Adonis Diaries

Archive for July 14th, 2016

I’m already tired of the ‘lessons’ of Chilcot. What can we learn from a report that ignores Iraqis?

A midget report on a midget man.

The Iraqis were not allowed to give evidence

If Blair and Bush were sincere about the dangers of weapons of mass destruction, they would have invaded North Korea

Robert Fisk@indyvoices. Thursday 7 July 2016

So where are the Titans now? I’ve often asked that question but today, I realise, Blair wanted to be a Titan. Up there with the Churchills and the Roosevelts and Titos and – dare I suggest – the Stalins.

Men who made the earth move. Maybe that’s why Chilcot’s achievement was not to prove that Blair was a war criminal but that he was a midget.

Just take that cringing quotation to Bush on 28 July 2002. “I will be with you, whatever.” Sure, we understand the political importance of this tosh. Blair was trying to sound Titan-like. but proved in legal terms that what he meant was: I will be with you – whatever the British people think.

But it’s got deeper roots than that. I have a hunch this was the Blair version of the infinitely more powerful words of Harry Hopkins, Roosevelt’s personal representative to wartime Britain, who – exhausted, but asked to speak to an audience in Glasgow – looked down the room at Churchill and tried to express his love for the great man’s stand against Hitler and Roosevelt’s support for Britain as she stood alone against Nazi Germany.

Hopkins quoted the Bible. Churchill wept as he spoke. “Whither thou goest,” Hopkins said, “I will go… Even unto the end.”

And the best our little Tony could say was: “I will be with you, whatever.” It’s the “whatever” bit that gives the game away, of course; a kind of tossed-out line, the midget’s version of “even unto the end”, an “aw-shucks come-hell-or-high-water, you can rely on me”.

And this, remember, was not a spokesman for the US president telling the British prime minister that he could depend on America. Wee Tony tweaked the whole sorry quotation to turn himself into Roosevelt, and Bush into Churchill.

So earnest was he in the imitative role he had constructed for himself that Blair could not see, when he used these words, that they undermined any moral foundation the future invasion of Iraq might have had in British eyes.

But I’m already tired of the “lessons” of the Chilcot report.

We must learn from what we did wrong, we mustn’t do it again – Cameron repeated the same doggerel, although he might apply it to his own knavish Brexit tricks – and we really must get it right before we blunder into more wars that cost hundreds of British lives, millions of dollars and tens of thousands of other chaps who got in the way but don’t feature as human beings in the Chilcot report.

That’s the real problem, I fear, with the flagellation of Lord Blair.

Yes, he sure was a nasty piece of work, lying to us Brits and then lying to us again after Chilcot was published, and then waffling on about faith and “the right thing to do” when we all know that smiting vast numbers of innocent people – and even bringing about the smiting of a vaster number of the very same Muslims, Christians and Yazidis up to this very day – was a very bad thing to do.

For these victims – anonymous and almost irrelevant in the Chilcot report – we cannot say “even unto the end”, because they are dying unto the present day.

The real “end” for these victims cometh not even yet.

But here’s an underlying dishonesty about Chilcot’s reflection on Blair’s dishonesty.

The evidence of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) was not strong enough, but it was – according to Lord Blair – still worth getting rid of Saddam.

But surely if he was really sincere about the dangers of WMDs, he and Bush would have invaded a nation which undeniably did possess and boasted about them: North Korea, Israel, Pakistan…

Now there’s a crazed dictatorship, butchering its own people, threatening the world – in 2003, just as today – yet not once has anyone, let alone Blair, suggested we should invade North Korea even unto the end and all the way up to the Yalu river.

And we know why.

Because North Korea really does have WMDs.

Lord Blair and Bush would never have dared consider a military adventure against the beloved Kim Jong-un. For the same reason, Blair would never have advocated the invasion of a Muslim nation which is packed with Islamist extremists who knife, shoot and burn to death their infidel enemies and who also possess nuclear weapons, WMDs writ large and boasted about and tested: Pakistan.

I’m leaving out here a peace-loving Middle East nation which possesses even more nuclear weapons than Pakistan and North Korea combined (Israel), but mercifully treats all those it occupies with immense respect, never steals their land and always treats those others with whom it comes into contact during colonisation projects with total respect for their human rights. (Total ironic comment)

Yet why not mention, for that matter, the Iranians? Blair has an odd habit of targeting enemies which are also hated by the aforesaid peace-loving nation – and would presumably like to assault before they actually are able to possess nuclear weapons and therefore immediately become un-invadeable.

Poor old Saddam, he told the truth – that he didn’t have WMDs – and thus doomed both himself and the poor old Iraqis to mass death.

And that’s the point, isn’t it?

The Arabs of Iraq – and now Syria – endure human disaster on an unprecedented scale because of the Blair-Bush lies, yet all Chilcot can produce with his 7 years of literary endeavour and volumes to break the strength of any library shelf is a puny little domestic report on British politics and the self-righteousness of the midget who got it all wrong.

We weep for our British military martyrs, for such is how the Arabs refer to their wartime dead, yet scarcely a single suffering Arab was to be heard in the aftermath of Chilcot.

The Iraqis were not allowed to give evidence; the dead Muslims and Christians of Iraq had no-one to plead for the integrity of their lives. Had their case been made, Chilcot’s report would have gone on to the crack of doom.

It would have been longer than the Holy Bible, the Holy Koran, the entire corpus of Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, Chekhov, Proust, Shakespeare and Dante – though the latter’s circles of hell would certainly have caught the measure of the suffering of Iraq and Syria.

No. It was, in reality, a midget report on a midget man.

That’s why, if we brought in the real human beings called Iraqis, their evidence would have indeed been worth a Nuremburg trial.

And yet, in the end, weren’t the ranks of obsequious, strutting, lying and defeated Nazis on the bench at Nuremburg also midgets? Even unto the end. Whatever.

Think like a Genius

Dr. Jana. June 21 at 11:30am ·

STEPS:

1- LOVE LEARNING. Geniuses are passionate about the things they do. If you want to think like a genius, find what you love and dive in headfirst.


1- Figure out what your learning style is and make use of it. The major types are auditory, visual-spatial, verbal-linguistic and kinesthetic. Experiment with different techniques for absorbing information and stick with what works best.
2- Learn how to self-educate. There are lots of resources available on the internet and through local services like community colleges and libraries that can put all sorts of exciting information at your fingertips.
3- Be pro-active and ask questions. There are people you meet every day that know all sorts of things and have a variety of valuable skills to share. As a genius, be interested in the potential in everything.
4- Be over-comprehensive in your studies. Learn everything there is to know.
5- As you learn about different disciplines, think about how they connect to one another.

2- START AMBITIOUS PROJECTS and see them through from start to finish. Genius ideas have often occurred in the pursuit of something that many contemporaries thought to be downright crazy. Create opportunities for yourself to discover new things by embarking on journeys on which no one has yet embarked.

3- EMBRACE CHANGE, uncertainty, and doubt. It is on the edges of knowledge that innovation and discovery happen. Don’t be afraid to question conventional wisdom, because geniuses are often the ones who rewrite current conventions.

4- BE PROLIFIC. Try for quantity before quality. To produce exceptionally good work, do a lot of whatever you’re doing.

It increases your chances for success and it means you will get more practice along the way.

It also takes the pressure off, knowing that while an effort may be your first, it will likely not be your last.

Most geniuses in history, whatever they were doing, did a lot of many things, and not all of it was genius!
There is a theory that to become a “master” in any subject, you need 10,000 hours of practice. Professional orchestra players and computer programmers demonstrate this idea. (Citation: Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers, 2009, but see also Creativity: Genius and other Myths, Weisberg, 1986)

5- LEARN about BLOOM’S TAXONOMY. Bloom’s Taxonomy is a breakdown of the six levels of thinking, from the lowest level to the highest.

You can use it to help you think about thinking on a deeper level.
a) Knowledge is accepting and believing a fact. Knowing 2 + 2 = 4, doesn’t mean you know what 2 + 2 = 4 means.
b) Comprehension is understanding a fact: You understand the concept of addition and how 2 + 2 = 4.
c) Application is knowing how to use the fact. You can determine that 2 cats plus 2 cats equals 4 cats. You don’t know what 2 + 2 = 4 means, but you can apply it.
d) Analysis is breaking down information into its parts. 4 – 2 = 2; (1 + 1) + (1 + 1) = 2 + 2 = 4.
e) Synthesis is Creating something new. (2 + 2) + (2 + 2) = 4 + 4.
f) Evaluation: Discussion of the merits of 2 + 2 = 4.

6- THINK DIFFERENTLY. You are different. You think differently. Every kind of genius is different and individual. And every kind of opinion has something true and something you can learn from.
Remember that different ideas have not historically been accepted well, and yours may not be either. Geniuses throughout history have not let this deter them; neither should you.

– Source: http://www.wikihow.com/Think-Like-a-Genius

 

A Single Photo From Baton Rouge That’s Hard to Forget

Jonathan Bachman / Reuters

It is a remarkable picture. A single woman stands in the roadway, feet firmly planted.

She poses no obvious threat. She is there to protest the excessive force which Baton Rouge police allegedly deploy against the city’s black citizens.

She stands in front of police headquarters, on Saturday. And she is being arrested by officers who look better prepared for a war than a peaceful protest.

Yoni Appelbaum. July 10, 2016

There are images that are impossible to forget, searing themselves into our collective consciousness. One man staring down a column of tanks in Tiananmen Square. A high school student attacked by police dogs in Birmingham, Alabama (during the civil disobedience march of Blacks in the 60’s). This is such a photo.

Once seen, it cannot be unseen.

The Baton Rouge police department lists the virtues it seeks to instill in its officers. Protection. Obligation. Leadership. Integrity. Courage. Excellence. I wonder what these officers thought about as they hauled her away.

(Update: As explained below, there were multiple agencies on the scene; the officers in the picture were apparently Louisiana State Police.)

We’re working to gather details about the moment it captures, to find her name. If you were there, or know her, please write to us: hello@theatlantic.com. This story will be updated as we learn more. (Update: Her name is reportedly Ieshia Evans; more details in the second update below.)

Update: Thanks to the many readers who’ve written in to share what they know. Several have provided us with a name that we’re working to confirm.

I also spoke with Jonathan Bachman, the New Orleans-based freelance photographer who snapped the photo for Reuters. He arrived in Baton Rouge on Thursday, and returned again on Saturday. I asked him to describe what he’d seen:

A group of demonstrators had formed a blockade—blocked Airline Highway, which runs in front of Baton Rouge Police headquarters. So law enforcement came out, consisting of several departments within Louisiana … they had come out in riot gear to clear the protestors off to the side of the road. In that attempt, they arrested three to four people as some of the demonstrators confronted the line that the police had created, but for the most part they were able to move everyone off to the side of the road.

I had my attention on people confronting the police on the side of the road … I had turned to look over my right shoulder, I think that I had heard this women say something about she was going to be arrested, and I saw this woman, and she was standing in the first lane in that road.

It happened quickly, but I could tell that she wasn’t going to move, and it seemed like she was making her stand. To me it seemed like: You’re going to have to come and get me. And I just thought it seemed like this was a good place to get in position and make an image, just because she was there in her dress and you have two police officers in full riot gear.

It wasn’t very violent. She didn’t say anything. She didn’t resist, and the police didn’t drag her off.

It’s representative of the peaceful demonstrations that have been going on down here.  I understand that officers have been hurt in other cities, but down here it’s remained peaceful.

I’ve also heard from a number of readers, upset at the invocation of what they regard as fundamentally dissimilar events. My aim was not to equate their moral weight, but to point to other iconic images of protest.

Many were equally upset that I had not spelled out that the protestor was violating the law by obstructing a highway and refusing to comply with instructions to move to the side of the road. And some felt that, after Dallas, the deployment of tactical units was not only justified, but prudent. I’ll leave readers to draw their own conclusions about that.

But I do want to note two other things. At the time of this arrest, which came relatively early in that day’s protest, both the demonstrators and the officers had avoided physical confrontation.

(As Bachman notes, there were multiple law-enforcement agencies on the scene on Saturday; the ones making this arrest were apparently from the Louisiana State Police.) There were, Bachman said, some protestors who offered harsh words. But at the time of the arrest, the protest itself had stayed peaceful.

But if it started entirely peaceful, it did not stay that way through the night. Here’s a statement issued by the Baton Rouge Police Department:

The protest last night at Baton Rouge Police Headquarters organized by individuals from outside our Baton Rouge community resulted in 102 arrests. In addition to the arrests, 3 rifles, 3 shotguns and 2 pistols were confiscated. A Baton Rouge Police Officer had several of his teeth knocked out as a projectile was thrown from the protest.

It appears the protest at Baton Rouge Police Headquarters have become more violent as out of town protesters are arriving. Any protest which becomes violent will be immediately dispersed.

Thanks to all who wrote—particular those who wrote to voice their vehement objections. I’ll update this post again as I learn more.

Second Update:

Several media outlets, led by the Daily Mail, are now reporting that the woman in the photograph is Ieshia Evans. That name also appears on the list of the 102 protestors arrested on Saturday, charged with obstructing a highway. A social-media profile apparently associated with Evans included an update posted last night:

I just need you people to know. I appreciate the well wishes and love, but this is the work of God. I am a vessel! Glory to the most high! I’m glad I’m alive and safe. And that there were no casualties that I have witnessed first hand.

The published accounts offered conflicting personal details; a status update on the social-media account said of the Daily Mail’s reporting, “This story has holes.” A few hours later, another update read:

To all of my friends and acquaintances please don’t do any interviews about me. If they want my story, I am here. I would like the opportunity to represent myself! Thank you. Peace, love, blk power! ‪#‎blacklivesmatter‬

Rather than relay unconfirmed, and potentially unreliable, details published elsewhere, I’ll update this again if I’m able to speak directly with Evans and confirm her identity, or if other outlets are able to offer her own account, in her own words.

 

Birthday (1999) 

1.   Why did you come, dear Birthday?

I am no longer sixteen and do have my driving license;

No longer eighteen to run away from home,

I am way passed my twenty-first,

To mind ordering a drink if I cared.

2.   I don’t need you anymore:  you are a liability,

A debilitating memory, a shame to the living youth.

They still show re-runs of your comings on the screen:

People hiding in the dark, waiting to catch a stunned face;

Sneaking through the door;

Surprise!

It is not funny for me:

No one ever surprised me at your coming. Not once.

3.   Each year you tap on my door.

The month of May trails fragrance, pageantry, and life.

Why May parade is cut short?

Why May never ends in pomp?

I don’t remember any of my birthdays before twelve.

I was in a Christian private boarding school,

A remnant of the discarded

Of parents visiting summer time, once every two years.

 

On birthdays parties in my honor, it never felt mine,

But you made sure my Friend, to remind me of my loneliness.

Friend, you’ve been consistent through the years,

The best and the worst of years.

 

Sure, you are welcomed

Every year, any year, my Friend

Among the living.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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