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Bloggingheads 10-25-2008 09:15 PM

UN Plaza: Telecommunications for Emergencies

Ocean 10-26-2008 02:58 AM

Re: UN Plaza: Telecommunications for Emergencies
Interesting stuff... I was somewhat familiar with the doctors sans frontier idea.

Just curious, what was the noise and the lights that kept coming up on Oisin's office? Was he in a spaceship? Is this sci-fi? Did you see and hear?

fedorovingtonboop 10-26-2008 01:10 PM

Re: UN Plaza: Telecommunications for Emergencies
whoa, UN plaza is struggling and others have mentioned this before. I think the last one got only one real comment. anyone gonna say mention anything to Bob? hint, hint;)

JIM3CH 10-26-2008 01:55 PM

Re: UN Plaza: Telecommunications for Emergencies
Although I havenít listened to this one, I am a big fan of UN plaza, especially when it is a discussion between Matthew Lee and Mark Goldberg. It bothers me sometimes that this segment gets so few comments. I donít know whether this is because 1) most BH fans are anti-UN, or 2) because many of them could care less about the world and are content in their belief that the capital of Canada is Toronto, or 3) that UN Plaza is often interesting, but too inside baseball to inspire a lot of dialog. I hope itís 3), and I, for one, continue to appreciate it and hope it continues.

fedorovingtonboop 10-26-2008 02:06 PM

Re: UN Plaza: Telecommunications for Emergencies
i think mark is a great interviewer but i just can't watch because the UN never really accomplishes much but passing out disaster food and just keeps things relatively stable. most countries don't really change, though, so it's boring to me.

Wonderment 10-26-2008 08:06 PM

US wages hot war in four countries today
UN Plaza is doing just fine. I never miss an episode and always learn something valuable.

The US bombed Pakistan, Syria and Afghanistan in the last 24 hours, while conducting ongoing deadly raids in Iraq.

I haven't heard a word about any of these actions from either of the presidential candidates.

Nor have the candidates (ever?) discussed human rights issues in Asia, Latin America and Africa, as UN Plaza regularly does.

National discourse on international problems is limited to a few crises, mostly revolving around fear of terrorism. The rest is ignored.

Limited interest in UN Plaza reflects American oblivion to most of the rest of the world.

We've been obsessed for a couple of years with an election that deserved a month or two of attention, and overwhelmingly that's what Bheads discussions are about.

How ironic that the US wants to play a strong leadership role in the world but cannot be troubled to actually learn anything about the languages, cultures, issues and aspirations of the UN community.

fedorovingtonboop 10-26-2008 09:42 PM

Re: UN Plaza: Telecommunications for Emergencies
i'm not so sure, it doesn't seem fine to me...the last two I've kept track of have been really anemic. i can't remember any recent diavlogs consistently generating so few posts...

uncle ebeneezer 10-27-2008 02:30 PM

Re: UN Plaza: Telecommunications for Emergencies
Fed, we had this discussion before on an earlier thread, but I'm not sure if you were involved. Many of us who love UN Plaza, don't comment much on it because we feel that we don't have anything to add. Often times (like this diavlog), the subject is something that we are so ignorant of, that all we can do is simply listen and enjoy the fact that we walk away knowing a little more than we did before. I don't think the comment level is the best way to judge a diavlog. I hope that Bob has a certain standard of quality and that things like the UN Plaza, Sci Sat and Free Will, are put on regardless of veiwership. For what it's worth, when I am so busy that I can't keep up with all the vlogs, UN Plaza is one of the ones that I always make sure to catch later, though I often don't comment on them.

Wonderment 10-28-2008 01:51 AM

Suggestion for program
As we head into a new administration that may or may not continue the "war on terror" doctrine of Bush, it would be great to hear a UN-oriented discussion of the following:

According to today's NY Times, American officials explained the incursion into Syria by saying that...

"the Bush administration was determined to operate under an expansive definition of self-defense that provided a rationale for strikes on militant targets in sovereign nations without those countriesí consent."

How do "expansive definitions of self-defense" square with international law?

chucklefist 10-28-2008 01:49 PM

Re: UN Plaza: Telecommunications for Emergencies
wonderment, i'm sure the next installment of unp will address the syrian bombing and what the response was around the un.

as far as coming to the defense of these segments, i'll preface it with an admission that i found this particular topic/discussion, frankly, somewhat less compelling than past un plazas. however, i've heaped praise on mark and especially matt before and will proceed to beleaguer one point: the normal bhtv political gang rarely even approaches being able to offer the quality of empirical support for their arguments that matthew lee does. when you listen to him, you know he's busting his ass day in and day out collecting information and synthesizing it all into a super-coherent narrative. stack that up against scher, carroll, beinart, goldberg, althouse, wright, cox, kaus, and the like: they mostly formulate and express relatively sensible generic arguments and cite something from their echo chamber of blogging cohorts. that's great, if you're primarily concerned w/learning the discourses on each side. but, if you want some kind of real understanding of the facts underlying them, well, it just doesn't seem as though it's going down like that around here too often.

uncle ebeneezer 10-28-2008 03:19 PM

Re: UN Plaza: Telecommunications for Emergencies
Well said Chucklehead (sorry, it was a favorite expression of mine back in junior high and I couldn't resist ;-).

I agree that this was not the awesome-ist UNP episode, but I think that the formula that Matt and Mark use produces the most consistently informative and engaging episodes of anything on BHTV. I could listen to Matt Lee talk about just about any topic, and Mark is always very good as well. At times it does get very inside baseball, but that's one of the things I love about it. It's always a nice break from election horcerace discussions, and a reminder that there is a whole world out there beyond our borders.

chucklefist 10-29-2008 02:09 AM

Re: UN Plaza: Telecommunications for Emergencies
thanks for the nod, eb. and i also meant to explicitly back up wonderment's defense of the show earlier. regarding the "inside baseballness" of un plaza, yeah, sometimes it's really intriguing, sometimes it's icing on the cake, but i wouldn't say it ever feels like a complete waste of time - something i cannot say for other exchanges on this cite. i will reiterate a prior suggestion, though, that mark and matt or whoever else is on the segment consider making time for a more thorough, straight up debate/discussion on what they think are the major overarching issues facing the institution or just international law, diplomacy in general, etc., instead of always letting those more general issues tangentially emerge from a current events rundown. that, to me, tends to be the most interesting and informative part of the these exchanges. the topicality is awesome, but i'd be in favor of a little more of a balance with a prepared, organized breakdown and revisiting of the major structural issues of the day, ya know? i'd also love to see more of matt lee squaring off against the more right-leaning crowd (have i professed my undying love for him enough already?).

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