e se dedicou ao ensino durante quase cinqüenta anos. Foi discípulo do mestre búlgaro Peter Deunov (1864-1944), que foi o fundador da Fraternidade Branca Universal. Narração de Sérgio Mello
          General Office Assistant E - State of Michigan - Jackson, MI   
Logs packages and legal documents received, opens and searches for contraband and/or funds, etc. Assists in all aspects involved in the processing prisoner mail... $15.46 - $21.87 an hour
From State of Michigan - Fri, 23 Jun 2017 02:24:04 GMT - View all Jackson, MI jobs
          Presumably not the hot wings   
I have not been to the Wingnuts in northwest Ontario, but now I have an excuse to go.

Wingnuts restaurant is holding a fundraiser for Drashawn Vernon, a Fontana resident who lost her home recently in an arson fire.

The all-day event will take place Friday at 1520 N. Mountain Ave., Ontario.

Wingnuts will contribute at least 20 percent of its above-average proceeds from the day to The Vernon Family Assistance Fund.

Contributions can be sent directly to the fund, c/o Ann Gonzales, P. O. Box 1134, Ontario, CA 91762.

More information: (818) 524-0708.

More information on Wingnuts can be found here.
          Disney Marathon would be nice   
I'm certainly a cold weather runner. I love it. Today was a balmy 20 degrees. The east coast was getting slammed with 20 inches of snow, we were facing gale-force winds, and I caved....couldn't do it. I just couldn't.

My friends Judi and Russ did, though. When I read that they were scheduled to run 24 miles today, I hurt for them. I considered heading to Lima to run the last few with them but, as I said, I caved. You see, Russ and Judi are scheduled to run the Disney Marathon in a little over a week. I talked Russ into running his first marathon last year and he signed a pact with Judi to run Disney with her...her first marathon. I am so proud of them for sticking to their training schedule today, of all days, because it was COLD!!!!! As I read Judi's run report today, I chuckled at her comment that her water in her water bottle froze. I know what it is like to feel an obligation to get out there and run. When Kari and I received so many generous donations for Rotary during our training, there was a certain sense of higher obligation. Russ and Judi must feel the same, as they have done an exceptional job raising funds in memory of Judi's brother, Jim, who died several years ago of cancer. I believe that they are only a few dollars short of their goal!!!

So....good luck Judi and Russ!!!

As I said before, I love running in the cold, but I have to admit that Disney wouldn't be bad after a day like today.
          PRECE DE ISMAEL   
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Segundo o dicionário Lello Universal, Ismael foi uma personagem bíblica. Era filho de Abraão e sua criada Agar, antepassados dos ismaelitas ou árabes. Segundo a Bíblia, Ismael desposou uma egípcia de quem teve doze filhos, que se estabeleceram na região entre o Egito e o Golfo Pérsico. Um grande número de tribos pretendia descender de Ismael. Maomé, o profeta, colocou-o então à frente de sua genealogia. Entretanto, para os espíritas, esse Espírito representa um importante papel para o movimento. Um grupo o eleva às alturas, considerando-o um “Anjo”. Outro o coloca como o “vilão” da história do Espiritismo. O primeiro é formado pelos roustainguistas, que, em janeiro de 1884 assumiram o poder na chamada Pátria do Evangelho (Brasil), instalando seu domínio na sede da Federação Espírita Brasileira, na qual somente quem é declaradamente roustainguista pode ocupar o alto cargo de presidente O segundo é formado pelos antiroustainguistas, que não só repudiam a obra de Roustaing, como, ao mesmo tempo, denunciam e criticam amargamente a presença do Espírito de Ismael porque, no entendimento deles, não poderia nunca desempenhar o papel de Guia do Brasil. Mas, enquanto as duas facções discutem se Ismael é ou não um anjo, e se realmente é o Guardião do Brasil, uma terceira corrente avança, beneficiando-se de sua profunda e reconfortante prece, que evoca a presença de Jesus para consolar, iluminar e redimir a humanidade pecadora. A versão aqui apresentada foi extraída do livro PRECES ESPÍRITAS, de Caibar Schutel. Narração de Sérgio Mello.
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O termo "conspiração aquariana" surgiu em 1980, com o livro da jornalista e pesquisadora, Marilyn Ferguson (1938-2008), no qual a autora retratou o início de uma mudança de comportamento que ela observara na sociedade norte-americana e mundial. Em todos os ambientes foram identificadas pessoas que se enquadravam na condição de conspiradoras, agindo em cooperação mútua, como se fizessem parte de uma rede que atuava de maneira uniforme, com todas elas inspiradas num ideal comum, mas sem que disso tivessem a menor consciência. Essas pessoas pareciam reconhecer-se por meio de sinais sutis, de estratégias comuns e de uma identidade de propósitos, que sugeriam fazer parte de um movimento secreto. Diante dessas evidências, a autora não teve mais dúvidas, e passou a acreditar na existência de um movimento transformador muito intenso e profundo, que não poderia ser mais bem definido do que uma “conspiração”. Conspirar quer dizer "respirar junto", numa ligação íntima, harmônica e introspectiva, quase imperceptível. Era dessa forma que ela enxergava a conexão existente entre essas pessoas, que não pareciam estar ligadas a nenhum movimento, mas que se comportavam como se obedecessem a uma estratégia comum, como se seguissem uma voz silenciosa, mística e imperceptível. Na época em que o livro foi escrito, aguardavam-se as anunciadas mudanças que seriam trazidas pela Nova Era de Aquarius. Daí a escolha da palavra “aquariana”, para melhor definir o modelo de conspiração que estaria em curso. E esses conspiradores se encontram infiltrados em todas as classes sociais, políticas e econômicas. Eles se fazem presentes nos meios científicos, entre os servidores públicos, nos grupos de legisladores e juristas, e como artistas, taxistas, médicos, educadores, jornalistas e formadores de opinião. As estratégias adotadas pelos conspiradores são insólitas, e surpreendem por não estarem subordinadas a instituições políticas, religiosas ou escolas de pensamentos. Os conspiradores aquarianos possuem uma nova mentalidade, que sintetiza o que de melhor se pode extrair da vanguarda científica, das religiões existentes e dos mais expressivos pensadores. O texto é apócrifo, mas está disseminado na internet, em sites, blogs e redes sociais. Narração de Sérgio Mello.
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Acusados de bruxaria e culto ao demônio, os cavaleiros da Ordem do Templo, a mais rica e influente comunidade religiosa da Idade Média, foram horrivelmente torturados, morrendo em prisões e nas fogueiras da Inquisição. Hoje, a ciência esotérica procura decifrar o enigma de sua existência. A Ordem dos Templários não foi fundada por ocasião da Primeira Cruzada com a única intenção de proteger os peregrinos de Jerusalém, como explica usualmente a história. Mas fez parte de um plano elaborado por Bernardo de Claraval (Clairvaux), com a finalidade de descobrir, no Templo de Salomão, a parte oculta e não apresentada ao público da Arca da Aliança e das Tábuas da Lei, onde encontraram a Lei Divina revelada a Moisés no monte Sinai. O objetivo da ordem, mais idealista e revolucionário do que parece, era adquirir um manual prático para o estabelecimento do Reino de Deus na Terra. O imenso poder que os Templários adquiriram com a sabedoria antiguíssima das Tábuas fez tremer o rei e o papa, motivo pelo qual foram injustamente exterminados. O Pai Nosso Templário é de autoria do cavaleiro Princípe Asklépius D'Sparta. O texto denuncia a hipocrisia com que é rezada por falsos cristãos, a oração que Jesus nos ensinou. Narração de Sérgio Mello.
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A lenda de Hiram Abiff está intrinsecamente ligada às origens do Templarismo Germânico. Ela relata a origem lendária da Maçonaria. Diz a tradição maçônica que o Templo de Salomão foi construído pelo Mestre Hiram Abiff, que além de arquiteto, era também hábil artífice e perito em obras de fundição. A sua verdadeira história, e os pormenores da sua infausta morte não foram narrados nos livros acreditados, por isso são referidos apenas como mais uma lenda da Arte Real. Sabemos que uma lenda é uma narração transmitida pela tradição, de eventos considerados históricos, mas cuja autenticidade não se pode provar. Sendo assim, não se pode afirmar que o fato realmente não aconteceu... O que se pode dizer é somente que não temos provas sobre sua veracidade. O certo é que a “Lenda do Terceiro Grau” é a uma base importante e respeitada na Arte Real. Nenhum rito existe na maçonaria, em qualquer país ou idioma, no qual não sejam expostos os elementos essenciais dessa lenda. As fórmulas escritas podem variar e, na verdade, variam; mas a lenda do construtor do Templo constitui a essência e a identidade da maçonaria. Qualquer rito que a excluísse ou a alterasse materialmente, deixaria, por isso, de ser um rito maçônico. Pesquisa e narração de Sérgio Mello, concluída e gravada em 1985, com base na literatura maçônica que herdei do meu avô.
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“Chave de Harmonia” e “Consagração do Aposento” são duas pérolas que ornam com inigualável beleza o rico tesouro ritualístico do “Círculo Esotérico da Comunhão do Pensamento”, primeira ordem esotérica estabelecida no Brasil, cujo propósito é estudar as forças ocultas da natureza e do homem e promover o despertar das energias criadoras latentes no pensamento humano. Desde sua fundação, a entidade adotou como lema os princípios de Harmonia, Amor, Verdade e Justiça. Esses potentes ideais, constituem as quatro colunas mestras que sustentam a filosofia dessa ordem e objetivam constituir a tônica de suas atividades. As duas orações, extremamente poderosas e ecumênicas, foram incorporadas ao acervo cultural da humanidade e, hoje, são pronunciadas com reverência e respeito em numerosos centros de culto, adoração, concentração e meditação. Narração de Sérgio Mello.
          Vivendo como Exilados   

Há um tempo atrás, quando li o livro, Exiles: Living missionally in a post Christian Culture até achava que este livro merecia uma cobertura como as que dei ao Emerging Church, The Shaping of Things to Come e The Forgotten Ways, mas o tempo passou e a idéia meio que dormiu, isso até agora quando vi a grande oportunidade de escrever uma revisão deste livro no Renovatio Café, deu um enorme trabalho (tá vendo porque estou postando menos?), mas acabei de postá-lo lá. Minha alegria foi poder compartilhar de uma forma mais profunda o conteúdo bastante rico dos quatro livros que eu particularmente acho mais importantes para a igreja missional/emergente e dos quais eu guardo conceitos em minha cabeça para aplicá-los tão logo consiga plantar uma comunidade por aqui, os textos acabaram saindo bem compridos, mas acho que vale a pena verificá-los:
  • Emerging Churches, Eddie Gibbs e Ryan Bolger
  • The Shaping of Things to come, Michael Frost e Alan Hirsch
  • The Forgotten Ways, Alan Hirsch
  • e agora
  • Exiles, Michael Frost

  •           Canceled field trips lead to lawsuit for bus company   
    CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey filed a lawsuit Tuesday in Mingo County Circuit Court against the charter bus company that failed to reimburse Kermit PK-8 and Crum Elementary for cancelled field trips. Morrisey is requesting that the company be permanently shut down, forced to pay refunds totaling nearly $18,000 and be […]
              Gov. Rick Scott Signs Highest Per-Student K-12 Funding Bill In State History   
    Governor Rick Scott recently signed the HB 3A to secure the highest per-student K-12 funding in state history.
              why we need decentralized funding for independent journalism   
    Whether we can continue to get the journalism we need, given the declining revenues and funding in journalism, is a concern of many people around the world, including in Hong Kong. To what extent is it possible to have independent … Continue reading
              Temer entra na História pela porta dos fundos   

    Não que o advogado Michel Temer, vice de Dilma Rousseff — chapa nascida da aliança entre PMDB e PT, negociada em bases nada republicanas —, fosse de absoluta confiança. Mas, político rodado, presidente da Câmara dos Deputados três vezes e do próprio partido, Michel Temer assumiu no impeachment de Dilma com o trunfo de, com base em toda esta expertise de transitar com facilidade pelo Congresso, poder aprovar, em pouco menos de dois anos, as principais reformas de que o Brasil necessita para voltar a crescer. Conquistaria lugar de destaque na República.

    Temer conseguiria, de fato, lugar na História, mas como o primeiro presidente em exercício a ser denunciado por corrupção. O passado e as práticas do PMDB — em especial, do grupo do presidente na Câmara, em conexão com o encarcerado Eduardo Cunha — foram mais fortes que possíveis intenções de Temer de abrilhantar a biografia. Por isso, manteve os esquemas do fisiologismo do toma lá dá cá, e, como se vê, não obstruiu o fluxo de dinheiro de propina pelos subterrâneos do partido. Ao contrário, transferiu o propinoduto para o porão do Palácio do Jaburu, já na condição de presidente da República.

    Encaminhada na segunda à noite ao Supremo Tribunal pelo procurador-geral da República, Rodrigo Janot, a denúncia de corrupção passiva se baseia em depoimento e gravação de conversa com o presidente feitos pelo empresário Joesley Batista, do grupo JBS. Mas não só. Joesley, segundo acordo de delação premiada assinado com a PGR, colaborou, ainda, em uma “operação controlada”, nos termos da legislação, em que, além de gravações, foi feito vídeo da entrega de mala com R$ 500 mil ao deputado Rodrigo Loures (PMDB-PR), indicado por Temer ao empresário para tratar de “tudo”, de qualquer assunto de interesse de Joesley.

    Somadas, as provas sustentam uma denúncia sólida contra Temer: gravação do presidente indicando Loures para Joesley abordar temas subterrâneos, na falta do ex-ministro Geddel Vieira, sob investigação; Loures, também em gravação, dispondo-se a defender interesses de Joesley no Cade e na CVM; e o acerto de uma generosa mesada a Loures, em troca da ajuda na solução de uma pendência com a Petrobras sobre o preço do gás cobrado a uma termelétrica da JBS.

    O quadro se fecha com um depoimento do executivo do JBS Ricardo Saud comprovando ser correta a evidência de que Loures recebia o dinheiro em nome de Temer. Os dois, como disse o executivo, teriam bela “aposentadoria” . Pois, paga ao longo de 25 a 30 anos, a propina chegaria a centenas de milhões.

    O presidente decidiu rebater a acusação da PGR em pronunciamento, ontem à tarde, no Planalto, diante de uma plateia de aliados, com os quais espera contar na votação da denúncia, a ser enviada à Câmara pelo Supremo. Mas, em vez de responder a questões objetivas da acusação, partiu para o ataque a Janot. Para Temer, a PGR “reinventou o Código Penal”, ao instituir a “denúncia por ilação”. Mais: a delação de Joesley Batista foi negociada por um ex-procurador que trabalhara com o procurador-geral e, por este trabalho, teria ganhado muito dinheiro. Aproveitou para insinuar que Janot teria recebido parte do pagamento, mas disse que não faria a denúncia, porque, assim, repetiria a acusação da PGR contra ele.

    É muito difícil que a aplicação do velho chavão — a melhor defesa é o ataque — funcione diante de tantos indícios e provas em sentido contrário. Para descredenciar a gravação feita por Joesley da conversa noturna no porão do Jaburu, Temer insistiu com o laudo feito por perito contratado por sua defesa, quando a Polícia Federal acabara de atestar como verdadeiro o áudio. As 294 paralisações da gravação, segundo a PF, não são intervenções fraudulentas, mas característica do gravador, que para quando ninguém está falando.

    Ainda há mais acusações a caminho contra Temer. A de obstrução da Justiça foi reforçada com a elucidação, pela PF, de trechos que eram inaudíveis. A criação de obstáculos para a ação do Estado na repressão ao crime ficou configurada quando Joesley e Temer trataram da ajuda financeira a Eduardo Cunha e a Lúcio Funaro, operador financeiro de Cunha e de outros do PMDB.

    Joesley fazia pagamentos periódicos a Cunha e Funaro, em troca do silêncio dos dois. Houve grande controvérsia em torno de algumas palavras, mas o trabalho feito nos laboratórios da PF reforça a acusação do procurador-geral de que Temer, naquela noite, estimulou o empresário a continuar com os pagamentos aos dois. Esta é uma passagem tóxica para Michel Temer.

    Na segunda-feira, o presidente aproveitou solenidade no Planalto para dar um grito de guerra: “Nada nos destruirá, nem a mim, nem aos ministros” . Resta saber como. À noite, depois de formalizada a acusação, Temer se reuniu em Palácio com o ministro Moreira Franco, da Secretaria-Geral da Presidência; a advogada-geral da União, Grace Mendonça, e advogados que o defendem no STF. As tropas de Temer, porém, são mais numerosas.

    Elas já devem estar fazendo intenso trabalho junto aos membros da Comissão de Constituição e Justiça, para onde a presidente do Supremo, Cármen Lúcia, enviará a denúncia. Conseguir que a CCJ rejeite o pedido — mesmo que ele siga de qualquer forma ao plenário — é importante para Temer. Deverá ser feito “o diabo”, nos termos usados por Dilma Rousseff, na obtenção de votos na comissão. Caberá vigilância estreita sobre as transações que inevitavelmente transcorrerão na Câmara.

    São conhecidas as manobras para trocas de deputados com assento na CCJ, para se garantirem resultados nas votações. Nesta hora, pesam os vínculos e compadrios construídos por Temer e seu grupo durante muito tempo de convívio no Congresso. A não ser que conte a impopularidade recorde do presidente. Mas ele jogará tudo para fazer morrer na Câmara a acusação, evitando que chegue aos 11 ministros do Supremo, Corte muito diferente do TSE.

    O resto é zelar pelos trâmites constitucionais, sem manobras protelatórias, para se desatar o nó político-institucional, pelas regras legais. A economia ainda emite sinais positivos decorrentes do que pôde ser feito até o porão do Jaburu ser iluminado pela delação de Joesley. Mas seria um milagre o PIB se desconectar de uma crise que tem nome: Michel Miguel Elias Temer Lulia. Porém, importa agora é que as instituições decidam, essencial para manter a segurança jurídica, independentemente de qual será o desfecho.

              A necessidade de fazer justiça   

    A corrupção, sinônimo de depravação, suborno e prevaricação, tem impactado a sociedade brasileira, prejudicando a governança, não só no plano econômico mas, principalmente, no campo da ética. “Nossa miséria não se improvisa; é uma obra de séculos”, já profetizava Nelson Rodrigues. Se não mudarmos a história, nenhuma reforma nos recolocará na rota do crescimento. A corrupção suga, por meio de mais impostos, a energia da produção e, por meio de mais e mais desvios, a qualidade dos serviços públicos.

    Movimentos sociais exaltam a necessidade de se fazer justiça. Definida como a primeira virtude das instituições públicas do Estado, do direito, da economia e das relações interpessoais, a justiça funda e deve reger todo o arco da ética individual e social. Como virtude, a justiça forma interiormente as pessoas para o respeito ao semelhante. A violação física é ato de injustiça. Como princípio, a justiça preside a sociedade, ordena a correta divisão dos bens materiais e organiza o respeito à coisa pública, da limpeza da rua ao patrimônio dos cidadãos.

    A pessoa é justa quando cumpre as leis, busca para si e a comunidade seus direitos constitucionais (educação, saúde, habitação, liberdade de pensamento e de expressão), trabalha politicamente para que os cidadãos tenham consciência social e quando, finalmente, luta pela correta repartição dos bens materiais (terra, renda, salário e participação empresarial).

    A justiça deve ser a virtude e o princípio do cidadão que se elege para o exercício de funções públicas: legislativas, executivas e judiciárias. Sem convicções de justiça, o cidadão que ocupa cargos públicos é vulnerável às tentações do conluio, do suborno, do desvio de verbas públicas, das compras superfaturadas, das nomeações ilegais e demais formas de corrupção. A ética consiste na formação da pessoa como indivíduo e cidadão para a justiça, desde o berço da família, aos jovens nas escolas e universidades, aos adultos nas associações, sindicatos e partidos políticos. Todos precisamos progredir na vivência cotidiana da ética constitucional, ou seja, na vivência efetiva e em cada momento dos princípios de justiça que regem a cidadania brasileira. Naturalmente, a justiça deve começar pelos menos favorecidos. Entre nós, eles estão em clamorosa evidência nas favelas, nas ruas e nos campos. São milhões de marginalizados que a Constituição não alcança para efeitos de saúde, educação, habitação, salários justos e participação cultural e política.

    Impõe-se, portanto, uma mudança radical na filosofia ético-política subjacente às estruturas institucionais e empresariais no nosso país. Recolocar a vida humana como valor central da história e do progresso é tarefa para muitos anos e trabalho intensivo que vai das bases populares, às escolas, igrejas e centros tecnológicos. Nesta virada de mentalidade e da necessária nova ordem brasileira estarão empenhadas a ética, a sociologia, a religião, as organizações humanitárias, os partidos políticos renovados. Estes podem vir a tornar-se uma das forças mais positivas de nosso processo político, contanto que sejam revitalizados de forma a cumprirem com eficiência e honestidade seus verdadeiros objetivos. Os partidos ainda são as organizações populares com maiores possibilidades de influenciar o governo, embora infelizmente, na prática, a maior parte dessas possibilidades não se concretize.

    Carlos Alberto Rabaça é sociólogo e professor

              Quanto vale?   

    Estima-se que a Floresta Amazônica bombeie 20 bilhões de toneladas de vapor d’água para a atmosfera todos os dias, o que alimenta boa parte das chuvas na região central e no Sudeste do Brasil. Se tivéssemos que aquecer água para promover a mesma evaporação, precisaríamos de seis meses de toda a capacidade de geração elétrica do planeta para cada dia. Sobre este único aspecto, o valor dos serviços da floresta soma alguns milhares de dólares por hectare por dia. Quem cuida e protege o patrimônio florestal do Brasil presta um enorme serviço.

    Dona Maria de Jesus recebia desde 2014 cerca R$ 100 por mês por conservar as florestas em seu lote da Reserva Extrativista do Alto Juruá, na fronteira do Acre com o Peru. É muito pouco, mas essencial para a manutenção da família grande, que vive da extração sustentável de produtos como castanha e borracha e da agrofloresta. Na Reserva, onde 804 famílias recebem o mesmo benefício, 97% da área permanecem cobertos por florestas.

    A família da Dona Maria Antônia é uma das 53 mil beneficiárias do Bolsa Verde, um programa implementado em 2011 com o objetivo de incentivar as famílias de baixa renda vivendo em assentamentos e unidades de conservação a se desenvolverem ao mesmo tempo que protegem as florestas. Na prática, é o primeiro programa em larga escala de pagamento por serviços ambientais no Brasil.

    São 28 milhões de hectares (o que equivale a seis vezes o Estado do Rio de Janeiro) que mantêm mais de 95% de cobertura florestal e com consistente queda do desmatamento desde a implantação do programa. Mesmo em 2015 e 2016, quando as taxas de desmatamento de toda a Amazônia subiram, nas áreas do Bolsa Verde baixaram.

    Quanto vale o Bolsa Verde? São milhões que protegem bilhões para nós e as futuras gerações.

    Pois o programa está seriamente ameaçado pelo corte de orçamento promovido pelo governo federal. Faltam R$ 35 milhões para arcar com os benefícios até o fim do ano e, para 2018, a proposta orçamentária em discussão corta os recursos a praticamente zero. Na prática, significaria o fim do programa. Isso no momento em que o Brasil precisa de ações efetivas — além do monitoramento e controle — para conter o avanço do desmatamento.

    A corrupção, os desvios de finalidade e a falta de prioridades têm drenado os recursos públicos de áreas estratégicas e fundamentais para manutenção da vitalidade do país. Os ajustes da economia para lidar com o buraco nas contas públicas fazem vítimas entre os mais vulneráveis.

    É preciso reagir. O Bolsa Verde não pode acabar!

    Tasso Azevedo é engenheiro florestal

              ANMCO Position Paper: long-term follow-up of patients with pulmonary thromboembolism   
    <span class="paragraphSection">Venous thromboembolism (VTE), including pulmonary embolism and deep venous thrombosis, is the third most common cause of cardiovascular death. The management of the acute phase of VTE has already been described in several guidelines. However, the management of the follow-up (FU) of these patients has been poorly defined. This consensus document, created by the Italian cardiologists, wants to clarify this issue using the currently available evidence in VTE. Clinical and instrumental data acquired during the acute phase of the disease are the cornerstone for planning the FU. Acquired or congenital thrombophilic disorders could be identified in apparently unprovoked VTE during the FU. In other cases, an occult cancer could be discovered after a VTE. The main targets of the post-acute management are to prevent recurrence of VTE and to identify the patients who can develop a chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension. Knowledge of pathophysiology and therapeutic approaches is fundamental to decide the most appropriate long-term treatment. Moreover, prognostic stratification during the FU should be constantly updated on the basis of the new evidence acquired. Currently, the cornerstone of VTE treatment is represented by both the oral and the parenteral anticoagulation. Novel oral anticoagulants should be an interesting alternative in the long-term treatment.</span>
              Importancia en el Ambito Social   
    Las tecnologías de la información, actualmente son elementos fundamentales para la superación y desarrollo de un país. Por eso, los países desarrollados basan su crecimiento en la aplicación y la programación estratégica de las herramientas computacionales y han definido políticas que los inducirán a su permanencia en el dinamismo mundial de los próximos años. Ante el nuevo entorno económico mundial los países emergentes están obligados a preparar profesionales en áreas de la informática y las telecomunicaciones, capaces de enfrentar los retos que se tienen hoy en día. Asimismo, la presencia de la computación en los sectores productivos es un factor determinante para su funcionamiento.
    En tal sentido, las instituciones educativas deberán aportar a la sociedad recursos humanos que formen la estructura sólida en informática, acorde con los países del primer mundo, sobre la que crecerá la economía nacional. Por otra parte, la Informática está tan popularizada que es muy difícil que una empresa adquiera una ventaja competitiva por tener computadoras más potentes o una red más extensa. La ventaja competitiva se logra con un uso más eficiente de la tecnología y, por supuesto, optimizando la gestión del negocio y/o empresa. Existe una seria preocupación en diferentes sectores de la sociedad sobre los problemas que las computadoras personales de acuerdo a su criterio están ocasionando en la sociedad. Por mencionar algunos de ellos: la posibilidad de crear desigualdades sociales, desempleo, orientación del empleo hacia áreas técnicas, el considerar a la máquina como el sustituto del cerebro humano, la deshumanización de los usuarios, la dependencia del ser humano respecto de una máquina ó la limitación de la evolución normal del conocimiento cuando se utiliza en la educación.

              Come Learn Infragistics at our First Ever Conference!   

    This year—coming up very soon—Infragistics will be co-hosting devscovery with Wintellect!  This is going to be awesome.  Not too long ago, I blogged about how Infragistics is an MVP squirrel.  We’re bringing those nuts to this conference as well as some of our seasoned control developers and designers to bring you the best content on .NET and Infragistics you can find anywhere.  In addition to the 22 Infragistics-provided sessions, Wintellect is providing their own 33 .NET sessions all for the same low price—only $900. 

    Here is a list of the sessions Infragistics has lined up.


    Based on the real life experience of managing the Infragistics NetAdvantage for ASP.NET samples browser, learn some of the techniques used to tame this 10,000 + file project.  Topics covered will include best practices for building an ASP.NET application, as well as best practices when using NetAdvantage for ASP.NET.  The techniques will not only open new doors for you, but will also keep maintenance costs in check, as your application grows.  Attendees will walk away with an understanding of techniques such as custom web config sections, custom expression builders and the ASP.Net tag mappings section.

    Whether you’re ready or not, SharePoint has arrived in a big way.  WebParts provide a flexible and extensible model for building SharePoint portal pages.  In this session you’ll learn how to build your own custom WebParts composed using Infragistics web controls.  Learn the basics of building a composite web part, along with tips for both development and deployment of your custom part.

    Data can come in all different shapes and sizes.  Because of this, controls including the Infragistics WebGrid can be data bound to an assortment of data sources.  We will take a deep look at using the most common DataSources including the SQLDataSource, the ObjectDataSource and custom Business Objects.   Learn about CRUD, and how Two Way DataBinding can make your life easier.  Attendees will walk away with a new understanding of databinding, and the strengths and weaknesses of the various approaches.

    Aikido is a new ASP.NET control framework that builds on top of ASP.NET AJAX, providing XHTML compliance and CSS friendly designability at its core.  This new framework is designed to simplify control development, and is being leveraged by Infragistics in their new ASP.NET WebControls.   Attendees will ride along side as a new control is built using the Aikido framework.  This session will introduce some of the architectural aspects of the framework that are used, and highlight the common problems they address. 

    Building an AJAX application doesn’t need to be tricky or difficult.  With NetAdvantage for ASP.NET and the concept of Embedded AJAX, the functionality is built directly into the controls, allowing you to AJAX enable your application in a single step.  In this session, learn exactly what the CSOM is and how to leverage it to propel the user experience of your application to the next level.  Additionally, attendees will learn how to combine the Infragistics CSOM with Microsoft’s ASP.NET AJAX Extensions library. 

    If you haven’t noticed, there’s quite a buzz around Silverlight, and for good reason.  With Silverlight 2.0, you can take a web application to new levels by creating a user experience never seen before in a web application.  In this session, you will learn how to leverage the power of Silverlight in combination with NetAdvantage for ASP.NET.  Attendees will learn the basics behind building a Silverlight application, as well as the fundamentals of interoperability between ASP.NET and Silverlight. 

    The requirements for building Line of Business applications has certainly evolved over the years.  Luckily the supporting tools have evolved as well.  In this walkthrough, you will learn how to build a LOB application with NetAdvantage for ASP.NET.  This session will focus on a best practices approach to building your application, and will highlight some of the core aspects of programming with  NetAdvantage for ASP.NET.  Topics covered will include Application Styling, Accessibility, and Usability.


    This session offers a high level overview of the NetAdvantage for Windows Forms product line.  It offers both a technical introduction to the individual controls, but also real world practices on how to build a LOB application with NetAdvantage for Windows Forms.  Furthermore, the session demonstrates how rapid application development tools plus application styling technology enhances the ability to create great user experiences without the need for a visual designer.  The session closes with a brief discussion of the future of the NetAdvantage for Windows Forms product line.

    Utilizing WPF in a Windows Forms application is Microsoft’s prescriptive guidance for a migration path to the next generation of applications.  This session offers guidance on utilizing Windows Forms and WPF together.  It covers some of the challenges of this approach and educates the attendee on both the pros and cons of utilizing these two technologies.  Lastly, it offers a practical sample for implementing an Infragistics WPF control in a Windows Forms environment utilizing elementhost.

    This session offers an overview of the design principles and architecture of the Presentation Layer Framework (PLF).  The session offers a chance to hear from the architects of the PLF describe how they built and designed the framework.  It will cover the basic terminology for determining how to extend the framework and achieve advanced customization, along with practical examples that demonstrate the concepts.  Two extremely important parts of the architecture include creation and draw filters.  Creation Filters are used to customize Infragistics components and add elements that aren’t currently part of the control.  Draw Filters allow the developer to make stylistic changes to the control in places that may not have properties to modify.  Both of these advanced topics will be covered in this session.

    This session offers a deep dive into the UltraWinGrid.  The session will begin with an architectural overview of the control and offer an understanding of the composition of the grid.  After a high-level understanding of the control is achieved, the focus will be diving deep into key capabilities of the control and demonstrating the different pieces of functionality.  Finally, the session will close with advanced tips and tricks for achieving high degrees of performance while utilizing the WinGrid.

    Are you curious about how to use different interfaces in the NetAdvantage for Windows Forms product?  This session will offer an indepth technical discussion on some of the most popular and challenging interfaces in the Windows Forms product.  The end goal is to provide a deep dive into the extensibility of the framework and allow you to walk away with base knowledge of how to fully utilize Infragistics’ controls.  IEmbeddableEditor and ISupportAppStyling will both be covered and demonstrative walkthroughs on how to create both a grid embeddable editor and a custom control that consumes the application styling infrastructure. 


    Even if you think you know what UX is, you’ll be able to get something out of this session.  In addition to introducing the concepts around UX, we’ll dive into exploring a number of UX patterns that can help you build great UX and provide examples of how you can start using them in your development today.  We’ll cover patterns that pertain to different kinds of user interface problems such as commands, data entry, information architecture, navigation, page layout, and data visualization.

    Are you confused by all of the UI frameworks and patterns out there for application development?  If so, you’re not alone.  In this session, we’ll cover the major .NET UI f