Tag Archives: links

Tomorrow never comes, it’s always today

I’ve had my nose to the proverbial grindstone in many aspects of life over recent weeks and it hasn’t all been great. Too early to tell whether I’m owning 2009 or it’s owning me, but preliminary indications would argue for the former. It’s easy to get caught up in the hectic craziness of it all. A lot about DC (read: government, politicians, etc.) can breed cynicism. A lot about daily life can foster disappointment (read: work frustration, relationships, the economy, etc.) Enter, Grace in Small Things.

The basic concept, in a nutshell, is that you list five positive things every day — on your blog, on their site, in a journal, wherever you feel comfortable doing it. My list will be on the absurdly domestic magnetic note pad that took up residence on my freezer door a few months ago and has given birth to exactly one grocery list. Goodness knows I make enough lists of things that need fixing in the workplace and otherwise, why not pay due attention to the good little things that happen along the way as well?


All these things and more

The revolution may not be televised but it will surely be Facebooked. This week, among a stellar lineup of stories, NYT Magazine explores the role (actual and potential) of Facebook in fostering the growth of civil society in repressive states. Using that lovely site for something other than memorializing bar crawls or finding out that guy you sat next to in freshman English and are still “friends” with got engaged? Who knew. Although this is by no means a groundbreaking notion, their lengthy case study focusing on Egypt is quite interesting. I would excerpt some highlights here but, really, it’s worth clicking over to read the entire piece…

Revolution, Facebook-Style: Can social networking turn disaffected young Egyptians into a force for democratic change?

While you’re there, skim the exhaustively long cover piece on the mysteries of female desire/arousal. Lest the male portion of my readership (such as it is) hope to find answers to the riddles of the fairer sex, I assure you none are provided as it reads rather circuitously. It does, however, present some interesting food for thought in the age old discussion of how women differ from men.

Finally, there’s a nice little bit about the complete lack of guilt/shame/remorse exhibited by those who played prominent roles in bringing our economy to the depths of the abyss where it is now. Walter Kirn asks, “Where is the shame and remorse on Wall St.?” Good question, sir, good question.

Basically, the entire thing is great from cover-to-cover this week, so go read it.

Some thoughts on the Gaza situation (with links)

I don’t agree with his entire assessment, but this is a good one on whether this campaign is the right one at the right time from a strategic perspective…

Where is Israel Going? 
“That does not mean I question Israel’s right to respond to the rocket onslaught from Gaza. Of course, it has that right. Any country has the right, even the obligation to respond militarily to thugs who rain down thousands of rockets on its people, leaving its children quaking in terror. The question is not whether Israel has the right, but whether exercising it this way is right.”

On how the challenges (present and future) to Israel as we currently know it are different than those it has previously faced. I particularly like the mention of shiting demographics, which isn’t something generally brought up in these conversations…

Why Israel Feels Threatened
“Between 1948 and 1982, Israel oped relatively well with the threat from conventional Arab armies. Indeed, it repeatedly trounced them.  But Iran’s nuclear threat, the rise of organizations like Hamas and Hezballah that operate from across international borders and from the midst of dense civilian populations, and Israeli Arabs’ growing dissaffection with the state and their identification with its enemies, offers a completely different set of challenges. And they are challenges that Israel’s leaders and public, bound by Western democratic and libera norms of behavior, appear to find particularly difficult to counter.”

You might be able to pick your war, to a certain extent, but you can’t necessarily pick your peace. Good analysis of how govering Gaza in the wake of this will present quite a challenge…

Is the Real Target Hamas Rule?
“Even if Israel intends to hold back from completely overthrowing Hamas, its tactics could head that way anyway. And the Israelis might already be facing a kind of mission creep: after all, if enough of Hamas’ infrastructure is destroyed, the prospect of governing Gaza, a densely populated, refugee-filled area whose weak economy has been devastated by the Israeli-led boycott, will be exceedingly difficult.”

On the shifting face of public diplomacy and getting one’s message out in a high-tech world (if you’re on Twitter, you can follow @IsraelConsulate)…

The Toughest Q’s Answered in the Briefest of Tweets
“Since the definition of war has changed, the definition of public diplomacy has to change as well,” said David Saranga, the head of media relations for the Israeli consulate in New York, which conducted the Twitter news conference on Tuesday..”The Israeli government is trying to explain a conflict that people write books about, a conflict that newspaper writers struggle in 2,000 words, in 140 characters at a time.”

Almost turkey week links

RealClearWorld (RCP’s site focusing on international relations rather than obsessive polling analysis) has a great article about who will be the cause of Obama’s first “3am phone call.” I definitely agree with their No. 1 ranking… http://tinyurl.com/5pq4sj

NYT article on Obama giving up his BlackBerry and maybe email in general. Seriously? Doesn’t make much sense in today’s world… http://tinyurl.com/6jncql

Cautionary note on getting caught up in the entertainment instead of the substance of politics (for those already looking to 2012)… http://tinyurl.com/67spfq

And, in looking ahead toward the weekend, I think this movie will be worth seeing… http://www.foxsearchlight.com/slumdogmillionaire/

Friday links

Some interesting links to get you through the day (if the Halloween sugar rush isn’t doing it for you)…

How the imported holiday of Halloween meshes with Japan’s long tradition of monsters/fairies/supernatural creatures… http://tinyurl.com/6xcm2j

Banking, Islamic style… http://tinyurl.com/5stcmt 

The resurgence of vampires as romantic figures in popular chick lit and what that says about romance and the modern woman (I find it kind of funny that this is from WSJ)… http://tinyurl.com/6juk3f

How closely have you been following the election? Take the New Yorker’s quiz to see how well you remember the highlights and lowlights of the last two years… http://tinyurl.com/4ljsxh

U St. art and random links

I was walking down U St. the other night and stopped in the middle of the sidewalk, captivated by the featured artwork in the windows of Nevin Kelly Gallery. I admittedly know nothing about art, but the pieces were simply arresting. The collection is by a local artist, Laurel Hausler, and it’s definitely worth a stop by if you‘re in the area. Here‘s a link to the interview DCist did with her a few weeks ago… http://tinyurl.com/578uo3

Alone in a crowd? The Facebook meetup that never was… http://tinyurl.com/5e8km8

Are you a conversation hog? Technology can now make that assessment if the glazed over looks of your friends aren‘t indication enough… http://tinyurl.com/6na9n6

Pundit school, learn to spin like a pro… http://tinyurl.com/6cp5gd

Random links to kill time

Beyond the headlines…

How Palin looks so good on the campaign trail… http://tinyurl.com/6ja55x

The potential downside of consolidation in the financial system… http://tinyurl.com/5mxbbs

In-depth look at who is giving to Obama and how. Hint: you don’t become the $150 million dollar man entirely from contributions by people like me… http://tinyurl.com/6djset