Adonis Diaries

Archive for September 2009

Qualitative shift from statehood to a nation: Lebanon; (September 21, 2009)

The political mentality of the majority of Lebanese before May 24, 2000 (Israel was forced to withdraw from most of south Lebanon) was defined and limited to the concept of a recognized statehood by the United Nations.

Lebanon has gained a semi-formal independence from colonial France in 1943; the French troops vacated Lebanon in 1946. Fundamentally, the weak political structure of Lebanon since 1946 was based on the guarantee of the UN as one of the recognized states, since Lebanon was one of the early founders of the UN. Lebanon, as most states in the Middle East, has artificial borders, geographically and historically, delimited by the colonial powers of France and Britain.

Almost all political parties are sectarian parties; the leaders of these parties have “niche” districts or regions as their main base for legitimacy. The primarily objective of these sectarian parties is to acquire membership in the Parliament and then a few ministers in governments to cater for their district and harass their political or social opponents.

The purpose of working toward a strong central government and considering all citizens equal before State laws was anathema to the sectarian (mostly feudal) leaders’ interests.  The State of Lebanon preferred thus to relinquish civil status responsibilities to the religious sects or (castes to be more precise). Currently, 18 sects are “officially” recognized to govern their coreligionists from birth to death.

Consequently, with the exception of the oldest secular parties such as the communist and the Syria National Social Party, Lebanon’s political parties were staunchly determined to stay within the statehood premises: they knew that they will quickly disintegrate if foreign supports and finances are denied them.

Lebanon weak central government was guaranteed by the western powers and the regional states: weak governments are ideal solutions for easy and ready access to intelligence gathering on the regional scale with Lebanon as the free wheeling base. Thus, the regimes of every regional state had their own daily and magazine and TV stations and going strong even recently.

In May 24, 2000, Israel occupation of Lebanon for 18 years was at an end; Israeli troops were forced to withdraw from most of Lebanon because of the increased efficiency of the Lebanese resistance. Hezbollah had acquired a solid popular base in south Lebanon and in the Bekaa Valey; its military and social organizations were rooted within a popular environment “a fish in the sea”.

The savage 33 days war of July 2006 sealed the nationhood of Lebanon.

The USA Administration of Bush Junior declined a cease fire even though Israel recognized that its war was lost and there were no further benefits for extending the war beyond the initial three days.  I can say confidently that Lebanon is on its way to nationhood and the re-structuring of the political system to correspond to the new mentality and de-facto status. It will take more time, but the process cannot be reversed.

For years, the sectarian parties were hammering out the scare tactics of the Palestinian refugees constituting a future demographic problem because the western nations were intent on bypassing UN Resolution 194 for the Palestinians’ right to return to Palestine.

We are no longer afraid of such a reality taking place, simply because Lebanon is strong enough in its new nationhood to prevent foreign decisions on that matter.  Israel is no longer a serious factor in disrupting our nationhood; it might try one more time to wage another preemptive war, but it would be very limited in duration and scope. Israel will constantly activate plans to incite civil wars, but so far it failed in the last 9 years.

We are yet to form a strong central government; the next step is enacting an election law based on proportionality and away from sectarian quotas; the sects will be represented in a separate Senate.

The rampant oligarchic of embezzling, frauds… of State budget tailored to sectarian leaders will be checked once the citizens secure this feeling of belonging to a nation under the law.

The strange fact that 40 public institutions are directly attached to the prime minister instead of their respective ministries is an aberration that has been practiced since 1992 and against the law.  Thus, the prime minister could single handedly govern the country without requiring any decisions from the combined group of ministers.

A qualitative shift from statehood to a nation is palpable and the constitution of a strong central government is inevitable within the next 5 years no matter how regional States refuse this new perspective.

The nerve center for world economic recovery: Middle East; (September 21, 2009)

All indicates that the major superpowers of USA, China, Russia, and Europe have agreed that the Middle East is the most volatile region that might disrupt the financial and economic recovery plan after the financial crash of 2008.  The USA and China have ironed out the short and medium term plans for economic recovery and financial stability. The USA and Russia have scraped plans for the mutual installation of ballistic missiles on the borders with Russia. The remaining recalcitrant European States such as Britain and the Scandinavian States are inclined and ready to join the Euro currency.

The immediate changes were the election of Barak Obama, the weakening of Russia Poutine power, the opening up of the markets among China, Japan, and South Korea, and a drastic increase in the funding of the Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

The USA and China agreed on the short term plan of keeping the same financial mechanism to proceed for another three years, the necessary time for both nations to clean houses.  China will resume its purchase of US Treasury Bills and its massive export policy to keeping the USA dollars strong; the Chinese currency will be permitted to be under valuated, and consequently to encourage the devaluation of the strong Euro. By the end of this interim period, a basket of currencies will replace the dollars for monetary exchange.

The medium term, after the initial three years of behaving as nothing changed, China will focus on its internal market and pump its huge savings into promoting internal consumption and increasing its budgets for health, education, and habitat.  The Chinese currency will valuate accordingly and world external commerce will have a better ground for competition on quality. The USA will refocus in these initial years on strengthening its industrial productive base so that taxes could be increased to slow down its national huge debt.

There are serious glitches that might retard or hamper the short term plan for world economic recovery.  First, China has to face accelerated problems that cannot wait three years before serious resolutions are undertaken. China is confronting the worst draught in years; the water from the gigantic dams are diverted toward the urban centers instead of alleviating the peasants; there are over 30 millions urban workers who were forced to return to their provinces and the number is increasing steadily; the latest ethnic clashes in the south-western province with Capital Urumqi is not yet contained and might spread to the borders with India.  There is a border conflict between China and India which is encouraging India to focus on its military budget.

Second, Germany is going solo from Europe on its policy of encouraging export at lower prices and focusing on reducing its national debt in order to be able to rescue Russia and Eastern Europe for a forecasted economic deterioration.  They all agreed that the Middle East region is the pivotal nerve center that could break the back of all these rational plans for world financial stability.

Third, the reality of the potential destabilization factor of the so-called terrorist activities with potential of using various means of mass destruction or biological arms are taken seriously.  The Middle East is reverting at this crucial period as the world nerve center for the proper realization of the short and medium term plans for economic recovery.

For over 60 years the US and the Soviet Union regarded the Middle East with indifference. They could always reach an understanding in due time. Lebanon could burn for 17 years and they didn’t bat an eye. The Palestinians were transferred three times and the world community didn’t bat an eye; a couple of millions to the UNESCO was sufficient to relieve the over one million Palestinian refugees in chantey camps. The Polisario independence movement from Morocco in Western Sahara (barely 200,000 inhabitants) was let to drag indefinitely.

Anwar Sadate of Egypt kicked out the Soviet in 1973 and the Soviet Union didn’t care that much: Egypt was a sunken barrel for constant support financially and militarily. Khomeini wants power in Iran? No problem; the Soviet will be traumatized and then we will order Saddam of Iraq to invade and destabilize Iran; eight long years of savage war dragged on until both country came to reason without the help of the superpower for ending this nonsense war; over one million died and more millions suffered life long injuries.

The Soviet Union was sucked in Afghanistan with no strategic interest or raw materials to count on, at a period when all the Middle East states were at peace with the Soviet Union. The Soviet troops were permitted to wage a losing war for 8 years while extremist Islam was financed, armed, and encouraged to prosper its extremist religious ideology.

There is this fundamental fact that the economic and military superpowers have to register.  In the Middle East there are two centers: Syria is the cradle of Arab culture and civilization and Iran is the cradle of Persia culture and civilization.  The naïve intellectuals are made to believe that the rivalries are among Moslem religious schism of Sunnis and Chiaas; it is basically a cover up of historical nationalist cultural differences. That these two nations have allied for the last 30 years is the best outcome that this region experienced for centuries. The US involvement in Iraq has retarded a genuine emergence of a peaceful Middle East capable of facing effectively extremist Islam.  It would be totally irrational that this union between Iran and Syria is not strengthened.  A democratic Iraq with a political system balancing the aspirations of both Arabs and Persians is the crucial center for developing a peaceful environment in the Middle East; the current nerve center for any world economic destabilization.

This rekindled zeal for an exclusive Jewish State is the last illusion that Israel is hanging on to: the Israelites are realizing that their existence as a State is already redundant. Israel had done its function in the last 60 years as a mercenary army for the colonial and imperialist west and is no longer of any value.

Complete story of Jesus’ visit to Jerusalem; (September 20, 2009)

For six months now, Jesus had been marching toward Jerusalem for the yearly celebration.

Thousands of pilgrims and followers were accompanying Jesus. Jesus was not a desk Rabi; not an urban Rabi. Jesus was a walking Rabi followed by thousands of long marching disciples.

All indications point to the possibility that Jesus never visited Jerusalem: his mother Mary and her close relatives never set foot in Jerusalem: They had their Great Temple on Mount Carmel; they belonged to the Essonite sect. They lived in the district attached to Tyr (in Phoenicia, Lebanon) and in Galilee which was also attached to Tyr district, administratively and judicially (read https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2009/03/18/the-virgin-mary-is-from-the-town-of-qana-in-lebanon-book-review/.

Of the 12 original disciples only Judas Iscariot was an “original” Jew belonging to the tribe of Benjamin.

The ancestors of Judas were from around Beer Sheba by the desert before they relocated close to Jerusalem; John the minor and Judas were practically the only literate of the group of 12.

Thus, 11 of the original disciples were new converts to Judaism, a religion imposed upon them by the sword by the Hessonite (Maccabees or Hasmodite) Kingdom a century ago.

The Hasmodite Kingdom had conquered most of Palestine and forced the population to be circumcised and to abide by the Jewish Laws of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, way south.

As new converts, the disciples were ultra conservatives with respect to the Jewish laws but they had their own Great Temple on Mount Carmel north of Samaria. They also had no liking for the two southern Jewish tribes and apprehended visiting Jerusalem, as did Jesus.

The yearly pilgrimage of Jesus and the disciples was to the Great Temple; the pilgrimage this year was to Herod Temple in Jerusalem.

Judas was a political Jewish zealot and hated the Romans because they destroyed the Hasmonide Kingdom 60 years ago.

After Judas’ father Simon suffered leprosy the family acquired a summer residence in Galilee; Jesus cured Judas’ father; Jesus later resuscitated Judas’ brother Lazarus from the dead; Marie Magdalena, the sweet heart of Jesus, was Judas’ sister as well as Martha.

Jesus loved this family even more than his own. Jesus trusted and loved Judas more than most; Judas had the purse because he was rich and was highly literate.

Jesus must have discussed and gone into lengthy arguments with Judas the zealot. The advance to Jerusalem was slow; Jesus and the disciples from Galilee were not that excited of entering Jerusalem because it was a hostile city in their mind.

Two factors might have kept Jesus marching on, though he received many intelligence that the multitude of followers joining the trip were not excited for it.

The first reason is that the Pharisee priests of Jerusalem have been scheming for over a year to lure Jesus in: they had neither legal hold on Jesus in the counties he preached nor any power there.

The second factor might be the permanent encouragement of Judas Iscariot coaxing Jesus on. Judas had political ambitions since he was rich and a learned Jew from the southern tribes. The large followers of Jesus have encouraged Judas to plan for a bolder and direct political job.

Jesus enters Jerusalem on a Friday and chased out the money changers and those doing business as usual by Herod Temple. Jesus was chocked by these practices that were never done in the Great Temple of Mount Carmel; his wrath had no limit; he borrowed a whip and ran after those who desecrated the Holy Place; a place for prayer.

Then Jesus camped outside the city limit (this sinful city was no place to honor) and was received as a popular Rabi leader on Sunday morning; Jesus is mounted on a donkey.

On Thursday evening, and after the Last Supper Jesus is made prisoner and convicted of fomenting disruption by the Jewish Sanhedrin in Jerusalem.

From Sunday till the Last Supper what happened?

This year was not a run of the mill celebration; Jerusalem was swarmed by thousands of different brands of pilgrims and a walking Rabi entered preaching and speaking a new message; a walking Rabi who has been lambasting the Pharisee and the other Jewish sects of the priesthood for over six months by now.

The Jewish Sanhedrin has been gathering intelligence on Jesus for over a year and it has accumulated a thorough biography of Jesus and on his messages.

The Sanhedrin knew that Jesus of Galilee was the “son of Marie“; it was convinced, and their rumors aided a lot, that Joseph was not the genetic father of Jesus. And Mathew poured oil on the fire by relating a not convincing story 60 years later.

I don’t care one way or another who was the real father of Jesus but everyone else at that period did care and must have known, especially the Sanhedrin. The Jews named the sons and, especially, the eldest son after the patriarch of the family. The Sanhedrin knew that Jesus was a “gentile” who was circumcised by law during the century old Macabe Kingdom and followed the Jewish rituals.

The Sanhedrin was highly upset and frightened that this walking Rabi knew more on the Book and the history of the Jewish priesthood than the most learned among them. And yet, not a historian, not a document, not an anecdote recounted what happened between Sunday and Thursday.

These four days are as blank as the period of Jesus before he started disseminating his message at the age over 30.

From Sunday to Thursday we know nothing of the activities and whereabouts of Jesus or his apostles.

Were the disciples scattered to disseminate the new message?

Was Jesus preaching and meeting with the masses?

Has Jesus discussed with a few priests in the Sanhedrin?

What is certain is that the Roman Pilates had no facts or accounts on Jesus activities to substantiate fomenting any civil revolt. The Sanhedrin was reduced to asking Jesus abstract and metaphysical questions “Are you the son of God?

I am inclined to believe that Jesus camped outside the city limit and made scarce appearances. Jesus was awed and disoriented. The thousands of pilgrims in Jerusalem might be Jews but they didn’t look or behave like the Essonite (Essenien) sect he belonged to.

Jesus might have dispatched Iscariot to negotiate with the Sanhedrin for a peaceful pilgrimage; he would pray with his disciple in Herod Temple and leave.

Meanwhile, the Sanhedrin had actively fomented the southern Jews against Jesus and then lured Jesus within the city limit for Thursday’s Last supper. Plausibly, Jesus was to meet with the highest priests. The meeting was not to take place and Jesus realized that the trap is closed and that would be the last supper with his disciples.

Jesus was possibly no fool but he had no choice but to take that risk.

In the last year, Jesus realized that his message was not taking roots; he was followed out of his charisma and for performing miracles. Resuming the same wandering trips was leading to no where; his life was already nerve wracking and miracles were sapping his energy.

The other alternative was a kind of moratorium on his activities or an agreement to be included as a valued outsider member in the Sanhedrin. Judas might have thought that he had a win-win situation; whether the meeting between Jesus and the Sanhedrin is a success or a failure he was assured an honorable position.

Judas was rich and didn’t need these lousy 30 silver coins; maybe this money was a practical symbol as a first installment on a larger agreement. Judas had no intention of following Jesus any further and being settled in Jerusalem suited him grandly.

Most probably, the other disciples had no winds of the negotiations between Judas and the Sanhedrin; Judas was simply proselytizing the message, visiting old family relations, and preparing logistic accommodations. The other disciples (apostles later on) were pretty happy not to wander in this hostile city; they were as disoriented as Jesus was.

The Sanhedrin would not be humiliated by convicting a “gentile” on Jewish religious grounds; it would not legally stick with the Romans who did not meddle in sects divergences.

The Sanhedrin would not bring troubles to its structure of interests by spreading an accusation of a popular movement getting underway contesting its legitimacy. The Sanhedrin was in a major predicament but it would not allow Jesus to freely resume his teaching; Jesus was to die in Jerusalem before he gets out of their religious jurisdiction.

After Jesus was crucified, all the scared apostles huddled in a remote house. From the testimony of the apostles, all that they retained from Jesus’ message was that there is another “coming” and pretty soon.

After news of Jesus resurrection reached the apostles, the second coming was confirmed to the apostles with a twist: the second coming will take place during their lifetime; if they die before the “coming” then they will be resurrected within 3 days to participate in the final event.

Thomas would not be railroaded one more time: he wants to touch Jesus and check the wounds.

Jesus has been teaching his message in parabolas, the best technique for verbal retention; these parabolas were in the Gnostic literature of the Land and the examples were extracted from the customs and tradition of the Land.

The apostles learned nothing much of the spiritual message of Jesus; they didn’t even comprehend the message; they just discussed what in the message differed from the Jewish daily rituals and customs.

Maybe Jesus was funny and told his stories in a funny way but the testimonies of the apostles were not that funny; most probably the funny apostles with sense of humor were not taken that seriously and their accounts forgotten, burned, and destroyed.

These events did not take place in pre-history.

The Land was highly civilized and cultured. The elites spoke Greek, Roman, Aramaic, and Hebrew. The Land had been disseminating all sorts of philosophical schools, sciences, and literatures.

And yet, nothing to account from Sunday to Thursday! Could you say that we have a biography of Jesus? The Jews even created a biography for Noah! I love biographies and I am not at all satisfied with what I have got.

Thousands of Christian “heretics”, according to Imperial Byzantium Church, who believed only in the human nature of Jesus were persecuted, imprisoned, and crucified for not abiding by Byzantium orthodox dogma. Why did these “heretics” have to defy a stupid orthodox dogma since there were no confirmed documents describing the entire life of Jesus?

Thousands of Christian “heretics” who believed only in the spiritual nature of Jesus were persecuted and executed for not following the orthodox dogma; why did they have to revolt against the orthodox dogma since even the apostles did not care or comprehend that much about Jesus spiritual message?

I want my hard cover book; (September 19, 2009)

 

            There is a rush to join the bandwagon of Digital Libraries.  Many developed Sates are budgeting for digitizing their national libraries, their archives, and work of arts.  There are several reasons for this rush to digitizing: first, the need not to lose ground to the Americans (project Galica); second, to compete with the “organizations outsider of the book market (commission Alire-SLF); and third, to avoid being distanced by the Big Players like Google, e-book, Amazon, Sony, Philips, Cybook, and the PDA (pocket portables).

            The United Nations (UNESCO) and the American Congress have launched in last April the World Digital Library.  Google contributed 3 millions dollars.  This project is added to the projects of Europeana and Google Book.  Google has already a digital library of 7 millions manuscripts.

            There are advantages to digitizing world knowledge.  First, it is too costly to keep maintaining old books; second, no publishing houses are ready to re-edit old books; and third, my favorite advantage, is that books and manuscripts of the dying languages would be preserved and studied for later generations.  Researchers would not have to travel to forsaken location, in dark rooms in monasteries and abbeys to peruse dusty and falling apart “sacred” treasures of long dead cultures.

            There are many other advantages; millions of serious injuries of falling off ladders for retrieving or dusting books, never read or intended to read, will be saved.  Millions of extra irrelevant “Study rooms”, stacked with dusty books used as just show cases, will be saved for storing electronic gizmos that children will play with instead of Barbie dolls and electric trains. The man of the family can find a smaller corner for smoking his tobacco pipe or opium.

            Those against this rush to digitizing are librarians and middlemen in the book business. Millions in the hard copy business will have to find alternative means for continuing in a job they like. It would be nice if private libraries and public ones start oral reading to audiences who hate to read, who cannot read, or have no digital equipments to keep updated.  It was stated that the French Revolution was initiated because it was the fashion in the 18th century France to read to audiences in saloons, libraries, and assembling places. Oral reading is the best medium to encouraging critical thinking, to familiarize people to argumentative discussions, and to exchange opinions based on specific topics. It would nice to return to community oral reading and share common attention spaces.

            Google can digitize its head off and I won’t care. I want my hard copy book.  I don’t care of hyperlinks designed for speed in search, browsing, and excessive distractions.  I need to leisurely read my hard copy, preferable hard cover, book to cogitate upon anytime I like to return to it.

            I suggest inventing a digital book that is exactly like a book with leaflets and cover; a book that smells paper; the leaflets feels like paper, and flip like paper; oh, and I want it black on white background.  Instead of a book mark a sliding harder sheet, attached to the book, can be super-imposed on the corresponding page and the word processing functions furnished can do all the necessary manipulations for saving section, notes, and even transmissions.  The two hard cover pages may contain the flat batteries and slots for the small CDs and accessories. See? I told you it is feasible.

            I am pretty sure the binding will not be glue based.  It should be feasible and with added facilities. The chip could hold several books with tables of contents; you click on a selected book and when you resume reading it advance to where you stopped.  The added advantage is that you won’t need to retype sections but copy paste and then edit. And why not, we could still attach a pencil like gizmo for the touch buttons of the “book mark” sliding sheet.  See? It is already done. I wanted my hard cover book and I got it! Japan or India must be working on my idea as this post is published.

Today offspring are tomorrow monsters; (September 18, 2009)

 

            The optimist Biosphere/Earth has its own stabilizing mechanism; it is indifferent to power-avid pessimist man. This unattached earth/biosphere mechanism may burn, suffocate, or drown man and it would not even notice or care for its existence.   

            Through the ages earth/biosphere underwent changes and man either thrived and developed or died consequent to the environmental changes.  All the time, man got curious about his environment and wanted to understand and then uncover the mysteries of that power surrounding him and controlling his life cycle. By the bye, man formulated general laws of nature; then, before he could fathom a tiny portion of the complex mysteries and the multiple interactions among the sparse and conditioned laws this impatient and anxious man endeavored to modify and transform nature to his own wants and restricted interests.

            Man wants to alter earth and the biosphere with the tacit understanding that he will not be affected. Man keeps forgetting, intentionally, that he is what he is because of earth and biosphere. Man can alter earth and biosphere; biosphere will, imperturbably, react at its own pace; the offspring of today are the monsters of tomorrow; if the monster is permitted to exist at all.

            The Western “modern” mind insisted that “the genesis of man (species and child development) is a process of primarily interacting with things; human interactions are a secondary and not a significant factor”.  In fact, most early scientist and researchers lived in their islands of palaces or laboratories with little contact with people.  They were intent on mastering their material environment.  Ayn Rand’s writings incarnated the mentality of the individual attribute of spirit and intelligence. She wrote: “The spirit is an individual attribute. Collective brain does not exist.  Man living in relation to others has no reality.”  Ayn Rand was expressing the prevalent pre-supposition at the turn of the century and she was formulating their radical consequences.

            Jules Verne stories of individualistic heroes and his successors of visionaries, explorers, adventurers, exploiters, and colonial expansionists refused to admit limitations to their intelligence and undertaking power.  They had grand “destiny” to impose and prove: man is born to reign and dominate and not to complain. Something broke then we fix it. Something blocked expansion then we erased it: there are always solutions to difficulties. There are no inherent problems to the enterprising man; as Napoleon said “Impossible is not in my vocabulary”.

            Jules Verne never missed a good shooting spree story at savages; in “Five weeks in balloon” they are shooting at the African negros from the top of a balloon; in “The children of captain Grant” they are shooting at will on Maoris in New Guinea from the top of rocky hills; in “The travel around the world in 80 days” they are killing the Sioux Indians from the doors of moving wagons; in “From Earth to the moon” they are annihilating the Seminole Indians; in “Mathias Sandorf” the savage Senoussis of Libya are exterminated.     

            Colonialism was initiated and undertaken by “democratically” elected government; thus fascism, Nazism, and communism have nothing to do with the spirit of “modernizing” the “barbaric” people. Our current modern man is typified by “Hot Air” Charles Branson; I don’t means his cross Atlantic, Pacific, or around the world balloons and airliners but gases emanating from his ass hole. The Western heroes are children who do not want to be rebuffed from the game: the entire planet is their game land. “When we were children, we were told not to feel afraid or cry: it was shameful. It was a time, and still is pretty much, when growing up meant to vanquish fear; to live in the delusion of the all conquering man.”

            Human intelligence and know how are intrinsically community intelligence. It is the community that initiates man to things and behavior.  Man needs at least 16 years of inter-communal aid and secure before he gets aware of his individuality and begins to revolt and seek a semblance of independence.

            We are at a junction when man is capable of envisioning a limited earth (weight, circumference, volume, and extractable minerals) and limits to the biosphere (thickness, density, and constituents).  There are intersections at several levels of consciousness. We are beginning to comprehend the limitations of technology to containing the power of nature such as tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanoes, and changing climates; the catastrophic consequences of mastering nuclear energy (Chernobyl is a striking example); the long term problems of gigantic projects such as deviating rivers, and building monster dams.  We realize that our survival is intrinsically linked to the biosphere.  It is a junction of the meeting of man’s brain with the limits of biosphere and our recognition that biosphere is much more complex and that it has indeed engendered our kind of intelligence.

            We are harassed with the dictum “Science is neutral; experiments are unbiased”. One of the urgent tasks of the United Nations is to investigate how science and research are financed or funded.  Everything has a political direction and I contend that sciences, research, and technologies are primarily driven by deep pocket political interest groups.  We can no longer keep fighting those biased and politically oriented “research” results instead of focusing on the reality of earth/biosphere degradations.

First Anniversary: I married wordpress.com; (September 18, 2009)

 

            Thursday, September 18, 2008The weather is mostly cloudy. I borrowed “Chroniques de Gaza” by Caroline Mangez at a private library. I removed to my study around 3 pm and saw my niece Joanna working on her portable.  I reminded her that she promised to aid me open a blog; she selected wordpress.com on account that it is the most visited site. I sat by her side and we went through the queries. My site is adonis49.wordpress.com; the affix 49 is the year of my birthyear since Adonis was already taken.

            I tried to start publishing articles on my blog of wordpress.com but the internet was acting up as I clicked on “publish”.  I was wondering: “This might turn out to be a time consuming process of publishing what I have written”. It took me over an hour just for one article to go. Once I had ironed out the process I spent a hectic week publishing over five years of unpublished pieces of articles, book reviews, short stories, and novels.  The published materials amounted to 600 posts: I had subdivided chapters of my novels to quicken the process. 

            I learned later that I should have subdivided even further so that readers won’t have to suffer more than two pages at a time.  I also learned much later that it is preferable to assign a new title to every post and not the easy alternative of patching up part 1, part 2, or continue 1, continue 2, and the sort.  Thinking up new titles are fun and a great learning processes.  I discovered the value of assigning new titles for posts that did not generate hits: people have so many choices of posts to read that they prefer catchy titles.

            In this year I added over 600 new posts to the ones I had written previously and generated 16,000 hits.  Laws do not fail very often: maybe 20% of my posts generated 80% of hits even if I disagree with my readers on the value of their choices.  Laws do not fail very often but when they do it is catastrophic; scientists, and especially financial analysts, fail to consider seriously the rare events and their dangerous potential consequences.  They just take the easy way out by focusing on the average or most likely events. The latest financial crash is a striking example; it is not as if the financial analysts didn’t know about rare events: they preferred not to be considered the black sheep of doom.  It is so much nicer to collect easy bonuses and let others suffer.

            Actually, I am under the impression that a dozen of posts or 1% are generating a fourth of the total hits. Thus, I may retire for a whole year and still generate a substantial number of hits; that is not my purpose: I want people to read good stuff.

            By and by I increased the number of categories to reach 25; if it were feasible to edit and re-shuffle the names of my categories I would have gladly invested time of this important factor.  I would appreciate some aid in that domain.

            Nick was very helpful in sending me a link to widgets when I asked for his advice to simplify navigating my cumbersome blog.  So far, widgets have been great for my own navigation; I do not doubt that they’ll be helpful for my readers.  So far, my posts do not include pictures or video: I lack the equipments and the patience for this important improvement.  They say a picture is worth a thousand words; I am not so sure; it might be correct for the lazy minds or those who are more inclined to visual information.  Anyway, rest assured that in due time my pictures would not be “stand-alone” dumb medium such as “No Comment”.  Expressing your feelings, ideas, and opinions in words are great exercises for your own benefit: you refresh your memory and re-structure your ideas for better explanation and exposition.

            I received a new release on life this fabulous year; discovering a free publishing site is like receiving grace.  I need to read more so that I can publish at least one post a day; usually, I publish 10 posts per week. I learned to be concise and not surpass 1,000 words per posts.  Thus, long articles are divided into parts with new titles.  Every now and then, I regroup the parts into one lengthy article with a new title: it is beneficial to me to re-edit the main topic and present a comprehensive article for later use.

            An excited reader was overwhelmed by the diversity and wealth of my book reviews in topics and in foreign sources (I do read and write in three languages Arabic, French, and then English); she encouraged me to patronize her site; she failed to know that I am a novice navigator and that I have no patience whatsoever for net navigation.  I like hard cover materials.  Bref, I sent her a message telling her that all that I have is a word processor; all that I know to do is to store my pieces on a USB and then locate an internet provider to publish my posts. I hope that I finally nailed down this troublesome acronym USB: I kept saying UBS until my nieces and nephews got bored of correcting me. I sometimes insist on UBS to express my displeasure for their behaviors.

            Yes, all that I do is read a lot and then jot down sentences and ideas on a sheet of paper: public power is out over 12 hours a day in this part of a country. Once the electricity is on then my article is done within half an hour. I quickly store my piece on a USB for fear that the power does not fail me again, as it so often do. It is not so hard publishing but the public power hardly will improve in the foreseeable future.  I firmly believe that if I enjoyed better amenities in electricity and equipments then my productivity might suffer accordingly.  It does not mean that those patronizing my blog should pray for my situation to last: that would be cruel and inhuman.  You might pray that I win big on the lotto or a publisher contacts me: I have so much to publish on hard covers: the medium that I cherish so much and that generates money.

            WordPress.com board of directors must start thinking seriously how to help us bloggers make money for our hard and consistent work.

Emilia demanded: “Take me …”, (September 17, 2009)

In the first two years my marriage was perfect. It felt that our deep and complete accord of our senses mingled with this silence of the spirit; critics of our personalities were suspended; love was the sole judge of the partner.  Emilia was absolutely without any defects; I wanted to believe that my behavior was shared. Certainly that we had plenty of defects but they were transformed into benign, forgivable, or even particular qualities that enhanced our individualities.

The happier we feel the less we pay attention to the grace of our felicity; indeed, I might have many moments of boredom in our relationship; it seemed common and natural, nothing that special, like the air we breathe. People would envy me for my state of happiness and I would retort that I lacked the security of the morrow: I was in a tight financial predicament as a movie critic and we barely managed to go out see a movie. We lived in a rented furnished room; my wife had to use the owner’s kitchen to prepare breakfast. Never did I lament as during the first two glorious years of my happiness.

To my eyes, my wife Emilia was a beautiful secretary when I fell in love with her.  She was not that tall; bared off her long heels her head reached my shoulders, but she had this supple grace and “majesty” that made her look much taller and impressive than most girls that I had met. Emilia was especially taller in bed, more packed, rounded, and powerful, though I knew very well that she had nothing of the massive. In moments of abandon her large sensual chestnut colored eyes expressed a state of loss and displacement.

Emilia came from a poor family and kept our room constantly clean and shining.  She made my small study her exclusive care: my papers, desk, and books were arranged to lure me to work. Emilia was mostly silent; she barely laughed or smiled but managed to disseminate her feelings by body postures and the expressions on her face: she was barely educated and her world opinions were limited.

At the time I let my grunge and intellectual looks boast for my potential future as an illustrious artistic personality. My corrective glasses and slender high stature might have contributed to my imagination.  I could not afford to buy an apartment as I felt was Emilia’s deepest wants, her own residence to furnish, maintain, and cherish.  I recall now that during our engagement her eyes got wet when I told her that I barely could rent a small apartment: she was longing for a place of her own and quickly.

I managed to put down a deposit on a modern apartment of two rooms and a tiny kitchen.  When we visited together for the first time our potential dusty and unfurnished apartment Emilia joined me at the window and asked me to hug her; it was a displaced tender and overt behavior on her part.  We kissed passionately and then Emilia demanded: “take me now”.  She promptly removed her skirt and tops and we made love on the dirty floor.  I had never felt that passion in Emilia; it felt as if she was returning the gratitude for an extended expensive gift. Surely, I had the apartment in Emilia’s name.

I have never felt that despondent and miserable as the first months after we purchased the apartment: I was permanently worried about the next payment.  Emilia did not help any: she increased her shopping excursion to buy furniture.  She was perfectly aware of my financial predicaments but she acted nonchalant and perfectly an “egoist” to me.

Gone was the period I was lording it as a potential famous intellectual; the feeling of the harsh reality that I was an utterly penniless person, a non-entity, overtook me. I started to listen to the opinions of the opposition political parties that lambasted governments, services, and the social inequities. (More is to follow).

Note:  This story is taken, with some alterations, from “The loathing” (Le mepris) by Alberto Moravia.

The “Big Army” crossing the Beresina River; (September 14, 2009)

 

            The self appointed Emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte, had entered Moscow.  The Russian governor of Moscow burned his Capital three days after the French troops entered this “Saint City”.  Bonaparte lingered for an entire month in Moscow, hopelessly waiting for Czar Alexander to initiate negotiation.  Bonaparte finally ordered the retreat; he also ordered General Moreau to blast off the Kremlin. Bonaparte was forced to re-take the same route he used for coming to Moscow.  Bonaparte and “The Big Army” of 670,000, initially, were to re-witness the scene of carnage of the battle of Borodino; with a twist: the 80,000 victims were reduced to carcasses and the wolves and crows had done their cleaning job.

            Finally, after weeks of walking in the Russian winter weather half the army was dead from freezing, famine, drowning, and diseases. The guerilla Cossacks harassed this multinational army into lunacy; many soldiers were acting up crazy and irrationally. Then this big army had to cross the Beresina River.  The Russian General Kutuzoff appeased the British General Wilson saying: “It is in the swamps of Beresina that the meteorite will cool down.  So far, Bonaparte has no alternative but to follow the passage that I let him take; he is not even allowed to stop and rest.”

            The main bridges on the Beresina were destroyed.  The French engineering regiment headed by Eble tried to build all night long two makeshift bridges in a valley; they had to construct the bridges dipping in frozen water. The pontoon layers knew that they will not survive the day.

            The Russian army of 40,000 headed by General Tchitchakoff was waiting on the other side of the river. Miracle of miracle, in the morning the Russians had vacated their posts to allow Bonaparte safe passage and not be made prisoner. Bonaparte crossed at 2 pm. Then mayhem ensued.

            The entire army was pressing to cross on unstable bridges. The first wave of crossers drowned or was trampled due to the heavy push from the back.  Those trying to climb from the sides were carried off by the freezing powerful river. Women were holding their babies off water to be picked up before sinking in the river; not many babies found rescuers: everybody had no time to lose.

            What is it with women and babies following armies? It has been the custom since antiquity for whole families to follow their “noble warriors”, not those mercenaries or poor soldiers. Perhaps the noble warriors didn’t feel excited being deprived of their tasty dishes or the warmth of female bodies. But what with babies and kids? I never knew of a noble warrior caring of providing sympathy and affection to their kids. Obviously, women were of great help washing, cooking, cleaning after, gathering woods, tending the wounded, and rejuvenating the illusion of a peaceful period.  In this Russian campaign the civilians following the armies were caught between fires, crushed by horses and carriages, and killed when made prisoners.

            Then the Russian shells aimed amid this dense army increased the havoc. The bridge reserved for the artillery broke down. The masses surging from behind prohibited the column from backtracking. Everyone was precipitated in the river.  Thus, there was a surge to the only remaining bridge; men and materials were to be using this bridge. The carriages could not be stopped and entered in the masses and crashed into the compact assembled soldiers.  Nobody was hearing the moaning of the fallen and trampled.

            Bonaparte sent a brief message to the French Senate “During the 26 and 27 of November the army crossed.”   On December 5, 1812 Bonaparte abandoned his army and fled to Paris.

            If it was a military matter General Kutuzoff could have annihilated the French Big Army but he allowed it to cross the Russian borders.  There are two reasons for that decision: first, it was a highly political decision by Czar Alexander I.  Bonaparte was the master of Europe.  Without Bonaparte Europe would have sank into civil wars; the European leaders preferred Napoleon to stay for a short while so that he be targeted as the sole enemy and thus unite Europe until a political plan for restructuring the States is agreeable to all parties after the fall of Napoleon.  Second, it was a pragmatic decision.  The Russian army barely could afford to feed its soldiers.  It would have turned a horrific burden to caring for over 200,000 enemy soldiers who were enfeebled, sick, and crazy.  General Kutuzoff must have been extremely relieved to see the enemy has finally retreated behind the borders.

(September 15, 2009)

“There are no ends Sir, re-think your means…”

          Two critical questions have been around for ever.  The first question is “What is the purpose of man?”   The second question is “Is there any means of freeing man from war threats?”

            The first question received general answers such as “The free development of every one will lead to freeing every one else” or “Earth will know the Lord, as waves cover the sea.”  These general answers that means liberty, freedom, peace, justice, and fraternal love are meaningless because they need to be operational, well defined, well discriminated, and the means well thought out in details.

            The second question is answered by another general rhetorical answer “No nation will raise the sword against another nation.”  Prophets and religious leaders did not outdo the meanest local politician in their good intentions.

            “Is there any means of freeing man from war threats?” was asked to Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud in 1932; twelve years after the institution of the League of Nations after WWI.  The League of Nations was lead by the USA, France, Britain, and Italy; it was the precursor of the United Nations established after WWII and headed by the USA, USSR, China, France, and Britain with veto power.  Basically, they are the two cheeks of the same ass.

            Einstein said: “A minority avid of power reigning over the great masses that do not get but suffering and impoverishment.  The way for international security is to impose on States to abandon without condition a part of their liberty of action or sovereignty.  There are no other alternatives.” 

            Freud position was “It is not possible to avoid war unless men agree to institute a central power to which States demand arbitration and respect the decision.  The League of Nations does not dispose of an army which cannot be formed unless the constituent States concede it. I am baffled that a unanimous accord by humanity has not banished war.  It is my contention that whoever works toward the development of culture is also struggling against war.”

            Nobel peace laureate Bertha von Sutter replied to Alfred Nobel “Do not always qualify our plan for peace as a dream. Progress toward justice is not a dream; this is the law of civilization”

            “Is there any means of freeing man from war threats?” is still a general question.  It would be far meaningful to divide this question into three practical ones.  The first question would be “Is there any way to prevent pre-emptive wars?”  The second question is “Is there ways to prevent civil wars?”  The third question should be “How man can be set free to decide on his death?”

            How to prevent civil wars have been answered by the USA and Western Europe; all citizens are equal before the law of the land; all citizens have the right to vote; all citizens have the right to be candidates; all citizens can do commerce and trade anywhere in the land; all citizens abide by the same civil status laws; all citizens are served equally well by public services; and no citizen is discriminated against by gender, race, color, or religious belief. If civil wars can be prevented then wars can be prevented: war is war, just view other people as you want people to regard you!  Just stop discriminating other people by race, color, religion, or gender.  They should enjoy the same rights that you want to enjoy.    

            If the world community can decided on a universal law that gives man the right to dispose of his life then all the moral values would become corollary to that fundamental right.  We are born by a fluke of nature but death is a certainty once born; how we wish to die is the only power that we should have to decide for our destiny.

 

            The most controversial of all questions is “Do ends justify the means?”  The most frustrating in this question is that the first two pre-requisite questions have not been answered satisfactorily by the world community. So far, the ends have been but abstract general notions of liberty, freedom, democracy, justice, equality, and so on.  So far, the means have been but brutal force, assassination, incarceration, humiliation, and disrespect of human rights, customs, traditions, and cultures.  Occupied people wait for the means to materialize in order to comprehend the nature of the end game.  When the occupier disband a nation’s army then you know that brute force occupation is the means to annihilate the social fabric of the society.  How can democracy be instituted if democracy is not applied by the occupier?  How can liberty be disseminated if the occupier has forgotten that liberty is resistance to an occupying force?  How can justice be established if martial laws are applied?

            Man is a dog, a cat, or nothing.  The vast majority of men are dogs.  Dog has a fixed logic; once trained properly he nails rules down.  Dog may learn from experience but fails to generalize the experience.  Misha the dog was entrapped on a spiked fence and got scared; she would not jump over the fence on the location it got the fright.  Misha jumps over the fence in another location; it is the same kind of dangerous fence, the same color, and the same height; it was just another location!  Cat has flexible logic and it baffles man.  There are these two kittens. The ugly one is smarter, more courageous, and enterprising.  The first time I hit the ugly cat for myawing it comprehended my reason for hitting her, or so I think.  The next time she saw the stick her behavior changed; now the stick meant “food is on the way”; food is the objective and survival means launching guerrilla warfare and louder myawings.

 

            The main function of the UN should be to prohibit pre-emptive wars under all conditions. The UN failed when it cowered to the US dictates for invading Iraq.  Britain, France, and Germany contributed to this war by softening their stance for economical benefits.

            I say: “There are no ends Sir, re-think your means.”

480.  Dis-investment in Israel is the rage now; (September 12, 2009)

 

481.  Is fasting hard? (September 12, 2009)

 

482.  The greatest illusionists; (September 13, 2009)

 

483.  Chinese Treasury Bills are flooding the markets; (September 14, 2009)

 

484.  Beirut is for sale, stock and lock; (September 14, 2009)

 

485.  Free and Zero are unbeatable lures; (September 15, 2009)


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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