Adonis Diaries

Archive for February 2015


Pitchers, Hitters and The trolls inside

Pitchers and hitters

Hitters don’t have much of an agenda other than, “swing at the good balls.”

No one blames the hitters when the pitcher has a hot hand and throws a no hitter.

Pitchers, on the other hand, decide what’s going to happen next.

Pitchers get to set the pace, outline the strategy, initiate instead of react.

When your job is in reaction mode, you’re allowing the outside world to decide what happens next.

You are freed from the hard work of setting an agenda. In exchange, you dance when the market says dance. “I did the best I could with what was thrown at me…”

Finding the guts to move up the ladder is hard.

When you decide to set the agenda and when you take control over your time and your effort, the responsibility for what happens next belongs to you.



I survived a local cease-fire in Syria 

this February 20, 2015

Kassem Al-Haj Eid is also known by the nom de guerre Qusai Zakarya.

U.N. special envoy Staffan de Mistura has been working furiously to secure a local cease-fire, or “freeze zone,” in the battered Syrian city of Aleppo.

This week, de Mistura reported that the Assad regime was prepared to suspend its attacks on the city.

I believe I can offer some insight into what such a pledge really means. I survived a local cease-fire in Syria.

At the start of 2014, I was a hunted man.

After blocking food and other critical supplies from reaching us for more than a year, Bashar al-Assad’s forces had just strong-armed my home town, Moadamiya, into signing a local cease-fire.

In protest, I resigned from Moadamiya’s local council and denounced the terms of the deal live on Al-Arabiya television. This made me one of Moadamiya’s most wanted men.

Suddenly, I began to find on my doorstep notes threatening me and my extended family with death unless I turned myself in. Friends I had not spoken to in years were arrested, interrogated and tortured for information on me.

The regime raided my childhood home and attempted to arrest my family in Damascus and other places. Eventually, I came to believe that my detention was inevitable. I agreed to a meeting, figuring that I was about to die.

To my surprise, however, I was given the royal treatment.

The regime put me up in a five-star hotel and offered me scrumptious meals of a kind I had not experienced for 18 months.

Gen. Ghassan Bilal, an aide to Bashar al-Assad’s brother Maher, offered me and my entire family a safe, comfortable place to live in Damascus. I was asked to do only one thing in return: Promote local cease-fires in the media.

I told Bilal that in 2011, Syria’s freedom protesters had asked for a better future for everyone, including for him, but received only bullets in reply. He conceded to me that the crackdown had been wrong and had forced Syrians to take up arms, and he told me that Assad had tried to stop the attacks, only to be overruled by his intelligence services.

But when I asked about the use of sarin gas against civilians in August 2013, I clearly crossed a line. His demeanor changed, and a menacing smile crept onto his face. “We both know the who and why,” he snapped. “Don’t ask questions you know the answer to!”

This conversation convinced me that Bilal felt no contrition for all the innocent blood on his hands. I knew I could not accept his offer.

As a desperate gambit for my life, however, I pretended to agree, arguing that I needed to leave Syria to fulfill my new calling. If I were to praise the cease-fires from Damascus, I pointed out, my media contacts would assume I was doing so under duress.

The ruse worked. Bilal arranged for my passage to Lebanon, and from there, I made my way to the United States.

Today, I remain in regular contact with my friends in Moadamiya. Now enough time has passed to evaluate the success of this supposed cease-fire.

With the cease-fire, basic services were supposed to be restored, checkpoints removed and prisoners freed. None of this has happened.

The regime continues to cut off power, gas and other basic services to Moadamiya. Some humanitarian aid is allowed to enter, but not nearly enough for the town’s residents.

The regime is also pressuring civilians to return to Moadamiya, which is undermining living conditions and forcing the local council into more concessions.

My initial suspicions have all been confirmed.

Most egregiously, bombardments continue and the regime has resumed arrest raids on civilians. Dozens of people have been tortured to death. The politicians and diplomats say a local cease-fire is in effect in Moadamiya, but they have abandoned us to the Assad regime’s brutal hands.

De Mistura said this month that “President Assad is part of the solution,” but the regime has already shown that it is not serious about compromise and has no regrets for destroying the country.

If the United Nations cannot even enforce a local cease-fire in a single town, what makes de Mistura think he can do it in Syria’s largest municipality?

In recent months, my conversations with friends back home have grown more difficult. Many are seriously considering joining the Islamic State, even though they oppose everything it stands for.

They are sick of the world’s hypocrisy and double standards. The world protects Kobane but lets Aleppo burn (it is the local who defended their town for weeks before any rescue showed up).

Starving Yazidis in Sinjar receive urgent food airdrops while starving Syrians in Moadamiya are left to die.

Coalition warplanes crisscross Syria every day. Where are the airdrops of food or medical supplies for the hundreds of thousands of Syrians besieged by the Assad regime in Moadamiya and elsewhere?

Such glaring hypocrisy is bound to turn more Syrians toward the Islamic State. Correcting the hypocrisy should be a morally obvious choice. The world cannot help Syrian civilians by prodding us into negotiations with bloodthirsty murderers.

(The Syrians have two options: find a political resolution to efficiently fight ISIS and Al Nousra Front or join these extremist Islamic movements.)

Note: Fighting from the USA is not a convincing patriotic position or a serious opinion that will make any inroad in our societies.









Phillips County, Ark.



Caddo Parish, La.




Lafourche Parish, La.



Tensas Parish, La.





Ouachita Parish, La.










In Phillips County Ark., 237 people were lynched in 1919 during the Elaine race riot.





Caddo Parish

Ouachita Parish




Tensas Parish





Lafourche Parish




Scientific theories must be Falsifiable? Best indicator to sort out the pseudo-sciences

If certain forbidden conditions arise, then the scientific theory can be said to be falsifiable. (Karl Popper).

If a theory cannot logically be refuted, which means it says nothing about reality, then it is vacuous, absurd. This theory does not speak about reality and it can be classified as a pseudo-science, like psycho-analysis and Marxist theories. Why?

Because the discovered things are observed Only after the event or session.

Many significant mathematical and logic theorems cannot be refuted and are fundamentally not directly related to reality around us: They are of abstract concerns.

Scientific predications should be refuted.

Scientific theory starts with bold conjectures and should stand up to rigorous tests that are meant to refute the theory.

Since inductive reasoning cannot be justified, then observations are not meant to support the “truth” of the conjectures but to try to refute them.

Basically, no matter how often the theory survives the tests, it still remains a conjecture, until it fails and should be rejected by the real scientists.

Many scientists tend to cling to the failed theory by trying to introduce ad hoc modifications with the purpose of protecting their niche of specialization that their livelihood is based upon.

It is alright to add modifications in the conjecture, as long as they are falsifiable and withstand the tests of falsification.

For a century now, the interpretation of data analysis of scientific experiments sets a margin of error at 5%, by consensus, for disproving a hypothesis.

The game is to state the opposite of the conjecture (hypothesis) that we strongly believe in so that this opposite hypothesis fails “significantly” and claim that the conjecture is still valid.

Obviously, if the consequences of the hypothesis are dangerous, such as in the medical field and treatment of diseases or safety behaviors, it is logically tantamount to decrease the error margin to below 5%.

Apparently, researchers are wary of adopting a lower level of 5% in order to resume their research on the same conjecture.

In many cases, scientists will do their best to find fault in the experiment procedure and processes, and the variables that they failed to control… just to maintain the well-trotted theory.

This is a very common behaviour, given that researchers plays within the accepted consensual paradigm (framework of investigation), in order to easily get grants for “further research” work.

It good to ponder on the case of the philosopher Imre Lakatos.

An astronomer is not willing to abandon the Newton’s theory on planetary movement. Each time his computation does not match the theory, he introduces additional conjectures such as other influencing factors (an invisible twin body, forces, magnetic clouds fields…) and asks for grants to send satellites, sophisticated advanced telescope and equipment to double check his conjecture and validate the original theory he is clinking at.

There are more complicated issues than refuting the conjecture.

We need to consider the initial conditions or premises and verify that they are compatible with the theory.

We need not to just hang on the current paradigm or framework in our investigation and get out of the comfort zone when our scientific credentials are well established. Otherwise, who is to take on the task of moving on and allowing science to progress in the right direction?

That a scientific theory must have a predictive power should not necessarily be a basis to abandon a theory when a couple predictions fail to materialize.

However, theories that have sustained frequent tests should not be merely considered as conjectures, but a phenomenon that is aching to a “truth”, a firm law. Otherwise, science will keep circling in the vicious process of trying to refute a well-tested and sound theory.

Note 1: Read “How to think like a Bat” by Peter Cave 

Note 2: I conjecture that psycho-analysis can be transformed into a predictive scientific theory. The cases have accumulated and can be sorted out to discover the initial conditions or factors that affect a particular emotional disturbance.

Actually, experimented psychologists start with a conjecture after a few sessions with the patient and turn around their hypothesis for confirmation. And this is a human behavioural problem even if scientists are trained to avoid the confirmation fallacy in their work.


He lives in the moment, because a moment is fleeting – what is life for if not to live, think, love, exist in the moment.

He isn’t worried. He isn’t phased.

He knows life will continue whether he steps to smell the roses or not.

He Knows that he will learn, change, adapt, evolve, … Newer versions of himself will emerge …

Love had a way of emerging as soon as he wore his heart on his sleeve … 

His heart – is now exposed, vulnerable, yet free and alive.

Another part of him seeks similar emergence – his mind. 

Just as love requires an object on which to focus, the mind requires one, in order for ideas to emerge.

The opening, through which his ideas will spring forth, lies ahaed – a change of institution, a change of country, perhaps just a change in which things are created.

The opening widens as technology advances and he watches, wide-eyed, at a loss for knowing where to begin. A creator desires to create.

Through the opening, his mind plants the seeds of budding ideas: augmented reality, telepresence, a world where organic technology doesn’t sound like an ocymoron –

These seeds need care to grow, they need diligent work and focus. However, these seeds will never grow, the mind will never emerge through the openings granted by opportunity, if he does not also live and love …

Hence, his life, his love, his thoughts interact in the playground of his mind. 

Instead of a sandbox, there is gray matter, to immerse oneself in. 

Instead of a slide, there are ridges and valleys to slide down.

Instead of a jungle gym, there are synapes to jump across.

Instead of a water fountain, there is a stream of consciousness,

all in the mental playground, from which all emerges.

Raja Oueis

2013 – written during a creative co-sensing circle

U.S. Army officers lie routinely: Worse than US politicians?

Washington (CNN)

U.S. Army officers often resort to “evasion and deception,” and everyone at the Pentagon knows it, according to a new study conducted by the U.S. Army War College.

“In the routine performance of their duties as leaders and commanders, U.S. Army officers lie,” reads the study, which was conducted by the War College’s Strategic Studies Institute.

Study: ‘U.S. Army officers lie’ routinely

The 33-page report, compiled following interviews with officers across the Army, concluded that the Army’s culture is rife with “dishonesty and deception” at all levels of the institution — from the most junior members to senior Army officials.

The study’s results come after Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel — who officially left his post Tuesday — had raised concerns over ethics in the military.

Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon’s press secretary, said two weeks ago that Hagel was “deeply troubled” over a spate of ethics investigations in the military.

“I think he’s generally concerned that there could be at least at some level a breakdown in ethical behavior and in the demonstration of moral courage,” Kirby said of Hagel.

And last week, days before Defense Secretary Ash Carter succeeded him, Hagel wrote a memo to the U.S. military’s most senior leaders emphasizing the need for increased accountability and a higher standard for ethical behavior — including among the military’s senior leaders.

“The vast majority of our senior leaders are men and women who have earned the special trust and confidence afforded them by the American people.

However, when senior leaders forfeit this trust through unprofessional, unethical or morally questionable behavior, their actions have an enormously negative effect on the profession,” Hagel wrote.

Hagel urged the military leaders to “strengthen your cultures” and “assess gaps and close them.”

The senior officials who received the memo likely didn’t learn anything new as the War College’s study published this week indicated that senior leaders — both civilian and uniformed — also take part in the dishonesty and ethically questionable behavior, or are at least aware of that behavior.

The study describes a “culture where deceptive information is both accepted and commonplace” and where senior officials don’t trust the information and data receive — such as compliance with certain Army training requirements or forms outlining how a mission was carried out.

But Army officers are faced with an increasing number of requirements and bureaucratic hoops, according to the study, and rather than work with a rigid military brass to reform a burdensome bureaucracy, officers will simply sidestep those requirements, lying on forms and often rationalizing their answers.

The result?

“Officers become ethically numb,” explains the study, which was conducted by Leonard Wong, a research professor at the Strategic Studies Institute and retired Army officer, and behavioral sciences Professor Stephen Gerras, who held company and battalion command roles during his 25 years in the Army.

“Eventually, their signature and word become tools to maneuver through the Army bureaucracy rather than symbols of integrity and honesty,” the researchers wrote.

“This desensitization dilutes the seriousness of an officer’s word and allows what should be an ethical decision to fade into just another way the Army does business.”

The study also comes after a string of high-profile ethics scandals involving senior military leadership in recent years, from a cheating scandal involving nuclear missile officers last year and a still-ongoing federal investigation into one of the biggest corruption affairs in the Navy’s history.


0.3% of Lebanese Own 50% of Lebanon

I posted one such article on Lebanon, but it doesn’t hurt to repost these kinds of articles.

Lebanon isn’t a country where population studies are omnipresent.

Given the data that the country has, from Credit Suisse, in their yearly report on Global Wealth, has managed to paint a picture on how things in this country actually are.

The report dates back to October 2014, and frankly I am surprised that these numbers did not cause a stir and were not discussed. (Those interested in these pieces of intelligence do not read economic data)

The report, at 160 pages, can be found here. Perhaps no one noticed the info, so here they are:

At an estimated population of 4.37 million, Lebanon’s wealth is estimated at $91 billion. That actually constitutes 0% of global wealth. How anticlimactic.

When it comes to the Middle East, and despite the reputation we get of being oil-rich (except Lebanon, until it start extracting its available oil and gas from the sea), things are similar:

Saudi Arabia has an estimated wealth of $653 billion, which ends up as roughly 0.2% of global wealth. (Obviously discounting the accumulated trillions stashed in the US and European financial institutions?)

Qatar, and all our shoukrans, has $200 billion, which is 0.1% of global wealth.

The UAE is at $461 billion, and 0.2%.

Meanwhile, Israel has an estimated wealth of $843 billion, translating to 0.3% of global wealth.

All of these numbers look flimsy compared to the United States’ $83708 billion, constituting 31.6% of world wealth.

Keep in mind that – with the exception of Israel and the United States – Credit Suisse considers the data for Lebanon and other Middle Eastern countries to be poor in quality.

However, I highly doubt that any estimations are overly erroneous in any way or that the margin of error they are admitting to will change the findings considerably.

But this isn’t the story.

We all know the country has money.

Recent leaks out of Switzerland placed the country at #11 in total customers at their banks and #12 in total deposits within the few months whose data was actually leaked.

We’re just 10,452 km2. That’s a lot (link).

The story is in how that money is actually divided on the 4.3 million Lebanese living here.

Out of all those $91 billion, 0.3% or approximately 8000 people of the estimated workforce according to the study own about half (48% to be exact), which is approximately $44.6 billion.

Meanwhile, 99.7% of Lebanese own slightly more than half at $46.4 billion.

To put those numbers in perspective, Credit Suisse employed a criteria called the Gini score.

The score, according to Wikipedia, is essentially a “measure of statistical dispersion intended to represent the income distribution of a nation’s residents, and is the most commonly used measure of wealth inequality.

Lebanon’s Gini score is 85.6. a score of 85.6 places Lebanon 6th worldwide in terms of wealth inequality behind Ukraine, Denmark, Kazakhstan, Seychelles and Russia.

The story doesn’t end here.

Even among those 0.3%, there are disparities.

That 0.3% basically any Lebanese who has an estimated wealth above $1million. But who actually owns most of the country? The answer is two families: The Hariri and the Miqatis.

Forbes Lebanese Billionaires Miqati Hariri

(Most of these Hariri’s are actually Saudi residents and their father Rafic plundered Lebanon wealth within a decade as PM and increased his wealth from a mere 1 bn to 14 bn)

According to the Forbes latest list of billionaires, there are 6 Lebanese on the list whose ranking ranges from 530 worldwide to 1478. Two of those 6 are the Miqati brothers. The other 4 are the Hariri brothers, including former PM Saad Hariri.

Their cumulative wealth is estimated, according to Forbes, at $12.6 billion.

This is 30% of the total wealth owned by those 0.3% of Lebanese – except it’s owned by just 6 men.

This isn’t to say that the Hariris and Miqatis do not deserve their wealth.

The Miqatis started and ran a telecom empire. The Hariris started and ran a major contracting company in Saudi Arabia. Good for them.

The problem with these numbers is the other side that they portray.

About two thirds of the Lebanese population (64.6%) have an estimated wealth of less than $10,000. Such numbers indicate massive poverty in the country, and yet I was unable to find substantial studies apart from one that was recently done by the UN about Tripoli.

In numbers, (link) the UN found that 57% of Tripoli’s families struggle to reach an acceptable standard of living, while 26% are considered extremely deprived.

It wouldn’t be a stretch to assume that things are similar in other regions beyond Beirut.

To the background of this massive poverty is the 0.3% who owns 50% of the country’s wealth, and those 0.3% happen to include most (if not all) of our politicians.

Gen. Michel Aoun is in it (doubtful). Geagea is in it. Our MPs and ministers are probably part of those 8000 people too.

There are no estimates of the wealth of Lebanese politicians if their last name isn’t Hariri or Miqati, but one assumes they are not middle class folk who are going by paycheck to paycheck.

Of course, it only makes sense that money brings influence, and then influence brings power.

A politician’s job in Lebanon isn’t only to legislate but to “provide” for the voters. This is how democracy works here.

The problem with those 0.3% (not all of them obviously) being those running the country is that the country’s policies over the years have not served to close the gap or make those 64.6% with little to no wealth slightly better off.

(In the last 3 decades, the economic strategy was to privatize all public institutions, and allocated to the oligarchic class these businesses for modicum sums)

The Gini coefficient clearly shows as much. The country’s policies have not aimed at improving education, providing economic opportunities (for instance, a 1 million m2 zone in Tripoli to bring in international technology has been on hold over sectarian causes for the past 6 years) or making living standards better.

Those 0.3% do not get how things are for the 64.6%, the people they’re in contact with once every 4 years for that pre-electoral paycheck.

And honestly, there’s no reason for them to get it. And yet our MPs and ministers wanted to increase their salaries?

Meanwhile, the Lebanese population who happens to be of the third that has wealth above $10,000 is preoccupied with selfies, porn stars, bananas and Kardashian-like reality TV shows because those are what matters.

(The real problem is that Lebanon is so linked to the foreign powers for its decisions that no successful revolution can take place for minimum changes that humanize the citizens in standard common rights)










Explaining the Conflict in Iraq, Israel and dangers of U.S. foreign policy

Jacobin featured an interview with journalist David Barsamian and Professor Noam Chomsky.

In it, Chomsky explains the roots of ISIS and why the United States and its allies are responsible for the group’s emergence.

In particular, Chomsky argues that the 2003 invasion of Iraq provoked the sectarian divisions that have resulted in the destabilization of Iraqi society.

The result was a climate where Saudi-funded radicals could thrive.

The interview also touches on Israel’s most recent massacre in the Gaza Strip, putting it in the context of the vital role Israel has always played for the United States.

Chomsky turns to today’s racist scapegoating of Guatemalan immigrants, tracing the conditions that lead them to leave their homes to the Reagan administration’s brutal destruction of the country.

Finally, Chomsky shares his thoughts on the growing movement for climate justice and why he thinks it is the most urgent of our time. The full exchange will be broadcast by Alternative Radio.

Noam Chomsky: America paved the way for ISIS

The famed linguist and philosopher on the conflict in Iraq, Israel and the myriad dangers of U.S. foreign policy

, Feb. 16, 2015

There are few voices more vital to the Left than Professor Chomsky’s. We hope you read and share the interview widely.

The Middle East is engulfed in flames, from Libya to Iraq. There are new jihadi groups. The current focus is on ISIS. What about ISIS and its origins?

There’s an interesting interview that just appeared a couple of days ago with Graham Fuller, a former CIA officer, one of the leading intelligence and mainstream analysts of the Middle East. The title is “The United States Created ISIS.” This is one of the conspiracy theories, the thousands of them that go around the Middle East.

Noam Chomsky: America paved the way for ISIS 

EnlargeNoam Chomsky (Credit: AP/Hatem Moussa)

But this is another source: this is right at the heart of the US establishment. He hastens to point out that he doesn’t mean the US decided to put ISIS into existence and then funded it.

His point is — and I think it’s accurate — that the US created the background out of which ISIS grew and developed. Part of it was just the standard sledgehammer approach: smash up what you don’t like.

In 2003, the US and Britain invaded Iraq, a major crime. Just this afternoon the British parliament granted the government the authority to bomb Iraq again. The invasion was devastating to Iraq.

Iraq had already been virtually destroyed, first of all by the decade-long war with Iran in which, incidentally, Iraq was backed by the US, and then the decade of sanctions.

They were described as “genocidal” by the respected international diplomats who administered them, and both resigned in protest for that reason. They devastated the civilian society, they strengthened the dictator, compelled the population to rely on him for survival. That’s probably the reason he wasn’t sent on the path of a whole stream of other dictators who were overthrown.

Finally, the US just decided to attack the country in 2003. The attack is compared by many Iraqis to the Mongol invasion of a thousand years earlier. Very destructive.

Hundreds of thousands of people killed, millions of refugees, millions of other displaced persons, destruction of the archeological richness and wealth of the country back to Sumeria.

One of the effects of the invasion was immediately to institute sectarian divisions. Part of the brilliance of the invasion force and its civilian director, Paul Bremer, was to separate the sects, Sunni, Shi’a, Kurd, from one another, set them at each other’s throats. Within a couple of years, there was a major, brutal sectarian conflict incited by the invasion.

You can see it if you look at Baghdad.

If you take a map of Baghdad in, say, 2002, it’s a mixed city: Sunni and Shi’a are living in the same neighborhoods, they’re intermarried. In fact, sometimes they didn’t even know who was Sunni and who was Shi’a. It’s like knowing whether your friends are in one Protestant group or another Protestant group. There were differences but it was not hostile.

In fact, for a couple of years both sides were saying: there will never be Sunni-Shi’a conflicts. We’re too intermingled in the nature of our lives, where we live, and so on. By 2006 there was a raging war. That conflict spread to the whole region. By now, the whole region is being torn apart by Sunni-Shi’a conflicts.

The natural dynamics of a conflict like that is that the most extreme elements begin to take over. They had roots. Their roots are in the major US ally, Saudi Arabia. That’s been the major US ally in the region as long as the US has been seriously involved there, in fact, since the foundation of the Saudi state. It’s kind of a family dictatorship. The reason is it has a huge amount oil.

Britain, before the US, had typically preferred radical Islamism to secular nationalism. And when the US took over, it essentially took the same stand.

Radical Islam is centered in Saudi Arabia.

It’s the most extremist, radical Islamic state in the world. It makes Iran look like a tolerant, modern country by comparison, and, of course, the secular parts of the Arab Middle East even more so.

It’s not only directed by an extremist version of Islam, the Wahhabi Salafi version, but it’s also a missionary state. So it uses its huge oil resources to promulgate these doctrines throughout the region. It establishes schools, mosques, clerics, all over the place, from Pakistan to North Africa.

An extremist version of Saudi extremism is the doctrine that was picked up by ISIS. So it grew ideologically out of the most extremist form of Islam, the Saudi version, and the conflicts that were engendered by the US sledgehammer that smashed up Iraq and has now spread everywhere. That’s what Fuller means.

Saudi Arabia not only provides the ideological core that led to the ISIS radical extremism, but it also funds them.

Not the Saudi government, but wealthy Saudis, wealthy Kuwaitis, and others provide the funding and the ideological support for these jihadi groups that are springing up all over the place. This attack on the region by the US and Britain is the source, where this thing originates.

That’s what Fuller meant by saying the United States created ISIS.

You can be pretty confident that as conflicts develop, they will become more extremist. The most brutal, harshest groups will take over. That’s what happens when violence becomes the means of interaction. It’s almost automatic. That’s true in neighborhoods, it’s true in international affairs.

The dynamics are perfectly evident. That’s what’s happening. That’s where ISIS comes from. If they manage to destroy ISIS, they will have something more extreme on their hands.

And the media are obedient. In Obama’s September 10 speech, he cited two

countries as success stories of the US counterinsurgency strategy. What were the two countries? Somalia and Yemen. Jaws should have been dropping all over the place, but there was virtual silence in the commentary the next day.

The Somalia case is particularly horrendous. Yemen is bad enough. Somalia is an extremely poor country. I won’t run through the whole history.

But one of the great achievements, one of the great boasts of the Bush administration counterterror policy was that they had succeeded in shutting down a charity, the Barakat charity, which was fueling terrorism in Somalia. Big excitement in the press. That’s a real achievement.

A couple of months later the facts started leaking out. The charity had absolutely nothing to do with terrorism in Somalia. What it had to do with was banking, commerce, relief, hospitals. It was sort of keeping the deeply impoverished and battered Somali economy alive.

By shutting Barakat charity down, the Bush administration had ended this. That was the contribution to counterinsurgency. That got a few lines. You can read it in books on international finance. That’s what’s being done to Somalia.

There was a moment when the so-called Islamic courts, they were called, an Islamic organization, had achieved a kind of a measure of peace in Somalia.

Not a pretty regime, but at least it was peaceful and people were more or less accepting it. The US wouldn’t tolerate it, and it supported an Ethiopian invasion to destroy it and turn the place back into horrible turmoil. That’s the great achievement.

Yemen is a horror story of its own.

Going back to National Public Radio and Morning Edition, the host, David Greene, was doing an interview with a reporter based in Gaza, and he prefaced his interview with this comment: “Both sides have suffered tremendous damage.”

So I thought to myself, does this mean Haifa and Tel Aviv were reduced to rubble, as Gaza was? Do you remember the Jimmy Carter comment about Vietnam?

Not only do I remember it, I think I was the first person to comment on it, and am probably to date practically the only person to comment on it. Carter, the human rights advocate, he was asked in a press conference in 1977 a kind of mild question: do you think we have some responsibility for helping the Vietnamese after the war? And he said we owe them no debt — “the destruction was mutual.”

That passed without comment. And it was better than his successor. When a couple years later George Bush I, the statesman, was commenting on the responsibilities after the Vietnam War, he said: there is one moral problem that remains after the Vietnam War.

The North Vietnamese have not devoted sufficient resources to turning over to us the bones of American pilots. These innocent pilots who were shot down over central Iowa by the murderous Vietnamese when they were spraying crops or something, they have not turned over the bones. But, he said: we are a merciful people, so we will forgive them this and we will allow them to enter the civilized world.

Meaning we’ll allow them to enter trade relations and so on, which, of course, we bar, if they will stop what they’re doing and devote sufficient resources to overcoming this one lingering crime after the Vietnam War. No comment.

One of the things that Israeli officials keep bringing up, and it’s repeated here in the corporate media, ad nauseam, is the Hamas charter.

They don’t accept the existence of the state of the Israel, they want to wipe it off the map. You have some information about the charter and its background.

The charter was produced by, apparently, a handful of people, maybe two or three, back in 1988, at a time when Gaza was under severe Israeli attack.

You remember Rabin’s orders. This was a primarily nonviolent uprising which Israel reacted to very violently, killing leaders, torture, breaking bones in accordance with Rabin’s orders, and so on. And right in the middle of that, a very small number of people came out with what they called a Hamas charter.

Nobody has paid attention to it since. It was an awful document, if you look at it. Since then the only people who have paid attention to it are Israeli intelligence and the US media.

They love it. Nobody else cares about it. Khaled Mashal, the political leader of Gaza years ago, said: look, it’s past, it’s gone. It has no significance. But that doesn’t matter. It’s valuable propaganda.

There is also — they don’t call it a charter, but there are founding principles of the governing coalition in Israel, not some small group of people who are under attack but the governing coalition, Likud. The ideological core of Likud is Menachem Begin’s Herut.

They have founding documents. Their founding documents say that today’s Jordan is part of the land of Israel; Israel will never renounce its claim to the land of Jordan. What’s now called Jordan they call the historical lands of Israel. They’ve never renounced that.

Likud, the same governing party, has an electoral program — it was for 1999 but it’s never been rescinded, it’s the same today — that says explicitly there will never be a Palestinian state west of the Jordan. In other words, we are dedicated in principle to the destruction of Palestine, period.

This is not just words. We proceed day by day to implement it. Nobody ever mentions the founding doctrines of Likud, Herut. I don’t either, because nobody takes them seriously.

Actually, that was also the doctrine of the majority of the kibbutz movement. Achdut Ha-Avodah, which was the largest part of the kibbutz movement, held the same principles, that both sides of the Jordan River are ours.

This is not just words.

We proceed day by day to implement it. Nobody ever mentions the founding doctrines of Likud, Herut. I don’t either, because nobody takes them seriously. Actually, that was also the doctrine of the majority of the kibbutz movement. Achdut Ha-Avodah, which was the largest part of the kibbutz movement, held the same principles, that both sides of the Jordan River are ours.

There was a slogan, “This side of the Jordan, that side also.”

In other words, both western Palestine and eastern Palestine are ours. Does anybody say: okay, we can’t negotiate with Israel? More significant are the actual electoral programs. And even more significant than that are the actual actions, which are implementing the destruction of Palestine, not just talking about it. But we have to talk about the Hamas charter.

There is an interesting history about the so-called PLO charter. Around 1970 the former head of Israeli military intelligence, Yehoshafat Harkabi, published an article in a major Israeli journal in which he brought to light something called the PLO charter or something similar to that. Nobody had ever heard of it, nobody was paying any attention to it.

And the charter said: here’s our aim. Our aim is it’s our land, we’re going to take it over. In fact, it was not unlike the Herut claims except backwards. This instantly became a huge media issue all over. The PLO covenant it was called. The PLO covenant plans to destroy Israel. They didn’t know anything about it, nobody knew anything about it, but this became a major issue.

I met Harkabi a couple years later. He was kind of a dove, incidentally. He became pretty critical of Israeli policy. He was an interesting guy. We had an interview here at MIT, in fact. Incidentally, at that time there was material in the Arab press that I was reading saying that the Palestinians were thinking about officially throwing out the charter because it was kind of an embarrassment.

So I asked him, “Why did you bring this out for the first time just at the time when they were thinking of rescinding it?” He looked at me with the blank stare that you learn to recognize when you are talking to spooks. They are trained to pretend not to understand what you’re talking about when they understand it perfectly.

He said, “Oh, I never heard that.” That is beyond inconceivable. It’s impossible that the head of Israeli military intelligence doesn’t know what I know from reading bits and pieces of the Arab press in Beirut. Of course he knew.

There’s every reason to believe that he decided to bring this out precisely because he recognized, meaning Israeli intelligence recognized, that it would be a useful piece of propaganda and it’s best to try to ensure that the Palestinians keep it.

Of course, if we attack it, then they’re going to back off and say: we’re not going to rescind it under pressure, which is what’s happening with the Hamas charter.

If they stopped talking about it, everyone would forget about it, because it’s meaningless. Incidentally, let me just add one more thing. It is now impossible to document this, for a simple reason. The documents were all in the PLO offices in Beirut.

And when Israel invaded Beirut, they stole all the archives. I assume they must have them somewhere, but nobody is going to get access to them.

What accounts for the almost near unanimity of the Congress in backing Israel? Even Elizabeth Warren, the highly touted Democratic senator from Massachusetts, voted for this resolution about self-defense.

She probably knows nothing about the Middle East. I think it’s pretty obvious. Take the US prepositioning arms in Israel for US use for military action in the region. That’s one small piece of a very close military and intelligence alliance that goes back very far. It really took off after 1967, although bits and pieces of it existed before.

The US military and intelligence regard Israel as a major base. In fact, one of the more interesting WikiLeaks exposures listed the Pentagon ranking of strategic centers around the world which were of such significance that we have to protect them no matter what, a small number. One of them was a couple of miles outside Haifa, Rafael military industries, a major military installation.

That’s where a lot of the drone technology was developed and much else.

That’s a strategic US interest of such significance that it ranks among the highest in the world. Rafael understands that, to the extent that they actually moved their management headquarters to Washington, where the money is. That’s indicative of the kind of relationship there is.

And it goes way beyond that. US investors are in love with Israel. Warren Buffet just bought some Israeli enterprise for, I think, a couple billion dollars and announced that outside the US, Israel is the best place for US investment. And major firms, like Intel and others, are investing heavily in Israel, and continue to.

It’s a valuable client: it’s strategically located, compliant, does what the US wants, it’s available for repression and violence. The US has used it over and over as a way of circumventing congressional and popular restrictions on violence.

There’s a huge fuss now about children fleeing Central America, say, from Guatemala. Why are they fleeing from Guatemala?

You can see a photo of one of them here in my office. They’re fleeing from Guatemala because of the wreckage of Guatemala, of which a large part was the attack on the Mayan Indians, which was really genocidal, in the early 1980s. That’s a Mayan woman in the photo, in fact. They’ve never escaped this, and many of them are fleeing.

Reagan, who was extremely brutal and violent and a terrible racist as well, wanted to provide direct support for the Guatemalan army’s attack, which was literally genocidal on the Mayan Indians. There was a congressional resolution that blocked him, so he turned to his terrorist clients.

The major one was Israel. Also Taiwan, a couple of others. Israel provided the arms for the Guatemalan army — to this day they use Israeli arms — provided the trainers for the terrorist forces, essentially ran the genocidal attack. That’s one of their services. They did the same in South Africa. Actually, this led to an interesting incident with the great hero Elie Wiesel.

In the mid-1980s, Salvador Luria, a friend of mine who is a Nobel laureate in biology and politically active, knew about this. It wasn’t a big secret. He asked me to collect articles from the Hebrew press which described Israel’s participation in genocidal attacks in Guatemala — not just participation, it’s a leadership role — because he wanted to send it to Elie Wiesel with a polite letter saying: as a fellow Nobel laureate, I would like to bring this to your attention.

Could you use your influence — he didn’t ask him to say anything, that’s too much, but privately could you communicate to the people you know well at a high level in Israel and say it’s not nice to take part in genocide. He never got a response.

A couple of months later, I read an interview in the Hebrew press, where they really dislike Wiesel. They regard him as a charlatan and a fraud. One of the questions in the interview was, “What do you think about Israel’s participation in the genocidal assault in Guatemala?”

The report says Wiesel sighed and then said: I received a letter from a fellow Nobel laureate bringing to my attention these actions and asking me if I could say something privately to try to restrict them somehow, but, he said: I can’t criticize Israel even privately. I can’t say anything even privately that might impede Israel’s participation in genocide. That’s Elie Wiesel, the great moral hero.

Even this story is astonishing. Now children and many other refugees are fleeing from three countries: El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. Not from Nicaragua, about as poor as Honduras. Is there a difference? Yes. Nicaragua is the one country in the 1980s that had a way of defending itself against US terrorist forces — an army. In the other countries the army were the terrorist forces, supported and armed by the US, and its Israeli client in the worst cases. So that’s what you had.

There is a lot of upbeat reporting now saying the flow of children has reduced. Why?

Because we’ve turned the screws on Mexico and told them to use force to prevent the victims of our violence from fleeing to the US for survival. So now they’re doing it for us, so there are fewer coming to the border. It’s a great humanitarian achievement of Obama’s.

Incidentally, Honduras is in the lead. Why Honduras? Because in 2009 there was a military coup in Honduras which overthrew the president, Zelaya, who was beginning to make some moves towards badly needed reform measures, and kicked him out of the country.

I won’t go through the details, but it ended up with the US, under Obama, being one of the very few countries that recognized the coup regime and the election that took place under its aegis, which has turned Honduras into an even worse horror story than it was before, way in the lead in homicides, violence. So, yes, people are fleeing. And therefore we have to drive them back and ensure that they go back into the horror chamber.

In the current situation, it seems that this is an opportunity for the Kurdish population of Iraq to realize some kind of statehood, some kind of independence, something that they’ve wanted for a long time, and which intersects, actually, with Israeli interests in Iraq.

They have been supporting the Kurds, rather clandestinely, but it’s well known that Israel has been pushing for fragmentation of Iraq.

They are. And that’s one of the points on which Israeli and US policy conflict. The Kurdish areas are landlocked. The government of Iraq has blocked their export of oil, their only resource, and of course opposes their statehood bid. The US so far has been backing that.

Clandestinely, there evidently is a flow of oil at some level from the Kurdish area into Turkey. That’s also a very complex relationship.

Barzani, the Iraqi Kurdish leadervisited Turkey about a year ago, I guess, and made some pretty striking comments. He was quite critical of the leadership of the Turkish Kurds and was plainly trying to establish better relations with Turkey, which has been violently repressing the Turkish Kurds.

Most of the Kurds in the world are in Turkey. You can understand why, from his point of view. That’s the one outlet to the outside world. But Turkey has a mixed attitude about this.

An independent Kurdistan in, say, northern Iraq, which is right next to the Kurdish areas of Turkey, or in the Syrian Kurdish areas, which are right by them, potentially, from the Turkish point of view, might encourage separatists or even efforts for autonomy in the southeastern part of Turkey, which is heavily Kurdish. They’ve been fighting against that ever since modern Turkey arose in the 1920, very brutally, in fact. So they have a mixed kind of attitude on this.

Kurdistan has succeeded somehow in getting tankers to take Kurdish oil. Those tankers are wandering around the Mediterranean. No country will accept it, except probably Israel. We can’t be certain, but it looks as though they’re taking some of it. The Kurdish tankers are seeking some way to unload their oil in mostly the eastern Mediterranean. It’s not happening at a level which permits Kurdistan to function, even to pay its officials.

On the other hand, if you go to the Kurdish so-called capital, Erbil, apparently there are high rises going up, plenty of wealth. But it’s a very fragile kind of system. It cannot survive. It’s completely surrounded by mostly hostile regions. Turkey is sort of unclear because of the reasons that I mentioned. So, yes, they do have that in mind. That’s why they took Kirkuk as soon as they could.

There are a couple of questions I want to close with, actually from our latest book, Power SystemsI ask you, “You’ve got grandchildren. What kind of world do you see them inheriting?”

The world that we’re creating for our grandchildren is grim. The major concern ought to be the one that was brought up in New York at the September 21 march. A couple hundred thousand people marched in New York calling for some serious action on global warming.

This is no joke. This is the first time in the history of the human species that we have to make decisions which will determine whether there will be decent survival for our grandchildren. That’s never happened before. Already we have made decisions which are wiping out species around the world at a phenomenal level.

The level of species destruction in the world today is about at the level of sixty-five million years ago, when a huge asteroid hit the earth and had horrifying ecological effects. It ended the age of the dinosaurs; they were wiped out. It kind of left a little opening for small mammals, who began to develop, and ultimately us.

The same thing is happening now, except that we’re the asteroid. What we’re doing to the environment is already creating conditions like those of sixty-five million years ago. Human civilization is tottering at the edge of this. The picture doesn’t look pretty.

So September 21, the day of the march, which was a very positive development, an indication that you can do things, it’s not a foregone conclusion that we’re going to wipe everything out, that same day one of the major international monitoring scientific agencies presented the data on greenhouse emissions for the latest year on record, 2013.

They reached record levels: they went up over 2% beyond the preceding year. For the US they went up even higher, almost 3 percent.

The Journal of the American Medical Association came out with a study the same day looking at the number of super hot days that are predicted for New York over the next couple of decades, super hot meaning over ninety. They predicted it will triple for New York, and much worse effects farther south.

This is all going along with predicted sea-level rise, which is going to put a lot of Boston under water. Let alone the Bangladesh coastal plan, where hundreds of millions of people live, will be wiped out.

All of this is imminent. And at this very moment the logic of our institutions is driving it forward. So Exxon Mobil, which is the biggest energy producer, has announced — and you can’t really criticize them for it; this is the nature of the state capitalist system, its logic — that they are going to direct all of their efforts to lifting fossil fuels, because that’s profitable. In effect, that’s exactly what they should be doing, given the institutional framework.

They’re supposed to make profits. And if that wipes out the possibility of a decent life for the grandchildren, it’s not their problem.

Chevron, another big energy corporation, had a small sustainable program, mostly for PR reasons, but it was doing reasonably well, it was actually profitable. They just closed it down because fossil fuels are so much more profitable.

In the US by now there’s drilling all over the place. But there’s one place where it has been somewhat limited, federal lands. Energy lobbies are complaining bitterly that Obama has cut back access to federal lands. The Department of Interior just came out with the statistics. It’s the opposite.

The oil drilling on federal lands has steadily increased under Obama. What has decreased is offshore drilling.

But that’s a reaction to the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Right after that disaster, the immediate reaction was to back off. Even the energy companies backed off from deep-sea drilling. The lobbies are just pulling these things together. If you look at the onshore drilling, it’s just going up.

There are very few brakes on this. These tendencies are pretty dangerous, and you can predict what kind of world there will be for your grandchildren.




12 Women Who Had the Perfect Response to Sexist Questions

As the unofficial Queen of the Universe, Amal Clooney has the power to do what she wants — from putting war criminals behind bars (no biggie) to giving award-show pageantry the side eye it deserves.

In January, Clooney continued her reign of IDGAF-style badassery during an appearance in the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, where she was representing Armenia (The Turkish genocide of Armenians and Christians 1915-18).

When a reporter asked the celebrated barrister not about the case but rather about what she was wearing, she had the perfect response: “I’m wearing Ede & Ravenscroft.”

You know, legal dress robes — like any other lawyer.

Source: FREDERICK FLORIN/Getty Images

Her sharp comeback speaks volumes about the way women are treated by the media. The good news is that Clooney isn’t alone in not taking these kind of questions seriously.

More and more women are rolling their eyes at pesky reporters who overlook their accomplishments in favor of their appearance — and it’s about time. Here are a few examples of ladies giving the best answers to the worst questions.

1. Emma Stone: “It’s sexism.”

During a 2012 interview with Teen Vogue, Stone and her on and off-screen boyfriend Andrew Garfield were asked about their Spider-Man film. After Stone responded to a question about her blond hair, Garfield said, “I don’t get asked that.” To which Stone added,

“You get asked interesting, poignant questions because you are a boy.” The reporter offered an explanation: “It’s sexism,” and Stone agreed: “It’s sexism.”

The reporter offered an explanation: “It’s sexism,” and Stone agreed: “It’s sexism.”

2. Laverne Cox: “I don’t talk about that.”

The star of Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black and the upcoming CBS legal thriller Doubt is used to being on the receiving end of inane questions, but somehow always manages to keep her composure.

After giving Katie Couric a lesson on how to interview a trans person in 2014, it was Wendy Williams’ turn to learn how to be more respectful to her guests.

Despite being peppered with a series of awful questions about being trans — the worst being the blunt “You’ve got breast implants?” — Cox kept her cool, and explained why such a question is neither relevant nor appropriate.

Source: Alex Rabinowitz/Mic/Youtube

3. Mindy Kaling: “It’s pretty insulting.”

The actress, producer and overall amazing human has given great responses to many terrible questions over the years — such as being asked what kind of race she prefers when it comes to guys — but one of the questions she hates the most are about her confidence.

In the September 2014 issue of Parade Magazine, she explained why it’s she’s uncomfortable with the premise that she shouldn’t be confident to begin with.

4. Cate Blanchette: “Do you do that to the guys?”

In what is now arguably one of the most viral moments in award show history, Blanchett interrupted an interview to point out the ridiculousness of cameras panning up and down women’s bodies as they talk about their work.

“Do you do that to the guys?” she asks the cameraman. The answer, if you’re wondering is a big fat “no.”

5. Elizabeth Moss: Flipping off the mani-cam.

First introduced in 2012, the mani-cam was designed to reduce world-renowned actresses to their nail art. Although it had a good run, women are done pretending it has any relevance at all.

Actresses like Jennifer Lawrence have used it to make pranks, but our all-star give-no-fucks mani-cam disrupter goes to Moss, who gave it the finger.

Source: Alex Rabinowitz/Mic/Youtube

6. Julianne Moore: “I’m not doing that.”

Other women like Julianne Moore, Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston simply protested the mani-cam the old fashioned way: by refusing to use it. “No. I’m not doing that,” Moore said at this year’s Guild Awards.

7. Rashida Jones: “I’m ethnic.”

After receiving unsolicited compliments about her “tropical tan” at the 2015 SAG Awards, Jones retorted with: “I mean, you know, I’m ethnic.”

Mic drop.

Source: Alex Rabinowitz /Youtube/Mic

8. Scarlett Johansson: “I get the rabbit food question.”

One of the most obvious demonstrations of the contrast between the questions men and women get occurred during the Avengers’ U.K. premiere press conference. Johansson had trouble hiding her consternation after being asked about her ability to fit into a form-fitting suit in her role as the Black Widow, while her cast-mate Robert Downey Jr., who also had to wear a body suit, was asked questions about his acting process, such as,

“How did you approach this role, bearing in mind that kind of maturity as a human being when it comes to the Tony Stark character?”

Johansson, on the other hand, was asked, “To get into shape for Black Widow did you have anything special to do in terms of the diet, like did you have to eat any specific food, or that sort of thing?”

She didn’t let the moment slide.

Source: Alex Rabinowitz/Mic

9. Hillary Clinton: “Would you ever ask a man that question?”

Clinton is a pro at responding succinctly to mundane fashion questions. After discussing some of the barriers young women face because people are more critical of their appearance, she was asked by an out-of-touch moderator about who her “favorite designers” were. Her answer?

Source: Alex Rabinowitz/Mic

10. Jennifer Garner: “Isn’t it time to kinda change that conversation?”

Although love birds Garner and Ben Affleck have the same job and went to the same press junket, they were asked different questions. While Garner was asked to explain how she would handle kids and a career, Affleck was mostly asked his thoughts about his Gone Girl co-star’s boobs

During a speech at a Women in Hollywood event, she explained just how poignant the double standard in media can be.

Source: Alex Rabinowitz/Mic

11. Zooey Deschanel: “In what world is that ever an OK question to ask anybody?”

In a video created by Upworthy, the New Girl star displays the appropriate amount of dismay upon reflecting on how ridiculous it is for reporters to focus on women’s bodies rather than what they’ve achieved at award shows.

Source: Alex Rabinowitz /Mic

12. Anne Hathaway: “Are you trying to lose weight?”

The Oscar-winning actress is no stranger to idiotic questions from reporters. After being pushed repeatedly to divulge her eating and exercise habits while filming The Dark Knight Rises, she threw the awkward spotlight back on the Extra‘s Jerry Penacoli and asked him why he showed so much interest in her diet.

Source: Alex Rabinowitz /Mic

Like most celebrities in this list, Hathaway is no stranger to sexist questions. When promoting Les Misérables on the Today Show, the first question Matt Lauer asked concerned a photo of her vagina. She handled the question flawlessly by pivoting back to the film she was there to talk about:

“I’m sorry that we live in a culture that commodifies sexuality among unwilling participants, which brings me back to Les Mis.”

Female celebrities have always received sexist curve-balls, but it looks like the tide is changing and that they are finally giving those inane questions the boycott they deserve.


One too many conditions to getting married?

Eccedentesiast posted on FB this February 17, 2015

Marry someone who lets you drink their juice, even after you said you weren’t thirsty.

Marry someone who laughs at the same things you do.

Marry someone who kisses your nose on a cold day.

Marry someone you can watch Disney movies all day with.

Marry someone who is proud of you whether you earn £5 a week or £5,000 a week.

Marry someone to whom you can tell everything.

Marry someone who isn’t afraid or embarrassed to hold your hand in public.

Marry someone who lets you take over when decorating a cake.

Marry someone  you can spend the day with in Ikea without feeling stressed out.

Marry someone who wraps you up inside their coat in the winter.

Marry someone who accepts your fears and phobias.

Marry someone who gives you butterflies every time you hear their key in the door.

Marry someone who accepts you all day every day, even when you don’t look or feel your best.

Marry someone who still puts three sugars in your tea, despite telling them “just two”.

Marry someone who doesn’t judge you when you eat your body weight in cookies.

Marry someone who doesn’t make you want to check your phone, because you already know they will reply.

Marry someone who waits with you to get on the train.

Marry someone who understands that you need to be alone sometimes.

Marry someone who gets on well with your parents and isn’t uptight about family events.

Marry someone who calms you down when you get mad about stupid stuff, and never tells you it’s “only stupid stuff”.

Marry someone who makes you want to be a better person.

Marry someone who makes you laugh.

Marry someone who treats you the way you deserve to be treated.

Marry someone you love.

Marry your soulmate, your lover, your best friend.

See More

'Marry someone who lets you drink their juice, even after you said you weren’t thirsty. Marry someone who laughs at the same things you do. Marry someone who kisses your nose on a cold day. Marry someone who you can watch Disney movies all day with. Marry someone who is proud of you whether you earn £5 a week or £5,000 a week. Marry someone who you can tell everything to. Marry someone who isn’t afraid or embarrassed to hold your hand in public. Marry someone who lets you take over when decorating a cake. Marry someone who you can spend the day in Ikea with without feeling stressed. Marry someone who wraps you up inside their coat in the winter. Marry someone who accepts your fears and phobias. Marry someone who gives you butterflies every time you hear their key in the door. Marry someone who accepts you all day every day, even when you don’t look or feel your best. Marry someone who still puts three sugars in your tea, despite telling them “just two”. Marry someone who doesn’t judge you when you eat your body weight in cookies. Marry someone who doesn’t make you want to check your phone, because you already know they will reply. Marry someone who waits with you to get on the train. Marry someone who understands that you need to be alone sometimes. Marry someone who gets on well with your parents and isn’t uptight about family events. Marry someone who calms you down when you get mad about stupid stuff, and never tells you it’s “only stupid stuff”. Marry someone who makes you want to be a better person. Marry someone who makes you laugh. Marry someone who treats you the way you deserve to be treated. Marry someone who you love. Marry your soulmate, your lover, your best friend.'




February 2015

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