|Ken Novak's Weblog
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Wednesday, May 05, 2004
Those Friendly Iranians: "Finally, I've found a pro-American country. Everywhere I've gone in Iran, with one exception, people have been exceptionally friendly and fulsome in their praise for the United States, and often for President Bush as well. ..
In the 1960's and 1970's, the U.S. spent millions backing a pro-Western modernizing shah — and the result was an outpouring of venom that led to our diplomats' being held hostage. Since then, Iran has been ruled by mullahs who despise everything we stand for — and now people stop me in the bazaar to offer paeans to America as well as George Bush. Partly because being pro-American is a way to take a swipe at the Iranian regime, anything American, from blue jeans to "Baywatch," is revered..
Indeed, many Iranians seem convinced that the U.S. military ventures in Afghanistan and Iraq are going great, and they say this with more conviction than your average White House spokesman. ..
Iran-U.S. relations are now headed for a crisis over Tehran's nuclear program, which appears to be so advanced that Iran could produce its first bomb by the end of next year. The Bush administration is right to address this issue, but it needs to step very carefully to keep from inflaming Iranian nationalism and uniting the population behind the regime. We need to lay out the evidence on satellite television programs that are broadcast into Iran, emphasizing that the regime is squandering money on a nuclear weapons program that will further isolate Iranians and damage their economy...
In a teahouse near the Isfahan bazaar, where I was interviewing religious conservatives, they were warm and friendly, but a group of people two tables away went out of their way to be rude, yelling at me for being an American propagandist. So I finally encountered hostility in Iran — from a table full of young Europeans" 5:49:56 PM
VentureBlog: Tapping The Trillion Dollar Market
: "Hard-headed venture investors have suddenly become environmentalists; there's money to be made in saving the world. .. Investing in the area has been growing more than 8% a year. After several false starts in the late 80's and mid 90's, is now the time to invest in alternative energy?" The author notes that
"The California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) launched a new investment program that will invest up to $200 million in the burgeoning environmental technology sector during the next few years [that] will target investments in environmental technology solutions .. such as recycling; minimizing the use of natural resources; and reducing emissions, refuse, and contamination to air, water, and land." It is part of a larger
"plan to invest $1.5 billion of the state's pension funds in environmental technologies. State Treasurer Phil Angelides said the "Green Wave" initiative is aimed at helping the state improve financial returns, generate jobs and clean up the environment. "I want to see California in the best position to reap the benefits of this growing sector of the global economy," Angelides said in an interview. The California Public Employees' Retirement System, the nation's largest pension fund, voted in March to invest $200 million in clean technology startups, and agreed this month to pump $500 million into environmentally responsible stocks and mutual funds." 2:46:27 PM
Expanded footprint:"Thuraya Satellite has announced that it has expanded its satellite telecommunications southward in Africa, thereby providing blanket coverage to Kenya, Uganda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Rwanda, Burundi, Angola, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, the Seychelles, Zimbabwe, and Tanzania...
Last October, Thuraya announced its imminent expansion into East and South East Asia by the end of this year, in response to high demand and growth opportunities in these new market segments. The expanded Far East footprint includes Brunei, Cambodia, China, East Timor, Indonesia, Japan, Lao, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, the Koreas, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore as well as large area of Eastern Russian Federation. " I wonder if rBgan will come with it, or if rBgan will remain only on the original satellite and footprint. 1:42:20 PM
Integrity of electronic voting questioned
: Some progress: "Legislation requiring voter-verified paper ballots has been introduced in 15 states (Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin) that currently use electronic voting machines, and four states (Arizona, Maine, Minnesota and Vermont) that have yet to upgrade their voting equipment. Sixteen states with electronic voting machines have not discussed paper ballots: Arkansas, Delaware, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas and Wyoming. Election officials in Illinois, Oregon, Nevada and New Hampshire already have banned paperless, electronic voting systems. Nevada Secretary of State Dean Heller recently made Nevada the only state to mandate that printers be installed on all electronic voting machines by November, despite the fact that Nevada had experienced no problems with the machines used by 70 percent of the stateâ019s voters in 2002. " 10:01:21 AM