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    Missile Defense

Technology has always found its greatest consumer in a nation's war and defense efforts. Since the last attempts at a "Star Wars" defense system, has technology changed considerably enough to make the latest Missile Defense initiatives more successful? Can such an application of science be successful? Is a militarized space inevitable, necessary or impossible?

Read Debates, a new Web-only feature culled from Readers' Opinions, published every Thursday.

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lchic - 05:31am May 4, 2002 EST (#1992 of 1998)

Marketing - Perception - America/UK

    What strikes me about her book is the differences in how it was marketed to the U.S. and the U.K. Hicks was perceived quite differently by the two nations --
    in the U.K. he was stopped on the streets for his autograph, and yet in his home country he was censored off television.
    The American cover is a photo of Hicks sitting in a chair, in front of an American flag. On the U.K. cover, Hicks is lighting his cigarette from a burning American flag.
    The U.S. back cover runs a quote from Dennis Miller. The U.K. back cover prints an excerpt of the pro-life/Christians routine that was cut from Letterman's show.
    The U.S. version features a forward by Janeane Garofalo, a recognized Hollywood name, but it doesn't really introduce readers to the text. The U.K. edition carries a forward by Irish comedian/writer Sean Hughes, who describes the first time he saw Hicks take the stage at an Australian comedy festival.
    Hicks himself would have pointed out the differences, that the U.K. readers understand the wit and irony, and
    good old literal America, his home and birthplace, still needs to have everything explained very simply. And safely.
    The United States thrives on "protecting" its citizens, and despite the Land of the Free hokum, if you dare to speak your mind and have more than 10 people ever hear it, you'll encounter offers of compromise.
    You'll hear unqualified taste-makers in every industry say the same things: Where can we fit you into what we're doing? No, no, no, we don't care what you think or how you feel. Can you do what this other guy did, only slightly different? How about a combination of x and y? Can you tone this down, beef this up? Can you be edgy? (A magazine editor once told me to make an article sound "undergroundy.")
    And if we pretend to embrace our job so we'll always have a job, it's fairly easy to pretend to embrace the rest of the nation, right? Even if it's ironic. Once you place yourself in that proper frame of mind, it's a snap to live in America and get excited, even if it's cheap irony, over the daily distractions of unnecessary celebrities, unnecessary TV shows, unnecessary "news you can use," unnecessary electronic gizmos, unnecessarily large vehicles and the rest of the sh!t culture we gleefully produce, consume and export around the world.

lchic - 05:56am May 4, 2002 EST (#1993 of 1998)

"" .... not require the presence of the Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat, whom George Bush still refuses to meet, and with whom Israel's Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, insists he will not negotiate.

Though the participants have not been chosen, they are likely to include, in addition to the "quartet" that met at the State Department on Thursday, the five strategic Arab states of Morocco, Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, as well as representatives of Israel and the Palestinians.

The diplomatic drive began yesterday with talks at Camp David between President Bush and Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar of Spain, the holder of the EU's rotating presidency. Next week, Mr Sharon and King Abdullah of Jordan will be in Washington, while the newly liberated Mr Arafat is likely to attend a meeting of Arab foreign ministers in Cairo.

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