Pinot Roots and Magnolia Movement

June 28, 2016

Dear Reader,

Greetings and Good Day,

“… Yelp at the moon and talk in tongues , assent to leer toward implosion

Near slumber now, etch precious, beside the scent of the richest of teas,

and bouquets of nomadic autumn ,

Sleep over leaves that are green, and kaleidoscope-vivid

enhance your reverie and tempt the pungent perfume,

of the tenderly-parented Pinot “ Opus in Silk by Alan Reed

Lately some political events were registered in the European continent such as the referendum in the UK, Local elections in Italy and the general elections in Spain.

There were also other issues at stake in nearby geographical areas, the Israeli/Turkish agreement, the struggling Iranian economy and the ramifications of the Syrian crisis in neighboring countries (Jordan/Lebanon and Iraq).  We can add also the penned letter of apology from Erdogan to Putin.

While politics in the European Continent in tandem with the US primaries do confirm a structural major crisis of the liberal order, and a reference can be the Middle Income gap, http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-06-27/get-ready-to-see-this-globalization-elephant-chart-over-and-over-again , pervasive global debt be it Italian , Greek , Portuguese , Japanese , Chinese or Venezuelan reiterate the necessity to renovate international institutions to face the new modern challenges. A reference to the Bond markets situation can be checked http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-06-26/the-100-trillion-bond-market-s-got-bigger-concerns-than-brexit

Western architecture requires re-elaborating and rethinking the harmony of the international system. New ideas can be to call for the first edition of a G 12, to include European founders, China, Japan, India, Russia and the US, where the subject of debates will be, Refugees, Crisis, International Trade and Navigation. Two entities need to be created; one is the International Private Assets Agency under BASEL supervision. (It will find the nexus between private wealth concentration and other system metrics and propose policies to adjust), and secondly a Migration & Conflicts Affairs Center to be located in Beirut elevating the Refugees Convention into a parameter for world growth and peace.

“We human beings are communitarian beings in essence; as we genuinely thrive to the extent that we are bound with fellow human beings in solidarity and trust.”
As Pearl Buck says “When the novelist begins to make shapes and styles and techniques and new schools, then he/she is like a ship stranded upon a reef whose propeller, whirl wildly as it will, cannot drive the ship onward. Not until the ship is in its element again can it regain its course.”

Isn’t the Ship’s element , the human dimension within an international system of evolving workable rules and regulations, where methods and sources are dedicated to the well being of global citizens?.

There is a point here and I would recommend to the Financial masters of the Universe, to evolve Bretton Woods from merely an expression and tool of Western primacy (containment, pivot, global strike, reset, Quantitative easing, etc…) into a Pinot Roots International Conference that will propose and put in place a new mechanism of global governance not only monitored by Bankers but also by others having at heart the global harmony not selfish greed alone.

The New Liberal Order from Bretton Woods to Pinot Roots, will lead to the Creation of new international agencies and the reinforcement of the Western geopolitical architecture, where Russian neutrality will be the custodian of the Matryoshka Order, and where the Chinese integration with the liberal order will be best expressed through the hermetic and heavenly closure of Pandora’s box, after bringing in it all mythical evils which were released previously.

The positive note about the structural global crisis is that it will enable the majority of handful private assets parked in overseas safe heavens, to be redistributed to safeguard global interests by diminishing instability and social tensions, in respect of geopolitical necessities.

This singular international opportunity is a sounding alarm for Lebanon,  a nation without a state hosting a tremendous amount of refugees.

Lebanon needs to move forward and approve the electoral law, immediately, no ifs or buts. The principle is that a proportional system in absence of the Senate is not accepted by the sectarian interests as much as the Orthodox draft will not be accepted by the Secular. Both social forces are intertwined and must coexist in peace to proceed.

The compromise is the mixed law, as per following link https://thinkingdice.wordpress.com/2016/06/17/the-electoral-law-for-lebanon-by-the-lebanese-opposition/

and to be frank, Lebanese politicians who are in charge today must realize that time is short and they need to act or else they will be totally responsible for the outcome of the future mess they will be unable to manage. Talal Arslan, Nabih Berri, Tammam Salam, Saad Hariri, Sejean Azzi, Mohammad Raad, and all the rest of corrupt and failed elite,  have two options : either to resign or to approve the mentioned draft law by the end of August, and call for general elections within an acceptable time frame by the end of February 2017.

International opposition and popular forces need to contest the Leaning Financial Empire and rethink the pillars of international cooperation; however this should not become populist and racist, rather reflect a spirit of solidarity AND HUMAN TRUST.

The convergence of purposes and means between international and local actors will support the idea of peaceful rotation of power in Lebanon, where opposition forces will create a magnolia movement to express governance.

Under the Magnolia banner all candidates, individuals, lists, parties etc,, will ally and run for shared governance, security , legality, justice and reforms , towards the third Lebanese Republic, as alternative to the second Republic of despair , demise and inertia.

International Pinot Roots and Lebanese Magnolia Movement are liberal expressions.

“…No more untamed, no more so free,
Nor so young, nor so wild and aflame were we.
Dearer to us grew other things:
Easy sleep, books, a day’s quiet holiday,
Good talk beside a fire, the beauty of old face …” Magnolia Tree Poem

Thank you ,

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The Electoral Law for Lebanon , by The Lebanese Opposition

June 17, 2016

Dear Reader,

Greetings and Good Day,

Considering the actual Lebanese stalemate and the surrounding dangerous geopolitical environment, it is a major priority for the Lebanese Opposition and all the components of the Lebanese civil society, to unite behind a common electoral denominator which is widely representative and carries in it the germs of fairness and modernity.

We all know that the collective Lebanese effort to gain independence and build a nation/state had major limits since 1920. In truth we all failed in the First republic to spur into the state that we were gifted, significant metrics in governance, decency and sovereignty. Corruption and dilettantism were rampant.

We failed again since the Second Republic was instated in 1990 to achieve a reconstruction of hearts and minds that would accompany the civil society into modernity. Lebanese Politicians extracted from the sectarian communities, played into divisions, to rampage the state, mismanage resources, funnel capital, embezzle funds, build followers, disrupt the finances, diminish sovereignty, augment the national debt and erase citizens. The actual elite in power, is a dangerous mafia that represents a major threat to the national security and to the Lebanese independence. Not the least they pursue stubbornly through an illegitimate dialogue committee, several picnic meetings, where settings of flowers center the main table of the conference, without any tangible result. Unhappy with their wrongdoing the elite of failed politicians, is keeping distant the true representatives of the people, such as syndicates, entrepreneurs, students , artisans, independents and others from being engaged in such a primary national issue, the electoral law.

Lebanon, where the state lacks behind the extraction of its own resources from the Mediterranean, the national edifice is severely damaged and all risks converge by telling that the actual second republic is heading to its own demise. One can demur but unless we make a proposal, clarity is affected and gloom abundant.

Let us take some facts and numbers into consideration. Lebanon has no president, yet it has 21 acting ministers and 3 resigned , 128 members of parliament, 2 main levels of administrative divisions, the Muhafazat counting also BAALBECK/HERMEL and AKKAR; and 27 CAZAS (QADA’A) with Beirut the capital.
Lebanon has approximately 3.400.000 registered voters, about 2.300.000 million refugees, and it has 1.1 Lebanese who emigrated in each four families. The highest birth rate is in the north and the highest death rate in the BEKAA, it is thought that illiterate residents (less than 7 years of school) still account for approximately 400.000.

Lebanon has about 1120 municipalities and approximately 1500 villages; it has thousands of public officials and employees, ranging from politicians, to armed forces (Army, FSI, GS, Intelligence, Customs, etc.) firemen, central bank employees, public officials in ministries including diplomats and social security, semi governmental institutions such as OGERO, MEA, Green Project, airports, ports, and public schools accounting for more than 220,000 people which on an average of 1 to 4, they interrelate to approximately 900.000 Lebanese citizens in excess.

Lebanon has hundreds of private industries and independent firms, a significant number of lawyers, doctors, engineers, beauty salons, small bakeries, Security agencies, landlords cultivating their lands, a flourishing banking sector employing more or less 80.000 people, a builder/construction and real estate big dimension, and a dynamic jewelry sector employing hundreds of citizens.
The trade sector, Private Hospitals, and the tourism sector (including hotels, restaurants, beaches and travel companies ) most likely account for much of the consumer spending and the national GDP with thousands of employees also. Although unfortunately these are in the midst of a major crisis. Hence the private sector more or less has to do with approximately 900.000 Lebanese citizens in excess. The state here is totally absent if not for tax collection.

Lebanon has also immersed traffics based on smuggling drugs, arms, cars, luxurious items, black markets, money laundering; and these generate illegal income for an unknown number of citizens. And yet the majority of the Lebanese and other residents are living under very tough social conditions and simultaneously the country is politically witnessing a vertical division.

In truth the nation is delineated following two divergent notions; in turnout fewer than 50 % in the latest 2009 elections, and in the number of confessional registered voters almost equivalent in number. Sense making indicates that electoral redistricting  in a new electoral law will not modify the fragile Lebanese equilibrium per se’, unless it will be coupled to a change in minds, where good governance will mean above all accountability and it will respond to a functioning representation.

Obviously Lebanon cannot move forward forever with unity cabinets or technocrat cabinets or other denominations, avoiding any kind of effective delivery of services and upgrade of the state structures and/or infrastructures and reforms. The rule of profiteers and corrupted elite cannot substitute the rule of law and order.

Law 25, adopted in September 2008, is the Law on the Election to the Chamber of Deputies. The adoption of Law 25 followed a three-year campaign for electoral reform, which included the work of the National Commission for Electoral Law (headed by late former minister, Fouad Boutros) which had prepared a draft election law that proposed a new electoral system and important technical improvements to the electoral process. Law 25 is Lebanon’s fourth law since 1990. As widely expected after the parliamentary elections on 7 June 2009, there is a continued push for a new electoral system and for the adoption of key measures to protect secrecy of the ballot, and the establishment of an independent election administration, that will not necessarily take over from the interior ministry rather to act in unison.

The draft law of Late Fouad Boutros is based on a mixed electoral system with proportional representation which is introduced in parallel to the majority system with dual districting. It recommends among several topics; an independent electoral commission to oversee the elections; regulation of campaign spending; regulation of Media coverage of election campaigns; holding the entire national elections on one day; encouraging women candidacy by introducing a women’s quota on candidates’ lists,  and deadlines for candidate and list registration.

In a fine tuning of the proposed electoral system, of the late Fouad Boutros, The Lebanese Opposition suggests that Members of Parliament are voted for as follows:60 Members are elected by voters in each Qada via the majority system ( M) and 68 Members are elected by voters in each Muhafaza via the proportional system (PR).

Electoral Districts and allocation of Seats for all Lebanon will become: North Lebanon 28 seats divided into 12 majority system (M) and 16 proportional (PR )

Northern Mount Lebanon 16 seats divided into 7 majority system (M) and 9 proportional (PR);

Beirut   19 seats divided into 9 (M) and 10 (PR);

Southern Mount Lebanon 19 seats divided into 10 (M) and 9 (PR);

South Lebanon& Nabatieh 23 seats divided into 10 (M) and 13 (PR);

Bekaa & Baalbek/ Hermel  23 seats divided into 12(M) and 11 (PR);

( the division between M and PR respects a simple concept where PR will have always a  preference) ); intakes per caza can be further detailed and these are very simple for intuition (please refer below for examples of the North and Beirut).

The national list will be on a 3 Lebanon concept as it will represent 3 geographic areas/lists/tickets of about 1.1 million voters each. The first will include Akkar, Minieh Dinnieh, Tripoli, Zgharta, Koura, Batroun, Bcharre’ and Baalbeck Hermel totaling 21 seats for parliament, very much balanced in sects and confessions. The second will include Jbeil, Kesrouan, Metn, Baabda, Aley , Chouf and Beirut 1,2,3  totaling 28 very much balanced in confessions . Finally the third will include Zahle’, West Bekaa, Rashaya, Jezzine, Saida, Bint Jbeil, Zaharani, Nabatye, Tyre, Hasbaya Marjayoun totaling 19 , much about the same balance.

There will be also other limits on the age of candidates, where the Qadaa can accept candidates up to 60 years, while the national list can allow candidates up to 65. In counting the votes in the Mouhafaza a proportional system of remainder will be respected and a threshold of 7 % of total voters SUMMING UP the 3 areas will enable admission of lists/parties/entities/movements to the parliament on a national level.

In dissecting the national accord of TAEF, we all agree about the constitutional achievements of the ten sovereign points, yet we all disagree on the practical steps to express governance and guidance, and this is the front door to the third republic.

Following the general elections we need not forget to call on Beirut 1 conference for dialogue as per the constitution, and introduce true reforms paving the way for Millennial to bridge the gap with the institutions. Among these reforms are, limiting the speaker to maximum two mandates during life time, limits to the PM power in concert with the executive power harmony, reviving the option to dissolve the parliament in case of deadlock, to be introduced in tandem to the creation of the Vice president post who will be the custodian of presidential powers until a president is elected. A close time table will be set to define the defense strategy and find the formula where non state actors will be included in the state.

Time is ripe for a new mixed electoral law to be approved by Mid September and elections to be called anytime starting 02 October up to end of February the latest.

My forecast is an absolutely new parliament full of energy and dynamism, all talents for Lebanon.

Wish all candidates luck, and above all I wish success and victory to all candidates and lists running under the banner of The Lebanese Opposition.

Vinca il Migliore .

Thank You,

For reference

http://policylebanon.org/Modules/Ressources/Ressources/UploadFile/8055_24,08,YYboutrosdraftguideen.pdf

https://www.ifes.org/sites/default/files/ifes_lebanon_esb_paper030209_0.pdf

https://thinkingdice.wordpress.com/2016/02/19/strategic-white-paper/

http://www.crisisgroup.org/~/media/Files/Middle%20East%20North%20Africa/Iraq%20Syria%20Lebanon/Lebanon/160-lebanon-s-self-defeating-survival-strategies.pdf

(North Lebanon seats total 28

e.g. Tripoli 4 M ( Sunni 2 Alawi 1 G Orthodox 1)  4 PR ( sunni 3 maronite 1) Total 8

Minnieh / Danniye 1 M ( Sunni)  2 PR ( Sunni)  Total 3

Akkar*      3 M ( Greek Orthodo 1 Sunni 1 Maronite 1)  4 PR ( Sunni 2 Alawite 1 Greek Orthodox 1) Total 7

Zghorta    1 M  ( Maronite 1)   2 PR ( Maronite 2 )  Total 3

Becharre     1 M ( Maronite )  1 PR ( Maronite )  Total 2

Batroun   1 M ( Maronite ) 1 PR ( Maronite)  Total 2

Koura 1 M (Greek Orthodox) 2 PR (Greek Orthodox) Total 3 )

Beirut seats total 19 divided into 9 majority system (M) and 10 proportional (PR)

District 1 will have 5 M ( Greek Catholic 1 , Armenian Orthodox 2 , Greek Orthodox 1, Maronite 1 ) , District 2 will have 2 M (  Sunnis 2),and District 3 will have 2 M ( Sunnis 2),  while the 10 Proportional to be voted on the same list/movement in the area 2 will be ( Minorities 1, Armenian Orthodox 1, Sunni 2 , Greek Orthodox 1, Armenian Catholic 1, Shiite 2 , Druze 1 , Evangelical 1).

 

 


Contest the leaning empire

June 11, 2016

Dear Reader,

Greetings and Good Day,

“A convention, in the sense of a meeting, is a gathering of individuals who meet at an arranged place and time in order to discuss or engage in some common interest. “ WIKIPEDIA

In one of the questions posted on the website of the US national intelligence council (NIC) related to global trends 2035 expected to be announced by the end of 2016, https://www.dni.gov/index.php/about/organization/national-intelligence-council-global-trends

The authors seek contributors to join the conversation by inquiring the following: Which currently unresolved questions or uncertainties regarding society, economy, and politics are likely to be most game-changing through 2035?

By contrast in the US Naval Institute “Naval Aviation Vision 2016/2025” document of 84 pages, published yesterday, https://news.usni.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Naval_Aviation_Vision.pdf#viewer.action=download

One of the key phrases of the summary is: “ Naval Aviation is an in-demand force that serves essential, unique roles around the globe, often serving as the nation’s first line of defense far from our shores”.

 

Where is the nexus between the questions of the NIC and the summary of the Naval Institute? Isn’t it that who resides in the White House from 2017 to 2025 definitely will determine the major effect and governance to world affairs?

Uncertainties regarding society, economy and politics coupled to the pillars of the Navy capability, readiness and capacity are exactly the defining moment of tomorrow. Will the Leaning Empire fall?

In our present day, geopolitical imperatives prevail, East Europe represents the earth heart land, and the first chain of islands in the East and South China Sea represent the first circumference of maritime free navigation. Maneuvers in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Sweden, Finland, Xinjinag, Fardana Valley, Indian Ocean Islands, Middle East, Spratly Islands, Kuril Islands, African continent and South American Continent, all converge in the game of world dominance.

After the major world wars, the West and its secret societies (Trilateral, Bildebergers who will close their meeting in Dresden tomorrow, Free Masons etc…) managed to put forward an architecture regulating differences between sovereign nation/states, while it conspired simultaneously to concentrate wealth in the hands of few. The truth is that private assets of some citizens/corporate exceed the United States national assets in tandem to other developed economies such as China, Italy, Japan, Britain, Russia , Saudi Arabia etc..

Where few Individuals succeed in advancing their own interest in greed and assets accumulation, by controlling currencies, by coup d’état, or fomenting global disorder, driving inequality in a masquerade of higher education and dispersed sanity for all, increasing the gap between the communities and the institutions and by military expenses; central banks become instruments for devising policies that will pay off for few and deteriorate the common interests of entire collectivities.

While it is true that rising powers and nuclear powers can challenge the status quo and generate a mechanism of change that might reveal absurdly worse for the global benefit and for the cause of peace, it is also true that few western corporations went very far in the control of resources.

This is the case to elect an enlightened US president irrespective of gender, color or race, a president that will walk the walk to righting the excesses of trillions of US dollars in private assets accumulated by public quantitative easing applied by the FED, BOE, BOJ, BOC and the ECB.

From the strategic prism there is no difference between Trump, Clinton and Sanders, as they will all work for the best interest of the global geopolitical and naval environment, yet from the social prism which will affect immensely the contours of the decade ahead the difference is sharp and unbridgeable. Therefore the case is for Bernie Sanders to proceed and contest in the democratic convention in Philadelphia the nomination as per the best democratic tradition where public audiences can be the platform to redress the leaning angle of the empire.

Until the convention at Wells Fargo , Sanders needs to perfect a plan where at least 5 to 8 trillion dollars will be shifted and diverted from private assets back to public governance during a period of 7 years in order to improve the standing of the edifice of world governance.

The battle will be epic between masons pushing the leaning empire to fall and liberal progressives straightening it out and stabilizing it.

From Beirut where I stand I see the priority as an intellectual action to shift trillions back to the families as this will elevate the long term outlook of prosperity.

From Beirut I call for the unity of the Lebanese civil society behind the option of the mixed electoral draft law introduced by late Fouad Boutros within big electoral districts, as a primary step to enlist national candidates sponsored by the myriad of Lebanese protest movements and by Beirut Madinati (BM), operating under the same banner and umbrella of the Lebanese Opposition.

Ultimately it is by widening representation and perfecting democracy that aspirations can behold.

“To confront these issues, we, along with many others, have proposed possible initial steps, such as establishing a guaranteed income, the right to global citizenship, and a process of the democratic re-appropriation of the common.” http://www.adbusters.org/article/michael-hardt-antonio-negri/

Thank You,

 


Open Letter to the Lebanese Civil Society in general and to Beirut Madinati in particular .

June 4, 2016

Dear Reader,

Greetings and Good Day,

This is an Open Letter to the Lebanese Civil Society in general and to Beirut Madinati in particular .

“Novit paucos secura quies,qui velocis memores aevi tempora numquam reditura tenent.
Dum fata sinunt, vivite laeti. properat cursu vita citato volucrique die rota praecipitis vertitur anni;”  Known to but few is untroubled calm, and they, mindful of time’s swift flight, hold fast the days that never will return. While the fates permit, live happily; life speeds on with hurried step, and with winged days the wheel of the headlong year is turned.  “Seneca” Hercules Furens.

Along a surrounding fire in the Middle East, without doubt Lebanon is living on fate, although the wheel of the winged days may alter significantly the regional formula. Do we Lebanese have the luxury to stand idle, opening up to hospitality without recurring to infrastructure, education and to planning? Of course not, is the simplest and shortest answer.

In many months of activism and years of commitment to causes, finally the municipal elections held recently, represented a light that came out of a sudden, to shake the dead corpus of Lebanese Politicians and awaken their instincts of survival.  Where potentates of corruption, mafia don’s, non state actors and failed sectarian elite, stood fast and resisted the wind of secular change; undoubtedly the maneuver of valor emerged from beneath the civil society as a whole in its widespread mushroom independent movements. And in the brave attempt of Beirut Madinati (BM) to shake and break the political stalemate in the specifics. .

In a difficult international geopolitical environment where Job creation is relenting in advanced economies, capital outflow is increasing from the rising Asian power, and European reliance on conservative energy is changing irreversibly, one can only act to grasp every opportunity to cement the democratic stability of her/his nation/state.

We all know that Lebanese Diaspora remittances are supporting the Lebanese banking system deposits on a yearly basis, which by extension are sustaining the sovereign national debt financing. This bleak equation is servicing the labor productivity on the plate of the thieves and robbers. Profiteers of the republic will attempt to replicate the momentum, by producing a tailor made electoral law that will fit their own interest, while the novices of BM didn’t make up their mind yet if to fight back, to proceed or to stay entangled, buoyed or seized.

Where is Jad Chaaban ? Why he doesn’t appear to assume national command of the opposition and ask Indiegogo supporters to increase their financial effort by explaining the next step in state building?  indeed the contours of the electoral law are the activism new frontier.

Where is Nadine Labaki ? Why doesn’t she follow up on her beautiful commencement speech and lead the lists of Beirut in the upcoming parliament elections?

Where are the lovers and visionaries of the third republic, a reformed state for all its citizens? Let all of them focus, including agitators and non consequential “ultra-gaucheness”.

As in Singapore, Asian powers just discussed the South China Sea Affairs, NATO leaders will gather soon in June to debate European Security, a layer depending on Britain’s commitment and on zeroing refugees at their home origin.

Where the Syrian quagmire reflects a deepened international deadlock, hopefully early elections will be called for in Israel to pick up a new PM, who is a true believer in free speech even within military ranks.

But most important is that various international powers concord that Lebanon needs to approve a mixed electoral law and hold its own general elections by Mid October the latest.

This is the pledge and step that will keep expectations high and will move forward world affairs, it is in the best Lebanese interest to go on a republican transition after the general elections and elect a modern president capable with the new parliament to transform the state from an association for delinquency into a polity of education, innovation, services and representation.

“The Fates are pressing, already sight fails, the mind remains victorious, and the great work is completed.” Jean Duvet, a French goldsmith, engraver.

Thank You,