Thursday, March 06, 2014

Ukraine & Putin: Small Altruistic Steps lead to big changes

“Europe is really run by an elite with the morality of the hedge fund: Make money at all costs and move it offshore.”
The desire to help others without consideration for ourselves is not just a noble ideal. Selflessness raises the quality and elevates the meaning of our lives, and that of our descendants; in fact, our very survival may even depend on it. We must have the insight to recognize this, and the audacity to say so.

Small steps lead to big changes. As the value of altruism becomes increasingly obvious, the new approach will spread through the economy, benefiting all of society, future generations, and the planet, too. 
Matthieu Ricard, a French Buddhist monk who resides at Shechen Monastery in Nepal, holds a doctorate in molecular genetics and runs 130 humanitarian projects through his organization Karuna-Shechen Path to AltruisM

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin was accused of acting in Crimea much like Adolf Hitler did in central and eastern Europe in the late 1930s.
“What’s happening in Ukraine is history repeating itself,’’ former Czech foreign minister Karel Schwarzenberg said in an interview with Austrian daily Osterreich.
“Putin is acting along the same principle as Adolf Hitler’’ did during his invasions of Austria, Czechoslovakia and Poland in 1938 and 1939, he said.
Mr Putin asked Russia’s parliament on Saturday to allow him to send troops to Ukraine to protect ethnic Russians in Crimea and elsewhere in south-eastern regions of the ex-Soviet country, which has ancient historical and cultural ties to Moscow. 

If there’s one story you read today make it this one, from Politico Magazine. It’s triggered by the crisis in Ukraine, but it’s been a long time coming.
The point of this short story is clear: Western leaders are waking up to the fact that Russia no longer fears or even respects them. Why? Well:
“Russia thinks the West is no longer a crusading alliance. Russia thinks the West is now all about the money.”
 “Putin’s henchmen know this personally. Russia’s rulers have been buying up Europe for years. They have mansions and luxury flats from London’s West End to France’s Cote d’Azure. Their children are safe at British boarding and Swiss finishing schools. And their money is squirrelled away in Austrian banks and British tax havens.
. . .
They have seen firsthand how obsequious Western aristocrats and corporate tycoons suddenly turn when their billions come into play.
. . .
they know full well it is European bankers, businessmen and lawyers who do the dirty work for them placing the proceeds of corruption in hideouts from the Dutch Antilles to the British Virgin Islands.”Putin drugged by power