Category Archive for 'Intelligence'

Islam, Aikido, and Environmental Sustainability

By: Michael D. McDonald, Dr.P.H.

In reading Dr. Farooq Hassan’s Presidential Address on “Islam: Environmental Protection,” I am inspired to suggest an ambitious project to change the course of human history toward environmental sustainability.  We have before us a unique opportunity to embrace our larger humanity and its movement toward a more sustainable future.  It is very encouraging to have such an eminent scholar discussing the truths of the Qur’an as they apply to humanity living in harmony with our environment. 

Within the traditions of Islam, Aikido, and the way of the western pilgrim are the seeds for developing a common understanding of a positive, peaceful, and sustainable future.  Aikido teaches that maintaining one’s own balance in the world, whether in self-defense or in life, is the key to harmony. Western philosophy, going back to ancient Greece, teaches that balance and moderation are key to living in harmony with the world. Although oft honored in the breech, biblical teachings in both Judaism and Christianity speak of living in harmony with nature, and of humankind’s responsibilities as steward of the environment.

Aikido teaches that in order to maintain balance, one must first have a strong base by finding one’s own sustainable center before addressing threats and the complexities of the world at large. In Judaism, the Kabbalah teaches that one must have a solid foundation before venturing into the unknown. Similar concepts in Sufism, Christianity, shamanism, and other religious and cultural traditions prepare the individual to live in balance with nature.

Time to Get Mad as Hell!

I strongly recommend that you establish a custom “Global Warming” section on your Google news page.

In the upper right hand corner of the Google News screen you can click on the Personalize / Edit and create a custom section. Just enter the two words: global warming — in the search box. That’s how easy it is to do. I set mine to five stories. I may set up a whole page dedicated to global warming stories.

Sadly, Reality is badly under reported by the main stream media in the US. All of the key information, all of the emerging stories, on Global Warming have to be found in foreign sources.

Now here is the real challenge: How do we get the students in our trend setting universities and especially those universities in the early primary states, to light the fuse on this issue? It is the monster in the living room nobody is talking about.

The fact of the matter is that the baby boom generation has blown it Big Time. We had the Club of Rome “Limits to Growth” book back in 1972. We ignored it, or attacked it, as we did not want to believe it. Shame on us. Our children have every right to be mad as hell at us for our willful blindness to this issue.

This is a perfect issue for women, who are much more likely to take a long term view of things — especially the well being of their children. Given that we have perhaps only ten years to get this under control, even some men might get passionate about their futures, not just the next bit of sex, or drugs or gambling.

Time to get mad as hell.

US & Lebanon: Unintended Power Shifts in Middle East?

By: Dr. Farooq Hassan

Harvard University

International events of a momentous nature in the past few years have proved that military solutions do not auger well for its users in this millennium. Since 9/11, despite overwhelming superiority of technology and armaments, it is beyond question that military over-kills have achieved little except physical demolition of structures, landscapes and of thousands of civilians. Indeed, there is incontrovertible evidence that it has generated a wave of nationalism seldom seen on the international scene since the beginning of the last century.

Wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and now in Lebanon have effectively demolished the notion of invincibility of supposedly super trained armies against rag tag militias who are determined to undertake “liberation” of their locales – at least as they see it in non conventional warfare. History seems forgotten by those who are supposed to know it. Those wishing to learn may read the accounts of the British Afghan Wars of 1842 and 1843 to comprehend that the greatest Empire of that time at Westminster was ruthlessness brushed aside by a handful of Pathans.

Citizens Party, part II

Informed, Engaged, Democracy
Collective Public Intelligence

Introduction

If we want an extraordinary future for all of our children, America and Americans must embrace reality. While, as a society, we may have recently found it comfortable to ignore reality, reality is most assuredly going forward, with or without us. What we have allowed to happen from 2000 to date can only be described as a national break-down. We the People failed to do our duty, to pay attention, to stay informed, to remain actively engaged and to keep our government honest.

Today, both the Republican and the Democratic Parties are “running on empty”. They cannot be trusted to represent the Republic within the current “winner take all” system. In addition, their exhausted 20th century solutions that got us to where we are today cannot be expected to get us to where we need to be tomorrow.

After a great deal of reflection, I have come to the conclusion that we need a Citizens Party, not to compete with the Democratic or Republican, or the other 60 plus parties, but to bring all of us together on the one big issue that really matters: Electoral Reform. If we are successful, a Democratic or Republican Presidential candidate willing to field a Vice President from the counterpart party, and a Coalition Cabinet, could win in 2008.

Citizens Party

I have three “big ideas” that I want to present for a “collective public intelligence” process.

10 Threats to the Public Interest & Security

Robert David Steele
04.18.06, 6:00 PM ET

Why Secret Intelligence is Bad

Director of National Intelligence [DNI] Covers 17.5%

In the Age of Information, when secret sources are less valuable and open sources are more essential in understanding reality and crafting responsible public policy, what are the ten greatest threats to the United States of America? What ten questions should the reformed and revitalized Director of National Intelligence (DNI) be able to answer for Congress and the public? This challenge has been answered generally by the Report of the High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change, A more secure world, Our shared responsibility (United Nations, 2004), but nothing the DNI is doing today is helpful in actually addressing, in a substantive sustained way, each of these threats.

Steele Goes After Cheney

On his excellent site, Robert Steele has a PORTAL: Collective Intelligence

Here is his COMMENT of 3 Nov 05.

Two forces have come together in our mind in the past week, and today we acknowledge both. On the one hand, as we further our strategy of Googlizing intelligence (Google still cannot data mine, visualize, game, translate, or connect people quickly with one another and with relevant information, but that is coming), we have realized this week that the pathologies of the secret intelligence community are what enabled the pathologies of the neo-conservatives, aided by the dishonest vapidity of most Members of the Senate and the House–the Republicans cravenly took orders from the White House (Dick Cheney specifically, as President Pro Tem of the Senate), and the Democrats cravenly let themselves get steam-rolled and sold out their constituencies as the extremeist Republicans sold out their country.

Secret intelligence is for all practical purposes dead as a force for good. At this time, with the $9 billiion satellite as the poster child of classified idiocy, the US Intelligence Community is a sucking chest wound in the Executive Branch, and unlikely to be operated on in a meanigful way anytime soon. However, and we are moved with admiration for Ambassador Joseph Wilson, this week we also saw the power of truth and openness.

Energy, Democracy & Peak Oil

Over on his blog, Mat Gross has an interesting post on the BBC 2003 production The War for Oil.

Past Peak provides us with a link to this BBC special from 2003, which weaves together the threads of declining oil resources and the US/British invasion of Iraq.

It’s a well-done documentary, and a great introduction to peak oil and the present resource wars– well worth spending half an hour to watch. Its most salient point? The oil wars aren’t about who owns the oil, but who burns it. Check it out.

Larisa Alexandrovna pointed me at Michael C. Rupert’s long post on Peak Oil over on From the Wilderness.

Globalization 4.0: The Coming Cognitive Platform Revolution

In The New York Times Sunday Magazine for April 03, 2005, Thomas Friedman has a powerful essay: It’s a Flat World, After All

As far as it goes, Friedman makes a valuable contribution to the conversation about or future we have been avoiding. It will be hard and will require much of us if we are take advantage of the situation. However, Freidman does not discuss four concepts that that would have made his case even stronger:

1] Change in the role of the center vs the edges of the network

2] The technology platform that has enabled and supported the changes he discusses is about to be obsolete. The new platform will dramatically increase the speed of the changes Friedman enumerates.

3] Freidman does not point to current research projects that illuminate the handwriting on the wall.

4]4] A change in the number of dimensions we citizens naturally operate in. The paradox is that as the world loses dimensions, we the people are gaining them.

Six Emerging Global Pandemics

[This post is from a friend with contacts in the national health care arena.]

Bird Flu is only one of the six emerging global pandemics. They are: Super-TB, H5N1 (Bird Flu), Super-Staph, SARS, Super-Malaria and the major threat is still HIV.

H5N1 is going to be very bad, but (at worst) it will cull out 10% of the healthy human population. That would be over 600 million deaths from H5N1. If it focusses on the weak, just what disease is supposed to do, it may be a very perverse partial solution to the tensions caused by exploding global population and the carrying capacity of the earths natural systems.

The most terrifying pandemic tidal wave is the one no-one is wants to address – (Except maybe China).

HIV, using 20+ million Human Petri-Dishes kept alive with long term “maintain” drugs, is evolving at a rate of 3 generations an hour/host into an indestructible, casual-contact, species-buster.

John Negroponte in Honduras

David Eisenberg has a great blog entry on John Negroponte over on his isen.blog

John Negroponte in Honduras

Torture, especially when my country does it and helps others do it, ties my stomach in knots when I think about it. Denial is easier. But the nomination of John Negroponte by the Bush Administration to be U.S. “security” czar demands non-denial.

John Negroponte was US Ambassador to Honduras from 1981 to 1985. This jaw-dropping 1995 article in the Baltimore Sun documents this era with declassified U.S. documents, interviews with survivors of torture by U.S. trained troops that took place with U.S. knowledge, and with a 1993 investigation by the Honduras government itself.

A few excerpts from the Sun article:

“Extrajudicial executions, arbitrary detentions and the lack of due process … characterized these years of intolerance,” stated the [1993] report of the National Commissioner for the Protection of Human Rights in Honduras. “Perhaps more troublesome than the violations themselves was the authorities’ tolerance of these crimes and the impunity with which they were committed.”

and …..

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