October 8th, 2008

Chris Keeley

Allen Ginsberg's "Howl," 1956) What if those minds had been put to work imagining alternative future

James Carroll: Making sense of $700 billion

By James Carroll

Tuesday, October 7, 2008



How much is 700 billion? The mind registers the number with such imprecision as to make it meaningless. One blogger proposed this way of grasping the figure: As a stack of $100 bills, it would reach 54 miles high. But who can imagine that? On the other hand, someone at the Smithsonian once calculated that counting to one billion, at the rate of one digit per second, would take 30 years. By that scale, counting to 700 billion would take 21,000 years.


Come again? That stretch of time takes us back to the cave painters of Lascaux, the glacial age, the last Neanderthals. The mind is not helped.


Collapse )
Chris Keeley

Ray Close on Afghanistan

TO: Distinguished Recipients
FM: John Whitbeck
Transmitted below is current wisdom from the very wise retired CIA Middle East expert Ray Close.

Note:  The following was written without Collapse )
Chris Keeley

Obama's Afghanistan-Pakistan Folly

From: William PFAFF
Date: Wed, Oct 8, 2008 at 12:30 PM
Subject: Obama's Afghanistan-Pakistan Folly
Of possible interest...

Obama's Afghanistan-Pakistan Folly

William Pfaff

Paris, October 7, 2008 – There are only two real issues left in the foreign policy argument between John McCain and Barack Obama. One is how soon to withdraw from Iraq; and the second, what to do about what Obama thinks is the "real" war America should be fighting, in Afghanistan.

Collapse )