"YOUR PHOTOGRAPHS ARE AS DAZZLING AS YOUR SUBJECTS"

Saturday, March 31, 2012

JAMES A. BAKER III ON NEGOTIATING


"If You Are
Not
Ready to Walk,
You're Not Going to
Get Anywhere"


JAMES A. BAKER III
in the Reagan-Bush Era

On March 29, 2012, former Secretary of State (and Treasury, and White House Chief of Staff, and much more -- see here and here and here), was formally honored at Harvard with the 2012 Great Negotiator Award. One of the maxims he laid down was reported to be: "You're never going to be a good negotiator unless you are willing to walk away from a negotiation when it isn't going to succeed." For "If you're not ready to walk, you're not going to get anywhere."

For more details, the Harvard Crimson account is here. The press release on the award is here.

Friday, March 30, 2012

IT'S FRIDAY: AT EASE. IN BOSTON. IN THE SEVENTIES.


IT'S FRIDAY


"Step Right In
Sit Right Down"

AT HOME.
IN BOSTON.
IN THE SEVENTIES.

One of a Series

Thursday, March 29, 2012

BOSTON CAR PARK: THE SEVENTIES Series Continued


CAR PARK
IN TOWN


BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS

ONE OF A SERIES
ON
"THE SEVENTIES"

for more, see "THE SEVENTIES" label below

Monday, March 26, 2012

WHEN WILL THEY EVER LEARN? Obama to Medvedev to "Vladimir," Twelve Years to the Day Putin was First Elected President

"I understand.
I will transmit
this information
to Vladimir."



VLADIMIR PUTIN 
Moscow, March 26, 2000 
the day he was first elected President of Russia 

On March 26, 2012, in Seoul, Korea, for a nuclear security summit, U.S. President Barack Obama leaned over to Russia President Dmitry Medvedev to ask for patience on the contentious missile defense issue. Obama pointed out that "This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility." Medvedev, who has only forty-two more days left as president, replied, in English, "I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir." 

Whether Vladimir Putin was listening to a direct transmission or not, both American and Russian correspondents were listening to it on a live microphone. (You can listen to it here.) 

Republicans immediately pounced on Obama's gaffe (e.g., here). 

But this is hardly a first. There is George W. Bush's July 2006 "Yo, Blair," exchange with the British Prime Minister Tony Blair at the G-8 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia (transcript here). And, still inexplicably, there was Ronald Reagan's declaration that the bombs would fly to that outlaw nation, Russia (still the Soviet Union then, in August 1984), in five minutes -- this by the old radio announcer warming up for his Saturday radio address (more here). 

And as to business of explaining to the leader from Moscow that the American politics may require patience and/or understanding, there is the lesson from Bush the father: 

"During their meeting in Washington in the back of Gorbachev's Zil limousine in December 1987, the American vice-president had told him not to mind the cannons of rhetoric that he, George Bush, would be obliged to fire in his upcoming presidential campaign." (RUSSIA REDUX, Chapter Three

Sunday, March 25, 2012

JUNG CHANG TURNS SIXTY


JUNG CHANG
b. March 25, 1952


JUNG CHANG

The author of WILD SWANS (and co-author of MAO: The Unknown Story) has an additional reason to celebrate as WILD SWANS the play, having had its world premiere in Cambridge, Massachusetts, recently, is soon to open in London, where Dr. Chang has made her home for some years.

The Guardian had this comment on the initial impact of the book on which the play is based:

"There was a moment in the early 1990s when everybody everywhere seemed to be reading Wild Swans. The biggest grossing non-fiction paperback in publishing history, it sold more than 10m copies worldwide and was translated into 30 languages. ... Published two years after the 1989 demonstrations in Tiananmen Square, Jung Chang's family memoir, following the lives of three generations of women through China's terrible 20th century, arrived at just the right time to satisfy a readership hungry for information about this unknown country."

For more about the play, including leads to more sources, see here and here and here and here.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

DEREK BOK, PRESIDENT OF HARVARD THE FIRST TIME AT FORTY-ONE, IS NOW EIGHTY-TWO

DEREK CURTIS BOK
b. March 22, 1930


DEREK BOK
Dean, Harvard Law School, 1968-1971
President of Harvard University,
1971-1991 & 2006-2007

More details here; Derek Bok now;
a group photograph with his predecessors
James B. Conant and Nathan Pusey, here;
a photograph of Sisela Bok, Grace Conant, and Anne Pusey here

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Monday, March 19, 2012

FORBIDDEN CITY ART THIEF SENTENCED TO THIRTEEN YEARS


SHANDONG FARMER
SHI BAIKUI
SAW A TARGET OF
OPPORTUNITY
Beijing, May 2011
Sentence Reported Today


ENTERING INTO THE FORBIDDEN CITY
BEIJING 1981

For the details of the story of the twenty-seven-year-old Shi Baikui's "spur-of-the-moment" robbery of nine art objects from the Palace Museum, an account which plays up the cock-eyed sounding elements of the theft (and the "lenient" thirteen years plus a fine sentence), see here.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

JOHN UPDIKE b. March 18, 1932


JOHN HOYER UPDIKE
March 18, 1932-January 27, 2009


JOHN UPDIKE AT HOME
50 Labor-in-Vain Road
Ipswich, Massachusetts
January 11, 1972

Double Pulitzer-Prize-winning novelist (and short-story writer and poet and critic) John Updike would have been eighty today. In honor of the occasion, Random House is releasing new paperback editions of forty-six of his books, and e-book editions as well.

More Updike here and here and here and here and here and here and here.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

IN LOVE PARK


IN LOVE PARK


EL PARQUE DEL AMOR
LIMA, PERU

"The Kiss" in Love Park, here


Friday, March 16, 2012

MIKE MANSFIELD b. March 16, 1903


MICHAEL JOSEPH MANSFIELD
March 16, 1903-October 5, 2001


SENATE MAJORITY LEADER
MIKE MANSFIELD (D-Montana) (l)
&
SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
CARL ALBERT (D-Oklahoma) (r)
WAITING TO SPEAK

Senator Mansfield was first a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1943-1953; then a Senator from 1953-1977 (including Majority Leader from 1961-1977); and the U.S. Ambassador to Japan from 1977-1988 (more details here and here).

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

NAINA YELTSIN IS EIGHTY

NAINA YELTSIN
b. March 14, 1932


NAINA YELTSIN AT
THE 1997 HELSINKI SUMMIT

For more on Russian President Boris Yeltsin's widow, see here

Sunday, March 11, 2012

YOU GORGEOUS TOMATO, YOU! NO, IT IS NOT POLITICALLY INCORRECT


YOU GORGEOUS
TOMATO,
YOU


TOMATO ON ROSEWOOD

In the News of the Day


Just like you and me, it seems, plants have rhythms: "Plants, animals and even bacteria go through a daily 24-hour routine, known as a circadian rhythm, which allow them to make tiny adjustments as daylight changes, and adapt to changing seasons." Read more about it here.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

ELECTION 2012: SOCIAL ISSUES ARE COMING TO THE FORE AGAIN?


WE HAVE NOT HAD ENOUGH WARS?
(WE ARE ONLY SLIP-SLIDING
TOWARDS ONE WITH IRAN?)
&
THE ECONOMY IS GETTING "BETTER"?

SO BRING ON THE SOCIAL ISSUES AGAIN?
(ONLY SOME?
ONLY YOUR FAVORITES?)


("Rice: NOBODY LIVED IN AN INTEGRATED FASHION,
SINCE YOU COULDN'T GO TO A RESTAURANT...."
&
ANDY WARHOL Being WARHOL
(or playing WARHOL) on PBS

DUELING TVs #9

Friday, March 9, 2012

Thursday, March 8, 2012

IN HONOR OF INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY

MET IN THE USSR
1984


VOLGOGRAD ENGINEER

In Honor of
International Women's Day

from
"The Girl in Mechanical Drawing Class"

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

THEY'RE STANDING BY THEIR MAN -- SO HE SAYS: DONALD TSANG, HONG KONG, AND BEIJING

BEIJING'S MAN
IN
HONG KONG --
FOR NOW


Chinese President HU JINTAO (waving) &
Hong Kong Chief Executive
DONALD TSANG YAM-KUEN (bow tie)
November 2008

Hong Kong, like Beijing, is due to have a leadership change at the top later this year. First, one of the Beijing-favored candidates for the top post was accused of corruption (see here), and now the outgoing Chief Executive, Donald Tsang Yam-Kuen, has been tarred with the same brush of scandal. Some of the details of the alleged violations of propriety can be found here.

In Beijing for the annual session of the National People's Congress, Tsang announced (here) that he had the Chinese leadership's backing for filling out the rest of his term. That term has only a few more months to go. But tongues are wagging, and computer keyboards are clicking, with speculation that returning to China, even as a Special Autonomous Region (SAR), has had bad effects on Hong Kong. One article warns (here) that "the danger signs of corruption" are "blinking in Hong Kong."

More on Sir Donald Tsang here and here.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

ALAN GREENSPAN IS EIGHTY-SIX

ALAN GREENSPAN
b. March 6, 1926


ALAN GREENSPAN
published in the November 26, 1984, issue of
BUSINESS WEEK (p. 174)

Here is "Chairman Greenspan," the long-time (1987-2006) and for a long time venerated head of the Federal Reserve, testifying before Congress before his elevation, in his private capacity as President of Townsend-Greenspan & Co.

Bruce Bartlett has a fairly stinging New York Times piece for Greenspan's birthday today, attributing a "woe-is-me" rich man's attitude to this "very successful private economist" -- as part of a much wider discussion of "class warfare" in the U.S.

More Greenspan here and here.

Monday, March 5, 2012

RICHARD BELL b. March 5, 1946


RICHARD BELL
March 5, 1946-June 15, 2007


RICHARD BELL PLAYING THE PIANO
AT JANIS JOPLIN'S LAST CONCERT
Harvard Stadium, Boston, Massachusetts
August 12, 1970

Sunday, March 4, 2012

LYUDMILA PUTIN RE-EMERGES; VLADIMIR PUTIN IS TO BE PRESIDENT AGAIN


LYUDMILA PUTIN
THEN

LYUDMILA PUTINA
March 26, 2000
at her polling place in Moscow

Here she stands by her man, Vladimir Putin (or rather, walks by him) on that day in 2000 of Putin's first election as president; here she stands with him at the heights at the 2006 G-8 summit in St. Petersburg.

The last reported sighting of the Putins together was in 2010 (see here).

Today Putin's official website leads its coverage of the election by announcing that "Vladimir Putin and his wife Lyudmila vote at in [sic] the Russian presidential elections." (The Russian version is here.) Official photographs of the event, showing the Putins together (standing, and sitting while he marks his ballot) can be found here.

There is a video of the president-to-be-again casting his ballot here (along the way he drops one of the two ballot papers; retrieves it himself). Later he celebrates his victory, and cries (tears up?).

Just for comparison (ballot boxes and all), here is Boris Yeltsin voting in his first Russian presidential election (June 12, 1991).