Adonis Diaries

Archive for November 21st, 2014

What do you do? I guess making decisions?

Do you make your own paper? Do you start with wood pulp and mix and bleach and set and produce the sheets you use?

My guess is that you save time (and a lot of money) and just go to Staples and buy a ream or two.

The theory of the firm shows us that when people work together in an institution, they are able to produce more than if they work separately. Ricardo makes it obvious that if one person mixes the dough while the other bakes the loaves, they’ll get more done than if each did the whole job.

(Mind you if 8 people in a team are doing the same job, each one invest only 50% of his effort)

This explains one reason why big companies keep getting bigger. They gain economies of production and marketing as they specialize their workforce.

But what about the small enterprise, the freelancer, the soloist?

The web now makes just about every task outsourceable with a click.

Not only you don’t have to make your own paper (or hire a paper maker) but you can have someone process payroll and bills, design a website, answer customer calls, schedule appointments and a thousand other things you used to need to do on your own.

Which leads to the key question: When you can outsource everything, what do you do?

When you can choose the kind of value you create, you are also choosing what you’re going to outsource and what you’re going to do yourself.

Here are reasons to do something as part of your work, from worst to best:

1. Because you are the cheapest available worker.

2. Because you need to do something, and it’s more profitable for you to do this task than to pay someone else to do it.

3. Because you can’t find something more beneficial or profitable to do.

4. Because people (clients) will notice when you do it. That might mean that they notice your presence, or they notice the unique nature of what you create (your art) or they will notice that you’ve learned something doing this when it leads to you doing something great later on.

Mario Batali doesn’t cook for 99% of his customers (physically impossible), and they can’t tell. And he doesn’t design 99% (or 5%, I have no idea) of his recipes, because we can’t tell.

In fact, the only thing people can tell is that it’s him on the TV, and that his decisions are guiding what his organization does next.

5. Because you love it. Because the work matters to you, and this task, right now, is the best version of the work you can find.

Every time you hire yourself to do something (make paper, pay a bill, change a logo design), you’ve just decided not to do something else instead.

The first step: your job is to make decisions about what you do. And my guess is that what you do is make decisions.

But what do *you* do? by Seth Godin

The ultimate apartheid system in Israel:

Take a break from disseminating what Israel is Not

In 2000, the High Court of Justice ruled in the Kadan case that the state must not discriminate in the allocation of state lands, and was thus forbidden to build on its lands communities that exclude Arabs.

If the proposed Basic Law on Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People being advanced by coalition chairman MK Zeev Elkin (Likud) passes, this ruling is liable to be overridden.

All signs point toward ethnocracy, not democracy, in Israel

Democratic countries define themselves as belonging to all their citizens, not just some of them.

Israel is headed in the opposite direction with its Basic Law on Israel as nation-state of the Jews.

  | Nov. 17, 2014

Elkin’s bill states that the government is permitted to allow members of the same nationality or religion to develop separate communities. Essentially, this means it would be constitutionally valid to allocate separate lands for Jews and Arabs – and separate, as we well know, is never equal. (Or lands for Jews of the same sect?)

This echoes the justification given in South Africa for their apartheid regimes and separate land allocations. Each group, it was argued then, was entitled to its “separate development.”

Another court ruling that could fall by the wayside requires the municipalities of mixed cities to display dual-language (Hebrew and Arabic) signage. While the proposed basic law speaks of Arabic’s “special” status, Hebrew would be the state’s only official language if the bill passes.

Both these examples demonstrate how the proposed law could bring about a retreat in the realm of equality – although, even now, the situation is far from ideal.

Despite the Kadan ruling there is no equality in land allocations, and passage of the Admissions Committees Law – in which the High Court refused to intervene on grounds that the issue was not yet “ripe” for discussion – allows housing discrimination through the back door.

Despite the previous ruling on Arabic signage, in reality Arabic isn’t on an equal footing in the State of Israel.

What Israel really needs is for equality to be strengthened. The principle of equality is not expressly anchored in any basic law.

Although the High Court has ruled that undermining equality is liable to violate the right to human dignity (as expressed in the Basic Law on Human Dignity and Freedom), instead of debating a bill that would expressly codify the right to equality, the government is discussing a bill that would intensify inequality.

This theocratic trend testifies to the sad state of the battle for democracy in Israel.

In the modern age, democratic countries define themselves as belonging to all their citizens, not just some of them. Sometimes they address the fact that there are a number of communities within them, but constitutionally they define the state as a partnership of all those communities.

Israel already identifies itself constitutionally as a Jewish state, thus associating itself with only some of its citizens. As a result, a comparison to other democratic nation-states fails.

The separation between the element of nationality (Jewish) and the element of citizenship (Israeli), and identifying the state by its nationality – anchored solely in the Jewish religion – disaffiliates 20% of the nation’s citizens. (And those Jews who were born and lived in Palestine and feel they belong to same State as the Palestinians)

No such definition exists in democratic states where the citizenship and nationality element overlap, as in France. Nor does it exist in states that constitutionally recognize the existence of several national communities but are built on partnerships and equality among them, as in Belgium and Canada.

So, for example, if the United Kingdom had declared that it is the state of the English, and the Scots and other groups were a minority within it that would only receive rights as individuals, the Union would have collapsed long ago.

But in Israel, even the “softened” versions of Elkin’s bill determine that the right to national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people, a perception that identifies the state with one ethnic and religious group, and reinforces its status as an ethnocracy, not a democracy.

Blood Begins to Dry As War Criminals In Our Midst are put on trial…

In transmitting President Richard Nixon’s orders for a “massive” bombing of Cambodia in 1969, Henry Kissinger said, “Anything that flies on everything that moves“.

As Barack Obama ignites his 7th war against the Muslim world since he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, the orchestrated hysteria and lies make one almost nostalgic for Kissinger’s murderous honesty.

By John Pilger / johnpilger.com

As a witness to the human consequences of aerial savagery – including the beheading of victims, their parts festooning trees and fields – I am not surprised by the disregard of memory and history, yet again.

A telling example is the rise to power of Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge, who had much in common with today’s Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

They, too, were ruthless medievalists who began as a small sect.

They, too, were the product of an American-made apocalypse, this time in Asia.

According to Pol Pot, his movement had consisted of “fewer than 5,000 poorly armed guerrillas uncertain about their strategy, tactics, loyalty and leaders“. Once Nixon’s and Kissinger’s B52 bombers had gone to work as part of “Operation Menu“, the west’s ultimate demon could not believe his luck.

The Americans dropped the equivalent of 5 Hiroshimas on rural Cambodia during 1969-73. They levelled village after village, returning to bomb the rubble and corpses. The craters left monstrous necklaces of carnage, still visible from the air.

The terror was unimaginable. A former Khmer Rouge official described how the survivors “froze up and they would wander around mute for three or four days. Terrified and half-crazy, the people were ready to believe what they were told… That was what made it so easy for the Khmer Rouge to win the people over.”

A Finnish Government Commission of Enquiry estimated that 600,000 Cambodians died in the ensuing civil war and described the bombing as the “first stage in a decade of genocide”.

What Nixon and Kissinger began, Pol Pot, their beneficiary, completed. Under their bombs, the Khmer Rouge grew to a formidable army of 200,000.

ISIS has a similar past and present.

By most scholarly measure, Bush and Blair’s invasion of Iraq in 2003 led to the deaths of some 700,000 people – in a country that had no history of jihadism.

The Kurds had done territorial and political deals; Sunni and Shia had class and sectarian differences, but they were at peace; intermarriage was common.

Three years before the invasion, I drove the length of Iraq without fear. On the way I met people proud, above all, to be Iraqis, the heirs of a civilization that seemed, for them, a presence.

Bush and Blair blew all this to bits.

Iraq is now a nest of jihadism. Al-Qaeda – like Pol Pot’s “jihadists” – seized the opportunity provided by the onslaught of Shock and Awe and the civil war that followed.

“Rebel” Syria offered even greater rewards, with CIA and Gulf state ratlines of weapons, logistics and money running through Turkey. The arrival of foreign recruits was inevitable.

A former British ambassador, Oliver Miles, wrote recently, “The [Cameron] government seems to be following the example of Tony Blair, who ignored consistent advice from the Foreign Office, MI5 and MI6 that our Middle East policy – and in particular our Middle East wars – had been a principal driver in the recruitment of Muslims in Britain for terrorism here.”

ISIS is the progeny of those in Washington and London who, in destroying Iraq as both a state and a society, conspired to commit an epic crime against humanity.

Like Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge, ISIS are the mutations of a western state terror dispensed by a venal imperial elite undeterred by the consequences of actions taken at great remove in distance and culture. Their culpability is unmentionable in “our” societies.

It is 23 years since this holocaust enveloped Iraq, immediately after the first Gulf War, when the US and Britain hijacked the United Nations Security Council and imposed punitive “sanctions” on the Iraqi population – ironically, reinforcing the domestic authority of Saddam Hussein.

It was like a medieval siege. Almost everything that sustained a modern state was, in the jargon, “blocked” – from chlorine for making the water supply safe to school pencils, parts for X-ray machines, common painkillers and drugs to combat previously unknown cancers carried in the dust from the southern battlefields contaminated with Depleted Uranium.

Just before Christmas 1999, the Department of Trade and Industry in London restricted the export of vaccines meant to protect Iraqi children against diphtheria and yellow fever.

Kim Howells, parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Blair government, explained why. “The children’s vaccines”, he said, “were capable of being used in weapons of mass destruction“.

The British Government could get away with such an outrage because media reporting of Iraq – much of it manipulated by the Foreign Office – blamed Saddam Hussein for everything.

Under a bogus “humanitarian” Oil for Food Programme, $100 was allotted for each Iraqi to live on for a year. This figure had to pay for the entire society’s infrastructure and essential services, such as power and water.

“Imagine,” the UN Assistant Secretary General, Hans Von Sponeck, told me, “setting that pittance against the lack of clean water, and the fact that the majority of sick people cannot afford treatment, and the sheer trauma of getting from day to day, and you have a glimpse of the nightmare. And make no mistake, this is deliberate. I have not in the past wanted to use the word genocide, but now it is unavoidable.”

Disgusted, Von Sponeck resigned as UN Humanitarian Co-ordinator in Iraq. His predecessor, Denis Halliday, an equally distinguished senior UN official, had also resigned. “I was instructed,” Halliday said, “to implement a policy that satisfies the definition of genocide: a deliberate policy that has effectively killed well over a million individuals, children and adults.”

A study by the United Nations Children’s Fund, Unicef, found that between 1991 and 1998, the height of the blockade, there were 500,000 “excess” deaths of Iraqi infants under the age of 5.

An American TV reporter put this to Madeleine Albright, US Ambassador to the United Nations, asking her, “Is the price worth it?” Albright replied, “We think the price is worth it.”

In 2007, the senior British official responsible for the sanctions, Carne Ross, known as “Mr. Iraq”, told a parliamentary selection committee, “[The US and UK governments] effectively denied the entire population a means to live.”

When I interviewed Carne Ross three years later, he was consumed by regret and contrition. “I feel ashamed,” he said. He is today a rare truth-teller of how governments deceive and how a compliant media plays a critical role in disseminating and maintaining the deception. “We would feed [journalists] factoids of sanitised intelligence,” he said, “or we’d freeze them out.”

On 25 September, a headline in the Guardian read: “Faced with the horror of Isis we must act.” The “we must act” is a ghost risen, a warning of the suppression of informed memory, facts, lessons learned and regrets or shame.

The author of the article was Peter Hain, the former Foreign Office minister responsible for Iraq under Blair. In 1998, when Denis Halliday revealed the extent of the suffering in Iraq for which the Blair Government shared primary responsibility, Hain abused him on the BBC’s Newsnight as an “apologist for Saddam”.

In 2003, Hain backed Blair’s invasion of stricken Iraq on the basis of transparent lies. At a subsequent Labour Party conference, he dismissed the invasion as a “fringe issue”.

Now Hain is demanding “air strikes, drones, military equipment and other support” for those “facing genocide” in Iraq and Syria. This will further “the imperative of a political solution”.

Obama has the same in mind as he lifts what he calls the “restrictions” on US bombing and drone attacks. This means that missiles and 500-pound bombs can smash the homes of peasant people, as they are doing without restriction in Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Somalia – as they did in Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos.

On 23 September, a Tomahawk cruise missile hit a village in Idlib Province in Syria, killing as many as a dozen civilians, including women and children. None waved a black flag.

The day Hain’s article appeared, Denis Halliday and Hans Von Sponeck happened to be in London and came to visit me. They were not shocked by the lethal hypocrisy of a politician, but lamented the enduring, almost inexplicable absence of intelligent diplomacy in negotiating a semblance of truce.

Across the world, from Northern Ireland to Nepal, those regarding each other as terrorists and heretics have faced each other across a table. Why not now in Iraq and Syria.

Like Ebola from West Africa, a bacteria called “perpetual war” has crossed the Atlantic. Lord Richards, until recently head of the British military, wants “boots on the ground” now.

There is a vapid, almost sociopathic verboseness from Cameron, Obama and their “coalition of the willing” – notably Australia’s aggressively weird Tony Abbott – as they prescribe more violence delivered from 30,000 feet on places where the blood of previous adventures never dried.

They have never seen bombing and they apparently love it so much they want it to overthrow their one potentially valuable ally,  Syria. This is nothing new, as the following leaked UK-US intelligence file illustrates,  and written in 1957:

In order to facilitate the action of liberative [sic] forces… a special effort should be made to eliminate certain key individuals [and] to proceed with internal disturbances in Syria. CIA is prepared, and SIS (MI6) will attempt to mount minor sabotage and coup de main [sic] incidents within Syria, working through contacts with individuals… a necessary degree of fear… frontier and [staged] border clashes [will] provide a pretext for intervention… the CIA and SIS should use… capabilities in both psychological and action fields to augment tension.”

In the imperial world, nothing essentially changes.

Last year, the former French Foreign Minister Roland Dumas revealed that “two years before the Arab spring”, he was told in London that a war on Syria was planned. “I am going to tell you something,” he said in an interview with the French TV channel LPC, “I was in England two years before the violence in Syria on other business. I met top British officials, who confessed to me that they were preparing something in Syria… Britain was organising an invasion of rebels into Syria. They even asked me, although I was no longer Minister for Foreign Affairs, if I would like to participate… This operation goes way back. It was prepared, preconceived and planned.”

The only effective opponents of ISIS are accredited demons of the west – Syria, Iran, Hezbollah. The obstacle is Turkey, an “ally” and a member of Nato, which has conspired with the CIA, MI6 and the Gulf medievalists to channel support to the Syrian “rebels”, including those now calling themselves ISIS.

Supporting Turkey in its long-held ambition for regional dominance by overthrowing the Assad government beckons a major conventional war and the horrific dismemberment of the most ethnically diverse state in the Middle East.

A truce – however difficult to achieve – is the only way out of this imperial maze; otherwise, the beheadings will continue. That genuine negotiations with Syria should be seen as “morally questionable” (the Guardian) suggests that the assumptions of moral superiority among those who supported the war criminal Blair remain not only absurd, but dangerous.

Together with a truce, there should be an immediate cessation of all shipments of war materials to Israel and recognition of the State of Palestine. The issue of Palestine is the region’s most festering open wound, and the oft-stated justification for the rise of Islamic extremism. Osama bin Laden made that clear. Palestine also offers hope. Give justice to the Palestinians and you begin to change the world around them.

More than 40 years ago, the Nixon-Kissinger bombing of Cambodia unleashed a torrent of suffering from which that country has never recovered. The same is true of the Blair-Bush crime in Iraq.

With impeccable timing, Henry Kissinger’s latest self-serving tome has just been released with its satirical title, “World Order“. In one fawning review, Kissinger is described as a “key shaper of a world order that remained stable for a quarter of a century”.

Tell that to the people of Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Chile, East Timor and all the other victims of his “statecraft”.

Only when “we” recognise the war criminals in our midst will the blood begin to dry.

When You Kill Ten Million Africans You Aren’t Called ‘Hitler’


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

Blog Stats

  • 1,428,723 hits

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

Join 777 other followers

%d bloggers like this: