Adonis Diaries

Archive for May 14th, 2016

Civil movements grab full attention of militia leaders in Lebanon Municipal election

‘cash-for-votes’ deal?

 

Vote buying accusations gain steam.

After numerous allegations of violations in Sunday’s Beirut municipal elections,…
stepfeed.com|By Ryan John Stultz

After numerous allegations of violations in Sunday’s Beirut municipal elections, the Future Movement (the Hariri clan)-backed Beirutis List is facing new trouble, this time from voters who claim the party stiffed them after promising cash for their votes.

The Daily Star reported that a protest was held outside of a Future Movement office in the Beirut neighborhood of Tariq al-Jdeideh Thursday afternoon by workers claiming they weren’t paid for “work” performed during the elections.

However, that article has now been removed and replaced with a story titled “Hariri hails municipal vote as victory for democracy,” quite different than the original “Future campaign staff protest payments delays in Beirut.”

However, Al Jadeed TV is reporting that it has protesters on tape admitting they weren’t workers at all – but were voters who had been promised cash for votes.

“This is not a personal matter. … I am just conveying what was said by the crowd today in Tariq al-Jdeideh, which shows in the videos and photos you are airing,” Al Jadeed reporter Leyal Bu Musa said.

“When we arrived early in the morning, there was no presence of arms, it was only people complaining that they didn’t get the sums of money they were promised with, although they voted as they were asked and then they were cursing the Future Movement. The arms showed only when an attempt to take a video occurred.”

The Saad Hariri-backed Beirutis List won Sunday’s election, after fierce competition from the Beirut Madinati (Beirut is my city) list, a coalition of politically unaffiliated activists.

Beirut Madinati took 40 percent of the vote, an impressive result for the new movement after most political parties in Lebanon joined forces on Hariri’s list.

Due to the majoritarian system used for the election, Beirut Madinati will not receive a single seat on the 40-member council, despite winning one of the three districts of the city and performing strongly in a second.

Najat Rizk shared this link
The established leaders are jolted by a party of protest
economist.com

هيك عملوا بالبيارتة

Cynthia Choucair shared this link  ‎المدن – almodon‎.

افتتاحية جريدة المدن الإلكترونية
ساطع نور الدين

لا مبرر أبداً للبكاء على الاطلال، ولا حاجة طبعاً للسير في جنازة الحراك المدني، الذي خاض أولى معاركه السياسية بنجاح نسبي وحقق إنجازاً مفاجئاً فعلاً. لم يفز في الانتخابات البلدية في دورتها الأولى في بيروت والبقاع ، المدن
almodon.com

لا مبرر أبداً للبكاء على الاطلال، ولا حاجة طبعاً للسير في جنازة الحراك المدني، الذي خاض أولى معاركه السياسية بنجاح نسبي وحقق إنجازاً مفاجئاً فعلاً. لم يفز  في الانتخابات البلدية في دورتها الأولى في بيروت والبقاع ، لكن النتائج التي تأخر صدورها اكثر بكثير مما يمكن أن يبدد شكوك التلاعب وشبهات التزوير، لم تسفر عن فضيحة، كما هو شائع الان، للائحة “بيروت مدينتي” التي كانت العنوان الرئيسي للتحدي المدني الأول والأهم للطبقة السياسية.

كانت انتخابات جدية بلا أدنى شك. لكنها كانت غير متكافئة بالمرة. إئتلاف السلطة الذي تجاوز صراعاته الطائفية وخلافاته السياسية الجذرية حول كل شيء، إستنفر بكامل قواه لمواجهة الخطر الداهم الذي يمثله تيار مدني مبتدىء في العمل السياسي، يعبر عن مزاج شعبي متمرد، اكثر مما يعبر عن تيار سياسي صاعد، سبق ان أشعل معركة النفايات التي هزم فيها، وتعرضت صفوفه للتشتت والضياع.

كان إستنفار السلطة وتواطؤها وسلوكها دليلاً دامغاً على شعورها العميق بالخوف. وهو إنجاز أولي بسيط يحسب للتيار المدني، الذي يمكن الزعم أنه صار حالة شعبية كامنة يتردد صداها في كل مكان من لبنان، ولعل تجربة الانتخابات البلدية أكسبتها جاذبية إضافية، بإعتبار  أنها تمتعت بالجرأة للدخول في مواجهة مباشرة مع تحالف جمع ،بشكل نادر، الأركان الرئيسية للنظام اللبناني الذي يعد واحداً من أقدم الأنظمة العربية وأقواها وأشدها رسوخاً وتجذراً.

كسب تحالف النظام الانتخابات، لكنه لم يحقق نصراً ساحقاً، يلغي التحدي المدني او حتى يحبطه. فارق الأصوات لم يكن شاسعاً. ما بين 47 ألف صوت للائحة السلطة و34 الف صوت للائحة “بيروت مدينتي “، ثمة ما يستدعي التوقف عن النحيب، والرهان على أنه مجرد إختبار أول، مسيرة عفوية، جرت الدعوة اليها على عجل، وكُتب برنامجها بتسرع، وصيغت شعاراتها بلا  تعمق..بحيث ظهر بعضها وكأنها تقليد ممل لبرنامج لائحة السلطة، مع العلم بان بلدية بيروت، هي بالفعل مغارة علي بابا، التي كان يمكن ل”بيروت مدينتي” ان تتعهد فقط  بفتح ملفاتها على الملأ ، وتحويلها الى القضاء، وان تعد فقط بالعلنية  والنزاهة في إدارة تلك المؤسسة العريقة بالفساد والفوضى، بدلا من التلهي بالكلام عن الحدائق والطرقات والنفايات وحتى التوظيفات.

 مع ذلك، فإن رقم ال34 ألفاً ليس بسيطاً أبداً، ولن يكون عابراً في سياق تلك المواجهة المدنية، التي بدأت للتو مع السلطة المتسلطة على مختلف مقدرات البلد. بضعة أشهر فقط من عمر التحرك المدني لا تكفي لتحقيق النصر او حتى الاختراق. لم يكن أحد لديه هذا الوهم، لكن كثيرين ما زال لديهم هذا الحلم الجذاب فعلا لشرائح واسعة من الجيل الجديد، ليس فقط في بيروت، بل على امتداد الجمهورية كلها.

الاختراقات التي تحققت في البقاع متواضعة جداً، لكنها واعدة جداً، وقد كانت تحالفات السلطة أشد دهاء في تشكيل اللوائح وفي استدعاء الأسماء المدنية الشابة. هي مثل معركة بيروت، خطوة تجريبية أولى على طريق طويل، يشقه شبان وشابات خرجوا فعلا من ثقافة الحرب الاهلية ومن تجربتها وقرروا تحدي النظام اللبناني، ومعه مختلف الأنظمة العربية الحليفة والشريكة له التي تتعرض الان لهزات عنيفة لن تكون نتيجتها سوى السقوط.

ثمة وعي جديد يتشكل في لبنان، ثمة وعد جديد يتبلور أيضاً. من الظلم بمكان إستنتاج الهزيمة الساحقة، او الضربة القاضية للتيار المدني في بيروت او بقية انحاء لبنان. الانتخابات البلدية هي مجرد تجربة بسيطة دبت الذعر فعلا  في أركان النظام، وقدمت تفسيراً عملياً لواحد من  أهم أسباب الامتناع عن إجراء انتخابات نيابية، او التشدد في رفض إقرار قانون انتخابي عصري يليق باللبنانيين، او التعثر في إجراء انتخابات رئاسية طبيعية.

يمكن البناء على تلك التجربة، او بالأحرى ، ليس هناك من بديل للبناء على أولئك ال34 ألف ناخب بيروتي الذين توجهوا الى صناديق الاقتراع في واحد من أهم وأرقى أشكال التحدي للنظام، الذي لم يسقط في الحرب ولن يسقط في السلم ، لكنه يمكن ان يسقط بالقليل من الذكاء والصبر .

 Arsonists of Fort McMurray have a name

As the fire that ravaged Fort McMurray finally moves past the city, and the province tallies the heartbreaking damage, a search will begin to discover the source of the destruction.

Investigators will comb the nearby forests for clues, tracing the fire’s path to what they call its “point of origin.”

They’ll interview witnesses, collect satellite imagery, and rule out natural causes—much like the work of detectives.

Except in the age of climate change-fuelled mega-fires, this truly is a crime scene.

Not, I mean, the handiwork of troublesome teenagers, nor a campfire left accidentally burning. The devastation of Fort McMurray is the predictable outcome of arson on an entirely different scale.

These arsonists have a name and they’re hiding in plain view—because their actions, at the moment, are still considered legal.

They’re the companies that helped turn the boreal forest into a flammable tinder-box. The same companies that have undermined attempts to rein in carbon emissions.

The same companies that, by their very design, chase profits with no mind for the ecological and human consequences.

Andrew Bossone shared this link

Today, twice as much land in Canada is being devoured by fires as in the 1970s—and that will double or quadruple again in the decades to come.

Climate change is putting such pressure on the boreal, which covers most of northern Canada, that a study published last year in the journal Science issued a stark warning: “this forest will convert to a type of savannah.””

Fossil fuel corporations are causing the climate change fuelling mega-fires
theguardian.com|By Martin Lukacs

Yet in the fire’s aftermath, it has seemed impossible to name them: fossil fuel corporations. Of course they’re not the only ones who have fuelled climate change: all of us consume oil at every level of our lives.

But the record is clear that we are not equally responsible: an astonishing 90 companies alone have caused two-thirds of global carbon emissions. And all the oil giants involved in the Alberta tar sands are among them: ExxonMobil, BP, Shell, Total, CNRL, Chevron.

In the last week, these corporations have escaped accountability as quickly as ordinary Albertans have risen to action. Across the province, people have opened their homes to evacuees, offered gas, shared food.

The most marginalized have given the most: First Nations welcoming thousands to their communities; Muslims praying for rain at the Alberta legislature; and Syrian refugees, barely resettled in the province, gathering donations.

Stories of heroism have abounded: like the school principal who drove a bus full of children out of the burning city, reuniting each one with their families, and filling extra seats with strangers from the roadside.

At almost a moment’s notice, a province often written off as dog-eat-dog individualists proved the naysayers wrong: they have come together in a spirt of fellowship and solidarity.

Most of these people had no idea of the disaster that was coming. But there were some who did: the corporate arsonists themselves.

As far back as forty-five years ago, certain Canadian oil corporations already knew the lethal climate consequences of their business model. Last month, building on similar revelations about US companies, investigative reporters discovered stunning proof in the archives of a Calgary museum—a clue as good as any about this mega-fire’s “point of origin.”

An uncovered report produced in 1970 by Imperial Oil, the Canadian branch of ExxonMobil, put it crystal clear: “Since pollution means disaster to the affected species, the only satisfactory course of action is to prevent it.” Except the oil company proceeded to spend decades lying about what they knew, and ensured the disaster would be as profound as possible. Little wonder the same company report branded its own actions as “anti-social.”

The very picture of anti-social?

A fire ripping through a city. The incineration of homes. Irreplaceable possessions and family albums burned to ash. Climate refugees spilling across a province and country, stripped of their livelihoods and uncertain of their future.

Science may not show a direct link between climate change and the existence of one particular fire, but there is no doubt why the blaze that devoured the Alberta town was so powerful.

“We have loaded the dice for more extreme wildfires,” says Mike Flannigan, a wildfire scientist at the University of Alberta. “We attribute the increase in wildfires and their severity and intensity to human-caused climate change. We’ve been saying it for years. Many of us saw a Fort McMurray-like situation coming, but none of us expected anything as horrific as what has happened.”

Today, twice as much land in Canada is being devoured by fires as in the 1970s—and that will double or quadruple again in the decades to come. Climate change is putting such pressure on the boreal, which covers most of northern Canada, that a study published last year in the journal Science issued a stark warning: “this forest will convert to a type of savannah.”

To remain mute about those responsible for this devastation is not an act of sensitivity toward the citizens of Fort McMurray. It is to stand idly by while these corporations move on to claim their next victims.

To argue, as prime minister Justin Trudeau has, that making the connection between climate change and this infernal fire isn’t “helpful,” is not a gesture of statesmanly maturity. It is the prevarication of political cowards.

Other politicians have adopted an even more toxic approach: not letting the crisis go to waste. Former Conservative natural resources minister Joe Oliver argued on national television that Trudeau should seize the fire as an opportunity to force through a tar sands pipeline to the coast.

And British Columbia premier Christy Clark insisted the economic impact of the blaze could be balanced by ramming oil and liquified natural gas projects through the regulatory process—doubling down on what helped cause this crisis in the first place. In the days ahead, watch for this argument to grow even louder.

But the greatest model of insensitivity is this: the arsonists don’t seem content with the burning of just one Canadian town. The latest climate science has told us exactly how much fossil fuels we can burn before we lock in catastrophic warming—warming that will make today’s mega-fire look modest.

But companies have access to four or five times that amount in their reserves. They plan to extract and burn it all.

If we want to contain warming to the Paris climate accord’s target of 1.5 degrees, we will need to keep most fossil fuels in the ground—to strand these assets and shift to clean energy. But corporations have no such intention. “We don’t see any stranded assets. We think all our assets will be required,” an ExxonMobil spokesperson said after the signing of the Paris accord. It “reinforces our approach,” Shell added. In other words, they’re bent on arson on a global scale.

The law is finally catching up to this planet-altering recklessness. In the United States, both California and New York’s attorneys general are investigating ExxonMobil for spending decades misleading the public about its knowledge of the risks of climate change.

Meanwhile, both Democratic presidential candidates have joined the chorus of voices demanding the federal Department of Justice join the investigation.

Last month, lawyers in the Philippines launched another precedent-setting case: a lawsuit against fifty of the world’s fossil fuel companies for damages the country has suffered from climate change-driven hurricanes.

This path should show the way forward for Canada, entrenching a basic moral principle: the polluter pays. Fossil fuel companies shouldn’t be celebrated for the minimal corporate paternalism they are now demonstrating—housing, feeding and flying evacuated workers out of Fort McMurray and the surrounding work camps.

They should be footing the bill for the devastation. They invested billions in an industry knowing it would prove destructive to the air, water, climate, and health of Albertans?

It’s time to put our hands—through higher taxes, royalties, even a public takeover—on some of their gargantuan profits, and use them to transition to a new economy full of good clean jobs and beyond these dangerous energy sources.

That would mean rejecting the lopsided sacrifice currently demanded of us: that corporations derive the rewards while we cover their damages. Canada’s fossil fuel companies have vacuumed billions in profits out of Alberta, and used their political influence to prevent the emergence of a more diversified economy in a province with incredible renewable energy potential.

Yet the relief and recovery effort, which may cost upward of $10bn, will be paid for by the government and taxpayers. The donations offered by individual Canadians are a testament to incredible generosity: they also represent an outsourcing of responsibility.

But that spirit of solidarity and mutual aid, of compassion and confidence in each other, is the best expression of ourselves. It points the way forward. Two people tragically died in the evacuation of Fort McMurray—but many more no doubt were saved, by courage and heroism and the deep care and love for fellow citizens that can flourish in a period of catastrophe.

Such are the values we will need to mount a collective fight against the unfolding disaster of climate change

Imagine these values actually governing our society—for a start, relaxing EI rules to ensure dignity for all of the evacuated workers. Imagine this resiliency, courage and generosity being harnessed to lead the transition to a healthier, more just post-carbon society—helping prevent even more extreme weather to come.

Imagine the rebuilding of Fort McMurray being not just a page turned on an unprecedented disaster, but the beginning of a new direction.

If that can happen, the smoke will truly lift from this country and this town.

On Twitter: @Martin_Lukacs

Today I met the White Fairy (March 2015)

I will not indulge your natural curiosity.

I will not describe her physical appearance

I refuse to think, reason or find logical tenants to the appearance.

I refuse to try to describe my emotions and feelings:

I won’t deform my sensation and how I felt

With imperfect words and sentences.

I want the sensation to stay whole.

Today I met the White Fairy

She was White

She was Light

It was early morning

And it was sunny.

The peaceful feeling is a bird of wide space

You may cage the feeling in words

And stretch its wings wide open

But your feeling won’t fly.

Nowhere.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

Blog Stats

  • 1,426,828 hits

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

Join 774 other followers

%d bloggers like this: