WeRoll“That’s how we roll.” President Obama

Photograph: Stephen Wise

 

IndiaToday5Prominent Indian investors, business leaders, academics, and MPs gathered in New York, ahead of Prime Minister Modi’s appearance there, to discuss India’s economic situation and the prospects for improvement under the new Prime Minister.

In one of the sessions — Dial India for Investment, the panelists seemed united in their view that India needs fundamental change (after 60 years of socialist policies, corruption, and decision making paralysis) and Modi is the man who can “take the decisions that need to be made.” Although one investor said: “Everything in India is half-assed…India disappoints. I’m not very optimistic.”

Jayant Sinha, Member of the Parliament, BJP believes that with the right policies, India’s $2 trillion economy can grow to $5 trillion in 10 years. He said that China’s low cost manufacturing model is not the way for India, but rather the best hope to create jobs is through “new industries”, driven by tech and engineering solutions, including: medical devices (and tourism), solar, and automotive. Mercedes Benz plans to make India its manufacturing hub for Asia. The Modi government has a goal of creating 300 million jobs in 15 years.

When asked by Aroon Purie, the moderator, “what can go wrong for Prime Minister Modi?” Dr. Rajiv Modi, Chairman CII Pharma, said: “We are very religious people, we pray to the almighty…There is a spirit that is blessing India…Nothing will go wrong…Looking at all the data points nothing can go wrong.”

A recent survey gave India a world rating of 134/189 for ease of doing business. Mr. Sinha believes India can self-correct with a “Dream Team prime minister, finance minister and central banker.” Someone on the panel responded that “India has had dream teams before, and look what happened.” Another investor suggested “taking America and the Western World into India to make it grow.”

Analysis: If India seeks to be guided by American wisdom let it be from the America described by Thomas Jefferson (3rd U.S. president) in his first inaugural address (March 4, 1801), rather than the “we roll” America of today.

In his remarks Mr. Jefferson talked about being “enlightened by a benign religion, professed, indeed and practiced in various forms, yet all of them including honesty, truth, temperance, gratitude, and the love of man; acknowledging and adoring an overruling Providence, which by all its dispensations proves that it delights in the happiness of man here and his greater happiness hereafter; with all these blessings, what more is necessary to make us a happy and prosperous people? Still one thing more, fellow citizens—a wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities.”

Jefferson goes on to present “the essential principles of our government, and consequently those which ought to shape our administration. Equal and exact justice to all men, of whatever state or persuasion, religious or political; peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations—entangling alliances with none; the support of the State governments in all their rights, as the most competent administrations for our domestic concerns and the surest bulwarks against anti-republican tendencies; the preservation of the general government in its whole  constitutional vigor, as the sheet anchor of our peace at home and safety abroad…absolute acquiescence in the decisions of the majority—the vital principle of republics, from which there is no appeal but to force, the vital principle and immediate parent of despotism…the supremacy of the civil over military authority; economy in the public expense, that labor may be lightly burdened; the honest payment of our debts and sacred preservation of the public faith; encouragement of agriculture, and of commerce as its handmaid; the diffusion of information and the arraignment of all abuses at the bar of public reason; freedom of religion; freedom of the press; freedom of person under habeas corpus; and trials by juries impartially selected—these principles form the bright constellation which has gone before us, and guided our steps through an age of revolution and reformation. The wisdom of our sages and the blood of our heroes have been devoted to their attainment.”

Photograph: Stephen Wise

5Pointz092514c5Pointz092514dThe scene at what was once the 5Pointz graffiti mecca, now a demolition site, offers evidence of different ways that society can be built up and destroyed — by rebels and capitalists, all in the name of progress.

Photographs: Stephen Wise

Horst-StaleyWise2 (2)Horst-StaleyWise3Works by Horst P. Horst (1906-99), one of the great photographers of the 20th century, can be seen at Staley-Wise Gallery (560 Broadway) through Nov. 1, 2014.

From the show’s press release: “The subject of this exhibition is women, filtered through Horst’s use of shadow and light to achieve his unique dramatic effects.”

Photographs: Stephen Wise

Nigerian-SuedeShoesA Sunni Muslim, traveling with Goodluck Jonathan in NYC this week, told LE that the root cause of Boko Haram, and the other “pirate” groups terrorizing Northern Africa, was the U.S. and France’s removal of Moammar Gadhafi from power in Libya. Prior to that Gadhafi had maintained order in Northern Africa. The man added that Boko Haram’s weapons came from Libya.

CGI2014-ObamaCGI – September 23, 2014

While addressing the Clinton Global Initiative, President Obama called for building up civil society. He said “when people are free to speak their minds and hold their leaders accountable governments are more responsive and effective.”

The story in the U.S., since the Spanish-American War (1898), has been the disconnect between the government and the will of the American people, as well as the lack of accountability for government officials who violate their office. The Obama administration is no exception, having acted unilaterally without Congressional approval, and without UN Security Council approval in bombing targets in Syria. But more importantly, as with past presidents, acting without regard for the will of the American people. This is not to say that that majority is always right, but in the words of Aristotle regarding the “whole”: “to be beautiful a living creature, and every whole made up of parts, must not only present a certain order in its arrangement of parts but also be of a certain magnitude.”

ISIS is evil, but ISIS was created by U.S. foreign policy with help from Saudi Arabia. Evil can’t be overcome with more evil, which is what a unilateral U.S. response amounts to (the U.S. strikes are a sham anyway given Saudi involvement).

After years of being deceived and disregarded, the American people are now too damaged and disconnected from truth and each other to be able to reform their government.

Mr. Obama talked about preserving democracy and keeping Americans safe. But his actions have done the opposite. By anyone’s definition of democracy (an honest person knowing the facts would have to conclude) the democracy experiment in the United States has failed — with the U.S. now acting as a barbarian on the world stage.

Photograph: Stephen Wise

 

TayyipErdoganOn a day that the saw the Turkish border closed to refugees fleeing the fighting in Syria, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was in New York for the opening of the 69th U.N. General Assembly.

Mr. Erdogan’s recent criticism of Israel, over it’s treatment of Palestinians in Gaza, lacked the moral force it might have had — had he not supported the rebels seeking to overthrow the legitimate Assad government in Syria.

U.S. support for the rebels in Syria stems from disordered relationships with Saudi Arabia and Israel. Zionists have coveted Syria in modern times since the 1897 Zionist Congress, when they stated the “future of the Jewish race; the final solution of the Jewish problem can therefore be attained only through the building of a Jewish state…The ways to attain this goal are: promotion of Jewish colonies in Syria and Palestine…” Jehuda Reinharz, Fatherland or Promised Land, (University of Michigan Press,1975)

TurkishFlagAs if to underscore the fragility of an increasingly ready-made world, U.S. Secret Service agents scrambled to secure the Turkish flag on a vehicle carrying Mr. Erdogan, at one point resorting to scotch tape.

Photographs: Stephen Wise

CGI2014CGI-CrimeSceneAt this year’s Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting, the operative word, according to Hillary Clinton, is interconnectedness, and the mantra is “Re-imagining Impact.”

Given the nature of CGI (public-private access & engagement), the speakers, the attendees, the sponsors, and alas the credulous press, it’s only fitting that NYPD surrounded the meeting’s venue with “crime scene” tape.

The biggest crime being committed today, especially among society’s elites, is in the setting aside of Logos — and re-imagining the world in their own image. This leads to utilitarianism (with people using others for profit and pleasure), rather than fostering real interconnectedness based on truth and love.

There is a pattern to life that is being violated today by rights activists and capitalists. An example of that came in one of the sessions with Hillary Clinton saying: “We can not grow the global economy if we do not open the doors to women.” She went on to say that “it’s distressing to see how hard change still is…with those external and internal obstacles that are cultural and religious, and based in views of women’s roles and their capacities that are just no longer affordable — they’re wrong and they’re also no longer affordable.”

Photographs: Stephen Wise

 

SteubenParade2014lSteubenParade2014iOktoberfest2014Steuben2014-AirBerlinIn photo (second from top), parade Grand Marshal John Muller (far right) is joined by German Ambassador to the U.S. Peter Wittig, and German Consul General to New York Brita Wagener.

The parade was followed by an Oktoberfest in Central Park.

Photographs: Stephen Wise

 

JivaDance7JivaDance1Sonali Skandan & Jiva Dance perform Mayura: Blue Peacock at the Chen Dance Center September 18-20, 2014.

Photographs: Stephen Wise

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