Adonis Diaries

Archive for July 12th, 2016

Millions of us knew the Iraq war would be a catastrophe.

Why didn’t Tony Blair?

What kind of democracy are we talking about

On 15 February 2003, my partner and I packed our two young children into their pushchairs and travelled across London to take part in what has since become recognised as the single largest protest event in human history.

Between six and 30 million people (depending on whom you believe) took part in about 600 cities worldwide, united by a belief that the proposed military intervention in Iraq was not justified by the facts.

Sir John Chilcot has, in his newly published report, reinforced this view.

In the intervening years a gigantic political disaster, like some sort of all-consuming black hole, has devoured everything in its path including the credibility of our democratic process and any moral capital the west had. The human cost is staggering.

The repercussions and aftershocks endless – international law, natural resources, political norms, the UN, religious tolerance, all irrevocably altered or destroyed, while, 13 years after the fall of Saddam Hussein, one of the oldest civilisations on our planet lies a shattered ruin; a destabilising presence in a fragile region, locked in a permanent civil war, with any prospects for a peaceful civil society decades in the future.

Somehow, “We told you so” just doesn’t do it justice.

Najat Rizk shared this link

“I remember thinking at the time: “How can it be blindingly obvious to me, and to millions of other ordinary people like me, that the invasion will be a disaster, while our political leadership fails to see it?”

There was no question that Saddam’s brutality needed addressing – but not like this.”

Prior to the decision to go to war being made – in the months the debates raged – I did the only thing I knew how which was to put my frustrations into a new piece.

The Blue Notebooks would be a protest album about Iraq, a mediation on violence – both the violence that I had personally experienced around me as a child and the violence of war, at the utter futility of so much armed conflict. We recorded it in London about a week after the protests.

I structured the work around a series of readings by Tilda Swinton from the works of Franz Kafka. I think of Kafka as a sort of patron saint of doubt, and his writing spoke to the bleak absurdity of that political moment for me.

Balancing the Kafka texts are extracts from Czesław Miłosz, a sort of anti-Kafka, for whom the universe is redeemed by human creativity and compassion. I wrote the piece to meander through music history – quoting and re-contextualising musical texts – the music I had run to as a child to escape my own reality.

Blair’s creative way with the facts seems in retrospect to be the beginning of the sort of post-truth politics we have seen in the recent Brexit debate, where fiction and reality were treated by Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson and their like as essentially interchangeable. Donald Trump does the same.

A second, less charitable, justification is that Blair deliberately ignored warnings from the Ministry of Defence and joint intelligence committee about the reliability of the intelligence, and in a striking example of confirmation bias, chose to engage with the facts only insofar as they supported the decision to go to war, a decision which we now know had been taken long before the other options to deal with Saddam had been exhausted.

Chilcot agrees; Blair withheld information from the cabinet, misled parliament, the public, and the military. Thousands paid with their lives.

Looking more deeply into why he might do this leads inevitably to the peculiar romance that developed between Bush and Blair, the cowboy and his poodle, united in some sort of shared crusade.

Blair’s hubristic view of himself as a moderating influence on the imbecile Bush betrays a spectacular miscalculation of the power dynamics in play.

A third scenario is that Blair was simply too dumb to see what was coming down the tracks.

World’s Richest Man Enters the Cannabis Industry

By Benjamin Adams

With a net worth of 81.1 billion dollars, you can do whatever you want- and that’s precisely what Bill Gates is doing by investing in the cannabis industry.

Bill Gates is proud to announce that Microsoft has partnered with KIND Financial to provide a seed-to-sale tracking system. The partnership will create ATM-like kiosks and a way for cannabis collectives to deal in cash without risking their lives.

Four years ago, Bill Gates voted ‘Yes’ in favor of recreational marijuana in the form of Initiative 502 in his home state of Washington.

“It’s an experiment, and it’s probably good to have a couple states try it out to see before you make that national policy,” he said at the time. “Can they keep it out of minors’ hands? Will it reduce alcohol consumption? Are there some people who use it at levels you might think of as inappropriate? Will drug gangs make less money?”

Government workers will be the first to use Bill Gates new cloud software, Azure.

”KIND Financial is building solutions on our government cloud to help these agencies regulate and monitor controlled substances and items, and manage compliance with jurisdictional laws and regulations,” a representative of Microsoft told the Independent.

By sending the new software straight to government workers, he’s working from the inside out.

This definitely isn’t the first time Bill Gates has made a stand surrounding pot legalization.

Everybody who works for Microsoft knows that they don’t drug test– unlike the majority of major companies in the United States.

“We do think there will be significant growth [in the marijuana business],” Kimberly Nelson, Microsoft’s executive director for state and local government solutions, told The New York Times. “As the industry is regulated, there will be more transactions, and we believe there will be more sophisticated requirements and tools down the road.”

This make Microsoft the first multinational business in the world to embrace cannabis and the potential behind it.

Bill Gates experimented with cannabis while a student at Harvard. “I don’t think I was unusual in any of those dimensions, plus or minus,” he said in 1991.

A 1994 book Gates: How Microsoft’s Mogul Reinvented an Industry—and Made Himself the Richest Man in America reveals all. “Marijuana was the pharmaceutical of choice, but in [roommate Sam] Znaimer’s words, ‘on a couple of well-planned isolated occasions we’d go off to the country and spend time contemplating the universe’,” reporters Stephen Manes and Paul Andrews wrote.

In 1977 Gates was pulled over, searched and arrested but no record containing the specifics has ever been found. It is widely assumed that Gates was either arrested for a DUI or for the possession of a controlled substance. It may remain a mystery forever.

In 1992, Gates allegedly broke up with his girlfriend and former employee Stephanie Reichel in a coffeeshop in Amsterdam. It’s safe to say that he’s a pot smoker.

It is good that people like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs experimented with soft drugs like cannabis- if they hadn’t, we might have never gone as far as we have with programming.

Vertical Streets  (2001)

In my dream,

I was turning a corner,

And I entered a neighborhood with vertical streets.

Obviously, the houses were in horizontal positions.

I was going downhill,

And looking where the neighborhood ends.

Sure enough, at the end of Main Street,

A flat community went about its normal life.

It was very normal in my dream.

And life was taking its normal course.

I did not enter any of these horizontal houses:

The secret is always in the inside.

The outside surrounding was too different,

For me to investigate any further.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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