Adonis Diaries

Archive for November 2018

‘Pre-source Curse’ ? Like expecting extra resources from discovering potential revenues

Note: I am pretty sure nobody in Lebanon believed that we will generate wealth from oil and gas. Lebanon knew from early 60’s that it had vast reserves in the sea of oil and has but USA and Israel pressured Lebanon to drop any plans for extracting these resources. Sure, lately Lebanon had undergone plans in that direction (Oil and Gas Initiative) but nothing has materialized in the last decade.

Maybe this a blessing for us because even without oil and gas our environment (air, water, seashore, garbage accumulation…) is already vastly polluted and the pseudo-State of Lebanon is unable to find satisfactory resolution for the basic minimum for our health and the spreading of cancers ( potable waterupgrading sewage network, cleaning our river beds, degradation of our mountains by excessive excavation of our quarries, uncontrolled cement factories...)

Lebanon Seems to Have Fallen Victim to the ‘Presource Curse’

By Sami Atallah, November 2018
A recent World Bank paper by James Cust and David Mihalyi argues that the “curse” befalling states which discover and extract petroleum may in fact be leveled before revenues reach a state’s coffers.
They argue that once a discovery is made—often in anticipation of oil revenues—politicians are inclined to increase spending through borrowing that endangers macroeconomic stability and reduces growth.
This is particularly the case in countries with weak institutions where politicians’ actions are left unchecked.
The authors coined the term “presource curse” to describe such phenomena and build on the well-established concept of a resource curse, which associates oil revenues with lower growth, higher poverty and corruption, and fewer “democratic practices”. (Lebanon fulfills all there predicaments since its creation in 1943)

In reaction to this paper, I was recently invited by the Lebanese Oil and Gas Initiative to discuss whether Lebanon is pre-ordained to succumb to a presource curse.

Although Lebanon has yet to make a discovery, it has issued two exploration and production licenses to one consortium led by Total S.A.
I argued that Lebanon is not only pre-ordained to fall subject to a presource curse but also that Lebanon is already experiencing a pre-presource curse.
To be precise, even before an oil discovery has been made, politicians were active in increasing spending through borrowing and dividing the spoils that have consequently undermined macroeconomic stability since the end of the civil war.
They have systematically undermined fiscal discipline by increasing spending on public wages as a result of largely
1) over-staffing the bureaucracy with their clients;
2)contracting public projects with little transparency and accountability by largely dismissing the procurement process; and
3)issuing treasury bills to close the gap between revenues and spending, often at higher interest rates than necessary.
Not only have expenditures risen at a high rate since the 1990s, inefficiency in the use of resources has worsened as Lebanon uses 25% and 13% more input to produce the same health and education outcomes, respectively.
Such irresponsible fiscal policies led to a high chronic deficit to GDP of about 13% from 1992 to 2016, which is much higher than the 3% average of MENA countries and 2.5% average for countries worldwide with similar levels of development as Lebanon.
Consequently, debt to GDP has reached almost 160%, one of the highest in the world.
This was not always the case in Lebanese public finance.
In fact, from 1944 to 1958, Lebanon had high budget surpluses. Even during the period of Chehabism, when state institutions were created to assume more responsibilities, Lebanon’s public finance had moderate surpluses of 2% to 3% to GDP from 1958 to 1970.
The rise of chronic deficits—and consequently public debt—is a relatively recent development, which is largely associated with the political settlement that ended years of civil strife.
Specifically, the change in the balance of power brought about by the Taef Agreement—which resulted in different political institutions being controlled by various confessional groups—institutionalized a new dawn of fiscal mismanagement.
The political elite saw in the new arrangement—which manifested itself in the Troika of the 1990s and the different constellation of power sharing since 2005—the possibility to extract state resources that are beneficial to them at the expense of Lebanon’s citizens.
While this kept the peace, it came at a high economic and fiscal cost.

Prior to the civil war period, Lebanon had the formal and informal mechanisms to constrain spending.

That is not to say that Lebanon was corruption-free but the public finance management was more effectively controlled by the executive authority, which was entrusted to the president and not to the Council of Ministers as it has been in the post-war period.

It is within this context that one needs to evaluate the role of a Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF).

While there is extensive talk about its institutional design—including its role and where it should be housed—this may not be useful when seen from the broader mismanagement of public finances.
Even if Lebanon adopts an SWF with strong fiscal rules to limit politicians’ temptations to tap into it, such rules will likely be skirted or violated given the broader political and institutional context.

To avoid falling further into the abyss, Lebanon must reconfigure its institutions so they can impose fiscal discipline and prevent ineffective spending by dampening politicians’ temptations to personally capitalize at the expense of the state.

The first step toward doing so is bringing public finances in order, by adopting a comprehensive budget according to which all spending is consolidated (i.e., bringing CDR and other agencies’ budgets together), ensuring that public projects are subject to a transparent and competitive procurement process, assessing the effectiveness of spending, and ensuring that any borrowing is being financed at competitive interest rates.
Although these actions are necessary, they are not sufficient.
The fundamental issue is ensuring that checks and balances are in place to limit excessive spending. This requires oversight agencies and institutions to play a key role in ensuring fiscal discipline.
The Court of Accounts must be empowered to oversee budget spending. The procurement department, which has overseen only 10% of public projects, must have the independence to manage the contracting of all public projects.

The parliament has a key role to play. It must assume its responsibilities—both legislative and oversight— bestowed upon it by virtue of the Taef Agreement rather than rubber stamp the work of the executive.

It must oversee the state’s public finances, force the government to pass budget laws, refuse to agree on spending that is Not part of the budget, and evaluate government efficiency and effectiveness in spending.
In addition to the above, the government, if serious, could establish other institutional arrangements to ensure that fiscal discipline is imposed.

The big question is:

Are the political elite, who have divided political power among different confessional groups, able to self-regulate themselves and avoid the temptations of spending oil revenues or borrowing against the forthcoming proceeds?
If history is any indication, they have failed to do so.
The concern is that these “elites” (mostly civil war militia/mafia chiefs) will be further tempted by the oil bonanza, which will allow them to further entrench their interests in the system and indefinitely delay any serious reform.

Why this petition to release of Carlos Ghosn?

It has been five days since our compatriot Carlos Ghosn (of Lebanon origin, and studied in Lebanon, with dual Brazil citizenship) was sequestered and sentenced before being tried. (Is Japan emulating colonial Britain and apartheid Israel administrative detention?)

The Japanese judiciary, which probably has its own laws prohibiting the accused from having his lawyers with him during his interrogation, has gone very far in his act of vandalism.

Should we wait for Lebanese citizen Carlos Ghosn to be lynched before Lebanon reacts and officially asks Japan for his release?

The Lebanese ambassador to Japan sent by our minister of the EA, could not meet him, and any contact with the outside is forbidden. (The same process that Saudi Kingdom exercised on our PM Saad Hariri?)

He is imprisoned in a 5m cell, a prison that includes detainees, criminals and terrorists.

We request that a high-level official delegation travel to Japan as soon as possible to learn about the conditions of detention of a Lebanese citizen emigrant, surplus, brilliant businessman, known for his great qualities.

Note: This petition is Not a call Not to put Ghosn on trial, but to respect the international due process in legal matters. Apparently Japan has more than one interest in degrading the image of Ghosn:

  1. Japan wants to appoint the  Japanese right-hand to be chief of Nissan after Ghosn helped her out from imminent bankruptcy,
  2. It wants to satisfy USA diktat of punishing anyone who tries to circumvent its treacherous and unfounded sanctions on Iran and Russia
  3. Israel dropped Carlos to the waste bin after he disengaged himself from resuming doing business with Israel
  4. President Macron of France contributed in aligning himself with USA/Israel policies to circumvent the serious internal difficulties in raising gas prices and forgetting to support decentralization activities in his campaign promises, alienating the medical profession, especially the nurses, and generally supporting the elite classes at the detriment of the working citizens
  5. You may read my lengthy biography on Carlos Ghosn on my blog


‘We hope the regime lasts’: When Israel enjoyed cozy ties with Brazil’s military dictatorship

Archival documents show how Israel helped prop up the Brazilian junta, supplied it with weapons and military expertise, and even signed a number of nuclear agreements.

By Eitay Mack

Brazilian police arrest a student protesting the military dictatorship, June 20, 1968. (Brazilian National Archives)

Brazilian police arrest students during a protest against the military dictatorship, June 20, 1968. (Brazilian National Archives)

Just under a month ago, following an especially tumultuous election season, Brazilians elected Jair Bolsonaro as president of their country.

Bolsonaro has been a member of the National Congress, Brazil’s parliament, since 1990, where he was part of a group of vocal, extreme-right back-benchers who longed for the days of the military dictatorship that ruled Brazil from 1964 until 1985.

His election was welcomed by the Israeli right, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu going so far as to announce he would attend Bolsonaro’s swearing-in ceremony in January.

A haphazard transition

Those who long for the era of the dictatorship ignore the fact that Brazilian security forces made hundreds disappear and arrested and tortured thousands of its own citizens.

Brazil served as a model for other murderous regimes, and the military dictatorship intervened in other countries in South America and supported their dictatorships.

It backed Pinochet’s coup and the suppression of dissent in Chile, aided the military coup in Bolivia, helped Uruguay put down internal revolts, and helped coordinate Operation Condor, in which the dictatorships of the Southern Cone worked in concert to eradicate left-wing activists and guerrillas.

Brazil is likely the only country in Latin America that did not undergo a process of self-examination following the dark years of dictatorship.

A law passed in 1979 granted immunity to officers responsible for the junta’s crimes. (The same process in Lebanon after ending the civil war and allowing the militia “leaders” to rule till now)

And while a National Truth Commission was established decades later, in 2011, as opposed to other similar commissions, it did very little investigating. In fact, the commission mostly summarized reports by human rights organizations, testimonies of victims of the dictatorship, and CIA documents handed over by the Obama administration.

Brazil’s power structures, its society, and its economy have changed very little since the transition to democracy.

Part of the blame surely lies with the left-wing and centrist parties that have ruled the country for the past 33 years, and which feared confrontation with the military establishment.

The left’s failure in the most recent elections only added insult to injury: the Worker’s Party, which ruled Brazil since 2003, permitted Luiz Inácio Lula De Silva to run for president from his prison cell, where he was serving time for corruption.

The party changed its candidate at the last minute, replacing De Silva with economist Fernando Haddad. It wasn’t enough to defeat Bolsonaro.

President Obama welcomes the President of Brazil, Lula Da Silva, to the Oval Office of the White House on Saturday, March 14, 2009. (Pete Souza/White House)

President Obama welcomes the President of Brazil, Lula Da Silva, to the Oval Office of the White House on Saturday, March 14, 2009. (Pete Souza/White House)

The lack of public discussion about the dictatorship and the little information available to the public about that period created a lacuna in the collective memory.

Thus, it is no surprise that Bolsonaro supports torture and annulling Brazil’s democracy, along with attacking women’s rights, the LGBTQ community, left-wing parties, and workers.

And yet, to millions of voters, Bolsonaro is not a threat. He is a politician with his feet planted firmly on solid ground—someone who can rescue Brazil from its crises. (Backed by the apartheid Silent Majority)

Dictatorship with a parliamentary veneer

Israeli Foreign Ministry documents at the Israel State Archives reveal that the Jewish state, like many others, were rather disinterested in Brazil’s human rights record during the dictatorship. Israeli diplomats in Brazil focused on hasbara efforts and promoting Israeli culture, and held repeated talks about moving the Brazilian embassy to Jerusalem.

Following the military coup on April 1, 1964, the Israeli embassy put together a document that said the coup “was swiftly planned and implemented, and led, for 24 hours, not only to the fall of Goulart (the president at the time), but also to the suppression of all leftist elements […] Brazil is today in a transitional state that can be defined as a military dictatorship with a parliamentary veneer.”

On June 16, 1965, Aryeh Eshel, director of Latin American affairs at the Foreign Ministry, wrote that he hopes “the current regime in Brazil lasts.”

A cable sent by the Israeli embassy on September 26, 1966 on anti-dictatorship student protests reported that “the slogans are always political and against the regime. There is hardly a doubt that leftist elements are exploiting the bitterness that exists among the students.”

In another telegram sent on December 15, 1966, the embassy wrote that “no one cares what happens to ‘democracy’ in Brazil.”

A few months later, a telegram sent to Jerusalem complained about the difficulty of promoting Israeli propaganda, since “there is no possibility to use student groups in our favor, since these organizations were disbanded due to their leftism. The same goes for workers’ organizations, which in effect no longer exist.”

Brazilian students march against the military dictatorship, September 9, 1966. (Brazilian National Archives)

Brazilian students march against the military dictatorship, September 9, 1966. (Brazilian National Archives)

Following the 1967 war, Prime Minister Levi Eshkol came up with and examined a plan to foment the “emigration of Arab residents (Palestinians) from the disputed territories to Brazil.”

After talks with the Israeli embassy in Brazil, Eshkol wrote on August 8, 1967: “These talks give me reason to believe that with intensive efforts, thousands, if not tens of thousands of Arab families, especially from the Gaza Strip, could emigrate to Brazil.”

Since the Israeli Defense Ministry refuses to release documents regarding Israel’s defense exports, and Brazil has not conducted a serious public investigation into the matter, very little information has been revealed regarding the security ties between the two countries at the time.

The little information that has been exposed points to strong ties: Brazil’s security forces used Israeli Uzi submachine guns, and the National Truth Commission revealed that intelligence agents from the National Intelligence Service of Brazil (SNI)  — who were primarily responsible for torture, oppression, and crimes committed by the regime — received training in Israel.

Looking away from anti-Semitism

According to the documents, the two countries exchanged military attachés.

In 1973, Israel used the São Paulo Air Show to present its Gabriel missiles, electronic devices, and more.

The documents also indicate that the two sides negotiated the sale of Israeli military products to Brazil, among them ships, helicopters, armaments, communications equipment, electronics, Shafrir and Gabriel missiles, aircraft engine repairs, radar systems, electronic fences, military training, and an delegation of military advisers.

Less known is the fact that the two countries entered into a nuclear pact for peaceful purposes. Israeli nuclear scientists went to work in Brazil, and even Shalhevet Freier, head of the Israeli Atomic Energy Commission, paid a visit to the country in the early 1970s.

The first nuclear agreement between Israel and Brazil went into effect on August 10, 1964, just four months after the military coup. Complementary agreements were signed in 1966, 1967, and 1974.

Israeli President Zalman Shazar lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Brazil during a visit to the country two years after a military coup brought a junta into power, 1966. (GPO)

Israeli President Zalman Shazar lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Brazil during a visit to the country two years after a military coup brought a junta into power, 1966. (GPO)

A document dated to December 19, 1975, authored by Gideon Tadmor, deputy director of the Center for International Cooperation at the Foreign Ministry, attests to the decline in nuclear cooperation between the two countries, in part because of the desire of the Brazilian regime to play down its relations with Israel.

According to the document, Brazil expressed “disappointment with the kind of assistance we proposed, which was not exactly what they were looking for.”

Despite the cooperation between the two countries, in June 1981 Brazil claimed that Israel had leaked intelligence on a Brazilian deal to sell uranium and nuclear equipment to Iraq. The Israeli Foreign Ministry believed the Mossad was behind the leak.

Similar to Israel’s relationships with Bolivia, Paraguay, Chile, and Argentina, its ties with Brazil were not shaken by allegations of anti-Semitism, nor by the fact that Nazis who fled Europe following World War II were living in the country.

In 1967, Brazil appointed Miera Pena to serve as the Brazilian ambassador to Israel, despite the fact that both Israel’s foreign and defense ministries suspected he was a Nazi.

In December 1973, Israel’s Foreign Ministry was alerted to the fact that Brazilian police were tapping diplomats’ phone calls and having them followed in order to locate remittances from Brazil.

In November 1975, the Foreign Ministry received a tip on the possibility that security forces in Sao Paolo were planning to carry out some kind of action against the Jewish community to prove a lack of loyalty among Brazil’s Jews.

In its attempt to court Brazil, Israel tried to brand itself as a crucial partner in the struggle against global terrorism, among other reasons, to convince the Brazilians that the PLO was a terrorist organization that must not win formal recognition.

To do so, the Israeli Foreign Ministry passed on “intelligence” to officials in Brasília. For example, Israeli diplomats sought to spread rumors that refugees from Angola were training to infiltrate Brazil and carry out subversive acts, and that the PLO was training and giving support to guerrilla groups across South America (in truth, only a few Argentinian guerrilla groups trained with the PLO).

Israel’s Foreign Ministry even asked members of Kibbutz Bror Hayil, home to immigrants from Brazil, to share their experiences with the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on being on the “front line of the free world against waves of aggression supported by the communist world.”

But were communists actually at the gates? The persistent use of communism and global terrorism to justify the political and security ties between the countries was so cynical that already in 1966 the Foreign Ministry wrote that “according to our estimates, there is no organization that threatens the current regime” in Brazil. (Actually, the earlier Jewish immigrants were communists. That is why Stalin voted for the creation of Israel)

Foreign Minister Mario Gibson Barboza, the first Brazilian foreign minister under the military dictatorship, meets with Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir at her Jerusalem office, June 2, 1973. (Fritz Cohen/GPO) פגישת ראש הממשלה גולדה מאיר עם שר החוץ של ברזיל מריו גיבסון ברבוזה במשרד רה"מ בירושלים.

Foreign Minister Mario Gibson Barboza, the first Brazilian foreign minister under the military dictatorship, meets with Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir at her Jerusalem office, June 2, 1973. (Fritz Cohen/GPO)

Immediately following the military coup, Israel was comfortable with its strong ties with Brazil.

A decade later, however, the Foreign Ministry had a soberer view of things. In a telegram from May 28, 1975, Israel’s ambassador at the time noted that “Brazil’s goal in its ties with Middle Eastern countries is entirely pragmatic, and focuses on promoting necessary economic, trade, and financial interests as defined by the president… these interests necessitate cultivating ties with Arab countries, especially with oil-producing countries.”

When it came to security exports, the ambassador claimed that “influential circles in the top military brass are sympathetic to Israel and have, on many occasions, been interested in forging closer and more meaningful ties with the IDF and with our military industries…

Political considerations make it difficult and in some cases prevent transactions, and the sympathy of the military and the public is not enough to overcome political obstacles.” Therefore, he suggested that “we should concentrate on products whose Israeli identity can be disguised.”

Ties between the two countries began to deteriorate in March 1980, 16 years after the establishment of the dictatorship, when the military regime recognized the PLO as the representative of the Palestinian people and an essential partner in the negotiations to determine the future of Palestine.

That line was reiterated by the Brazilian foreign minister during a meeting with then-Israeli Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir in September 1981.

Cut from the same cloth

Brazilian President-elect Jair Bolansaro. (Beto Oliveira/CC BY 3.0)

Brazilian President-elect Jair Bolansaro. (Beto Oliveira/CC BY 3.0)

Netanyahu was quick to congratulate Bolsonaro on his election victory, telling him in a phone conversation that “I am sure that your choice will lead to great friendship between the two peoples and to closer ties between the two countries.”

Bolsonaro, who won much of the Evangelical vote in his country, said he would move Brazil’s embassy to Jerusalem, while Netanyahu said he would attend the president-elect’s inauguration ceremony.

Netanyahu and Bolsonaro, both of them anachronistic leaders, regularly resort to a “politics of fear.”

The former does so when it comes to Iran or “Arabs turning out in droves to the polling stations.”

Bolsonaro uses the crisis in Venezuela, the LGBTQ community, and whatever communists are still around as scapegoats.

Both delegitimise human rights organizations and left-wing parties and their incitement may end up costing lives. Bolsonaro refuses to believe that the Cold War ended and that there is no fear that communists will take over Brazil and the world.

Netanyahu refuses to believe that the 1948 war ended and that Israel’s existential, political, and security situation in 2018 has changed dramatically.

Eitay Mack is an Israeli human rights lawyer working to stop Israeli military aid to regimes that commit war crimes and crimes against humanity. This article was first published in Hebrew on Local Call. Read it here.

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Mon cher Ado. Part 57

Question d’éducation , ma chère amie , j’ai autant appris sur la vie et les rapports humains auprès de mes grands-parents analphabètes qu’à l’école où , selon les années , j’ai été plus ou moins brimé , assujéti à un régime pénitentiaire qui vous ligote et vous fragilise , mais qui aiguise votre sensibilité et vous permet de rester aux aguets , surtout quand vous aviez connu une belle liberté au cours des années qui ont précédé cet enfermement.

Voilà ce que j’ai connu à six ans , à l’internat, au collège des sœurs , à Beit-Chabab. Alors , on observe , on compare , on se pose des questions…

(Ma petite soeur Raymonde fut interne’ a 3 ans et elle a beaucoup pleurer, meme si ma cousine Aida veillait sur elle. Nous les males, mon jeune frere et moi etait internes tout a cote’ chez les peres Maronites Al Ma3had al Loubnani, maintenant transforme’ en hopital durant la guerre civile)

Puis on finit par se taire , par faire taire le peu de jugement que vous aviez petit enfant . On marche au pas , une bête de somme quoi …Des bourricots !

Et un , et deux …
Et un , et deux , ….
Debout !
Couchez !
Avancez !
Avancez !

Personne ne se soucie de vous . Personne ne cherche à savoir si vous allez bien . Pas d’affection, ni de consolation .

Aujourd’hui , je me demande d’ailleurs si ces deux termes existaient dans le dictionnaire des éducateurs de l’époque ?

Heureusement , ma chère Mimi , que chez les Maristes , à Jounieh , l’Internat était soft , et puis il y a avait les week-ends que je passais avec mes cousins et mes cousines , chez ma tante Bernadette !!!!

De douche froide en douche chaude j’ai fini par retrouver un tant soit peu d’ équilibre et surtout une liberté de penser que je me réserve à moi-même encore , par pudeur .

Mon cher Ado. Part 56

Nous voilà installés dans cette machine volante qu’on appelle avion . A peine assise et la ceinture de sécurité attachée , Amale consulte son iPhone pour voir si des messages lui parviennent toujours de l’extérieur .

Cyril , de l’autre côté du couloir central, discute avec un copain qui prenait le même vol : Beyrouth-Paris. La dernière fois qu’on l’avait rencontré , c’était à Noël dernier , à New-York .

Et moi , comme d’habitude , les yeux fermés , je rêve , au milieu des bavardages et des derniers embarqués qui s’acharnent à fourrer leurs sacs dans les rangements situés au-dessus de nos têtes .

A l’heure prévue pour le départ, l’avion se met à circuler sur le tarmac en direction de la piste d’envol . El là , sans la moindre hésitation , il s’élance à plein régime , avec un tel vrombissement de moteurs que les passagers retiennent leur souffle , et le monde entier reste bouche béé .

On est loin du temps où Dédale avait imaginé , à l’aide de plumes et de Cire de voler avec son fils Icare pour sortir du labyrinthe qu’il avait lui-même construit pour Minos , roi de Crête…

En quelques secondes , le voilà qui grimpe à toute allure vers le soleil , nous emportant avec lui , loin dans le ciel , loin , très loin des ” miasmes morbides ” du Liban qui depuis des années laisse ses ordures s’amonceler , dégageants des odeurs nauséabondes , irrespirables , …

C’était le moment précieux pour moi qui regardais à travers le hublot , ce monstre des airs qui , après avoir survolé la Méditerranée , nous place déjà au-dessus des nuages , éparses ce jour-là , un champs de cotons qui laissent entrevoir lorsqu’on qu’on a atteint le continent européen des bouts de terre , joliment organisés en vue de plantations diverses …

L’homme est capable de bien faire , mais aussi de très mal faire quand la folie s’empare de lui …

Mais pour ne pas céder à la sinistrose , je referme les yeux et je pense à Saint Exupéry et à son ami Mermoz , les premiers aventuriers du ciel ..

Je me revois en train de lire , mon cher Francois , Courrier Sud et Vol de nuit d’Antoine de Saint-Exupéry en livres de poche que j’avais achetés à la Librairie Centrale qui jouxtait notre appartement à Jounieh , auprès d’une charmante vendeuse dont le nom s’est perdu dans ma mémoire mais dont le doux sourire m’est resté intacte , à jamais …

( J’ai lu tous les livres d’ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry)

Me revoilà à Paris dans notre appartement bien parisien , c’est-a- dire , sans balcon , et loin d’être Versailles .
Ainsi , après s’être ressourcé au pays du soleil , me revoilà donc à Paris où on languit sans lumière , dans la grisaille hivernale .

Sans ostentation ni fanfaronnade , Baudelaire , à la fin de l’automne , n’avait -il pas écrit que :

Bientôt nous plongerons dans les froides ténèbres ;
Adieu, vive clarté de nos étés trop courts !
J’entends déjà tomber avec des chocs funèbres
Le bois retentissant sur le pavé des cours …

Et plus loin , dans Paysage , il poursuit sa rêverie en disant :
Et quand viendra l’hiver aux neiges monotones ;
Je fermerai partout portières et volets
Pour bâtir dans la nuit mes féeriques palais .
Alors, je rêverai des horizons bleuâtres

You can’t lead people you don’t know. Knowing others means understanding and appreciating not judging.

By Dan Rockwell?

Humility:  Humility accepts. Arrogance judges and rejects.

Difference frustrates arrogant leaders. Everyone should be like them.

Humble leaders embrace those with different strengths, weaknesses, cultural backgrounds, and ways of seeing, for example.

Humility is the channel of understanding and appreciating others.

Awareness and acknowledgement:

People respect and follow competence. But there’s more. Accepting your weaknesses – something humble leaders do – is an invitation to the strengths of others.

Reluctance to acknowledge weaknesses is arrogance. Pretending you’re something you’re not eventually becomes self-deception.

The first step to knowing others is knowing yourself.

Knowing others:

Influence takes root when others feel known. Enhancing influence includes knowing their:

  1. Goals both personal and professional. If you want to influence others know what they want.
  2. Pressures and stresses. Acknowledge them.
  3. Communication styles. Some need the whole story others just the facts. Some say, “Just give me the punch line.”
  4. Real and aspirational role in the organization. Know what success looks like from their point of view.

The surprising truth is humble leaders gain influence because they know, understand, and appreciate others.

You can’t make people do things, over the long haul.

Humble leaders influence. Maxwell says, “Leadership is influence.”

What do leaders need to know about those they are leading?

How can leaders get to know others?

A few funny stories by Jean-Charles

3 categories de marriages: une, le mari doit la femme a sa fortune, une autre, le mari doit sa fortune a la femme, (et toutes les autres qui sont totalement fous).

Vous etes la femme de Ray Roger? Non, vous retardez de 3 maris

Apres 3 ans de fiancialle, le jeune homme demande: “Est’ il temps de nous marrier?” Oui, mais qui voudra de nous?

A une femme pas si jeune: Vous ferez un riche marriage, quand vous paraitrez avoir 30 ans.

A star was to select an item in the form: Single, married, divorced… “You mean just for today?”

Touchez mon index and regardez moi dans les yeux. “Tres bien. Je suis Martien. Mon sex est au bout de mon index

Un parfum “Espoir” coute cher. “A ce prix, vous n’auriez pas “Certitude”?

Apres la 4 ieme dance, la demoiselle demande a son partenaire “Vous aimez dancer”? J’adore dancer. “Alors, apprenez”

Entre Oui et Non d’une femme, il n’ ya pas de place pour une epingle (Cervantes). (He must have meant a questionnaire with binary answers Like/Dislike.)

Elle m’ a divorce’. Maintenant c’est moi qu’elle cache dans le placard

Dans un petit hotel. “Votre femme a-elle besoin de quelque chose?” “Pour ma femme apporte moi une carte postale

Les femmes, pas si bete, se montrent aussi gentilles que si elles trompaient  leurs maris

Un reve, un reve? Quand je pense a ce que tu fait dans mes reves, je me demande ce que tu peux bien faire dans tes reves.

A cause de toi, je suis a present la femme d’un cocu

Saint Pierre a beaucoup de travail a faire, mais il est coherent. Cinq femmes sont devant lui: “Les quelles d’entre vous a trompe’ son mari?”. 4 levent leurs mains. “Bon, au purgatoire. Atttendez un instant, ammenez avec vous la cinquieme qui est sourde”

“Pour se faire avaler to histoire a dormir debout, tu aurais du epouser une plus bete que moi”. ” Mais c’est que j’ai cherche’ ”

Note 1: This quip is mine.J e veux une fille completement folle: Je ne suis ni beau, ni riche, ni jeune. La fille qui m’ecoutait me presenta a son amie: folle aussi. J’ai le choix entre deux folles, trop jolie. Il fallait que j’ajoute une autre condition: que la folle soit un chef de cuisine.

Note 2: This quip is also mine. Quatre adolescents sont alignes pour leur tour. Le femme dit au premier qui vient de finir: “Faite que les autre ne me touche pas. J’ai senti que je suis deja enceinte de toi





November 2018

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