Adonis Diaries

Can you reflect on what’s wrong with that picture?

Sherif Mktbi shared this link and commented:

This is all convincing. But why should the whole world learn to code? Still not convinced.

Dimitri Hadjichristou commented:

As designers it’s the way to go, a lot of today’s products are informatics based. Look at the new Wilson basketball, light wave wristband etc..

Using coding to access information around the products we use helps us continue to develop it till it’s near perfect!

Also, similar to maths it’s another form of teaching us to analyze and problem solve, that’s my 2 cent

A recollection, on a winter night…

UN SOIR D’HIVER
L’autre soir, assis, livré à mes pensées, un souvenir bien précis vit soudain le jour .
Il s’illumina, grandit, se dénuda, fit boule de neige, prit corps, se fit regarder, ressentir, entendre, et rafla la dose d’émotion qui lui est due. …
Voilà pour ce fait d’hiver, mais par la suite, lorsqu’il se calma et regagna son étui dans le neurone qui l’a libéré,  je me suis posé la question : pourquoi ce souvenir bien précis, et pas un autre?
Qu’est-ce qui lui fit spécifiquement faire surface plutôt que d’autres aussi intenses ?
Je n’ai pas eu de réponse à cette question, mais je me suis dit, qu’une fois un fait donné rangé à la cave, il lui arrive de se réchauffer, se bonifier, frémir, bouillir pour finalement déborder.
Il me semble que nous ne pouvons qu’être complices de ce transfert brutal vers notre conscient, d’un fait ou d’une personne.
Le sous-sol de notre être, notre nappe phréatique, coule réchauffée par le volcan de notre nostalgie, qui lorsqu’elle atteint ( à notre insu) un certain degré de manque, bout, et fait jaillir le geyser du souvenir.
Ne fûtes -vous jamais brûlé(e)s par un souvenir ? …

Le Petit Prince par Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

“Il avait fait alors une grande démonstration de sa découverte
à un Congrès International d’Astronomie. Mais personne
ne l’avait cru à cause de son costume. Les grandes personnes
sont comme ça.

Heureusement pour la réputation de l’astéroïde B 612 un
dictateur turc imposa à son peuple, sous peine de mort, de
s’habiller à l’Européenne. L’astronome refit sa démonstration
en 1920, dans un habit très élégant. Et cette fois-ci tout le
monde fut de son avis.”

“Les grandes personnes m’ont conseillé de laisser de côté les
dessins de serpents boas ouverts ou fermés, et de m’intéresser
plutôt à la géographie, à l’histoire, au calcul et à la grammaire.

C’est ainsi que j’ai abandonné, à l’âge de six ans, une magnifique
carrière de peintre. J’avais été découragé par l’insuccès de mon
dessin numéro 1 et de mon dessin numéro 2.”
– Le Petit Prince par Antoine de Saint-Exupéry –

Rethinking mental illness? Any waiting time for mental health?

Nick Clegg urges Lib Dems to ‘hold heads high’

Big win for mental health campaigners as Gov. pledges to introduce maximum waiting times for mental health.

The Liberal Democrats will go to the next election with their “heads held high”, Nick Clegg has said.

He told his party conference in Glasgow he would not “seek to distance” the Lib Dems from the coalition’s record.

Nick Clegg says those taking the blame include Europe, Brussels, foreigners, immigrants the English and onshore wind farms

The deputy prime minister attacked the “bitter tribalism” of British politics and told activists in Glasgow the party had to “make our voice heard”.

Nick Clegg also announced the first national waiting time targets for people with mental health problems.

People with depression should begin “talking therapy” treatments within 18 weeks, from April.

Young people with psychosis for the first time will be seen within 14 days – the same target as cancer patients.

Also at the Lib Dem conference:

  • Clegg said the Lib Dems would cut income tax for 29 million people if they were in government after the election
  • Care Minister Norman Lamb said he had not “ruled out standing for the leadership” of the party – when Nick Clegg is no longer in the role
  • Business Secretary Vince Cable called for a “rebalance” of tax and spending cuts in order to eliminate the deficit
  • Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael said further devolution of powers to Scotland would “unlock the progress to federalism across the whole of the United Kingdom”

BBC political editor Nick Robinson said Mr Clegg had presented himself in the speech as the man to take on what he sees as “increasingly extreme” rival parties, while attempting to “break through the anger” people feel at the Lib Dems – and to get voters to think again.

Opening his speech, the deputy prime minister said Britain would not be intimidated by Islamic State, paid tribute to murdered hostages Alan Henning and David Haines, and declared his “immense gratitude” for Britain’s Armed Forces.

Turning to the domestic scene, he said Labour leader Ed Miliband and Chancellor George Osborne’s conference speeches “could not have been more helpful if they had tried” to the Lib Dems’ cause, with one forgetting the deficit and the other unveiling tax cuts for the wealthy.

Nick Cleggand Miriam
Nick Clegg arriving for his speech with wife Miriam
Nick Clegg

The Liberal Democrats would borrow less than Labour, and cut less than the Tories, he said.

“If the Liberal Democrat voice is marginalised in British politics our country will be meaner, poorer and weaker as a result,” he predicted.

“We must not and cannot let that happen. We must make our voice heard.”

Lib Dems applaudFront bench ministers – and Nick Clegg’s wife Miriam second left – applaud
Lib Dem hall
There were few spare seats for the big speech at the end of the Lib dem conference

He outlined a string of coalition government measures which he said were “designed and delivered by Lib Dems”, including raising the income tax allowance, parental leave reforms and same-sex marriage.

Mr Clegg said he “may no longer be the fresh faced outsider”, and the Lib Dems no longer “untainted… by the freedom of opposition”.

But the party still stood for “a different kind of politics”.

He said the “politics of fear” was “seductive and beguiling”, but was in fact “a counsel of despair”.

He said he had chosen to debate on television against UKIP leader Nigel Farage – whose name he pronounced with a French lilt – because “someone has to stand up for the liberal Britain in which we and millions of decent, reasonable people believe”.

line

Analysis by BBC political correspondent Ross Hawkins

Nick Clegg addresses the Lib Dem conference

Nick Clegg has delivered his final conference speech before the general election. What do the Liberal Democrats do next?

Nick Clegg focused on opportunity: for voters – and the Lib Dems.

You might have expected a party languishing in the polls, months from an election, to panic.

Not here.line

He directly criticised Conservative Home Secretary Theresa May, who had accused him of jeopardising public safety by blocking new data-monitoring powers.

Mr Clegg accused her of “playing party politics with national security”.

He added: “Stop playing on people’s fears simply to try and get your own way. Your Communications Data Bill was disproportionate, disempowering – we blocked it once and we’d do it again.”

A Lib Dem government would introduce “five green laws”, on carbon reduction, green space and energy efficiency, Mr Clegg pledged.

Nick Clegg says the issue of mental health should be “smack bang on the front page of our next manifesto”

He would not set out “red lines” in the event of a hung Parliament, but said “people do have a right to know what our priorities are”.

He pointed to the rise in the income tax threshold to £10,500, saying Labour “would never have made the change” and the Conservatives were “explicit” that it was not their priority.

Harman agrees

Mr Clegg said he thought Britain would have more coalitions in the future, and rounded off his speech by saying the Lib Dems were “the only party who says ‘no matter who you are, no matter where you are from, we will do everything in our power to help you shine'”.

Labour’s deputy leader Harriet Harman said: “Nick Clegg’s speech was that of a man trying desperately to justify the decision he and his party took to back the Tories all the way.

“Nick Clegg was right about one thing in his speech: the Lib Dems should be judged on their record. It is a record of broken promises and weakness.”

The mental health pledge, which will be funded by reallocating money from other parts of the health budget, is coalition government policy, rather than a Lib Dem aspiration.

But Mr Clegg also pledged to extra money in the next Parliament if the Lib Dems are in government, to introduce similar targets for conditions such as bipolar disorder and eating disorders.

Under the plan, suicidal patients get the same priority as those with suspected heart attacks.

line

Analysis by BBC health correspondent Nick Triggle

Anguished women in silhouette

Playing devil’s advocate, you could say the government has set its mental health targets in the areas and at the levels it knows the NHS can achieve.

Already nearly two-thirds of patients get access to talking therapies within 28 days. So asking the NHS to ensure 95% are seen within 18 weeks does not seem a big ask.

A similar thing could be said for the two-week wait for help for people experiencing psychosis for the first time.

Nonetheless, those working in the sector are still delighted.

Why? To understand that, you have to consider where mental health stands in the pecking order of the NHS.

line

Half of the £1bn Mr Clegg announced for the NHS at the start of his party conference conference would be spent this way.

Mr Clegg said the commitment would go “smack bang on the front page of our next manifesto”.

He said: “Labour introduced waiting times in physical health – we will do the same for the many people struggling with conditions that you often can’t see, that we often don’t talk about, but which are just as serious.”

Nick Clegg visits the Scottish Association for Mental HealthNick Clegg visited the Scottish Association for Mental Health in Glasgow during his party conference

He added: “These are big, big changes. And in government again the Liberal Democrats will commit to completing this overhaul of our mental health services – ending the discrimination against mental health for good.

Mental health problems are estimated to cost the economy around £100bn a year and around 70 million working days are also lost annually.

The announcement was welcomed by mental health charities.

Mark Winstanley, chief executive officer at Rethink Mental Illness, said it had “the potential to improve the lives of millions”, while Centre for Mental Health chief executive Sean Duggan said it would “help to overcome the current postcode lottery” accessing essential services.

Sue Baker, from the Time to Change charity, which campaigns to end the stigma around mental health, said there should be no “discrimination” between different types of health spending.

Mankind: A macroscopic species?

The vital part is on the microscopic level, as all living speices

Jamil Berry posted on FB this May 17, 2014

NOUS AUTRES

À regarder de près , même de très près, nous ne verrons rien.
Vous, moi , elles, eux ; nous sommes des êtres macroscopiques: nous ne voyons que ce qui est grotesque en nous .

Notre beauté est grotesque.
Notre laideur est grotesque.
Notre marche est grotesque, et l’est aussi notre inertie.

À regarder de près, des très près, nous voyons l’autre dans un gigantisme qui nous parait la norme.
Nous sommes tous des géants et nous ne pouvons nous penser autrement.

Or, et là je risque de choquer, ce qui est vrai, authentique,
et vital en nous est microscopique.

La vie qui circule en nous est microscopique, et cette version originale de la vie nous ne la voyons pas .

Nous nous voyons et sentons respirer mais la vie réside dans l’intimité microscopique du passage de l’oxygène dans l’alvéole ; couple d’une beauté infinie.

Nous nous voyons et sentons manger et boire, mais lorsque la villosité de l’intestin, extrait de l’aliment les vitamines , protéines et autres nutriments, les reconnaissant, les ventousant, les absorbant , en les invitant en elle, c’est là le plus beau baiser de la vie.

Nous nous voyons et nous sentons réfléchir, mais lorsque la substance même de notre réflexion, parcourt les amas de neurones en une fraction de seconde, à une vitesse dit-on parfois supérieure à celle de la lumière,(non, vitesse des electrons) pour nous fournir l’idée; le corps à corps entre l’idée et les neurones défie tous les kamasutras du monde .

Pareil pour le goût , l’odorat, l’ouïe, le toucher, la vue, où chaque cellule, ne reconnaîtra que son amant avec lequel elle s’accouplera ( une couleur, une lumière, une obscurité, une forme, une senteur, une odeur enivrante ou répugnante, , un goût , sucré salé ou autre, un toucher doux ou rugueux etc… ) ,amant pour lequel elle vit, pour lequel elle existe, et jamais elle ne s’ouvrira à un autre et ignorera même l’existence de tous les autres.

Le réseau routier de notre corps, connait dans sa microscopie des mers, des océans, des rivières, des routes, des autoroutes, des sentiers, des airs. Une immensité , un cosmos corporel.

L’acte suprême de l’amour , là aussi ; le vrai est microscopique. L’ovule, majestueux attend, et le spermatozoïde, corps étranger par excellence, reçoit la seule et unique dérogation de la nature: il ne subira pas de rejet , et sera accepté.

La science n’a pas tout à fait encore résolu le mystère du “Spermatozoïde admis ” parmi des millions qui gravitent autour de l’ovule , mais l’ovule ne s’ouvrira qu’au spermatozoïde de ” son choix ” dans le plus profond et le plus ultime acte amoureux qu’a connu l’humanité.

Rien qu’un châle tendrement posé par un amoureux sur les épaules de sa bien aimée , déclenche sur sa peau, l’ouverture de millions de portes jusque là fermées par le froid , pour accueillir cette chaleur entrante avec l’effervescence d’une fête foraine .

Voici l’histoire de nos corps.

Voici notre vérité microscopique où tout est binôme.
Tous nos binômes sont régis par une reconnaissance, et une spécificité qui ne peut souffrir d’aucune infidélité .

Le dérèglement de notre microscopie, génère cancers et maladies.

Contrairement à notre macroscopie, l’infidélité de notre microscopie génère la mort.
L’infidélité qui tue …

Jamil BERRY

Like ·
Trading Rights for Security? how_Boston_exposes_americas_dark_post_911_bargain
We surrendered our rights to a government of war criminals
“In America after 9/11, we made a deal with the devil, or with Dick Cheney, which is much the same thing.
We agreed to give up most of our enumerated rights and civil liberties (except for the sacrosanct Second Amendment, of course) in exchange for a lot of hyper-patriotic tough talk, the promise of “security” and the freedom to go on sitting on our asses and consuming whatever the hell we wanted to.
Don’t look the other way and tell me that you signed a petition or voted for John Kerry or whatever.
The fact is that whatever dignified private opinions you and I may hold, we did not do enough to stop it, and our constitutional rights are now deemed to be partial or provisional rather than absolute, do not necessarily apply to everyone, and can be revoked by the government at any time.
The supposed tradeoff for that sacrifice was that we would be protected, at least for a while, from the political violence and terrorism and low-level warfare that …is nearly an everyday occurrence in many parts of the world. (Low-level wars? What weapons should be used for that categories of warfare?)
According to the Afghan government, for example, a NATO air attack on April 6 killed 17 civilians in Kunar province, 12 of them children.
We’ve heard almost nothing about that on this side of the world, partly because the United States military has not yet admitted that it even happened.
But it’s not entirely fair to suggest that Americans think one kid killed by a bomb in Boston is worth more than 12 kids killed in Afghanistan.
It’s more that we live in a profoundly asymmetrical world, and the dead child in Boston is surprising in a way any number of dead children in Afghanistan, horrifyingly enough, are not.”
 published in Salon this April 21, 2013:

To put it mildly, this has been a bad week for democracy and a worse one for public discourse.

In the minutes and hours after the bombs went off in Boston last Monday, marathon runners, first responders and many ordinary citizens responded to a chaotic situation with great courage and generosity, not knowing whether they might be putting their own lives at risk.

Since then, though, it’s mostly been a massive and disheartening national freakout, with pundits, politicians, major news outlets and the self-appointed sleuths of the Internet – in fact, nearly everyone besides those directly affected by the attack – heaping disgrace upon themselves.

We’ve seen the most famous TV network in the news business repeatedly botch basic facts, while one of the country’s largest-circulation newspapers misreported the number of people killed, launched a wave of hysteria over a “Saudi national” who turned out to have nothing to do with the crime, and then published a cover photo suggesting that two other guys (also innocent) might be the bombers.

We’ve seen the vaunted crowd-sourcing capability of Reddit degenerate into self-reinforcing mass delusion, in which a bunch of people whose law-enforcement expertise consisted of massive doses of “CSI” convinced themselves that a missing college student was one of the bombing suspects.

(He wasn’t – and with that young man’s fate still unknown, how does his family feel today?)

We’ve watched elected officials and political commentators struggle to twist every nubbin of news or rumor toward some perceived short-term tactical advantage.

It was as if the only real importance of this horrific but modestly scaled terrorist attack lay in how it could prove the essential rightness of one’s existing worldview, and — of course! — how it would play in the 2014 midterms.

On the right, people were sure the Boston bombings were part of a massive jihadi plot – no doubt one linked to al-Qaida and Iran and Saddam Hussein and all the other landmarks in the connect-the-dots paranoid worldview of Islamophobia.

(In fact, many people are still convinced of that.)

On the left we heard a lot of theories about Patriots’ Day and Waco and Oklahoma City, along with the argument that it would be better for global peace if the bombers turned out to be white Americans rather than foreign Muslims.

(I sympathize with the underlying point David Sirota was making there, by the way, but the way it was phrased was deliberately inflammatory.)

How long did it take conservative pundits and politicians, after the bombing suspects were identified as Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, immigrant brothers of Chechen heritage born in Kyrgyzstan, to seize on that fact as a reason to walk back the supposed Republican change of heart on immigration reform? Was it even five minutes?

Never mind that the young men in question came here as war refugees in childhood, one was an American citizen and the other a legal resident, and we still have no idea what role their religion and national background may or may not have played in motivating the crime.

It’s hard to imagine what possible immigration laws could have categorically excluded them, short of a magic anti-Muslim force field.

And don’t even get me started on the irrelevant but unavoidable fact that the shameless, butt-licking lackeys of the Senate’s Republican caucus (with a few Democrats along for the ride) took advantage of the post-Boston confusion to do Wayne LaPierre’s bidding and kill a modest gun-reform bill supported by nearly the entire American public.

I might have assumed, in other circumstances, that the Family Research Council’s press release suggesting that the Boston bombings were caused by abortion, “sexual liberalism” and hostility to religion was actually an Onion article.

Or that right-wing pundit Pat Dollard’s now-famous tweet (“GEORGE BUSH KEPT US SAFE FOR 8 YEARS”) came from some Brooklyn hipster’s parody account.

But nothing, it seems, is too painful or stupid or wrong for this particular week. There are many reasons why this happened: A terrorist bombing at the Boston Marathon is a big news story by any measure, and this news story happened in a disordered media climate that’s changing so fast no one can keep up with it.

Our political culture is so fundamentally broken and divided that people on all sides seized on the story as a weapon and a symbol long before we had any idea who was behind the crime.

(It would be almost too perfect if the loaded question of whether the Boston bombings were foreign or domestic terrorism turns out not to have a clear answer, as now seems possible: A little bit of both, but not quite either.)

But I think the real reason why this gruesome but small-scale attack sent the whole country into such an incoherent panic lies a little deeper than that.

As a New Yorker who lived through 9/11, by the way, I’m aware that the trauma felt by people in and around Boston, whether or not they were directly affected, is real and likely to last quite a while.

What I’m talking about is the media spectacle of fear and unreason delivered via TV, news sites and social media, the nationwide hysteria that made a vicious act apparently perpetrated by two losers with backpack bombs seem like an “existential threat” (to borrow a little bogus “Homeland”-speak) to the most powerful nation in the world.

Because it was, in a way.

We are supposed to be protected, and then something like Boston comes along, a small-minded and bloody attack that appears to have been conducted by a couple of guys flying under the radar of law enforcement or national intelligence, pursuing some obscure agenda we will probably never understand.

(We have recently learned that Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his family were interviewed by the FBI in 2011, apparently at the request of Russian intelligence, and agents found “no derogatory information.” Is that the right’s new Benghazi I smell?)

Not only does it conjure up all the leftover post-traumatic jitters from 9/11 – which for many of us will be there for the rest of our lives – it also makes clear that our Faustian bargain was completely bogus, and the devil never intended to hold up his end of the deal.

We surrendered our rights to a government of war criminals, who promised us certainty and security in a world that offers none.

We should have known better, and in fact we did. At the literal birth moment of American democracy, Benjamin Franklin summed it up in a single sentence: “Those who would give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

Comparing election law alternatives for Lebanon’s Parliamentary election (in 2014)

Note: Mind you that this article was written in 2014.

Since then 17 alternative laws have been presented and none of them were discussed in Parliament, with the tacit intention of renewing their mandate without any election. This parliament renewed their tenure twice and is about to renew it for a few more months.

This year 2017 is witnessing the same process in order Not to change the law. Apparently, a form of proportional is becoming inevitable, though the districts are meant to retain the old feudal and militia leaders.

The new season and collection of political headlines is out in Lebanon, and this year’s theme is the electoral law.

It is all we can read and hear about these days no matter where we turn; national TV, newspapers, facebook, twitter, bakeries, and even coffee shops.

Let’s try to go through our different options together and objectively determine what law to support.

Law-Proposals

In case you are not familiar with the terms, simple majority means winner takes all.

while proportional representation means you get a seat if your support is just the right size (If small politicians do not support proportional representation then they are not small… they are micro).

The above presents five proposals with coalitions, the government, and independent politicians pushing and shoving for one over the other.

The only thing that is common, and that all our politicians practically agree on, is to keep the sectarian division. This means the Parliament is divided based on religious representation.

Some politicians might claim one proposal is “more sectarian” than the other, but that is just because they will lose a couple of seats in Parliament, not because of their ideals.

The sad truth is that the politicians today are negotiating the results of the elections. They are simply re-dividing the seats among each other and negotiating the distribution of power in Lebanon.

Most voters will continue to vote for the same leader they have been voting for during the past couple of decades.

What we are looking at is a simple game of rotating thrones between lords. The only difference is that we have more than 30 lords seeking the throne, and the Realm is one twelfth the size of New York State.

(Actually, only 5 leaders are deciding of everything in Lebanon. Once they agree, the process follow through)

So to answer the question I posed in the beginning of the article on which electoral law to choose, my answer is none.

I refuse to enter a selection process that is completely separated from the notion of freedom.

I will not wait for the results of the brokered deal to know how free the electoral law will make me. I am free today by making my own choices based on my reason, emotions, and beliefs.

I choose to do what is right for me and for the people in my society. That is the electoral law I will support.

Cedric Choukeir is the regional director of the the World Youth Alliance in the Middle East and North Africa.

adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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