Adonis Diaries

Archive for October 2018

Notes and comments. Part 251

Note: My previous large file titled “Tidbits and notes. Part 211” has vanished after I pressed Leave instead of Cancel. WordPress,com support system was of No help. If you know how I can retrieve the file, I’ll be very appreciative.

PM2.5 is the technical term for fine particulate matter measuring 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter. It’s the smallest unit of air pollution, the kind spewed out of wildfires, car exhaust, and power plants that burn fossil fuels. It’s small enough to invade human airways and slip into the bloodstream.

Right now 95% of the global population is exposed to PM2.5 levels exceeding the WHO’s recommended levels (which is high any way)—and that pollution has steadily increased in the past decade.

 “Stochastic terrorism?”  Stochastic is a branch in math. When terrorism is added, the term refers to “the use of mass communication to incite random actors to carry out violent or terrorist acts that are statistically predictable but individually unpredictable.”

It’s one thing to know that many young Africans try to reach Europe for a better life and get exploited by smugglers along the way. It’s another to become immersed in the painful story of one such migrant. Yomi Kazeem details the tortuous path taken by one young man from Nigeria to Italy through Libya and across the Mediterranean.

The German brand Aldi has demanded that its Colombian suppliers of bananas drop their prices ASAP—or Aldi will drop them. The tactic could lead to lower-quality bananas throughout Europe.

The notes F and B, played in sequence or together, clash in a way that feels twitchy, unnatural, and foreboding. As Gwynn Guilford explains in time for Halloween, the demonic combo was taboo in medieval Europe and referred to as diablous in musica—literally, ”Satan in music.” But it was later embraced by the likes of Berlioz and Beethoven—and, much later, by Black Sabbath and Metallica.

India’s fleet of e-rickshaws has grown to about 1.5 million—bigger than the total number of electric passenger cars sold in China since 2011—despite little help from the government.

The world’s billionaires made more money in 2017 than in any year in recorded history. A UBS report says billionaires become 20% richer last year.

Seulement en Libye et en Somalie, les deux puissance au monde, le sabre et l’esprit, ont ete’ vaincus

Dans les democracies “equitables”, le sabre et l’esprit prennent la releve: pas de de suite et pas a chaque election

Ces nuits passe’ en souvenir du polissage des obsessions, ceritudes et doutes

Invariable positions in politics should be reduced to the bare minimum: all issues (economics, finance, trade, social equity, election laws…) need to be ripe for community-wide discussions and referendum.

In Middle-East politics, I have two invariable positions, based on daily confirmation for many decades: 1) Israel is our Existential enemy, and 2) Greater Syria forms one Nation with One people (current Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan and Iraq)

Stop weapons sale to Saudi Kingdom warmongers:

Stop the carnage and famine in Yemen

And why Jamal Khashoggi was massacred in Istanbul Saudi Kingdom consulate?

Jamal Khashoggi walked into a Saudi consulate hoping for a permit to marry the love of his life — instead, he was beheaded and chopped into pieces with a bone saw. (Beheaded with a sword or the saw?)

It’s a horrific crime — and the outrage sparked by it could be exactly what we need to make lasting change in Saudi Arabia.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has projected an image of a softer Saudi — while bombing Yemeni children, locking up human rights bloggers…and now likely ordering the grisly murder of a journalist.

He’s a monster, not a moderate.

A few State leaders and multinationals (Not linked to oil and gas) are taking notice.

Germany just announced it would suspend arms sales to Saudi until the truth about Khashoggi is revealed.

(And then what? The sale will resume. As France Macron said that suspending sales of weapons by the hundred of Billions is Demagoguery)

Arms are the world’s biggest leverage over Saudi and pressure in the UK, France and Canada is mounting.

(Beside Saudi Kingdom, Gulf Emirates, India, Iraq and few other oil producing countries, weapon sales are limited to small arms in other belligerent States. That is why the colonial powers persist on fomenting civil wars every where they can)

(Saudi Kingdom has already stockpiled plenty of weapons of all kinds for its own defenses. What is being exported are offensive weapons against the Yemeni famished people)

If they and others follow suit, it could force Saudi Arabia to make real changes — and maybe even push out the Crown Prince (To be replaced by another absolute monarch?)

It’s crazy that it’s taken this murder to make the world wake up to Saudi brutality. But while Mohammed bin Salman has cracked down on dissent and dropped bombs on Yemen, our governments have kept selling him arms, taking his billions, and giving him red carpet treatment everywhere he goes. He’s been untouchable.

Now things seem different.

Even in the US, Saudi’s staunchest ally, hard right-wing hawks are calling for changes, with multiple bills on the table that would impact arms sales.

The pressure is getting through, with media reporting secret meetings by Saudi’s ruling elites to consider the next move.

Our community has rallied against the Crown Prince’s bloody reign in Saudi Arabia time and again. We even got the EU Parliament to support an arms ban — but governments didn’t listen. Now they’re listening. Let’s seize the opportunity to put an end to the devastating arms sales.

Bert, Danny, Risalat, Rosa, Will and the rest of the Avaaz team


Khashoggi death: Saudi Arabia says journalist was murdered (BBC)

Saudi Arabia Considers Replacing MBS over Khashoggi Murder (Morocco World News)

Germany halts arms deals with Saudi Arabia, encourages allies to do the same (The Washington Post)…

U.S. Announces Penalties Against Saudi Arabia for Khashoggi Killing (Haaretz)

Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Litigation

Abigail Rabi sent me this link

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are gaining more attention as days pass. Aside from the advantages that cryptocurrencies have like anonymity and easy international transactions, people are enticed by the fact that it can become a good investment.

Apart from trading bitcoins for cash, you can also use bitcoins to buy gift cards, book flights, and hotels, buy furniture, or even buy real estate properties.

Bitcoin purchases are not taxed at the moment since there is no way for third parties to identify, track, or intercept transactions that use bitcoins.

Transaction fees are considerably lower as well compared to credit card transactions or services like Paypal.

Although there are many advantages in using bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, just like any other investments, you should always be careful with your transactions.

Since cryptocurrency is not regulated, many unscrupulous people have taken advantage of this and incidents of fraudulent cryptocurrencies, and other types of scam related to cryptocurrency have happened.

One example of this is Prodeum, a cryptocurrency start-up that scammed its investors in just one weekend.

Because of these scams, law firms have now been involved in helping the victims.

Cryptocurrency litigation has now become something that some lawyers specialize in. There are a lot of factors to consider when a cryptocurrency dispute arises. Aside from fraudulent Initial Coin Offering (ICO), lawyers could get involved if the cryptocurrency was used to launder money or hide assets; they could also get involved when there is an issue with the company, commercial, or intellectual property laws being violated in relation to cryptocurrency.

Here are some things that you can do as a cryptocurrency user to avoid being scammed:

1. Research. – Just like with any other investments that you will make, research is essential. When investing in an ICO, make sure to read and dissect their white papers to ensure that you’re working with reliable people. Take time to research the people behind the ICO, their whole team, board members, and other investors. It’s vital for you to learn as much as you can about the company before investing so that there will be no unpleasant surprises.

2. Be vigilant. – Cryptocurrency is still primarily bought and sold at exchanges. Because cryptocurrency is something new and the fuss around it is its value, many people get scammed by the promise of unrealistic prices. If an exchange promises incredible discounts or offers that seem too good to be true, it probably is. Another thing that you can do to avoid bitcoin exchange scams is to check the exchange’s URL. If a website’s address starts with HTTPS instead of just HTTP, that means that the traffic is encrypted and therefore has more protection.

3. Only use trusted sources. – Hardware wallet is a physical device that stores your private keys. Hardware wallets offer more protection from hacking since there is no way for hackers to access them when you’re not online. However, hackers have now found a way around that. Some hackers sell hardware wallets that have a backdoor for them to access all your cryptocurrency and the best way to avoid this is only to accept hardware wallets from trusted sources.


It’s dangerous to evaluate others and affirm yourself.

Self-affirmation – apart from self-evaluation – is the beginning of self-deception and the end of self-development.

It’s perverse to give yourself a hand and give others the shoe.

Scrutinize your own leadership with more intensity and frequency than you evaluate others. Don’t beat yourself down. Just work on yourself, more than you work on others.

A little success can make you believe you’re better at leading than you are.


I’ve never had anyone say, “Leaders improve their leadership,” when I ask, “What do leaders do?” I hear things like:

  1. Influence.
  2. Persuade.
  3. Cast vision.
  4. Build teams.
  5. Set goals.
  6. Lead meetings.
  7. Delegate.
  8. Have tough conversations – confront and correct.
  9. Give constructive feedback.
  10. Hold people accountable.
  11. Celebrate progress.
  12. Respect people.
  13. Believe in people.
  14. Recognize and honor people.
  15. Empower people.
  16. Challenge people.
  17. Encourage people.
  18. Take responsibility.
  19. Mentor and coach.
  20. Hire.
  21. Fire.
  22. Promote.
  23. Teach and train.
  24. Care.
  25. Trust.

Be sure to include “Self-development” on the list of things leaders do.


You can do well and neglect self-development.

Natural talent, appearance, fortunate circumstances, and talented team members seduce you into believing you’re better at leading than you are.

It’s easy to be frustrated with others and comfortable with yourself.

Practical suggestions:

#1. Ego makes you believe OTHERS need to improve, but you don’t. If this is you, repeat after me, “I’m not as good at leading as I think I am.”

#2. Be a three-eyed beast. Keep two eyes on yourself and one eye on others. Ask yourself, “Where could I improve?” Better yet, ask others.

#3. Begin your day by defining how you want to show up. Who is your best self? How might you bring your best self to work with you?

I’ll never forget seeing Ken Blanchard taking notes on the front row of a conference in West Palm Beach.

What needs to be added to the list of things leaders do?

How might leaders persistently practice self-development?

Mon cher Ado/Walid. Part 44

Hier , mon vieux Walid , dans le vaste salon de notre église , notre dame du foyer , où l’on recevait les condoléances de nos parents et d’un grand nombre de nos amis , suite au décès de mon frère Khalil , j’étais par moment ailleurs …

Ainsi au milieu d’une foule endeuillée , j’entrevoyais par moment le visage d’un cousin ou d’une cousine que je n’avais pas revus depuis des lustres et cela réveillait en moi des souvenirs qui ont marqué ma jeunesse …

Je revoyais ce jeune homme qui passait ses fins de semaines chez sa tante Bernadette en compagnie de ses cousins et cousines .

Mon Dieu qu’ils étaient beaux mes cousins et mes cousine et d’une gentillesse à foudroyer le diable .

Non , je n’ai rien oublié mes chers cousins et mes chères cousines et ,aujourd’hui , je vous remercie infiniment de m’avoir accueilli alors que j’étais interne au collège des frères maristes à Jounieh , mes parents étant en Afrique .

Ce matin, en écrivant ces quelques lignes , je me suis rappelé le jour où avec mon cousin Fouad nous avions été chargés par son père de protéger les néfliers avec de grands filets pour éviter que les oiseaux ne viennent semer des ravages en leur sein …et dès lors , on passait tous les jours pour voir si tout allait bien , et surtout avec l’espoir de pouvoir déguster l’une d’entre elles qui avait hâte de mûrir ..

Note: last time I saw Khalil was a year ago at Cornet Chehwan’s “Walking Reserve”. He looked in great shape and kind of overweight. He was accompanied by his wife, his son and one of his 2 daughters. I saluted him: “Hi Kiki” (as we used to call him). He replied very seriously: Khalil. We spent a good moment laughing and I invited him to join the petanque game, but he declined.

I was shocked when I learned 10 days ago that he is in the hospital with a terminal cancer case. It was even a greater shock when he passed away as quickly: I intended to pay him a visit to the hospital.

What you don’t know about Hyenas

Rescued hyenas Maximus and Valaria started to become extremely curious and wanted to explore.

Here they are nearly two months old and would fight for the bottle of milk when it was feeding time. Some facts about striped hyena pups like Max and Val!

Striped hyena pups certainly do not grow up in the lap of luxury. Not much is known about their secluded family life.

Young are typically born at a time when food is plentiful. After a three-month gestation, mother hyena finds a cave or other sheltered place to give birth.

Usually two to four fluffy babies are born with markings similar to the adults but without the mane of hair along the back and with eyes and ears sealed; they are helpless at birth, can barely crawl, and don’t open their eyes for five to nine days.

They are ready to greet the world at about two weeks old. They nurse for over one year.

The young carnivores taste their first solid food at about one month old. When the mother or some of the males in her group bring food back to the den, the hungry pups bleat with anticipation.

The pups chase, stalk, pounce, and ambush each other for fun and practice for future hunts. They stay with their mother for quite a while to learn proper food gathering and hunting techniques.

But when the pups are two years old, she is ready for her offspring to leave, and the youngsters must find a territory all their own. (from

Note: Documentaries prove that it is the hyenas that mostly do the kills in the wild and then the lions and lionesses eat the kills when they stumble on the kill.

Image may contain: indoor

Comments and Notes posted on FB and Twitter in Arabic/Lebanese slang. Part 10

Note: These are notes and comments are mostly local (Lebanon) and events in Middle-East. Written in Lebanese dialect with Latin characters and with numbers (2,3, 5, 7,8) representing vocals and consonants Not available in Latin or Saxon languages.

T3ebt: ketret al 7azazaat. Heda ma bi yel3ab ma3 heda. Heda ma bi yelyab ella iza heda le3eb bi fari2o. Heda ma 3endo raghbeh yel3ab sa7: biyel3ab 3afshika le2enno modtarr yefel, wa bi hott al mishkleh 3ala rfi2o bi team al boule/petanque.

Kaasiroun wa 3aajizoun bi hal moujtama3 al moutakhalef, mahma e3takadna ennana ta 7ararna fi al moughtarabaat

Mnarvaz, jou3aan, nharo sayye2… Iza  ma baddak tel3ab min kel alba2, fel, wa ma tsamem al jaww

Bi fout 3al khaymeh. Bi yo23od 3al kerseh. bi rakkez al tarboush. bi 3ayyen 7alo rayyes 3al faree2. Wa  bi oum min kersto bi sou3oubi ta yel3ab 2 boules ta3issaat.

His performance in playing petanque moush 3ala moustawa “7alo” bi farz al laa3ibeen wa al 3ayeet (Kornet Chehwan)

Ya 3ammi, shou mna3mel ma3 Sa3d? Koulou la Sa3d enno western colonial powers “7alabo al namleh” ba3d 300 sanat min este3maar al shou3oub, wa ba3do bi koul: Lah, lah, bi 7ebbo al Loubnaniyi wa baddon salamat wa amen Loubnan

Moustanadaat rasmiyat fi wizarat al Maaliyat (finance ministry)  toukab fi moustaw3abaat  al zbeli: hal wizarat badha al e3laam yekteshef fassaad al dawlat?

Mafia al moteraat (private energy providers) fawtarat $2 bn hal sanat

Kel manssab elo markazo: Ra2iss baladiyye moush mouhemto yet dakhal bil le3b wa ye sannef al laa3ibeen. wa al anka, ma bi ya3ref yel3ab.

Bent tawileh, sort of mahyoubeh, khafifat al wazen, labsi sport collant aswad, mollets au vent, serieuse bel mashi, 3al raaye7 was al raaje3, 7akeh moustadam 3al cellular “7abibteh, on dejeune demain?”



Frustration is the brightest mirror you will ever look into. The reflection is unguarded and unvarnished.

Frustration usually points at people and circumstances. But frustration is also an opportunity to look at yourself, to elevate and expand your leadership.


Your frustration is ABOUT you, before it’s about others.

The source of frustration seems to be “out there”. But frustration is about your strengths, values, plans, priorities, and expectations.

Anger drives you to look outside yourself. It takes humility, courage, resolve, and skill to engage in self-reflection when you’re frustrated.

Frustration and reflection:

Reflect on frustration to see yourself, even though you prefer to see others.

  1. What makes this person/situation frustrating?
  2. What does your frustration say about you?
  3. What do you want that you aren’t getting?
  4. What’s important?

Frustration and judgement:

You’re frustrated with people when they don’t think or act like you. As if you’re the standard!

You’re frustrated with team members who don’t follow-up because YOU’RE great at follow-up. But you ignore their lack of people skills because you’re a turnip when it comes to building relationships.

I get frustrated with the way Doers respond to new ideas. Why can’t they be more like me?

A Doer responds to new ideas with concern, even skepticism. They love to finish what they start.

I respond to new ideas like a dog chasing a tennis ball. What are you waiting for?

I could be listening to people who know how to get things done, rather than judging them.

Frustration and triggers:

Use frustration as a trigger to open your mind, rather than judging or correcting.

Use frustration to trigger curiosity.

  1. What’s happening?
  2. What’s important?
  3. What am I missing?
  4. What makes this better?

Don’t blame others for making you frustrated. Your frustration is about you.

How might leaders use frustration to enhance or expand their leadership?

John Pilger: The White Helmets Are A “Complete Propaganda Construct”

In yesterday’s interview with RT’s Going Underground, John Pilger outed the White Helmets as nothing more than a “complete propaganda construct in Syria.”

Just prior to the 2016 announcement of the Nobel Prize, I wrote to eminent author and filmmaker, John Pilger, about the NATO and Gulf State propaganda construct, the White Helmets, demonstrated to be nothing more than Nusra Front civil defense in Syria.

In yesterday’s interview with RT’s  Going Underground, John Pilger outed the White Helmets as nothing more than a “complete propaganda construct in Syria.”

This was my email to John Pilger on the 27/9/2016.

I have no idea if it had any influence upon the comments that Pilger made during his interview but the fact that such a respected and admired analyst has finally, publicly exposed the White Helmets – as a primarily British-funded, propaganda, shadow state construct, engineered to facilitate intervention in Syria, should be a powerful ally for independent media in their efforts to reveal the pivotal aspects of the dirty war being waged against Syria.


“I am writing to you as a journalist who believes in all the values you have represented to them for the years they have followed you.

I have, for some time, been working to expose, alongside many others, the Dirty War on Syria

I have recently returned from a 4-week journey around Syria, visiting Aleppo and meeting with President Assad, as part of the US Peace Council Delegation.  Three weeks of my trip were, however, as an independent journalist.

My main investigation has focused on the White Helmets, the phony NATO shadow state construct, masquerading as a Humanitarian NGO, an alleged first response unit saving civilians.

I will not go into huge detail in this email but suffice to say that this group is a multi-million $ funded operation with ties to private security firms and to deep state in both US and UK.

Their current funding amounts to well over £ 100m.  This is not funding for 2,800 civil defence workers, this is funding for an “army”. 

Funding comes from UK, US, Japan and EU countries and now Qatar.  This suggests to me an Axis of intervention using these “humanitarians” as a cover for their nefarious military intervention.  Syria is the blueprint. 

If Clinton is elected, who knows what kind of tool this blueprint will become in her war-hawk hands.

At the end of this email, I will include links to the main body of my work, I have compiled them into one article titled “Who are the Syria White Helmets”.

During my time in Syria, I met with the REAL Syria Civil Defence that has been in existence for 63 years compared to the White Helmets for 3 years. 

The REAL Syria Civil Defence is a member of the ICDO affiliated to the UN, WHO, Red Cross and OCHA to name a few.  It is operating across Syria in both terrorist held and government-held areas rescuing civilians.

I spoke with crew members whose comrades had been massacred by the incoming terrorists who then became known as the White Helmets in East Aleppo for example but also in other areas, Raqqa, Deir Ezzor, Idlib.

None of this is being reported and now we are heading towards the abyss of war and this terrorist affiliated group has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

I appeal to you as someone with such standing and eminence in the media world, in the world at large, please would you highlight this story.

If the White Helmets win the Nobel Prize it will bring with it such credibility, not only for the group, but for the entire illegal war effort and US hegemony globally.  The war against Syria is underpinned by the propaganda provided by this group of White Helmets, who knows what they will be used for in the future.

I speak to you as a journalist, one who believes in presenting the truth not a two dimensional version of it that serves only to amplify state narratives….and to further reduce the brave and noble nation of Syria to ashes and rubble mingled with the blood of their people who would never have killed their country to improve it.

Another sovereign nation being torn apart, but Syria is resisting and refusing to yield.  She needs us to stand by her. 

Please help me to prevent this travesty of justice and to prevent what is effectively Al Qaeda winning the Nobel Prize.  

I thank you in advance for your kind attention and look forward to hearing from you.”


John Glenn becoming the first American to orbit the Earth on February 20, 1962. He spent 4 hours, 55 minutes, 23 seconds in space and orbited the earth three times.

Scott Carpenter followed Glenn on May 24, 1962. He spent 4 hours, 56 minutes, 5 seconds in space. (NASA)

By Dan Rockwell

6 Orbits later:

The U.S. had orbited the earth a grand total of six times when President John F. Kennedy announced the outlandish Moon-Shot-Goal. It was September 12, 1962.

Kennedy said, “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, …”


Larry Page of Google is the high priest of 10x-ing everything, stretching further. He’ll say, I’d rather have the objective be to go to Mars, and if we fall short, we’ll get to the moon.” (John DoerrMeasure What Matters)

Set a goal that’s so big that working harder to reach it is out of the question.

Attainable goals make you work hard. 10x goals shift your thinking and transform your business.

You can’t achieve Moon-Shot-Goals by simply working harder.


  1. Buckle your knees AND capture your heart. Goals without heart become brutal sledge hammers.
  2. Build on past success, but don’t repeat past success.
  3. Are achieved by true believers, not skeptics. Hire people who feel the fire of doing something big.
  4. Include sacrifice and commitment.
  5. Require creative iteration. Try something. Learn. Try something new. Adapt. Try again.

Give people a dream that touches their lives and they’ll reach higher than they could have imagined.

What has setting Moon-Shot-Goals done for you?

What suggestions do you have for setting Moon-Shot-Goals?




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