Here as I blog in West Hollywood this Christmas I am thankful that we have freedom of expression and freedom of speech in America.
Finally, I have recovered from a dirty martini hang over from two nights ago at a Hollywood Hills Christmas party. I like olives, so always get it wrong when I see them in a festive glass. I only had two martinis, but they were good ones! The relief of not having a Bellevedere voddie headache today is awesome, yet the respite is short lived when today I look at the news and I see that people are being persecuted in Iran for being different.
People are not allowed to have a Christmas this year. Those who want to are detained, some are behind bars, some will be martyred for their Christian faith in 2010!!! That’s insanity. (more…)
If I was to ever covet anyone’s career, it would probably be someone artistic like LA Times photographer Carolyn Cole. She sees the faces of war for a job, yet her artistic take on her war coverage – really is modern art. I like her work a lot. Here’s an image from her body of work. The Iraq War as posted byJerome Adamstein (Originally posted On: 3:43 p.m. | August 18, 2010).
In the days leading up to war, many Iraqis didn’t believe they would ever see an American soldier in Baghdad. They marched in support of their longtime leader, Saddam Hussein, who they trusted would see them through. Gloom filled the sky as bombs rained down and the number of dead and wounded grew by the day.
She’s the best. Thanks Carolyn for all of the great coverage as an America foreign press, photo-journalist, serving abroad. You put us in the picture by bringing the world to us. Thank you.
Carolyn Cole’s work is always a reminder that World Peace in the Middle East will always be our goal in the world towards sustainability being a real concept in a modern world.
~Posted by Horiwood.Com, Hollywood California USA. 11.16.10~
Carolyn Cole is a photographer based in Iraq. Her work captures the life of people post war, in Iraq.
Here’s one of her pics today for the LA Times.
~Posted by Horiwood.Com, Hollywood California USA. 9.1.10~
People who eat dates from Palm Trees in desert terrains, should all just have dates together and talk through their fears, concerns, hopes, issues, and dreams. World peace thinking. Oh right, at the Whitehouse coming up, those such dates are on the menu. Nice.
For the latest on the Middle-East peace mediation situation go to these New York Times posts to check them out in full.
1. Op-Ed NT Times. 8.31.10: New Chance for Peace
Key Players on the Mid-East Chess Board, world strategy of Peace game of hot politics are: Mahmoud Abbas for Palestine, Benjamin Netanyahu for Israel and the Judaic-Christian World (that includes over 1 billion Catholics and 300 million Christian Chinese community members); Presient Barack Obama and U.S Secretary of State Hilary Clinton for America and her allies, including Queen Elizabeth II and all Commonwealth nations leaders; Hosni Mubarak for Egypt; King Abdullah of Jordan; Tony Blair for America and the U.K and the E.E.U nations; Saudi Arabia and Turkey;
[Images: New York Times with a shout out to Bobby Mac, and palms print artwork, West Hollywood window, today on the way to work]
~Posted by Horiwood.Com, Hollywood California USA. 8.31.10~
iPHONE APPS AS CHARACTER SIGNIFIERS AND FIVE THINGS ABOUT WASTE IN THE $50 BILLION US ‘REBUILDING’ EFFORT IN IRAQ
The L.A Times looks at the topic of waste in Iraq this Sunday. Here’s five things:
1. A lot of postwar Iraq analysis, describes America’s rebuilding expenditure in Iraq as “the wasted promise of America’s massive, $53-billion reconstruction effort.” It’s an offshore homework assignment, that just went all wrong.
2. Stuart Bowen in his acting capacity of the Special Inspector Genral for Iraq Reconstruction is reduced to use language like ”a significant legacy of waste” when explaining the futile aspects of the reconstruction program. Stuart has a tough job.
3. Iraq’s people say they saw or felt little of the $53 billion U.S expenditure (the ‘touted’ figure being bandied about). “I am very sorry because America spent a lot of money without any tangible results,” said Ali Baban, Iraq’s minister of planning, who is responsible for overseeing the projects now being handed over to the Iraqi government. “The Iraqi people heard a lot about American assistance, but really they didn’t touch it or feel it.”
4. What went wrong? The Times reports: “Under pressure to produce results quickly, the U.S. awarded no-bid contracts to companies with little knowledge of the country they were hired to help. Projects were haphazardly planned and poorly executed. As the insurgency erupted, projects were either destroyed or the costs of providing security to continue them ballooned. And perhaps most important, officials say, Iraqis were not consulted as to which projects actually would be useful.”
5. The ‘lessons’ learned, point to Afghanistan, where a similar ‘rebuilding’ project, must occur all over again. War is expensive. The U.S will spend more than $53 billion ‘rebuilding’ Afghanistan post-war. Back in Iraq, bare basics like electricity are largely missing. ‘Six summers and $4.9 billion in U.S. taxpayer money later, Iraqis are sweltering in temperatures that routinely hit 120 degrees with no more than a few hours of electricity a day in most places.’ Kind of sad really. Let’s hope things get better for Iraq’s people and a light of hope arises above them.
The weirdest thing about sharing this report from Hollywood is that, right in the middle of this story on the L.A Times website appears this message: “Introducing the LA Times Star Walk app for iPhone. Tour the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame with the Los Angeles Times archives, history and information. Available in the App Store.”
Thank goodness for Hollywood Star Walks aye?! They make everything better?
Today, ‘character’ is often defined by what App is on one’s telephone–and how you can share your App’s functionality as news with others as a vital part of social networking in the 2010′s. Choosing App’s with good purpose perhaps is the message.
But seriously, someone needs to create an app, so Iraqi peeps can use it to turn their power on.
And while we’re about it, wouldn’t it be awesome to have an App that facilitated world peace too. We’re allowed to dream.
[Image - The U.S. spent $40 million on this prison in Khan Bani Saad, which Iraq said it never wanted and which was never completed. On a smaller scale, the U.S. succeeded in transforming parks in Baghdad. Carolyn Cole photog or Los Angeles Times)]
~Posted by Horiwood.Com, Hollywood California USA. 8.29.10~
Series of bombings across Iraq leave at least 45 dead: The attacks on at least seven cities come as the U.S. military scales back the size of its force in the country and Iraqis grow more anxious about their future. Read article by Ned Parker and Riyadh Mohammed
~Posted by Horiwood.Com, Hollywood California USA. 8.25.10~
“For everything there is a season, a time to plant and a time to harvest.”–Jewish King Solomon on all political matters, Book of Ecclesiastes.
Today, the New York Times, looks at the U.N and Iraq’s view of time, as opposed to our Western consumer-culture (a la mode: I want it yesterday) view of time. The illusive concept of “time” is one of those things that gets lost in translation between cultures (unfortunately) as these quotes from the Times show us today.
At the sidelines of a United Nations meeting, Hoshyar Zebari, said: ”The Americans planted a tree in Iraq, Mr. Zebari (recalled Iran’s President Mr. Mouhmad Ahmadinejad telling him, with the stilted sympathy of sarcasm. They watered that tree, pruned it and cared for it. “Ask your American friends,” he said, shaking his head, “why they’re leaving now before the tree bears fruit.”
The article written by journalist, Anthony Shadid, says: “Iraq today is replete with American-ordered deadlines, timetables and benchmarks that sought to create realities where realities never existed. The administration is leaving now on its own terms. Perhaps staying would make an already traumatized Iraq worse; much of its dysfunction dates to the American occupation and its earliest days. But the very nature of America’s departure — with no government formed, an unpredictable Iraqi military, and deep popular disenchantment with a hapless political elite — underscores one of the most enduring traits of American strategy in the Middle East.
“Powerful but fickle, the United States has never seemed to understand time, at least not in the way it is acknowledged by Islamic activists willing to serve decades in jail, Syrian presidents assured that American policies will eventually change, and Iraq’s neighbors, who bide their turn to fill the vacuum left by an American departure.
Its policies — support for Israel and authoritarian Arab governments, the invasion of Iraq and war in Afghanistan — may shape sentiments toward it. But time, an American measure of it, often shapes the way it acts.”
It’s one of the unfortunate things about people in the Middle East, unless you visit America, you don’t know how quick and fast time goes here, from a cultural perspective. I mean, America offers so much consumer choice for everyone, that the average American decision makes perhaps thirty times faster than many people of the Middle East, daily, when choosing what TV Channel to watch for example. Time is one of those things that is sped up in America, so this story provides an interesting angle on cultural differences in regards to patience and time values that differ between America and others, like the good people of Iran and Iraq for example.
Shadid also reports in his article: “It certainly is American politics and it is American culture, the sense that we are an impatient people,” said Ryan C. Crocker, a former ambassador to Iraq and veteran diplomat in the Arab world. “ ‘Tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, at the latest, and if that’s not going to happen, we’re going to move on.’”
“In Lebanon, the Palestinian territories and Syria, the messy [U.S determined political] realities never quite fit. Since 2003, they rarely have in Iraq, either.
Shadid also writes: “Patience is always in short supply in Washington,” said Mr. Zebari, wondering what that meant for Iran, Turkey and Iraq’s other neighbors.
Reports the Associated Press, ”A woman gestures at the site of a car bomb attack in Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, June 20, 2010. Twin car bombs exploded Sunday near a major square in Baghdad, killing several people and wounding dozens in the latest attack targeting a high-profile area in the capital. 33 lives were taken in the name of religion, by suicide bombers. Sad. What a waste of precious life. Iraq and Baghdad needs our love.
[AP Photo/Hadi Mizban]
~Posted by Horiwood.Com, Hollywood California USA. 6.20.2010~
Billy Ray Cyrus is celebrating Christmas abroad right now with US Troops stationed abroad.
“I’ll try to spread a little Christmas cheer to our troops [based in Iraq],” he tells People. “Then I’ll go meet the family in England around Christmas Eve. Miley is touring over there. I’d rather be in Tennessee, but I don’t think it’s a matter of where you’re at — it’s who you’re with.”
Billy Ray is the Obama government’s preferred show biz dad of first preference to go out on a tour of duty to encourage dads and parents with children back home serving their country. Good for him!
[Image of Billy Ray Cyrus courtesy of Luck Media]
~Posted by Horiwood.Com, Hollywood California, USA. 12.16.09~
… for making horiwood.com grow today 10.21.09. It’s the third day in a row, you’ve all smashed October’s viewership record on the first Hollywood blog ever created by a Maori New Zealander. (Kia Ora!)
Many thanks. xox
pic of Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Vivienne Jolie-Pitt and Knox Jolie-Pitt via twitter, as they all ate “I Scream” in Jordan, a while back. :)
If you’re feeling generous and would like to donate to the plight of Iraqi refugee, victims of war, go here to Iraqi Refugees Speak to make a difference. Again, many thanks.
Peace is a gift that must be passed on. You know it! :)
The soul at its highest is found like God, but an angel gives a closer idea of God. That is all an angel is: an idea of God. ~Meister Eckhart
UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie and Iraqi refugees family, during a visit to their place in Jaramana, a suburb of Damascus, Syria –image via BradPittWatch.
I feel that there is an angel inside me whom I am constantly shocking. ~Jean Cocteau
Food 4 Thawt! 2 Views on WTF exactly, was the USA in Iran about neway?
Because she’s so important, Jennifer Aniston is on the cover of the Czech Republic’s Joy Magazine. After Angelina Jolie silently inherited Aniston’s princess baggage via partner Brad Pitt, Forbes Magazine finally checked Aniston’s mooching streak, by deservedly naming Angelina at just 34 years-of-age, the #1 celebrity in the world for 2009.
I’m glad somebody did. Thank you Forbes. Now Jenn will actually have to find another celebrity meal ticket that will kindly adopt her. Jenn has been subtly playing the sympathy card and riding Angelina’s ‘home wrecking‘ coattails for years now; in between “hanging out at Courtney and David’s house” and going to work sometimes by appearing in the odd film. We’ve given Jenn our empathetic movie ticket dollars for years now! It’s just got to stop! Young emerging actors now need them in a recession.
Playing the spurned ‘other woman’ to Angelina has been Aniston’s MAIN gig for half a decade now. Forbes totally called her on it by moving Angie up to #1. It’s now time for Jennifer Aniston to put down her hair straightening tongs for a Hollywood minute and book a plane ticket to a third world country… not just Mexico for margaritas on the beach… a real one!
Jennifer, all of America and the world gives you their blessing and permission to finally grow up, go to Africa and make a difference too! On that note…
Here’s 10 Hot Posts right now in Hollywood on Horiwood.Com
Who would have thought?! Stephen Colbert got his head shaved bald in Iraq. Brave? No… just another form of a mid life crises. Towleroad
Apart from Hollywood Entertainment News, there are things that are just a tad bit more important in the world. Like… fixing the state of the global economy and the future of our children and grandchildren and their children to come. What greater calling is upon us all than that? If Entertainment can provide light relief in between a globalized focus of repair, then it is useful. If it can convey key messages that help our future, then entertainment and the entertainment industry has shown wisdom in realigning with the relevancy of the times in which we all live. This must be our goal, not only in Hollywood but all around the world. When leaders speak, we must listen. I am. Hope you are too.
President Barack Obama has promised that by August 31, 2010, that American troops will no longer be required in Iraq. What a hero President already! Afghanistan is the new President’s next focus area of war. For a full report on Obama’s entire speech on the issue…