Tony Blair

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Photo: Jonathan Buckmaster / Reuters ; Kieran Doherty / Reuters ; Gustavo Cuevas / EPA ;
Alessia Pierdomenico / Reuters ; Denis Sinyakov / Reuters ; Tom Hanson / AP ;
Adrian Dennis / AFP ; Itar-Tass.

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Arnold Schwarzenegger Tony Blair

Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Arnold Schwarzenegger  and Tony Blair
Photo: Jonathan Buckmaster / Reuters

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Where is the president's watch?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Bush regrets about his stolen watch

Bush in AlbaniaBush in AlbaniaAlbanians stole them from his hand

TIRANA, Albania (AP) _ Whatever happened to the president's watch?

One moment President George W. Bush was glad-handing Albanians on Sunday, proudly sporting a watch with a dark strap on his left wrist. Moments later, it was gone.
Did it fall off? Did one of his bodyguards remove it? Or did one of the crowd artfully slip it off his wrist and pocket it?
The United States Embassy in Albania on Tuesday emphatically denied that Bush's watch was stolen during his visit to the country, where he was acclaimed as a hero.
The Albanian media _ and international Web sites _ is buzzing with video showing Bush's wrist watch apparently disappearing while he was shaking hands with people in Fushe Kruje, 25 kilometers (15 miles) north of Tirana.
"What the local media is saying is absolutely not true," an embassy official, who declined to be named, said.
People waiting on the sidewalks on Sunday gave Bush a rapturous welcome, shaking hands with him, grabbing him by the arms and wrists, reaching out to embrace him and even ruffling his hair.
Bush was clearly delighted by the attention and plunged back into the crowd for more hand shaking and to be kissed on the cheek.
But White House spokesman Tony Snow said Bush's watch was not stolen by someone in the crowd. "The president put it in his pocket and it returned safely home," Snow said in Washington.
An Albanian bodyguard who accompanied Bush in the town told The Associated Press he had seen one of his U.S. colleagues close to Bush bend down and pick up the watch.
The Top Channel private TV station showed how one of his bodyguards may have talked to the president and then taken the watch from his hand.
Bush's visit to the tiny Balkan country, the first ever by a U.S. president, was considered as historic.
Albania issued three postage stamps with Bush's picture and the Statue of Liberty, renamed a street in front of parliament in his honor, awarded him the highest National Flag medal and Fushe Kruje town council also declared him an honored citizen.



© Reuters © AP
© Alessandra Benedetti

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Thabo Mbeki & Nicolas Sarkozy

Monday, June 11, 2007
Photo: Michael Urban / AFP

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Pope

Sunday, June 10, 2007
Pontiff

Photo: Tony Gentile / Reuters

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Bill Gates - Founder of Microsoft

Saturday, June 9, 2007
Young Bill Gates13 years old. (1968).
Bill with Poul Allen (one of the fonders of Microsoft)

Young Bill Gates27 years old, (1982)

Young Bill GatesYoung Bill GatesIn 1977 Gates was arrested for speeding

Young Bill GatesPartners. Paul Allen and Bill Gates, 1982

Young Bill GatesThe Microsoft corporation in 1978.

Young Bill Gates1987

Young Bill Gates
Yesterday Bill Gates finally received a diploma from the Harvard University. He gave up it in 1975 on the second year.
I waited more than 30 years to say : "Father, I always told you that back and get degree," said Gates.

Photos: Darren McCollester / Getty ImagesPhoto : Darren McCollester / Getty Images

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Bush and Sarkozy at G8

Bush and Sarkozy at G8
© AFP

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informal relationships

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Political power

Power is a concept that is central to politics. Max Weber defined power as the ability to impose one's will "even in the face of opposition from others", while Hannah Arendt states that "political power corresponds to the human ability not just to act but to act in concert."Many different views of political power have been proposed.
The multiple notions of political power that are put forth range from conventional views that simply revolve around the actions of politicians to those who view political power as an insidious form of institutionalized social control - most notably "anarchists" and "radical capitalists". The main views of political power revolve around normative, post-modern, and pragmatic perspectives.

Normative faces of power debate

The faces of power debate has coalesced into a viable conception of three dimensions of power including decision-making, agenda-setting, and preference-shaping. The decision-making dimension was first put forth by Robert Dahl, who advocated the notion that political power is based in the formal political arena and is measured through voting patterns and the decisions made by politicians.This view has been criticised by many as simplistic, notably by the sociologist G. William Domhoff, who argues that political and economic power is monopolised by the "elite classes".

A second dimension to the notion of political power was added by academics Peter Bachrach and Morton Baratz involving "agenda-setting". Bachrach and Baratz viewed power as involving both the formal political arena and behind the scenes agenda-setting by elite groups who could be either politicians and/or others (such as industrialists, campaign contributors, special interest groups and so on), often with a hidden agenda that most of the public may not be aware of. The third dimension of power was added by British academic Steven Lukes who felt that even with this second dimension, some other traits of political power needed to be addressed through the concept of 'preference-shaping'. Lukes developed the concept of the "Three faces of power" - decision-making power, non-decision-making power, and ideological power.
This third dimension is inspired by many Neo-Gramscian views such as cultural hegemony and deals with how civil society and the general public have their preferences shaped for them by those in power through the use of propaganda or the media. Ultimately, this third dimension holds that the general public may not be aware of what decisions are actually in their interest due to the invisible power of elites who work to distort their perceptions. Critics of this view claim that such notions are themselves elitist, which Lukes then clearly admits as one problem of this view and yet clarifies that as long as those who make claims that preferences are being shaped explain their own interests etc., there is room for more transparency.

Postmodern challenge of normative views of power

Some within the postmodern and post-structuralist field claim that power is something that is not in the hands of the few and is rather dispersed throughout society in various ways. As one academic writes, "...postmodernists have argued that due to a variety of inherent biases in the standards by which ”valid“ knowledge has been evaluated...modernist science has tended to reproduce ideological justifications for the perpetuation of long-standing forms of inequality. Thus, it is the strategy of postmodern science...to identify and, thereby, attack the ”deceiving“ power of universalizing scientific epistemologies."

Pragmatic view of power

Samuel Gompers' maxim, often paraphrased as,"Reward your friends and punish your enemies," hints at two of the five types of power recognized by social psychologists: incentive power (the power to reward) and coercive power (the power to punish). Arguably the other three grow out of these two.
Legitimate power, the power of the policeman or the referee, is the power given to an individual by a recognized authority to enforce standards of behavior. Legitimate power is similar to coercive power in that unacceptable behavior is punished by fine or penalty.
Referent power is bestowed upon individuals by virtue of accomplishment or attitude. Fulfillment of the desire to feel similar to a celebrity or a hero is the reward for obedience. This is an example of incentive power as one rewards oneself.
Expert power springs from education or experience. Following the lead of an experienced coach is often rewarded with success. Expert power is conditional to the circumstances. A brain surgeon is no help when pipes are leaking.

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Politics definition

Politics is the process by which groups of people make decisions through the authoritative allocation of values. Although the term is generally applied to behavior within governments, politics is observed in all human group interactions, including corporate, academic, and religious institutions.

Politics consists of "social relations involving authority or power" and refers to the regulation of a political unit, and to the methods and tactics used to formulate and apply policy.

Political science (also political studies) is the study of political behavior and examines the acquisition and application of power. Related areas of study include political philosophy, which seeks a rationale for politics and an ethic of public behavior, and public administration, which examines the practices of governance.

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