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Naked Air

 
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Didn't know which post to hinge this article to, so it got one of it's own. It has some interesting comments on society and values.
THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN is a columnist for the New York Times.
>Subject: Naked Air By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
>
> >
> >Naked Air
> >
> >December 26, 2001
> >
> >By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
> >
>In the wake of the attempted bombing last week of the
> >American Airlines flight from Paris by a terrorist nut with
> >explosives in his shoe, I'm thinking of starting my own
> >airline, which would be called: Naked Air. Its motto would
> >be: "Everybody flies naked and nobody worries." Or "Naked
> >Air - where the only thing you wear is a seat belt."
> >
> >Think about it. If everybody flew naked, not only would you
> >never have to worry about the passenger next to you
> >carrying box cutters or exploding shoes, but no religious
> >fundamentalists of any stripe would ever be caught dead
> >flying nude, or in the presence of nude women, and that
> >alone would keep many potential hijackers out of the skies.
> >It's much more civilized than racial profiling. And I'm
> >sure that it wouldn't be long before airlines would be
> >offering free dry-cleaning for your clothes while you fly.
> >
> >Well, you get the point: if the terrorists are just going
> >to keep using technology to become better and better, how
> >do we protect against that, while maintaining an open
> >society - without stripping everyone naked? I mean, what
> >good is it to have a free and open America when someone can
> >easily get on an airplane in Paris and bring a bomb over in
> >the heel of his shoe or plot a suicide attack on the World
> >Trade Center from a cave in Kandahar and then pop over and
> >carry it out?
> >
> >This is America's core problem today: A free society is
> >based on openness and on certain shared ethics and honor
> >codes to maintain order, and we are now intimately
> >connected to too many societies that do not have
> >governments that can maintain order and to peoples who have
> >no respect for our ethics or our honor codes.
> >
> >Remember the electronic ticket machines that were used for
> >the Boston-New York-Washington shuttles? Ever use one? Not
> >only were you automatically issued your ticket with a
> >credit card by pressing a touch- screen, but they asked you
> >- electronically - "Did you pack your bags yourself?" and
> >"Did any strangers give you anything?" And you answered
> >those security questions by touching a screen! Think about
> >the na�ve trust and honor code underlying those machines.
> >
> >If I had my way they would now take all those machines and
> >put them in a special room in the Smithsonian museum
> >called: "Artifacts From America Before Sept. 11, 2001."
> >
> >We're not alone. I just flew in and out of Moscow, where
> >you now have to fill out a detailed customs form. It asks
> >the usual questions: Are you carrying any fruits, plants,
> >large amounts of foreign currency, special electronics or
> >weapons? But there was one box that unnerved me a bit. It
> >asked: Are you carrying any "radioactive materials?" Hmm, I
> >wondered, how many people (i.e. smugglers) are going to
> >check that box? Can you imagine going through Moscow
> >customs and the couple in front of you turning to each
> >other and asking: "Dear, did we pack the nuclear waste in
> >your suitcase or mine?" Or, "Honey, is the plutonium in
> >your purse or the black duffel?" I don't think so.
> >
> >Which is why we are entering a highly problematic era, one
> >that we are just beginning to get our minds around. We are
> >becoming much more keenly aware of how freedom and order go
> >together (see the Ashcroft debates). For America to stay
> >America, a free and open society, intimately connected to
> >the world, the world has to become a much more ordered and
> >controlled place. And order emerges in two ways: It is
> >either grown from the bottom up, by societies slowly
> >developing good democratic governance and shared ethics and
> >values, or it is imposed from the top down, by
> >non-democratic, authoritarian regimes rigidly controlling
> >their people.
> >
> >But in today's post-cold-war world, many, many countries to
> >which we are connected are in a transition between the two
> >- between a rigid authoritarian order that was imposed and
> >voluntary self-government that is being home-grown. It
> >makes for a very messy world, especially as some countries
> >- Afghanistan being the most extreme example - are not able
> >to make the transition.
> >
> >"The problem with top-down control is that more governments
> >around the world are fragmenting today, rather than
> >consolidating," said the Israeli political theorist Yaron
> >Ezrahi. "At the same time, America's technologies are being
> >universalized - planes that go faster and faster and
> >electronics that are smaller and smaller - but the American
> >values and honor system that those technologies assume have
> >not been universalized. In the hands of the wrong people
> >they become weapons of mass destruction."
> >
> >So there you have our dilemma: Either we become less open
> >as a society, or the world to which we are now so connected
> >has to become more controlled - by us and by others - or we
> >simply learn to live with much higher levels of risk than
> >we've ever been used to before.
> >
> >Or, we all fly naked.
 
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Skidmarks
 
HS Thomas
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Thomas L. Friedman recently writes that US Trade policy breeds terrorists
When it comes to the military side of the war on terrorism, the Bush team "behave like Viking warriors", says Thomas Friedman. but they are spineless when it comes to making the political and economic sacrifices that should go with it.
Take the Cancun trade talks last month. Had the US agreed to reduce the vast subsidies it bestows on it's farmers, it would have eased the crippling poverty in developing countries that serves as the incubator for terrorism. But the White House was more worried about placating the farm lobby. Had it the nous "to connect the dots" it would see how short-sighted this is. Here in a nutshell is Bush's war on terrorism:
"Preach free trade but don't deliver on it, so Pakistani farmers become more impoverished." Resist efforts to increase fuel efficiency, so that we need more imports from Saudi Arabia. The Saudis then have more money on to give to Wahhabi fundamentalists who spend it on religous schools in Pakistan. The Pakistani farmer we put out of business with farm subsidies then sends his sons to the Wahhabi school because it's free. His son's grew up gettting only a Koranic education, so they are "unprepared for modernity" and seee the US as the source of all their woes. One of them joins al-Qa'eda and is killed in Afghanistan by US forces."And we think we are winning the war on terrorism? Fat chance."
My comments:
Oil has driven the economy since early last century.
China is currently driving the emerging market boom by demand for raw materials. Emerging markets have delivered some of the best returns of the last six months and are tipped to continue to outperform.
regards
 
Richard Hawkes
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If the world were truly, economically fair then the average Westerner (you and me) would be a lot worse off. The powers-that-be are working for interests most of us are too cowardly to admit to supporting at some level.
 
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Originally posted by Richard Hawkes:
Skidmarks


Eeewwww!!
 
HS Thomas
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More from Thomas L. Friedman:

some of his columns
should have known something was up when a Saudi diplomat recently asked me, "Do you know what kind of woman is most sought after as a wife by Saudi men today?" No, I said, what kind? "A woman with a job."
" Even with all the problems in Baghdad now, virtually every autocratic Arab regime is starting to prepare for the uncomfortable possibility that by 2005 Iraq will hold a free election, which will shame all those who never have.One good example is worth a thousand theories." Iraq � maybe � could be that example."
"But there is another tremor shaking the Arab world. This one is being set off by a group of courageous Arab social scientists, who decided, with the help of the United Nations, to begin fighting the war of ideas for the Arab future by detailing just how far the Arab world has fallen behind and by laying out a progressive pathway forward. Their first publication, the Arab Human Development Report 2002, explained how the deficits of freedom, education and women's empowerment in the Arab world have left the region so behind that the combined G.D.P. of the 22 Arab states was less than that of a single country � Spain. Even with limited Internet access in the Arab world, one million copies of this report were downloaded, sparking internal debates."
In his book "Longitudes and Attitudes" :
But this is not a "war on terrorism," Friedman insists: "Terrorism is just a tool. We're fighting to defeat an ideology: religious totalitarianism."
The people's pundit
This year, much of Friedman's attention has turned to a conflict he knows well, having written a now-standard book about it, From Beirut to Jerusalem. Friedman finds Ariel Sharon's support of the Israeli settlements in the occupied territories "insane," but he's also filled with revulsion at the suicide bombings: "The Palestinians are so blinded by their narcissistic rage that they have lost sight of the basic truth civilization is built on: the sacredness of every human life, starting with your own," he writes.
And after a suicide attack is carried out by a teenage girl, Friedman views it through the lens of personal experience: "I have a teen-age daughter. There is no teen-ager capable of making the political decision to commit suicide. You can bet it was older men who encouraged her to do this and who wrapped her in dynamite. That is not martyrdom, that is ritual sacrifice.
"Do they know how twisted all this looks to the rest of the world?"
There may be plenty of reasons to argue with Friedman -- many on the left think he's a propagandist for globalization, and many on the right think he's a typical liberal slandering the Bush administration -- but it's difficult to make a convincing case that he hasn't worked hard to form his opinions."
regards
[ October 24, 2003: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
 
HS Thomas
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China is currently driving the emerging market boom by demand for raw materials. Emerging markets have delivered some of the best returns of the last six months and are tipped to continue to outperform.


In the same weeks leading up to China's launch of it's first manned flight The Shenzou V - "divine vessel" rocket gives China membership of an exclusive club dominated by the US and Russia.
The "metaphor" of the big picture has hardly changed and it's debatable how it benefits the common peasant.
regards
[ October 25, 2003: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
 
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"Preach free trade but don't deliver on it, so Pakistani farmers become more impoverished." Resist efforts to increase fuel efficiency, so that we need more imports from Saudi Arabia. The Saudis then have more money on to give to Wahhabi fundamentalists who spend it on religous schools in Pakistan. The Pakistani farmer we put out of business with farm subsidies then sends his sons to the Wahhabi school because it's free. His son's grew up gettting only a Koranic education, so they are "unprepared for modernity" and seee the US as the source of all their woes. One of them joins al-Qa'eda and is killed in Afghanistan by US forces."And we think we are winning the war on terrorism? Fat chance."
What about closing the loop here? Killing backwards Pakistani farmer boys gives our military a fight it can perpetually "win" -- at least until we the power of guilting the world over 9/11 wears off -- thus sustaining the US military-industrial complex and lending ongoing credibility to its appetite for a larger budget, a more influential position in matters of foreign policy, etc., etc. And don't forget, a big desert space to try out new weapons without alienating Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada.
Every institution's primary goal is its own survival. Whatever the fuel for that engine, it first seeks to survive. If you want to understand a cleric or a politician or a general, find his mouth, and watch what goes in, not what comes out.
[ October 25, 2003: Message edited by: Michael Ernest ]
 
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