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Say It Isn’t So!

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Lest upon initial reading you presuppose that this blog is a turn of events for me, I encourage you to read on. What begins as an entertainment review of a new and timely Netflix mini-series has an ironic relevance in today’s news environment.

Literature, whether fictional or factual, provides deep insight to the issues of a culture at a specific time and place and beyond. Dickens, Swift, Bronte among the many others come immediately to mind as illuminating social and political wrongs, championing a way forward that changed the world.  Today, as readership succumbs to viewership, television dominates entertainment and occasionally rises to a form of literature.  As a passive source of information it easily seeps into the broader public consciousness unnoticed.

Such may be the case with “The Spy,” a new Netflix mini-series starring the faux-docu-prankster Sasha Baron Cohen in a startlingly, serious dramatic role as the Israeli spy, Eli Cohen.  Sasha brings this true story to life, that of an ordinary man who is recruited by the Mossad to become Israel’s top spy in Syria.  So embedded is he, that he is offered the position of becoming Syria’s Defense Minister.  His access to the designs and plans of the Syrian government and military operations are remarkable and his careful social placement enables Israeli defenses to thwart major Syrian offensives.  Having watched this only the day before the following news stories broke, I found it provided added clarity and a deeper understanding of the potential repercussions we face. I encourage everyone to see it.

As Trump announced that he was withdrawing his invite for Taliban terrorists to join him at Camp David on the eve of the 911 attacks, for the purpose of signing a peace treaty with the U.S. and Afghanistan, a brain-dead move (the invite not the withdrawal), it was quickly revealed that his motivation was to claim a dealmaker’s glory in a two year process negotiated entirely by others.  In fact, the deal had been agreed to and all that remained was for Trump to sign the treaty.  Instead, he decided in his typically narcissistic way to make it all about himself with a giant publicity photo-op stunt at Camp David, thereby cementing his role as the ultimate peacemaker, surpassing Clinton, Bush and Obama, when in actuality he remains nothing more than the “Sharpie King” of rubberstamps. The blowback was swift and this ill-planned event became the undoing of the peace process and the previous two years of hard work.

Trump acted swiftly by firing John Bolton, National Security Advisor, the very next day.  Now I’m no Bolton fan and celebrate his demise, but is the timing just coincidence or is Bolton the sacrificial lamb of Trump’s failures? Trump’s solution, one that he is reportedly seriously considering, is to have Pomeo do two jobs, Secretary of State and National Security Advisor.  It’s not completely unprecedented as Trump retreads old Nixon ideas into those of his own.  In the 70’s Henry Kissinger, still a wanted war criminal in France, held both positions simultaneously

How swiftly Trump can undo many years of productive work in all areas of governance has been amply demonstrated over his three year reign. We do not need to revisit or enumerate the many instances of his deviant skill.  But one very significant instance was revealed at the very same time that we learned of the Camp David debacle.  In 2017, the NSC extracted an asset (we can assume a CIA asset) who had managed a secure position high in the government of Russia, so high as to have access to PUTIN, his very desk, papers and plans, a position that is virtually irreplaceable and whose loss incurs irreparable harm.  Like Eli Cohen in “The Spy” this asset had actually photographed papers on the President’s desk.  How rare is that?  How valuable is that

U.S. intelligence reacted to protect the life of the asset by removing him or her from Russia over their concerns that Trump was a potential security risk and therefore a threat to the life of the asset.  2017 was the same year that  Trump took a private meeting with Russian Ambassador Kislyak and Foreign Minister Lavrov in the Oval Office, the day after he fired FBI director, Comey, a joking matter for the three amigos to yuk it up about.  The Russian press, Tass,  provided the only photojournalist to the meeting. Does anyone else see anything wrong with this?  A Russian photographer was included while  access by all American journalists was denied. Later we learned that Trump had leaked highly classified information to the Russians in the process compromising Israeli interests and may have exposed Mossad methods and assets by providing the connection for reverse engineering that portion of Mossad’s spy network.  As might be predicted, Mossad expressed concerns over sharing future secrets with U.S. intelligence, knowing that ultimately they might be revealed at the indiscretion of President blabbermouth.

Trump goes to great lengths to keep his conversations with Russian leaders very secret.  At his Helsinki meeting with Putin, only the two interpreters were present and the written notes of the American interpreter were taken by Trump and destroyed leaving the only records of that meeting, like that of the Oval office meeting, in Russian hands.

Lately, Trump has been whining in the corridors of the Whitehouse to his closest associates and Whitehouse staffers that he doesn’t like spies. He says that they interfere with his ability to maintain the personal relationships he has built with his foreign dictator buddies, as if that wipes the slate clean on the loss of our highly placed Russian asset and future intel, which incidentally he claims can’t be trusted. What may be secrets in these meetings to United States government officials is actually well known intel to a variety of Russians with connections and a need to know.  What could make Trump say such a thing as he doesn’t like spies?  Might it be that a highly placed source could gain access to the notes regarding his secret meetings and his criminal conspiracy against the people of the United States might be revealed?  Sure seems logical to me.

But if tweets are any indication of Trump’s priorities, one has to look no further than his battle with NOAA over his alteration of the weather map of hurricane Dorian’s path to create fear among Alabamans. To Rex Tillerson’s Trump moniker, “a fucking moron,” I would have to add a “shameless buffoon.” That the President of the United States would degrade the office and humiliate himself by altering a weather map with his sharpie is beyond the pale of rational thought.  After Mike Medavoy ordered Wilbur Ross to provide cover for the President’s lie by threatening the NOAA forecasters who contradicted the President with firing, it must surely be apparent to reasonable citizens that Trump and his cronies are unfit to govern.

But that simple minded idiot just can’t seem to get anything right, even the weather.  He’d rather lie than look outside, as he claimed that the crowd for his Fayetteville rally stood outside waiting in the pouring rain to get in, such is their devotion to him.  Trouble is, it wasn’t raining in Fayetteville that day.

Now as we question the efficacy of the “rule of law” concept, we are reduced to getting any satisfaction by hurling invectives back at this immature bully we have elected. It’s rather like cursing at the plague of bad drivers that populate our streets and highways. After Trump picked a fight with singer, John Legend and his wife, Chrissie Teigen she tweeted back, calling Trump a “pussy ass bitch,” currently gone viral with 122,000 retweets and 775,000 likes. Take that you dumb ass!

Not to stay out of the cursing fray, Beto O’Rourke, who said “this is fucked up” in an on air interview has capitalized on this popular sentiment raising campaign funds by selling T-shirts emblazoned with the phrase “This is so f*cked up.”

It may be satisfying fun to kick this sot, but the fun’s over and we need to get down to business.

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A note from the Publisher

New Report by National Academy of Sciences (USA): Social Media is Hazardous to Your Health

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Why some biologists and ecologists think social media is a risk to humanity

At a time of information overload, when most people can’t decipher truth from fiction, when our world and corporate leaders bow down to the corporate interests that are destroying all life as we know it for their short term personal gains, there are billions of social media accounts attached to mechanisms that continue to amplify misinformation and corporate propaganda. All of this inflicts tremendous damage to all life and our life support systems.

The report is attached below.  In Summary, it states:

Collective behavior provides a framework for understanding how the actions and properties of groups emerge from the way individuals generate and share information. In humans, information flows were initially shaped by natural selection yet are increasingly structured by emerging communication technologies. Our larger, more complex social networks now transfer high-fidelity information over vast distances at low cost. The digital age and the rise of social media have accelerated changes to our social systems, with poorly understood functional consequences. This gap in our knowledge represents a principal challenge to scientific progress, democracy, and actions to address global crises. We argue that the study of collective behavior must rise to a “crisis discipline” just as medicine, conservation, and climate science have, with a focus on providing actionable insight to policymakers and regulators for the stewardship of social systems.

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Editorials

Everything Connects

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For the sake of planetary and personal health, business will have to change.

Special Presentation: Sarah Savory

Our existing systems of media and education provide a limited worldview. This reductionist worldview limits our ability to see and exist in the world properly, effectively and in total health.

For us to truly thrive as a species in harmony with the natural world, we will need to see the world as ONE LIVING BREATHING ORGANISM, and our part and place in the world as a part of this organism.  This will require a shift in our thinking, in our action and in the ways we make our decisions.  This very forward-thinking conversation will clearly identify where we are at, how we arrived at this point, what needs to happen, how we get there, what are the obstacles and how will we overcome these obstacles.  And yes, business will have to change.

As Bucky Fuller said: “Nature is a totally efficient, self-regenerating system. If we discover the laws that govern this system and live synergistically within them, sustainability will follow and humankind will be a success.”

But humans don’t know how to manage the complexities of our world. The increasing social, economic, and ecological disasters we are experiencing across the world are the mounting symptoms of our not considering the whole and managing our societies, economies, and nature in isolation of each other when they are an inseparable whole – no person or nation on earth can have physical or financial stability without ecological health.

Sarah Savory has worked alongside her father, Allan Savory who created the Holistic Management Framework. In this exhilarating conversation, we’ll discover a new and improved decision-making process to enable us to manage and balance the inseparable complexity of human societies, economies, and nature. Remember, we’re all in this together

Sarah Savory

Sarah Savory is the single mother of 2 young children, Luke and Mika. She is the youngest daughter of Allan Savory, world-renowned ecologist and developer of Holistic Management (a decision making process which successfully guides us through the complexity we manage by ensuring simultaneously socially, financially and ecologically sound decisions.)
Sarah is following closely in his footsteps and has become a very successful Holistic Management Consultant and Educator in her own right.
In an effort to simplify the framework, she has written illustrated, educational children’s books on Holistic Management and has also broken new ground by teaching HM as a subject in Zimbabwean schools, with demand for education and educational materials growing rapidly and is now writing the first school curriculum for Holistic Decision Making and Ecological Literacy to be taught as a subject in schools.
She is a part of Africa Centre For Holistic Management’s new training and education team and she is part of a new, global policy task force which is focusing on breaking through in government policy. Sarah and her father recently met with President Mnangagwa to begin talks about working with the Zimbabwean government to develop the first ever agricultural policy using the Holistic Management Framework.
Sarah spends the rest of her time writing articles, giving presentations and being interviewed both locally and internationally.
A personal note from Sarah to our youth – you are the key to the future:
Holistic Management involves introducing people to new scientific insights that will not only help them to better understand the incredibly complex social, economic and ecological connections in nature and how earth’s ecosystems function, but teach a new way of managing which makes sure our decisions flow with the unpredictable, ever-present and constantly changing variables of that complexity.
Managers learn how to make decisions or develop polices in a way that guarantees they never lose sight of the whole picture and the fact that our physical and financial security and stability are intricately connected and entirely dependent on the health of our environment – the only economy that can ultimately sustain any nation is one based on healthy soil and the plant’s ability to turn the sun’s energy into food because everything we use or consume comes from the land.
When it comes to making a change and adapting to new knowledge and thinking, history shows us that most adults and institutions are almost incapable of it. I truly believe the key to the future lies in educating our children, rather than pinning all our hopes on the possibility of “old dogs learning new tricks.”
Let’s give young people the solutions and show them how vital it is to look at the whole picture and to focus on and address root causes instead of symptoms.
If we can have school leavers going off into the world ecologically literate and capable of successfully managing and balancing the unavoidable social, financial and ecological dimensions of their decisions, rather than being stuck as we are now, on a hamster wheel reacting or adapting to the inevitable and increasing symptoms of our current management, they will be proactively making decisions in a new way that will bring about the physical and financial stability we all want, reversing the current problems and preventing any more knock-on symptoms further down the line. When we do that, it will change everything.

Related Stories:

Barry Dossenko interview with Allan Savory

Allan Savory: How to effect meaningful transformation to address the global climate crisis.

For a healthier planet, management must change

 

https://mobilized.news/a-timely-message-for-world-leaders-from-holistic-management-pioneer-allan-savory-of-savory-global/

 

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Arts

Chautauquas and Lyceums and TED Talks, oh my!

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Our future is in OUR Hands

We are aiming with Mobilized to create a vibrant forum for ideas.  “Big deal”, you might say, there are already places for that.

Well, you’re not wrong.  There was, in the earliest days of the web, a loose and wild forum called The Well.  The great and powerful Google had as it’s mission the goal of “bringing all the knowledge of the world to every person”… before it pivoted to a new goal of just making money off of what it knows about us.  That change was a real pity.  There have been sites such as Wiser Earth, which aimed to be a global directory of people and non-profit organizations so that collaboration could happen on a larger scale than ever before.  It lasted about two years, sadly; not long enough to create a legacy.  Huffington Post had a good run in its’ early days, sharing ideas widely and helping to boost its’ contributors in the public’s mind.

What’s important to know, is that as of this writing, there is not really a widely recognized forum online or in ‘meat-space’.  There are print publications such as YES! magazine, Tikkun, The Sun Magazine, and The Utne Reader, all of which which reach a population of hundreds thousands.  Great, but their reach could be even more broad, in my humble opinion.  Within social media sites there are plenty of good ‘groups’ but they also don’t reach enough folks outside of their own memberships.

Probably the most popular comparable live events right now are the TED talks, which do serve a valuable purpose.  Sadly, they also tend toward the ‘Gee-Whiz‘ and the ‘Shiny New Buzzword‘ in their contents.  Mobilized really wants to focus on the proven, the existing, and the hidden.  There are already, all over, groups doing wonderful work, but too many of them are laboring in obscurity.

So, how do we do that?  Well to begin with, we’re not trying to be a technology startup.  There is no secret sauce, no fancy algorithm at work here.  Almost all the underlying code behind Mobilized is made with off-the-shelf parts, such as WordPress.  There is zero reason to re-invent the wheel, and frankly the notion that one must do so has tripped up several earlier attempts at building a successful progressive community.  We take the approach of using the tools at hand to build our house.

Secondly, we are going into the future with an eye firmly on the past.  And that leads us to the point of this essay, a look at how America became America.  We can take many lessons from the past.  One of our best ideas as a nation was the Chautauqua movement.   It had it’s heyday from the 1870’s right up until the beginning of World War II.  In part, it helped spawn a Lyceum movement, the Vaudeville traditions in the theater world; and had an effect on the earliest days of the motion-picture industry.  Here’s why it was so popular: the average person, anywhere in the land, could go to a Chautauqua when it came to their town, and engage in spirited discussion with the brightest minds of the day.  It was direct, person-to-person, and offered a mix of local and national ideas and people; presented on a rotating basis.  So ideas could be hashed out and spread rapidly.  And they did.  In no small part due to these two movements, the Robber Barons of the Gilded Age were defeated.  The Great Depression was tackled too, and along the way no less than Susan B. Anthony, Teddy Roosevelt and Mark Twain became huge fans.  No part of society could, or wanted to, ignore the notion that average people could teach other average people.

Mobilized aims to help bring that back into common understanding.  In the present era, there may well be a place for tents and lecturers setting up in farmer’s fields.  There certainly is a crying need for an educational platform that is accessible to the masses.  And now, there exist enough robust tools for us to re-create the ethos of a Chautauqua on the internet.

We, the people, when it really mattered and the stakes were high, collectively taught ourselves how to better ourselves.  Now, in every corner of the world, the stakes are once again pretty high.  It is time for a new Chautauqua movement, and this one will be truly global.  So step right up, come on inside our virtual tent.  Welcome to the show.

 

 

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