Secret Societies & International Clubs – 1 of ??

In an attempt to shed light on the not-so-well-known side of civil society in the world and to give a different perspective of who are the “players” on the field in our community I will be writing a series of small posts about the various secret societies and international clubs in the world.

The information that will be presented is a compilation of interviews, readings from books/articles about the mentioned times and personal research online. It is important to specify that many of the details and issues have been excluded to simplify the concepts and to make it clearer to understand the picture without having to dwell into intensive explanations nor expecting any prior knowledge of history and details of such times.

All that will be presented is to be thought of critically and further researched if interested in understanding it in more details, and I’m more than ready to discuss any issue in more details and to give further explanations.

I hope you find the information presented interesting, eye-opening, and useful yet I hope no one becomes paranoid about the world and what is going on in life. The more we know the more powerful we are, the clearer we can plan and the better we can understand the world around us…and its always important to weigh all the odds before coming up with decisions, or stating opinions or stances towards any person, idea or organization.

In terms of secret societies, I prefer to start with the historical societies up until today so that my beloved readers get to understand more the context of how and why this society started and whether it is still there… (yes that ironically conflicts with it being “secret” ..don’t worry this too will be explained in the posts)

As for the international clubs, I will give just 4 or 5 examples of the most prominent ones…the rest I can give more details on if requested.

At this point I want your opinion …shall I start the posts with the secret socities or the international clubs? Which would you like to read about first?…one society/club at a time 🙂

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Defining Secret Society
An organization that conceals all or part of its internal activities, ceremonies, beliefs, membership.
An organization which membership is exclusive, claims to have hidden truth that are gained gradually.

Defining International Club
An organization that has membership and operates in more than one country. Its activities, membership and beliefs are open to the public. The name “club” is from the structure of the organization and the type of projects/activities it does.

Redefining Social Relations

On a daily basis we see ourselves competing with one another, we see ourselves fighting for the biggest piece of the pie, we see ourselves not building on each others’ efforts but rather starting from scratch here and there. This is due to many factors, some of which are in the human nature others are in the system itself.

But human nature is bigger than just competition, greed, jealousy, and fear of failing… It’s more about compassion, sympathy, love, ethics, morality, motivation, pleasure and happiness.

We have the ability to change the way we interact, the way we view each other, the way we go through our day…but not everyone is yet willing to change. But what many don’t realize is that together we’ll grow bigger, better and faster. They don’t realize that if we cooperate rather than compete, if we work together rather than against one another we’d both become happier. They don’t realize that money, power and resources are not what it’s all about…but rather are tools to get what we ultimately want…happiness.

Yes we can simplify it to that extent…happiness…one word that sums it all. But what a lot of people miss out on is that every day they compete, everyday they wage war, every day the make a fight with someone, every day that they hold a grudge, they are pulling us all back.

Consider your surrounding from coworkers, friends, family, loved one…etc. and think for minute about how the happiness of those around you affects you. Think of a time when one of those was depressed, stressed out, afraid, exhausted…and think how did that reflect on you? Think for a minute how could you have felt if that person was in fact happy, relaxed, feeling safe, and refreshed? Well…you can do that…you can be that change in others’ lives… you can be that inspiration, that savior, that cushion that softens the fall.

I ask you to consider all your competitors and enemies, and think for a minute on how you could redefine your relation with them. Think of how you can promote more partnerships, more allies, more supporters rather than growing competitors and enemies. Think of win-win situations that you and others can all benefit from.

The world’s resources, if managed properly, are more than enough to satisfy everyone’s needs. In fact with the technology, tools and knowledge we have, we can actually create enough resources to last us for centuries ahead, while at the same time securing that the environment can sustain us without draining it, corrupting it, or exploiting any of its resources.

Think of it on the micro and macro levels…think of it for a minute and start redefining the relations you have with others…it all starts in the mind…but mustn’t end there but rather should perpetuate to reach out not only to you and your community but rather the world at large.

So start redefining your relation with others…

Other Interesting Posts:

Google, Cloud Computing & Web Apps

———– Michael Liedtke – Associated Press———–

SAN FRANCISCO: Google Inc. will sell the online services of other business software makers in an effort to fill its own product gaps and persuade more companies to rely on applications piped over the internet.

The online store that was announced late Tuesday marks another step in Google’s crusade to convert the world to “cloud computing,” the idea of running applications in web browsers instead of installing them on individual hard drives. The information entered in the programs also is stored in data centers run by third parties such as Google.

More than 50 software makers have agreed to sell their Internet programs through Google, which will keep 20 percent of the sales. The prices are expected to range from $50 annually to several hundred dollars annually per user.

All the applications sold in Google’s store can be melded with Google’s own cloud-computing services, said Vic Gundotra, the firm’s vice president of engineering.

Google views cloud computing as a way to deepen people’s dependence on its services and generate more revenue beyond the internet search advertising that provides virtually all its income.

Cloud computing also provides Google with a weapon that could weaken one of its biggest rivals, Microsoft Corp.

Although it’s introducing more online alternatives, Microsoft still makes most of its money from individual computer licenses of its Windows system and software programs.

The applications store could also provide fodder for the low-cost computers that will run on a Google system called Chrome. The first computers using Chrome OS won’t have a hard drive, meaning they will need Internet access and cloud-computing services to perform the tasks routinely done on Windows-powered machines.

Google began offering a free online suite of e-mail, word processing, spreadsheet and calendar applications in 2006.
It has been selling a more sophisticated package of online services for $50 per user for the past three years.

Cloud computing can be a tough sell to corporate-decision makers worried about security and uninterrupted access.
Google has invested billions of dollars during the past five years to keep its systems up and running.

Nevertheless, Google’s applications users occasionally have been cut off from their e-mail accounts and other services.
According to the firm, some 25 million people working for over 2 million businesses, state agencies and schools use Google’s online applications.

The firm’s revenue from software licensing and other non-advertising sources totaled $762 million last year.

Amazing What They Get Away With

Question:        Which country alone in the Middle East has nuclear weapons?
Answer:         Israel .

Question:        Which country in the Middle East refuses to sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and bars international inspections? ?
Answer:         Israel .

Question:        Which country in the Middle East seized the sovereign territory of other nations by military force and continues to occupy it in defiance of United Nations Security Council resolutions?
Answer:         Israel .

Question:        Which country in the Middle East routinely violates the international borders of another sovereign state with warplanes and artillery and naval gunfire?
Answer:         Israel .

Question:        What American ally in the Middle East has for years sent assassins into other countries to kill its political enemies (a practice sometimes called exporting terrorism)?
Answer:         Israel .

Question:        In which country in the Middle East have high-ranking military officers admitted publicly that unarmed prisoners of war were executed?
Answer:         Israel .

Question:        What country in the Middle East refuses to prosecute its soldiers who have acknowledged executing prisoners of war?
Answer:         Israel .

Question:        What country in the Middle East created 762,000 refugees and refuses to allow them to return to their homes, farms and businesses?
Answer:         Israel .

Question:       What country in the Middle East refuses to pay compensation to people whose land, bank accounts and businesses it confiscated?
Answer:         Israel .

Question:        In what country in the Middle East was a high-ranking United Nations diplomat assassinated?
Answer:         Israel .

Question:        In what country in the Middle East did the man who ordered the assassination of a high-ranking U.N. diplomat become prime minister?
Answer:         Israel .

Question:        What country in the Middle East blew up an American diplomatic facility in Egypt and attacked a U.S. ship, the USS Liberty, in international waters, killing 34 and wounding 171 American sailors?
Answer:         Israel .

Question:        What country in the Middle East employed a spy, Jonathan Pollard, to steal classified documents and then gave some of them to the Soviet Union ?
Answer:         Israel .

Question:        What country at first denied any official connection to Pollard, then voted to make him a citizen and has continuously demanded that the American president grant Pollard a full pardon?
Answer:         Israel .

Question:        What Middle East country allows American Jewish murderers to flee to its country to escape punishment in the United States and refuses to extradite them once in their custody?
Answer:         Israel .

Question:        What Middle East country preaches against hate yet builds a shrine and a memorial for a murderer who killed 29 Palestinians while they prayed in their Mosque.?
Answer:         Israel .

Question:        What country on Planet Earth has the second most powerful lobby in the United States , according to a recent Fortune magazine survey of Washington insiders?
Answer:         Israel .

Question:        Which country in the Middle East deliberately targeted a U.N. Refugee Camp in Qana , Lebanon and killed 103 innocent men, women, and especially children?
Answer:         Israel .

Question:        Which country in the Middle East is in defiance of 69 United Nations Security Council resolutions and has been protected from 29 more by U.S. vetoes?
Answer:         Israel .

Question:        Which country in the Middle East receives more than one-third of all U.S. aid yet is the 16th richest country in the world?
Answer:         Israel .

Question:        Which country in the Middle East receives U.S. weapons for free and then sells the technology to the Republic of China even at the objections of the U.S. ?
Answer:         Israel .

Question:        Which country in the Middle East routinely insults the American people by having its Prime Minister address the United States Congress and lecturing them like children on why they have no right to reduce foreign aid?
Answer:         Israel .

Question:        Which country in the Middle East had its Prime Minister announce to his staff not to worry about what the United States says because “We control America ?”
Answer:         Israel .

Question:        What country in the Middle East was cited by Amnesty International for demolishing more than 4000 innocent Palestinian homes as a means of ethnic cleansing.
Answer:         Israel .

Question:        Which country in the Middle East has just recently used a weapon of mass destruction, a one-ton smart bomb, dropping it in the center of a highly populated area killing 15 civilians including 9 children?
Answer:         Israel .

Question:        Which country in the Middle East routinely kills young Palestinian children for no reason other than throwing stones at armored vehicles, bulldozers, or tanks?
Answer:         Israel .

Question:        Which country in the Middle East signed the Oslo Accords promising to halt any new Jewish Settlement construction, but instead, has built more than 270 new settlements since the signing?
Answer:         Israel .

Question:        Which country in the Middle East has assassinated more than 100 political officials of its opponent in the last 2 years while killing hundreds of civilians in the process, including dozens of children?
Answer:         Israel .

Question:        Which country in the Middle East regularly violates the Geneva Convention by imposing collective punishment on entire towns, villages, and camps, for the acts of a few, and even goes as far as demolishing entire villages while people are still in their homes?
Answer:         Israel .

1…2…3…Let’s Go!

So why is everyone so afraid of change?…

Come to think about it …life is changing from around us every minute of every day…and we’re still so stiff and worried.

Here’s a thing to think about… we get born, get to school, graduate, get to uni, graduate, go to work, get engaged, make a family, get children…and the cycle reruns….

So what’s soo surprizing? why are we all so confused? why the worrying? we know the big picture, we know the time frame….we know most of it…the rest are details…

I personally have graduated from uni few weeks ago, was very worried about what job i’ll take, now I’m working and suddenly I’m starting to worry what future shall i have…how am I gonna buy that car and the right house and will i meet the right person and perhaps willl i stay in my job and for how long and and and….

But hey…wait a minute…enough worrying! for God’s sake let us just enjoy it for a while! take it easy and chill…

Plan your life…do your best at everything…be sincere and honest with the people around you…be trust worth, caring and hard working….treat others fairly and be just…don’t take whats not yours and do give to others something from what you have…always give something back to the world…its a gift to know that you can give…especially when others need.

So take a deep breath…sit down…relax…look around you…list all the good things that are in your life at the moment …put a special list of the things you are proud of achieving in the past…and dwell on it for a while..

Enjoy your life…and when you are happy and content…you’ll be more than ready for the journey ahead…count till 3 and let’s go! 🙂

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Succeeding First…

I felt like sharing some thoughts about success and one’s journey in life…so here it goes…

Many of the people around me, especially from the civil society entourage, have that savior complex, or the martyr complex for the sake of human kind, world peace, environment, human rights, justice…etc but I believe they are forgetting one basic thing before getting to all that….and its succeeding first.

I mean succeeding in one’s life, whether academic, career-wise, family, social life..etc before being able to save the world or save anyone or anything for that matter. If one cant stand on his own feet, he wont be of much help to anyone…because he’ll probably be unstable and dependent on others and thus will in turn need someone to support and “save” them beforehand.

Yes I feel I have that moral obligation towards my community and my environment to assist it, to serve, to change things in a positive way….but I don’t put that before my own self…

Perhaps some people share that moral obligation, others simply work for the community or environment to enrich their resume, others for the financial income they might get…but never the less…its counter productive for anyone to start dreaming of saving anything in this world before having his/her feet strongly rooted in the ground or else the sheer weight of the responsibility will throw him/her off balance….crumbling under the endless initiatives/program/project/campaigns needed to achieve any tangible change…any sustainable endeavors.

So take this simple advice from a simple person…succeed first and then do your best to save the world….

A tree to grow successfully needs strong earthed roots…

 

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Global & Local Trends…

I was skimming through some of my research material and notes from the past few months and I noticed some trends and themes that are either widespread or are emerging, both on the local and the global level.

This is no way comprehensive but I felt it is worth sharing with you so here is a selection of 7 global and 7 local trends and themes… enjoy!

Globally:

1. General widespread of trends of non-structured, non-standardized approach to education and training. The recent trends focus more on one of the following rather than on the material: Personal Relations, Arts, Sports, Values(religious, cultural, social…etc).

2. General decrease in globalization trend and a major outburst of interest in entrepreneurship, local corporations, social enterprises, SMEs and local based initiatives. This is especially true in countries that were dominated by western products/services/companies.

3. General decrease in the age group of politicians, gov officials, international organisations’ managers..etc with respect to past years. That is, we are seeing younger people take lead in positions and places that previously were solely based on seniority or are in one way or another given to senior citizens.
4. Sharp increase in promoting and empowering women in technology, governmental positions, education, and basic human rights.

5. General increase in the support of the Arab & Palestinian rights towards Israel and the understanding of the dynamics and history of the Arab-Israeli conflict. This has been seen in the dwindling financial support of some countries and corporations to Israel as well as closing,in Europe and Australia, of some media outlets and PR companies that were strong supporters/followers of the Israeli State.

6. Sharp increase in Chinese and Japanese civil society activeness. This is in number of CSOs(includes NGOs, Clubs, Parties, Media Outlets…etc), the type of projects and the size of projects being initiated.

7. General increase in Chinese, Russian, Korean, Turkish, Iranian initiatives to voice out their interests and culture to their neighbouring countries and major zones of interests in the world (including Levant, MENA and GCC region)

Locally:

1. General increase in the public understanding for the need of less politicised discussions, campaigns, and talk-shows. This reflects in the major shift of many TV to start putting comedy/joke/social shows, less political talk-shows/documentaries, and thinner political sections in daily newspapers.

2. Sharp increase in the interest to go back to the mother language(Arabic). This reflects in the number of NGOs, academic institutes and media outlets that are using more Arabic, promoting Arabic or solely have started to teach/spread Arabic.

3. Sharp increase in the investments and inbound capital put in Lebanon from Lebanese diaspora, Arab states and some international companies.

4. Sharp increase in the interest and pricing of real estate in Lebanon and Beirut in specific, especially that the country has been calm on the “security” level.

5. Sharp increase in interest on banning smoking and drugs. This has been reflected in Laws that the parliament have passed, in the police/army investigations being held and the endless CSO campaigns and initiatives on the above mentioned 2 issues.

6. General increase in the interest towards being “Green” and the environmental impact of our day to day actions on the environment. Soon I expect some major campaigns to be launched on environmental awareness targeting governments,NGOs and the general public. The campaigns will probably be both local and on the Arab region.

7. Sharp increase in the number of cars sold in Lebanon in the past year and still going up. The impact reflects very negatively on the traffic jams in all over Lebanon and Beirut in specific, the pollution bill we’re paying and the deterioration of many roads faster than expected due to the volume of daily cars/buses/trucks passing on it.

I would like you to consider those themes, try to see how are they affecting your life or what is your stance on them and perhaps launch this online-discussion starting from this post….

I’m looking forward for your additions/suggestions/questions/comments.. 😀