Adonis Diaries

Archive for May 2nd, 2018

Tidbits and notes posted on FB and Twitter. Part 192

Note: I take notes of books I read and comment on events and edit sentences that fit my style. I pa attention to researched documentaries and serious links I receive. The page is long and growing like crazy, and the sections I post contains a month-old events that are worth refreshing your memory.

Smokers had a role model who was really cool, who didn’t care about people’s opinions of his behavior, a risk taker, sexual precocity, a trend setter and generally categorized as extrovert. Smoking is not cool, but it is the cool people who smoked

Mais de quoi les vieilles dames se plaignent-elles? Toutes leurs souffrances physiques ne comptent pas autant que la vue des veines bleues sur leurs mains, les bras et les jambes.

Je ne comprend pas: pourqoui les vieux et les vieillens ne portent pas de perruque abondante, soyeuse et resplendissante? Au moins ils ne passeront pas inappercus.

Les pays du Golfe, le Liban et la Jordanie, comportent aujourd’hui une population d’ emigree’ pouvant être du même ordre ou supérieure en nombre aux nationaux. Que signifie alors la mesure de la pauvreté ou du taux d’accès aux universités au Qatar comme aux Émirats arabes unis sans prendre en compte les migrants?

On ne peut mesurer les inégalités dans le monde arabe: La plupart des emplois sont informels, la plupart des hauts revenus qui servent à les payer le sont aussi.

Les approches traditionnelles se focalisent sur les taux de pauvreté et sur les « discriminations des résultats », exprimées par exemple à travers l’indice de Gini ou l’accès à l’éducation.

C’est le cas des rapports de la Banque mondiale ou de la Commission économique et sociale pour l’Asie occidentale (CESAO). Quelle que soit leur utilité, ces approches souffrent du manque de données dans les pays étudiés.

Les enquêtes sur les revenus et les dépenses des ménages sont rares et non régulières, souvent non conformes aux normes internationales ou simplement non publiées

Popped collars in pop culture: Like how the noble classes used to dress and the Rebel types like James Dean and Marlon Brando (and, later, Fonzie on “Happy Days”). They all popped the collar on their leather jackets, creating a rakish silhouette.

Une Reine, assez jolie avec un port majestueux, a un avantage ecrasant a un Roi si elle perfectionne l’art d’etre une actrisse convainquante.

Julia se heurtait au vieillissement: Tout en elle ne travaillait pas convenablement. Et pourtant, il fallait faire quelque chose, meme bruler ce qu’elle preparait a manger.

Julia refusait d’apprendre a se defier d’elle-meme et des autres: C’est trop tard pour les conseilles. Si seulement ils la laissent parler sans comprendre ce qu’elle dit. Elle n’entend pas bien tes questions.

Accumulant trop de rides et felures, defaillance et infirme. son corps trahissait tout ce qui en Julia demeurait tant soit peu viable, palpitant et juvenile. (Mondes ,Mirroires ,Magies par Andree’ Chedid)

A la cinquantaine, le hazard restait jouable; les chemins ouverts, les rencontres possible, l’amour conservait ses chances. 

Question: Hal hounaak wakfat 3ez khaarej sa7aat midan al 7arb? Tab3an fi: woukouf dod al zolm, fi asghar al oumour

“This might not work…” And he did it

 Just about all the big decisions, innovations and perfect solutions around you didn’t start with a 10-person committee..

Seth Godin posted on August 07, 2013 “Oh, that’s just a hack someone put together…”

Just about all the big decisions, innovations and perfect solutions around you didn’t start that way.

They weren’t the result of a ten-person committee, carefully considering all options, testing the reasonable ones and putting in place a top-down implementation that went flawlessly.

[The idea behind Amazon, the Mailchimp logo, the medical approach to childhood leukemia, the cell phone, the microwave oven, ethical email marketing, Johnny B. Goode, the Super Bowl, Kiva, Buffalo chicken wings…]

No, they were the result of one person, a person in a jam or a hurry or somewhat inspired.

One person flipping a coin or tweaking a little bit more or saying, “this might not work” and then taking a leap.

Inventing isn’t the hard part.

The ideas that change the world are changing the world because someone cared enough to stick it out, to cajole and lead and evolve. But even though the inventing isn’t the hard part, it scares us away.

Before you tell yourself you have no right to invent this or improve that, remind yourself that the person before you had no right either, but did it anyway.


Saudi Mohammed bin Salman: Maybe The Palestinians Should’ve Taken The Deals They Were Offered

Or maybe they should stop sucking up to Iran. (Or it is Saudi Kingdom sucking up to Israel and the USA?)

That’s the real subtext of the surprising rhetoric coming from Mohammed bin Salman, the young crown prince of Saudi Arabia who’s rewriting the Middle East script after seizing power in a family feud last year. (And will be dethroned by another family feud?)

Barak Ravid reports for Axios that MBS, as he’s colloquially known, told representatives of Jewish groups last month that while Saudi Arabia still wants a just and lasting settlement for the Palestinians, they could have gotten that themselves.

According to my sources, the Saudi Crown Prince told the Jewish leaders:

“In the last several decades the Palestinian leadership has missed one opportunity after the other and rejected all the peace proposals it was given. It is about time the Palestinians take the proposals and agree to come to the negotiations table or shut up and stop complaining.” (What does he know? Even Bill Clinton put the blame on the Israeli side for failing every peace proposal)

MBS also made two other points on the Palestinian issue during the meeting:

  1. He made clear the Palestinian issue was not a top priority for the Saudi government or Saudi public opinion. MBS said Saudi Arabia “has much more urgent and important issues to deal with” like confronting Iran’s influence in the region.(Saudi Kingdom urgent issues were to finance coup d’etat in Syria and Iraq in the 50’s and 60’s)
  2. Regardless of all his criticism of the Palestinian leadership, MBS also made clear that in order for Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states to normalize relations with Israel there will have to be significant progress on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. (Like what? Palestinians bowing to Trump pronouncement on Jerusalem as Capital of Israel?)

Under MBS’ leadership since taking effective power in June 2017, Saudi Kingdom has aligned itself far more with the West. (Since when Saudi Kingdom aligned itself but with USA?)

Decrees from the royal palace are now allowing women to drive and to dress in something other than black abayas and niqabs while in public.

MBS has opened cinemas in Saudi Arabia for the first time in decades.

He’s either cleaning up corruption or purging dissidents and hardliners, but either way MBS is making sure that he directs public policy for Saudi Arabia for the next several decades, and directs it to come closer to the West. (He is one of the main corrupt princes)

The main intention of all this appears to be an effort to isolate Iran, which has become an existential threat to Sunni power in the region. (As Israel has been an existential threat to all its neighboring Sates?)

Our invasion and then abandonment of Iraq didn’t help in that effort, which is why even the previous crown prince took a distinctly cool approach to Barack Obama at the end of his presidency.

MBS knows that he’ll have to modernize in order to make Western nations comfortable with any partnership for the region, and that the glut on oil markets means that the Saudis can’t simply use energy as leverage any more.

Unfortunately for the Palestinians, they’ve been playing footsie with Tehran more than Riyadh, and now they’re going to pay for it. (Since when Saudi Kingdom funded the Palestinian authority and its public servants?)

Choosing sides has consequences, and with the stakes as high as they are now, the Saudis see the Palestinians as dispensable.

They’d rather ally openly with Israel to keep Iran at bay, and the best way to do that is for the Palestinians to take a deal and get on with their lives. (And then what?)

Unfortunately again for the Palestinians, they still can’t decide what they want, or even how to discuss it:

A powerful but rarely convened assembly that calls itself the Palestinian “supreme authority” meets for the first time in 22 years on Monday, but boycotts and rifts suggest it will struggle to achieve its stated goal of unity against Israel and the United States.

President Mahmoud Abbas is expected to use the four-day Palestinian National Council (PNC) meeting to renew his legitimacy and to install loyalists in powerful positions to begin shaping his legacy.

Abbas has billed the meeting of the Palestinian National Council (PNC), the de facto parliament of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, as a chance to establish a united front against Israel and the United States, after President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

The hardline Islamists in Hamas and Islamic Jihad, both of which are aligned with Iran, have boycotted the event, (as well as half a dozen national parties), ostensibly because its West Bank location puts them at risk of arrest by Israel.

But Reuters notes that three factions of the PLO are also boycotting, in part because they believe Abbas hasn’t been open enough to working with IJ or Hamas. (Over 100 deputies demanded to postpone the meeting for another month to negotiate with other Palestinian parties and organizations)

The event is seen as an anachronism by other Palestinians, a desperate attempt by Abbas to emphasize his legitimacy as the Palestinian Authority leader while being largely ignored by all sides.

The Saudis have had enough. Perhaps Abbas should take MBS’ advice and cut a deal while he still can. (Or delay it for another month for this Salman to be deposed?)




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