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Thursday, January 30, 2003

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  • Jerry Katz
    Alan Turner Untitled 5 2002 Acrylic and oil on canvas 66 x 42 inches Lennon, Weinberg Gallery, New York ... Issue #1335 - Thursday, January 30, 2003 - Editor:
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 1, 2003
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      Alan Turner
      Untitled 5
      2002
      Acrylic and oil on canvas
      66 x 42 inches

      Lennon, Weinberg Gallery, New York


      Issue #1335 - Thursday, January 30, 2003 - Editor: Jerry
       

      Lobster
      Nasrudin
       
      ready for anything

      "If your mind is empty, it is always ready for anything; it is open to
      everything. In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, in the
      expert's mind there are few."--Suzuki Roshi

      Deep Well
      http://pages.britishlibrary.net/edjason/deep/
       

       
      Vicki Woodyard
      NDS
       
      The Well-Dressed Mind

      What is the well-dressed mind wearing these days?  Does it wear Eckhart
      Tolle like a stole?  Deepok like Reebok?.  I want my mind to go to a nude beach
      and wear its birthday suit.  There it could recline on the sand and fan itself
      with the fronds from a nearby palm. 

      Nothingness is what the well-dressed mind should be wearing. No Vera Wang,
      no Tommy Hilfiger, just nothing, bare beingness. You shouldn't even need to
      wear a sunscreen or an aluminum hat like in the movie "Signs."  No, you gotta
      have faith in stark reality. 

      I want my mind to kick off its shoes.  No Manolo Blahniks for these tootsies. 
      No Dr. Scholl's for the soul.  Nope. I don't need any mental Frederick's of
      Hollywood either.  Twoness is not what it's about, girls.  Actually, tell that
      one to the men.

      You gotta have heart to go nude in your own mind.  No belief system covering
      up your private parts.  No girdle smothering your innermost thoughts and
      feelings.  Just the facts, ma'am, just the facts.  And the fact is, the mind is as
      unreal as its clothes.  Now don't go telling that to your shrink.  That would put
      him out of business.  Keep it to yourself.

      There is only one problem with the mind's nudity.  When it returns to the
      garden  (and I don't mean Madison), it will have to meet the snake.  I have been
      told that the snake is a rope, though this has not been scientifically proven. 
      So when you meet the snake, don't take a bite of the apple and you'll be fine. 
      And if you do, grab a fig leaf and hold on.  But that's another story.

      Vicki Woodyard
      http://www.bobwoodyard.com


       
      Sam
      NDS
       
      the shattered glass
      splits into a silver bird
      law draws the lines
       
       

       
      Nina
      NDS
       
      "There is something in nature that forms patterns. We, as part of
      nature, also form patterns. The mind is like the wind and the body
      like the sand; if you want to know how the wind is blowing, you can
      look at the sand." - Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen, 'Sensing, Feeling, and
      Action: The Experiential Anatomy of Body-Mind Centering'

      . . .

      On Saturdays, I am a ghost that wanders a field of 50 or so yoga
      students, my senses wide open. Their bodies and breaths move variably
      in cadence with the vinyasa, which is led by the primary teacher; it
      is my task to meld with her intention and the flow of the class while
      providing adjustments and nudges to awareness.

      It is a remarkable thing to look out across a sea of bodies in breath
      and movement and see mind.

      Even more remarkable is the responsive relationship among breath,
      mind and body; when one is nudged, the others shift. The emphasis
      within the composition is variable; the best avenue to adjustment is
      variable. This is why the senses must be wide open and fresh to each
      person; the optimal location and focus of the nudge varies from
      person to person and changes from moment to moment.

      I approach a student who is clearly struggling, collapsed in her
      breathing, back arching in compensation, eyes wandering, body
      wobbling. Put your consciousness here, I say, touching a specific
      spot on her body. Push down through this part to lift up through this
      part, I tell her, demonstrating with my body, then drawing the lines
      over her body. Draw these pieces together in this way, once again
      demonstrated. Fix the eyes; soften them. Breathe your ribs into my
      hand. Sigh it out. Breathe into my hand again, this time receptively,
      take your time. I breathe with her, yielding to her, yielding her to
      me. She arrives at stability in alignment; in this moment she is
      balanced and enduring. But who, or what, arrives?

      There is benefit to seeing it happen 50, 100, 150. times over, class
      after class. Each time, the experience of it becomes clearer and more
      accessible. The pattern emerges.
      . . .

      Working through individual patterns, it is possible to fine-tune the
      pattern composition of the entire room.

      This is initiated by nudging mini-minds towards one-mind. Working
      with one student directly will (sometimes instantaneously) tune the
      students near her. Sometimes, all it takes is the thought to work
      with a student or the movement towards them, and she will align
      herself.

      At some point, mini-minds begin to align themselves, tuning to each
      other. It spreads as a wave, one student nudging the next. The mini-
      minds are not required to be consistently present, as the scope of
      the room extends beyond the walls. The time required for this is
      variable.

      For instance, in 3 years' time, the beginning yoga classes at the
      YMCA are no longer true beginner's classes. Furthermore, it is
      getting difficult to find a true beginner in this town. Specific
      teachers and students are secondary to this shift. The level of yoga
      practiced is in-forming itself.

      This in-forming is highly intelligent and resilient. The mini-minds
      are revealed to be tentacles of the one-mind, not the erratic limbs
      they initially appear to be.
      . . .

      What if. pattern is not the intelligence, but a template, arbitrary
      and assigned?
      . . .

      -What- in nature forms pattern? (Is it a pattern?)
      . . .

      Recently on NDS, there was a discussion, initiated by Gene Poole,
      about the awareness one may have regarding change. When one is
      focused on a subject, and change occurs within the field beyond the
      subject, one will miss the change. By function of how focused
      attention works, it will not be possible to register the change.
      However, if attention is allowed to expand, then the range of what is
      possible to register expands accordingly.
      . . .

      It is a Butoh workshop. We are learning to walk.

      I stand with the other students at the far wall of the studio, our
      stances relaxed. We raise our arms forward, palms towards our faces,
      hands supported by wrists, as our fingers curl gently to the sky.
      Eyes extend awareness to both hands as the eyes remain gazing softly
      forward. The awareness of the hands is maintained as the arms move
      out laterally to the sides, stopping at the edge of peripheral vision.

      We lift one foot, peeling it from the ground, knee drawing up heel,
      thigh drawing up knee. The leg slowly swings forward. We set one
      foot, ballmount first, then heel. The weight shifts to this foot. We
      lift the other foot, as it has already peeled from the ground with
      the shift of the weight. The mind moves this leg moves this foot
      slowly forward, weight shifting, until this foot, too, is placed on
      the floor, ballmount first, then heel.

      All this is held in awareness: my body, the weight of it, the skin of
      it, the movement of it, the tone of it. I feel my connection to the
      floor, the vibration to the floor from other footfalls and the
      mechanical hum of unseen equipment. I hear the breathing and
      shuffling of my fellows. I see my hands and forearms on the edge of
      my vision, moving against the room beyond.

      Not limited to the body, the eyes reach to the periphery, but what is
      seen extends beyond it. Consciousness extends beyond the body.

      What happens is truly remarkable.

      Ground dissolves and space and time expands.

      Every movement is discernable.
      . . .

      When the eyes fix on a point, the peripheral vision recedes.

      When the eyes take in diffuse information from the entire field of
      vision, the fixations recede.

      What is possible when the see-saw relationship between these two ways
      of looking is slowed and balanced?

       
      Michael Read
      NDS

      Self Censorship In The US- Not Unlike The Soviet Version January 29, 2003

      http://sf.indymedia.org/news/2003/02/1568881.php

      By Andre Vltchek
       
      An attack against Iraq seems to be inevitable. No matter what Iraq does, no matter what the UN arms inspectors say or find (or don’t find), the US administration is apparently determined to invade. Once again it will ‘level the ground’ (or blow it sky high) of yet another poor and basically defenceless nation in the name of ‘civilized values’ such as freedom and democracy.
      While Bush, members of his administration and his advisors (most of them hardly a bunch of an olive branch carrying peacemakers) speak about peace and freedom, "our values" and "civilization", they are, in reality, simply carrying the long and brutal traditions of Western expansionism to an extreme.

      The administration is tampering with the language on a daily basis. Words that, for centuries, were sacred to millions of people all over the world are suddenly turning into meaningless clichés, to the empty slogans of the propaganda machine.

      The government-spread propaganda is mostly primitive, sometimes even comical. It almost begs to be ridiculed. However, both the US and European mainstream media is exercising incredible restrain and self discipline, ready to swallow almost everything that it is given by the policymakers and top military brass on both sides of Atlantic. It is becoming a well-groomed poodle, touchingly attached to its two masters, the big business that owns it and governments that serve the interests of big business. It has lost its ability to criticize, its sense of humour and its sarcastic edge. And it is hardly a secret that the use of humour, irony and sarcasm is one of the main fears of any manipulative establishment.

      Many of my honourable friends and colleagues in the United States (those who are refusing to become blind and servile) are outraged and shocked. I am outraged, too, but not shocked. To me, it all feels just too familiar: I experienced a similar situation many years ago, as a child growing up in what used to be known as the ‘Soviet bloc’.

      I grew up in the sixties and seventies in what was then the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, in a city at the Western extreme of the country, known for its beer and heavy industry -- Pilsen.
      Despite its proximity to the West (Pilsen is just fifty kilometres from Bavaria as the crow flies), Western Bohemia, as well as other regions of the country, had to absorb a continuous barrage of official propaganda channelled through the state television, radio and censured newspapers and magazines.

      Today, nobody has any doubts that the state-controlled media in the former Soviet bloc countries were bombarding millions of people with simplifications, half-truths and outright lies.

      Lies were printed and broadcast every day. The only (very positive) difference from the present situation was that nobody seemed to pay much attention. Nearly every night, I fell asleep to the sound of the news bulletins broadcast by the BBC World Service (in English, since the Czech language bulletins were sometimes jammed). Television sets in almost every household were tuned to the West German ARD or ZDF, and teenagers were rocking and rolling to the sound of the latest hits from Radio Luxemburg or Bavaria3. Books by Sartre, Camus, Beckett and other influential Western thinkers were available in libraries, although one had to search for them. Cinemas and film clubs were showing most of the important world productions with only one or two year delays.

      If it was an intellectual hell, we were growing up in its first class compartment!

      Newspapers and magazines were boring and dull: most of us bought them just for their crossword puzzles and the latest film and concert listings. It was obvious that the journalists writing for them didn’t believe a word that they were writing -- it was just another job, another way to collect a higher than average state salary, to get by, to survive. In those days, published journalists had dubious reputations as some sort of intellectual prostitutes. Those who wrote for the official press were mostly spineless and mediocre men and women, lacking self-respect and professional honour. There was no sarcasm, no irony, nor creative edge in what they did. They wrote what was expected of them. Then they went home. Twice a month they got paid. Many of them hit the bottle.

      Later, being obsessed with one simple question: ‘how did the censorship of those years really work?’, I spoke to several former journalists. I was surprised to learn that there were no fat, sadistic censors standing behind them - far from it!.

      "To be honest with you, there were no censors in sight", explained one former editor of an important daily in Prague. "We knew what we had to write, what the party line was. We knew our limits when we wanted to criticize something. Nobody had to bother to stand behind our back. We censured ourselves."

      In fact, journalists were expected to be critical of the system. They were encouraged to bash low-level corruption and other minor negative elements of the system. As long as they kept reminding their readers that the system itself was superior, they were on the right track.

      There were no gulags in Czechoslovakia in the sixties and seventies, no concentration camps, no torture chambers. Those who crossed the line by choosing honesty and professionalism were not kidnapped. Parents of dissidents were not tortured before their eyes. There were no extra-judicial executions (unlike in our colonies in, say, Central America). Those who decided to tell the truth simply lost their jobs, became unemployable or were forced to become manual workers or window washers. Only a few of those who decided to stand against the system were imprisoned. They included several dissidents, among them Vaclav Havel.

      The system in Czechoslovakia functioned almost flawlessly. Extreme violence was unnecessary. Fear of losing privileges did the trick. Almost all journalists knew their duties: they knew what was expected from them. Mostly they didn’t have to be told what to think and what to write: they knew it intuitively. They may have lacked integrity, but they weren’t stupid, after all. And they had families to feed and houses to furnish!

      Does it sound familiar?

      Some twenty years later, the situation is not so different in my adoptive homeland -- the United States. If we decide to tell the truth, to write about the lies and manipulation of our government, to challenge the very essence of our system, we are not risking kidnapping, torture or assassination. We will still be able to wake up in the morning in our own bed, to drink a cup of coffee at the corner coffee shop, to take a walk. But our lives may nevertheless change dramatically. Chances are that we will encounter evasive answers from otherwise friendly editors of the magazines that we were used to write for periodically, and the number of work related emails will dramatically decrease. Soon, we will have to look for another job. We will still be able to write for progressive publications (one major difference from the situation in the former Soviet bloc), but it will not bring in enough funds to pay for our rent in cities like New York or Boston.

      I understand why some of my colleagues decided to collaborate with the Bush administration and his crusaders. I disagree with those who did, but I understand nevertheless. Choices are hard to make. Many "official" journalists and analysts (we can now call them this) have families, their children have to go to colleges, and mortgages have to be paid. It is more comfortable to suffer during the morning rush hour in the leather seat of the brand new Saab, than to wait for the commuter bus on the way to the end of the unemployment line.

      The Czech system (or call it ‘regime’ if you prefer) was not particularly rich, but it was able to offer some privileges to those who were seeking them in exchange for loyalty and servility. Our system today is decisively wealthier: it could and would happily buy us all if we were ready to put ourselves on sale. And it is ready to supply us with so many succulent, tasty carrots that we could easily munch on them for the rest of our lives.

      Our country is extremely rich (as are our allies in Europe and Asia). It can offer limitless privileges and a high life to those who decide to play according to the rules - rules that are lately becoming much stricter, by the way. If we refuse to play the game, we will probably not be hit brutally by the stick - the system will simply withhold the carrots.

      For some of us, the price of collaboration is simply too high. We would have to hold on to our sarcasm until we reached the door of our neighbourhood bar. We would have to overlook the fate of millions, probably billions of men, women and children who are suffering all over the world as a consequence of our brutally-enforced interests. We would have to call war ‘a peace’, aggression ‘a defence’, lies ‘a truth’. We would have to bend our own beliefs and learn how to avoid eye contact with those who had chosen to remain true to their principles.

      But if we decide to tell the truth the way we see it, we should do it without feelings of superiority and self-congratulation. In many ways, in our own ways, we are privileged, too. We are enjoying the true freedom that comes with being ‘outside the game’. We don’t have to re-read our own articles over and over again, nor being scared that our work could contain some sentences displeasing to those whose interests we would be paid to defend. After all, what can give greater joy to a writer than being able to tell the truth to the best of his or her ability, to express his or her own beliefs, to speak his or her own mind, to refuse to indulge in humiliating self-censorship?

      I don’t think we should be too harsh on our colleagues in the US and Europe who have decided to compromise themselves. Some are forced to do so by circumstances. Some, like so many in former Czechoslovakia, do it in order to provide for their families.

      But neither should we forget the simple words of Czech poet Jaroslav Seifert, laureate of the Nobel Price for Literature, a man of lyrical verse, who once failed to contain his frustration and barked at the full session of the Union of Czech writers: "The writer should be the conscience of his own nation... If anyone else omits, or decides not to pronounce the truth, it can be understood: it can be simply considered as a tactical manoeuvre. If the writer withholds the truth, he is a liar."
       

       
       
       
      From: Davis, Adam [mailto:ADavis@e...]
      Sent: Thursday, January 30, 2003 9:03 AM
      To: Davis, Adam
      Subject: First hand from Davos
       
      With apologies for the group email... I thought this was
      interesting enough to pass along. These are the notes
      from a friend of a friend who writes for Newsday.
       
      Adam Davis
      Director, EPRIsolutions Environment Division
      1299 4th Street, Suite 307
      San Rafael, CA 94901
      Main Office:415-454-8800
      Direct:415-257-4631
      Cell: 415-305-4786
       
      Hi Guys.
       
      OK, hard to believe, but true. Yours truely has been
      hobnobbing with the ruling class.
       
      I spent a week in Davos, Switzerland at the World
      Economic Forum. I was awarded a special pass which
      allowed me full access to not only the entire official
      meeting, but also private dinners with the likes the head
      of the Saudi Secret Police, presidents of various
      insundry countries, your Fortune 500 CEOS and the leaders
      of the most important NGOs in the world. This was not
      typical press access. It was full-on, unfettered, class A
      hobnobbing.
       
      Davos, I discovered, is a breathtakingly beautiful spot,
      unlike anything I'd ever experienced. Nestled high in the
      Swiss Alps, it's a three hours train ride from Zurich
      that finds you climbing steadily through snow-laden
      mountains that bring to mind Heidi and Audrey Hepburn (as
      in the opening scenes of "Charade"). The EXTREMELY
      powerful arrive by helicopter. The moderately powerful
      take the first class train. The NGOs and we mere mortals
      reach heaven via coach train or a conference bus. Once in
      Europe's bit of heaven conferees are scattered in hotels
      that range from B&B to ultra luxury 5-stars, all of which
      are located along one of only three streets that bisect
      the idyllic village of some 13,000 permanent residents.
       
      Local Davos folks are fanatic about skiing, and the
      slopes are literally a 5-15 minute bus ride away,
      depending on which astounding downhill you care to try. I
      don't know how, so rather than come home in a full body
      cast I merely watched.
       
      This sweet little chalet village was during the WEF
      packed with about 3000 delegates and press, some 1000
      Swiss police, another 400 Swiss soldiers, numerous tanks
      and armored personnel carriers, gigantic rolls of coiled
      barbed wire that gracefully cascaded down snow-covered
      hillsides, missile launchers and assorted other tools of
      the national security trade. The security precautions did
      not, of course, stop there. Every single person who
      planned to enter the conference site had special
      electronic badges which, upon being swiped across a
      reading pad, produced a computer screen filled color
      portrait of the attendee, along with his/her vital
      statistics. These were swiped and scrutinized by soldiers
      and police every few minutes -- any time one passed
      through a door, basically. The whole system was connected
      to handheld wireless communication devices made by HP,
      which were issued to all VIPs. I got one. Very cool,
      except when they crashed. Which, of course, they did
      frequently. These devices supplied every imagineable
      piece of information one could want about the conference,
      your fellow delegates, Davos, the world news, etc. And
      they were emailing devices --- all emails being
      monitored, of course, by Swiss cops.
       
      Antiglobalization folks didn't stand a chance. Nor did Al
      Qaeda. After all, if someone managed to take out Davos
      during WEF week the world would basically lose a fair
      chunk of its ruling and governing class POOF, just like
      that. So security was the name of the game. Metal
      detectors, X-ray machines, shivering soldiers standing in
      blizzards, etc.
       
      Overall, here is what I learned about the state of our
      world:
       
      - I was in a dinner with heads of Saudi and German FBI,
      plus the foreign minister of Afghanistan. They all said
      that at its peak Al Qaeda had 70,000 members. Only 10% of
      them were trained in terrorism -- the rest were military
      recruits. Of that 7000, they say all but about 200 are
      dead or in jail.
       
      - But Al Qaeda, they say, is like a brand which has been
      heavily franchised. And nobody knows how many unofficial
      franchises have been spawned since 9/11.
       
      - The global economy is in very very very very bad shape.
      Last year when WEF met here in New York all I heard was,
      "Yeah, it's bad, but recovery is right around the
      corner". This year "recovery" was a word never uttered.
      Fear was palpable -- fear of enormous fiscal hysteria.
      The watchwords were "deflation", "long term stagnation"
      and "collapse of the dollar". All of this is without war.
       
      - If the U.S. unilaterally goes to war, and it is
      anything short of a quick surgical strike (lasting less
      than 30 days), the economists were all predicting extreme
      economic gloom: falling dollar value, rising spot market
      oil prices, the Fed pushing interest rates down towards
      zero with resulting increase in national debt, severe
      trouble in all countries whose currency is guaranteed
      agains the dollar (which is just about everybody except
      the EU), a near cessation of all development and
      humanitarian programs for poor countries. Very few
      economists or ministers of finance predicted the world
      getting out of that economic funk for minimally five-10
      years, once the downward spiral ensues.
       
      - Not surprisingly, the business community was in no mood
      to hear about a war in Iraq. Except for diehard American
      Republicans, a few Brit Tories and some Middle East folks
      the WEF was in a foul, angry anti-American mood. Last
      year the WEF was a lovefest for America. This year the
      mood was so ugly that it reminded me of what it felt like
      to be an American overseas in the Reagan years. The rich
      -- whether they are French or Chinese or just about
      anybody -- are livid about the Iraq crisis primarily
      because they believe it will sink their financial
      fortunes.
       
      - Plenty are also infuriated because they disagree on
      policy grounds. I learned a great deal. It goes FAR
      beyond the sorts of questions one hears raised by
      demonstrators and in UN debates. For example:
       
      - If Al Qaeda is down to merely 200 terrorists cadres and
      a handful of wannabe franchises, what's all the fuss?
       
      - The Middle East situation has never been worse. All
      hope for a settlement between Israel and Palestine seems
      to have evaporated. The energy should be focused on
      placing painful financial pressure on all sides in that
      fight, forcing them to the negotiating table. Otherwise,
      the ME may well explode. The war in Iraq is at best a
      distraction from that core issue, at worst may aggravate
      it. Jordan's Queen Rania spoke of the "desperate search
      for hope".
       
      - Serious Islamic leaders (e.g. the King of Jordan, the
      Prime Minster of Malaysia, the Grand Mufti of Bosnia)
      believe that the Islamic world must recapture the glory
      days of 12-13th C Islam. That means finding tolerance and
      building great education institutions and places of
      learning. The King was passionate on the subject. It also
      means freedom of movement and speech within and among the
      Islamic nations. And, most importantly to the WEF, it
      means flourishing free trade and support for entrepeneurs
      with minimal state regulation. (However, there were also
      several Middle East respresentatives who argued precisely
      the opposite. They believe bringing down Saddam Hussein
      and then pushing the Israel/Palestine issue could
      actually result in a Golden Age for Arab Islam.)
       
      - US unilateralism is seen as arrogant, bullyish. If the
      U.S. cannot behave in partnership with its allies --
      especially the Europeans -- it risks not only political
      alliance but BUSINESS, as well. Company leaders argued
      that they would rather not have to deal with US
      government attitudes about all sorts of multilateral
      treaties (climate change, intellectual property, rights
      of children, etc.) -- it's easier to just do business in
      countries whose governments agree with yours. And it's
      cheaper, in the long run, because the regulatory
      envornments match. War against Iraq is seen as just
      another example of the unilateralism.
       
      - For a minority of the participants there was another
      layer of AntiAmericanism that focused on moralisms and
      religion. I often heard delegates complain that the US
      "opposes the rights of children", because we block all
      treaties and UN efforts that would support sex education
      and condom access for children and teens. They spoke of
      sex education as a "right". Similarly, there was a
      decidedly mixed feeling about Ashcroft, who addressed the
      conference. I attended a small lunch with Ashcroft, and
      observed Ralph Reed and other prominent Christian
      fundamentalists working the room and bowing their heads
      before eating. The rest of the world's elite finds this
      American Christian behavior at least as uncomfortable as
      it does Moslem or Hindu fundamentalist behavior. They
      find it awkward every time a US representative refers to
      "faith-based" programs. It's different from how it makes
      non-Christian Americans feel -- these folks experience it
      as downright embarrassing.
       

      - When Colin Powell gave the speech of his life, trying
      to win over the nonAmerican delegates, the sharpest
      attack on his comments came not from Amnesty
      International or some Islamic representative -- it came
      from the head of the largest bank in the Netherlands! I
      learned that the only economy about which there is much
      enthusiasm is China, which was responsible for 77% of the
      global GDP growth in 2002. But the honcho of the Bank of
      China, Zhu Min, said that fantastic growth could slow to
      a crawl if China cannot solve its rural/urban problem.
      Currently 400 million Chinese are urbanites, and their
      average income is 16 times that of the 900 million rural
      residents. Zhu argued China must urbanize nearly a
      billion people in ten years!
       

      I learned that the US economy is the primary drag on the
      global economy, and only a handful of nations have
      sufficient internal growth to thrive when the US is
      stagnating.
       
      The WEF was overwhelmed by talk of security, with fears
      of terrorism, computer and copyright theft, assassination
      and global instability dominating almost every
      discussion.
       
      I learned from American security and military speakers
      that, "We need to attack Iraq not to punish it for what
      it might have, but preemptively, as part of a global war.
      Iraq is just one piece of a campaign that will last
      years, taking out states, cleansing the planet."
       
      The mood was very grim. Almost no parties, little fun. If
      it hadn't been for the South Africans -- party animals
      every one of them -- I'd never have danced. Thankfully,
      the South Africans staged a helluva party, with Jimmy
      Dludlu's band rocking until 3am and Stellenbosch wines
      pouring freely, glass after glass after glass....
       
      These WEF folks are freaked out. They see very bad
      economics ahead, war, and more terrorism. About 10% of
      the sessions were about terrorism, and it's heavy stuff.
      One session costed out what another 9/11-type attack
      would do to global markets, predicting a far, far worse
      impact due to the "second hit" effect -- a second hit
      that would prove all the world's post-9/11 security
      efforts had failed. Another costed out in detail what
      this, or that, war scenario Would do to spot oil prices.
      Russian speakers argued that "failed nations" were
      spawning terrorists --- code for saying, "we hate
      Chechnya". Entire sessions were devoted to arguing which
      poses the greater asymmetric threat: nuclear, chemical or
      biological weapons.
       
      Finally, who are these guys? I actually enjoyed a lot of
      my conversations, and found many of the leaders and rich
      quite charming and remarkably candid. Some dressed
      elegantly, no matter how bitter cold and snowy it was,
      but most seemed quite happy in ski clothes or casual
      attire. Women wearing pants was perfectly acceptable, and
      the elite is sufficiently Multicultural that even the
      suit and tie lacks a sense of dominance. Watching Bill
      Clinton address the conference while sitting in the hotel
      room of the President of Mozambique -- we were viewing it
      on closed circuit TV -- I got juicy blow-by=blow analysis
      of US foreign policy from a remarkably candid head of
      state. A day spent with Bill Gates turned out to be
      fascinating and fun. I found the CEO of Heinekin
      hilarious, and George Soros proved quite earnest about
      confronting AIDS. Vicente Fox -- who I had breakfast with
      -- proved sexy and smart like a --- well, a fox. David
      Stern (Chair of the NBA) ran up and gave me a hug.
       
      The world isn't run by a clever cabal. It's run by about
      5,000 bickering, sometimes charming, usually arrogant,
      mostly male people who are accustomed to living in either
      phenomenal wealth, or great personal power. A few have
      both. Many of them turn out to be remarkably naive --
      especially about science and technology. All of them are
      financially wise, though their ranks have thinned due to
      unwise tech-stock investing. They pay close heed to
      politics, though most would be happy if the global
      political system behaved far more rationally -- better
      for the bottom line. They work very hard, attending
      sessions from dawn to nearly midnight, but expect the
      standards of intelligence and analysis to be the best
      available in the entire world. They are impatient. They
      have a hard time reconciling long term issues (global
      wearming, AIDS pandemic, resource scarcity) with their
      daily bottomline foci. They are comfortable working
      across languages, cultures and gender, though white
      caucasian males still outnumber all other categories.
      They adore hi-tech gadgets and are glued to their cell
      phones.

      Welcome to Earth: meet the leaders.
       
      Ciao,
      Laurie
       

       
      Viorica Weissman
      NDS
       
      From 'The Prophet', Khalil Gibran

       Then said a teacher,
       Speak to us of Teaching.
       And he said: 


       No man can reveal to you aught but that which
       already lies half asleep in the dawning of your
       knowledge.
       The teacher who walks in the shadow of the
       temple, among his followers, gives not of his
       wisdom but rather of his faith and his lovingness.
       If he is indeed wise he does not bid you enter
       the house of his wisdom, but rather leads you to the
       threshold of your own mind.

       The astronomer may speak to you of his understanding
       of space, but he cannot give you
       his understanding.

       The musician may sing to you of the rhythm
       which is in all space, but he cannot give you
       the ear which arrests the rhythm, nor the voice
       that echoes it.

       And he who is versed in the science of numbers
       can tell of the  regions of weight and measure,
       but he cannot conduct you thither.

       For the vision of one man lends not its wings to
       another man.

       And even as each one of you stands alone in
       God's knowledge, so must each one of you be
       alone in his knowledge of God and
       his understanding of the earth. 


      J. Heierbach
      Talking Stick Wisdom

      We see but dimly through the mists and vapors;
          Amid these earthly damps
          What seem to us but sad, funeral tapers
          May be heaven's distant lamps.
          --Longfellow (1819-1892)




       

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