Adonis Diaries

Archive for April 23rd, 2018

Bullying behavior and practices sticking at older age? Case of local “Silent Majority” bowing down to ignominy 

This is a local story that took place in Cornet Chehwan (Lebanon) within a group of Petanque players (Boules), supposedly a club belonging to the municipality.

A regular player, a retired Industrial Engineer PhD who also taught in universities and who pays his property taxes in that municipality, and a better players than many, was denied to participate in the games, for no apparent reasons, after sharing games and laughter for 9 months.

In the first week of April, this engineer walked for 20 minutes at 5 pm to the tent where players gather to play. He has sold his car long time ago and decided to walk instead of driving.

There was exactly 12 players. He registered his name on the board according to regulation to be next, when one group is out for losing.

As the game was over, he stepped in to play. He exercised alone, waiting for the alternative group to form. After 10 minutes, he sensed that there is a sort of veto to play with him. Shadiya kept repeating “Revanche” (meaning we want to play again with the winning team). An old fat man growled:” Yalla, badna nel3ab” (we want to resume playing with the same team).

Disgusted, the engineer returned the cochonet to a lady player and decided to leave.

Cesa, the wife of the municipality chief, was Not there during this event. She suddenly barged in the tent, plausibly following a phone call from her sidekick. She immediately advanced toward the engineer, poison dripping from her face, hit him in the chest with a finger and shouted: “Out of the tent, right now”

Taken aback by this savage hatred, the player replied: “enteh dhareh barra , wleh” (Get out yourself)

A “lawyer” player approached the engineer and said: “Let’s step outside to talk”. The engineer responded: “Let’s talk inside. Is this a municipality club or a private club”? The lawyer replied: “It doesn’t matter. If the players refuse to play with you, you are out of luck”

Who are the players who don’t want to play with the engineer? They all played with him for over 9 months and he was better than most in the game and he was friendly with most and got to know their private lives and their wives.

Or was it the half dozen obeying to Cesa’s grudge (for whatever is this mystery grudge that no one dared to ask her). Did the entire club members got the signals to boycott the engineer?

As far as the engineer knew, the club never sent him any letter or any verbal warning that he is Not welcomed.

Actually, the engineer knows of half a dozens players who suffered bullying practices  (from Cesa and her sidekick and shouldered by 3 players, the yes, yes sort of men) to force them out of the playing group. They never returned, but they didn’t make waves.

The story has a beginning.

At the start of the winter season, the engineer walked as usual to the tent. Shadia insisted on him to stay past 8:30 pm for a last game, so that she gives him a ride home.

The two groups of players were constituted of Cesa, Shadia, and the “lawyer” Hamid. The opposing team was of Walid, Fara7 and the engineer. The engineer, who dislikes being cornered as the designated starter, while the others reserves for themselves the task of playing last, played well and placed good boules near the cochonet. His team members kept hitting his boules (tireur) instead of the adverse boules, and this happened 3 times. Maybe they were tired, but they are Not famous to hit much the correct ball.

It was evident that they were tired and Not fit to hit well.  Coolly and decisively, the engineer told the two players: “Ok, now you discuss between you two and decide who will place his boules first.”

Walid acknowledge that it is best, and did play first, but Fra7 got frustrated and upset and started playing haphazardly to express his annoyance, and ruined the game.

Cesa told the engineer: “Kahrabt al jaww” (You electrified the air). Meaning that the engineer is to blame for this bad game. And Not the person who purposely ruined the game

The next day, the engineer walked to the tent and felt that there is a sort of veto on him to play. Cesa told him: “The next time betkahreb al jaww, you are out. You may only be allowed to watch”. The engineer turned his back on her and didn’t come back for the duration of the winter season, about 3 months.

The mother of this engineer, who is 90 of age and gets sicker during the cold season, needed his close attention and to be near her. It didn’t make sense for the engineer to walk in the cold and back in the cold in order to face players Not willing to share with him the games.

As the weather warmed a little, the engineer started to walk and occasionally entered the tent. He didn’t play and didn’t feel the heart to play with people who lack dignity and crawl to a person, just to be “allowed” to play in tranquility and in total boredom among themselves.

One day, the engineer decided to play a single game, so that he can walk back while there is light to be with his mother. Again, the veto resumed. Hovig told me: We reformed the teams and you are Not in”. I was the only new comers, and the reformed teams were the exactly the same.  The engineer didn’t insist and walked out, feeling sorry for these crawling and groveling men.

The next time, the engineer registered him name on the board. And you know the entire story.

Does anyone of the club members dared to know why Cesa and her sidekick kept this grudge on the engineer? Do those who vetoed him out to play know the deep reasons?,

Can any one of the readers guess what is the problem?

Cesa and Shadia are Not in the official roster of members officially designated to the syndicate od Lebanon Petanque. Who gave Cesa this “power” to rule, decide and kick out players?

What’s wrong with this club? Do the officials of this club care? Anyone cares?

Does any player feels secure to play the next time around, and not be kicked out savagely, at the whim of Cesa?

Repeat Budget Shutdowns? Negotiating a Bargain version of Capitalism 3.0?

David Rothkopf, the chief executive and editor-at-large of Foreign Policy magazine, has a new book out, entitled “Power, Inc.”
It is about the epic rivalry between big business and government that captures what the 2012 election should be about.
And it’s not “contraception”: It’s the future of “Capitalism” and whether it will be shaped in America or somewhere else.
Rothkopf argues that, while for much of the 20th century the great struggle on the world stage was between capitalism and communism, the great struggle in the 21st century will be about which version of capitalism will win, which one will prove the most effective at generating growth and become the most emulated.

Will it be Beijing’s capitalism with Chinese characteristics?” asks Rothkopf.

“Will it be the democratic development capitalism of India and Brazil?

Will it be entrepreneurial small-State capitalism of Singapore and Israel?

Will it be European safety-net capitalism? Or will it be American capitalism?”

It raises another question: “What is American capitalism today, and what will enable it to thrive in the 21st century?”

Rothkopf’s view is that the bargain that most admired and system tried to emulate about American capitalism is precisely what we’ve been ignoring: America’s success for over 200 years was largely due to its healthy, balanced public-private partnership.

Mainly, the government provided the institutions, rules, safety nets, education, research and infrastructure to empower the private sector to innovate, invest and take the risks that promote growth and jobs.

As the private sector overwhelms the public, you get the 2008 subprime crisis.

When the public overwhelms the private, you get choking regulations.

You need a balance, which is why we have to get past this cartoon argument that “the choice is either all government or all the market”

The lesson of history is that capitalism thrives best when you have this balance, and “when you lose the balance, you get in trouble.”

For that reason, the ideal 2012 election would be one that offered the public competing conservative and liberal versions of the key grand bargains, the key balances, that America needs to forge to adapt its capitalism to this century.

First grand bargain is to repair our long-term structural deficit via tax reform:

by phasing in $1 in tax increases for every $3 to $4 in cuts to entitlements and defense over the next decade. If the Republican Party continues to take the view that there must be no tax increases, we’re stuck. Capitalism can’t work without safety nets or fiscal prudence, and we need both in a sustainable balance.

As part of this, we will need an inter-generational grand bargain so we don’t end up in an inter-generational civil war. We need a proper balance between government spending on nursing homes and nursery schools — on the last six months of life and the first six months of life.

Second grand bargain we need is between the environmental community and the oil and gas industry over how to do two things at once: safely exploit America’s new found riches in natural gas, while simultaneously building a bridge to a low-carbon energy economy, with greater emphasis on energy efficiency.

Third grand bargain we need is on infrastructure.

We have more than a $2 trillion deficit in bridges, roads, airports, ports and bandwidth, and the government doesn’t have the money to make it up. We need a bargain that enables the government to both enlist and partner with the private sector to unleash private investments in infrastructure that will serve the public and offer investors appropriate returns.

Fourth grand bargain should focus on education and health care.

We need grand bargains that better allocate resources between remediation and prevention. In both health and education, we spend more than anyone else in the world — with no better outcomes. We waste too much money treating people for preventable diseases and re-teaching students in college what they should have learned in high school. Modern capitalism requires skilled workers and workers with portable health care that allows them to move for any job.

Fifth grand bargain  among employers, employees and government.  In Germany government provides the incentives for employers to hire, train and retrain labor.

We can’t have any of these bargains without a more informed public debate. Bill Gates said to me in a recent interview “The big thing that’s missing in U.S. politics today is this technocratic understanding of the facts and where things are working and where they’re not working,” so the debate can be driven by data, not ideology.

Capitalism and political systems — like companies — must constantly evolve to stay vital. People are watching how we evolve and whether our version of democratic capitalism can continue to thrive. A lot is at stake here.

Rothkopf argues: “If we continue to treat politics as a reality show played for cheap theatrics, we increase the likelihood that the next chapter in the ongoing story of capitalism is going to be written somewhere else.” End of quote

I have My set of Grand Bargain priorities:

First grand bargain: Drop the laws on tax-exempt religious businesses, cancel the privileges that clerics enjoy that common citizens lack, penalize candidates and institutions (private and public) that capitalize on religious “fervor” in order to gain election votes or pressure public institutions…

Second grand bargain: Be candid and make transparent on what capitalism is based on. For example,

1. Keeping 20% of the population poor regardless of surpluses, so that this part of the population keeps maintaining the capitalists interests in low paying-jobs,

2. Inventing preemptive wars in order to capture the surplus in lower middle-class citizens that capitalism claims its inability to absorb in the market place.

3. Appointing a council of 10 members, independent of the government, to investigate financial irregularities in ministries and pinpointing publicly the conflict of interests and biases in public institutions

Third grand bargain in political reforms. For example:

1. Denying the President the right to appoint Supreme Court judges

2. Making election laws fair, affordable, understandable and readable by the common citizen

3. Curtailing the absolute monarchic rights of Presidents

4. Eliminating the incarceration policy of youth in schools for 13 years because they are too virulent for the system to contain their aspiration for change and reforms

5. Setting a cap on upper income and enforcing the concept of reducing inequality image among communities…You may add your alternatives, and they are many…

Note: You may read on private properties https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2010/09/25/part-2-private-properties-can-capitalism-be-reformed/

On going over your time

There’s never enough time to get your message across.

Even Fidel Castro, famous for giving six-hour speeches, had plenty more to add.

Truth Beckons

If you’re given 8 minutes, take 8 minutes minus 7 seconds, not 9 minutes.

The extra minute is selfish. The extra minute doesn’t actually make that much of a difference in how much you are able to communicate.

In fact, it’s the non-verbal communication we remember, and if you are rushing, apologizing and stepping on the toes of the person after you, that’s what the audience will take away.

Posted by Seth Godin on October 03, 2013


adonis49

adonis49

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