Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘lebanon

About time to close all these fantom associations linked to our militia/mafia “leaders”

The Lebanese citizen is being robbed bloodily. Billions have been wasted on associations to pad the accounts of the political leaders, and that for over 30 years.

Ahmad Mroue to ساحة العلم -صور posted on Fb 13 hrs

يا جماعة بالروح بالدم
شوفو اديش عم ينسرق باسمكم كل سنه من ٣٠سنه.

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Tidbits #1

in the modern age, there can be serious consequences to multitasking. Texting while driving can incapacitate drivers as much as alcohol. Even phone calls can pose a dangerous distraction. Most of us overestimate our multitasking ability, and people who multitask more often are generally worse at it.

Taking on the powerful climate deniers in Australia and USA who have the government in their grip. Right now, they’re flooding Australia with fake news to play down the link to climate change, but as deadly fires blaze through homes, businesses and schools, killing dozens and wrecking people’s lives, Australia’s leaders are under pressure like never before.

Racing cars regulations: New F1 regulations coming in 2021 aim to level the playing field, with new cars, reduced wind tunnel runs, and a $175 million spend cap per team for the season, but there are many loopholes and exemptions from the budget cap that might still put an elite few teams on top.

In 2017, Liberty Media purchases the Formula One franchise and commercial rights for $8 billion,

F1 cars reach top speeds of 230 mph and  can still burn up to 110 kg (243 lb) of fuel during a race, while FE (electric0 cars top out at 140 mph.

About time: rapidly changing accounting industry?  And forcing separation of auditing, accounting and counseling. The Big Four accounting firms now get the majority of their revenue from consulting, not their core auditing businesses. But can an auditor remain independent when it’s competing for lucrative consulting contracts?

The writings of Nietzsche and Seneca teach us about what we can and can’t control.

Lisa Frank began making art at age five. Born in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan—one of the wealthiest towns in the US—she ”was totally a girly girl…. I loved to read, I loved to do artwork, I loved to do anything girly.

Sparkle sells: As a teen, Lisa Frank sold her artwork to Lee Iacocca, the former CEO of Chrysler. She took her distinct vision to the University of Arizona (Frank was an abstract artist, but her colors were just as vibrant as her better-known unicorn folders), where she bought handmade jewelry and pottery from Native Americans, then sold them at a markup back home.

Nitrous oxide is nearly 300 times stronger than carbon dioxide at trapping heat.

How can we preserve smells?  Olfactory archivists say they’re an important part of our cultural heritage.

Our attention wavers to take stock of our surroundings 4 times a second, likely as an adaptation that allows us to focus while also remaining aware of potential threats and opportunities. More often than not, we are actually task switching than multitasking,

In just over two decades, China has become Africa’s largest trade partner, its largest infrastructure funder, and its fastest-growing source of foreign direct investment.

At least a unanimous concession: “The research is almost unanimous, which is very rare in social science, and it says that people who chronically multitask show an enormous range of deficits. They’re basically terrible at all sorts of cognitive tasks, including multitasking.”Clifford Nass,

The term Multitasking has been around since 1970 and I never believed in it: probably we can do a routine physical task with a low level mental task, but we are basically switch among tasks that do Not need focusing and total attention.

“Despite the seemingly strong empirical support in previous studies for theories of majoritarian democracy, our analyses suggest that majorities of the American public actually have little influence over the policies our government adopts.” MARTIN GILENS AND BENJAMIN PAGE,

On average, children ask 9 times for a given item before parents typically give in, according to Kid Food by Bettina Elias Siegel

The US Treasury resorted to 20-year bonds. 50- or 100-year bonds were also considered by officials, as the government tries to reduce deficits that are expected to eclipse the $1 trillion mark each year this decade. The new bond will be available within six months.

The fintech startup Plaid seamlessly connects your bank account to hot payment apps like Venmo and Square’s Cash App and just one year ago was valued at $2.65 billion.

Nike’s Vaporfly shoes are too fast. They may be banned from competition because runners are breaking so many records.

In Lebanon, on est garcon ou fille. Des codes differents regissent les deux genres. Les termes “garcon manque'” ou “fille manquee'” n’existent pas pour devenir cliche’.

Don’t cry for us Argentina: Financial Situation in Lebanon

I’m trying to understand the mess we’re currently in and I have a rough sketch of a story.

As I understand it, when the WhatsApp revolt sparked, Lebanon was already entangled in a twin-deficit problem: budget and foreign, with significant current account imbalance and dwindling foreign reserves.

Before the 17th of October, banks were already pushing for the conversion of loans in local currencies into US denominated loans:  they were restricting capital outflows and enticing new deposits in US dollars at abnormally high interest rates

At the same time, bank insiders were transferring their funds abroad and removing their cash in dollars from the banks.

When the protests erupted on October 17, banks suddenly closed for two weeks without good reason, triggering when they reopened a generalized bank run.

As a result, banks froze all accounts, suspended the convertibility of bank deposits and imposed an extensive and arbitrary capital control.

These measures led to the creation of two types of dollars: one, inside the banking system, being tied to the Lebanese Lira at a rate of one dollar equal to 1515 Lebanese Lira while the other, outside the banking system, floating and averaging today 2500 Lebanese Lira.

The discount value of inconvertible deposits is the cost depositors are willing to incur to get their money out of the banking system, in light of the impeding risks and the political ineptness and ranges now from 25% to 50%.

In his latest rigged TV interview, the governor of the BDL (Riad Salami) opened the door for the “Lirafication” of bank deposits, measure that will be plausibly followed by the devaluation of the lira.

The post-devaluation exchange rate will depend on the ability of the BDL to defend the local currency at a new level of exchange, i.e., the assessment of the amount of net foreign reserve it holds.

Such an exercise is close to an Enron-style audit with fake holdings, hidden losses and off-the-book accounting.

As the country descends irrevocably into anarchy, Lebanon seems to be abandoned by the international community and the economy is grounded to a virtual halt, a shut down, which led to the breakdown of the system.

This breakdown has been a slow-motion collapse that marched for exactly 29 years, inexorably towards its current catastrophic demise.

The date of its symbolic death goes back to October 13, 2019, when wildfire broke out across Lebanon.

At the cornerstone of the Lebanese economy, was its currency system, known as the “convertibility” policy, which kept the value of one dollar fixed equal to about 1507 lira and allowed Lebanese to use both currencies interchangeably.

It was the basis of a system of legalized corruption for so long and is partly responsible of the impressive meltdown.

In 2001, Argentina defaulted on its public debt while Lebanon was saved by the international community during the Conference of Paris I.

We should have learned at that time lessons from the Argentina experience, but unfortunately, we didn’t.

A few details on Lebanon’s Troika of Budget highway robbery

سنة ١٩٩٢، وكلّت السلطات السورية بعض الأشخاص الخاضعين لها بتكوين حكومة. شُكّلت هذه الأخيرة من ثلاث زعماء أساسيين وهم نبيه بري، رفيق الحريري، وليد جنبلاط – عرفوا لاحقاً بالترويكا
وقسمّوا ثروات البلد، وضعوا يدهم على الواردات من بنزين، مازوت، غاز، قمح، إسمنت، دواء، إستولوا على إيرادات الدولة كل واحدٍ بنسبة ووزعوا على بعضهم الصناديق والمجالس، وفرّقوا المال العام بنُسب.
وظّفوا جمهورهم تحت معيار الولاء للزعيم، وعيّنوا قضاة، أجهزة، مدراء عامين وموظفين فئة أولى متخصصين في الخدمات والمحسوبيات والسياسات الخاطئة.
بنوا شبكات الفساد في كل زاوية في الدولة. كرّس وزراؤهم النهج الريعي، وسياسة الإستدانة والخضوع والرضوخ للبنك الدولي، ما عرف بالحريرية السياسية، دون أي رقابة برلمانية جدّية.
أغرقوا لبنان بالدين، ورفعوا في المجلس النيابي شعار “قاعدة الإثني عشر”.
بضميرٍ مرتاح أقولها، نجح الترويكا حريري، بري، جنبلاط، في عرقلة الرئيس عون بما فيه كفاية..
لكن عون لم يقل كلمته الأخيرة.
من المنفى
، كان ميشال عون أول من أسقط “التابوو”(tabou) عن لفظ عبارة “مكافحة فساد” في لبنان الطائف، ودشّن عهد استخدام المُصطَلَح
إعلامياً في مقابلة ١٩٩٧ الشهيرة وفي مقابلة تلڤزيونية من فرنسا في ٢ أيار ٢٠٠٥ بعد خروج الإحتلال السوري وقُبيل عودته إلى لبنان.
حينها استاء الترويكا من عودة ميشال عون وخطابه ووصفه أحدهم بالتسونامي.
ترأس عون جبهة المعارضة بورشة عمل إصلاحية، متقدّماً بمئات اقتراحات قوانين، الإخبارات والمواقف الرافضة لنهج الترويكا وحلفائها السائد الذين كانوا يحاربونه بالإشاعات والأكاذيب مستخدمين كافة الوسائل.
من أهم محطات المعارضة، نذكر كتاب الإبراء المستحيل سنة ٢٠١٠ الذي تناول جميع السياسات الخاطئة التي بدأتها الترويكا برئاسة الحريري والكثير من ملفات الفساد المتعلقة بجماعتهم، محذراً عون في حينها من الإنهيار واضعاً كل شخص عند مسؤولياته ورافضاً المساومة على أي هدر قد حصل.
إنتقدوه عندها وسموا الكتاب ب “الإفتراء المستحيل”. وها نحن اليوم وصلنا إلى ما حذر منه عون بعد استلشاء الترويكا في القيام بمسؤولياتها.
بعد حوالي عقدٍ في المعارضة، أصبح عون على رأس الدولة مفتتحاً ولايته بخطاب قسم يمهّد مسيرة التغيير والإصلاح واستئصال للفساد.
ثلاث سنوات مرّت على ولاية عون والحرب عليه وعلى فريقه ما زالت قائمة والظروف صعبة.
غَضَبُ الشارع انفجر بثورة هزّت جميع الزعامات تحت مطالب معيشية وإصلاحية رافضين النهج المتّبع.
ارتبك أفراد الترويكا:
استقال واحدٌ لإخراج باسيل بسبب عمله الجاهد لكسر احتكاراتها ومحاسبة رموزها، هرب آخر. بعدها، اختبئوا خلف الثورة مستغلّين وجع الناس لمحاولة فرض عودتهم على حصان أبيض.
بدأت مرحلة الإستشارات، تمسكت الترويكا بالحريري، ثم انصرفوا كل واحدٍ في إتجاه: بري سمّى دياب، الحريري لم يسمِّ أحد، وجنبلاط سمّى سلام.
كُلّفَ دياب وبدأ بالتكنوقراط. وبعد أسبوعين على التكليف ومحاولة التأليف تقلّبت الظروف الإقليمية. حزب الله المعني الأول بالوضع الإقليمي، حيّد لبنان عن نيران المنطقة.
لكن هناك من اشتاق لبقية أعضاء الترويكا، فبدأ بالتصريح عن التكنوسياسية متحججاً بالإقليم. فمن ناحية طالب بري ب “لمّ الشمل” أي الوحدة الوطنية مفكراً بإعادة الحريري وجنبلاط للحكومة لحماية مصالحهم واثقين أن الوطني الحر لن يشارك بتلك الحكومة،
ومن ناحية أخرى تأخرّ وزير بري بفتح اعتمادات الفيول، وغرّد جنبلاط ضد وزيرة الطاقة العونية معبّرين عن انتقامهم وغضبهم بعد أن
كسرت كارتيل البنزين والمازوت واضعةً حد لاحتكارهم. كان رد عون بالموافقة على التكنوقراط، وتمسك التيار بخياره نحو الأخصائيين.
فاجأ دياب وحزب الله بري بتمسكهم بالتكنوقراط مهما كلفّ الأمر
الإستقالة ومحاولة إخراج باسيل وفريق الرئيس من الحكومة وضع الحريري، وجنبلاط خارج الحكومة وفرض على بري خيارين: إما وزير غير
حزبي إختصاصي، إما الخروج، وكل هذا تحت ضغط الحليف، المكلّف، عون وفريقه، والشارع.
أما البارحة فأزمة بري تفاقمت، وقام بتصريحات عن إمكانية عدم دخوله الحكومة مستعملاً أدواته كسليمان فرنجية للتعبير عن أزمته تحت حجة باسيل.

Multiple crisis in Lebanon: Afterward of the mass upheaval

A country in such a multiple crisis is no longer a country at all: It’s a collection of futile individuals, considering themselves bigger than institutions, acting like cynical clowns on TV shows, each of whom is looking for personal cover and passing the buck from one to the other.

Few saw the warning signs and now we are in the middle of the tragedy.

The few coming months will be very complicated but what about the afterward of the few coming months, what about the post-disaster era?

If we don’t reimagine another future, if we don’t rethink the meaning of economic, political, ecological, financial and social practices in the wake of the crisis and beyond,

if we don’t reconsider existing values and endorse new ones,

if we don’t agree together and look to implement a new project for Lebanon, i

f we don’t unite (against the sectarian “leaders” and the Ponzi scheme financial system), then we will be doomed to relive the pre-mass upheaval (7iraal) situation.

Can’t go on with business as usual, this pre-disaster with the ones who fabricated the disaster, taking advantage of it and privatizing whole swathes of activities of general interest in an extremely brutalized and impoverished society at bargain prices.

Another economy is possible, another democracy is possible, another social contract is possible,

Another “vivre-ensemble” is possible, another leadership is possible, another governance is possible, and alternative values must be endorsed.

The value of life over the value of money; the citizenship over clientelism; the sovereignty of the state over the joint-violence of illegal arms and money;

The ethical banking over bank predation; the rights of depositors over the profitability of banks;

the responsible regulation by governments over the non-rule short-term financial speculation, led by greed rather than long-term profit-making, that took the overall Lebanese economy to the brink of catastrophe.

Meanwhile, an independent crisis management team is needed to damage control and we must go on with the revolt.

“Never” is the name of my homeland

Note: re-edited the post of October 14, 2008

Neverland Lebanon is ruled by the officially recognized 19 religious sects and does not enjoy a real State or government as defined by the UN:  The “citizens” are practically chattel to religious clerics and feudal lords, and the election laws are designed to institute these kinds of affiliations.

Do you know of political refugees who have no hope of returning to their homeland? Palestinians are a striking example since 1948.

Currently, many ethnic groups have experience genocide and forced transfer and are Not allowed to return and the UN is totally helpless in that matter.

So many colonial powers’ civil wars and pre-emptive wars in non developed countries have dispersed millions of people from their homelands and within their lands and many have preferred drowning in the seas or crossing inhospitable deserts for any kinds of future.

Do you know of members of professional diplomats who are frequently transferred around the World’s Capitals?

Have you ever asked your folks “when shall we go home?” and the reply is “Never!”?

Amelia Nothomb grew up in Japan till the age of six. Her father was a Belgian diplomat.

Amelia loved green, flowery and well provisioned Japan of the seventies.  Her Japanese nurse adored her.

When her father was transferred to China it was the period of the Gang of Four after the death of Mao Tse Tong. This Gang made it a policy to burn all the cultural manuscripts and heritage of China before the revolution; and famine was endemic.

Amelia was terribly nostalgic for Japan; she asked her dad “when shall we return home?” Her dad answered “Never”!

Little Amelia reflected that her homeland is named “Never”.

The inhabitants of Never have no hopes; their language is Nostalgia; their currency is idle time; their Capital is called Slow Death.

The inhabitants of Never are incapable of erecting a house but they worship any kinds of stones.

They substitute stone homes with monuments of love, friendship and writings.

The citizens of Neverland learn from childhood that life is in constant decadence, dismemberment and dispossession.

They know by the age of 3 what 63-year old citizens of other homelands cannot fathom: The citizens of Never are a happy lot because any bit of grace dives them in a state of drunkenness. Kind every minute is a miracle bliss for survival.

I am Lebanese by nationality, but I was Not born in Lebanon.  I was born in Africa and lived there till the age of 6 before I suffered a near death illness (Typhoid). I spent my childhood in a Lebanese private boarding school; my folks used to visit every two summers.

These rare summers were hectic: my parents did their best to convince me that they were my mother and dad. I used to flee to my “home” at the boarding school and my parents frequently retrieved me from there.

Later, I made USA my home for over 20 years of my adulthood (on and off twice), and never visited Lebanon due to the war and lack of money. I finally settled in Lebanon Neverland in 2000 because I got bored in the USA and terribly tired alone.

They say tiny Lebanon is the most beautiful land on Earth because the sayers didn’t travel that much.

In this tiny and compact State you find all the varieties of natural beauty except deserts.

For people living in countries of extreme weather conditions all the varieties of natural beauty on earth are just curiosities, but never feel home.

I figure that if you lived in a gloomy country, darkening weather, No sun for months on, constantly raining or snowing or if you lived in an arid country where fresh flowing water is nonexistent and the sun is constantly blinding and burning hot, then your nostalgia for your country is the more acute and everlasting.

The citizens of Lebanon enjoy unbridled liberty, an adjective that describes the financial capitalist freedom to embezzle.  This freedom in Lebanon is characteristic of a non-government or administration; you are totally free to live and die; totally free to demonstrate and criticize since there are no ears to listen to your complaints or act upon them.

Lebanon, the land of water and no potable water reaching the houses; no public electricity; you have got to rely on private providers for all your essential utilities; for quick results you need middlemen for all public service transactions.

And you pay twice for every facility of what the State is supposed to offer, from your taxes.

When Lebanon obtained its “independence” in 1943, forest covered 35% of its superficies; it is now less than 12%.

Every year many terrible, wildfires, initiated by men,  eat whole mountain slopes: why cut down tree and make coal? Just go there and collect ready-made coal free of charge.

The successive governments never found it a wise idea to purchase a single specialized airplane to put down these recurring fires; and when they purchased one, they discovered that it was Not fit for Lebanon landscape. Heck, we have no forest rangers department.

The Lebanese, in this Never land, subconsciously prefer chaos to order; they are not serious about changing their caste system.

The Never land “citizens” are great magicians; they want you to believe that the variety of their castes (over 19 castes) is proof of their cultural heritage and their sense of openness, but they Never communicate with one another.  

They can be as remote as the Moon in human interrelation. Before the audio-visual technologies a few castes were believed to have tails and a few others corns.

The “Neverland” indigenous can convince the World that Lebanon is the Switzerland of the Middle East; they won the first prize in acting all the dramatic roles.

The immigrants are trained to exhibit to you long faces and even cry to express nostalgia, but they are expert fakers.

This magical Neverland shifts from a glitzy environment to a very conservative climate of women wearing black robes from head to toe within a ten-kilometer drive.  You move from disgusting display of luxury in one location to utter poverty in the blink of an eye within a hundred meter radius.

The Capital of Neverland is ranked second after the city of Anver in Belgium as the zaniest, funniest, varied, and modern location for tourists and offering the best culinary choices.

The rankers never troubled to investigate if its indigenes can afford the pleasures displayed in their Capital. The capital Slow Death was re-transformed and re-built to attract the petrodollars visitors.

The soul of Neverland is endemically melancholic, but its people learned to show off happiness and contentment.

Maybe the ancient inhabitants of Lebanon enjoyed the healthy and frugal life style in its mountain villages but that was decades ago.

A person has to cater for his soul; it is his responsibility to discover his own set of Truths.  The name of my homeland could be “Never“!

This grand Luna over Lebanon village of So7mor

تعيدني هذه الليلة ” القمرية “بالذاكرة الى ليلة اول اذار من حوالى عشرين سنة في بلدة ” سحمر ” البقاعية

كنا قد دعونا الى احتفال خطابي وجاء من يقول إن هناك عددا من الشبان سيقومون بحركة على الدراجات النارية الجبلية للتشويش على الاحتفال ، عبر شوارع البلدة ،

فاتفقت مع المنفذ العام والنظار على ان نتابع العمل ، وحضّرت في رأسي مقدمة تستوعب الموضوع ، وطلبنا من العريف الا يسترسل في كلمته لضبط الوقت والوضع . وهكذا كان وابتدأت كلمتي بالقول :

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته ، والسلام عليك يا بلادي يو ولدتِ وابدعتِ الحضارة للعالم
والسلام عليكِ يوم تآمروا ليقتلوكِ فما متي ولا ارتضيتِ القبر مكانا لك تحت الشميس ،

والسلام عليكِ يوم تبعثين حية بالنهضة القومية الاجتماعية وبالمقاومة البطولية في وجه الاعداء والاحتلال .
والسلام على انبياء الله الذين نزلوا في ارضنا وغيروا وجه العالم ، والذي اسرى بعبده ليلاً بين القبة والصخرة ،

والسلام على زعيمي ومعلمي الخالد سعاده الذي اسرى بي وبالالوف من رفقائي نمشي على دروب هذا الوطن نحمل رسالة الحياة للأمة معلمين دروسا ابسطُها ان الحياة وقفةُ عز وان من يمت في العاصفة يكتب التاريخ عاصفة .

يقول الشباب الذين كانو في الخارج يراقبون الوضع ان البلدة شهدت هدوءا عاما عندما وصلت الى منتصف المقدمة فما عادت تتحرك سيارة ولا دراجة نارية وعم السكون تلك الساعة وان كثيرا من الناس خرجوا الى شرفات بيوتهم يستمعون الى الكلمة برغم الجو البارد والقارس .

في تلك الليلة كان منظر البقاع وجبل الشيخ المكلل بالثلج بهياً رائعا ً تحت ضوء القمر .

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