September 13, 2003

Not All Travel Sucks V 2.0

OK … I’ll be straight here: not all travel sucks. True, I’ve been away from the woman I love since Tuesday morning. True, I’ve been in three cities since then. True, I’ll spend something like 22 days (out of 30) on the road this month. True, I’ve been in a jacket and tie and working since 8:00 this morning and will continue working through 10:00 tonight. True, my weekend will consist of Sunday afternoon.

BUT, sometimes with this job you get to fly in on a jet like this, stay in a hotel like this, and enjoy a break from the grind by eating room service in your two-room ocean-facing suite, the balcony sliding doors open, the evening Florida breeze wafting across your sitting area, and the sounds of jazz floating in from the terraces below.

So no: not all travel sucks.

(But missing Wife does.)

Posted by Avocare at 08:14 PM | TrackBack

Wolfowitz Redux

With Paul Wolfowitz on the Hill last week doing the Senate Armed Services Two-Step, I re-read this Paul Wolfowitz primer I posted on 9 March 2003. It’s possibly more relevant now than it was then; I’ve posted the primer in its entirety in the extended entry.

Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz has been a very influential advisor of Republican foreign policy since the Gulf War, and in his current role, is a central advisor to the President and in many ways an author of the administration's stance on Iraq. He is also unknown to most Americans, working in the shadows of the more visible Rumsfeld and Powell. Given his influence on the administration and distinct philosophy regarding foreign policy, In the public interest I want to offer a brief Wolfowitz web profile:

  • Here is the transcript of a foreign policy address Wolfowitz made at the Council for Foreign Relations in New York on 23 January 2003. The content of the address is interesting as a summary of the Bush position, but reveals nothing new. The Q&A that follows, however, is very interesting, especially in some of the questions Wolfowitz fields from the New York press. Also interesting is this statement about how the Bush approach to Iraq influences its approach to North Korea:
We have not one, but 17, U.N. Security Council resolutions to deal with the problem of Iraq. We're at a point of real decision, and if we lose that point, the credibility not only of the United States but of the entire world body is going to go down the tubes. We haven't yet even been able to bring the North Korean issue to the Security Council, much less have a resolution. When we do — and I think we will, and I think we should, and I think we're going to — our credibility and the credibility of the Security Council will be greatly increased if we have managed — peacefully or, if necessary, by force — to enforce the will of the U.N. expressed in 1441.

  • Here is the transcript of an interview Wolfowitz gave PBS' NewsHour on 14 September 2003, just three days after the WTC and Pentagon attacks. It reflects how early his perspective was shaping the Bush counter-terrorism policy, as does this statement:
The policies of the last 20 years, whether you think they were carried out effectively or ineffectively, obviously don't work. This is not going to be a problem solved by locking somebody up and putting them in jail. It's not going to be solved by some limited military action. It's going to take, as the President has said and Secretary Rumsfeld has said, a broad and sustained campaign against the terrorist networks and the states that support those networks. (Again, he made this statement only three days after the attacks.)
  • Frontline has this interview with Wolfowitz regarding the administration's stance on missile defense … it also reflects much about his overall perspective toward U.S. foreign policy.
  • And finally, in January 2002 Wolfowitz offered this interview to the New York Times, in which he offers thoughts on pursuing terrorism across a much broader range of countries and regimes than just Iraq and North Korea.

If you are serious about understanding Bush foreign policy, you have to better understand Wolfowitz. And if you want to better understand Wolfowitz, each of these links is worth the read.

Posted by Avocare at 01:37 PM | TrackBack

She Wields The Great Sword Of Linkage

One of the difficulties of publishing a weblog when you constantly travel is finding the time to post, or on some days, even check your site (or sites). Yesterday was just such a day, so imagine my surprise when I call Michele today and she asks how much traffic she sent my way.


Apparently, Michele saw fit to write this:

First, let me thank James. For most of the day yesterday, he had no column on The Bleat and just a link to the Voices project. More than a thousand readers came from that link. More than a thousand. Oh, to have that kind of power. Well, not really power, but people taking your word for something. See this link here? Go there. And then thousands of people go, because you said to and they all trust your judgment. If I had that power of suggestion I would wield it like a Sword of Linkage and soon everyone would be enjoying Acid Keg or reading the blogging perfection of Avocare.

”Blogging perfection?” High praise indeed, coming from the woman who brings the world A Small Victory and TROOPTrax and Voices and Four Color Hell and (with yours truly) Command Post.

So thanks, MC … yes, you sent a whole host of new readers this way.

To those new readers, here’s the basic premise: I’m a professional who travels with great frequency, I enjoy passing along items of interest to others, I like the weblog medium, and this site is the intersection of all three. Each post notes the location from which it was published, and for locations that I visit frequently or that might be particularly interesting, I link to a webcam of that location as well (click the camera icons to see the cams). I try to maintain semi-anonymity throughout, for no reason other than a hope to maintain a reasonable boundary of privacy. Michele’s kind words notwithstanding, it’s not perfection, but I hope you enjoy the site.

That said, I write today from Hollywood, Florida, which for all intents and purposes is Fort Lauderdale, which has become for all intents and purposes North Miami. I’m here for business, and while I won’t get to enjoy the beach, I did enjoy lunch today by the ocean (and shared the sounds of the waves with Wife and Michele via cell phone).

People here have already begun the emotional preparation for Isabel, and today for the first time you can feel her influence as the sea is distinctly up. Should she make landfall near here, my lunch spot will certainly be underwater. Today, though, is beautiful (and yes, this actually is the view from my hotel) …

Posted by Avocare at 01:08 PM | TrackBack