Friday, October 24, 2008

October 24

1945, the United Nations Charter-- the constitution of the United Nations-- was ratified by the five founding members: China, France, Soviet Union, Great Britain and the USA. The United Nations Charter was earlier signed by 50 original member countries, on June 26, 1945.

October 24 came to be known as the United Nations Day.

The United Nation's predecessor, the League of Nations, was formed in 1919... World War II was a major impetus towards further development of the U.N. as a necessary organization for global security and peace...

While many have criticized the U.N. left and right for various reasons, it has played a crucial role in the world arena... Many should remember that international law and international organizations often play a symbolic and 'expressive' role without which there can be no hope for any action or practice... If we can formulate the right aspirations for humanity, then we can also act out on those!

Like every other organization, the U.N. has to rely on its members' willingness and commitment in furthering global goals... Therefore, it is simply wrong to criticize it for any perceived shortcomings when its members fall short in their level of commitment.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Whose policies have worked really?

I posted below on the theories of John Maynard Keynes in juxtaposition to those of Adam Smith... Today if we break down and simplify the Democratic and Republican parties' economic/fiscal policies, we can see the followers of Keynes in Democrats and followers of Smith in Republicans... But it is very instructive to view the history and find out more whose policies really worked... The Gilded Age in America that was completely and fully energized by Smith's policies lead to the destruction and the Great Depression... and it was only John Maynard Keynes' policies implemented by Roosevelt that took the country out of that disaster... And this is only one of the many examples in history... Just take a moment to look back... Bill Clinton following the general ethos of liberal Democratic fiscal policies left the Office with a thriving economy, unprecedented budget surplus and the lowest unemployment and inflation rates ever in the U.S. history. How this success story was thrown out of the board in these last 8 years is lamentable...

When the accumulation of wealth is no longer of high social importance, there will be great changes in the code of morals. We shall be able to rid ourselves of many of the pseudo-moral principles which have hag-ridden us for two hundred years, by which we have exalted some of the most distasteful of human qualities into the position of the highest virtues. We shall be able to afford to dare to assess the money-motive at its true value. The love of money as a possession — as distinguished from the love of money as a means to the enjoyments and realities of life — will be recognised for what it is, a somewhat disgusting morbidity, one of those semi-criminal, semi-pathological propensities which one hands over with a shudder to the specialists in mental disease ... But beware! The time for all this is not yet. For at least another hundred years we must pretend to ourselves and to everyone that fair is foul and foul is fair; for foul is useful and fair is not. Avarice and usury and precaution must be our gods for a little longer still. For only they can lead us out of the tunnel of economic necessity into daylight.

[John Maynard Keynes]

Thursday, October 9, 2008

October 9

1967, Ernesto 'Che' Guevara (June 14, 1928 – October 9, 1967), Cuban guerilla leader and left-wing revolutionary, was executed by Bolivian soldiers. Albert Korda took his most famous photograph: that of 'Che' in 1960. The picture, called Guerrillero Heroico above, was not published until 1967, after 'Che's death. It is one of the most reproduced photos in the 20th century. "I remember it as if it were today ... seeing him framed in the viewfinder, with that expression. I am still startled by the impact ... it shakes me so powerfully." [Korda]

1930, pioneer pilot Laura Ingalls (1901 – January 10, 1967) was the first woman to fly across the U.S. with nine stops. The same year she performed 344 loops, setting a women's record...

1989, a Soviet Union newspaper officially confirmed the landing of a UFO in Voronezh... From 1985 thru 1990 the newspapers proliferated with similar stories.

"Many will call me an adventurer-- and that I am, only one of a different sort: one of those who risks his skin to prove his platitudes." ['Che' Guevara]

Monday, October 6, 2008

Rehearsed lines and eye winks...

I suppose, nowadays, rehearsed lines, eye winks and a charming smile will get you to the VP post... Was comparing Hillary Clinton with Sarah Palin and it was the difference between day and night. Palin came to the debate with a script and answered not the questions posed to her but what she planned to answer... Ditched so many important questions with a charming smile, absolute lack of genuineness... Showed remarkable confidence despite remarkable lack of knowledge about important political issues. She has got no clue, that is all I can say! While she is passionate, her passion is translated into stubbornness too many times and her face sometimes shows inner insecurity and hysteria... It is simply inconceivable and absurd that she could in fact be the second to the President, so close to the highest post! Huh.

Very sad and pathetic... Try to compare her with Hillary... for women out there who are upset with Hillary-Obama race, do not make the mistake if you know what I mean...

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

October 1

1964, Japanese high-speed passenger train Shinkansen went into service, just in time for the Summer Olympics in Tokyo. The exciting train carried passengers from Tokyo to Osaka in a record of 4 hours, traveling at a speed of 200 miles per hour. The line was extended and now the network serves all of Japan's major cities. The Japanese developed an even faster one, known today as Maglev. The train reaches up to speed of 361 miles per hour!

Talk about public transportation and lack thereof in California! Amtrak and Metrolink are falling apart. Recently out of real curiosity I took Greyhound for a 100 mile travel-- what was a 2 hour ride turned into a whole day travail, waiting in line to get on the bus, and then being in a bus that traveled at a snail's pace! My goodness, we have come so far as to travel in outer space, but not far enough to have decent means of transportation, besides our oil-driven trash box cars. When I moved to California from Moscow, I was appalled with the fact that the buses and trains were used by the poorest of the poor and not having a car was equivalent to a major disability because public transportation was not reliable...

And no one will dare to deny the effects of this on air quality and global warming...