‘And without Wolfe, we would not understand California-or the California-ized modern world. At the time of his most frequent visits the state was undergoing a profound change, one that affects it to this day and whose every aspect has been exported throughout the country and the globe. Both have become much more like California over the last 40 years, even as California has drifted away from its old self, and Wolfe has chronicled and explained it all.’
A good post on Robinson Jeffers from Malcolm Greenhill, which highlights how the rugged and vast beauty of California makes it easier to imagine what culture is, and what it ought to be on this outpost of Western Civilization.
If the jobs won’t all come from manufacturing, from knowledge and tech, and there’s more automation then ever, then where will the jobs come from? What are our politicians promising and who are the voices filling the public square?
That’s Northern Lebanon, along the Syrian border. Iran is still backing Assad, funneling arms and money to its proxy Hizbollah in Lebanon, and to Assad’s troops. America is now training some Syrian Free Army troops (the opposition) in Jordan, and has committed $60 million in aid to that Army (and has, no doubt, been involved in other ways). Saudi Arabia, and and other Sunnis across the region are backing their side, while the Turkish Army is keeping a tight lid on the Syrian border and the Kurds. The Israelis are keeping a close eye on developments, too:
‘The two sides are composed of Sunni and Shia Muslims. “Both communities,”Nicholas Blanford wrote in Beirut’s Daily Star, “are rooted in strong tribal traditions, have a general disdain for the authority of the state, are fiercely independent, have a history of militancy, are well armed and, most pertinently, have chosen to actively back opposing sides in Syria’s civil war raging just across the border.”
Totten’s written a new novel: “Taken,” available for pre-order.
For those interested: Mohammed Atta, one of the primary 9/11 bombers went to Aleppo and found what he was looking for: the ideal Islamic city on the hill. See Lawrence Wright’s piece at Slate. Wright wrote an excellent book on Al-Qaeda and the road to 9/11.