Friday, June 30, 2006

Day of reckoning dawns

Day of reckoning dawns that was the banner headline in the Kuwait Times. Kuwaiti women set to make history in decisive polls. This is the first time Kuwaiti women cast their ballots in a legislative lection. 28 female candidates are running from 13 constituencies, 10 of them in five tribal districts. The total number of voters is 340,000 with women voters numbering 195,000, or 57. Female voters out number their male counterparts in 21 of the 25 constituencies.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


The Kuwait National Assembly elections are scheduled for this coming Thursday. For the first time in their history women can vote and can run for office. The newspapers have been full of stories about the upcoming elections and the candidates; sunni, shi'ites and now women. A victory for women in the Arab world and a victory for democracy in the world.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Saturday, June 24, 2006

The Flow of People

The Flow of People is one of the topics discussed in the book I am currently reading, The Pentagon’s New Map.  One aspect in particular I have observed is the extremely distributed economy of the Philippines.  I have noticed many workers from the Philippines here in Kuwait and in Afghanistan.  During my time in the Navy I made many port calls to the Philippines, which is a very beautiful country with many people who speak English a truly international language.  These workers, under a official program which is supported by the Philippine government, work in construction, hotel management and nursing, just to name a few.  They send home lots of money and return to a much better life due to their efforts in countries such as Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq.  In fact the majority of the population in Kuwait are expats who work hard every day.  

The NetCentric Life

The Net-Centric Life is a good life.  I don’t mean that the focus of your life is the network but that the network is a reflection of what you hold to be most important in your life.  The net can make your life easier and can help you to focus.  Consider when you can access all of your music, videos, photos, data files and applications from anywhere in the world that you can connect to the Internet.  I want to be able to listen to a music playlist that I created while looking at one of my photo albums of the people I love.  I have my music, in fact almost all of my music, on the iPod I carry with me. But I have purchased several CD’s since arriving in Kuwait and would like to be able to add these to my music collection which is on a file server in my closet at home so I can add them to some of my playlists, like the one I have for Jazz.  Even though I have my music on my iPod I don’t have all the functionality of iTunes that is on my laptop again at home in my library.  I want to have access via the internet to iTunes so I can add the new CDs I purchased here to my home master music library and I want to be able to update and build new playlists.  

Friday, June 23, 2006

Breakfast in Kuwait

Breakfast in Kuwait is a bit different for me.  From time to time I go down to have breakfast, really to get coffee.  Anyway I am still getting use to chicken sausage and beef bacon.  Just not the same as I am use to.  But that is one of the joys of traveling right? Trying new foods, seeing new places, meeting new people.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Blogger for Word

This post is just a test of Blogger for Word.  Where I am creating a blog entry in Microsoft Word and then post to my blogsite: from within Word.  How cool is that!


Their are so many ideas in the world and so many are accessible via the Internet. I guess that is why there are so many blogs going on. My hope is that blogs provide a vehicle for me to exchange ideas with others on many other topics. One thing that travel affords is time alone to think, time on planes, in cars, in hotel rooms and at restaurants eating alone, this time I use to think. Time to think about astronomy, cosmology, computer science, system engineering, and IT architecture, to name a few. I am reading a good book titled "The Pentagons New Map" which I find interest, especially the part about planning and acting for a future worth having. The Gap between the functioning core and the lesser included states (one of which I am now in) is the result, according to the author, of connectedness and disconnectedness to the rest of the world and a countries participation level in the global economy - globalization. Several blog spots are on this site about globalization, another topic I find very interesting. So for now I will continue to exchange ideas with my blog. Please comment, I value your thoughts.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


It is a wonderful thing that we can stay connected in todays world. From a personal communcations point of view I have the phone, email and this blog space to keep connected to the ones I love and care about. It is amazing that here I sit in Kuwait City and have the ability to communicate with a whole community of friends and family via this blog site. In addition sending and recieving email from family and friends helps me to get through the day. Next I want to add IM, web cam and VoIP to be able to communicate with the family.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Tuesday Morning

So it is Tuesday morning, a fairly typtical day for me here in Kuwait. My wake up comes at 0500 and I lay in bed for a while watching the morning news shows; CNN, Fox, BBC; then I get up and shower, shave and take my meds, what a joy getting old it. Right now I am sitting in the Long Stayers Lounge having my cup of coffee and writing this on one of the three computers they have for us long stayers, have been in this hotel now for almost a month and in country for two months, well with a short trip to Afghanistan. So next I'll go down for breakfeast and read the news paper and then wait in the lobby for Jim for our drive into the base. More later....

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Globalization (Wikipedia)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The International Monetary Fund defines Globalization (or globalisation) as “the growing economic interdependence of countries worldwide through increasing volume and variety of cross-border transactions in goods and services, free international capital flows, and more rapid and widespread diffusion of technology”. Meanwhile, The International Forum on Globalization defines it as “the present worldwide drive toward a globalized economic system dominated by supranational corporate trade and banking institutions that are not accountable to democratic processes or national governments.” [1] While notable critical theorists, such as Immanuel Wallerstein, emphasize that globalization cannot be understood separately from the historical development of the capitalist world-system [2] the different definitions highlight the ensuing debate of the roles and relationships of government, corporations, and the individual in maximizing social welfare within the globalization paradigms. Nonetheless, it is clear that globalization has economic, political, cultural, and technological aspects that may be closely intertwined. Given that these aspects are key to an individual's quality of life, the social benefits and costs brought upon them by globalization generate strong debate.
The economic aspects stressed in globalization are trade, investment and migration. The globalization of trade entails that human beings have greater access to an array of goods and services never seen before in human history. From German cars, to Colombian coffee, from Chinese clothing, to Egyptian cotton, from American music, to Indian software, human beings may be able to purchase a wide range of goods and services. The globalization of investment takes place through Foreign Direct Investment, where multinational companies directly invest assets in a foreign country, or by indirect investment where individuals and institutions purchase and sell financial assets of other countries. Free migration allows individuals to find employment in jurisdictions where there are labor shortages.
Critics of free trade also contend that it may lead to the destruction of a country's native industry, environment and/or a loss of jobs. Critics of international investment contend that by accepting these financial schemes a country loses its economic sovereignty and may be forced to set policies that are contrary to its citizen's interests or desires. Moreover, multinational companies that invest in a country may also acquire too much political and economic power in relation to its citizens. Finally, migration may lead to the exploitation of workers from a migrant country and the displacement of workers from a host country. Critics of globalization also contend that different economic systems that either augment or supplant globalization may maximize social welfare more efficiently and equitably.
The political aspects of globalization are evidenced when governments create international rules and institutions to deal with issues such as trade, human rights, and the environment. Among the new institutions and rules that have come to fruition as a result of globalization are the World Trade Organization, the Euro currency, the North American Free Trade Agreement, to name a few. Whether a government is to consciously open itself to cross-border links, is the central question of this aspect.
Social activist and non-profit organizations such as Amnesty International and Greenpeace are also becoming more global in scope. Some of these organizations take issue with the economic and political aspects of globalization as they fear that economic interests either subvert the nation state in its ability to protect its citizens from economic exploitation, or support governments that violate the human rights of their citizens.
Cultural global ties also grow through globalization as news ideas and fashions through trade, travel and media move around the globe at lightning speed. Global brands such as Coca-Cola, Nike & Sony serve as common reference to consumers all over the World. An individual in China enjoys the same soft drink as an individual in Puerto Rico--at opposite ends of the globe. However, these ties may also cause strains: for example Western Ideas of freedom of expression may clash with Islamic views on Religious tolerance. And if not strains, critics contend this is really an imposition of cultural imperialism in order to preserve economic interests.
The other aspect of globalization is the revolutionary change in technology, particularly in transport and communication, which ostensibly creates a global village. In 1850 it took nearly a year to sail around the World. Now you can fly around the world in a day, send an email anywhere almost instantly, or be part of the 1.5 billion viewers watching the final match of the World Cup. Transportation costs have come down as result of technological advances that make foreign markets more accessible to trade. Tuna caught in the North Atlantic may be served the next day at a Sushi restaurant in Japan. Finally, billions of dollars in assets and currencies are exchanged daily around the globe by electronic means at virtually no cost. Globalization spreads everything.


GWOT - the Global War On Terrorism created the conditions that brought me to Kuwait. How does GWOT fit into globalization? Does it improve conditions for more people to be connected? To participate in economic globalization? Does it result in more people joining together to create a true global culture? Does it reduce or add barriers to cooperation by all the worlds people? I don't know but it is something I am thinking a lot about. Remember that saying from the 70's "act locally, think globally." Why is it that our news media (America's) focus on events in the connected countries and not on the disconnected conuntries? How can we bring all the worlds people together to solve world probems and create a reality of a future worth having, a better world where we can move from place to place and exchange ideas and goods?

Economic Globalization

For some time now I have heard about globalization and more specifically economic globalization. Not sure excatly what that is, but I suspect that my daugher Laura could give me an education in this area. What do you say Laura, will you educate me?
But what I do see here in Kuwait, and in many other places I have been in my life are very familar products being sold; Pepsi, Coke, and cell phones. All the resturants you could ever want including TGIF, McDonalds, KFC, Chilli's, etc are here. You can rent a car from Avis in our hotel and go to the local mall in Kuwait City to see a US movie the week it is released in America. Television commercials try to sell me personal care and household products I have seen all my life. Is the world safer the more integrated our economies are? If exports and imports grow is that good for all? It does seem that the places in the world that are fighting is going on the most are those areas that are not as integrated with the global economy. Is it a good idea that companies are getting more powerful than some companies?

Friday, June 16, 2006

Vertical vs Horizontal Living

Most of the time I live in a horizontal world, driving from place to place or walking from place to place. But I have been living in a hotel in Kuwait for some time now and today when I was heading back from the 8th floor Club Room to my room on the 3rd floor I began to think about what it would be like to live in a vertical world where you lived, worked and played on vertical planes. Whole cities that you used elavators and escalators to move up and down from store to office to home. Would be a better use of space I think. Think I'll head down the the first floor and get some dinner and ponder this some more.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Life goes on

So life does go on here in Kuwait, but I really miss my family and home. We had a big sand strom the last couple of days and it was hot, I mean it feels like you are walking in a convection oven and the sand gets in your mouth, eyes and other places we don't need to write about. People walk around with sun glasses and cloth wrapped around their heads. The local elections are ramping up and the big news is all the women who are running for office.

Monday, June 12, 2006

A Walk Across Afghanistan

Laura sent me a book review of a book about a man that walked across Afghanistan in 2002. The book title is: 'The Places in Between,' by Rory Stewart. Sounds like an interesting book I may try to pick it up when I get back to the US in July for my quarterly visit.

Sunday, June 11, 2006


Wikipedia is an open source, online free encyclopedia that anyone can use and edit. Here is the URL so you can visit: I really recommend many visits here to find information on just about anything, it has over 1 million articles and is growing. I have been using it to research astronomy issues, like the definition of a planet. So many useful tools are available on the Internet like blog spaces and wikipedia that the goal of a net-centric life is coming true.
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