Adonis Diaries

Archive for February 24th, 2009

In Real Estates

 

              The course was offered in a large room by a shopping center on the extension of Connecticut Avenue; it was mainly the legal aspects of doing Real Estates and the exam was mainly about its corresponding laws.  I easily passed the exam and I presented myself to the Realtor who paid for the announcement.  This Real Estate institution would be sold to Weichert Realtors two months later and my passage to Hell started big time.  This lady Realtor got pissed off because I accepted to sit for an Open House for another Realtor in the same office and fired me from her “support”. Another lady office manager in Kensington (with the same institution) welcomed me in her office. She ordered me to place at least 50 cold call generating business such as “Would you list or buy properties?”  By now you can have a feeling that females predominated in this line business, at least on percentage basis and in Montgomery County; the independent Realtors, those wiling to pay monthly dues for using a trademark name and pocket the whole commission on sales, were mostly males. 

I diligently did what she wished me to do as a passage for learning the “trade”; I walked house to house in many neighborhoods, every day, asking to list properties; I mailed countless brochures but nothing would do.  I didn’t make a dime for a whole year and I had spent my last nickel. I was a wreck and my acquaintances were scared of the thinness of my face and assumed that I might have AIDS or something.

I finally managed to list a property and sold it but the manager bilked me from the modicum profit I made; not only Weichert wanted 70% on the lousy commission that I set for 3% to list an old and small property but it subtracted around $400 of my net income on the ground of a technicality on one of the clauses referring to a lousy refrigerator.  The worst is that I had the clause correct and had to go to small claims bureau to recover my money after at least five visits to Downtown Washington D.C. and the general manager of Weichert wasting his “precious time” joining me to refute my case.  That is not the end of the story; the next year the IRS wanted part of the money that I recovered from small claims and I had to send at least six letters explaining that I didn’t make a dime last years and showed them the long list of ads that I paid for with my credit cards.

I was fired by the office manager on Christmas Day and my lousy car broke down and it was snowing and I was happy where I rented a room; the married son of the good and classy lady had separated from his wife and returned to give hell at “home”.  The garage charged me $1000 for a transmission that failed to function. I was accepted by the across the road Re/Max office because the manager heard what a hard working guy I was at Weichert.  I didn’t make a dime the next year too and the part owner of Re/Max in Kensington fired me but another part owner re-instated me and asked me to collaborate with a successful Realtor. Things started to move and I made money but nothing was saved because expenses on ads evaporated every income and the IRS was in wait on the assumption that Realtors make more money than they declare.

Son of man: Margin for freedom, (February 25, 2009)

            Half a century ago, heredity defined to great extent every individual.  Every one of us is the product of long lines of successive unions and yet the probability of identical persons is nil among the billions upon billions of human kinds that roamed earth. Every person that dies is never replaced and his unique set of characteristics is gone for ever.  Maybe our margin for developing certain characteristics is limited; and though what could be modified a little by nature, environment, social conditions, and personal struggle will have an impact in defining future generations, over long period.

            We have always attributed our reality to act of God, His will, our Destiny; we have been sons of God until recently.  Research and technology is altering many genomes for a healthier man, even before he is born, even when he is a fetus, even by sorting out and selecting one among the many embryos to re-insert in the mother’s uterus.  Man has started to affect genetically future generations.  God is no longer the sole and exclusive owner of man. 

Man is becoming part owner, though with a tiny share so far.  As long as man is not able to tamper with the brain on a large scale, the “God” of the various religious clerics will still have the bigger share to man.  When you partially own a person, then you are responsible for the whole entity.  We tended to let God off the hook for too long. 

If man has to be taken to court for wrong doing or designing and manufacturing defective products, then it is about time that God be taken to court after each war, each genocide, each apartheid systems perpetrating actions of suffering and humiliation to mankind.

We have always attributed to God all the good values, even the immoral values in our daily realities.  The attributes that we didn’t appreciate in God, we have tried hard to interpret them in a lenient manner.  If God exists, and he should exist, then God has to be taken to the International Tribunal for crimes against humanity. 

That is the margin of liberty that we still own; to study, read, reflect, have our own opinions, take hold of our personal responsibilities, and act accordingly.  When a person denies his own share of responsibility and stop reflecting and studying, then all he does is but wind.  I have published many “poems” and I selected two that might be representative of this article.

I Say

 

I say, every one must have his identity:

           Death has forced on us the I.

I say, what exists must be discovered:

           Death impressed on us to know.

I say, every feeling must be experienced:

           Death created stages for us to grow.

I say, there must be a meaning to life:

           Death did not leave us a choice in that.

 

 

A Gentle Touch*

 

Prettier than white dust

            You shall never be.

Uglier than a skeleton

            You can never be.

Toward the scared souls, scared of death,

            Scared in living,

Let your stretched hand

            Be gentler, your voice softer.

Cholera: The Greek Thucydides Story (February 24, 2009)

            In 430 BC Sparta was besieging Athens. People were flocking from the rural areas to Athens for protection. In this war, Greece and Athens experienced a cholera epidemic.

The Greek historian Thucydides related the horror.  He wrote:

“The plague had hit several counties and city of Lemnos was one of them.  Physicians were of no help because they had no idea what the epidemic was about: they were the first to be infected since they communicated with patients. People prayed, consulted oracles, and then gave up.

They say that the epidemic started in Ethiopia, swept through Egypt, Libya, and then hit the port of Pirea and Athens. People wanted to believe that Sparta poisoned the water wells, but casualties were heaviest in the higher areas of Athens.

People agreed that this year was very mild in ordinary sickness.  Individuals were stricken suddenly, whether they were very healthy or sickly.  The symptoms begin with acute heat in the head; the eyes are red inflamed,  the pharynx and the tongue are color of blood; respiration irregular; breath is fetid.  

The next phase starts with sneezing and the illness descends to the chest accompanied with violent coughing.  Then the patient experiences acute stomach ache, hiccups without vomit and then terrible convulsions.  The skin is not hot but reddish and covered with ulcers. 

The inside of the body is a volcano; nobody could suffer any clothing and it does not mater how often one drinks he is always thirsty.  Many died in wells trying to get refreshments.  Insomnia was the last stroke.

            During the first 7 days that the body is fighting off the disease, patients show signs of resilience and vigor. If patients go over the seven days then the disease reaches the intestine followed with diarrhea and atonement.  Those who outlived the disease were left with physical scars like lost fingers, lost eyes, and many loss of memory.

Most patients went into despair at the setting of the disease and contagion spread by mutual caring of parents and friends. The greatest numbers of victims are those who were confined in their residences and were thus abandoned. 

The most compassionate of “nurses” were those who managed to survive the disease on the belief that they could not relapse and that they would never succumb to any other disease.

            Those who suffered the worst were the rural inhabitants because they huddled in huts with no aeration.  The sacred places were the favorite locations to die.  All the customs for inhumations of cadavers were broken: people threw the dead in the fire reserved for other cadavers. Disorder was the name of the game.

Excesses in securing pleasure and voluptuousness were practiced by the most of sobers. Life and fortune were equally precarious. Nobody cared for divine wrath or later legal judgments since they were to die before then.  People wanted to experience what they failed to do so far.”

I had this funny idea: why the Athenians did not organize a regiment of its plagued citizens who were afflicted less than 7 days ago (since they are still active) and launch them to attack the Spartans while unfurling banners saying “We the plagued Athenians are attacking!”  It would be nice to observe the reactions of the brave Spartans.

Note:  I stated in a previous article on cholera that it appears from historical accounts that the afflicted Mogul armies did not experience the plagued until they reached humid regions and during summer

I wondered whether cholera blooms when people sweat profusely in unhealthy conditions. The consequence is that body fluid would be less saturated with salt or other alkaline compounds and thus, the cholera bacteria thrives abundantly and splits to a threatening cut off point. 

I suggest an experimental design for testing my hypothesis.  We prepare 8 conditions of body fluids; one very diluted in salt, one very concentrated, 3 conditions representing Mediterranean basin body fluids during the hot season, and 3 conditions from Mongolia and Central Asia during the hot seasons. 

If funding is appropriate, we could expand the experiment to include samples of body fluids during the hot seasons in regions close to where major rivers flow into seas and oceans such as the Amazon, the Congo, the Nile, the Mississippi, Ganges, Yang Tse, the Tiger and Euphrates, and the Indus Rivers. Good luck.

Persia/Iran Empires (Part 1, February 21, 2009)

Iran is strategically located within major rivers or beds of civilizations. 

On the Western borders, it enjoyed the civilizations of the Tiger and the Euphrates Rivers (current Iraq), on the eastern borders it was in contact with the Indus River civilizations (current, Afghanistan,  Pakistan and India), on the northern borders it was linked to the Amou Daria River and the Central Asian Rivers civilizations, and in the south it has the sea, facing the Arabic Peninsula.  

Depending on the period of neighboring power influences, Iran was the deep country supplying manpower, complementary skills, and soldiers. For example, Afghanistan was frequently part of the various Persian Empires that extended to the Indus, to Turkey, and even into Egypt.

The Persian language dominated the cultures of all this vast Empire. 

Currently, variants of the Persian language are spoken in Afghanistan and Tajikistan.

Generally, most of the Persian Empires started from south-east Iran, a mostly desert region that extended to the Indus.

Later, the Empires expanded to greener pastures:  To the west toward Iraq (Elam in antiquity or Khuzistan today), to the north (Parthia, Khorassan, and Central Asia), to the east toward Afghanistan and India, and to the north-west toward Turkey, and Armenia..

After the Babylonian and Assyrian Empires, the various Persian Empires dominated Iraq.  The Arab Moslem Empire dominated Iran militarily for less than three centuries, but the Persian civilization and customs dominated the political and cultural landscape in Iraq and Afghanistan during and after the Abbasid Dynasty. 

The newly built city of Baghdad around 765 by the Abbasid Dynasty was very close to Persia’s main Capital Ctesiphon by the Tiger River.

Three main Persian Empires lasted long enough to leave powerful imprint on the geo-cultural landscape in this area. 

The Achaemenid Dynasty (1000 to 331 BC) was vanquished by Alexander of Macedonia; the Sassanid Dynasty (240 to 650 AC) was vanquished by the Moslem Arabs; and the Safavid Dynasty (1500 to 1722 AC) before our modern times.

The Ottoman Empire checked the Safavid expansion toward Turkey, especially because the Safavid Dynasty was mainly of Turkish origin from the Caspian Sea.

The Afghan invasion put an end to its effective authority. The various Mogul Dynasties extended their influence from Iran to India before the British colonizers ruled.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

February 2009
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