Friday, January 23, 2009

Weekend Expansion

Weekends are a good time to put away the work and feed the mind and soul a little bit. Folks like us who drop by sites like this are prime candidates for laying politics and work down, and taking part in a little self-expansion. Ya know... it keeps us young and beautiful.

If you're digging me on this but don't know where to start, let me offer a suggestion... Spiral Dynamics.

Yeah, its sounds like a good name for a business book (or boy band, for that matter), and actually the concept was built by a management consultant, Don Beck, but its ramifications are huge. It actually explains the development of humans and society with remarkable clarity. The great integral philosopher Ken Wilber agrees, and Beck's work has gained some highly influential followers.

Its a rather large topic to understand, but I found a very clear and soul-satisfying explanation in a video series by Michael Dowd, on google video, linked here...

The video is titled "Evolutionary Christianity Disc Two", and that's a bit of a misnomer. Although Darwinism and Christianity are mostly side conversations to the crux of the presentation, Dowd does bring them together well, but more importantly, he folds them into a broader and more meaningful understanding of how this insane world got to where it is today. Even moreso, he offers some very prescient insight to where we may be heading.

4 parts, two hours. Gather the family around with some popcorn, or smoke a joint take it with that special someone. Then come back and let us know what you think.

I hope life treats you well this weekend, and vice-versa.

~ Alias

Simply Jews; an interesting blog

...and I love their logo...

Dutch PM Balkenende mentioned as European Commission president

And this must be good news for pro-EU Turks if he indeed will be the next President of the European Commission; in 2004, when the Netherlands hold the 6 months presidency of the EU, he worked hard to open negotiation with Turkey. And yes, finally they started the accession process with Turkey.
But I've my doubts since the Secretary General of the NATO is a Dutch as well.


The name of the Dutch prime minister keeps coming up in speculation about who the next president of the European Commission will be. When asked, Jan Peter Balkenende says he needs to finish his job in The Hague.

A well-connected source in Brussels this week said that: "I hear from all corners that he is in a good position." The source added that Balkenende is himself interested in the prestigious post.
However, the Dutch prime minister called the appearance of his name "remarkable." He said, "I understand that his issue came up in an interview between Dutch journalists with my colleague [minister of finance and deputy prime minister] Wouter Bos."
Balkenende said that it would be good for Europe if the current president of the commission Jose Manuel Barroso could extend his tenure beyond the fall.

The commission president must be nominated by the heads of state or governments of the European Union member states before being officially elected by the European Parliament. The trend has been to elect a national politician as president of the commission.

The right-wing liberal party (VVD) whip Hans van Baalen said he's long heard the name of Balkenende come up in connection with the post. Yet he wonders whether the EU chair is in the best interests of the Dutch. "Often you're in less of a position to defend national interests."

If Balkenende harbours European ambitions after all, his chances aren't likely to increase with time, according to European parliamentarian Joost Lagendijk of the left-wing green party (GroenLinks). "History has proven that the names which pop up first, are also the first to fall off."

Day Opening - January 23