Posted by: Dr Pano Kroko | August 10, 2014

The Path

Hafiz once wrote:

“That is what greatness does: kindly leaves a shelter for us to gather under, where more nourishment can be offered to all things. Strange the way my shadow began to fall. I was standing in a field helping the dawn appear, and when its body, the sun, was fully lifted into the sky I was amazed to see my shadow in front of me as I faced that luminous candle we all know.”

Yours,

Pano

If we lived in ancient Rome, I would imagine all of you — political Leaders, CEOs, Chairmen, Innovators, PMs, MPs, MEPs, Disruptors, Change makers, Outliers, Mindful leaders, Entrepreneurs, and Friends reading this blog — as being the perfect Senators.

Custodians of Democracy and Liberty for the Republic.

The benevolent “Republic of the Mind” we all are proud of serving.

You know who You are — leaders yet humble servants of the people, happy to be entrusted with the pursuit of Greatness.

In short You are all Senators. Young and Old alike…

Being a good senator is hard because it comes with a cost, since the best Senators were all fighting men.

The Leading Senators were always on the front lines of all Republican engagements to serve and protect their Democracy, and to further the aims of the benevolent Republic.

Men like You and me, were the best of them. Senators like Cato, Cicero, Catiline and so many others…

The best of them being Cato, the barefoot farmer, warrior, senator, and fighter for Democracy par excellence.

I never thought about it this way before but am also a warrior for Democracy — as well.

Democracy requires fighting… lest it withers and dies.

Complacency, security, and comfort, are always the ending credits for democracy, causing a dearth of rights, and the eventual death of the Benevolent Republic.

In these more modern and in some ways more primitive times — we live in — I realize more than ever today, that we are most successful in driving ourselves back to Serfdom instead of moving forward towards Democracy, Freedom, and Liberty.

And living fully the moment, within this pendulum of change, we realize that we have to fight for our own survival, only when we have moved too far off center. And upon realizing that we have to fight now, today, not tomorrow, for our very survival, and for the survival of our ideal republic of Democracy — only then we can claim to be making our mark in history.

Only when we have to fight the rising tides, building defences and bulwarks, and only when we stand guard against the constantly creeping totalitarianism of our lives, do we get a chance to make a ripple in the enveloping darkness.

And we have to constantly keep on fighting the darkness — much like a start-up has to fight for its place in the market, because all too often we stub our toes when we become too comfortable, confident, or seeking ever more safety and security instead of thriving through change…

“War is the father of us all” said the ancients, and yet as Thucydides was clearly moved by the suffering inherent in war and concerned about the excesses to which human nature is prone in such circumstances, reminds us: “War is a violent teacher”

Analogies between warfare, business, and Politics, are always imperfect, but I do believe that the principles of revolutionary guerrilla warfare in particular are useful to all young aspiring to change Leaders as well as to both managers and politicians, who find themselves in a constantly changing environment squatted upon by the elephantine dimensions of the present day Status Quo.

So let’s borrow a page from Ho Chi Minh, and see what the General has to say about the subject adjusted from the Guerilla Revolutionary Military rulebook to the practice of Leadership in today’s field of honour: The CEO leadership game. Live Happy was one of his precepts even in the thick of battle, or when faced with enormous loses and even when in prison. He extorts his leaders to not let the ego of being the Chief Executive, get in the way of being a leader with a servant’s heart. He suggests that we should never stop being self-aware, introspective, and continually working to improve who we are as a person, leader, and manager of human capital and other resources. He cautions us against becoming reactive in a tough situation based on the external pressures to reach for easy yet costly victories and to succeed in the new role of CEO leader. Never lose balance in your life as a CEO when you need to exercise spirit, body, and mind, in order to keep calm and collected in the face of adversity. And of course act boldly never waiting for all the information to come in because by then it would be way too late to act upon and the outcome perilous. Act with insight and follow your premonitions and the augurious auspices, by accepting that you cannot possibly know everything — and no Supreme Leader, Chairman of the Board, investor, or board member, expects that of you or of any CEO for that matter.

And of course Chairman Mao is also a keen leader of guerilla change and can lead us through this chapter in our History. Chances are that you would already know this if you ever bothered to read his book, but none the less, here you have it: “Who are our enemies? Who are our friends? This is a question of the first importance for the revolution.” Chairman Mao in Analysis of the Classes in Chinese Society (March 1926)

Regardless of your reading habits, ideologies, or political persuasion, just think about the effectiveness of guerrilla tactics from George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, to Che Guevarra and Fidel Castro, to Chairman Mao and Ho Chi Minh. They all succeeded against insurmountable odds at a time when nobody gave them credence.

The story is always the same: Guerrilla fighters, though outnumbered and poorly equipped, can capture the imagination of people, spread fear and inflict serious casualties on enemy troops,and ultimately win. In situations in which political loyalties are uncertain or changing quickly, highly motivated guerrillas can force political compromises or even win battles.

In my view, politicians, same as executives who view the marketplace as a quick-changing battlefield can use similar tactics, in what I call guerrilla warfare management, to achieve remarkable success.

The challenge is to implement revolutionary guerrilla management consistently and on an ongoing basis, since it goes against so much of what we’re taught.

First of all You should be ready to try many different things and see which ones work. “Let a hundred flowers bloom; let a hundred schools of thought contend” is how Mao approached this conundrum when nine out of the ten things he did failed…”If we did ten things, nine were bad and got disclosed by the newspapers, we will be over. Then I will go, to the countryside, lead the peasant and revolt. If the Liberation Army do not follow me, I will get the Red Army.” (July 23, 1959)

Don’t be afraid to try always new things and to swim against the current even if it places yourself and the whole enterprise at risk. “Maybe you’re afraid of sinking. Don’t think about it. If you don’t think about it, you won’t sink. If you do, you will.” Chairman Mao offering swimming advice to physician Zhisui Li (1966)

And the sheer variety of differing approaches and fearless campaigns will allow you a measure of success and give you breathing room to grow. But then it becomes necessary to not fall into complacency because when a company or a political organization becomes successful and well established, there’s a natural tendency to institute corporate tree controls, establish hierarchies, and accumulate assets. But I think this is dangerous and runs directly counter to the individual initiative, and the swift change of positioning that is the backbone of successful revolutionary leaders and guerrilla management alike.

George Washington’s military strategy has been called bumbling at worst and brilliant at best. So which is it? Was George Washington a strategic genius or just lucky? George Washington’s Military Genius is simply the product of reading Military Strategy books and also applying thousands of different tactics until choosing the ones that work. Experimentation was at the core of Washington’s strategy. George Washington’s Military Genius broke the back of the British regular expedition army and laid down the path for the success of the American Revolution into four phases of strategy considering the various systematic outcomes of the conflict: “The British did not have to lose; the patriots did not have to triumph,” writes his current biographer Palmer as he proves without a doubt that Washington’s continuously-changing military tactics were deliberate, strategic responses to the various phases of the war, not because he lacked a plan of action but because he fought as a Guerilla Strategist always shifting, always reinventing, and innovating the battlefield. Confronting the critics who say Washington’s battlefield success and ultimate victories were a function of luck, George Washington’s Military Genius proves why the father of the greatest Democratic country also deserves the title of America’s preeminent strategist.

Long-term planning also conflicts with guerrilla management. If you plan ahead more than two seasons, you lose your flexibility and run the risk of locking yourself into approaches that will lag behind new developments. That is what Lao Tsu cautions against… and we have good evidence that George Washington read the newly translated ‘Art of War” book in 1774. The Lao Tzu treatise on war was brought out and translated from the Chinese a couple of years earlier and found a small following amongst the Strategists of the day…

So George Washington’s contribution to victory in the American Revolution was not that of a great battlefield tactician; in fact he sometimes planned operations that were too complicated for his amateur soldiers to execute. However, his overall guerilla strategy proved to be rather successful: Keep control of 90% of the countryside and the rural population at all times; keep moving; keep the army intact by avoiding pitched battles; use your meagre resources and forage constantly; train always; suppress the Loyalists and reactionaries; avoid decisive battles except to exploit enemy mistakes (as at Saratoga and Yorktown); allow the enemy to sleep comfortable in the big cities like New York, because they will fall in due time like overgrown ripe fruit, on their own.

George Washington dreamed big but planned little. So I too dream far ahead, but I don’t plan far ahead.

The first step in making revolutionary guerrilla management work is to establish the right conditions in your political organization, NGO, or company. The second step is to use those conditions to strategic advantage.

So what are those right conditions to make your company operate at peak capacity?

Stay Lean, fight mean, and always keep moving while hungry. Avoid pitched battles at any cost. Move swiftly and keep changing your positions each and every night. Activate and organize your community. Gain legitimacy by the people, from the people, and for the people. Avoid infrastructure and honour taking. Just as heavy equipment can impede an army in its battle with guerrillas, fixed assets can be a drag on companies in fast-changing industries. Fixed assets not only lock companies into technology that is soon out of date, but they can also be a drain on your most important resource, management energy. Acquiring fixed assets is always a temptation, though, because on paper at least, it seems to cost less than contracting work out. Indeed, perhaps the biggest hidden cost is the management energy that goes into setting up such operations. Management is our scarcest resource, and I want it directed only toward those things that are most essential to cash flow generating. Period.

Keep the lines of communication open. In the heat of battle, a guerrilla commander needs accurate information and the ability to communicate quickly with troops.

The same is required of guerrilla managers, so we’ve set up a number of systems to improve communications. Eliminate all secretarial positions, which means that all leaders must answer their own phones, emails, communiques and interact directly with the public. You’d be surprised at how much more effective you become without a secretary to screen all comers. And also you learn loads of news and gain insight when you talk directly to your clients in the field.

We allow people to work from home, from the road and from hotdesks in many locations across the globe. And we also travel a whole lot so… We need to be axiomatic mobile warriors at best. And in order that things don’t come to a standstill when we’re away from our hotdesks, we all have a routing number leading to our mobile devices and as a further reach we use a decentralized digital answering service to record messages and searches. This untethers people from the office because once you have your troops mobile and able to communicate efficiently, you can use guerrilla management tactics to maximum advantage.

Chairman Mao reminds us that a revolution is not a dinner party. “Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.”

So don’t be afraid to break some plates. Breaking rules and plates is not unkind. It is just necessary to use these tactics to win the war.

Revolutionary tactics include the following paths from the best warriors. Mao, Che, Fidel, Ho, and Sun Tzu all said this: Look for bold, opportunistic, and easily winable battles, where courage and stealth make all the difference. Guerrilla fighters always make up for their smaller numbers against regular armies with superior equipment by being opportunistic. They catch enemy forces off guard, inflict heavy casualties, steal resources, and, if necessary, withdraw quickly. When you’re dealing with large and fast-changing markets, you have to do the same.

Vision, vision, vision. Show your troops the way. Successful guerrilla forces are led by commanders who also are in the thick of the battle. Guerrilla managers have to be willing to get upfront, jump in the trenches, fight in the troubles, and lead at the head of any engagement. That’s why they call them Avantgarde. This is especially important when the total war effort is going poorly.

Motivate your people to keep fighting. Be candid about your problems, and acknowledge in all company meetings your setbacks and the fact that you are on the defensive, being attacked by substantially stronger enemies. When you get stumped, always boost morale, by reassuring employees that you have a plan. Any plan is better than no plan. Avoid recriminations and blame shifting. Take upon your shoulders all the responsibility and lead the fight to the attackers. Make sure to flesh out in detail a “Machiavellian” strategy ahead of time. Most important element of that strategy is that instead of simply exhorting employees to work harder, go with them in the field showing them the way. In no time at all you will regain the high ground and totally turn the situation around.

People are always stunned how effective “guerilla warfare” is… and that is the critical advantage of the Guerilla leader in the Modern day warfare.

Always give your troops responsibility. Multilayered chains of command bog down all companies, political parties, and established armies. The same happens to growing companies. Avoid that at any cost.

Unfortunately, when trying to imitate large corporations – smaller businesses look to hierarchy to relieve the prevailing chaos. Instead, it often creates inefficiency and inhibition. The perils of centralization are well known to anyone who studied any Strategic warfare period of History.

Decentralization is the key tenet of Success much as nature observes this — so should You.

Fight on your terms. If your opponent’s crack troops are based in the valleys and its worst troops are in the mountains, you’ll do best as a guerrilla to fight in the mountains. It seems obvious, but guerrilla managers sometimes lose sight of the basics. It’s easy, unfortunately, to get a little lazy once you’re successful. It is a fact that the smartest guerrilla managers can’t afford to be out of shape for long, since they know there’s never a final victory to be won. At best there’s only a reprieve until the next battle must be fought.

Learn to manage the war effort and don’t prepare for peace because there might never be one… as Chairman reminds us: “There are many stubborn element, graduates in the specialty schools of stubbornness. They are stubborn today, they will be stubborn tomorrow, and they will be stubborn the day after tomorrow. What is stubbornness (huan’gu)? Gu is to be stiff. Huan is to not progress: not today, nor tomorrow, nor they day after tomorrow. People like that are called the stubborn elements. It is not an easy thing to make the stubborn elements listen to our words.”

So keep fighting. After all that’s the best exercise and that’s how you can stay lean, mean, and hungry. So the stubborn paper tigers provide plenty of exercise for You.

Now that you know the basics of guerilla warfare — go and make good use of this blood gained knowledge

And use these those tips to make a “killing” and never turn back.

There is no such thing as thinking laterally, vertically, inside the box, outside the box, or in the periphery of one…

Consider there is no box.

Be dangerous, feared, and respected, and above all else know your real friends from your enemies. Friends and enemies change positions and shift sides constantly. Be aware of that lack of solidity, scarcity of principle, and selfishness in human nature. Always scan the horizons for these changes of ‘weather’ cause they can do you in. This is of the utmost importance.

And accept that the more successful You are the more the jealous Demagogues, the loser folk, and the decrepit minds will attack you. Don’t pay any attention to them because if you stop and start throwing stones to all the barking junkyard dogs along your way — You’ll never make it home in time for supper. Thus spoke “Winston” that best of breed English Bulldog…

Chairman Mao said: “I am hated by many, especially comrade Pang Dehuai, his hatred is so intense that he wished me dead. My policy with Pang Dehuai is such: You don’t touch me, I don’t touch you; You touch me, I touch you. Even though we were once like brothers, it doesn’t change a thing.”

Yours.
Pano

PS:
By the way: “Republic of the Mind” is my next book and it will surely surprise you.

Posted by: Dr Pano Kroko | August 7, 2014

On Culture

“We have to create culture… don’t watch TV, don’t read magazines, don’t even listen to NPR. Create your own roadshow. The nexus of space and time where you are now is the most immediate sector of your universe, and if you’re worrying about Michael Jackson or Bill Clinton or somebody else, then you are disempowered, you’re giving it all away to icons, icons which are maintained by an electronic media so that you want to dress like X or have lips like Y. This is shit-brained, this kind of thinking. That is all cultural diversion, and what is real is you and your friends and your associations, your highs, your hopes, your plans, your fears. And we are told ‘no’, we’re unimportant, we’re peripheral. ‘Get a degree, get a job, get a this, get a that.’ And then you’re a player, you don’t want to even play in that game. You want to reclaim your mind and get it out of the hands of the cultural engineers who want to turn you into a half-baked moron consuming all this trash that’s being manufactured out of the bones of a dying world.”
― Terence McKenna

“Unjust Africa”
Guest Article by Aryeh Neier
Aryeh Neier, is the President Emeritus of the Open Society Foundations and a founder of Human Rights Watch, also is the author of The International Human Rights Movement: A History.

At its recent summit meeting in Equatorial Guinea, the African Union formalized its decision to expand the jurisdiction of the African Court of Justice and Human Rights to include international crimes, such as genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. On a continent where populations have suffered extensively from such crimes, the African Union’s move might at first seem like an important step toward increasing accountability. But, as the accompanying amendment to grant immunity from prosecution to sitting heads of state and senior officials clearly demonstrates, it is actually a transparent effort to let guilty parties off scot-free.

Since the United Nations Security Council established the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in 1993, international criminal justice has come a long way. Indeed, despite intense scrutiny and agonizingly slow trials, several more special tribunals have been established to hold individuals accountable for large-scale crimes committed in countries like Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Cambodia, and Lebanon. Moreover, the ICTY was instrumental in the creation of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in 2002, which has acted on crimes committed in several more countries.

These courts have held hundreds of important trials, almost all them involving the prosecution of guerrilla leaders and high-level officials – including heads of state – who had played a major role in large-scale atrocities. The first head of state tried by an international court was former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milošević, who was accused of overseeing the massacre of thousands of Bosnian Muslims by Bosnian Serbs. Though he died in custody before the trial was completed, his case was a landmark moment in the development of international criminal law.

Since then, international courts have had some major successes. Jean Kambanda, the prime minister of the caretaker government during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, is now serving a life sentence. Former Liberian President Charles Taylor is serving a 50-year sentence for aiding and abetting crimes committed during Sierra Leone’s civil war from 1996 to 2002.

And work is underway on many more cases. The only surviving leader of the brutal Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia, Khieu Samphan, is on trial for genocide and crimes against humanity, including torture, enslavement, and murder. A former president of Côte d’Ivoire, Laurent Gbagbo, and the current president of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, are also being prosecuted.

Meanwhile, the ICC has indicted Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir for atrocities committed in Darfur, though he has not been apprehended. And the African Union itself is helping to bring Chad’s former president, Hissène Habré, to trial in Senegal.

The fact that the charters of all existing international courts and tribunals explicitly deny immunity to anyone is no coincidence; it is vital to their functioning. After all, it is difficult to commit the kind of mass atrocities that would be tried by an international tribunal without the involvement of heads of state and other top officials. And an international court’s credibility and moral standing depends on the fundamental principle that everyone is equal before the law.

Viewed in this light, the African Union’s decision seems to have been driven by the desire to establish the African Court as an alternative to the ICC, thereby giving the continent’s leaders – including those who met in Equatorial Guinea – a means of gaining immunity for their crimes. That stance threatens to unravel more than two decades worth of progress.

Equally problematic, the African Union’s decision creates an additional incentive for heads of state and other senior officials who have committed atrocities to retain their grip on power. Without periodic democratic transitions, these countries’ citizens have few ways to effect change. The resultant feeling of helplessness could fuel unrest – a dangerous prospect, especially in countries that have already suffered mass atrocities at the hands of their leaders.

Instead of providing new reasons for African leaders to hold onto power, the AU should be encouraging them to step down upon the completion of their terms. Only then can it legitimately claim to be pursuing a “united and strong Africa.”

Yours,
Pano

PS:
Africa itself fails every once in a while on the inevitable route to Progress but this step is singularly wrong.

You cannot grant immunity to heads of State anymore than you can stop AIDS by showering with soapy water, or immunizing against the Ebola virus by stomping the ground dancing around the house door…

We all know these things do not work and yet these are popular beliefs held and communicated by some African leaders…

These faulty beliefs lead to many more deaths than necessary.

Try to immunize us from this sort of thinking now moffos…

Posted by: Dr Pano Kroko | August 6, 2014

Amnesty in Israel

“My Brother Went to War in Gaza, I Stayed Back as Amnesty International Israel Director”
Article written by Yonatan Gher, Executive Director, of the NGO Amnesty International Israel — Tel Aviv office.

My brother and I are experiencing the current Israel-Gaza conflict quite differently. He is 20, serving out his military service and has been fighting in Gaza. I, on the other hand, am the Executive Director of Amnesty International Israel, an organization that is now heavily involved in documenting and campaigning on apparent crimes perpetrated by both sides of this conflict. I am also a conscientious objector.

My position does not diminish from the fact that I spend my days worried sick about him and other family members in similar situations. When you have such complexity in a family situation, humor is often the best approach, and so we joke sometimes that if the rest of the world heeds Amnesty International’s call for an arms embargo, I’ll be coming for his gun first.

In this part of the world, humor is one of our ways of dealing with situations that are so terribly sad. From the start of this conflict, more than 1,800 Palestinians and 64 Israeli soldiers as well as three civilians in Israel have been killed. Each and every one of these lives lost – children, babies, elderly people, women, men, in Gaza and Israel alike – is tragic.

When you have such complexity in a family situation, humor is often the best approach, and so we joke sometimes that if the rest of the world heeds Amnesty International’s call for an arms embargo, I’ll be coming for his gun first.

Public discourse in Israel seeks relativity: If you must express sadness over people dying in Gaza, at least don’t be as sad as when it’s an Israeli that is killed. And make sure to note it’s Hamas’s fault, too. Plain simple sadness means that there must be something wrong with you: you must care about them more than about your own people. Traitor.

As I refuse to take part in this, and instead see every life as sacred, without relativity, without context and without justification, I find human rights discourse to be a good refuge. While human rights are a legal framework, they are built on the basis of a higher moral code of the nations of the world at their best. We in Israel ought to have a special affinity towards human rights, as they were created in the aftermath of World War II, as the world’s way of saying ‘never again.’

Nations came together then and decided that there must be limits to the absolute power a nation has over its own citizens, as well as those in countries with whom it is at war. It is a code that has existed in Judaism for centuries: Arvut Hadadit, mutual responsibility between all people, or as Amnesty International often refers to it: Solidarity. The idea is that countries will involve themselves in each other’s business to assure that a set of collectively adopted rights will be granted to each and every person in the world.

Israel has been consistent in its support for the creation of human rights instruments. This includes the active role Israel took in establishing the Refugee Convention in the 1950s, or some good first steps on the Arms Trade Treaty, which was adopted just last year.

Yet, as we have witnessed countless times, Israel has one standard for the rest of the world, and another for itself. Actions which amount to clear violations of human rights when another country commits them, are coined ‘political’ when they happen here, and if you criticize those actions you’ll be accused of ‘ignoring the context,’ or Israel’s favorite: ‘criticizing us is anti-Semitic.’

It’s 2:30 a.m., and I have just pulled my five year old son out of bed. I am holding him in the stairwell – our designated ‘safe zone’ – as the missile siren wails. In a minute, we’ll hear a few loud bangs, which we hope will be the Iron Dome intercepting rockets; rockets that were sent to kill us.

My son spends his mornings in kindergarten, hearing about the soldiers protecting us. He boasts about his own uncle the brave soldier. The children draw pictures which are sent to the combating army units and hung up on tanks and artillery. In the evening, during another siren, he asks me whether there are sirens in Gaza too. I explain that kids in Gaza have none, nor do they have an Iron Dome. “What protects kids there?” he asks…

It seems that the last line of protection for kids in Gaza, for my kid, and for all civilians on both sides of this conflict, is the upholding of human rights. I truly hope that more people around the world take action, to call on all fighting parties to stop targeting civilians, and on their own countries to utilize the International Criminal Court and to impose arms embargoes, to keep us all safe.

Yours,
Pano

PS:

Posted by: Dr Pano Kroko | August 6, 2014

Sing your Song

Go ahead sing…

Go ahead and sing your song…

Sing your song because your own particular song is important.

No matter what you think of it.

Sing your precious song to the world…

Cause there is nobody else who has that song but you.

Your song is your purpose and that is uniquely yours.

So go ahead and sing.

Sing.

Sing like a song bird.

Sing like nobody is listening.

And sing like nobody cares…

There is a tribe in Africa called the Himba tribe, where the birth date of a child is counted not from when they were born, nor from when they are conceived but from the day that the child was a thought in its mother’s mind.

And when a woman decides that she will have a child, she goes off and sits under a tree, by herself, and she listens until she can hear the song of the child that wants to come.

And after she’s heard the song of this child, she comes back to the man who will be the child’s father, and teaches it to him.

And then, when they make love to physically conceive the child, some of that time they sing the song of the child, as a way to invite it.

And then, when the mother is pregnant, the mother teaches that child’s song to the midwives and the old women of the village, so that when the child is born, the old women and the people around her sing the child’s song to welcome it.

And then, as the child grows up, the other villagers are taught the child’s song. If the child falls, or hurts its knee, someone picks it up and sings its song to it. Or perhaps the child does something wonderful, or goes through the rites of puberty, then as a way of honouring this person, the people of the village sing his or her song.

In the African tribe of Himba there is one other occasion upon which the villagers sing to the child. If at any time during his or her life, the person commits a crime or aberrant social act, the individual is called to the center of the village and the people in the community form a circle around them. Then they sing their song to them.

The tribe recognizes that the correction for antisocial behaviour is not punishment; it is love and the remembrance of identity. When you recognize your own song, you have no desire or need to do anything that would hurt another.

And it goes this way through their life. In marriage, the songs are sung, together. And finally, when this child is lying in bed, ready to die, all the villagers know his or her song, and they sing—for the last time—the song to that person.

You may not have grown up in an African tribe that sings your song to you at crucial life transitions, but life is always reminding you when you are in tune with yourself and when you are not.

When you feel good, what you are doing matches your song, and when you feel awful, it doesn’t.

In the end, we shall all recognize our song and sing it well.

You may feel a little warbly at the moment, but so have all the great singers.

Just keep on singing and you’ll find your way home.

Yours,

Pano

After all there are these beautiful little birds called warblers and here is their song:

http://www.soundboard.com/sb/Warbler_Bird_Sounds

Listen.

Listen to them all.

The willow warbler is particularly fascinating…

And to think that some people shoot and eat these wonderful singing birds…

So where is your song?

Belt it out.

Sing plainly and don’t worry about the lyrics, because there is always a Karaoke machine nearby…

Lady Warsi, the senior United Kingdom government’s Foreign Office Minister, has resigned from the government in protest at its policy on Gaza, describing it as “morally indefensible”.

Lady Warsi resigns over UK’s ‘morally reprehensible’ stance on Gaza
Lady Warsi Lady Warsi has resigned saying: ‘I can no longer support government policy on Gaza’.
Foreign Office minister announced on Twitter that she is standing down because she can no longer support government policy.

Lady Warsi’s resignation letter – in full follows herewith.

Lady Warsi announced her departure on Twitter on Tuesday, saying: “With deep regret I have this morning written to the Prime Minister & tendered my resignation. I can no longer support Govt policy on #Gaza.”

In her resignation letter, Warsi said the government’s “approach and language during the current crisis in Gaza is morally indefensible, is not in Britain’s national interest and will have a long term detrimental impact on our reputation internationally and domestically”.

She said the UK’s stance was “not consistent with the rule of law and our long support for international justice”, adding: “The British government can only play a constructive role in solving the Middle East crisis if it is an honest broker and at the moment I do not think it is.”

With deep regret I have this morning written to the Prime Minister & tendered my resignation. I can no longer support Govt policy on #Gaza
— Sayeeda Warsi (@SayeedaWarsi) August 5, 2014

In an interview with the Huffington Post, Warsi said: “Our position not to recognise Palestinian statehood at the UN in November 2012 placed us on the wrong side of history and is something I deeply regret not speaking out against at the time.”

The Tory peer said that, having now stood down, she wanted to “speak more freely” on the issue and her first demand after handing in her resignation letter was for the UK to introduce an arms embargo against Israel.

“It appals me that the British government continues to allow the sale of weapons to a country, Israel, that has killed almost 2,000 people, including hundreds of kids, in the past four weeks alone. The arms exports to Israel must stop.”

Warsi was known to have been unhappy with David Cameron’s failure to unequivocally condemn Israel’s incursion into Gaza or the mounting death toll.

On Monday, the prime minister’s spokesman refused to say if Israel was behaving disproportionately or doing enough to prevent civilian casualties.

Responding to the resignation, a Downing Street spokesman said: “The prime minister regrets that Baroness Warsi has decided to stand down and is grateful for the excellent work that she has done, both as a minister and in opposition.

“Our policy has always been consistently clear – the situation in Gaza is intolerable and we’ve urged both sides to agree to an immediate and unconditional ceasefire.”

Warsi became the first Muslim to sit in the cabinet when she was made Conservative party co-chair by Cameron after the 2010 general election. She was subsequently moved to the post of minister of state at the Foreign Office and minister for faith and communities in the prime minister’s 2012 reshuffle – a move widely regarded as a demotion.

Cameron is due to fly to Portugal on Tuesday morning to rejoin his family on holiday after attending first world war commemorations in the UK, France and Belgium.

Warsi has been increasingly critical of Israel’s behaviour. She recently tweeted: “Can people stop trying to justify the killing of children. Whatever our politics there can never be justification, surely only regret.”

There was a high-level campaign to remove Warsi before last month’s reshuffle, particularly after she appeared on ITV’s The Agenda and posed with a mock front page about the “Eton Mess” at the top of the government.

Warsi is known to be keeping a diary and there have been fears she will publish it before the election in an effort to expose the upper-class coterie in Cameron’s inner circle.

She was removed as Conservative party co-chair and then, in a battle with No 10, was given the title of senior Foreign Office minister.

Her opponents will claim her resignation on a matter of principle is a cynical act, but supporters will say Cameron’s position on Israel has been over-supportive, repeatedly blaming Hamas for the conflict and the breakdown of successive ceasefires. Ironically, Warsi’s decision to quit comes as a three-day ceasefire has been agreed, and both sides are due to enter talks in Cairo.

Her resignation also threatened to reveal disagreement within the Tory party over Israel.

The London mayor, Boris Johnson, responded to Warsi’s resignation by saying it was “very sad” when any government minister stood down.

“I think she will be back as soon as possible. My view as mayor of London is that it is not the function of the mayor to get deeply embroiled in this,” he said on LBC radio’s Ask Boris phone-in.

He added that events in Gaza were “utterly horrifying and unacceptable”, but said “there is no point in politicians getting in a bidding war about issuing the most frenzied denunciation of what is going on”.

Referring to the Israeli bombing, Johnson said: “I cannot for the life of me see why this is a sensible strategy. It is not my function to arbitrate or adjudicate in this matter – I am a passionate supporter of Israel. I cannot for the life of me see the purpose of this. It is disproportionate, ugly and tragic and will not do Israel any good in the long run.”

Lord Gummer, a former Conservative cabinet minister, tweeted that Warsi was a “thoroughly good minister. Real principle. Deserves commendation not ritual scorn”.

Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister, said it was “no secret there are differences of opinions and emphases” in the government in relation to Gaza.

Speaking at an event on immigration, he said: “Sayeeda Warsi clearly feels very strongly about this and has explained it to the prime minister in her own words. I believe it is right for Britain to be unambiguous in our condemnation of Hamas’s indiscriminate firing of rockets but also very forceful and outspoken about Israel. The bombing of three UN schools is a complete outrage.”

Asked whether Cameron had been critical enough of Israel’s actions, Clegg said it was up to the prime minister to speak for himself.

“Clearly the prime minister and I take different views on this and we always have done. We have discussed this on numerous occasions over the last several years. I tend to take a very forthright view and I have long argued [that] the European Union, which is an economic giant in the region, acts like a bit of a pygmy. If the EU were to act with some courage it could have exercised greater influence on this terrible blood-raged conflict, instead of constantly sub-contracting international policy issues to the United States.”

Clegg made it clear he would not be following Warsi and resigning over the issue, saying he agreed with government’s position in favour of “peace rather than conflict and a ceasefire rather than violence”.

“There are differences of emphases about how forceful the government should be in seeking to bring the two sides together,” he said.

Douglas Alexander, Labour’s shadow foreign secretary, said: “Most reasonably minded people across Britain will agree with the sentiments expressed by Baroness Warsi in her resignation statement today. It is a sad reflection of the prime minister’s misjudgment of the crisis in Gaza that this capable minister has felt the need to leave the government.

Yours,
Pano

PS:
Expect far more development short term in the English countryside…

Posted by: Dr Pano Kroko | August 5, 2014

Traveling with Jean Claude Juncker: A new start for Europe

We travelled and spend some quality time with the new President of the European Commission in Athens and we can safely report that he represents a sea change from the old Barosso-bosso president of the commission — a Portuguese man of German subservience.

Jean-Claude Juncker is a Luxembourgish politician and bureaucrat, from the monarchical wealthy Ducate  of Luxembourg. He was and still is a bureaucrat/politician from the smallest yet richest state of Europe. He is a member of the tiny Luxembourg nestled in the armpit shade of Germany, and Belgium and He is now the President-elect of the European Commission.naturally with Luxembourg having a median income of 73,000 Euros per capita and being a Tax avoidance heaven — he has no compassion for the poorer citizens of Europe as his tenure as head of the Eurogroup proved.

Juncker was previously the Prime Minister of Luxembourg from 1995 to 2013. He was the long-serving head of government as he was also Luxembourg’s Minister for Finances from 1989 to 2009, and the first permanent President of the Eurogroup from 2005 to 2013, his tenure encompassing the height of the European financial and sovereign debt crisis.

Juncker was the candidate of the European People’s Party (EPP) for the President of the European Commission going into the 2014 European Parliament elections, which saw the EPP win the most seats. On 27 June, the European Council officially nominated Juncker for the position, and on 15 July, the European Parliament elected him with a majority of 422 votes from a total of 729 cast. He is scheduled to succeed incumbent Jose Manuel Barroso into office in November of 2014…

A lot is expected of him.

And rightly so…

Having muddled his way through as leadeer of the Eurogroup what he will deliver is unclear especially as he is seen to be the Angel of Austerity and the man of Berlin.

However am sure he heeds the clarion call that the people are fed up with Austerity and Berlin led colonialism and all the airy fairy announcements and general lack of real sea changing action.

Now that Juncker will squarely speak on behalf of the richest continent on Earth that does not take care of it’s own people — he just might wake up and have a Damascus moment.

Or not.

So in this trip the President-elect of the Commission Jean Claude Juncker, had some realizations spending time with “Yours truly” and some other realists, who have seen the shambles that European policy represents in a country like Greece.

If he doesn’t have a Paul of Tarsus revelation now — he will never have.

And if he can reconcile this nasty reality of Greece’s structured default and structured famine for Greece’s people with his new patently PR created vision called: “A new start for Europe” — we’ll all be better for that…

Otherwise we’ll have a new French Revolution all over Europe with predictable results of the pitchforks and the gillotines ruling the day. Things are that bad…

“A New Start For Europe” is Jean-Claude Juncker’s agenda for Jobs, Growth, Fairness and Democratic Change in the Continent that has been ravaged by dismal crisis largely caused by bureaucrats and now he hopes to correct the errors of the past and craft a new course.

Albeit not much is expected and with a low bar of expectations he might just surprise us.

Himself being a career bureaucrat we’ll see how this plays out and if in his new position he becomes more than a bureaucrat and maybe a true leader, it remains to be seen. At the present time he is colourless and gray as a typical bureaucrat. But things change…

Jean-Claude Juncker was elected President of the European Commission by a strong majority of 422 votes in the European Parliament plenary session.

As Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker presented his political guidelines for the next European Commission as set out in a document entitled ‘A new start for Europe: My agenda for Jobs, Growth, Fairness and Democratic Change’.

These guidelines are the basis on which Jean-Claude Juncker was elected.

The following are the key quotes from Candidate for President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker’s intervention and constitute a good benchmark to help us measure the progress of the European Commission..

Jean-Claude Juncker went on to state for the record:

“I want to work for a Union that is committed to democracy and reform; that is not meddlesome but works for its citizens rather than against them. I want to work for a Union that delivers.”

“My number one priority and the connecting thread running through each and every proposal will be getting Europe growing again and getting people back to work. To do this, within the first three months of my mandate, I will present a Jobs, Growth and Investment Package to generate an extra EUR 300 billion in investment over the next three years.”

“SMEs are the backbone of our economies, creating 85% of new jobs in Europe – we can’t bury them in paperwork. We must unshackle them from burdensome regulation.”

“It is in everyone’s interest that energy not be used as a political tool. It’s time Europe stood tall on its own feet, pooling our resources, combining infrastructures and uniting our negotiating power.”

“The rescue of the euro was necessary but was weak on the social side. It is unacceptable to me that workers and retired people had to shoulder the burden of structural reform programmes, while ship owners and financial speculators became even richer. In the future we need a more democratically legitimate replacement for the Troika and thorough social impact assessments for any new support programmes.”

“I want a reasonable and balanced trade agreement with the U.S. But I will not sacrifice Europe’s safety, health, social and data protection standards or our cultural diversity on the altar of free trade.”

“We need more solidarity in our immigration policy. I will step up cooperation with third countries to deal with irregular migration more robustly and I will promote a new European policy on legal migration to put Europe on the map as a favourite destination for talent.”

“My firm conviction is that we must move forward as a Union but not necessarily all at the same speed. For some, their final destination may already have been reached. I always was and very much remain ready to listen to and help find solutions for the concerns of each and every Member State.”

“Gender balance is not a luxury but a political must and should be self-evident to all – particularly national leaders when it comes to proposing a candidate for Commissioner. This is in itself a test for the commitment of national governments to a new, more democratic approach in times of change.”

“The European Parliament’s campaign motto was ‘This time it’s different’ – help me make deliver on that promise today. Help me show the world that together we can give Europe its fresh start.”

And for all of us the real Technology and Science leaders reading this Bleeding Edge Blog; here is Juncker’s take on our chosen field of vision: “Europe’s next frontier: Creating digital jobs” Sadly this is how distant his approach is from our reality and You can see this when Juncker describes himself: “I am not really a techie. I still prefer the feel of a newspaper in my hands. And I am convinced that the complexity of European politics cannot always be explained in a 140 character tweet. But you don’t have to be a techie to believe in technology”

“Over the next five years, the most important task of European politicians will be to bring Europe back on track to growth and jobs. I am convinced that the transformative role of digital technologies can be used for creating growth and jobs. The Internet and digital communications can transform our economies as profoundly as the steam engine did in the 18th century or electricity did in the 19th century. For me, a fully digital Europe will therefore be one of my priorities as next President of the European Commission.” Juncker’s vision is that “Europe’s path to growth is paved with tablets and smartphones.” http://juncker.epp.eu/my-priorities/digital

That’s all from Mr Juncker…
Sorry that his English language skills suck but there you have it. Francophonie at it’s best…

The significant thing is that Europe for the first time tilted it’s autocratic direction and started to elect it’s Supreme Leader in a quasi Democratic way.

Better late than never…

Now our next hurdle is to change this old school mentality of Colonialism and start trusting our populations and our people to be mature enough to start electing as our Leaders the people that are already Real Civic Leaders and who have proven that they merit our vote.

And let’s start choosing those good folks directly.

Yours,
Pano

PS:

I’ve got a question for the new President of European Commission, and we welcome your questions too because we’ll pose these crowdsourced question to Mr Juncker himself in subsequent discussions.

My question is this: Are these admittedly modest goals just mere words and idle talk or maybe our stale “Bureaucrat Extraordinaire” can surpass himself and become a champion of the people of Europe?

Time will tell…

For the Policy Mavens amongst You here is the PDF of his policy agenda: http://ec.europa.eu/about/juncker-commission/docs/pg_en.pdf

And here you can watch the press conference President-elect of the European Commission Jean Claude Juncker and Prime Minister of Greece A. Samaras, gave in Athens: http://ec.europa.eu/avservices/video/player.cfm?ref=I091894

Posted by: Dr Pano Kroko | August 4, 2014

5 Ways to Make you own Good Fortune for Success…

5 Ways to Make you own Good Fortune for Success….

Posted by: Dr Pano Kroko | August 4, 2014

5 Ways to Make you own Good Fortune for Success…

People call me Lucky…

My answer is…

Thank You but am not a gambling man.

Yet when I play — I generally make sure to win.

Being lucky; called lucky, or envied for your good Luck, is nice — but it’s not the whole story.

Luck is not entirely random and of course its an outcome of your good karma. Your thinking and doing predisposes you to Good fortune, but your luck itself is just as much a by-product of your Good Works.

For me it’s not different. Luck is different that Fortune. And Fortune is made by each one of us. Luck is somewhat more obscure…

I believe that am fortunate because I make my own Luck as I go along… and do my utmost best in order to serve the world through my own existence.

And although adversity in my life has been a constant and loss of loved ones and colleagues, has cost me dearly — still my present situation and incredible abundance amid awesome Good fortune, reveals my Good Luck.

And it reminds me to share what the message is: The message being that those termed as “lucky people” they all share a core practice and a core set of beliefs.

What these lucky folks do best, actually is not to be passive receivers of whatever luck throws their way.

Instead we all try to generate our own good fortune by consistently working on it.

And we do this fully engaged in the process and mindfully observing all nature and creation unfolding around us.

We constantly create our Good Fortune via five basic mores of strict methods, and a dozen of meditative action principles that I shall list for you herewith.

So take a note pad and write, because by writing them down you already start formulating your Good Luck:

1) Fortunate people always become skilled at noticing and creating chance opportunities and acting upon them. This makes them appear lucky to outsiders…

2) The Lucky ones, always make “lucky decisions” by listening to their intuition, and going with the gut feeling… Try this sometime and will see how it works.

3) Those über fortunate ones, always create self-fulfilling prophesies, via positive expectations, and emanate the incredibly generous and giving, almost contagious well being of people who have a positive outlook to Life. These folks always project and share general positivity, and ebullience. In short they lighten up the room… when they show up.

4) The lucky ones, always adopt a resilient attitude that transforms bad luck into good, and they see the crises, the setbacks, the adversity as either education, or as an exercise, or even as an opportunity to overcome incredible odds.

5) And they always follow these further dozen practises like Yoga. We call them Asanas for success: (a) Follow your dreams and just do it. Whatever you think of… begin it. There is genius in that.  (b)  Make a positive difference, share a positive impression, and do some good. (c) Believe in your magic. Follow your ideas and be the best champion of them when executing. Iterate, iterate, iterate. (d) Be the river. Be the giver. Make giving playful and have fun by looking after your team and making sure everyone gets to share in the fun and the spoils of the game. (e) Don’t give up. Don’t you ever Give Up. Unless of course you run the risk of becoming the lost Japanese soldier of Iwo-Jima, found in the jungles deranged and eating hallucinogenic roots some fifty years after the war had ended — all along thinking the war is still on and the emperor is winning. That is a nut case. Don’t be that. OK?  (f) Write things down. Keep a journal. Make notes after meetings and important events. Make lots of lists and keep setting yourself new challenges and well perceived goals. Writing helps first and foremost to make sense and interpret the world around you — just for you. After that is a memory aid and a sharing tool of communal intelligence.  (g) Spend time with your self, your friends, your family, and learn to delegate so others share the work and the success. (h) Try turning off the TV and throwing it out of the window in order for you to sort out your own mind, and to get out there to do things…Time is an invaluable treasure. Therefore, instead of wasting it sitting mindlesly in front of the TV, take an instant decision and use your limited time on this Earth, in a worthwhile way. (i) Stop throwing stones at dogs. When people say bad things about you, just prove them wrong. If you keep throwing stones at every barking dog along the way, you’ll never be home for hot supper. (j) Do what you love and Love what You have to do. As for the second — at least try to love it… (k) Have a clear Vision of what it is you want to achieve. (l) Lastly, look inside of you and have an honest conversation in silence with yourself, about what this Life means to you. Figure out the Meaning in order to find your Purpose… and then you are set to evolve and sail towards your goals with the winds of Good Fortune filling up your sails and blowing up your broadsheets.

That’s All.

And if you want more Good Luck — just look more within.

Within yourself mate…

That “within”

So just do all these and when tired, have a lie down, and then get up and start again to keep pushing… keeping a good attitude… staying focused… and listening to your own voice…

The Good Fortune will wash all over you and it will be like a beautiful woman embracing you and putting you into the hot tub to give you some tender Love and a soapy massage… to get you ready for your new Life.

Yours,

Pano

PS:

No joke.

It works for women too…

Just where it say a woman giving you a massage in the hot tub with bubbles — replace with stud man and you are set to go…

Unless you roll that way

Either way, man, woman, third sex…

It works.

Think, Dream, and dream big, and all good things will come your way.

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