Adonis Diaries

Archive for December 2012

Syrian rebels sidetracked by scramble for spoils of war

Looting, feuds and divided loyalties threaten to destroy unity of fighters as war enters new phase

It wasn’t the government that killed the Syrian rebel commander Abu Jameel. It was the fight for his loot.

The motive for his murder lay in a great warehouse in Aleppo which the “commander” unit had captured a week before. The building had been full of rolled steel, which was seized by the fighters as spoils of war.

And squabbling developed over who would take the greater share of the loot and a feud developed between commanders. Threats and counter-threats ensued over the following days.

 in Aleppo published in The Guardian, on Dec. 27, 2012 under: “Syrian rebels sidetracked by scramble for spoils of war”

Syrian rebels in Aleppo

Syrians carry a desk out of a school in the Saif al-Dawla district of Aleppo. Photograph: Ghaith Abdul-Ahad

“Abu Jameel survived one assassination attempt when his car was fired on. A few days later, his enemies attacked again, and this time they were successful. The commander’s bullet-riddled body was found, handcuffed, in an alley in the town of al-Bab.

Captain Hussam, of the Aleppo military council, said:

“If he had died fighting I would say it was fine, he was a rebel and a mujahid and this is what he had set out to do. But to be killed because of a feud over loot is a disaster for the revolution.

“It is extremely sad. There is not one government institution or warehouse left standing in Aleppo. Everything has been looted. Everything is gone.”

Captured government vehicles and weapons have been crucial to the rebels since the start of the conflict, but according to Hussam and other commanders, and fighters interviewed by the Guardian over a fortnight in northern Syria, a new phase has been reached in the war: Looting has become a way of life.

“Spoils” have now become the main drive for many units as battalion commanders seek to increase their power.

The problem is particularly pronounced in Aleppo, according to Abu Ismael, a young lieutenant from a wealthy family, who ran a successful business before joining the fight against Bashar al-Assad.

Many of the battalions that entered the city in the summer of this year came from the countryside, he said. They were poor peasants who carried with them centuries-old grudges towards the wealthier Aleppans.

There was also a lingering feeling that the city – where businesses had been exploiting cheap peasant labour for several decades – had not risen up quickly enough against the Assads.

Abu Ismael said:

“The rebels wanted to take revenge on the people of Aleppo because they felt that we had betrayed them, but they forgot that most of the people of Aleppo are merchants and traders and a merchant will pay money to get rid of his problem. Even as the rest of Syria was gripped by revolution, the Aleppans said, why should we destroy our business and waste our money?”

When the rebels entered the city and started looting the factories, a source of money dried up.

“In the first month and a half the rebels were really a united revolutionary group,” Abu Ismael said. “But now they are different. There are those who are here only to loot and make money, and some still fight.” Did Abu Ismael’s unit loot? “Of course. How do you think we feed the men? Where do you think we get all our sugar, for example?”

In the chaotic economics of the war, everything has become a commodity. Abu Ismael’s unit, for example, took a supply of diesel from a school compound, and every day his unit exchanges a few jerrycans of the precious liquid for bread.

Because Abu Ismael has a supply of food and fuel, his battalion is more desirable than others in the sector: Commanders who are unable to feed their men tend to lose them; they desert and join other groups.

Bullets are equally important.

When military installations and warehouses are looted the battalion that captures ammunition grows by cannibalising smaller, less well-equipped units that have no bullets to hand.

In a dark apartment in the Salahuddin neighbourhood of Aleppo we sat with a group of commanders who were discussing the formation of a new brigade that would bring their various battalions together. They soon turned to the topic of loot.

One of the commanders present had led an operation into the predominantly Kurdish neighbourhood of Ashrafiya in Aleppo, but according to several fighters who were there the action failed when the army counterattacked because the rebel support units that were supposed to reinforce the front instead turned their attention to looting.

“I want to know exactly what you took that day,” the commander of a small unit told the leader of the assault. The commander opened a notebook to write, while another man held a flashlight above his head. “As long as one fights while the others are busy collecting loot we can’t advance,” he said. “The loot has to be divided equally.”

The leader started to list the luxury cars and the weapons his units had found and taken, while the other commander wrote them down in the notebook. Some of the cars would be sold back to the owners – if they paid out a hefty ransom.

Outside sponsors

The war in Aleppo is not only funded by what can be appropriated by the various units, but also by the patronage that they can attract from sponsors outside Syria, a factor which has also contributed to the myriad forming and re-forming of units, all of which control individual fiefdoms in the city.

All of this has fuelled rivalries and ever-shifting allegiances, factors that have undermined the struggle to defeat the forces of the Syrian president.

Fighting units often exist only because of their sponsors.

If a sponsor loses interest, a battalion is dissolved and the men join another, better-funded battalion. Battalions are often named after historical Arab or Ottoman figures in order to help lure money from the Gulf kingdoms or from Turkey.

One Friday afternoon after prayers, a group of the most senior commanders fighting in Aleppo, 32 in all, gathered in part of a sprawling former government compound, the building’s once polished marble floors now covered with puddles of water, its walls blackened by soot. Sitting in low leather chairs around a large table, many of the men carried the scars of two years of fighting – missing eyes, lame arms, crippled legs.

The meeting was chaired by Abdulkader al-Saleh, a leader of the Tawheed brigade, one of the biggest and best equipped rebel battalions in Syria.

First on the agenda was the task of reintroducing the men to each other, as many had switched battalions since their last meeting in the endless game of musical chairs of the Syrian revolution.

A who’s who of the revolution followed, each commander stating his name and his unit. Some battalions were huge, with hundreds of men, artillery pieces and tanks. Others consisted of fewer than 50 fighters.

“Haji, I thought you were with Halab al-Shaba’a brigade,” Haji Marea said to one of the men. “No, we have reformed. We are a new battalion,” the man said.

“Brothers, we have a grave situation ahead of us,” interjected Abdul-Jabbar Akidi, a defected colonel who leads the military council of Aleppo. Formed to channel supplies to the rebels, the council was supposed to be the overarching command structure for the Free Syrian Army in Aleppo. Instead, it soon became one more faction among many competing for influence.

“The battle has stagnated here,” he said. “There has been no real progress on the fronts and that has affected our sponsors, who haven’t been sending us ammunition.

“Even the people are fed up with us. We were liberators, but now they denounce us and demonstrate against us. We have to unite and form an operations room for all the battalions.”

Soon, however, the conversation took a familiar turn, moving on to complaints about units keeping equipment to themselves.

A short, clean-shaven commander in a leather jacket spoke up: “The problem is that some battalions have artillery and tanks and they are keeping them for themselves and not participating in the attack. Bring me the pieces that were captured from the base of the 46th brigade [a government unit] and I will take over the secret police buildings in Aleppo without having to send my men to die in front of government snipers.”

The second item on the agenda concerned the formation of a revolutionary police force.

As the revolution in Aleppo stagnated and the rebel commanders settled in to rule their “liberated” neighbourhoods, each battalion had started forming its own revolutionary security service, or Amn al-Thawra, manning checkpoints and detaining people, which had led to a spike in kidnapping.

The commanders put forward proposals for how they could create a single disciplined security force.

One moustachioed former colonel in a brown suit began reading what sounded like a Ba’ath party manifesto: “I call for the formation of a secret bureau of revolutionary military security service,” he said.

Many of the men in the room had been detained and tortured by Assad’s security services and sank into their chairs as the former colonel spoke.

“We fought against the regime because of these secret security forces,” said a man with a thick rural accent.

Another battalion commander with a soft voice and a neat blue turban began to speak. “I call for the formation of a small unit of our brothers, the religious students,” he said. “Their job would be to advise the people before the need to use force.”

He added: “They will be armed with their wisdom and religious teaching and it should be called the committee of ruling with virtue and the prevention of vice. It will be the first step in preparing the people for an Islamic society.”

At this, a young fighter shouted from one end of the room: “The problem is not with the people. The problem is us! We have battalions sitting in liberated areas who man checkpoints and detain people. They say this person is a shabiha [a government militiaman] and take his car, or that man was a Ba’athist, take his house.

“They have become worse than the regime. Tell me why those men are in the city, in liberated areas, why are they not fighting at the frontline?”

As the room choked with the smoke of cigarettes, the commanders agreed to form one unified security force. Yet weeks later, there would be little evidence of that force.

Abandoned posts

There were many further stories of looting heard during the our time in Aleppo. A pharmacist who had volunteered as a medic in one of the rebel field hospitals explained why he was running short of penicillin.

The rebels had taken over the warehouse of a leading pharmaceutical company and then had resold the stock back to the owners, shipping all the drugs back into government-held territory, he claimed.

He added: “I went to the warehouse to tell them they had no right to the medicine and that it should be given to the people and not re-sold. They detained me and said they would break both my legs if I ever went back.”

In Saif al-Dawla district a commander who was furnishing a new headquarters for his newly formed battalion walked into a school compound with a few of his men.

A group of civilians stood watching in the late afternoon as the men trawled through the school. Burned and torn pictures of Assad lay on the floor. Desks and chairs were upturned and broken, and plastic flowers and students’ projects were strewn around.

The men ferried some of the tables, sofas and chairs outside the school and piled them up at the street corner. Computers and monitors followed.

A fighter registered the loot in a big notebook. “We are keeping it safe in a warehouse,” he said.

Later in the week I saw the school’s sofas and computers sitting comfortably in the commander’s new apartment.

On the frontlines of the Ameriya neighbourhood, south of Aleppo, we met Abara and his men.

Abara is young and short, in his early 20s, with fair hair and few pimples scattered on his face. He had defected from the army a year earlier. We had first met three months earlier when he was leading his men through the alleyways of Salahuddin, and many of those fighters had been killed or maimed since then.

He was now sitting with the survivors on a cold concrete floor in an abandoned building a block away from government troops. Between the men was a jar of greasy-looking green olives, a bag of bread, a plate of olive oil and some thyme. “It’s much worse now,” Abara said of the war. “Now it’s copper and wheat that commanders are after instead of liberating the city.”

He added: “The problem when people stop fighting – I liberate an area, I need resources and ammunition, so I start looting government properties. When this has finished I turn to looting other properties and I become a thief.”

The physical ground that, at the moment, lay between him and the government line consisted of a series of shattered buildings where snipers from both sides appeared to shoot at almost anything that moved.

“When the army attacked us last week the unit that was here abandoned their posts and withdrew,” he said.

Now, he said, in order to regain the lost territory he would have to fight house to house. “Why should I, when the rest are looting?”

He added wearily: “One day when the war against Bashar is over, another war will start against the looters and thieves.”

Note: The UN has proclaimed that there are mercenaries and jihadists from 24 countries fighting in Syria. There are evidence that the Syrian rebels refuse to explode hospitals and public institutions, a task relegated to the foreign “terrorists”

Advertisements
USA attacked by drones: Sooner than expected…

By 2020, it is estimated that as many as 30,000 drones will be used in US domestic airspace

Drones on domestic surveillance duties are already deployed by police and corporations. In time, they will likely be fitted with missiles and weapons, and hovering over US skies

I have a question. What operations are far less complex and cheaper to execute:

1. Sending kamikazes in commercial airplanes, or

2. Dispatching drones fitted with powerful missiles, and controlled from outside US territories, and targeting  sensitive sites like nuclear centers, depots of chemical weapons, depleted uranium bombs, electrical communication centers….

If your answer is that the second option is far easier to plan and execute, then why Obama is intent on giving ideas to these extremist jihadists, by targeting their potential leaders with drones every week, and using double tap tactics to kill the rescue teams?

 published in the guardian.co.uk, on Dec. 21, 2012 under: ”

The coming drone attack on America”

“People often ask me, in terms of my argument about “ten steps” that mark the descent to a police state or closed society, at what stage we are.

With the importation of what will be tens of thousands of drones, by both US military and by commercial interests, into US airspace, with a specific mandate to engage in surveillance and with the capacity for weaponization – which is due to begin in earnest at the start of the new year – it means that the police state is now officially here.

In February of this year, Congress passed the FAA Reauthorization Act, with its provision to deploy fleets of drones domestically. Jennifer Lynch, an attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, notes that this followed a major lobbying effort, “a huge push by […] the defense sector” to promote the use of drones in American skies: 30,000 of them are expected to be in use by 2020, some as small as hummingbirdsmeaning that you won’t necessarily see them, tracking your meeting with your fellow-activists, with your accountant or your congressman, or filming your cruising the bars or your assignation with your lover, as its video-gathering whirs.

Others will be as big as passenger planes. Business-friendly media stress their planned abundant use by corporations: police in Seattle have already deployed them.

An unclassified US air force document reported by CBS (pdf) news expands on this unprecedented and unconstitutional step – one that formally brings the military into the role of controlling domestic populations on US soil, which is the bright line that separates a democracy from a military oligarchy.

(The US constitution allows for the deployment of National Guard units by governors, who are answerable to the people; but this system is intended, as is posse comitatus, to prevent the military from taking action aimed at US citizens domestically.)

The air force document explains that the air force will be overseeing the deployment of its own military surveillance drones within the borders of the US; that it may keep video and other data it collects with these drones for 90 days without a warrant – and will then, retroactively, determine if the material can be retained – which does away for good with the fourth amendment in these cases.

While the drones are not supposed to specifically “conduct non-consensual surveillance on on specifically identified US persons”, according to the document, the wording allows for domestic military surveillance of non-“specifically identified” people (that is, a group of activists or protesters) and it comes with the important caveat, also seemingly wholly unconstitutional, that it may not target individuals “unless expressly approved by the secretary of Defense”.

In other words, the Pentagon can now send a domestic drone to hover outside your apartment window, collecting footage of you and your family, if the secretary of Defense approves it. Or it may track you and your friends and pick up audio of your conversations, on your way to protest or vote or talk to your representative, if you are not “specifically identified”, a determination that is so vague as to be meaningless.

What happens to those images, that audio? “Distribution of domestic imagery” can go to various other government agencies without your consent, and that imagery can, in that case, be distributed to various government agencies; it may also include your most private moments and most personal activities. The authorized “collected information may incidentally include US persons or private property without consent”. Jennifer Lynch of the Electronic Frontier Foundation told CBS:

In some records that were released by the air force recently … under their rules, they are allowed to fly drones in public areas and record information on domestic situations.

This document accompanies a major federal push for drone deployment this year in the United States, accompanied by federal policies to encourage law enforcement agencies to obtain and use them locally, as well as by federal support for their commercial deployment. That is to say: now HSBC, Chase, Halliburton etc can have their very own fleets of domestic surveillance drones. The FAA recently established a more efficient process for local police departments to get permits for their own squadrons of drones.

Given the Department of Homeland Security militarization of police departments, once the circle is completed with San Francisco or New York or Chicago local cops having their own drone fleet – and with Chase, HSBC and other banks having hired local police, as I reported here last week – the meshing of military, domestic law enforcement, and commercial interests is absolute. You don’t need a messy, distressing declaration of martial law.

And drone fleets owned by private corporations means that a first amendment right of assembly is now over: if Occupy is massing outside of a bank, send the drone fleet to surveil, track and harass them. If citizens rally outside the local Capitol? Same thing.

As one of my readers put it, the scary thing about this new arrangement is deniability: bad things done to citizens by drones can be denied by private interests – “Oh, that must have been an LAPD drone” – and LAPD can insist that it must have been a private industry drone. For where, of course, will be the accountability from citizens buzzed or worse by these things?

Domestic drone use is here, and the meshing has begun: local cops in Grand Forks, North Dakota called in a DHS Predator drone – the same make that has caused hundreds of civilian casualties in Pakistan – over a dispute involving a herd of cattle. The military roll out in process and planned, within the US, is massive: the Christian Science Monitor reports that a total of 110 military sites for drone activity are either built or will be built, in 39 states. That covers America.

We don’t need a military takeover: with these capabilities on US soil and this air force white paper authorization for data collection, the military will be effectively in control of the private lives of American citizens. And these drones are not yet weaponized.

“I don’t think it’s crazy to worry about weaponized drones. There is a real consensus that has emerged against allowing weaponized drones domestically. The International Association of Chiefs of Police has recommended against it,” warns Jay Stanley, senior policy analyst at the ACLU, noting that there is already political pressure in favor of weaponization:

“At the same time, it is inevitable that we will see [increased] pressure to allow weaponized drones. The way that it will unfold is probably this: somebody will want to put a relatively ‘soft’ nonlethal weapon on a drone for crowd control. And then things will ratchet up from there.”

And the risk of that? The New America Foundation’s report on drone use in Pakistan noted that the Guardian had confirmed 193 children’s deaths from drone attacks in seven years. It noted that for the deaths of ten militants, 1,400 civilians with no involvement in terrorism also died. Not surprisingly, everyone in that region is traumatized: children scream when they hear drones. An NYU and Stanford Law School report notes that drones “terrorize citizens 24 hours a day”.

If US drones may first be weaponized with crowd-control features, not lethal force features, but with no risk to military or to police departments or DHS, the playing field for freedom of assembly is changed forever. So is our private life, as the ACLU’s Stanley explains:

“Our biggest concerns about the deployment of drones domestically is that they will be used to create pervasive surveillance networks. The danger would be that an ordinary individual once they step out of their house will be monitored by a drone everywhere they walk or drive. They may not be aware of it. They might monitored or tracked by some silent invisible drone everywhere they walk or drive.”

“So what? Why should they worry?” I asked.

“Your comings and goings can be very revealing of who you are and what you are doing and reveal very intrusive things about you – what houses of worship you are going to, political meetings, particular doctors, your friends’ and lovers’ houses.”

I mentioned the air force white paper. “Isn’t the military not supposed to be spying on Americans?” I asked.

“Yes, the posse comitatus act passed in the 19th century forbids a military role in law enforcement among Americans.”

What can we do if we want to oppose this? I wondered. According to Stanley, many states are passing legislation banning domestic drone use.

Once again, in the fight to keep America a republic, grassroots activism is pitched in an unequal contest against a militarized federal government.

Note: https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2012/12/16/consistent-trend-in-us-drone-strikes-tweeting-reports-very-disturbing/

Tough child labour law NOT a priority? 5 year-old and already a slave…

India is the world’s child labour capital.  

Kids as young as 5 are sold to traffickers and forced to work as modern-day slaves. The slave kids are abused and beaten. The Indian historic new bill would ban outright any child labour under 14 and all harmful work for under 18s, and provide stipends for poor families to keep their children in school. And enshrining the right to free education and proposing stipends to compensate any losses.

MPs have let it fall off their agenda, and Indian child rights groups say they badly need world community help, now, to ramp up the public pressure.

Jamie Choi of Avaaz.org posted:

The Indian Parliament is closing without passing the toughest child labour law in its history. The bill is supported by the majority of MPs, but was sitting there for weeks, because they felt it was not a ‘priority’!

A staggering 215 million children work in mines, quarries, and factories around the world.

Almost All nations have signed an agreement to put the eradication of child labour at the heart of their national education plans.

India is still slow to converge and is home to the largest child labour force in the world

Critics say the real problem isn’t the law, it’s bad enforcement.

And it’s true that in the last 3 years in India less than 10% of the 450,000 reports of child labour were prosecuted under the existing weak lawBut the new law packs some serious punch.

The police will no longer have to wait for a court order to act. All forms of commercial child labour under 14 will be criminalised, and instead of meaningless fines or short prison sentences, the criminals will face tough penalties.

Majority of MPs say they’ll support the bill, but they don’t believe there’s any political urgency to bring it to a vote.

And each day they delay, more children are forced into a life of sweatshop misery. It’s up to us to push them over the edge. 

Just weeks ago, 1.2 million of Avaaz connumity got together to help pass the most comprehensive education plan in Pakistan.

How we treat our children is a reflection on our moral compass — and it´s time to take firm steps against their abuse. Let’s join together to speak out for the future of India’s suffering children.

If the Avaaz community comes together, we can create a wave of attention to the bill, and push MPs to vote. 

Sign this urgent petition and forward it widely — when we reach 1 million we’ll deliver our message to the Parliament with former child workers:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/india_child_labour_g1/?bFAfecb&v=20394

With hope and determination,

Jamie, Alice, Alex, Alaphia, Lisa, Jeremy, Ricken, Dalia, Rewan, Michelle and the whole Avaaz team

MORE INFORMATION:

India proposes ban on child labor (Washington Post)
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/india-proposes-ban-on-child-labor/2012/08/29/ef9d802a-f1f2-11e1-a612-3cfc842a6d89_story.html

Getting ready for the new law against child labour (The Hindu)
http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/article3878212.ece

Over 60 million child laborers in India (India Tribune)
http://www.indiatribune.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2884:over-60-million-child-laborers-in-india 

35 child workers rescued from Delhi factories (Business Line)
http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/industry-and-economy/economy/35-child-workers-rescued-from-delhi-factories/article1694550.ece

End Child Labour and Educational Disadvantage – report and film
http://educationenvoy.org/

Types of thinking or methods for resolving problems? What methods your field of practice use?

Ten years ago, I was teaching an introductory class of Human Factors in Engineering. I had 60 students in class and the chairman refused to open a second class, and many of the students were in their third years of various engineering disciplines.

I asked the class: “What methods your field of specialty applies to resolving problems?

That was a pretty interesting question: The heavy silence and opened jaws convinced me that I threw a bomb in class.

I had to list over three dozen methods and asked them to “internet search” how these methods are used and how they are applied. Two students were very diligent and the remaining students copy/pasted a few methods: Too many methods and kind of verging on a philosophy course.

See this taxonomy of methods https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2009/06/10/an-exercise-taxonomy-of-methods/

Daniel Montano in his blog Framework21 posted

1. Look at problems in many different ways, and find new perspectives

Leonardo da Vinci believed that, to gain knowledge about the form of a problem, you begin by learning how to restructure it in many different ways. He felt that the first way he looked at a problem was too biased. Often, the problem itself is reconstructed and becomes a new one.

2. Visualize!

When Einstein thought through a problem, he always found it necessary to formulate his subject in as many different ways as possible, including using diagrams. He visualized solutions, and believed that words and numbers as such did not play a significant role in his thinking process.

3. Produce! A distinguishing characteristic of genius is productivity.

Thomas Edison held 1,093 patents. He guaranteed productivity by giving himself and his assistants idea quotas. In a study of 2,036 scientists throughout history, Dean Keith Simonton of the University of California at Davis found that the most respected scientists produced not only great works, but also many “bad” ones. They weren’t afraid to fail, or to produce mediocre in order to arrive at excellence.

(And Edison stole many ideas and patented them as his and didn’t pay his genius assistants)

4. Make novel combinations. Combine, and recombine, ideas, images, and thoughts into different combinations no matter how unusual.

The laws of heredity on which the modern science of genetics is based came from the Austrian monk Grego Mendel, who combined mathematics and biology to create a new science.

5. Form relationships; make connections between dissimilar subjects.

Da Vinci forced a relationship between the sound of a bell and a stone hitting water. This enabled him to make the connection that sound travels in waves. Samuel Morse invented relay stations for telegraphic signals when observing relay stations for horses.

6. Think in opposites.

Physicist Niels Bohr believed that if you held opposites together, you suspend your thought, and your mind moves to a new level. His ability to imagine light as both a particle and a wave led to his conception of the principle of complementarity. Suspending thought (logic) may allow your mind to create a new form.

7. Think metaphorically.

Aristotle considered metaphor a sign of genius, and believed that the individual who had the capacity to perceive resemblances between two separate areas of existence and link them together was a person of special gifts.

8. Prepare yourself for chance.

Whenever we attempt to do something and fail, we end up doing something else. That is the first principle of creative accident.

Failure can be productive only if we do not focus on it as an unproductive result. Instead: analyze the process, its components, and how you can change them, to arrive at other results. Do not ask the question “Why have I failed?”, but rather “What have I done?”

————————————————————————————

Addendum: The items below are characteristics I have gathered from Einstein biographical resources.

————————————————————————————

9. Study philosophy.

  • Einstein studied philosophy and it influenced the way he thought.

10. Remain skeptical of your professors and other experts

  • Einstein sometimes showed a high degree of skepticism towards processed knowledge

11. Slow down your thinking process.

  • Einstein said that he was not smarter but that he stayed with problems longer. He has been described by himself and others as a slow thinker.

12. Imagine yourself as being part the problem you want to solve.

  • Einstein sometimes imagined himself being part of the dynamics he was trying to understand. He came to some great insights about time by imagining that he was riding a beam of light through space.

13. Not all innovative ideas are necessarily 100% “good”.

Any idea or innovation that can be used for the benefit of people may also be used against them.

  • Einstein’s breakthroughs in energy could be used to power cities and benefit society. But as we learned, the same ideas could also be used to kill thousands of people. It’s important to understand multiple possible applications of your ideas before you make them public. Einstein understood this. But it’s unclear if he understood this when he first proposed his theories or later, when others began talking about how to create a bomb.
  • (Einstein understood the impact of atomic bomb before he proposed his atomic bomb to Roosevelt at the beginning of the war: He suspected that Nazi Germany was working diligently on this mass destructive weapon).

14. Discuss ideas with other bright people to gain a more robust insight.

  • Einstein would discuss his ideas with colleagues and friends who were also experts in the subjects he cared about. His first wife studied along with Einstein early on and she was well versed in the same subjects. She is very likely to have contributed insights that moved his ideas forward.

15. Immerse yourself in the newest ideas from others.

  • Einstein worked as a patent clerk. He was one of the fist people to read many of the newest ideas submitted for patent protection by the brightest minds of his time.

Note 1: https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2009/05/24/%E2%80%9Cwhat-kind-of-methods-will-i-have-to-manipulate-in-human-factors%E2%80%9D/

Note 2: From Wikipedia:

Abductive reasoning, Abstract thinking, Analogy, Attitude, Calculation, Categorization,Cognition, Cognitive restructuring, Cognitive space, Cognitive style, Common sense,

Concept, Conjecture, Concrete concepts, Critical thinking, Deductive reasoning,

Definition, Estimation, Evaluation, Explanation, Gestalt psychology, Heuristics,

Historical thinking, Hypothesis, Idea, Identification (information), Inductive reasoning,

Inference, Instinct, Intelligence, Intelligence amplification, Intentionality,

Introspection, Knowledge management, Language, Lateral thinking,

Linguistics, Logic, Logical argument, Logical assertion, Meaning (linguistics),

Meaning (non-linguistic), Meaning (semiotics), Mental calculation, Mental function,

Metacognition, Mind’s eye, Mindset, Multiple intelligences, Multitasking,

Pattern matching, Personality, Picture thinking, Prediction, Premise,

Problem finding, Problem shaping, Problem solving, Proposition,

Rationality, Reason, Reasoning, Reasoning event, Self-reflection, Sapience,

Semantic network, Semantics, Semiosis, Semiotics, Six Thinking Hats,

Speech act, Stream of consciousness, Syllogism, Synectics, Systems intelligence,

Systems thinking, Thinking, Thought act, Thinking maps, Thinking process,

Thought experiment, TRIZ, Visual thinking, Working memory, Writing

“Salam 3alikum. Happy Xmas”: And two drones attacks on this 3eid

Do you that the biggest ever bombing campaign by US B-52 bombers took place over Christmas 40 years ago, when the US dropped 20,000 tonnes of explosives on North Vietnam.

What is it that “belligerent” parties strike during the holidays? In ancient times, annual celebrations were respected.

And while Santa Claus is distributing gifts in the West, Obama is sending drone strikes to Yemen! Another drone strike hits Yemeni soil today!

‏Sam Waddah posted on FB:

I strongly believe that the problem is not with the US administration striking drones, but rather with our government approving of them!

Drone strikes decreased in Pakistan by 41% in 2011 and another 40% in 2012 because the Pakistani government started to disapprove of them!

On the other hand, US drone strikes in Yemen have increased by 240% in 2011, and another 250% in 2012, simply because our Yemeni president “approves of them”?
Unless our government values Yemeni blood and opposes drone strikes, Obama Claus will keep increasingly bringing us drones in 2013 and so forth!

Are we victims of our leaders, more than we are of the US!

Merry Christmas from Yemen!

Christmas day was a day of double drone strikes in Yemen, killing five ‘suspected’ militants. The first drone strike killed two people travelling in a vehicle in a southern town, al-Bayda province on Monday.

In the second attack, which also occurred on Monday, the unmanned aircraft fired missiles at three people riding on two motorcycles travelling in Hadramout province, killing all three men.

Photo

Omar Mash, a Yemeni blogger, tweeted:

@Omar_Mash: ‘Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas.. bombs engraved with ‘MADE IN USA’ rain over Arabia’s oldest civilisation’ #Yemen

@Omar_Mash: As Americans take time out to feast and celebrate w their families, let it be known that their Gov is destroying Yemeni families #NoDrones

@Omar_Mash: They stole our revolution, they enforced their version of stability, they make it rain with their bombs from our sky. Merry Xmas from #Yemen

Glenn Greenwald, a columnist and blogger for the Guardian, replied:

@ggreenwald Not just any gift: from a Peace Nobel laureate! RT @imothanaYemen 2 US drone strikes in Yemen today. Should we consider them a Christmas gift?!

Is financial crisis measured by Xmas food handouts? Are we in big trouble?

Christmas food handouts double as millions face ‘financial precipice’

What interest rate has to do with economic recovery? Interest rate is still zero (in the USA) and the economy has not recovered since 2007. Resolution Foundation says: “Debt-ridden households could kill off economic recovery when interest rate rises…” Should we expect a worse case scenario sooner?

The number of people who will turn to food banks for sustenance is expected to double this Christmas, as a new report warns that millions more families face a financial “precipice” due to high personal debts, flat-lining wages and future interest rate rises.

With 3 new food banks opening every week in the UK, the charity the Trussell Trust (that oversees Britain’s 292 emergency outlets), says it expects to feed 15,000 people over the Christmas fortnight alone, almost double the number last Christmas.

Many hungry people visit food banks: they refuse to accept free food because they think it carries a stigma.

Food bank

Volunteers at food banks aim to tackle ‘hidden hunger’ – Photograph: Christopher Thomond for the Guardian

 and y published in The Observer, Dec. 22, 2012  under ”

Christmas food handouts double as millions face ‘financial precipice'”

“A study published by the Resolution Foundation, an independent think-tank  says that millions of households with low to middle incomes will be pushed close to the edge if they are unable to reduce their debts, including mortgages, before the cost of borrowing returns to more normal levels.

Volunteers who are giving up part of their holiday to help run food banks – from students to pensioners and representatives of local businesses – will be out in record numbers across Britain this week, distributing food to those who cannot afford a decent Christmas. Their aim is to tackle “hidden hunger” – that affecting people who refuse to accept free food because they think it carries a stigma.

The Resolution Foundation report exposes how millions of families, unable to pay off debts, are facing a crisis if interest rates are pushed up in coming years to keep inflation down.

Matthew Whittaker, senior economist at the Resolution Foundation and the author of the report, On Borrowed Time?, said: “Debt levels are a major concern for a substantial number of families struggling under a burden of repayments, even as things stand.

“There is a very real prospect that borrowing costs will rise more quickly than incomes and that lenders will become less flexible over repayments. Many households are already in a very exposed position, even with interest rates on the floor, so even small changes in the financial outlook could have a dramatic effect.

“All this threatens to make the burden unbearable for many debt-loaded households, particularly those on lower incomes. This would be dangerous at any time, but it looks especially so in the current era of frozen wages, under-employment and faltering living standards.”

Figures published last week by the Bank of England showed that 3.6 million households – 14% of the total – now spend more than a quarter of their income on debt repayment, including mortgage costs. The Bank also says that up to 1.4 million households (12% of those with mortgages) are in special measures with their bank, having asked for temporary deals from their lenders.

The RF report shows that debt is distributed unevenly across income groups, with those in the poorest 10% of households spending on average 47% of their monthly income on debt repayments, compared with 9% for the richest 10%.

It also highlights how 2.4 million households with a mortgage (one in five) are spending more than 25% of their gross income on mortgage repayments alone – at a time when interest rates are at just 0.5%.

Before the debt boom of the 2000s, only 15% of households were in this position, even when interest rates were as high as 7%.

The debt problem is likely to be all the more serious for struggling families because wages and household incomes are likely to stagnate over the next few years. The RF suggests that the average full-time wage will rise no higher in real terms than its 2000 level of £26,200 until at least 2017 – down from a peak in 2009 of £29,000.

Few economists expect interest rates to rise in the near future – almost certainly not in 2013 – but after that the Bank of England would be under pressure to raise rates to see off the threat of inflation were the economy to show signs of recovery.

The report notes the delicate balance that the Bank – under its newly appointed governor, Canadian Mark Carney – will have to strike between controlling inflation through raising interest rates and creating a risk of mass mortgage default and increased bankruptcy rates, which could combine to derail any nascent recovery in the economy.

The report says: “The prospect of interest rates rising and forbearance [special arrangements people set up with banks to help them through] being removed while incomes continue to stagnate heightens the risk of future defaults.

Such an outcome may yet slow down, or stall, economic recovery: at some tipping point the micro issue becomes a macro one. In this eventuality, we may find that the green shoots of recovery just sprouting in the UK economy prove to be living on borrowed time.”

Increase small and inexpensive celebrations: There are many occasions to celebrate, and it is celebrating the good positive attitudes that extend a chance to survive the gloomy days ahead.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

December 2012
M T W T F S S
« Nov   Jan »
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31  

Blog Stats

  • 1,345,911 hits

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.adonisbouh@gmail.com

Join 690 other followers

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: