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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"The 9/11 terrorist attacks triggered a shift in international geopolitics by leading the United States to concentrate the full weight of its national resources on al Qaeda and its supporters. Ironically, by the time the U.S. government was able to shift its massive bureaucracy to meet the new challenge, creating huge new organizations like the Department of Homeland Security, the efforts of the existing U.S. counterterrorism apparatus had already badly crippled the core al Qaeda group. Though some of these new organizations played important roles in helping the United States cope with the fallout of its decision to invade Iraq after Afghanistan, Washington spent billions of dollars to create organizations and fund programs that in hindsight were arguably not really necessary because the threats they were designed to counter, such as al Qaeda's nuclear briefcase bombs, did not actually exist. As George Friedman noted in the Geopolitical Weekly, the sole global superpower was badly off-balance, which caused an imbalance in the entire global system. With the continued diminution of the jihadist threat, underscored by the May 2011 death of Osama bin Laden and the fall in Libya of the Gadhafi regime (which had long employed terrorism), once again we appear on the brink of another cyclical change in the terrorism paradigm. These events could again lead some to pronounce the death of terrorism. Several developments last week served to demonstrate that while the perpetrators and tactics of terrorism (what Stratfor calls the 'who' and the  'how') may change in response to larger geopolitical cycles, such shifts will not signal the end terrorism." (STRATFOR)


" I’d been invited to make an appearance on Gossip Girl for an episode that will air April 23rd. I was cast as DPC of New York Social Diary. I’m not a Gossip Girl aficionado because, among other reasons I rarely get a chance to turn on the TV. Secondly I’m sure not in their demographic. However, I know a lot of people – especially women, of all ages (and I’m not kidding), who wouldn’t miss it. I’ve heard this expressed unabashedly so many times by girls from 14 to 64.  One friend of mine, whom you know, or have read here on these pages, confided to me that it was her favorite show. She “can’t help it.” Makes me laugh just to recall her confession.So when they asked, how could I resist? Besides, of all my experiences in New York, I’d never gone over to Queens at the break of dawn to be in a TV show filmed at the Silvercup Bakery. It’s actually called Silvercup Studios now. But originally, for many years, it was the Silvercup Bakery with a big sign (still has a big sign) that you can see from all over Manhattan’s East Side." (NYSocialDiary)

"What a long, strange trip it's been -- and it is only February. Real votes make clear what polls cannot fully pick up. The Republican election season has been shaped by two forces, other than the obvious one to oust President Obama. First, the strongest potential candidates did not enter the fray, and the remaining contenders do not satisfy most GOP voters. At every polling opportunity, Republicans have expressed their desire for a wider choice. Put another way, Republicans would love to combine the economic acumen of Mitt Romney, the social conservatism of Rick Santorum, the debating skills of Newt Gingrich and the enthusiasm of young voters for Ron Paul into one candidate. That feat must await several generations of advances in genetic engineering.The second force that has defined the GOP contest cannot be denied. A sizable section of the party base, arguably a majority, does not connect with or trust the establishment pick for the nomination, Mitt Romney. The old 'dog food' anecdote is overused, but never has it applied more precisely. Romney's can of dog food has the handsomest label, the best placement in the store by the grocers, the most astute TV advertising, but the only problem is the dogs turn up their noses at the can's contents. Perhaps canines are still in a snit about Romney's positioning of Seamus in a cage on top of the family car back in 1983." (SabatosCrystalBall)


"There’s speculation that Eric Schmidt is selling $1.5 billion of his Google shares to help settle an upcoming divorce with wife Wendy. The Google chairman has been dating top Council on Foreign Relations exec Lisa Shields for a year and a half. Filings last week showed Schmidt, 56, intends to sell 2.4 million shares over a year. Google said he was trying to raise money and diversify his investments after 10 years as Google’s chief executive. But a source said, 'There are many reasons why he’s selling shares, mostly business reasons, but he’s also working towards a transition and an amicable separation and settlement with his wife. They are both very private, so they’re quietly dividing up assets without drawing attention. There’s been no paperwork filed.' The source said Schmidt spends a lot of time in New York with Shields, for whom he just bought a Dutch Warmblood show-jumping horse. A Google rep said, “The sale is part of a standard selling procedure to allow for diversification.'" (PageSix)


"Terry Richardson's first solo exhibition in L.A., TERRYWOOD, opens this Friday at the OHWOW Gallery. Richardson's photographs display his distinctive perspective on life in Hollywood -- from the flashy to the trashy and the glam to the grimy -- and, at least judging by the sneak peek images below, there's not a 'thumbs up' in sight." (Papermag)

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