Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Smart, funny and she scraps do you know if those absolutely famous people scrapbook? well, ASK them.

Madam [former] Secretary Albright does it. Do you? If not, you should!

Why? Because aside from it being fun, it is therapeutic (trust me on this one), justifiable, smart, easy, out of the box and just...well...she does it, why not you?

You know how I know she does it? Check out her Memoire. Scraps galore! Pics and memories and she shares them with the WORLD. So there...she scraps.

How do I know she's funny? Well...I saw her last night. Though I was in a crowd of 800 folks, it was such an intimate gathering. Course, you feel that way when about 750 of those folks are chillin' behind you, but no matter. She has a way of speaking that just draws you in. Honestly, it probably helps if you are relatively (if not wholly) liberal to be able to stomache her obvious dislike of Bush Part II. But this IS Seattle so it's not like she was being lead into the Lion's Den.

So then. The evening was moderated by Michael Kinsley who has written for everyone and their mother. I strongly suspect that he scrapbooks too, but he was not the focus of attention tonight.

Some of my favorite comments (loosely translated because I don't write so fast) from last night:

Kinsley asks Albright where she feels the contradiction is in Bush's contention (during the election) that he would not do nation building as opposed to the nation building that appears to be happening in Iraq now.

Albright responds that rather than looking for the contradiction in assumptions that "nation building is nation building is nation building" just because you say it is, we should really define what nation building is. To that, she speaks of her time in the UN where she found herself separating the member countries into 4 categories:

Internationalists, New Wannabe Internationalists, Rogue Nations and Failed States.
{though these are the gist of her characterizations, I did the labeling}
With nation building, Internationalists (most of the super powers of course) provide resources to New Wannabe's (those would be the new and newly free countries that are trying to be international in scope) so that they can establish the structures to be international in nature. Internationalists also do their share of pro bono work by helping the Failed States (think Africa by and by) keep their heads afloat. Failed States are not wannabes in that wannabes have no structures yet (they're babies...let them grow into it) and failed states have or had the structures, but they (obviously) failed. failure, being relative of course I might add.
Anyhow. The key to all of this nation building as she sees it is that it is building when we offer and provide, not when we force and demand. When we offer democracy without forcing it upon people, that is when we are nation building as opposed to mini me shaping.
All in all, Albright had some VERY strong opinions. BF noted that she must be done politically to so blatantly, negatively, speak her mind. I don't of the aspects I most loved about her was that she was (and still is) no holds barred. For what that is worth.
One of the almost throw away comments she made that really hits home with the message of her book is what I loved:
While you can separate church and state, you can not separate people from their faith. Nor should you.
Future leaders take note--you don't have to advocate theocracy to embrace the need to understand people at their base, most holistic level. Everyone believes in something unbelievable to another. Theology should be required coursework for any emerging leader.
Off the soap box. First book signed...Madame Albright. Thanks chica!
Yesterday, James Whitaker (first American to climb Everest), tonight I get my Post Secret book signed. Check out the blog, the project, buy the book, head over to Elliot and get it signed! See you there!

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