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December 2009

Terror Succeeds even when it Fails, it seems

Strategist of guerrilla warfare, John Robb, shows how the failed bomb attacked actually succeeded, and how our response to to terror breeds more of it.

We all want to change the world in ways that we can measure, manage, and leverage cost effectively and very efficiently. The terrorists are doing that remarkably well. We want to change the world in ways that advance our values, and create a lasting legacy. The terrorists do that very well.

At some point, the conversation has to turn to improving the values on which all this activity, measurement and management turn. Brand builders, propagandists, clerics in caves or cathedrals, social venturers, all should enter the space where we put our own ideology at risk from the foundations upward.

The Utility of Liberals

Chris Hedges via Thivai:

I am not disappointed in Obama. I don’t feel betrayed. I don’t wonder when he is going to be Obama. I did not vote for the man. I vote socialist, which in my case meant Ralph Nader, but could have meant Cynthia McKinney. How can an organization with the oxymoronic title Progressives for Obama even exist? Liberal groups like these make political satire obsolete. Obama was and is a brand. He is a product of the Chicago political machine. He has been skillfully packaged as the new face of the corporate state. I don’t dislike Obama—I would much rather listen to him than his smug and venal predecessor—though I expected nothing but a continuation of the corporate rape of the country. And that is what he has delivered.

Will Women of Wealth Educate themselves to Take their Seat at the Legacy Planning Table?

"My money is planned," says the inheritor to her Wealth Coach, "by Daddy and his fraternity brother. I have no place at the table where the big dollars are planned. I sit in the front parlor moving millions to philanthropy, while Daddy makes billions, God knows how. Women must fund their own revolution!"

What I notice in this is the drama triangle: Father, or brother, or husband, as persecutor; inheritor as victim;  Wealth Coach as rescuer. The truth is that the woman is not at the table maybe because she is ignorant of how money works. Given a choice of getting educated or remaining a victim, many an heir and many a Wealth Coach too chooses ignorance, which is blissful, particularly if blame can be shifted to another generation, to  advisors, or to another gender. A rising generation of women, I believe, is past this. Rather than embracing the pathos of privileged victim and revolutionary heroine, they are getting educated in money and working with those who are. When women with ideals sit at the table with the men who are world weary and cynical, what will be the result? I can only hope that as the women wise up to, and assume, the Machiavellian responsibilities of dynastic wealth, the men become effeminate enough to dribble out a little giving now and again, as their wives and daughters now do, at least in the name of good PR.

Teaching Penguins to Fly: The Evolution of the Philanthropic Ecosystem

"I am not a mammal, says the fish, "why would I need paws?"

"If I were a bird," says the penguin, "God would have given me wings."

The fish finding it has tiny paws, folds them tightly against its belly, deeply ashamed.

The penguin swimming with its wings cannot help dreaming of a sky even bluer than the sea. 

Both will perish if they yield to the force that drives them beyond themselves. So how can I recommend it? (C.f teaching holistic planning for finance and social impact to fundraisers and advisors.)

The Growing Market for Total Collapse

Club Orlov:

Over just the past year, based on the numerous blog comments and emails I have received, I could see the mood of the audience shift. First, the audience got much larger: collapse has gone mainstream. Second, the mood went from light-hearted and humorous to earnest, to serious, to concerned, to angry. This is, of course, perfectly understandable. Over the course of the past year, it has become clear that Obama is just the next political fraud-in-chief, that national bankruptcy is unavoidable, that economic recovery is a pipe dream, that Washington and Wall Street have congealed into a single kleptocratic monolyth impervious to popular influences, that Pax Americana is at an end throughout the world, and that if you aren't absolutely certain that you are high-class, then you must be low-class like the rest of us, because the middle class ain't no more. Funny, isn't it, the difference just one year makes?

Conscious Money

Vicki Robin at Your Money or Your Life:

Join some of the top money authors, speakers, thinkers and activists in this weekly teleclass series. Like a private radio show or an exclusive conference, the teleclass series will give you an opportunity to dialogue with my guests, really digging deep into the topic and hearing off the cuff answers. The line up is astonishing.

The Mentalist

Reading minds is it his own thoughts he finds? Those of the other? Or something uncanny to which both parties assent, though neither can call it "mine"? If the student is not the teacher's teacher, she has no teacher and is no student. The dialog of mind reading and instruction can be conducted with the dead. In fact, they are often the best teachers and the most apt pupils. The dead speak through us in a new voice. Is that not what scripture says? The prophets foretell what the Priest enunciates today. You can see that every day on TV.