"YOUR PHOTOGRAPHS ARE AS DAZZLING AS YOUR SUBJECTS"

Thursday, September 30, 2010

CHINA WARES: CHINA THEN & NOW

CHINA WARES


ON OFFER IN THE YAN'AN
FREE MARKET, 1981

With all the hype about China Rising, a look back at what the free market meant in the early days of reform, in one old revolutionary base, Yan'an, in 1981.

One in a series

CHINA THEN & NOW

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

MEDVEDEV IS GOING TO THE KURILS; JAPAN IS UNHAPPY

IN A FOG 


TWO MEN IN A BOAT IN THE FOG 
ON THE SEA OF OKHOTSK, OFF THE 
ISLAND OF SAKHALIN, RUSSIA 

It has been announced that Russian president Dmitry Medvedev will be visiting the Kuril Islands, part of Sakhalin oblast' in the Russian Far East.   Tokyo is said to find the visit provocative -- a Russian president visiting Japan's "Northern Territories." 

World War II is not ended for Russia and Japan because of these disputed islands, or islets. 

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

LUZHKOV OUT

LUZHKOV
OUT


FORMER MOSCOW MAYOR
YURY LUZHKOV

Continued HERE

Monday, September 27, 2010

JIMMY CARTER'S WHITE HOUSE DIARY

WHITE HOUSE DIARY
OF THE SELF-PROCLAIMED
BEST EX-PRESIDENT


JIMMY CARTER
AS PRESIDENT

Thirty years later, the former president has published what the New York Times calls "the edited and annotated journals of his turbulent years in office."

A page of the official Carter White House diary (see 1:30 p.m. entry) here. Interesting the number of telephone calls that were "not completed." The president did manage to connect with Speaker Tip O'Neill that day, if not on his first try.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

FIRST OF THE KENNEDY-NIXON DEBATES, A HALF-CENTURY AGO

FIRST TELEVISED 
U.S. PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE 
SEPTEMBER 26, 1960 


PHOTOGRAPHED IN FORT KNOX, 
KENTUCKY, FROM TV TRANSMISSION 

Richard M. Nixon (l) and John F. Kennedy (r) were to have four broadcast debates altogether in that autumn of 1960. Both men were subsequently elected president: Senator Kennedy in 1960, and Vice-President Nixon in 1968. President Kennedy was assassinated; President Nixon driven to resign by the Watergate scandal. 

Some reflections on the debates by speechwriter Theodore Sorensen, who was there with Kennedy, can be found here; a contemporary newspaper account here; and a more general  discussion here. 

Saturday, September 25, 2010

JOHN UPDIKE STRIKES OUT; CHANGES SPORTSWRITING

CAME TO 
WRITE ABOUT 
BASEBALL 


JOHN UPDIKE AT FENWAY PARK 
WITH THE WORLD SERIES TROPHY 

Charles McGrath has an article in the New York Times on John Updike's tribute to Ted Williams, "Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu," which McGrath calls "probably the most celebrated baseball essay ever."   He adds, "It’s not too much to say that 'Hub Fans' changed sportswriting."  (He cites Roger Angell as someone who learned from Updike.)  

And how did Updike come to be present for Ted Williams's last home run?  He was playing a rather different game involving his wife, Mary, and an unknown woman possibly to be named later? 

More Updike here 

Friday, September 24, 2010

MOSCOW: THE CALM BEFORE THE ... FIRING?

MOSCOW 
THE CALM BEFORE... 


THE KREMLIN 

THE APPROACH TO 
THE PALACE OF CONGRESSES 
FROM CATHEDRAL SQUARE 

In Moscow there seems to be a interlude of waiting before the other shoe drops, given the Kremlin's campaign against long-time mayor Yury Luzhkov -- or, playing off his nickname, to see if The Cap is doffed. 

Stay tuned. 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

HARVEST MOON: MID-TERM ELECTIONS IN FORTY DAYS

HARVEST MOON 

FIRST FULL MOON 
OF THE AUTUMN 

FORTY DAYS TILL MID-TERM ELECTIONS U.S.A. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

WEN JIABAO TURNS A POSITIVE FACE TOWARDS THE U.S.; THREATENS ACTION AGAINST JAPAN


CHINESE PREMIER 
MAKES UP TO THE U.S., 
WARNS JAPAN OF 
"FURTHER ACTIONS" 

WEN JIABAO 

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, making a trip to New York and the U.N., had strikingly divergent messages for Washington and Tokyo.  The Wall Street Journal reported that he told a group of U.S. business executives that U.S.-PRC differences were "very easy to resolve."  And besides, according to Wen, China is "not yet a strong creative or innovative country." 

For Japan, there was a threat of "further actions" if the Chinese trawler captain held by Tokyo were not released, and certainly no meeting between the Japanese and Chinese prime ministers while they are in New York.  One of the most interesting points raised in the AFP account is the report that Premier Wen's comments were "played throughout Wednesday [September 22] on Chinese state television," including the remark that "the Japanese side shall bear all the consequences that arise." 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

SUMMERS SIGNS OFF: OBAMA LOSES/SHEDS ANOTHER ECONOMIC ADVISER

PRESIDENT OBAMA'S 
DIRECTOR OF THE 
NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL 

LAWRENCE H. SUMMERS 
IS TO LEAVE 
TO RETURN TO HARVARD AND -- ? 

Some of the commentary: "Summers is the prism through which the president sees economic policy. It is he who presents the regular morning economic briefings, synthesising and summing up the reports, statistics and views of other economic experts. He even blocked the revered former chairman of the Federal Reserve, Paul Volcker from having direct access to the president. Everything has to be filtered, and he is the filter." (BBC)

"Summers, known for his abrasive style, has not been the best communicator of the administration's economic policies. His departure would allow Obama to bring in a new public face for his economic agenda." (Reuters

"So far we know that Mr. Summers will leave his post as the director of the National Economic Council to resume teaching at Harvard. But he was also known for spending some time on Wall Street, specifically the hedge fund D. E. Shaw, from which he collected a $5 million paycheck in 2008. 

"Mr. Summers also picked up $2.7 million in fees for speaking to Wall Street firms." (New York Times

More Summers 

Monday, September 20, 2010

RUN, SALMON RUN; GROW, SALMON, GROW

PRIZE SALMON "CATCH"?
"THE FIRST GE ANIMAL 
APPROVED FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION"?

PACIFIC SALMON CATCH, 
SEA OF OKHOTSK,
OFF THE ISLAND OF SAKHALIN
(RUSSIA), USSR, 1990

According to the Vancouver Sun, there may yet be a spanner thrown into the works -- by the Canadian government.  Awaiting final approval from the U.S. FDA [Food and Drug Administration] is the "AquAdvantage salmon, genetically engineered to grow twice as fast with a gene from an eel-like fish, called an ocean pout [sic], and a growth hormone from a chinook salmon." 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

ROGER ANGELL TURNS NINETY

ROGER ANGELL 
b. September 19, 1920 


ROGER ANGELL AT FENWAY PARK 
NEW YORKER EDITOR & WRITER 
"considered one of the best baseball writers of all time" 

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Friday, September 17, 2010

Thursday, September 16, 2010

RICHARD N. PERLE, b. September 16, 1941


RICHARD N. PERLE 
b. September 16, 1941 


RONALD REAGAN'S PENTAGON 

The eminence grise of the neoconservatives.  Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute.  Chair of George W. Bush's Pentagon's Defense Policy Board.  Ronald Reagan's Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy.  Aide to Senator Henry ("Scoop") Jackson (D-WA) before that.  Author of HARD LINE, a novel.  A partisan of Ahmad Chalabi, and a vociferous advocate of war with Iraq.   Combative, and unapologetically so. 


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

FELIPE CALDERON, "VIVA MEXICO," & THE BICENTENNIAL

TWO HUNDRED YEARS OF 
MEXICAN INDEPENDENCE 


MEXICAN PRESIDENT 
FELIPE CALDERON 

A highlight of two days of celebration, September 15-16, 2010, is to be the Mexican president's cry of "Viva Mexico"; some interesting stories and commentary are to be found here and here and here.  

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

DMITRY MEDVEDEV TURNS 45

DMITRY MEDVEDEV 
b. September 14, 1965 


THE THIRD PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA 

-- here seen dressed up for a summit; spending today with his family in Sochi, Russia -- 

Monday, September 13, 2010

Sunday, September 12, 2010

THE BIGGEST BOW: RED SQUARE, 1984


THE BIGGEST BOW 


Photograph by Gwendolyn Stewart ©2011; 
All Rights Reserved 
 
RED SQUARE, MOSCOW, 1984 

Saturday, September 11, 2010

RUDD RE-ENTERS: UP & DOWN IN AUSTRALIA

UP & DOWN 
IN 
AUSTRALIA 


KEVIN RUDD 

Surprise!  (Or not -- there was that pre-election promise Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who at the very least benefited from Rudd's ouster as her predecessor.)  Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is ushered back into the government of Australia as foreign minister

Friday, September 10, 2010

PUTIN ON CHINA & RUSSIA

PUTIN
ON
CHINA & RUSSIA


VLADIMIR PUTIN MEETS HU JINTAO
SHORTLY AFTER HU IS CHOSEN TO BE
GENERAL SECRETARY OF THE CHINESE COMMUNIST PARTY

"There is no threat on the side of China. We have been neighbours for hundreds of years. We know how to respect each other," Putin asserted, adding that "China does not have to populate the Far East to get what it needs - natural resources. We deliver oil and gas. There are huge coal reserves near the Chinese border. China does not want to aggravate the situation with us."

Thursday, September 9, 2010

MAO ZEDONG DIES, September 9, 1976

MAO ZEDONG 
DIES 
September 9, 1976 


... but was not forgotten -- here almost five years later, paired with successor-for-a-while Hua Guofeng, in posters on a workshop wall, 1981. 

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

STEPHEN KING'S DARK TOWER: SEVEN NOVELS, THREE MOVIES, TWO TELEVISION SEASONS

THE DARK TOWER 
MULTIPLIES 


STEPHEN KING 

NBC Universal has big plans for Stephen King's epic DARK TOWER series, which the Financial Times says "has sold more than 30m copies in 40 countries and is considered Mr King’s answer to the Lord of the Rings trilogy by JRR Tolkien and the Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis." 

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

PUTIN DITHERS. OR PRESERVES HIS OPTIONS. OR HIS POWER, OR HIS APPEARANCE OF POWER.

PUTIN MAY RUN 
FOR PRESIDENT 
AGAIN. 
OR MAYBE NOT. 


VLADIMIR PUTIN 

In Sochi, the Russian prime minister and ex-president wraps himself in the mantle of four-time-elected U.S. president Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and in the Russian constitution, to justify his willingness to consider running again in 2012.  Meanwhile, the  BBC reports, he will "share power with current President Dmitry Medvedev until the election, when they would decide 'what would be best for Russia."