September 24th, 2007

Chris Keeley

Company Will Monitor Phone Calls to Tailor Ads

Company Will Monitor Phone Calls to Tailor Ads

Companies like Google scan their e-mail users’ in-boxes to deliver ads related to those messages. Will people be as willing to let a company listen in on their phone conversations to do the same?

Pudding Media, a start-up based in San Jose, Calif., is introducing an Internet phone service today that will be supported by advertising related to what people are talking about in their calls. The Web-based phone service is similar to Skype’s online service — consumers plug a headset and a microphone into their computers, dial any phone number and chat away. But unlike Internet phone services that charge by the length of the calls, Pudding Media offers calling without any toll charges.

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Chris Keeley

Garry Kasparov takes aim at the power of Vladimir Putin.

by David Remnick 

Kasparov says, “I have to be careful not to become cruel, because I became a soldier too early.” Photograph by Mary Ellen Mark.

On a recent summer evening, the greatest player in the history of chess, Garry Kasparov, wrapped up an exhausting series of meetings devoted to the defeat of the Kremlin regime. After days of debate, a motley pride of unlikely revolutionaries—bearded politicos, earnest academics, and multigrained environmentalists—collected their cigarettes and left Kasparov’s apartment, divided and worn out. Little had been accomplished. Crumpled drafts of fevered proclamations lay scattered on the kitchen table. Puffy-eyed and unsmiling, Kasparov grunted a curt farewell to his comrades and went off to make yet another urgent telephone call.

Kasparov is forty-four. He was the world chess champion for fifteen years. Until his retirement, two years ago, his dominance was unprecedented. Lasker, Capablanca, Alekhine, Fischer—none came close. Chess has outsized meaning in Russia, and Kasparov at home was a cross between the greatest of athletes and a revered intellectual; with his status came celebrity, foreign investment accounts, summers on the Adriatic, an apartment along the Hudson River, friendships among Western politicians and businessmen, and the attentions of beautiful women. Now he has volunteered for grim and, very likely, futile duty. As the most conspicuous leader of Drugaya Rossiya (the Other Russia), an umbrella group of liberals, neo-Bolsheviks, and just about anyone else wishing to speak ill of Vladimir Putin, he is in nominal charge of opposition politics in a country that, in actuality, has no real politics except for that which takes place in the narrow and inscrutable space between the ears of its President.

Kasparov’s mother, Klara, shares his apartment and his travails. “It is like we are soldiers together in the ditches,” she once said. “Even when we are at a great distance, Garry and I can feel each other’s mood.” Like her son, Klara Kasparova is impossibly energetic, deeply intelligent, and a touch melodramatic. It had been a tedious few days of marathon jawing and internal spats. The Other Russia was scheduled to hold its annual conference the next morning at a Holiday Inn in central Moscow, but some of its leading figures had decided to boycott over the question of whether to unify immediately behind a single Presidential candidate for the March, 2008, election.

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Chris Keeley

“I guess I am fifteen years older now, more experienced,” Kasparov told me. “I was young and my poli

I guess I am fifteen years older now, more experienced,” Kasparov told me. “I was young and my political education was Soviet. I saw things in black-and-white, Communist and anti-Communist. Now in the Other Russia I find myself having to compromise with people who were my sworn enemies.” His newfound diplomacy, however, does not prevent him from comparing Putin’s Kremlin to “the Mafia” and “the Stalin regime.”

Kasparov says that he was “dead wrong” to support Yeltsin for reëlection to the Russian Presidency in 1996, even though it was a fairly open secret that Yeltsin, who had started a cruel and senseless war in Chechnya, was too addled to rule effectively. Rather than risk allowing Yeltsin’s opponent, the Communist Gennady Zyuganov, to come to power, Kasparov was one of those who chose to ignore the fact that Yeltsin, supported by oligarchs hoping to maintain their status, returned to power in a crooked ballot.

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Chris Keeley

Burk Uzzle fills the entire space with his unique view of the persons, places and oddities that defi

Burk Uzzle fills the entire space with his unique view of the persons, places and oddities that define the singular and diverse character of America.

 http://www.laurencemillergallery.com/currentexhibition.htm



Burk Uzzle... Sex Pit, Alabama (2006, c-print, edition 10). From Burk Uzzle - Just Add Water: America in Color at Laurence Miller Gallery in New York. "...Burk Uzzle grew up in the south, began working at the age of 14, got his first full-time job as a photographer at age 17, became LIFE’s first contract photographer at age 23, and has twice been elected president of Magnum. In spite of, or because of, his intrepid nature—he has traveled throughout America and Europe many times—he has said it is the small towns and ordinary places that interest him most. In Just Add Water: America in Color, Uzzle shares his love of and fondness for the American landscape and her people in an extraordinary way, by photographing the most unlikely people and things: a wall of gum in Seattle, a plastic Santa on a porch in Florida, POPEYE spelled out in wreaths in a cemetery in North Carolina."
Chris Keeley

Blackwater Contractors Return to Streets of Iraq

Blackwater Contractors Return to Streets of Iraq
Private contractors working for Blackwater are back on the streets of Baghdad – one week after the Iraqi government threatened to expel the company for killing at least 11 Iraqis. On Sunday Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said Blackwater's killing of Iraqi civilians challenge the nation's sovereignty. But due to security concerns, Iraqi officials have allowed Blackwater to resume working in Iraq. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice said the government will review the use of private security contractors, like Blackwater, in Iraq.
  • Condoleeza Rice: "We will review with--, expeditiously, the procedures. We will review how we carry out our security. And we will have in this joint commission with the Iraqis, I think, an open and transparent view of what is going on. But it is extremely important to recognize that we're doing important work there. We need protection for our diplomats. And I'm quite certain that with good will we can resolve this."

Bush Skips UN Climate Change Talks
Leaders from 80 nations are expected to take part in a special United Nations meeting today in New York to jump start talks on how to deal with climate change and how to replace the Kyoto treaty. President Bush has decided to skip the meeting but he will attend a close-door dinner tonight. Later this week President Bush plans to host his own meeting on global warming. He has invited 15 countries that are major emitters of greenhouse gases to meet in Washington for two days. Bush hopes to persuade these countries to come to a consensus that would allow each nation to set its own policies rather than having limits imposed by a binding international treaty.

U.S. Government Collects Detailed Records on U.S. Travellers
The Washington Post is reporting the Department of Homeland Security is collecting detailed electronic records on the travel habits of millions of Americans who fly, drive or take cruises abroad. The government is retaining data on the persons with whom they travel or plan to stay, the personal items they carry during their journeys, and even the books that travelers have carried. In an effort to assess the security threat posed by all travelers entering the country, the Department of Homeland Security's keeps these records for 15 years in the department's Automated Targeting System.

Chris Keeley

former federal reserve chairman Alan Greenspan and journalist Naomi Klein square off on the Iraq war

 former federal reserve chairman Alan Greenspan and journalist Naomi Klein square off on the Iraq war, oil, President Bush tax cuts, social security, economic populism in Latin America, corruption and crony capitalism. Greenspan headed the central bank in the United States for almost two decades. He has written a new 500-page memoir titled, "The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World." [includes rush transcript - partial]

 


As the credit crisis continues to grow and the US dollar hits a new low, we turn today to the former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Alan Greenspan. Greenspan headed the central bank in the United States for almost two decades. He was first appointed to this position in 1987 by President Ronald Reagan. Greenspan retired in January 2006 after deciding the fate of national interest rates under four different Presidents. Dubbed "The Maestro," he was widely regarded as one of the world's most influential economic policymakers.

He has just written a new 500-page memoir. It's called "The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World." Alan Greenspan joins us on the telephone. And we are joined in studio by journalist Naomi Klein, author of "The Shock Doctrine."

 

  • Alan Greenspan, Chairman of the Federal Reserve from 1987 to 2006. His new memoir is "The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World."
  • Naomi Klein, award-winning investigative journalist, the bestselling author of "No Logo" and the co-director of "The Take." Her latest book is called "The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism."AMY GOODMAN: As the credit crisis continues to grow and the US dollar hits a new low, we turn today to the former Chair of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan. Alan Greenspan headed the central bank in the United States for almost two decades. He was first appointed to this position in 1987 by President Ronald Reagan. Greenspan retired in January 2006, after deciding the fate of national interest rates under four different presidents. Dubbed “the Maestro,” he was widely regarded as one of the world's most influential economic policymakers. He has just written a new 500-page memoir; it’s called The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World.

Alan Greenspan

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Chris Keeley

Blackwater Back on Patrol in Baghdad As Shootings Probe Continues

Blackwater Back on Patrol in Baghdad As Shootings Probe Continues

Monday, September 24th, 2007

http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=07/09/24/1412230

On Monday, the Iraqi government said it will await the outcome of an investigation into last Sunday's killing of at least 11 people by Blackwater USA in Baghdad before taking any action against the company. The statement comes one day after Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said the shooting deaths pose "a serious challenge to the sovereignty of Iraq." We speak with Jeremy Scahill, author of "Blackwater: the Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army."

 


The controversy continues over the role of private security companies operating in Iraq. On Monday, the Iraqi government said it will await the outcome of an investigation into last Sunday's killing of at least 11 people by Blackwater USA before taking any action against the company.

The statement comes one day after Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said the shooting deaths pose "a serious challenge to the sovereignty of Iraq" and cannot be accepted. Al-Maliki is expected to raise the issue with President Bush today during a meeting in New York.

Following the September 16th shooting in Baghdad, the Iraqi Interior Ministry banned Blackwater from operating in Iraq but backtracked after the U.S. agreed to a joint investigation. The company resumed guarding a reduced number of U.S. convoys on Friday. An Iraqi government spokesman told reporters in Baghdad on Sunday that immediately expelling Blackwater from Iraq would create a "security vacuum."

Meanwhile, an Interior Ministry spokesman said Saturday that Iraqi authorities had completed their own investigation into the shooting and concluded that Blackwater guards were responsible for the deaths. The spokesperson told The Associated Press that the conclusion was based on witness statements as well as videotape shot by cameras at the nearby headquarters of the national police command. The interior ministry has referred the case to a magistrate to determine whether criminal charges should be filed. However, it is unclear if the Iraqi government could prosecute Blackwater. A directive issued by U.S. occupation authorities in 2004 granted contractors, U.S. troops and many other foreign officials immunity from prosecution under Iraqi law.

Meanwhile, the interior ministry said it was also investigating if Blackwater had been involved in six other violent incidents in Iraq that left at least 10 people dead.

 

  • Jeremy Scahill, is author of the New York Times bestseller, "Blackwater: the Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army." He testified on Friday's hearing at the Senate Democratic Policy Committee on "Abuses in Private Security and Reconstruction Contracting in Iraq."

 

 

www.democracynow.org
Chris Keeley

Make love not war (Vogue September 2007)

Make love not war (Vogue September 2007)

http://community.livejournal.com/foto_decadent/1594842.html

 Monocle
aside, the only print magazine I indulge in is Vogue Italia.

Steven Meisel is one of the main reasons.

If I were ever to make time capsules out of cardboard boxes his visual narratives would be chucked in as idiosyncratic chronicles of our times, together with box sets of the Simpsons.

In his latest shoot, make love not war, the porn of war is dressed in the most glamorous nihilism.

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love_war_vogue3.jpg

http://community.livejournal.com/foto_decadent/1594842.html