Is it a real, substantive, potentially productive conference to end the Syrian civil war that is taking place in Switzerland this week?
Is there a real threat to the peace and security of athletes and visitors to the Sochi Olympics?
Will the people of Israel and the people of Palestine ever rise above their respective "traumas" acknowledge their complicity as both victims and oppressors and move forward?
Will the Sunni Islamic terrorists ever sit down at the same table with their Shia Islamic "brothers" both to find a common front and to put down their bombs and their Kalashnikov's and their enmity?
Will the political class in North America wake up to its own complicity in the increasing poverty, unemployment and income gap between the 99% and the richest 1% of which they play a pivotal role?
Will the current second round of negotiations to end the pursuit of nuclear weapons by Iran generate anything close to a verified and sustainable commitment, given the trigger-happy 59 U.S. Senators of both parties to impose additional and more stringent sanctions on Iran?
Will the protesters in Kiev who seek a closer relationship with the European Union, and increased detachment from the Russian sphere of influence succeed in their move to oust the current president of the Ukraine, without provoking increased repression from their own leaders, and deeper interventions into their affairs by Moscow?
Will the 'free' internet, commonly referred to as "internet neutrality," be able to survive following the Federal Court's striking down the concept, and succumbing to the arguments of the large internet corporations whose sole motive in their own profit?
Has the "fog of war" become the principal actor, the protagonist, in the modern cultural drama in which all discussions, debates and negotiations adopt "rules of engagement" approximating the battlefield? The "fog" seems to give license to and the expectation of deceptions, the misrepresentations, bribes, attacks from the rear, overt narcissistic, neurotic needs to avenge all wrongs at all costs, by all people of differing ideological, religious, economic, and cultural persuasions.
Has the triumph of the dollar trumped the infamous "triumph of the will" of the Third Reich?
Has Leni Riefenstahl become the new prophet of the Fox Television Network?
Has Ayn Rand's virtue of selfishness become the new theology of the corporate/political elite?
Have Bernard Shaw, and David Lewis, Harold Wilson, Tommy Douglas, Allan Blakeney, Roy Romanov and Stephen Lewis been reduced to mere manikins in the museums of history?
Is George Orwell no longer relevant because Stalin has died?
Has Aldous Huxley become just another bust on a library shelf collecting dust?
Is the only encounter with poetry for most the most recent I-Pad commercial?
Will there ever be a government bill to provide funds for experiments like the one in Westminster Vermont, under the tutelage of Lisa Bianconi, for angry, abused and displaced kids, whose numbers will swell into a tsunami as the disparity of hope and opportunity continues to grow?*
Will education, parenting, and the shared responsibility for those tasks ever be permitted to move from the "family pages" to the front pages, as a central issue in all political discourse?
Will health care policy, budgeting and political discourse ever shift from the management of illness to the pursuit of wellness, as an integral component of the need to reduce costs, in an aging demographic?
Will First Nations wisdom, vision and connection to the "earth" in all its original abundance ever be accepted as a guiding light in the darkness of world capitals?
Can this space become a tablet of sparks shedding a little light in the dark forest of the night?
*By Michelle Miller, CBS News, January 20, 2014
Westminster, Vt. - For the first time ever at next Sunday’s Grammy’s, a teacher will be honored with a new award: The Music Educator Award.
One of the nominees is Lisa Bianconi, who has been teaching for nearly 30 years at Kurn Hattin School. The school is a fresh start for children from across the Northeast who have had trouble at home and school.
“They are kids who have been abused and neglected,” Bianconi told CBS News. “They come in here really angry and… the first thing they say is I don't do music."
One of those children was 12-year-old Emembet Stott, an orphan from Ethiopia who was adopted by an American family but said she never fit in.
"I came here with an attitude: 'Now I don't want to be here,'" said Stott. "I was so beaten down, I was so insecure. I didn't know if I should open up. Ms. Bianconi, she talked to me."
Stott added: “The fact that she was right there and listened to me... I don't even know how to explain it. She felt like the mother I never had."
For Bianconi, giving up is not an option.