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USA And The Future Of The World

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USA And The Future Of The World
#41
FBI missed chances to stop 9/11: report

The FBI missed several opportunities to uncover vital information regarding the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks that could have led agents to two of the hijackers, a Justice Department report says.

"The way the FBI handled these matters was a significant failure that hindered the FBI's chances of being able to detect and prevent the Sept. 11 attacks," Inspector General Glenn Fine reported.

Two months before the attacks, an FBI agent told his superiors that Osama bin Laden was sending students to the United States to study ways to take down U.S. aircraft, the report said.

The FBI also had hard information that future hijackers Nawaf al Hazmi and Khalid al Mihdhar were in the United States, but it conducted an investigation "without much urgency or priority," the report concluded.

The investigation of Mihdhar was given to a single, inexperienced agent, the report said.

The missed opportunities also related to problems with information sharing between the CIA and FBI.

CIA agents had reviewed incoming cables containing a substantial amount of information about Mihdhar, including that he was travelling and that he had a U.S. visa. But the agency never approved giving the information about Mihdhar to the FBI.

The report also criticized the FBI for not knowing about the presence of Hazmi and Mihdhar, who were living openly in San Diego in 2000.
<span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>
The two men had rented a room in the home of a long-time FBI informant. </span>
<!--emo&:blink:--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/blink.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='blink.gif' /><!--endemo--> <!--emo&:blink:--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/blink.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='blink.gif' /><!--endemo-->
#42
<b>Agencies Rushing With Disaster Relief </b>
Worst natural disaster ever hit US and all emergency agencies completely collapsed. Police are looting store. Armed gangs robbing homes and store. I am not sure whether this happen in India but its shocking to see on TV.
Police are ignoring dead people on street. One man committed suicide by jumping from bridge because he couldn't deal with it anymore. Why no missionaries or soul harvesters are doing anything in such an affected here in there own backyard.
Desperation and worst out of human can be seen.
#43
From Rajeev's blog: White people find things. Black people loot things
#44
Till now they are unable to come up with number of died or missing.
Poor blacks survival instinct is better than white but it was heartbreaking to see one hungry black woman carrying 7-8 days old baby and ignored by police and NGs.

Here they don't have RSS type charity agency to collect dead bodies floating on streets or neither system to start providing water and food immediately. They started grearing up after 3rd day.
#45
<b>City Descends Further Into Anarchy</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->(CBS/AP) Storm victims were raped and beaten, fights and fires broke out, corpses lay out in the open, and rescue helicopters and law enforcement officers were shot at as hurricane-flooded New Orleans descended into anarchy Thursday. "This is a desperate SOS," the mayor said.

Meanwhile, President Bush will tour the hurricane-devastated Gulf Coast region on Friday and has asked his father, former President George H.W. Bush, and former President Clinton to lead a private fund-raising campaign for victims.

"This is an agonizing time for the people of the Gulf Coast," Mr. Bush said Thursday as he stood with the two former presidents in the White House and urged patience, saying relief is on the way.

Anger mounted across the ruined city, with thousands of Hurricane Katrina victims increasingly hungry, desperate and tired of waiting for buses to take them out.

"We are out here like pure animals. We don't have help," the Rev. Issac Clark, 68, said outside the New Orleans Convention Center, where corpses lay in the open and the and other evacuees complained that they were dropped off and given nothing — no food, no water, no medicine.................. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
#46
<!--emo&:angry:--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/mad.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='mad.gif' /><!--endemo-->
<span style='font-family:Arial'> While my heart goes out with victims, it's a different ball game altogether here. The Mayor of city is supposed to marshal all the resources. There was no surprise element as far as New Orleans, LA was concerned. 80% of the people had left the town even before the 1st wave of hurricane struck the town. In fact, hurricane waves changed it's ?angle and struck Biloxi, Mississippi with devastating effect and so was Mobile, Albama. Last 2 places were unprepared.
Compare it to Tsunami, the loss of lives is far less though physical damage is of the same magnitude.
In fact, the question on affected people's mind is as to will they help us in this Tsunami like event.
As you might be aware, USA has refused the help of Russia. France, Germany and even Venzuela's Chavez are helping (Chavez; free fuel).</span>
#47
Today LO politicians have started appearing in front of camera. Bodies from morque are floating inside hospital. Condition is really bad, can't imagine such a pathetic response from a developed nation.
#48
Via email
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Katrina : Mischievous reporting by Indian media --IANS
Such a tragedy shouldn't happen anywhere on the globe. Our heart goes out for those aggrieved and the near and dear ones who have lost their beloved family members. It is an extraordinary human tragedy. Our sympathies are with all those who are affected by this natural disaster.

But, let us now come to the issue of mischievous reporting bringing out all the biases of the journalist community which is showing itself to be more and more irresponsible in reporting news. The media tends to report sensationalism and editorialises even human tragedies by bringing in extraneous metaphors.

Just take a look at the IANS report appended. Ok, we can concede that the statement that 'this shouldn't happen in America' is relatable to the expectations of orderly response to a tragedy from a superpower. Why didn't it occur to the reporter to state that such a tragedy should not have occurred anywhere on the globe?

In the next sequence of moralising, the report draws a comparison with the responses to such disasters in developing countries. This is unwarranted, irresponsible.

The reporter has clearly not understood the nature of societies in developing countries. The people may be poor but they are governed by dharma and spontaneously respond to cries for help from fellow human beings. Recently, Mumbai was devastated by torrential life, bringing normal life to a standstill. No rapes were reported. No lootings were reported. Poor people helped everyone including those belonging to the 'middle class'.

The reporter should have, if he had to moralise, drawn a lesson from the behavior of the people in developing countries, on the social cohesion and the treatment of society as an extended family to be nurtured and supported in times of need.

What has happened in the wake of Katrina is not merely a total collapse of the infrastructure but a collapse of social security system. The time is now to start educating the policy-makers in USA that there is a spontaneous cultural system in India called dharma which enriches family values and makes the family and the extended community or the neighborhood, the inexorable unit of social security. Surely, there is something for USA to learn from Sanaatana Dharma which is eternal dharma and which governs the Indian socio-cultural fabric.

It is a shame indeed that such reporting is allowed to be circulated in the media, making disgusting and unwarranted comparisons of societies in this hour of tragedy caused by Katrina. There should also be some introspection on why there has been a breakdown of social values in some neighborhoods in America, before preaching to the rest of the world about human rights and democratic values through annual reports issued by USCIRF under the International Religious Freedom Act of USA.

Yes, Emperor has no clothes.
Dhanyavaadah.
K.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
#49
There's a new thread for Hurricane Katrina
#50
American crisis of confidence

Fri Sep 9, 4:00 AM ET

WASHINGTON - Former Defense Secretary and Sen. William Cohen is credited with the quip, "Government is the enemy until you need a friend." In the wake of Katrina, that may have to be amended, "and then your friend may turn out to be dysfunctional."
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We are learning the hard way about the costs of stinting on infrastructure to pay for tax cuts and the war in
Iraq. And we are learning the hard way about the cost of entrusting emergency response to the political cronies and contributors who people this administration.

This despite many warnings, notably from The New Orleans Times-Picayune three years ago that the levees and the flood walls were fragile.

Michael Brown, director of the
Federal Emergency Management Agency, has been spending a lot of time on television explaining to aroused interlocutors why he was about the last to know of the thousands of citizens languishing in the convention center.

In a job that calls for a high degree of professionalism, Mr. Brown's previous experience was in overseeing horse shows. He got the FEMA job on the recommendation of his old college chum Joseph Allbaugh. Mr. Allbaugh's expertise was as the president's national campaign manager, and he left FEMA to create a lobbying firm.

So what happens when decision- making in a dire emergency is left to political amateurs? What happens, first of all, is an argument about division of authority while people are dying. Meanwhile, as the Chicago Tribune reported, the USS Bataan, a well-equipped support ship with water, medicine, and operating rooms, lay for several days anchored off the Gulf Coast awaiting orders.

What happens is that Wal-Mart tried to deliver three truckloads of water to Jefferson Parish and was turned away by FEMA. On NBC television, Aaron Broussard, the president of the parish, dissolved in sobs as he accused the federal government of the "worst abandonment of Americans."

Newsweek described a "strange paralysis" as Bush officials tried to define who was responsible for what.

This has become a crisis of confidence not only in agencies and officials but in the whole concept of national government.

• Daniel Schorr is the senior news analyst at National Public Radio.
#51
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--> Not Just A Last Resort?
<b>A Global Strike Plan, With a Nuclear Option</b>
By William Arkin
Post
Sunday, May 15, 2005; B01



Early last summer, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld approved a top secret "Interim Global Strike Alert Order" directing the military to assume and maintain readiness to attack hostile countries that are developing weapons of mass destruction, specifically Iran and North Korea.

Two months later, Lt. Gen. Bruce Carlson, commander of the 8th Air Force, told a reporter that his fleet of B-2 and B-52 bombers had changed its way of operating so that it could be ready to carry out such missions. "We're now at the point where we are essentially on alert," Carlson said in an interview with the Shreveport (La.) Times. "We have the capacity to plan and execute global strikes." Carlson said his forces were the U.S. Strategic Command's "focal point for global strike" and could execute an attack "in half a day or less."

In the secret world of military planning, global strike has become the term of art to describe a specific preemptive attack. When military officials refer to global strike, they stress its conventional elements. Surprisingly, however, global strike also includes a nuclear option, which runs counter to traditional U.S. notions about the defensive role of nuclear weapons.

The official U.S. position on the use of nuclear weapons has not changed. Since the end of the Cold War, the United States has taken steps to de-emphasize the importance of its nuclear arsenal. The Bush administration has said it remains committed to reducing our nuclear stockpile while keeping a credible deterrent against other nuclear powers. Administration and military officials have stressed this continuity in testimony over the past several years before various congressional committees.

But a confluence of events, beginning with the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks and the president's forthright commitment to the idea of preemptive action to prevent future attacks, has set in motion a process that has led to a fundamental change in how the U.S. military might respond to certain possible threats. Understanding how we got to this point, and what it might mean for U.S. policy, is particularly important now -- with the renewed focus last week on Iran's nuclear intentions and on speculation that North Korea is ready to conduct its first test of a nuclear weapon.

Global strike has become one of the core missions for the Omaha-based Strategic Command, or Stratcom. Once, Stratcom oversaw only the nation's nuclear forces; now it has responsibility for overseeing a global strike plan with both conventional and nuclear options. President Bush spelled out the definition of "full-spectrum" global strike in a January 2003 classified directive, describing it as "a capability to deliver rapid, extended range, precision kinetic (nuclear and conventional) and non-kinetic (elements of space and information operations) effects in support of theater and national objectives."

This blurring of the nuclear/conventional line, wittingly or unwittingly, could heighten the risk that the nuclear option will be used. Exhibit A may be the Stratcom contingency plan for dealing with "imminent" threats from countries such as North Korea or Iran, formally known as CONPLAN 8022-02.

CONPLAN 8022 is different from other war plans in that it posits a small-scale operation and no "boots on the ground." The typical war plan encompasses an amalgam of forces -- air, ground, sea -- and takes into account the logistics and political dimensions needed to sustain those forces in protracted operations. All these elements generally require significant lead time to be effective. (Existing Pentagon war plans, developed for specific regions or "theaters," are essentially defensive responses to invasions or attacks. The global strike plan is offensive, triggered by the perception of an imminent threat and carried out by presidential order.)

CONPLAN 8022 anticipates two different scenarios. The first is a response to a specific and imminent nuclear threat, say in North Korea. A quick-reaction, highly choreographed strike would combine pinpoint bombing with electronic warfare and cyberattacks to disable a North Korean response, with commandos operating deep in enemy territory, perhaps even to take possession of the nuclear device.

The second scenario involves a more generic attack on an adversary's WMD infrastructure. Assume, for argument's sake, that Iran announces it is mounting a crash program to build a nuclear weapon. A multidimensional bombing (kinetic) and cyberwarfare (non-kinetic) attack might seek to destroy Iran's program, and special forces would be deployed to disable or isolate underground facilities.

By employing all of the tricks in the U.S. arsenal to immobilize an enemy country -- turning off the electricity, jamming and spoofing radars and communications, penetrating computer networks and garbling electronic commands -- global strike magnifies the impact of bombing by eliminating the need to physically destroy targets that have been disabled by other means.

The inclusion, therefore, of a nuclear weapons option in CONPLAN 8022 -- a specially configured earth-penetrating bomb to destroy deeply buried facilities, if any exist -- is particularly disconcerting. The global strike plan holds the nuclear option in reserve if intelligence suggests an "imminent" launch of an enemy nuclear strike on the United States or if there is a need to destroy hard-to-reach targets.

It is difficult to imagine a U.S. president ordering a nuclear attack on Iran or North Korea under any circumstance. Yet as global strike contingency planning has moved forward, so has the nuclear option.

Global strike finds its origins in pre-Bush administration Air Force thinking about a way to harness American precision and stealth to "kick down the door" of defended territory, making it easier for (perhaps even avoiding the need for) follow-on ground operations.

The events of 9/11 shifted the focus of planning. There was no war plan for Afghanistan on the shelf, not even a generic one. In Afghanistan, the synergy of conventional bombing and special operations surprised everyone. But most important, weapons of mass destruction became the American government focus. It is not surprising, then, that barely three months after that earth-shattering event, the Pentagon's quadrennial Nuclear Posture Review assigned the military and Stratcom the task of providing greater flexibility in nuclear attack options against Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Libya, Syria and China.

The Air Force's global strike concept was taken over by Stratcom and made into something new. This was partly in response to the realization that the military had no plans for certain situations. The possibility that some nations would acquire the ability to attack the United States directly with a WMD, for example, had clearly fallen between the command structure's cracks. For example, the Pacific Command in Hawaii had loads of war plans on its shelf to respond to a North Korean attack on South Korea, including some with nuclear options. But if North Korea attacked the United States directly -- or, more to the point, if the U.S. intelligence network detected evidence of preparations for such an attack, Pacific Command didn't have a war plan in place.

In May 2002, Rumsfeld issued an updated Defense Planning Guidance that directed the military to develop an ability to undertake "unwarned strikes . . . [to] swiftly defeat from a position of forward deterrence." The post-9/11 National Security Strategy, published in September 2002, codified preemption, stating that the United States must be prepared to stop rogue states and their terrorist clients before they are able to threaten or use weapons of mass destruction against the United States and our allies."

"We cannot let our enemies strike first," President Bush declared in the National Security Strategy document.

Stratcom established an interim global strike division to turn the new preemption policy into an operational reality. In December 2002, Adm. James O. Ellis Jr., then Stratcom's head, told an Omaha business group that his command had been charged with developing the capability to strike anywhere in the world within minutes of detecting a target.

Ellis posed the following question to his audience: "If you can find that time-critical, key terrorist target or that weapons-of-mass-destruction stockpile, and you have minutes rather than hours or days to deal with it, how do you reach out and negate that threat to our nation half a world away?"

CONPLAN 8022-02 was completed in November 2003, putting in place for the first time a preemptive and offensive strike capability against Iran and North Korea. In January 2004, Ellis certified Stratcom's readiness for global strike to the defense secretary and the president.

At Ellis's retirement ceremony in July, Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told an Omaha audience that "the president charged you to 'be ready to strike at any moment's notice in any dark corner of the world' [and] that's exactly what you've done."

As U.S. military forces have gotten bogged down in Afghanistan and Iraq, the attractiveness of global strike planning has increased in the minds of many in the military. Stratcom planners, recognizing that U.S. ground forces are already overcommitted, say that global strike must be able to be implemented "without resort to large numbers of general purpose forces."

When one combines the doctrine of preemption with a "homeland security" aesthetic that concludes that only hyper-vigilance and readiness stand in the way of another 9/11, it is pretty clear how global strike ended up where it is. The 9/11 attacks caught the country unaware and the natural reaction of contingency planners is to try to eliminate surprise in the future. The Nuclear Posture Review and Rumsfeld's classified Defense Planning Guidance both demanded more flexible nuclear options.

Global strike thinkers may believe that they have found a way to keep the nuclear genie in the bottle; but they are also having to cater to a belief on the part of those in government's inner circle who have convinced themselves that the gravity of the threats demands that the United States not engage in any protracted debate, that it prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

Though the official Washington mantra has always been "we don't discuss war plans," here is a real life predicament that cries out for debate: In classic terms, military strength and contingency planning can dissuade an attacker from mounting hostile actions by either threatening punishment or demonstrating through preparedness that an attacker's objectives could not possibly be achieved. The existence of a nuclear capability, and a secure retaliatory force, moreover, could help to deter an attack -- that is, if the threat is credible in the mind of the adversary.

But the global strike contingency plan cannot be a credible threat if it is not publicly known. And though CONPLAN 8022 suggests a clean, short-duration strike intended to protect American security, a preemptive surprise attack (let alone one involving a nuclear weapon option) would unleash a multitude of additional and unanticipated consequences. So, on both counts, why aren't we talking about it?

Author's e-mail: warkin@igc.org



William M. Arkin, who writes frequently about military affairs, is the author of "Code Names: Deciphering U.S. Military Plans, Programs and Operations in the 9/11 World" (Steerforth).<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
#52
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/10/politics....html?th&emc=th

<b>Wider U.S. Net Seeks Allies Against Iran's Nuclear Plan</b>
By STEVEN R. WEISMAN
Published: September 10, 2005
#53
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--> Pentagon Revises Nuclear Strike Plan
Strategy Includes Preemptive Use Against Banned Weapons

By Walter Pincus
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, September 11, 2005; A01



The Pentagon has drafted a revised doctrine for the use of nuclear weapons that envisions commanders requesting presidential approval to use them to preempt an attack by a nation or a terrorist group using weapons of mass destruction. The draft also includes the option of using nuclear arms to destroy known enemy stockpiles of nuclear, biological or chemical weapons.

The document, written by the Pentagon's Joint Chiefs staff but not yet finally approved by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, would update rules and procedures governing use of nuclear weapons to reflect a preemption strategy first announced by the Bush White House in December 2002. The strategy was outlined in more detail at the time in classified national security directives.

At a White House briefing that year, a spokesman said the United States would "respond with overwhelming force" to the use of weapons of mass destruction against the United States, its forces or allies, and said "all options" would be available to the president.

The draft, dated March 15, would provide authoritative guidance for commanders to request presidential approval for using nuclear weapons, and represents the Pentagon's first attempt to revise procedures to reflect the Bush preemption doctrine. A previous version, completed in 1995 during the Clinton administration, contains no mention of using nuclear weapons preemptively or specifically against threats from weapons of mass destruction.

Titled "Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations" and written under the direction of Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the draft document is unclassified and available on a Pentagon Web site. It is expected to be signed within a few weeks by Air Force Lt. Gen. Norton A. Schwartz, director of the Joint Staff, according to Navy Cmdr. Dawn Cutler, a public affairs officer in Myers's office. Meanwhile, the draft is going through final coordination with the military services, the combatant commanders, Pentagon legal authorities and Rumsfeld's office, Cutler said in a written statement.

A "summary of changes" included in the draft identifies differences from the 1995 doctrine, and says the new document "revises the discussion of nuclear weapons use across the range of military operations."

The first example for potential nuclear weapon use listed in the draft is against an enemy that is using "or intending to use WMD" against U.S. or allied, multinational military forces or civilian populations.

Another scenario for a possible nuclear preemptive strike is in case of an "imminent attack from adversary biological weapons that only effects from nuclear weapons can safely destroy."

That and other provisions in the document appear to refer to nuclear initiatives proposed by the administration that Congress has thus far declined to fully support.

Last year, for example, Congress refused to fund research toward development of nuclear weapons that could destroy biological or chemical weapons materials without dispersing them into the atmosphere.

The draft document also envisions the use of atomic weapons for "attacks on adversary installations including WMD, deep, hardened bunkers containing chemical or biological weapons."

But Congress last year halted funding of a study to determine the viability of the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator warhead (RNEP) -- commonly called the bunker buster -- that the Pentagon has said is needed to attack hardened, deeply buried weapons sites.

The Joint Staff draft doctrine explains that despite the end of the Cold War, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction "raises the danger of nuclear weapons use." It says that there are "about thirty nations with WMD programs" along with "nonstate actors [terrorists] either independently or as sponsored by an adversarial state."

To meet that situation, the document says that "responsible security planning requires preparation for threats that are possible, though perhaps unlikely today."

To deter the use of weapons of mass destruction against the United States, the Pentagon paper says preparations must be made to use nuclear weapons and show determination to use them "if necessary to prevent or retaliate against WMD use."

The draft says that to deter a potential adversary from using such weapons, that adversary's leadership must "believe the United States has both the ability and will to pre-empt or retaliate promptly with responses that are credible and effective." The draft also notes that U.S. policy in the past has "repeatedly rejected calls for adoption of 'no first use' policy of nuclear weapons since this policy could undermine deterrence."

Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-Calif.), a member of the House Armed Services Committee who has been a leading opponent of the bunker-buster program, said yesterday the draft was "apparently a follow-through on their nuclear posture review and they seem to bypass the idea that Congress had doubts about the program." She added that members "certainly don't want the administration to move forward with a [nuclear] preemption policy" without hearings, closed door if necessary.

A spokesman for Sen. John W. Warner (R-Va.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said yesterday the panel has not yet received a copy of the draft.

Hans M. Kristensen, a consultant to the Natural Resources Defense Council, who discovered the document on the Pentagon Web site, said yesterday that it "emphasizes the need for a robust nuclear arsenal ready to strike on short notice including new missions."

Kristensen, who has specialized for more than a decade in nuclear weapons research, said a final version of the doctrine was due in August but has not yet appeared.

"This doctrine does not deliver on the Bush administration pledge of a reduced role for nuclear weapons," Kristensen said. "It provides justification for contentious concepts not proven and implies the need for RNEP."

One reason for the delay may be concern about raising publicly the possibility of preemptive use of nuclear weapons, or concern that it might interfere with attempts to persuade Congress to finance the bunker buster and other specialized nuclear weapons.

In April, Rumsfeld appeared before the Senate Armed Services panel and asked for the bunker buster study to be funded. He said the money was for research and not to begin production on any particular warhead. "The only thing we have is very large, very dirty, big nuclear weapons," Rumsfeld said. "It seems to me studying it [the RNEP] makes all the sense in the world."<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
#54
<span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>Pak to get 'third country' F-16s through US

Sunday, 02 October , 2005, 14:53
</span>


http://headlines.sify.com/news/fullstory.p...;~F-16s~from~US

So much for peace loving civilized world. Sell arms to everybody and then watch the fireworks. Let one human kill one another....who cares so long my arms industry is running (same applies to Russia, China)!
#55
The Bad, the Ugly and the Good -South Asian Security --- Must read -pdf file
‘<b>Defence Review Threat Panel’ </b>by Dr. Stephen Philips Cohen
#56
<b>Chavez: Venezuela Moves Reserves to Europe</b>

September 30, 2005 01:50 PM ET
http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/
D8CUNLQO0.htm?campaign_id=apn_home_down&chan=db

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) - <b>Venezuela has moved its central bank foreign reserves out of U.S. banks, liquidated its investments in U.S. Treasury securities and placed the funds in Europe, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Friday</b>.

<b>"We've had to move the international reserves from U.S. banks because of the threats,"</b> from the U.S., Chavez said during televised remarks from a South American summit in Brazil.

"The reserves we had (invested) in U.S. Treasury bonds, we've sold them and we
moved them to Europe and other countries," he said.

Chavez, a sharp critic of what he calls <b>"imperialist" U.S.-style capitalism</b>, has often criticized foreign banks for the power they wield in international
financial markets at the expense of poorer countries.
#57
http://www.iht.com/articles/2005/10/20/news/unesco.php

U.S. all but alone in opposing Unesco cultural pact
#58
Generation Y: They've arrived at work with a new attitude

By Stephanie Armour, USA TODAY Mon Nov 7,10:10 AM ET

They're young, smart, brash. They may wear flip-flops to the office or listen to iPods at their desk. They want to work, but they don't want work to be their life.
ADVERTISEMENT

This is Generation Y, a force of as many as 70 million, and the first wave is just now embarking on their careers - taking their place in an increasingly multigenerational workplace.

Get ready, because this generation - whose members have not yet hit 30 - is different from any that have come before, according to researchers and authors such as Bruce Tulgan, a founder of New Haven, Conn.-based RainmakerThinking, which studies the lives of young people.

This age group is moving into the labor force during a time of major demographic change, as companies around the USA face an aging workforce. Sixty-year-olds are working beside 20-year-olds. Freshly minted college graduates are overseeing employees old enough to be their parents. And new job entrants are changing careers faster than college students change their majors, creating frustration for employers struggling to retain and recruit talented high-performers.

Unlike the generations that have gone before them, Gen Y has been pampered, nurtured and programmed with a slew of activities since they were toddlers, meaning they are both high-performance and high-maintenance, Tulgan says. They also believe in their own worth.

"Generation Y is much less likely to respond to the traditional command-and-control type of management still popular in much of today's workforce," says Jordan Kaplan, an associate managerial science professor at Long Island University-Brooklyn in New York. "They've grown up questioning their parents, and now they're questioning their employers. They don't know how to shut up, which is great, but that's aggravating to the 50-year-old manager who says, 'Do it and do it now.' "

That speak-your-mind philosophy makes sense to Katie Patterson, an assistant account executive at Edelman Public Relations in Atlanta. The 23-year-old, who hails from Iowa and now lives with two roommates in a town home, likes to collaborate with others, and says many of her friends want to run their own businesses so they can be independent.

"We are willing and not afraid to challenge the status quo," she says. "An environment where creativity and independent thinking are looked upon as a positive is appealing to people my age. We're very independent and tech savvy."

A great deal is known about Gen Y:

•They have financial smarts. After witnessing the financial insecurity that beset earlier generations stung by layoffs and the dot-com bust, today's newest entrants into the workforce are generally savvy when it comes to money and savings. They care about such benefits as 401(k) retirement plans.

Thirty-seven percent of Gen Yers expect to start saving for retirement before they reach 25, with 46% of those already working indicating so, according to a September survey by Purchase, N.Y.-based Diversified Investment Advisors. And 49% say retirement benefits are a very important factor in their job choices. Among those eligible, 70% of the Gen Y respondents contribute to their 401(k) plan.

Patterson, who works at Edelman, has already met with a financial planner, and her co-worker, Jennifer Hudson, 23, is also saving for the future.

"I knew what a Roth IRA was at 17. I learned about it in economics class," says Hudson, an assistant account executive in Atlanta and a University of Alabama graduate. "My generation is much more realistic. We were in college when we saw the whole dot-com bust."

•Work-life balance isn't just a buzz word. Unlike boomers who tend to put a high priority on career, today's youngest workers are more interested in making their jobs accommodate their family and personal lives. They want jobs with flexibility, telecommuting options and the ability to go part time or leave the workforce temporarily when children are in the picture.

"There's a higher value on self fulfillment," says Diana San Diego, 24, who lives with her parents in San Francisco and works on college campuses helping prepare students for the working world through the Parachute College Program. "After 9/11, there is a realization that life is short. You value it more."

•Change, change, change. Generation Yers don't expect to stay in a job, or even a career, for too long - they've seen the scandals that imploded Enron and Arthur Andersen, and they're skeptical when it comes to such concepts as employee loyalty, Tulgan says.

They don't like to stay too long on any one assignment. This is a generation of multitaskers, and they can juggle e-mail on their BlackBerrys while talking on cellphones while trolling online.

And they believe in their own self worth and value enough that they're not shy about trying to change the companies they work for. That compares somewhat with Gen X, a generation born from the mid-1960s to the late-1970s, known for its independent thinking, addiction to change and emphasis on family.

"They're like Generation X on steroids," Tulgan says. "They walk in with high expectations for themselves, their employer, their boss. If you thought you saw a clash when Generation X came into the workplace, that was the fake punch. The haymaker is coming now."

Tulgan, who co-authored Managing Generation Y with Carolyn Martin and leads training sessions at companies on how to prepare for and retain Generation Yers, says a recent example is a young woman who just started a job at a cereal company. She showed up the first day with a recipe for a new cereal she'd invented.

Conflicts over casual dress

In the workplace, conflict and resentment can arise over a host of issues, even seemingly innocuous subjects such as appearance, as a generation used to casual fare such as flip-flops, tattoos and capri pants finds more traditional attire is required at the office.

Angie Ping, 23, of Alvin, Texas, lives in flip-flops but isn't allowed to wear them to the office. "Some companies' policies relating to appropriate office attire seem completely outdated to me," says Ping, at International Facility Management Association. "The new trend for work attire this season is menswear-inspired capri pants, which look as dressy as pants when paired with heels, but capri pants are not allowed at my organization."

And then there's Gen Y's total comfort with technology. While boomers may expect a phone call or in-person meeting on important topics, younger workers may prefer virtual problem solving, Tulgan says.

Conflict can also flare up over management style. Unlike previous generations who've in large part grown accustomed to the annual review, Gen Yers have grown up getting constant feedback and recognition from teachers, parents and coaches and can resent it or feel lost if communication from bosses isn't more regular.

"The millennium generation has been brought up in the most child-centered generation ever. They've been programmed and nurtured," says Cathy O'Neill, senior vice president at career management company Lee Hecht Harrison in Woodcliff Lake, N.J. "Their expectations are different. The millennial expects to be told how they're doing."

Matt Berkley, 24, a writer at St. Louis Small Business Monthly, says many of his generation have traveled and had many enriching experiences, so they may clash with older generations they see as competition or not as skilled. "We're surprised we have to work for our money. We want the corner office right away," he says. "It seems like our parents just groomed us. Anything is possible. We had karate class, soccer practice, everything. But they deprived us of social skills. They don't treat older employees as well as they should."

Employers are examining new ways to recruit and retain and trying to sell younger workers on their workplace flexibility and other qualities generally attractive to Gen Y.

At Abbott Laboratories in Chicago, recruiters are reaching out to college students by telling them about company benefits such as flexible work schedules, telecommuting, full tuition reimbursement and an online mentoring tool.

Perks and recruitment

Aflac, an insurer based in Columbus, Ga., is highlighting such perks as time off given as awards, flexible work schedules and recognition.

Xerox is stepping up recruitment of students at "core colleges," which is how the company refers to universities that have the kind of talent Xerox needs. For example, the Rochester Institute of Technology is a core school for Xerox recruiting because it has a strong engineering and printing sciences programs. Others include Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Illinois and Cornell University.

Xerox is using the slogan "Express Yourself" as a way to describe its culture to recruits. The hope is that the slogan will appeal to Gen Y's desire to develop solutions and change. Recruiters also point out the importance of diversity at the company; Gen Y is one of the most diverse demographic groups - one out of three is a minority.

"(Gen Y) is very important," says Joe Hammill, director of talent acquisition. "Xerox and other Fortune-type companies view this emerging workforce as the future of our organization."

But some conflict is inevitable. More than 60% of employers say they are experiencing tension between employees from different generations, according to a survey by Lee Hecht Harrison.

The survey found more than 70% of older employees are dismissive of younger workers' abilities. And nearly half of employers say that younger employees are dismissive of the abilities of their older co-workers.

As an executive assistant, Jennifer Lewis approves expenses and keeps track of days off for employees, which she says can be awkward because she's so much younger than her co-workers. She reports to the president of her company's design department.

"People who have been here 10 years, and they have to report to a 22-year-old," Lewis says. She also says in an e-mail that "I often have to lie about my age to receive a certain level of respect that I want from my co-workers."

Lewis, a senior at Hunter College in New York, tries not to tell people she is a student for fear it will make her seem like "the young schoolgirl." She pays rent and pays for her own school and spends her free time taking cooking and pottery classes.

But there are advantages to being young as well. "I am computer savvy," she says, "so people come to me for everything."
#59
<b>Democrats Win Gov. Races in N.J., Va.</b> <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo--> <!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Democrats won both governors' races Tuesday, with Sen. Jon Corzine (news, bio, voting record) easily beating Doug Forrester in New Jersey and Lt. Gov. Tim Kaine soundly defeating Jerry Kilgore in Virginia despite a last-minute campaign push from     President Bush. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Interesting time ahead, I think rep will lose hold on congress and senate next year.
We should expect no major change in any policy; even bird flu scare didn't help republicans.
<!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->
Last resort back to red, orange, yellow color time.
#60
Article is in 5 parts. Some new things and some well known. But the overall language is amazing and hilarious . Must read..

BTW who is Arvind Kumar ?

http://www.newsinsight.net/columns/full_column10.htm

Bible thumpers
Americans are being increasingly stereotyped as stupid.


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