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kurukaalapoovan

கருத்துக்கள உறுப்பினர்கள்
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Everything posted by kurukaalapoovan

  1. இந்த இருண்ட காலத்திற்கு காரணமாயிருந்தது அவர் தயாரித்த 'த்ரீ ரோசஸ்'. ஹாலிவுட் 'சார்லீஸ் ஏஞ்சல்ஸ்' பாதிப்பில் தயாரான 'த்ரீ ரோசஸி'ல் ரம்பா, ஜோதிகா, லைலா என மூன்று ஹீரோயின்கள். ஈகோ மோதலில் மூவரும் ஒவ்வொரு திசையில் இழுக்க,ரோசஸ் ரேசரானது பரிதாபம். இனி தமிழ்ப் படங்களில் நடிக்க மாட்டேன் என சைலன்ட்டாக சபதம் செய்து இந்தி, 'பேஜ்பூரி' என தார்த்தாடனம் சென்றவர், கடன் தீர்ந்ததும் திரும்பு வந்திருக்கிறார். வழக்கம்போல வந்தாரை வாழ வைக்கும் தமிழகம் ரம்பாவையும் வாரி அனைத்துக் கொண்டுள்ளது. ரஷ்யன் என்பவர் இயக்கும் 'விடியும் வரை காத்திரு' படத்தில் ரம்பாதான் நாயகி. பாவேந்தர் இயக்கும் 'மறு அவதாரம்' பட்ததிலும் நடிக்கிறார் ரம்பா. இதில் நடிகர் முரளிக்கு ஜோடி. மீனா, சுகன்யா, தேவயானி, கவுசல்யா போன்ற ரிட்டயர்டு நடிகைகளுடன் தொலைக்காட்சி தொடரில் நடிக்க ரம்பாவுக்கு தினம் ஒரு அழைப்பு வருகிறதாம். அனைத்தையும் நிராகரிப்பவர், ரியாலிட்டி ஷோவுக்கு ஜட்ஜாக போனாலும் போவனே தவிர தொடரில் நடிக்க மாட்டேன் எனகிறார் வீம்பாக. ரம்பா எடுத்திருக்கும் இன்னொரு முடிவு, எக்காரணம் கொண்டும் படம் தயாரிக்க மாட்டேன்! காலம் கடந்த முடிவு என்றாலும் நல்ல முடிவு!
  2. வடிவேலுவின் காமெடி கேரியரில் சிகரம் என்றால் அது வின்னர் கைப்புள்ளயும், தலைநகரம் நாய் சேகரும்தான். நாய் சேகர் தொட்டாபெட்டா என்றால் கைப்புள்ள எவரெஸ்ட். இந்த இரண்டு சிகரங்களுக்கு காரணமானவர்கள் தலையிலேயே கரகம் ஆடியிருக்கிறார் வடிவேலு. வின்னர் படத்தை இயக்கிய சுந்தர் சி.யுடன் வடிவேலுவுக்கு ஈ.கோ மோதல். தலைநகரத்துக்குப் பிறகு இருவரும் சேர்ந்து நடிக்கவில்லை. அதேபோல் தலைநகரம் படத்தை இய்ககிய சுராஜூடன் படிக்காதவன் படத்தில் மோதல். நானா, நீயா மோதலில் புயல் கோபித்துக் கொண்டு சென்னை புறப்பட்டது. இந்த மோதலை படத்தின் நாயகன் கண்டு கொள்ளவில்லை. சென்னை வந்த வடிவேலு உடனடியாக அட்வான்ஸை திருப்பிக் கொடுத்தார். தயாரிப்பாளர்கள் சங்கம், புகார் என்று அலட்டிக்கொள்ளாமல் வடிவேலுக்கு பதில் விவேக்கை ஒப்பந்தம் செய்துள்ளார் சுராஜ். சுந்தர் சி.யுடனான மோதலு்குப் பிறகு வடிவேலுக்கு பதில் விவேக் அவரது படங்களில் தொடர்ந்து நடித்து வருவது கவனிக்கத்தக்கது. இப்படி திசை தெரியமல் வீசினால் புயலின் பயணம் புறப்பட்ட இடத்திற்கே திரும்பிவிடும் அபாயமிருக்கிறது.
  3. In the National Interest: Canadian Foreign Policy in an Insecure World Report & policy recommendations by CDFAI, 2004 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ... The report begins with an assessment of the pertinent changes in the world at large, in North America, and inside Canada since the end of the Cold War. The world Canadians knew between 1945 and 1990, is gone. During those forty five years Mutually Assured Destruction and the division of the world into two major power blocs ensured a rough semblance of international order. That is no longer the case. Today, the rise of international terrorism combined with a growing "failed state" phenomenon and the emergence of the United States as the only superpower has undermined long-held tenets of Canadian foreign policy. Europe and the US seem to differ fundamentally in their approach to solving international problems while multilateral security institutions such as the UN and NATO have proven ineffective in ensuring world peace and stability. Canada can no longer use Europe, or NATO or the UN as a "counterbalance" against American influence. At the same time, the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 showed the vulnerability of the US "an open society" to fanatical enemies of the democratic secular world. Now once again, as in the early days of the Cold War, Canada must play an active role in North American defence even as it is called upon by the US to play a larger role in the war against terrorism abroad. Canadian society is also changing rapidly in composition as immigration transforms the once largely Caucasian face of the nation. This change has brought a myriad of peoples from troubled parts of the world to Canada, tying Canada more closely into the tragic events that continue to plague Africa, parts of Asia and the Middle East. Canada has slipped badly in international influence over the last decade. This is not surprising given the erosion of Canadian foreign policy assets since 1993. The Canadian Forces have been greatly diminished. The foreign affairs budget has shrunk. There has been a precipitous decline in Canadian overseas aid. The report thus outlines the choices that Canadians now face. They can continue the present course to international irrelevance by maintaining the current level of diplomatic assets. They can achieve a re-invigouration of sorts by maintaining the current assets but cutting drastically back on what they are used for, allowing the same overall amount to be spent on fewer options with the consequent result of greater resources for the remaining choices. Or they can increase the assets. This is the course the report recommends. The report points out that it is also of vital importance for Canadians to understand that the only real imperative in Canadian foreign policy is Canada’s relationship with the US. All other Canadian international interests are far behind the importance of maintaining friendly and workable relations with the Americans. The report suggests that this objective has been lost of late but must be re-established in a full scale overhaul of how Canada interacts with the US. The report examines the currently stated Canadian foreign policy objective of projecting Canadian values abroad and recommends, instead, that Canadian foreign policy be unabashedly based on serving Canadian national interests. It also examines Canada’s relationship with the principal global security organizations and recommends that Canadians face the reality that current policies which espouse multilateralism as an end in itself do not serve Canadian interests. Finally, the report turns to the instruments of Canadian foreign policy. It recommends that the foreign affairs machinery of the government be better organized and that the Canadian Forces be considerably beefed up. It advocates placing Canadian aid under the Minister of Foreign Affairs and putting more resources into it, but ensuring that it is used to serve Canadian interests abroad. It also urges beefing up the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and the foreign service. The Report concludes with thirty three specific recommendations. http://www.cdfai.org/PDF/In%20The%20Nation...t%20English.pdf
  4. The Romans had a saying: Mole ruit sua. It falls of its own bigness. They knew a thing or two about Empire, over-extension abroad and decay at home. Apparently, Americans are still learning. Hence, we're shocked by a 9/11 event, the devastation wrought by Katrina, the collapse of a bridge over the Mississippi. We don't understand how our health care system could have deteriorated into the "Sicko" joke of the developed world - and to be a lot less efficient and fair than systems in much poorer countries (Cuba, Venezuela, Costa Rica, for example). Within a few decades, how did we go from putting men on the moon to a nation whose cars can't compete with Japan and Germany - nations less than half, and a little more than a quarter our size; nations we bombed to smithereens some 60 years ago? Our school system can't educate the next generation of doctors (we import them from India), nurses (we grab them from the Philippines), computer specialists (we outsource those jobs to India), journalists or editors. We no longer make our own clothes (China does), build our own ships (South Korea), or do our own thinking (thank you, Rupert Murdoch, Oprah and a pox of pundits!). In my lifetime, I have watched the culture gyrate from the wholesome, if naive, 1950s' sitcom Father Knows Best, with its strong, parental role models, to the whorish modeling behavior of insolent "celebs" like Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, Lindsy Lohan, etc. Our kids are sugared up with awful food one moment, then sedated with Ritalin the next. For the past twenty years I've been asking my wife, "How low can we go?" And I can't help thinking of Shakespeare's answer: things are not the worst so long as we can say, "This is the worst!" It would be easy to blame all of this on some clown-politician: Ronald Reagan, George Bush (pere or file!). But we ought not elevate their like too much. They are symptoms, not causes. It's easier to treat symptoms than eliminate causes, and the current hubbub on the Left about impeaching Bush, Cheney and Gonzalez - as nefarious as they are! - is just the sort of band-aid solution to the manifest ills of a moribund empire that is certain to perpetuate those ills and that empire. In politics, timing is everything. Two years ago I wrote a piece entitled, "25 Reasons to Impeach George W. Bush." It was widely disseminated on the web, even made it to Congressman Conyer's website. Two years is a long time as the crow flies, and what was bold, dissident and informative then is old-hat and shop-worn now. You've got to wonder: when Bruce Fein of the hyper-conservative American Enterprise Institute and John Nichols of the Nation magazine convene on Bill Moyers' Journal, as they did in July, to present the merits of impeaching Bush and Cheney as a great civics lesson for the American people - a way to restore trust in our government - what is going on? Have the Left and the Right finally found a way to move the social agenda forward, to repair the bridges, establish durable living standards, and secure the blessings of life, liberty and justice for all? Can the Corporate State and Democracy really co-exist? And the answer lies in the simple act of impeaching the degenerates? Hallelujah! But not so fast H.L. Mencken, the great American essayist and journalist (Yes, Virginia, there really were journalists in the Good Old Days!) used to say that for every complex, intractable, seemingly impossible problem, there was a quick, easy, convenient solution - that was wrong! So, let's play this out. What's wrong with impeachment now? Well, for one thing, it's now, not then. If the Dems wouldn't touch the subject with a ten foot alligator pole when they were down-and-outers two years ago, why would they want to stretch their democratic ligaments now when they are convinced that the Bush Administration is hoisting itself on its own petard and victory is just 15 months within their grasp? Those who argue that impeachment will teach Americans a great lesson in the puissance and ultimate triumph of Jeffersonian democracy - whatever that may be!-appear to have forgotten the lesson of the last impeachment: mainly, NAFTA-loving, affable, charming, roll-in-the-Oval-Office-hay Bill was followed by snarling Cheney and his hand-puppet Bush. Just when exactly did impeachment serve the interests of this would-be Republic? Did Anrew Johnson's? As I recall, his impeachment made it easier for the carpetbaggers to scour the fallen South, and put daggers to Lincoln's program to "bind up the nation's wounds." Did the threatened impeachment of Nixon end the Vietnam War one day sooner? Wasn't it rather a means to find a presidential scape-goat for the excesses of Empire; to bring a divided nation together so that it could elect Ronald Reagan six years later, promote the Contras in Nicaragua, death squads in El Salvador, and entrench deregulation and all its sins? Here's another problem: The Bush-Cheney-Gonzalez cabal, with the approval of our supine Congress and paleolithic Supreme Court, have fine-tuned and oiled all the machinery for a Police State and Martial Law. Let's play out this horror: Another 911 event in the midst of impeachment proceedings. Hannity and O'Reilley stridently proclaim that "so-called" Progressives have diverted the attention of the Executive branch from fighting the all-important War on Terror. Martial Law is declared, the 2008 elections cancelled. Many of us are doubtful about the role of this Administration in the cloudy events of 911. Can we be sanguine about its role and response to another such event - or a worse one? Governments under siege are no better defenders of the commonweal than a misinformed public. And our public has been grossly misinformed for a long time about the very nature of the Empire in which they live and work, pray, play and die. While our corporate roosters outsource jobs; while they plunder the treasury to fight wars abroad; while they line the pockets of lobbyists and politicians, they foster sentimental nationalism among the mainstream-media-addicted masses. Laughing all the way to their banks and their hedge funds, they jet-set about our shrinking globe, frolicking among their class on the best beaches in the world, eating the best food in the world, and shitting their gold-colored shit for the rest of us to eat. To propose impeachment now, and to proceed with it, is not to educate the public about their democratic powers, but to egregiously mislead it into thinking the ballyhooed Republic actually works - and is on their side! Such a proposal and undertaking now is a siren song to the naive; a refusal to do the hard, solid thinking Martin Luther King espoused. It presupposes that there is a Republic which is responsive to the needs and demands of the people; that that Republic may be salvaged; that it is merely overladen with the filth of neglect. We have simply to get back to the sterling, perdurable tablets upon which the Republic has been founded - the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence - and all will be well. And while we are engaged in this futile exercise, shall we re-deploy the troops from Iraq to Kuwait; shall we streamline our forces so they are better able to pounce next time? Will we send $30 billion to Israel over the next ten years, or spend $ 65 billion to re-build our nation's bridges? In order to fund universal health care, shall we cut our Defense budget or cut Social Security? Will we ask the big questions? Do we even know what to ask? We are less and less likely to know what to ask, thanks to the consolidation of media empires that took place in the 90s, and continues apace with Aussie billionaire Rupert Murdoch's recent purchase of Dow Jones and the Wall Street Journal. Can we really expect a corporate-government alliance that sanctions the concentration of so much wealth, power and influence into the hands of one or a few individuals to be acting in our interests? So Milton cried for "the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely" according to his conscience "above all other liberties." We are trained not to call things what they are. If we have a psychopathic president and vice-president, the petit bourgeoisie think it boorish to disrespect their offices by saying so. If our economic system has created a new aristocracy, increasingly served by a new peasantry, let's call it Globalization and The New World Order. The aggregation of corporate, government and media power, which Mussolini himself called Corporatism and Fascism - let's just shake our heads sadly and call it "inevitable," or the way things are or always have been. Let us go to pedophiliac priests to confess our sins and listen to their pronouncements of salvation in heaven. Let us abide by the words of Protestant preachers who tell us we, too, can become filthy rich if we obey the word of God (and our keepers!) and do not rock the Ship of State. Let us make obeisance to Israel - not because of the wisdom of Solomon, but because the land-grabbing nation-state keeps the Muslim world divided, and buys our arms. I am old enough to remember "the Vietnam Syndrome": the idea that our "defeat" in Vietnam weakened the country's morale - and our moral fiber. But that was just Bernays-type P.R. nonsense. We weren't "defeated" in Vietnam. We wound up killing about 3 million Vietnamese and our bombing of Cambodia helped to unleash Pol Pot and the "killing fields" that buried four million. In the third of a century since our withdrawal from Vietnam we have learned disgustingly little about the machinations of the Empire. Dutifully we vote every 2-4 years supposing that this time, doing the same thing, will bring a different result. So, what to do? While international capital leaps borders, Daimler Benz buys Chrysler, dumps Chrysler, and piece-workers in China send shiploads to Wal-mart, the international peace movement is stymied and fragmented, and wage slaves around the world feel the walls of their prison cells closing in. It is almost 200 years since the London Peace Society was organized to convince people that "war is inconsistent with the principles of Chistianity, and the true interests of mankind; and to point out the means best calculated to maintain permanent and univedrsal peace." On July 4th, 1845, Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts, in his speech entitled "The True Grandeur of Nations" declared war contrary to religion and humanity, and, under the conditions of modern civilization, likely to disappear. The first positive reaction to the depredations of the Industrial Revolution was Luddite-like resistance - smash the machines; the second, culminating in the Revolutions of 1848, was to utilize the new power of machines to move towards the ancient vision of universal peace. The third reaction, beginning in the twentieth century, has been a great dulling and numbing of our psychic connections; a retreat from the rich complexity of transnationalism to the safe simplicities of statism. Here, the work of Freud and Jung, and particularly Freud's nephew, Bernays, established the psychic limits of our species, moulded working and middle classes into enclosed, patriotic, monitored and stimulated heartbeats, massaged by sentimentalism, willing to kill and die for the State and the God of the State. Will Globalization and the IT Revolution bring a fourth reaction? After 5,000 years of living in communities, will Homo sapiens manage to integrate local communities into a worldwide community in which the principle of fairness is inextricable from the principle of freedom? We have the technical means, but do we have the will and vision? Can the anti-war movement in America join forces with anti-war movements in Europe, Asia and around the world? Can we organize planetary boycotts of industries that pollute our children's air and water, and of corporations that poison our bodies and minds? Are Americans big enough, wise enough, to internationalize their problems or must we turn everything over to our overseers - our politicians and the lobbyists and media barons they serve and service? Can we remand war criminals like Bush and Cheney, Kissinger and the like to the International Court in the Hague and other international judiciary bodies, or must we resort once again to the tired formulations of impeachments, pardons and the same ugly crimes reappearing, somewhat reconstituted, somewhere down the road? There are crises in the heart and infrastructure of this nation that go far beyond the soft and hard power of our body politic. After a quarter of a millennium, our sacrosanct Constitution is frayed badly at the edges: its electoral college that awarded Bush the presidency; its life-time appointment of Supreme Court justices that rigor-mortises Justice itself; the absurdity of a representational system that provides a senator from Wyoming some 70 times the proportionate power of a senator from California; the equal absurdity of a lame-duck presidential system that almost assures that a successful first term will be followed by a bad second; the lack of people's referenda to easily remove indictable offenders like Bush, Cheney, et. al. Not to mention, the lack of anything like an Economic Bill of Rights! "Ecraser l'infame!" Voltaire cried in his mid-60s. Crush the infamous thing! But first, like Voltaire, understand it, explain it. See the great currents of human history, controlled and out of control, buffeting our simian and god-reaching species. Expose the scoundrels and turn them out, and praise the honest man and woman and uphold their decency. Those we have trusted to lead us have deceived us long enough, let us wander too long in a wilderness of tears, thorns and betrayals. The task is formidable, gargantuan: to educate, to explicate, to elucidate. To keep mining history until we reach the golden veins of truth; to flush the murky waters till the clear wellsprings shine in the radiant sun. To re-connect ourselves to the great movements of world history: the peace and social reform movements in Europe and America in the 19th century; the anti-colonial revolutions of the 19th and 20th centuries against European and American Empire. We must rise up now with knowledge and compassion and take the reins to ride the maelstrom; to save ourselves and our home planet, our tomorrows, and what and whom we love. Gary Corseri's work has appeared at CounterPunch, DissidentVoice, The New York Times, Village Voice, PBS-Atlanta, and elsewhere. His books include Manifestations and Holy Grail, Holy Grail. He can be contacted at: corseri@verizon.net. Read other articles by Gary.
  5. Neocon 101: What do neoconservatives believe? Some basic questions answered Christian Science Monitor Global Research, August 7, 2007 "Neocons" believe that the United States should not be ashamed to use its unrivaled power - forcefully if necessary - to promote its values around the world. Some even speak of the need to cultivate a US empire. Neoconservatives believe modern threats facing the US can no longer be reliably contained and therefore must be prevented, sometimes through preemptive military action. Most neocons believe that the US has allowed dangers to gather by not spending enough on defense and not confronting threats aggressively enough. One such threat, they contend, was Saddam Hussein and his pursuit of weapons of mass destruction. Since the 1991 Gulf War, neocons relentlessly advocated Mr. Hussein's ouster. Most neocons share unwavering support for Israel, which they see as crucial to US military sufficiency in a volatile region. They also see Israel as a key outpost of democracy in a region ruled by despots. Believing that authoritarianism and theocracy have allowed anti-Americanism to flourish in the Middle East, neocons advocate the democratic transformation of the region, starting with Iraq. They also believe the US is unnecessarily hampered by multilateral institutions, which they do not trust to effectively neutralize threats to global security. What are the roots of neoconservative beliefs? The original neocons were a small group of mostly Jewish liberal intellectuals who, in the 1960s and 70s, grew disenchanted with what they saw as the American left's social excesses and reluctance to spend adequately on defense. Many of these neocons worked in the 1970s for Democratic Senator Henry "Scoop" Jackson, a staunch anti-communist. By the 1980s, most neocons had become Republicans, finding in President Ronald Reagan an avenue for their aggressive approach of confronting the Soviet Union with bold rhetoric and steep hikes in military spending. After the Soviet Union's fall, the neocons decried what they saw as American complacency. In the 1990s, they warned of the dangers of reducing both America's defense spending and its role in the world. Unlike their predecessors, most younger neocons never experienced being left of center. They've always been "Reagan" Republicans. What is the difference between a neoconservative and a conservative? Liberals first applied the "neo" prefix to their comrades who broke ranks to become more conservative in the 1960s and 70s. The defectors remained more liberal on some domestic policy issues. But foreign policy stands have always defined neoconservatism. Where other conservatives favored detente and containment of the Soviet Union, neocons pushed direct confrontation, which became their raison d'etre during the 1970s and 80s. Today, both conservatives and neocons favor a robust US military. But most conservatives express greater reservations about military intervention and so-called nation building. Neocons share no such reluctance. The post 9/11-campaigns against regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq demonstrate that the neocons are not afraid to force regime change and reshape hostile states in the American image. Neocons believe the US must do to whatever it takes to end state-supported terrorism. For most, this means an aggressive push for democracy in the Middle East. Even after 9/11, many other conservatives, particularly in the isolationist wing, view this as an overzealous dream with nightmarish consequences. How have neoconservatives influenced US foreign policy? Finding a kindred spirit in President Reagan, neocons greatly influenced US foreign policy in the 1980s. But in the 1990s, neocon cries failed to spur much action. Outside of Reaganite think tanks and Israel's right-wing Likud Party, their calls for regime change in Iraq were deemed provocative and extremist by the political mainstream. With a few notable exceptions, such as President Bill Clinton's decision to launch isolated strikes at suspected terrorist targets in Afghanistan and Sudan in 1998, their talk of preemptive military action was largely dismissed as overkill. Despite being muted by a president who called for restraint and humility in foreign affairs, neocons used the 1990s to hone their message and craft their blueprint for American power. Their forward thinking and long-time ties to Republican circles helped many neocons win key posts in the Bush administration. The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 moved much of the Bush administration closer than ever to neoconservative foreign policy. Only days after 9/11, one of the top neoconservative think tanks in Washington, the Project for a New American Century, wrote an open letter to President Bush calling for regime change in Iraq. Before long, Bush, who campaigned in 2000 against nation building and excessive military intervention overseas, also began calling for regime change in Iraq. In a highly significant nod to neocon influence, Bush chose the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) as the venue for a key February 2003 speech in which he declared that a US victory in Iraq "could begin a new stage for Middle Eastern peace." AEI - the de facto headquarters for neconservative policy - had been calling for democratization of the Arab world for more than a decade. What does a neoconservative dream world look like? Neocons envision a world in which the United States is the unchallenged superpower, immune to threats. They believe that the US has a responsibility to act as a "benevolent global hegemon." In this capacity, the US would maintain an empire of sorts by helping to create democratic, economically liberal governments in place of "failed states" or oppressive regimes they deem threatening to the US or its interests. In the neocon dream world the entire Middle East would be democratized in the belief that this would eliminate a prime breeding ground for terrorists. This approach, they claim, is not only best for the US; it is best for the world. In their view, the world can only achieve peace through strong US leadership backed with credible force, not weak treaties to be disrespected by tyrants. Any regime that is outwardly hostile to the US and could pose a threat would be confronted aggressively, not "appeased" or merely contained. The US military would be reconfigured around the world to allow for greater flexibility and quicker deployment to hot spots in the Middle East, as well as Central and Southeast Asia. The US would spend more on defense, particularly for high-tech, precision weaponry that could be used in preemptive strikes. It would work through multilateral institutions such as the United Nations when possible, but must never be constrained from acting in its best interests whenever necessary.
  6. Shaping US foreign policy today: national interest versus special interest A Note by the Director (Ditchley 1999/07) (with the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations) - 20-22 May 1999 How far, the making of United States foreign policy was markedly influenced (distorted?) by the domestic pressure of special interests. We began by recognising that, for any major Western government, the long East-West confrontation had served to concentrate, calibrate and in some ways simplify the shaping of policy and, by much the same token, to underpin the authority in external matters of government leaders, especially the US President. The ending of the Cold War had accordingly left objectives and criteria less clear and more complex; and some of our participants maintained that in these circumstances to yearn for some overarching framework to steer policy decisions was to cry for the moon - it was in the nature of events, not of the routinely-proclaimed weakness of leadership, that issue-to-issue pragmatism must predominate. One strand of commentary further argued that these trends were intensified by the facts of globalisation, the growth in interdependence, the erosion of sovereign power, the worldwide flood of information all reduced the ability of national governments to frame their objectives simply and autonomously and to pursue them with tidy consistency. The information flow indeed, some suggested, might be as likely to lead among overwhelmed lay publics to narrower parochialism as to wider understanding. All that said, however, we knew that nation states were still the key players in international affairs; and that the United States was a uniquely powerful one. That reality, as we recognised, gave matching importance to the particular characteristics of the US political system. The combination of size, diversity and the special consequences of the separation-of-powers structure meant not only that there were many actors in the formation of US policy but also that their operation was open to view, and so to evident struggle among interests, in a degree scarcely matched among major US allies. The fundamental democratic healthiness of this was plain; but it meant especially given the comparative decay of old political-party mechanisms, and of the disciplines they once imparted that there was opportunity for pressure-groups to operate in a notably vigorous and high-profile way. We heard cited one or two recent instances in which the facts of political conjuncture had conferred remarkable leverage on narrow-seeming interests. The system gave to members of the US Congress scope for foreign-policy intervention of a strength and directness not paralleled in Parliaments elsewhere. We heard a touch of misgiving expressed about whether the Congress always rose adequately to its resultant duties and accountabilities in government sharing; there seemed in some policy interventions, so one or two weighty observations suggested, a disproportion between sensitivity to local electoral (or campaign-finance) interest and responsible concern for the steady coherence of US external actions. But these were the realities of the system, and no recipe was proposed for modifying them. We should have liked to anchor our discussion of the part "special interests" played in a clear concept of how "national interest" was to be defined. But we found differing schools of thought about whether any such definition was possible, other than at a level of generality too broad to be operationally useful as a criterion for policy. For at least some participants, master concepts were infeasible, and national interest might often have to be (indeed democratically ought to be?) just whatever emerged from the competing clamour of special-interest groups, not something standing above them. But we did agree that amid uncertainty and incommensurability elected governments/executives had to be the determining judges of national interest, even if the need in modern circumstances to husband a limited stock of political credit constrained the frequency with which leaders could step in to impose policies against the wishes of strong pressure groups. And we acknowledged that such groups would often be inescapably (and perhaps salutarily) key players in raising public awareness of issues to be tackled, and in forming government priorities about their tackling. As we turned to particular classes of interest group we asked ourselves how much leverage business corporations or associations had. Popular supposition in other countries, we heard, often imputed to US business powerful influence exerted for protectionism, or for scruple-free sell-to-anyone arms trade. The reality, we came to suspect, was much more modest more modest even, perhaps, than the leverage which commercial concerns exerted upon policy in some European countries where the state traditionally accepted a more direct role in support of business. In the United States business seemed generally, for example, to have been surprisingly reticent in applying its influence against unilateral sanctions (usually urged by one or another special-interest group of a different sort) which stood to harm the freedom of trade, though in respect of China its influence seemed clearly to have been exercised in favour of trade openness and technology transfer as against non-commercial concerns about China’s internal character. The general outlook of US business clearly ran contrary to isolationism; and we conjectured that logically it ought to be (though we were less sure that in practice it always was) a long-run supporter of stable and consistent international rule-of-law regimes for commerce rather than the pursuit of ad hoc short-term advantage. Ethnic pressure-groups took up much of our discussion. Non-US participants were keenly aware of particular examples the Jewish solicitude for Israel, the Florida-centred Cuban-exile concern about the Castro regime, the numerically-massive and vocal segment claiming Irish origin and animated by powerful perceptions/myths in respect of British policies in Ireland. These examples were valuably offset by comment that, in the light of the wide diversity of ethnic origin in a polity as deeply immigration-based as the United States, it was if anything remarkable that coherent such lobbies were so few rather than so many. For the most part, as immigrant elements were absorbed into the melting-pot their aspiration to shape US policy in regard to their former homes faded away, even if they might for a while retain an awareness of "abroad" that usefully offset isolationism. It was surely noteworthy that perhaps because of a general desire to avoid seeming to nurture outdated non-American allegiances there was no strong or distinctive ethnically-based influence upon US policies towards Africa, Latin America, India, China or (despite growing Muslim numbers) the Islamic world. And though groups of Polish origin had probably played some part in helping the Administration to pursue NATO enlargement despite forebodings of Senate reluctance, there was little sign of ethnic pressure in respect of dealings with the former Yugoslavia. We asked ourselves whether the small number of ethnic pressure groups which did seek to play a part really influenced policy, and influenced it in directions contrary to true US national interest. In the Irish case we mostly doubted it; despite episodes irritating to British governments, when major issues arose US leaders always put first their sense of the wider importance of US/UK cooperation. Some of us were less happy about the Cuban example, suspecting that an electorally-powerful ethnic concentration might have exploited separation-of-powers opportunities to impose unilateral US actions belonging at best to an outdated Cold-War-ism. No clear consensus emerged on the Jewish instance. We were reminded of the undoubted significance of Jewish influence, especially on the Democrat side and through the campaign-finance route. Whether the particular sympathy for Israeli as against Arab concerns militated against long-term US interests was a contentious matter; but at the least, most of us thought, the domestic Jewish pressure notably constrained US policy options in the region. The third class of pressure group we considered was issue-centred non-governmental organisations. In the US, perhaps even more than in most other countries, their diversity was now enormous in subject-matter, in resource, and in accountability and staying-power; and membership had in recent decades surged remarkably. Their focus might sometimes seem narrow or near-capricious and their biases considerable; but they were in modern circumstance key aspects of healthy civil society, and their ability to influence public agendas and to air arguments was often a valuable corrective to the preoccupations and preferences of other actors such as business. (The converse might of course be equally true; the voice of business might need to clearly heard as counterweight to, for example, environmentalist zealotry, which was responsible for at least a sprinkling of policy outcomes which retrospect suggested to be unwise.) We noted, among other features, that in the United States NGOs were not always independent of commercial sponsorship; and that US NGOs, like those elsewhere, might increasingly work with the help of globalised information mechanisms readily available in modes of transnational cooperation, as in the matter of anti-personnel landmines. The US system gave NGOs ready access to opinion-formers and to various categories of decision-maker - a pattern which, albeit by different mechanisms, European structures of government were increasingly emulating. We were however doubtful whether, in either setting, NGOs were as effective as media opinion sometimes supposed in determining answers, as distinct from posing questions. We discerned a few instances where NGOs seemed clearly to have managed to impose policies upon governments in Europe, for example, on the land-mines issue and (so far) in caution over genetically-modified foods; in the US, in the efficacy of anti-abortion groups in preventing the fulfilment of indisputable US financial obligations to the United Nations. But the list of such achievements adduced in our debate was not long. We found too little time to consider the role of organised labour significant, we heard, in government policy over labour standards in trade agreements, for example to review the various methods by which groups might seek to bring their influence to bear (we noted very briefly that in the United States, as in Britain, the techniques of law-breaking civil disobedience appeared notably less successful than in some countries of Continental Europe). In the round, however, the sense of our conference placed the special-interest influence in a more reassuring perspective often a more modest one than at least most non-US participants had expected. This report reflects the Director’s personal impressions of the conference. No participant is in any way committed to its content or expression.
  7. By Kathleen Maclay, Media Relations | 22 July 2003 (revised 7/25/03) BERKELEY – Politically conservative agendas may range from supporting the Vietnam War to upholding traditional moral and religious values to opposing welfare. But are there consistent underlying motivations? Four researchers who culled through 50 years of research literature about the psychology of conservatism report that at the core of political conservatism is the resistance to change and a tolerance for inequality, and that some of the common psychological factors linked to political conservatism include: * Fear and aggression * Dogmatism and intolerance of ambiguity * Uncertainty avoidance * Need for cognitive closure * Terror management "From our perspective, these psychological factors are capable of contributing to the adoption of conservative ideological contents, either independently or in combination," the researchers wrote in an article, "Political Conservatism as Motivated Social Cognition," recently published in the American Psychological Association's Psychological Bulletin. Assistant Professor Jack Glaser of the University of California, Berkeley's Goldman School of Public Policy and Visiting Professor Frank Sulloway of UC Berkeley joined lead author, Associate Professor John Jost of Stanford University's Graduate School of Business, and Professor Arie Kruglanski of the University of Maryland at College Park, to analyze the literature on conservatism. The psychologists sought patterns among 88 samples, involving 22,818 participants, taken from journal articles, books and conference papers. The material originating from 12 countries included speeches and interviews given by politicians, opinions and verdicts rendered by judges, as well as experimental, field and survey studies. Ten meta-analytic calculations performed on the material - which included various types of literature and approaches from different countries and groups - yielded consistent, common threads, Glaser said. The avoidance of uncertainty, for example, as well as the striving for certainty, are particularly tied to one key dimension of conservative thought - the resistance to change or hanging onto the status quo, they said. The terror management feature of conservatism can be seen in post-Sept. 11 America, where many people appear to shun and even punish outsiders and those who threaten the status of cherished world views, they wrote. Concerns with fear and threat, likewise, can be linked to a second key dimension of conservatism - an endorsement of inequality, a view reflected in the Indian caste system, South African apartheid and the conservative, segregationist politics of the late Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-South S.C.). Disparate conservatives share a resistance to change and acceptance of inequality, the authors said. Hitler, Mussolini, and former President Ronald Reagan were individuals, but all were right-wing conservatives because they preached a return to an idealized past and condoned inequality in some form. Talk host Rush Limbaugh can be described the same way, the authors commented in a published reply to the article. This research marks the first synthesis of a vast amount of information about conservatism, and the result is an "elegant and unifying explanation" for political conservatism under the rubric of motivated social cognition, said Sulloway. That entails the tendency of people's attitudinal preferences on policy matters to be explained by individual needs based on personality, social interests or existential needs. The researchers' analytical methods allowed them to determine the effects for each class of factors and revealed "more pluralistic and nuanced understanding of the source of conservatism," Sulloway said. While most people resist change, Glaser said, liberals appear to have a higher tolerance for change than conservatives do. As for conservatives' penchant for accepting inequality, he said, one contemporary example is liberals' general endorsement of extending rights and liberties to disadvantaged minorities such as gays and lesbians, compared to conservatives' opposing position. The researchers said that conservative ideologies, like virtually all belief systems, develop in part because they satisfy some psychological needs, but that "does not mean that conservatism is pathological or that conservative beliefs are necessarily false, irrational, or unprincipled." They also stressed that their findings are not judgmental. "In many cases, including mass politics, 'liberal' traits may be liabilities, and being intolerant of ambiguity, high on the need for closure, or low in cognitive complexity might be associated with such generally valued characteristics as personal commitment and unwavering loyalty," the researchers wrote. This intolerance of ambiguity can lead people to cling to the familiar, to arrive at premature conclusions, and to impose simplistic cliches and stereotypes, the researchers advised. The latest debate about the possibility that the Bush administration ignored intelligence information that discounted reports of Iraq buying nuclear material from Africa may be linked to the conservative intolerance for ambiguity and or need for closure, said Glaser. "For a variety of psychological reasons, then, right-wing populism may have more consistent appeal than left-wing populism, especially in times of potential crisis and instability," he said. Glaser acknowledged that the team's exclusive assessment of the psychological motivations of political conservatism might be viewed as a partisan exercise. However, he said, there is a host of information available about conservatism, but not about liberalism. The researchers conceded cases of left-wing ideologues, such as Stalin, Khrushchev or Castro, who, once in power, steadfastly resisted change, allegedly in the name of egalitarianism. Yet, they noted that some of these figures might be considered politically conservative in the context of the systems that they defended. The researchers noted that Stalin, for example, was concerned about defending and preserving the existing Soviet system. Although they concluded that conservatives are less "integratively complex" than others are, Glaser said, "it doesn't mean that they're simple-minded." Conservatives don't feel the need to jump through complex, intellectual hoops in order to understand or justify some of their positions, he said. "They are more comfortable seeing and stating things in black and white in ways that would make liberals squirm," Glaser said. He pointed as an example to a 2001 trip to Italy, where President George W. Bush was asked to explain himself. The Republican president told assembled world leaders, "I know what I believe and I believe what I believe is right." And in 2002, Bush told a British reporter, "Look, my job isn't to nuance."
  8. by Stephanie Kirchgaessner, Financial Times November 26th, 2007 When New York City's Michael Bloomberg launched Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a nationwide campaign seeking to stop the flow of illicit weapons in cities and towns across America, he became a favourite verbal target of the National Rifle Association. To bring more muscle to its fight in Washington, the mayors' coalition in May hired lobbyists at Dewey Square Group. To succeed, Dewey Square would have to go head-to-head with the NRA's own veteran lobbyists at Ogilvy Government Relations, one of the most powerful and well-connected such operations in Washington. Although they are on opposite sides in the gun issue, the lobbying outfits do have one thing in common: both are owned by WPP, the UK marketing group. WPP is best known as a powerhouse in the corporate communications business. Sir Martin Sorrell, its chief executive, has transformed what was once a business making wire baskets into the world's second-largest marketing services group. What has received less attention, however, is how WPP has also grown into a force in US political communications. In setting its sights on Capitol Hill, WPP has targeted one of the most promising growth industries in America. The influence-peddling business was worth $2.45bn (£1.18bn, €1.6bn) last year, a 72 per cent increase from as recently as 1998, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a research group that tracks money in politics. The lobbying and public relations industry influences nearly every significant decision made in Washington. Lobbyists finance campaigns, shape proposals that become law, help create regulatory loopholes and tax breaks and play a key role in directing billions of dollars in government contracts to their clients. In 2000 there were 16,342 registered lobbyists. Today, that figure has more than doubled to 35,844. At a time when the capital's public relations and lobbying organisations are more influential than ever, no single company has concentrated as much Washington influence under one corporate roof as WPP. The British group owns three big public relations companies with Washington expertise: Burson-Marsteller, Ogilvy, and Hill & Knowlton. It owns BKSH & Associates, a lobbying shop, and Penn, Schoen and Berland, a pollster, both of which are units of Burson. It also owns Timmons and Company, Quinn Gillespie, and Wexler & Walker, three other lobbying operations. It owns smaller niche entities, such as Dewey Square and Direct Impact, which specialise in creating "grassroots campaigns" for corporate clients who are seeking to influence local elected leaders and community groups. It also owns Public Strategies, a lobbying and consulting business based in Texas. WPP's network of companies in Washington is remarkable not just because of the cache of brands it has acquired over the years but because of the number of political heavyweights who run the operations and count themselves part of the WPP family. They include some of the most important fundraisers, former government officials, consultants and media advisers of recent political campaigns and in the 2008 presidential race. Among them are Mark Penn, the chief executive of Burson and chief adviser to Senator Hillary Clinton, the Democratic frontrunner; Wayne Berman, a top fundraiser to President George W.?Bush and vice-chairman of Republican Senator John McCain's White House campaign; Dan Bartlett, who served as counsellor to Mr Bush; Mark McKinnon, who was chief media adviser for Mr Bush in his 2000 and 2004 campaigns and these days advises Mr McCain; and Michael Whouley, a former senior adviser to Senator John Kerry who helped the 2004 Democratic candidate clinch his crucial caucus victory in Iowa. Mr McKinnon and Mr Whouley, in particular, are seen as being among the slickest political operatives in their respective parties - with skills that WPP's network of companies offers to corporate clients and foreign politicians seeking to make inroads in the US and at home. The WPP network has even represented both sides of the political fight in Pakistan. Early this year, the People's Party of Pakistan and Benazir Bhutto, the former prime minister who leads it, hired Burson and its subsidiaries for $28,500 a month (plus a one-time fee of $75,000) to help convince US government officials that Ms Bhutto was still "relevant" to the democratic process in Pakistan. Last year, the government of General Pervez Musharraf, Ms Bhutto's political rival, had turned to WPP for help in building its image in the US when it hired Quinn Gillespie, a lobby group whose co-founder, Ed Gillespie, now serves as a White House counsellor. Its mission was to convince lawmakers to support a free trade agreement with Pakistan and promote it as a "reliable and attractive member of the global economic community". The work of the two units overlapped for a month, according to records. WPP's reach raises questions about whether there is a limit to the number of companies, candidates and issues a single corporation and its network can represent. Craig Holman, a campaign finance lobbyist for Public Citizen, a Washington watchdog, says WPP epitomises the "monopolisation" of the influence industry that has Capitol Hill in its grip. "It represents the devolution of lobbying through American history," he says. "The right to petition the government is in the constitution, so it is a constitutional right. But it has devolved from citizens into these huge for-profit conglomerates. It has got to the point where citizens have been pressed out of Capitol Hill and these for-profit businesses have a permanent voice here." Mr Holman adds: "Those types of huge conglomerates can afford hiring former members of Congress. They go for about $2m a year and, once you hire those, you are the one who is controlling Capitol Hill." He says the government's interaction with business interests has become less transparent because of the convergence of lobbying groups, which must disclose who their clients are, with public relations companies, which do not have to reveal their clients' identity. The increasing blurring of lines between political and corporate advisers, which is epitomised by Mr Penn's dual role as chief executive of Burson and adviser and confidant to Mrs Clinton, has also drawn scrutiny from the New York senator's rivals and union organisers. At the heart of the criticism are allegations that the leading Democratic candidate espouses one set of values, while her chief strategist runs an operation that contradicts them by being pro-corporate and representing "union-busting" clients such as Cintas, the business services group that has fought unionisation efforts by its workers. Mr Penn says he personally does not represent clients on labour issues and adds that those who attempt to connect his work for Burson with the campaign are playing a "false game of gotcha". "First, Burson is not working for the Clinton campaign, only myself and people from Penn, Schoen and Berland," says Mr Penn. (That company is a unit of Burson.) "Second, Burson has a 50-year history as a bipartisan firm and the clients that have been referenced are not clients I ever worked for, nor had any connection with," he says. Burson has come under fire for its representation of other controversial clients. Last month it cut ties with Blackwater USA, the security group whose Baghdad guards are accused of killing 17 Iraqi civilians in September. The relationship, which began after the deaths, ended following criticism from John Edwards, Mrs Clinton's rival, who likened Mr Penn to Karl Rove, former senior adviser to Mr Bush. It was a WPP executive who made the decision not to extend the contract, according to people familiar with the matter. Burson also recently ended its work with Countrywide, the embattled mortgage lender, though the circumstances of that separation are unclear. "Countrywide was a client of Burson but that ended," says Mr Penn, declining to elaborate. In Washington, where lobbying and public relations are not closely regulated by any independent body, the saying goes that a conflict is only a conflict when a client says there is one. Some WPP clients, when asked, seem relaxed about the possibility that the outfit they hire to represent their interests may have the same owner as one that works for a competitor. In the case of Mayors Against Illegal Guns and the NRA, each says it is not concerned about the potential for conflict even though each relies on companies that are owned by WPP. A spokesperson for Mr Bloomberg's anti-gun coalition initially said he was not familiar with WPP or the fact that it owned another unit that represented the NRA. A day later, after discussing the matter with lobbyists at Dewey Square, the coalition said it was happy with its representation. Mr Bloomberg, the billionaire businessman-turned-politician, also has other ties to WPP. In 2005, his campaign for the mayoralty paid more than $17m to Penn, Schoen and Berland, in the most expensive electoral tussle in New York City history. It paid off on polling day, when Mr Bloomberg beat Fernando Ferrer, his Democratic rival, by 20 percentage points. Since then, Mr Bloomberg has been castigated by the NRA for using his "tentacles" to extend "his reach, and his illegal anti-gun tactics, across America". Whatever WPP's role was in helping its rivals, the NRA nevertheless expresses satisfaction with its lobbyists at the WPP-owned Ogilvy: "They do a good job for us," says Andrew Arulanandam, an NRA official. "We are aware of that relationship ... But there have been assurances of firewalls." The pro-gun lobby has paid Ogilvy Government Relations $720,000 in fees since WPP took over the company, previously the Federalist Group, in 2005. WPP is not the only company in Washington that has built up its arsenal in the US lobbying industry. But it is among the largest. In the first six months of this year, companies held by WPP generated an estimated $33.6m in lobbying fees, not including its public relations and consulting work in the capital, which is not publicly disclosed. The figure represents only a fraction of WPP's total sales of roughly $12bn a year, but it trumps lobbying fees generated by two large law firms in town that are the largest single-brand lobby shops in Washington: Patton Boggs and Akin Gump. They generated $19.2m and $15.2m respectively in publicly disclosed lobbying fees during the first six months of 2007. Lobbying entities owned by Interpublic, a WPP rival that owns Cassidy and Associates, another big lobby shop, recorded $15.9m. One financial services lobbyist who asks not to be named says he is sceptical about the role of large groups such as WPP that serve as holding companies for competing lobby and public affairs operations, because there are no regulatory restrictions that prevent senior corporate officials from discussing clients with one another. "You could conceivably have company A and B working against each other on one issue and working together on another issue. This is a big country club," the person says, recalling how one lobbying industry veteran used to quip that there was no such thing as a conflict for clients who were worth less than $40,000 in fees. To this ambiguity is added the complication that public relations houses do not have to disclose who they are working for or which corporate or political interest lies behind a campaign. For example, Burson has recently been conducting a behind-the-scenes campaign on behalf of Microsoft, the software provider, to generate opposition to the proposed takeover of DoubleClick, the online advertising company, by Google, the internet giant. When Burson sent an e-mail to a Financial Times journalist this year that pointed to "severe risks to privacy" posed by Google's desktop search product, the company suggested it was doing so on behalf of a group of "privacy experts" including Larry Ponemon, an independent researcher. In the e-mail, Burson did not identify its client as Microsoft. When asked about the e-mail, the Burson employee who sent it said it was meant to "support" Mr Ponemon's institute. She later confirmed that it was sent on behalf of a Microsoft-sponsored initiative that is opposed to the DoubleClick deal. Mr Ponemon says he is flattered by the attention but did not hire Burson and is concerned about the "optics" the e-mail created. Attempts to regulate influence- peddlers in Washington have generally been feeble. While public relations outfits are not regulated at all, lobbying reforms passed by Congress in the wake of the scandal surrounding Jack Abramoff, the lobbyist convicted of corruption in 2006, are centred on relationships with lawmakers, not on duties to clients. Higher standards are set for law firms, such as Akin Gump, which have lobbying practices. They are regulated by state bar associations, which generally enforce conflict-of-interest rules that in most cases stop them representing opposing sides. Daniel Joseph, a partner at Akin Gump who also serves on the Washington DC bar's legal ethics committee, says one theory behind the conflict-of-interest rules that apply to all individuals who work at law firms is that attorneys, who are obliged vigorously to represent their clients, might pull their punches if they thought that by helping one client they could hurt the interests of another. "A law firm could not simultaneously represent two clients who were taking opposing positions in lobbying," he says. With no such stricture applying to public relations houses, activists such as Mr Holman raise the persistent issue of how many clients, on how many issues, a company such as WPP can take on before the interests of clients begin to conflict. "We are seeing a mega-corporation hold many of the largest, most influential firms in Washington under one roof. They have clients who are competing against each other. Any individual client that hires one of these firms cannot be guaranteed that the firm will represent their interests," Mr Holman says. Sitting in his office just a block off the lobbyist-favoured K Street, Howard Paster, vice-president of public relations and public affairs at WPP and former head of legislative affairs during the Bill Clinton administration, says he is not bothered when companies within the WPP family have clients that oppose one another on issues on Capitol Hill. The situation is no different, he says, from two advertising agencies within WPP working for competing shampoo manufacturers. "I don't see where a different value applies. What you can't do is have one person working two sides of the same issue," he says, emphasising that companies within WPP operate independently. "I think the ethical standards are high and demonstrably so," he says. Mr Paster contends that WPP does not "hide" the companies it owns - indeed, a list is provided on WPP's corporate website. Yet it is not by accident that the WPP brand is itself not widely known in the US capital, says Dale Leibach, the founder of Prism Public Affairs, a Washington public affairs company, who worked at Ogilvy when it was acquired by WPP in 1989. "If WPP was a household name, it would be tough to say, 'Burson, you can work for tobacco companies and Ogilvy, you can work for the American Cancer Society'. I'm not saying it is a giant conspiracy theory - I think it is trying to be smart," says Mr Leibach. Another person familiar with WPP underscores the point. Two years ago, Sir Martin made "a big push", the person says, for all the WPP companies to consolidate their office space into one or two buildings to save costs. "Nobody in Washington wanted to be a part of that, because the notion of clients coming into the building, seeing all of them, knowing these companies were opposed to them on key issues, wouldn't fly very well." Mr Paster says there "are always efforts to achieve efficiencies" but describes the anecdote as a "gross exaggeration" and adds that no "non-affiliated" WPP agencies are located together in Washington. WPP's assertion that its operations in the US capital consist of little more than a group of independently run PR and lobby groups contrasts with the vision Sir Martin set out in an interview with the Financial Times two years ago. Then, the executive pointed out that his belief in WPP's activist corporate "centre" set him apart from his competitors, who operated "holding companies", not a parent company. But asked about the Washington operations for this article, Sir Martin plays down WPP's across-the-group role: "Unlike accountancy firms or consulting companies or investment banks, which operate as single brands and sort out a conflict at the centre, we have many brands, operating independently with their own authority, so there is no risk of conflicts among our operating companies," he maintains. "We often have very complex arrangements to ensure that those Chinese walls are enforced. You do that by physical audit, financial audit, by ensuring geographical separation of people and ensuring people don't work on conflicting business unless there is a strict and significant cooling-off period." When it comes to Mr Penn, both WPP executives and Mrs Clinton's campaign say the pollster's day job as Burson chief executive has no crossover with - and, indeed, is irrelevant to - his work as her top adviser. Mr Paster insists that WPP has no role in deciding which clients its companies represent - though he says they will not work for states or groups that would bring disrepute to WPP. On the decision last month that Burson would not extend its relationship with Blackwater USA, Mr Paster says only: "I can say unequivocally that the decision was not made on political terms." Asked about Burson's work for Blackwater , a Clinton campaign official says simply that the ending of the arrangement between those two companies "was the right thing to do". http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=14820
  9. "The April New Year may not be an important festival for the Tamils of Tamil Nadu. But, the date and the festival are of utmost importance to others. In Sri Lanka it is one of the main symbols for maintaining the Tamil – Sinhala equlibrium." K TR தோத்துப் போவார் போல கிடக்கு.
  10. நாரதர் பழந்தமிழர்களான இந்துக்கள் விமானம் கட்டி பறந்த கதையாத்தான் கிடக்கு
  11. In fact a Sinhala gentlemen has sent us a touching feedback to say how the Tamils have introduced the solar New Year (the April New Year) to Sinhalese. He also tells us about the Pallavas introducing this calendar and the New Year to Southeast Asian Cultures. அம்பலம் தனிமனிதர் கருத்துச் சொல்லுறார் எண்டா உதில வாற "us" என்ற பன்மை யாரைக் குறிக்குது? முன்னர் பிரசுரிக்கப்பட்ட Tamil New Year என்றதற்கு கிடைத்த பின்னூட்டம் என்ற context இல் தானே உது எழுதப்படுகுது. இல்லாட்டி அம்பலம் என்பவர் ஒரு குழுவாக இயங்குகிறாரோ? இதை எழுதியவருக்கும் அல்லது எழுதியவர்களிற்கும் தமிழ்நெற்றை நடத்துபவர்கள் பொறுப்பானவர்களிற்கும் சம்பந்தம் இல்லை என்று சொல்வது நகைப்பிற்கிடமானது. கடந்த காலங்களில் தமிழ்நெற் சம்பிரதாய சமய கலாச்சார விடையங்களில் பிரசுரித்து வந்ததா? அல்லது 3 நாட்களுக்கு முன்ன அந்த முடிவு எடுக்கப்பட்டதா Also reporting controversial Tamil internal affairs to the World என்று? புத்தாண்டை மாற்றுவதா இல்லையா என்ற விவாதம் தமிழ் உலகில் நடத்தப்பட வேண்டும். அதில் எந்த சந்தேகமும் தேவையில்லை. ஆனால் தமிழ்நெற் அதற்கு அப்பால் இயங்க வேண்டும். அதன் நோக்கம் பணி கடமை வேறு. தமிழ் உலகினுள் விவாதங்களை கொண்டு (ஆங்கில மொழியில் உட்பட) சொல்ல வேறு பல தளங்கள் உண்டு.
  12. அரசு உரிமை இருக்கிறது என்ற விவாத நிலைப்பாடுகளுக்கு அப்பால் ஒட்டுமொத்த தமிழ் உலகும் இதை ஆரோக்கியமாக விவாதிக்க வேண்டும் கருத்துப் பரிமாற வேண்டும். பல ஆண்டுகளாக பேணப்பட்ட புத்தாண்டுத் திகதியை மாற்றுவது என்பது இலகுவான விடையம் அல்ல. அதைப்பற்றிய விமர்சனங்கள் எதிர்வாதங்கள் வரும் அவற்றை ஆரோக்கியமான முறையில் எதிர் கொண்டு தமிழ் உலகு ஒரு உடன்பாட்டிற்கு வர வேண்டும். ஆனால் இந்த விவாதத்திற்கு தமிழ்நெற் என்ற தளம் பயன்படுத்தப்படக் கூடாது என்பது தான் எனது தனிப்பட்ட அபிப்பிராயம். இது தமிழ் உலகத்தினினுள் நடக்கும் ஒரு விவாதம். இதை ஏனைய தமிழ் உலகத்தவர்களிற்கு எடுத்துச் செல்ல வேறு பல தளங்கள் உள்ளது. தமிழ்நெற்றின் நோக்கம் வேறு. அதை இதற்கு பயன்படுத்துவது தவறு. பகுத்தறிவு என்று தமிழர்களை நோக்கி வைக்கப்படும் விடையங்களை எடுத்தாலும் அதற்கு தமிழ்நெற்றை பயன்படுத்துவதை சம அளவில் தவறு. தமிழ்நெற் அதற்கு பொருத்தமானது அல்ல. அம்பலம் என்பவர் எழுதிய இந்த 2 "opinions" இற்கு பதில் வழங்க விரும்புவர்கள் இதை ஏனைய தளங்களில் தொடருவது தான் பொருத்தமாக இருக்கும் அதற்கு தமிழ்நெற்றும் உரிய முறையில் ஒத்துழைப்பை வழங்க வேண்டும். எதிர்காலத்தில் தமிழ்நெற்றில் இது போன்ற தமிழ் உலகினுள் உள்ள சர்ச்சைக்குரிய எந்த விவகாரங்களையும் பகிர விவாதிக்க முனைவதை அனைத்து தரப்பும் தவிர்த்துக் கொள்ள வேண்டும். தமிழ்நெற்றை நிர்வகிப்பவர்களும் தமது கடமை நோக்கத்தை உணர்ந்து கொள்ள வேண்டும்.
  13. ஆட்டைக் கடிச்சு மாட்டைக் கடிச்சு கடசியில திருவள்ளுவரையும் மத விசுவாசத்தில கடிச்சுப் போட்டாரு. http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=99&artid=25309 கி பி அரவிந்தனை வேறை துணைக்கு இழுத்திருக்காரு
  14. ஒரு இனம் ஒரு மதமாக இருந்த கல்தோன்றி மண்தோன்றா காலத்தில இருந்தே இந்து மதம் தமிழரோடை பிறந்த ஒரு இனத்துவ அடையாளம் எண்டு தானே சொல்லுப்படுகுது. இன்று புலம்பெயர்ந்தவர்கள் விடுமுறை ஓய்வு நேரங்களில் ஒன்றாக சங்கமிக்க மதம் தேவை தானே. தாயக நாட்காட்டி விக்கவும் தேவை எண்டும் சொல்லாம். எனவே மதமும் எங்கடை அடையாளத்துக்கு முக்கிய காரணம். பழந்த தமிழர்களான இந்துக்கள் தான் தூய்மையான தமிழர்கள் தமிழ் தேசியத்துக்கு உரித்துடையவர்கள் என்று நிறுவலாம். தமிழரின் இனத்துவ அடையாளத்துக்கு தேவையானவை: -1- இந்து மதம் -2- சோம்போறி வாழ்வு முறை -3- சினிமா சின்னத் திரை போன்ற கலைகள் -4- சமஸ்கிருதம் கலந்த ஸ்தமிழ் மொழி
  15. பாக்கிஸ்தானின் தந்தையான ஜின்னா சுதந்திரம் அடைந்து சிறிது காலத்தில் இழந்ததும் பாக்கிஸ்தான் ஒருவகையில் மத அடிப்படைவாதத்தை நோக்கி சரியக்காரணம். ஜின்னா அடிபடைவாதி அல்ல. அவர் ஒரு மென்போக்கான மேற்குல வாழ்கைமுறையை உள்வாங்கிய இஸ்லாமியர்.
  16. சபேசனுக்கும் கலைநிதிக்கும் இனிய திருமண வாழ்த்துக்கள்!!! தமிழ்முறைப்படி செய்வதற்கு இரட்டிப்பு வாழ்த்துக்கள்
  17. BBC World Debate: Is the West Today Under Challenge? http://stream.servstream.com/ViewWeb/BBCWo...asx?Media=82125
  18. Vantage Point - ஆரம்பம் புள்ளியில் இருந்து ஒரு பார்வை என்னும் படம் இந்த வருடம் மாசியில் வெளியாகியிருக்கிறது. இது நிகழ்கால உலக சூழ்நிலையைக் மய்யமாக கொண்டு எடுக்கப்பட்ட படம். பயங்கரவாதத்திற்கு எதிரான போர் பற்றி வரலாற்று மாநாடு ஒன்று ஸ்பெயின் நகரான சலமன்கா இல் நடக்கிறது. அதற்கு வந்த அமெரிக்க சனாதிபதியை கொலைசெய்யத முயற்சிக்கப்படுகிறது. இந்தக் கொலை முயற்சிக்கு கிட்டத்தட்ட 23 நிமிடங்களிற்கு முன்னர் நடந்த சம்பவங்களை இதில் சம்பந்தப்பட்ட பலதரப்பினரது பார்வை கண்ணோட்டம் அவதானிப்புகள் மூலம் பல கோணங்களில் காட்டுவது தான் படத்தின் முக்கிய பாகம். இதில் சம்பந்தப்பட்ட தரப்புகளாக 1) ஒரு தொலைக்காட்சி செய்திச் சேவையின் தயாரிப்பாளர் எவ்வாறு தனது களத்தில் உள்ள ஒளிப்பதிவாளர்களை நெறிப்படுத்துகிறார் எவற்றிற்கு முக்கியத்துவம் கொடுக்கிறார், செய்தியாளரின் இயற்கையான வசனநடைகளை எவ்வாறு கடிந்து ஒரு நிர்வாமயப்பட்ட செய்திச் சேவையை நிலைநிறுத்த முயல்கிறார் என்பவை. மாநாட்டு நடக்கும் இடத்தில் கூடியிருந்த பயங்கரவாதத்திற்கு எதிரான போர் என்பதற்கு எதிர்ப்பு தெரிவிக்கும் ஆர்ப்பாட்ட முயற்சிகள் செய்தியாக்கப்பட்டுவிடக் கூடாது என்பதில் காட்டப்படும் கவனம் மற்றும் கடந்தகால நிகழ்வுகளை வைத்து ஒருவரை கதாநாயகனாக்கி விறுவிறுப்பாக செய்தியை சொல்ல முற்படுதல். 2) சனாதிபதியில் மெய்பாதுகாவலர்கள் 2பேரின் கண்ணோட்டங்கள் அவதானங்களின் அடிப்படையில் சொல்லப்படுகிறது. அதில் ஒருவர் தொலைக்காட்சி ஒளிப்பதிவாளர் பதிவு செய்ததை பார்ப்பது மற்றும் உல்லாசப்பயணி பதிவு செய்தவற்றைப் பார்த்து சம்பவம் எப்படி நடந்தது யார் சூத்திரதாரி என அறிய முற்படுகிறார். மற்ற மெய்ப்பாதுகாவலர் உண்மை முகத்தை உணருகிறார். 3) அந்த நகரத்து மேயரின் பாதுகாப்பிற்கு பொறுப்பான ஸ்பெயின் காவல்துறை அதிகாரி ஒருவரின் பார்வையில் நிகழ்வுகள் சொல்லப்படுகிறது. அவரது பெண் தோழியுடன் நெருக்கமாக நின்று பேசிக் கொண்டிருந்து ஒரு புதியவர், பெண்தோழி சனாதிபதி சுடப்பட்ட பின்னர் தான் கொடுத்த பைய்யை மேடை நோக்கி எறிவது என்ற கோணங்களில் சொல்லப்படுகிறது. சனாதிபதியின் மெய்பாதுகாவலர்கள் இவரில் சந்தேகப்பட்டு துரத்துவதும் அதன் போது அவரால் அவதானிக்கப்பட்ட அதிர்ச்சியான விடையங்களும் அவரது இறப்பும். 4) மநாடு நடந்த இடத்தில் நின்ற ஒரு அமெரிக்க உல்லாசப்பயணி அவரது அவதானிப்புகள் ஞாபகங்கள் தனது கை ஒளிப்பதிவுக் கருவியில் பதிவு செய்தவை. அவர் சந்தித்த ஒரு புதியவரோடான சிறு கலந்துரையாடல் அதன் பொழுது அந்த புதியவர் நிறைவேற்றிக் கொண்டவை. உல்லாசப் பயணி சந்தித்த சிறுமி அவர் படத்தின் முடிவை எப்படி மாற்றுகிறார். 5) அமெரிக்க சனாதிபதியின் நிலையில் இருந்து சொல்லப்படுவது. மாநாட்டிற்கு வரும் வழியில் அவரது கொலைமுயற்சி ஆபத்தை புலநாய்வுத்துறை உறுதி செய்ததால் அவர் மீண்டும் தனது தங்ககத்திற்கு திரும்பிப் போகிறார். அவரைப் போன்ற தோற்றத்தை உடையவர் மாநாட்டிற்கு செல்கிறார். மாநாட்டில் நடந்த சூட்டு மற்றும் குண்டு வெடிப்புச் சம்பவங்களை தொலைக்காட்சியில் பார்க்கிறார். இதன் மத்தியில் பாதுகாப்புத்துறை அதிகாரிகள் சனாதிபதியிடம் மெரோக்கோ நாட்டில் விமானக்குண்டு வீச்சிற்கு ஆணையைப் பெற முயற்சிப்பது. இறுதியாக ஒரு முகமூடி அணிந்த ஒருவர் அந்த அறைக்குள் உடைத்துக் கொண்டு புகுந்து சனாதிபதியின் உதவியாளர்கள் மெய்ப்பாதுகாவலர்கள் அனைவரையும் சுட்டுக் கொல்கிறார். 6)இறுதியாக பயங்கரவாதிகளின் நிலையில் இருந்து சொல்லப்படுகிறது. பயங்கரவாதிகள் வெல்லவில்லை என்ற வரையறைக்குள் படத்தை செய்திருக்கிறார்கள் என்பது முடிவில் தெரிகிறது. ஆனால் கொலை முயற்சிகள் குண்டு வெடிப்புகள் போன்றவை பற்றி ஊடகச் செய்திகள் எந்தளவிற்கு வடிகட்டப்படலாம் என்பதை சொல்லி நிக்கிறது. ஒரு குறித்த நிகழ்வை பல கண்ணோட்டங்களில் ஆழமாக விபரங்களோடு காட்்ட முனையும் அணுகுமுறை (concept) படத்தில் கைய்யாளப்பட்டிருப்பது தனித்துவமானது. சமகாலநிகழ்வுகளை வைத்து செய்யப்பட்டதால் மேலும் ஆர்வத்தை தூண்டுவதாக இருக்கிறது. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vantage_Point_(film) http://www.vantagepoint-movie.com/
  19. பரபரப்பை வேண்டி வாசிக்காமல் தமிழ்நாதத்தில விளம்பரத்தை ஓசியில பாத்திட்டு எழுதப்படாது. ஒரு 6 மாதங்கள் 1 வருடம் வேண்டி வாசிச்சுப் பாருங்கள் அப்புறம் புரியும். ஏற்கனவே பிரதிகளிற்கு தட்டுப்பாடு எனவே உங்கள் பிரதிகளிற்கு முந்திக் கொள்ளுங்கள்.
  20. அதாவது ஒரு ஆத்திகரின் "நினைவில்" இருந்து
  21. Source: Reuters By Rob Taylor COLOMBO, March 27 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka has launched a mystery poster campaign inviting would-be Tamil Tiger suicide bombers to phone a government helpline in exchange for 10 million rupees ($92,000) and a new life overseas. "Why should you die with a scattered body?" the red-and-yellow posters, placed in Tamil-dominated areas of the capital, Colombo, asked readers contemplating becoming members of what the rebels call elite "Black Tiger" suicide squads. "You also were born to live. Why should you carry bombs?" the posters said alongside a fuzzy black-and-white photograph of a suicide bomber's severed head. Sri Lanka's capital and other districts have increasingly been targeted by suicide attacks as the government and military vow to defeat the Tigers by December, pressing home an offensive against northern rebel strongholds. The military, perhaps wary of scaring off genuine callers with rebel sympathies, said it was unaware of the posters, which invited readers to phone a government-operated 118 line that went unanswered when called by Reuters on Thursday. Military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanyakkara said he did not want to comment on whether the failure to answer was a fatal campaign flaw or whether the line could be swamped by the poor in a nation where average yearly salaries are $2,230. Police, who with the military man most road corners and major buildings in Colombo, said they were also unaware who placed the posters, which make no mention of a backer other than relying on a government number. "We do not know who pasted up the poster," said Mangala Dehideniya, in charge of Wellawatta Police where many of the posters were placed. The posters said Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran should sacrifice his own son before asking others to become suicide bombers. "Your life is precious and you have only one. Do not die for the brave words of an illusion," the poster read, promising 10 million rupees for genuine callers to build a new life at home or overseas if necessary. The Tigers are regularly hitting back at the government's offensive with bloody suicide strikes and roadside bombs increasingly aimed at civilians, escalating a conflict in which an estimated 70,000 people have died since 1983. In February, a suicide bomber blew themselves up near Colombo's main port, wounding seven others and spreading body parts around a house in the Modhara quarter during a search and cordon operation by police. ($1=107.79 rupees) (Editing by David Fox) http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/SYD175966.htm
  22. American Jewish World Service American Jewish World Service, an international development organisation inspired by Jewish ideas of social justice, works to alleviate poverty, hunger and disease worldwide regardless of people's race, religion or nationality. Active in the field Funding and other support Region or province: Trincomalee Where exactly:Batukachchiya, Kantale CAFOD CAFOD, the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development, is the official development and relief organisation of the Catholic Church in England and Wales and has been running projects in developing countries since 1962. Funding and other support Caritas Caritas encompasses 162 Catholic relief, development and social service organisations working in over 200 countries and territories. Caritas Internationalis coordinates the Caritas network's emergency work around the world. Catholic Relief Services Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the official Catholic aid agency in the United States, works on emergency relief, HIV/AIDS, agriculture, education, microfinance and peacebuilding in 99 countries worldwide. Active in the field Funding and other support Christian Aid Christian Aid, an organisation of the churches in the UK and Ireland, works on development-related projects in over 60 countries worldwide with the aim of ending global poverty. Active in the field Funding and other support Christian Children's Fund Christian Children's Fund, a member of ChildFund International, assists more than 10.5 million children and family members in 33 countries, regardless of race, creed or gender. Active in the field Funding and other support Cordaid Cordaid, a Netherlands-based Catholic aid organisation, works on emergency aid and reconstruction, health, participation and entrepreneurship with vulnerable groups across the world. Active in the field Funding and other support DanChurchAid DanChurchAid, a Danish humanitarian agency, works with churches and non-religious civil society organisations to assist the "poorest of the poor" around the world. DanChurchAid works with Sri Lankan refugees in India in addition to its work inside the country. Active in the field Funding and other support FinnChurchAid FinnChurchAid works on development, relief and inter-church aid on behalf of Finland's Evangelical Lutheran Church and channels funds through Christian aid networks such as Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and Action by Churches Together (ACT). Funding and other support Lutheran World Relief Lutheran World Relief, a U.S.-based Christian aid organisation, works with partners on disaster recovery, conflict prevention, livelihoods and healthcare in 35 countries around the world. Funding and other support Manos Unidas Established in 1960 in Spain, Manos Unidas is a Catholic development organisation that works on fighting hunger, poverty and disease through awareness-raising and support to development projects in the global south. Funding and other support Medical Teams International Northwest Medical Teams, a Christian aid organisation based in the United States, responds to disasters worldwide by sending emergency medical and other relief supplies. Active in the field Funding and other support Norwegian Church Aid Norwegian Church Aid, an ecumenical organisation that aims to support the "poorest of the poor", runs over 1,000 relief and development projects across four continents. Active in the field Trocaire Trocaire, the overseas development agency of the Catholic Church in Ireland, runs development and relief projects around the world while also acting as an advocate for the rights of the global poor. In Sri Lanka, Trocaire runs a relief and rehabilitation programme for communities displaced by war. Active in the field Funding and other support World Vision World Vision, a Christian relief and development organisation, works on emergency relief, education, healthcare, economic development and the promotion of justice in almost 100 countries worldwide Active in the field Funding and other support
  23. சபேசன் பிரபஞ்சத்துக்குள்ளை தேங்காயும் அடங்குந்தானே? அதாலை தான் பிரபஞ்சத்திற்கு குறியீடாக தேங்காயை உடைக்கிறார்கள் தேங்காய் வடிவில் பிரபஞ்சம் என்று மந்திரம் ஓதிய படி. செவ்வகத்தினுள் சதுரம் அடங்கும் எண்டாலும் சதுரத்தை செவ்வகம் என்று சொல்ல முடியாது என்றமாதிரி நுணுக்கமான விவகாரம்.