The New Normal


When I started out in PR the internet was still special. There was a sense of wonder in the power that it provided to you. Email was over used to send jokes and video clips because you could. Now its the workaday, people who don’t have an email address are the underclass or trying too hard to make a statement. My email account vomits untargeted marketing related mail just like the letter box in my front door and most of the useful content has a price on its head just like at WH Smith.

 

Using a Hotmail account as your contact details is like buying your groceries with welfare stamps, one step up from not existing at all. People whom you can’t google (find using the Google search engine) either have a common-as-muck name, or have been doing an eight-year stretch for possession with intent to supply or armed robbery.

Wired the media pimp of the internet for so long announced on Monday, an important change to its style guide the words net, internet and web would no longer be capitalised. Online had lost its last remaining claim to be special. Its no longer new media, but treated with familarity more like a well-read and dog-eared book.

In reality Wired has given up to what many of us have thought and felt for the past three years. The full article can be read here.

On a another related theme, during the dot.com boom I worked on the Palm (PalmOne) pan european PR account, one of the more hair-brained schemes cooked up by the executive team in the States was selling ‘special edition’ blue Palm Vx devices through Claudia Schiffer’s website claudiaschiffer.com. Whilst the site, was up there for an indecently long time, I see that this ghost in my cupboard has now been buried with a holding page from the design company entitled ‘gone fishing’. Here’s a link to the site on Archive.org’s Way Back Machine to an archived version of the site.

The Schiffer device was launched at a Red Herring conference in the US, crueller wags at the time alleged that during the launch one of the Palm executives spent an inordinate amount of time looking at Ms Schiffer’s chest and fluffed his lines. I wasn’t there, so I don’t know the truth of the story.

 

There was also talk of a deal with Michael Jordan along similar lines for the Palm m100 device (known to us at the time as Kelvin) as well, we did some preliminary thinking about this, but it never came to fruition on my shift.

The original press release text is below:

High tech icon Palm and fashion icon Claudia Schiffer to create new world of “chic tech”; Leaders of tech and fashion create designer Palm handheldLos Angeles – August 4th, 2000: Palm, Inc. (Nasdaq: PALM), the pioneer and leader of handheld computing; Claudia Schiffer, model, actress and entrepreneur; and PTN Media (OTCBB: PTNM), today announced a collaboration to design and market the Palm Vx Claudia Schiffer Edition handheld computer. A prototype of the elegant, brushed metallic-aqua Claudia Schiffer Edition handheld was unveiled today at the Red Herring “Herring on Hollywood” Conference in Los Angeles.

On her latest entrepreneurial effort, Schiffer said she had been exploring the technology industry for some time but had been waiting for the right opportunity. “Palm is a company I admire for its devotion to making sophisticated technology simple and accessible to everyone,” said Schiffer.

She added, “I am excited to be working with Palm to bring fashion to technology and extend its reach to the wider population.” A highly mobile professional who constantly juggles a time-constrained schedule, Schiffer exemplifies the increased efficiencies that can be gained from using a Palm handheld.

The Palm Vx Claudia Schiffer Edition, based on the marriage of product functionality with fusion of bold colour and style, catapults Schiffer’s image to a symbol of “chic tech” and enables Palm to broaden its addressable market and maintain its leadership position in the high-growth mobile market.

“Our goal is to become as essential in pop culture as we are in tech culture,” said Satjiv Chahil, chief marketing officer, Palm, Inc. “We are delighted that as an avid Palm user, the multi-talented Claudia Schiffer recognises the opportunity to market an elegant, powerful and simple-to-use technology to the fashion-conscious public.”

Schiffer has global appeal across a broad market demographic. Her name has been associated with the leading brands in fashion for nearly a decade, and she has appeared on thousands of magazine covers worldwide. “We expect the Claudia Edition will be the product that women around the world will find to be an essential item to manage their increasingly busy lives,” predicts Peter Klamka, president of PTN Media, which is owned in part by Schiffer.

Tony Perkins, founder and chairman of the prestigious Silicon Valley Magazine The Red Herring, lauded the announcement saying, “This marks the beginning of a new trend where technology is no longer the domain of the techno-elite and business professionals, but a lifestyle choice and fashion statement.”

The Palm Vx handheld is ultra-slim, ultra-light and holds thousands of names, addresses, phone numbers, appointments, to do’s, and e-mail messages. It has 8 MB of memory and synchronises and backs up data with a PC or Macintosh at the touch of a button. There are several add-on accessories available for the Palm Vx that enable wireless connectivity and Internet access. Schiffer is personally selecting her favourite add-on software applications to include on a CD that customers can use to install the programs on their Palm Vx Claudia Schiffer Edition handheld.

The Palm Vx Claudia Schiffer Edition will be available exclusively online Autumn 2000 at www.claudiaschiffer.com.

About Palm, Inc.

Palm, Inc. is the leading provider of handheld computers (IDC personal companion devices category, 1999), including the Palm III, V and VII series of handheld computers. The Palm OS platform is the foundation for the market-leading handheld computers from the company as well as products from its strategic partners such as IBM, QUALCOMM, Franklin Covey, Handspring and Symbol Technologies. Designed to support the increasingly mobile and geographically dispersed nature of information management, the company’s handheld solutions allow people to carry their most critical information in their pockets. For more information, please visit www.palm.com

About Claudia Schiffer

Claudia Schiffer is one of the most recognised women in the world. She has been called “the most beautiful woman in the world” by GQ magazine and countless others. Her name has been associated with the leading brands in fashion for almost a decade, and she has appeared on thousands of magazine covers worldwide, earning the Guinness World Record for the most magazine covers. In 1999, Schiffer earned US $9 million and made the Forbes Power 100 in Hollywood.

Schiffer currently does business on every major continent through modelling and endorsements, including her ongoing role as international spokesperson for L’Oreal Cosmetics. Film credits include Black & White, Friends & Lovers, and The Blackout. She recently finished starring in the short film Meeting Genevieve, directed by Luis Mandoki, and she is currently completing an untitled BBC film with director Nicolas Roeg.

Schiffer is also a National Ambassador for UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund).

About Claudiaschiffer.com

ClaudiaSchiffer.com, which is being launched by PTN Media, is designed to be a destination site for fashion, style and beauty news and commerce. In addition to regular reports from Schiffer herself, the audience will have access to all of the latest information on trends, cool stores, and all things fashionable.

CONTACT: Ged Carroll

Tel: +44 (0)207 544 3193

e-mail: gcarroll@webergroup.co.uk

Paul Rogers

Tel: +44 (0)207 544 3164

e-mail: progers@webergroup.co.uk

The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same


Below is a speech given by former secretary of state Robert McNamara in 1966 to a group of journalists in Montreal. It is especially strange reading it with the current war on terror and having read about the performance of the post-McNamara World Bank, World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in systematically destroying economic value in Globalization and its Discontents by Joseph Stiglitz (who was a former economic advisor to the Clinton administration and respected economics professor at an American university). Of the World Bank Stiglitz wrote “Decisions were made on the basis of what seemed a curious blend of ideology and bad economics, dogma that sometimes seemed to be thinly veiling special interests … Open, frank discussion was discouraged–there was no room for it.” The original website link with scans of the presentation foils (1966 was pre-Micro$oft PowerPoint, Aldus Persuasion or Apple Keynote) that Robert McNamara used can be found here.

This speech was delivered by Robert McNamara in 1966 when he was

disillusioned with the US efforts in South Vietnam, and the profound

misunderstanding of the nature of international conflict in the world. He

knew there were similar types of conflicts arising all over the world

which simply promised more chaos, and could not be dealt with cost

effectively after they got fully underway – that the communists were only

exploiting them for their own purposes – and that, if we wanted a

‘peaceful world’ much greater effort must be expended other than military

to prevent them. I was his ‘Assistant for Counterinsurgency’ at the time,

and did the studies that underlay the speech and theory, and suggested the

central thesis that ‘Security is Development’ in the contemporary world,

and I crafted large sections of the speech.

It got a world wide reaction. Utter suprise at its sweep, transcending all

the other agencies of the US government who should have, but were not,

relating their efforts to global security and peace. (some thought he was

going to run for President) Later, McNamara, putting his money where his

mouth was, left the government, and took the helm as President of the

World Bank – which attempts to support ‘development’ in the 3rd world. Of

course the US public, which hates foreign aid, and understands it even

less, did nothing. And lots of the US press, which can’t grasp or report

effectively on big ideas. just glomed onto the 2 year Service idea as the

‘news’ of the speech.

But if anyone cares to notice, the world since 1966 (it is now 1999) has

unfolded as McNamara predicted, and there is more political violence than

ever – and less ameliorative development. With the US military continuing

to act as the world’s policeman. And the US still confused as to its role

in the world.

David Hughes Col, US Army, Retired.

then Lt. Col. US Army

SECURITY IN THE CONTEMPORARY WORLD

Robert S. McNamara, Secretary of Defense

before the American Society of Newspaper Editors

Montreal, Canada, May 18th, 1966

Any American would be fortunate to visit this lovely island city, in this

hospitable land. But there is a special satisfaction for a Secretary of

Defense to cross the longest border in the world and realize that it is

also the least armed border in the world. It prompts one to reflect how

negative and narrow a notion of defense still clouds our century.

There is still among us an almost eradicable tendency to think of our

security problem as being exclusively a military problem-and to think of

the military problem as being exclusively a weapons-system or hardware

problem.

The plain, blunt truth is that contemporary man still conceives of war and

peace in much the same stereotyped terms that his ancestors did.

The fact that these ancestors, both recent and remote, were conspicuously

unsuccessful at avoiding war, and enlarging peace, doesn’t seem to dampen

our capacity for cliches.

We still tend to conceive of national security almost solely as a state of

armed readiness: a vast, awesome arsenal of weaponry.

We still tend to assume that it is primarily this purely military

ingredient that creates security.

We are still haunted by this concept of military hardware. But how limited

a concept this actually is becomes apparent when one ponders the kind of

peace that exists between the United States and Canada.

It is a very cogent example. Here we are, two modern nations, highly

developed technologically, each with immense territory, both enriched with

great reserves of natural resources, each militarily sophisticated; and

yet we sit across from one another, divided by an unguarded frontier of

thousands of miles, and there is not a remotest set of circumstances, in

any imaginable time frame of the future, in which our two nations would

wage war on one another.

It is so unthinkable an idea as to be totally absurd. But why is that so?

Is it because we are both ready in an instant to hurl our military

hardware at one another? Is it because we are both zeroed in on one

another’s vital targets? Is it because we are both armed to our

technological teeth that we do not go to war? The whole notion, as

applied to our two countries, is ludicrous.

Canada and the United States are at peace for reasons that have nothing

whatever to do with our mutual military readiness. We are at peace-truly

at peace- because of the vast fund of compatible beliefs, common

principles, and shared ideals. We have our differences and our diversity

and let us hope for the sake of a mutually rewarding relationship we never

become sterile carbon copies of one another. But the whole point is that

our basis of mutual peace has nothing whatever to do with our military

hardware.

Now this is not to say, obviously enough, that the concept of military

deterrence is no longer relevant in the contemporary world. Unhappily, it

still is critically relevant with respect to our potential adversaries.

But it has no relevance what ever between the United States and Canada.

We are not adversaries. We are not going to become adversaries. And it is

not mutual military deterrence that keeps us from becoming adversaries.

It is mutual respect for common principles. Now I mention this-as obvious

as it all is-simply as a kind of reductio ad absurdum of the concept that

military hardware is the exclusive or even the primary ingredient of

permanent peace in the mid 20th century.

In the United States over the past 5 years, we have achieved a

considerably improved balance in our total military posture. That was the

mandate I received from Presidents Kennedy and Johnson; and with their

support, and that of the Congress, we have been able to create a

strengthened force structure of land, sea, and air components with a vast

increase in mobility and materiel and with a massive superiority in

nuclear retaliatory power over any combination of potential adversaries.

Our capabilities for nuclear, conventional, and countersubversive war have

all been broadened and improved; and we have accomplished this through

military budgets that were in fact lesser percentages of our gross

national product than in the past.

From the point of view of combat readiness, the United States has never

been militarily stronger. We intend to maintain that readiness. But if we

think profoundly about the matter, it is clear that this purely military

posture is not the central element in our security. A nation can reach

the point at which it does not buy more security for itself simply by

buying more military hardware. We are at that point. The decisive factor

for a powerful nation already adequately armed is the character of its

relationships with the world.

In this respect, there are three broad groups of nations: first, those

that are struggling to develop; secondly, those free nations that have

reached a level of strength and prosperity that enables them to contribute

to the peace of the world; and finally, those nations who might tempted to

make themselves our adversaries. For each of these groups, the United

States, to preserve its intrinsic security, has to have distinctive sets

of relationships. First, we have to help protect those developing

countries which genuinely need and request our help and which, as an

essential precondition, are willing and able to help themselves.

Second, we have to encourage and achieve a more effective partnership with

those nations who can and should share international peacekeeping

responsibilities.

Third, we must do all we realistically can to reduce the risk of conflict

with those who might be tempted to take up arms against us.

Let us examine these three sets of relationships in detail.

The Developing Nations

First, the developing nations. Roughly 100 countries today are caught up

in the difficult transition from traditional to modern societies. There

is no uniform rate of progress among them, and they range from primitive

mosaic societies fractured by tribalism and held feebly together by the

slenderest of political sinews to relatively sophisticated countries well

on the road to agricultural sufficiency and industrial competence.

This sweeping surge of development, particularly across the whole southern

half of the globe, has no parallel in history. It has turned

traditionally listless areas of the world into seething cauldrons of

change.

On the whole, it has not been a very peaceful process.

In the last 8 years alone there have been no less than 164 internationally

significant outbreaks of violence, each of them specifically designed as

a serious challenge to the authority, or the very existence, of the

government in question. Eighty two different governments have been

directly involved.

What is striking is that only 15 of these 164 significant resorts to

violence have been military conflicts between two states. And not a

single one of the 164 conflicts has been a formally declared war.

Indeed, there has not been a formal declaration of war anywhere in the

world since World War II.

The planet is becoming a more dangerous place to live on, not merely

because of a potential nuclear holocaust but also because of the large

number of de facto conflicts and because the trend of such conflicts is

growing rather than diminishing. At the beginning of 1958, there were 23

prolonged insurgencies going on about the world. As of February 1, 1966,

there were 40. Further, the total number of outbreaks of violence has

increased each year: In 1958, there were 34; in 1965, there were 58.

The Relationship of Violence and Economic Status

But what is most significant of all is that there is a direct and constant

relationship between the incidence of violence and the economic status of

the countries afflicted. The World Bank divides nations on the basis of

per capita income into four categories: rich, middle income, poor, and

very poor.

The rich nations are those with a per capita income of $750 per year or

more.

The current U.S. level is more than $2,700. There are 27 of these rich

nations. They possess 75 percent of the world’s wealth, though roughly

only 25 percent of the world’s population.

Since 1958, only one of these 27 nations has suffered a major internal

upheaval on its own territory. But observe what happens at the other end

of the economic scale.

Among the 38 very poor nations those with a per capita income of under

$100 a year not less than 32 have suffered significant conflicts.

Indeed, they have suffered an average of two major outbreaks of violence

per country in the 8 year period. That is a great deal of conflict.

What is worse, it has been predominantly conflict of a prolonged nature.

The trend holds predictably constant in the case of the two other

categories: the poor and the middle income nations. Since 1958, 87

percent of the very poor nations, 69 percent of the poor nations, and 48

percent of the middle income nations have suffered serious violence.

There can, then, be no question but that there is an irrefutable

relationship between violence and economic backwardness. And the trend of

such violence is up, not down.

Now, it would perhaps be somewhat reassuring if the gap between the rich

nations and the poor nations were closing and economic backwardness were

significantly receding. But it is not. The economic gap is widening.

By the year 1970 over one half of the world’s total population will live

in the independent nations sweeping across the southern half of the

planet. But this hungering half of the human race will by then command

only one sixth of the world’s total of goods and services. By the year

1975 the dependent children of these nations alone children under 15 years

of age will equal the total population of the developed nations to the

north.

Even in our own abundant societies, we have reason enough to worry over

the tensions that coil and tighten among under-privileged young people and

finally flail out in delinquency and crime. What are we to expect from a

whole hemisphere of youth where mounting frustrations are likely to fester

into eruptions of violence and extremism?

Annual per capita income in roughly half of the 80 underdeveloped nations

that are members of the World Bank is rising by a paltry 1 percent a year

or less. By the end of the century these nations, at their present rates

of growth, will reach a per capita income of barely $170 a year. The

United States, by the same criterion, will attain a per capita income of

$4,500.

The conclusion to all of this is blunt and inescapable: Given the certain

connection between economic stagnation and the incidence of violence, the

years that lie ahead for the nations in the southern half of the globe are

pregnant with violence.

U.S. Security and the Newly Developing World

This would be true even if no threat of Communist subversion existed is it

clearly does. Both Moscow and Peking, however harsh their internal

differences, regard the whole modernization process as an ideal

environment for the growth of communism. Their experience with subversive

internal war is extensive, and they have developed a considerable array of

both doctrine and practical measures in the art of political violence.

What is often misunderstood is that Communists are capable of subverting,

manipulating, and finally directing for their own ends the wholly

legitimate grievances of a developing society.

But it would be a gross oversimplification to regard communism as the

central factor in every conflict throughout the underdeveloped world. Of

the 149 serious internal insurgencies in the past 8 years, Communists have

been involved in only 58 of them – 8 percent of the total- and this

includes seven instances in which a Communist regime itself was the target

of the uprising.

Whether Communists are involved or not, violence anywhere in a taut world

transmits sharp signals through the complex gangli of international

relations; and the security of the United States is related to the

security and stability of nations half a glob away.

But neither conscience nor sanity itself suggests that the United States

is, should or could be the global gendarme. Quite the contrary. Experience

confirms what human nature suggests: that in most instances of internal

violence the local people themselves are best able to deal directly with

the situation within the framework of their own traditions.

The United States has no mandate from on high to police the world and no

inclination to do so. There have been classic case in which our

deliberate non-action was th wisest action of all. Where our help is not

sought, it is seldom prudent to volunteer. Certainly we have no charter to

rescue floundering regimes who have brought violence on themselves by

deliberately refusing to meet the legitimate expectations of their

citizenry.

Further, throughout the next decade advancing technology will reduce the

requirements for bases and staging rights at particular locations abroad,

and the whole pattern of forward deployment will gradually change.

But, though all these caveats are clear enough, the irreducible fact

remains that our security is related directly to the security of the newly

developing world. And our role must be precisely this: to help provide

security to those developing nations which genuinely need and request our

help and which demonstrably are willing and able to help themselves.

Security and Development

The rub comes in this: We do not always grasp the meaning of the word

“security” in this context. In a modernizing society, security means

development.

Security is not military hardware, though it may include it. Security is

not military force, though it may involve it. Security is not traditional

military activity, though it may encompass it. Security is development.

Without development, there can be no security. A developing nation that

does not in fact develop simply cannot remain “secure.” It cannot remain

secure for the intractable reason that its own citizenry cannot shed its

human nature.

If security implies anything, it implies a minimal measure of order and

stability. Without internal development of at least a minimal degree,

order and stability are simply not possible. They are not possible

because human nature cannot be frustrated beyond intrinsic limits. It

reacts because it must.

Now, that is what we do not always understand, and that is also what

governments of modernizing nations do not always understand. But by

emphasizing that security arises from development, I do not say that an

underdeveloped nation cannot be subverted from within, or be aggressed

upon from without, or be the victim of a combination of the two. It can.

And to prevent any or all of these conditions, a nation does require

appropriate military capabilities to deal with the specific problem. But

the specific military problem is only a narrow facet of the broader

security problem.

Military force can help provide law and order but only to the degree that

a basis for law and order already exists in the developing society: a

basic willingness on the part of the people to cooperate. The law and

order is a shield, behind which the central fact of security – development

– can be achieved.

Now we are not playing a semantic game with these words. The trouble is

that we have been lost in a semantic jungle for too long. We have come to

identify “security” with exclusively military phenomena, and most

particularly with military hardware. But it just isn’t so. And we need

to accommodate to the facts of the matter if we want to see security

survive and grow in the southern half of the globe.

Development means economic, social, and political progress. It means a

reasonable standard of living, and the word “reasonable” in this context

requires continual redefinition. What is “reasonable” in an earlier stage

of development will become “unreasonable” in a later stage.

As development progresses, security progresses. And when the people of a

nation have organized their own human and natural resources to provide

themselves with what they need and expect out of life and have learned to

compromise peacefully among competing demands in the larger national

interest then their resistance to disorder and violence will be enormously

increased.

Conversely, the tragic need of desperate men to resort to force to achieve

the inner imperatives of human decency will diminish.

Military and Economic Spheres of U.S. Aid

Now, I have said that the role of the United States is to help provide

security to these modernizing nations, providing they need and request our

help and are clearly willing and able to help themselves. But what should

our help be? Clearly, it should be help toward development. In the

military sphere, that involves two broad categories of assistance.

We should help the developing nation with such training and equipment as

is necessary to maintain the protective shield behind which development

can go forward.

The dimensions of that shield vary from country to country, but what is

essential is that it should be a shield and not a capacity for external

aggression.

The second, and perhaps less understood category of military assistance in

a modernizing nation, is training in civic action. Civic action is another

one of those semantic puzzles. Too few Americans and too few officials in

developing nations really comprehend what military civic action means.

Essentially, it means using indigenous military forces for nontraditional

military projects, projects that are useful to the local population in

fields such as education, public works, health, sanitation, agriculture –

indeed, anything connected with economic or social progress.

It has had some impressive results. In the past 4 years the U.S. assisted

civic action program, worldwide, has constructed or repaired more than

10,000 miles of roads, built over 1,000 schools, hundreds of hospitals and

clinics, and has provided medical and dental care to approximately 4

million people.

What is important is that all this was done by indigenous men in uniform.

Quite apart from the developmental projects themselves, the program

powerfully alters the negative image of the military man as the oppressive

preserver of the stagnant status quo.

But assistance in the purely military sphere is not enough. Economic

assistance is also essential. The President is determined that our aid

should be hardheaded and rigorously realistic, that it should deal

directly with the roots of underdevelopment and not merely attempt to

alleviate the symptoms. His bedrock principle is that U.S. economic aid –

no matter what its magnitude – is futile unless the country in question is

resolute in making the primary effort itself. That will be the criterion,

and that will be the crucial condition for all our future assistance.

Only the developing nations themselves can take the fundamental measures

that make outside assistance meaningful. These measures are often

unpalatable and frequently call for political courage and decisiveness.

But to fail to undertake painful, but essential, reform inevitably leads

to far more painful revolutionary violence. Our economic assistance is

designed to offer a reasonable alternative to that violence. It is

designed to help substitute peaceful progress for tragic internal

conflict.

The United States intends to be compassionate and generous in this effort,

but it is not an effort it can carry exclusively by itself. And thus it

looks to those nations who have reached the point of self-sustaining

prosperity to increase their contribution to the development and, thus, to

the security of the modernizing world.

Sharing Peacekeeping Responsibilities

And that brings me to the second set of relationships that I underscored

at the outset; it is the policy of the United States to encourage and

achieve a more effective partnership with those nations who can, and

should, share international peacekeeping responsibilities.

America has devoted a higher proportion of its gross national product to

its military establishment than any other major free-world nation. This

was true even before our increased expenditures in Southeast Asia. We

have had, over the last few years, as many men in uniform as all the

nations of Western Europe combined, even though they have a population

half again greater than our own.

Now, the American people are not going to shirk their obligations in any

part of the world, but they clearly cannot be expected to bear a

disproportionate share of the common burden indefinitely. If, for

example, other nations genuinely believe – as they say they do – that it

is in the common interest to deter the expansion of Red China’s economic

and political control beyond its national boundaries, then they must take

a more active role in guarding the defense perimeter. Let me be perfectly

clear. This is not to question the policy of neutralism or nonalignment

of any particular nation. But it is to emphasize that the independence of

such nations can, in the end, be fully safeguarded only by collective

agreements among themselves and their neighbors.

The plain truth is the day is coming when no single nation, however

powerful, can undertake by itself to keep the peace outside its own

borders. Regional and international organizations for peacekeeping

purposes are as yet rudimentary, but they must grow in experience and be

strengthened by deliberate and practical cooperative action.

In this matter, the example of Canada is a model for nations everywhere.

As Prime Minister Pearson pointed out eloquently in New York just last

week: Canada “is as deeply involved in the world’s affairs as any country

of its size. We accept this because we have learned over 50 years that

isolation from the policies that determine war does not give us immunity

from the bloody, sacrificial consequences of their failure. We learned

that in 1914 and again in 1939. . . . That is why we have been proud to

send our men to take part in every peacekeeping operation of the United

Nations in Korea, and Kashmir, and the Suez, and the Congo, and Cyprus.”

The Organization of American States in the Dominican Republic, the more

than 30 nations contributing troops or supplies to assist the Government

of South Viet Nam, indeed even the parallel efforts of the United States

and the Soviet Union in the Pakistan-India conflict these efforts,

together with those of the U.N., are the first attempts to substitute

multinational for unilateral policing of violence. They point to the

peacekeeping patterns of the future.

We must not merely applaud the idea. We must dedicate talent, resources,

and hard practical thinking to its implementation. In Western Europe, an

area whose burgeoning economic vitality stands as a monument to the wisdom

of the Marshall Plan, the problems of security are neither static nor

wholly new. Fundamental changes are under way, though certain inescapable

realities remain. The conventional forces of NATO, for example, still

require a nuclear backdrop far beyond the capability of any Western

European nation to supply, and the United States is fully committed to

provide that major nuclear deterrent.

However, the European members of the alliance have a natural desire to

participate more actively in nuclear planning. A central task of the

alliance today is, therefore, to work out the relationships and

institutions through which shared nuclear planning can be effective. We

have made a practical and promising start in the Special Committee of NATO

Defense Ministers.

Common planning and consultation are essential aspects of any sensible

substitute to the unworkable and dangerous alternative of independent

national nuclear forces within the alliance. And even beyond the alliance

we must find the means to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

That is a clear imperative.

There are, of course, risks in nonproliferation arrangements, but they

cannot be compared with the infinitely greater risks that would arise out

of the increase in national nuclear stockpiles. In the calculus of risk,

to proliferate independent national nuclear forces is not a mere

arithmetical addition of danger. We would not be merely adding up risks.

We would be insanely multiplying them.

If we seriously intend to pass on a world to our children that is not

threatened by nuclear holocaust, we must come to grips with the problem of

proliferation. A reasonable nonproliferation agreement is feasible. For

there is no adversary with whom we do not share a common interest in

avoiding mutual destruction triggered by an irresponsible nth power.

Dealing With Potential Adversaries

That brings me to the third and last set of relationships the United

States must deal with: those with nations who might be tempted to take up

arms against us.

These relationships call for realism. But realism is not a hardened,

inflexible, unimaginative attitude. The realistic mind is a restlessly

creative mind, free of naive delusions but full of practical alternatives.

There are practical alternatives to our current relationships with both

the Soviet Union and Communist China.

A vast ideological chasm separates us from them and to a degree separates

them from one another. There is nothing to be gained from our seeking an

ideological rapproachment; but breaching the isolation of great nations

like Red China, even when that isolation is largely of its own making

reduces the danger of potentially catastrophic misunderstandings and

increase the incentive on both sides to resolve disputes by reason rather

than by force.

There are many ways in which we can build bridges toward nations who would

cut themselves off from meaningful contact with us. We can do so with

properly balanced trade relations, diplomatic contacts and in some cases

even by exchanges of military observers. We have to know when it is we

want to place this bridge, what sort of traffic we want to travel over it,

an on what mutual foundations the whole structure can be designed.

There are no one cliff bridges. If you are going to span a chasm, you

have to rest the structure on both cliffs. Now cliffs, generally

speaking, are rather hazardous places. Some people are afraid even to

look over the edge. But in a thermonuclear world, we cannot afford any

political acrophobia.

President Johnson has put the matter squarely: By building bridges to

those who make themselves our adversaries, “we can help gradually to

create a community of interest, a community of trust, and a community of

effort.”

With respect to a “community of effort” let me suggest a concrete proposal

for our own present young generation in the United States. It is a

committed and dedicated generation. It has proven that in its enormously

impressive performance in the Peace Corps overseas and in its willingness

to volunteer for a final assault on such poverty and lack of opportunity

that still remain in our own country.

As matters stand, our present Selective Service System draws on only a

minority of eligible young men. That is an inequity. It seems to me that

we could move toward remedying that inequity by asking every young person

in the United States to give 2 years of service to his country whether in

one of the military services, in the Peace Corps, or in some other

volunteer developmental work at home or abroad.

We could encourage other countries to do the same, and we could work out

exchange programs much as the Peace Corps is already planning to do.

While this is not an altogether new suggestion, it has been criticized as

inappropriate while we are engaged in a shooting war. But I believe

precisely the opposite is the case. It is more appropriate now than ever.

For it would underscore what our whole purpose is in Viet-Nam and indeed

anywhere in the world where coercion, or injustice, or lack of decent

opportunity still holds sway. It would make meaningful the central

concept of security a world of decency and development where every man can

feel that his personal horizon is rimmed with hope. Mutual interest,

mutual trust, mutual effort those are the goals. Can we achieve those

goals with the Soviet Union, and with Communist China? Can they achieve

them with one another?

The answer to these questions lies in the answer to an even more

fundamental question. Who is man? Is he a rational animal? If he is,

then the goals can ultimately be achieved. If he is not, then there is

little point in making the effort.

All the evidence of history suggests that man is indeed a rational animal

but with a near infinite capacity for folly. His history seems largely a

halting, but persistent, effort to raise his reason above his animality.

He draws blueprints for utopia. But never quite gets it built. In the

end he plugs away obstinately with the only building material really ever

at hand his own part-comic, part-tragic, part-cussed, but part-glorious

nature.

I, for one, would not count a global free society out. Coercion, after

all, merely captures man. Freedom captivates him.

Cool Stuff

Get yourself a golden parachute: you know that you are leaving a firm, go to My Resignation and sell the information to executive recruiters the Kickstart Consultancy. For more information contact Paul Chatfield.

The pay scale is:

500GBP for positions with basic salaries from …..40,000 to 60,000GBP

750GBP for positions with basic salaries from …..60,001 to 80,000GBP

1,000GBP for positions with basic salaries from … 80,001 to 100,000GBP

1,500 for positions with basic salaries above 100,000GBP

Talk to the hand (this is soooo cool)

Came across this on Wired News: papernapkin.net an email rejection service for those sticky moments. The service sends out a standard rejection to those you spurn. What’s even funnier is the blog that they catalogue the best emails received.

Text of their standard response

Subject: Nice to hear from you

Ha ha, just kidding. Actually, this is a rejection letter. The person who gave you this email address does not want to have anything to do with you.

 

This is probably bad news, and many people cope with bad news in phases: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Let us help you through these:

“It must be a mistake”: Nope. You got an address in the form anyname@papernapkin.net or anyname@paamail.com, right? Well, all we here at papernapkin.net do is send rejection notices. If you got this email address, it wasn’t an accident. No, you’ve definitely been rejected.

 

“Why is this happening to me?”: Well, there are two main points. First, the person you wrote to obviously had this email address ready to give you, so they probably get hit on a lot. Second, for whatever reason, that person would rather let you get this rejection letter than reject you in person. So who should you be mad at: all the other creeps who have hit on this person before you, ruining your chances; or you yourself for being too intense or scary to be let down gently? Either way, you really shouldn’t be “angry” at anyone – what good does that do?

 

“I promise I’ll do better next time”: Fine, great, but just not with this same person, okay? The message being sent here is pretty clear. Besides, it may not even be your “fault” – as we pointed out above, this person was hit on enough to memorize anyname@papernapkin.net long before you came along. Maybe you’re just out of your league here. Maybe this person’s has built up walls around themselves that are just too thick to breach. Either way, don’t try again. If you do, you’re just going seem like a stalker… or worse! Go ahead an clean up your act if you think you should – just be sure to find a different audience to try it out on.

 

“I don’t care anymore”: Aw, we can’t leave it like that! Buck up, little nipper! It isn’t all bad! At least you were rejected in the privacy of your own email account; you had no chance to do or say anything that you would later regret; and you’ve saved the time and effort of pursuing a no-chance relationship.

 

Besides, you didn’t just get rejected – you’ve learned about a great new tool: papernapkin.net. After all, this is nothing personal to us. We have no beef with you, and we’d be just as pleased to serve your rejection needs as we are to serve anybody else. So if you ever need to reject somebody, be sure to tell them to write to you at anyname@papernapkin.net.

 

How’s that? All better now? Good. And good luck to you, buddy. Maybe next time you will get a real email address!

Sincerely,-PN: http://papernapkin.net/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Video Howlers


First up old black and white TV spot for Winston’s cigarettes which must have sponsored the Flintstones cartoon on US television. Now repeat after me children “Winstons taste good, like a cigarette should” (beats the pants off Barney the Dinosaur).

The second one: well lets just say that no introduction can do this film clip from the marketing people at Rockwell Automation justice. Unbelievable.

Windoze Meeja Playa req’d

Big shout out to Ebaums World.