Adonis Diaries

Archive for the ‘Essays’ Category

Saudi monarchy has lost its war in Yemen

Its illusory power purchased in malignant medias and with sectarian alliances:

Hassan Nasr Allah (General Secretary of Hezbollah of Lebanon) has manhandled this obscurantist monarchy’s “worthless pride“.

And this Wahhabi monarchy is reacting with virulent counter attacks on any media disseminating the free expressions of Nasr Allah, opinions based on facts that most reasonable person understand and had witnessed for decades, starting in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Egypt, Jordan, Yemen, Lebanon, Bahrain, Syria and Iraq.

Saudi Kingdom started sanctions on Lebanon and a series of internal meddling after the heart felt speech of Al Sayyed

The Arab world most serious descent into ignorance was not during the ottoman Empire dominion, but when the Saudi monarchy acceded to wealth to wreck havoc in the Arabic societies since 1925.

Million of kids are suffering from hunger in Yemen and thousands have succumbed to cholera that affected half a million.

Scores of Saudi reformists are being detained. Head chopping is still the regulation and increasing for other reasons Not mentioned in Shari3a.

Thousands of religious madrassat and mosques are still being erected everywhere, with Wahhabi clerics heading them and teaching extremist and terrorist behaviors to newer generations.

All enlightened leaders (Antoun Saadeh, Boumedian, Abdel Nasser …) have stated that as long as Saudi Kingdom (Wahhabi sect) is standing, there will be no peace or progress in the Arab World.

And this terror mentality (of considering every other belief system other than Wahhabi should be eradicated by death) is spreading all around the world communities via ISIS.

Mind you that the tomb of Prophet Mohammad was destroyed and Al Ka3ba was a target to be blown up until Britain pressured Saud to desist from this objective because its Moslem colonies were in upheaval.

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America’s vitriol towards Clinton reveals a nation mired in misogyny

Note: Hillary, Not only hate people in Middle-East and North Africa, she despise them since 9/11. She read the vitriolic book of Fallacy against Islam, made Bill read it, and carried on the her fury that never abated, regardless of how she tries to be rational and logical.

Hillary confirmed at several occasions that she and Obama created ISIS. They made use of the 1,000 Islamic extremists liberated by Syria President Bashar from jail in 2011 and rallied the Iraqi soldiers from the disbanded Saddam army by the US in 2004 to form a terrorist organization.

After Iraq Maleki PM denied the US permanent military presence in 2014, this duo orchestrated the invasion and control of ISIS of Mosul. This duo are ripe to stand trial at La Hague court for crimes against humanity.

Though, among the candidates in the last decade, she probably was the most qualified. (To be qualified is Not  a sufficient factor to be elected)

There has been much talk of late from professed fans of American history about how important it is to remember the major figures from the country’s political past.

Sure, those statues are celebrating confederate generals who were willing to die for the right to enslave black people.  (Actually, the American Revolution was carried out to defend right to keep slavery system against British abolition of it)

But still – we mustn’t forget our political legends, fellow Americans! So it’s rather intriguing that there’s one part of American history that many people are desperate to forget – to silence, tear down, steamroller and push out on an ice floe: Hillary Clinton. (Yeah, what a tragedy to democracy in developing countries)

Clinton’s memoir about the 2016 election, What Happened, was published this week and, boy, some people are not happy about it. It is too soon for her to be speaking, goes one complaint (reminder: Bernie Sanders published his book a week after the election and no one complained about that).

She is riling up her base and dividing the Democrats, cry others, an idea that is almost sweet in the faith it puts in a book that the vast majority of Americans won’t read, written by a woman who couldn’t even rile up enough people on a campaign trail that all Americans endured for two years.

She is still not accepting blame and that is repulsive, tut other people – when, in fact, she accepts quite a lot of blame in the book. “I’ve tried to learn from my mistakes. There are plenty, as you’ll see, and they are mine and mine alone,” she writes.

But because she points out that other factors played a part in her loss (guess what? They did!), and hasn’t nailed herself to a cross and thrown herself over Niagara Falls, she is a responsibility-shirking “neo-libtard”.

The most overwhelming sentiment about Clinton and her book is that she just needs to go away.

One poll this week had 61% of respondents saying Clinton needs “to retire”, but given that she pretty much has done, what they really mean is she needs to shut up.

Meanwhile, Amazon is having to weed out vicious reviews from people it reckons have yet to even read the book and are engaged in a coordinated campaign to rubbish it.

Obviously some of this anger has come from the right, because there are a lot of people who see no contradiction in defending statues commemorating racism while condemning memoirs by presidential candidates. But it has also come at least as much from the left.

Last Sunday the New York Times asked “What’s to be done about Hillary Clinton, the woman who won’t go away?”. When Clinton appeared at an event back in May, one writer from New York’s liberal tabloid, the Daily News, implored, “Hey Hillary Clinton, shut the fuck up and go away.”

The following month, Vanity Fair, a decidedly anti-Republican publication, ran an article headlined, “Can Hillary Clinton Please Go Quietly Into the Night?”

It surely doesn’t need spelling out that no other failed presidential candidate – including the many who have written books about their disappointed hopes – has been on the receiving end of this kind of vitriol, this determined attempt to silence.

You don’t need to like Clinton to grasp that she is an important historical figure. As well as being at the centre of the weirdest and possibly most corrupted election in American history, she is the first female candidate from a major party in a US election, and the first candidate who was also a first lady.

These factors alone mean she absolutely should write a book, and even if she spent 500 pages writing “Not my fault! Not my fault!” it would still be a fascinating document.

Again, things she warned about on the campaign trail have proven correct, not least the dangers of putting the nuclear codes into the hands of a man “who you can bait with a tweet”.

And yet her book has been bracketed alongside Ivanka Trump’s over-privileged waffling by one columnist who proudly declared she hadn’t bothered to read it, and dismissed as spiteful “score-settling” and “blame-shifting” by others who say they have.

For the past 8 months people have talked obsessively about the factors that gave Trump the election – RussiaJames Comeyvoter suppressionsexismracism. But the one person who apparently shouldn’t contribute to the discussion is the one who was in the eye of the storm.

People have been telling Clinton to shut up for as long as she’s been in the public eye, then blaming her for their bad choices.

When she said in 1992 that she chose to work instead of staying home to bake cookies, voters were incensed. “If I ever entertained the idea of voting for Bill Clinton, the smug bitchiness of his wife’s comment nipped that in the bud,” one reader wrote to Time magazine.

When Clinton was made chair, by her husband, of the task force overseeing the 1993 plan to provide universal healthcare, she was derided as a meddling little woman and multiple news organisations insisted there wasn’t an healthcare crisis in the US anyway.

When she was elected to the Senate, Trent Lott, the then Republican leader, said he hoped she’d be struck by lightning before arriving.

She has made concessions to people’s fear of a smart woman: she submitted a cookie recipe to a women’s magazine in 1992 in penance for her earlier comment. In the Senate, she poured coffee with a smile for men who had openly said they loathed her.

A long-running justification for this loathing of Clinton, one that has been trotted out often since her election loss, and now again as an excuse to bash her book, is that she is uniquely unlikable. “She was a terrible candidate!” go the cries, ignoring the fact she was the most qualified candidate in a generation, who got more votes than any candidate ever, with the exception of Barack Obama in 2008.

What these people are really saying is: “Only white voters matter.” It is an inconvenient truth (to borrow a phrase from another losing candidate who won the popular vote, and yet was never told to clear off when he spoke afterwards), but the only voters who deemed Clinton insufficient were white ones, women included.

On the other hand, 95% of black women and 70% of Hispanic women voted for her. Clinton, we have been told repeatedly by writers such as Mark Lilla, failed because she indulged in “identity politics”, which never wins elections, as if white people don’t have an “identity” and Trump didn’t win by explicitly playing to it, such as by taunting a Muslim Gold Star family and characterising Mexican immigrants as rapists and drug-dealers.

Of course people can argue with Clinton’s ideas. But to dismiss her book without even reading it, with the demand that she “shut the fuck up” is yet more evidence of the misogyny that has always, obviously, been behind the outsized vitriol she attracts.

Worse, she is now an uncomfortable reminder for white liberals that the majority of white Americans would rather vote for a man with a long history of racism than a woman.

For all the talk about how Clinton lost because she neglected the working class, 88% of African Americans, who have endured far worse and longer economic hardship than white Americans, voted for her.

Ta-Nehisi Coates writes in his new book, We Were Eight Years in Power: “Certainly not every Trump voter is a white supremacist. But every Trump voter felt it acceptable to hand the fate of the country over to one.”

There is no justification for that, no matter how much others try to blame Clinton. But national self-awareness is painful. How much easier just to burn the witch, and her book.

The Anomy System in Lebanon has burned all the red lines: New impoverishing Tax system

Politicians who have renewed 3 times their tenure without re-election own all the state businesses and infrastructure

In order to raise the cost of living, delayed since 2008, this class of politicians has fabricated new taxes to be shouldered by the already poor Lebanese.

خدمة لأيّ «ضربيات» صغيرة ترتكبون الكبائر وتهينون الفقراء؟

July 21, 2017 in daily Al Akhbar by Charbel Nahassشربل نحاس

نتقدم من حزب الكتائب اللبنانية بداية بصادق المواساة، ليس فقط لأنه خسر سجعان القزي عضواً في عديده، بل لأنه خسره رائداً ومرجعاً في مجالي علوم الفلك والرياضيات.
لم يحتج سجعان قزي إلى أكثر من سنتين ونصف سنة ليكتشف أن كلاً من أسابيع السنة، من دون استثناء، يضم سبعة أيام، ليس بينها سوى أحد واحد أحد.

وعليه استعان بالقدرات المحاسبية لوزارة المالية لتطوير اكتشافه، فضرب الحد الأدنى الشهري للأجور، أي 675 ألف ليرة بـ12 شهراً، فحصل على القيمة السنوية للحد الأدنى للأجر الشهري، أي 8 ملايين و100 ألف ليرة، من جهة أولى، وعدّ أيام الآحاد في السنة بقسمة 365.25 يوماً على 7، فإذا بعددها 52.17، واستثنى الآحاد، فإذا بعدد باقي أيام الأسبوع في السنة يبلغ 313.07 يوماً، من جهة أخرى. وعندها قسّم القيمة السنوية للحد الأدنى للأجر الشهري على عدد أيام السنة ما عدا الآحاد، فكانت النتيجة 25 ألفاً و873 ليرة. واعتبر أن هذا المبلغ يمثل الحد الأدنى للأجر اليومي، فقارنه بما ورد في المرسوم رقم 7426 تاريخ 25/1/2012 في مجال تعيين الحد الأدنى للأجر اليومي، أي 30 ألف ليرة، وتبين له الفرق، فقرر تصحيح الخطأ وتخفيض الحد الأدنى للأجر اليومي من 30 ألف ليرة إلى 26 ألفاً، متكارماً بمئة وسبع وعشرين ليرة، كافأه الله.
من دون الانتقاص من فضل المخترع، تجدر الإشارة إلى دور معين لوزارة الطاقة والمياه في سنة 2012، على الأرجح خلال تولي جبران باسيل لمسؤوليتها، حيث أرسلت “كتباً”، كان لها على ما روي فضل بثّ الشك منذ ذلك التاريخ المبكر.
كان للاكتشاف وقع الصاعقة. مراجع العلم والفقه درسته وراحت توافق عليه تباعاً، من الفاتيكان إلى الأزهر إلى هيئة التشريع والاستشارات إلى مجلس شورى الدولة.
وانقسم الوزراء إلى فريقين:
فريق أول من وزراء كانوا قد ارتكبوا الخطأ ووافقوا على المرسوم الذي تضمنه، فسقطوا في غياهب الضلال، لكنهم اهتدوا لما بانت أمامهم الحقيقة ساطعة، فأجرهم مضاعف، يجلسون في مقاعد بلكون في الجنة، وهم سمير مقبل وعلي حسن خليل ووائل أبو فاعور ومحمد فنيش وحسين الحاج حسن وجبران باسيل.
وفريق ثان من الوزراء اعترفوا بالاكتشاف المبين فور عرضه عليهم، ويجلسون في مقاعد الأوركسترا في الجنة، وهم تمام سلام وأكرم شهيب وبطرس حرب وأرثور نظريان وغازي زعيتر وميشال فرعون ونبيل دي فريج ورشيد درباس ورمزي جريج وأليس شبطيني ومحمد المشنوق وعبد المطلب الحناوي والياس بو صعب وريمون عريجي.
وبقي فريق من ثلاثة وزراء غائبين عن الحدث: أشرف ريفي بصفتيه، المستقيل وغير المستقيل، ونهاد المشنوق وآلان حكيم.
ولكن الحرص على العلم لم يمحُ الرفق والحنان من قلوب هؤلاء المسؤولين جميعاً، فقرروا ألا يجروا التصحيح إلا بدءاً من تموز 2016، أي من دون مفعول رجعي عن السنوات الأربع والنصف التي استفاد خلالها العمال المياومون والعاملات المياومات من كسب غير مشروع، جازاهم الله.
ماذا نقول أمام هذا المشهد المهين؟
إن المعاهدات الدولية لا تجيز تخفيض الأجور؟ إن القانون لا يجيز للحكومة التدخل في الأجور إلا وفق مؤشرات الغلاء ومستلزمات العيش الكريم؟ إن الأجر اليومي ليس شكلاً مختلفاً لتسديد الأجر الشهري بحيث يكون الأجر اليومي حصيلة قسمة الأجر الشهري على أيام الشهر، بل هو يقوم على علاقة عمل مختلفة بطبيعتها عن علاقة العمل المستقرة؛ فالعامل المياوم لا يقبض أجراً إلا عن الأيام التي يستأجر أحد قوة عمله فيها، فيعمل خلالها، وهي علاقة لا تؤمن للعامل المياوم (الفاعل أو اللفاية…) أي دخل، ليس عن الآحاد بل عن كل أيام العطل الرسمية، ولا تمنحه إجازة سنوية مدفوعة الأجر، ولا تخوله، نظراً إلى تنقله بين أرباب عمل متعددين، الاستفادة من الضمان الصحي، فلا يجني أي دخل إذا مرض؟
لعل ما يجب قوله إن شرش الحياء قد طقّ كلياً وما من أحد عاد يستحي.

Note: I listened to Na7ass on Al Mayadeen this Saturday and he adjusted the dots on the problems

Forgotten history of Autism?

Decades ago, few pediatricians had heard of autism.

In 1975, One in 5,000 kids was estimated to have it. Today, 1 in 68 is on the autism spectrum.

What caused this steep rise? Steve Silberman points to “a perfect storm of autism awareness” — a pair of psychologists with an accepting view, an unexpected pop culture moment and a new clinical test.

But to really understand, we have to go back further to an Austrian doctor by the name of Hans Asperger, who published a pioneering paper in 1944.

Because the paper was buried in time, autism has been shrouded in misunderstanding ever since. (This talk was part of a TED2015 session curated by Pop-Up Magazine: popupmagazine.com or @popupmag on Twitter.)

Steve Silberman · Writer and editor. A writer and contributing editor for Wired who covers science and society. His newest book explores neurodiversity and the link between autism and genius.
Filmed March 2015

The top 10 skills employers look for in job applicants

Friday, 1 September 2017

Tools such as Google Maps and Citymapper have made navigating around the world simple. It’s a shame the same cannot be said for navigating the labour market.

The need for a skills map is growing.

Recent research forecasts that around 35% of current jobs in the UK are at high risk of computerisation over the next 20 years.

To stay ahead of automation, workers will need to become lifelong learners. But to do so, they must be able to identify relevant new skills

We believe that online job adverts could act as the database for an automated skills map. To test that idea, we have built a basic prototype Skills Map using millions of job adverts provided by Burning Glass.

The dataset contains over 11,000 unique skills and software programs. These skills are mapped to occupations which allow us to build up a detailed picture of the latest skills required in a range of occupations, and identify the key changes in skill demands over time.

The data are not without errors and there are still several hurdles to overcome before the UK could have a fully automated skills map driven by job adverts.

But if you’re currently applying for jobs, it still might be worth giving a thought to our lists, and trying the tool.

The top 10 skills for employers in 2014 to 2016

Many of the most common terms in job adverts relate to inter-personal skills, such as customer service and teamwork. Basic competencies, such as writing and problem solving, also feature in the list.

  1. Communication skills
  2. Organisational skills
  3. Planning
  4. Customer service
  5. Microsoft Excel
  6. Business management
  7. Teamwork/collaboration
  8. Writing
  9. Detail-orientated
  10. Sales

Which 10 skills are now mentioned more frequently?

These skills have shown the fastest growth in the number of mentions between 2012-14 and 2014-16.

Several factors can drive growth, including an increase in the number of vacancies for the job that requires this skill, or an increase in the range of jobs that use this skill.

A number of these skills (looking at the top 100) relate to caring for others, such as patient care, mental health, and working with patients who have dementia.

A second group of skills reflect the opportunities and threats that come from living in a more connected world. These include digital marketing, big data, social media, information security and firewalls.

  1. Big data
  2. Information technology industry experience
  3. Contract accountancy
  4. On-boarding
  5. Digital marketing
  6. Information security
  7. Transportation logistics
  8. Front-end development
  9. Patient care
  10. Mental health

Which 10 skills are now mentioned less often?

These skills have experienced the slowest growth, or largest falls, between 2012-14 and 2014-16.

The appearance of ‘basic internet skills’ may seem counterintuitive in an ever more digitised world. It appears because more employers are now taking this skill for granted and no longer need to mention it in job adverts.

Other skills appear because employers no longer require the skill or because they are now using a different word to describe that skill.

Looking beyond the top 10, a number of skill groups emerge. One group of declining skills relates to consumer finance, such as financial planning and mortgage advice.

A second group centres around working with industrial machinery, such as computer numerical control.

A third group relates to logistics and

A final group contains skills that rely on the telephone, such as cold calling.

  1. Warehouse management
  2. Basic internet skills
  3. Materials design
  4. Mechanical design
  5. Advertising sales
  6. Insurance underwriting
  7. Retail sales
  8. Teaching English
  9. Computer Numerical Control (CNC)
  10. Derivatives (What’s that means? In financial jargon?)

 

When a woman took sick days for mental health, her email sparked a larger discussion

How to make digital transformation more than a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow

Digital transformation can often feel a little like chasing the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

As you achieve one milestone, you look up to see the rainbow has moved and that pot of gold is as elusive as the profitability stakeholders seem to immediately expect from any digital activity.

When, in 2010, Transform first started conducting annual research – our Digital Maturity Insights (DMI) – into how digitally mature companies were, we were asking the now astonishingly basic; “Do you have a website” and “Is it transactional?” Several iterations of DMI later and we were asking, “Do you have a mobile strategy?”

Then the industry got used to the channels and tech and began to look more closely at the customer.

We became comfortable talking about user journeys, CX & employee experience, test-and-learn and service design. The number of tech stories we’re seeing every week seems to be growing almost exponentially as AI, voice interfaces and IoT horde column inches.

Yet to become too tech-focussed when approaching business problems is a mistake.

The difference between operating digitally and actually being digital lies in having a truly balanced eco-system.

Tech is important. Yes, the customer is important too. Likewise, the channels you deliver through are key. And, of course, data is underpinning nearly everything we do digitally. But without the right internal employee culture and a well-developed strategy you’ll never be digitally mature.

Being digital on the inside

As with the chicken and the egg, it doesn’t really matter whether customer or employee comes first, the key point is that they both depend on each other.

Yet many organisations are so focussed on the customer, they neglect supporting employees with the kinds of digital transformation that can help them deliver on the overall purpose of the company.

Whilst digital continues to get more bandwidth, investment and attention, we need to move our focus from customer experience to operations if we’re to really benefit the end user.

Our research shows that whilst 51% of businesses say they’re customer-focussed, just 2 per cent said they were employee focussed.

Worse still, 87% said that their employees ‘are not engaged’. It’s a huge concern.

Motivated, engaged employees are more productive and deliver greater returns. Businesses need to be looking internally to drive great results for their customers. Legacy processes and general inefficiencies can affect employees too, so we should all consider the implications of poor digital on internal morale and culture.

From our perspective at Transform, there are three ways companies can drive internal change:

  • Apply a Customer Experience approach to Employee Experience – great design delivers processes that are productive, effective and appreciated, internally and externally
  • Address the organisational challenge – define ways of working that combine the best of IT, digital and the employee teams instead of limiting digital expertise to the customer
  • Act commercially and considerately – manage ‘change’ from the beginning, and treat it as a ‘people change’ programme and just a ‘process reengineering’

With data, size doesn’t always matter 

Most businesses are now aware of the value data can offer them, but many still lack the knowledge and experience to actually extract it.

Billions may be being invested in large-scale tech that stores, saves, organises, analyses and acts on data – yet few companies have seen the promised ROI or clear operational benefits.

The overt focus on CRM and SCV has left us with an eco-system too heavily weighted towards technology, with not enough focus on what we need to get out of data, or the strategy, culture and customer engagement models required to generate change.

In short, it’s all very well creating a giant pool of data – but do you have the expertise and tools to actually fish in it?

You’ll have read that more data will be created this year than in the history of data, but still less than 0.5% of it will be used for operational decision making. We’ve reached the point where smart, connected data is where the value lies. Our research shows that 72% are focused on gathering data, rather than analysing it – and whilst 80% say data is “key to decision making”, under a third (31%) are actually structured for it.

Digital leadership is vertical AND horizontal

Remember when the Customer Experience Officer (CXO) was a thing? We’ve seen the debate about where digital leadership belongs continue, whether it’s with the CCO, CIO or even CMO. That’s not to mention the ongoing paradox of the CDO, whereby most organisations that have one are less digitally mature than those without!

The fact is that responsibility for digital isn’t just with one job title, it needs to be universal across all positions. The role of CEO is key to ensure this happens, as a data leader driving digital across all aspects of the business and getting the most out of their teams.

Likewise – and not often mentioned – is the low-level of digital knowledge at non-exec level. Just 1.7% of non-exec directors in the FTSE 100 would qualify as ‘digital’. Already today a digitally capable non-exec board member can be worth their weight in bitcoin!

The best leaders make digital competency/understanding a key requirement across the entirety of their business, top to bottom. They also put less focus on Target Operating Models and fixed structures of working, and put more on flexibility by design and working across functions. Similarly, empower HR to hire for the near-future and not just the now.

In Summary

The goalposts of digital maturity are constantly moving, and the benchmarks of success often a little rose-tinted. Since we started tracking Digital Maturity, we’ve noticed the shift in what’s being achieved in the world of digital, but also where the main gaps are in companies building a digitally mature, balanced eco-system, where data empowers technology, culture and organisation, channels being used, customers and of course, strategy.

Businesses can improve and re-balance their digital efforts in the three clear areas outlined above, and – as ever – those that do have much to gain; foster an internal culture that’s as employee-minded as it is customer-focussed; hire or outsource the complicated data expertise required to actually grow the business and empower change, and finally, stop trying to make CDOs happen – they’re not going to happen.

In 2017, one thing is clear to us, digital maturity isn’t what you do, but how you do it. It’s organisational and approach-based.

Far more than simply the tech and channels of digital experiences. And it’s data that’s enabling us all to do this more effectively and efficiently.

Emma Robertson, CEO, Transform

Image Credit: Chombosan / Shutterstock 


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