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Rantings of a Sandmonkey

Be forewarned: The writer of this blog is an extremely cynical, snarky, pro-US, secular, libertarian, disgruntled sandmonkey. If this is your cup of tea, please enjoy your stay here. If not, please sod off

Monday, January 31, 2005

Carlinism of the day

Something is really wrong in America: A 16 year old girl needs a permission slip from her parents in order to skip school, but doesn't need one to get an abortion.

George Carlin


Here are snippets of what Iraqis had to say about the vote: "We broke a barrier of fear," said Mijm Towirish, an election official. "I am doing this because I love my country, and I love the sons of my nation," said Shamal Hekeib, 53, who walked with his wife 20 minutes to a polling station near his Baghdad home."We are Arabs, we are not scared and we are not cowards," Hekeib said.

"Now I feel that Saddam is really gone," said Fatima Ibrahim, smiling as she headed home after voting in Irbil. She was 14 and a bride of just three months when her husband, father and brother were rounded up in a campaign of ethnic cleansing under Saddam. None have ever been found. "This is a clear and loud message that Iraqis inside and outside are united in defeating terrorism," Mansour Ibrahim said as he entered a voting center amid tight security in the upscale Suwfiya neighborhood in the Jordanian capital, Amman. "It is the first time we've been allowed to vote. For us, for our lives, it is very important," said Rana Al-Mudhaffar, 52, who left Iraq in 1980. She and her 24-year-old daughter, Sana, traveled three hours from the eastern state of Thuringia to cast ballots. "We're hoping a democratic government will bring peace and stability to Iraq."
And now for some Sandmonkey election commentary:
Yesterday, after I went home from work, I decided to check out the satellite news channels to see what they were saying about the Iraqi elections. Trying to be as objective as a sandmonkey can be, I decided to ignore Al Hurrah, because as you all know they are US-funded and therefore, by APU rules, they must be lying crazy zionist jewish american imperialist capitalist dogs. I therefore chose to focus my attention on 3 channels: Al Jazeerah, Al Arabiyah and Al Manar. All of them are arab channels and Al Manar is actually funded and operated by Hizballah. If there was anywhere where I can escape the American Zionist media, its those 3 channels. I first put Al Jazeerah on, and to my surprise they didn’t have any election coverage on. At the moment. They were having some sort of religious talk show, where, I shit you not, a veiled anchorwoman was interviewing this sheikh about what islam says about notions of individualism and personal freedom. It had all the excitement of watching pain dry people, especially since he didn’t say anything I didn’t hear a million times before :” individualism should be limited, so is personal freedom. Everything should have its limit…blah blah blah” BOOOOOOOOOOORRRRRING! So I decided to switch to al arabiyah instead. Al Arabiyah actually had some good election coverage on. First they had a Syrian MP who went on to praise the democracy in iraq and how it’s a good first step for the stability of iraq, and then they had an American professor who informed them that the elections is good news for the Iraqis but bad news for Qatar, Bahrain, Saudi, Syria, Jordan, UAE..at which point they had to shut him down. They then proceeded to talk about how this was a historic day with all the big turnout and stuff. Soo it wasn’t bad at all. Al Manar was the big surprise. Figuring that its Hizballah TV and all ( read my post on it here) I figured they might talk about the illegitimate elections and the “brave Iraqi resistance” and stuff, but they didn’t. They were reporting from Baghdad, where an Iraqi election official was reporting the voter turnout by district, and the news anchor commentary went like this : “ As you can see, despite all of the bombing and the threats and the danger, Iraqi voters were not deterred to come and vote. Their love for their country, and their desire to rebuild a new free democratic iraq made them overcome their fear and vote. This is a great day for Iraq and for its people”. Even Hizballah TV thought the elections were a good thing and congratulated the Iraqi people for it. Screw you Raed Jarrarr and all of your ilk.

Why Raed Jarrar is on my shitlist!

For the longest time, I have been hearing about the Jarrar family and the blogging of one Raed Jarrar who was actually discouraging Iraqis to vote. Yesterday I decided to check out his blog because I heard ( or rather read on jeffery’s blog) that he said that this election will “open the doors of hell”. So I decided to check out his blog and see what this guy had to say and am I glad to have done that. While every Iraqi blogger was ecstatic about the elections and being able to vote, this guy has been screaming his head off about how bad and illegitimate the election is. Check it out: The cowardly and corrupt bush administration, working along with the dirty allow(ie) government is coercing Iraqis to vote. The allow(ie) puppets are threatening Iraqis who don't vote that they will not get their monthly food rations. Nevermind that what he is talking about is an actual rumor by his own admission, but sure, lets humor him and hear what he has to say anyway. Love the allow(ie) thing by the way. Very inventive, very clever. Oh lala! The bush gang can do anything to reach to their goals. I mean ANYTHING. Since their goals are spreading democracy in iraq and the middle-east, ehh, I am glad they are that determined and motivated. It is well known all over Iraq now that if you didn't go to vote, the government will cut your monthly food rations. EVERYONE is talking about this, and EVERYONE believes it too!!! and this is one of the main reasons of why millions of poor and destroyed Iraqis were dragged out of their homes today and sent to election centers in the middle of explosions and bullets. They don't give a damn about elections, they want food. Millions of Iraqis don't have the possibility of testing whether this rumor is true or false, this is about surviving. They are ready to put their lives in danger to go get their monthly food rations. So let me get this straight. You have decided that all of those people who went and voted, didn’t do it because they wanted democracy, but because they were afraid of losing their food rations? Man, Jeff is right. You are scum. What about those who danced on the street? What about the woman crying in that picture you posted on top of that post, when you know it was from a story where she was expressing her joy for voting? How is it that you can lie with such a straight face when you know your lies can be found out so easily? Okay, let’s humor you for a second and say that it is true, that people really did go and vote not because they wanted to, but because they heard a “rumor” that if they didn’t they wouldn’t get food. Let’s assume all that. Now, here is my question: why is that a bad thing? I am sorry, but I am a libertarian and that implies being a pragmatist by definition. Those people –by your own admission- were too afraid to go out and vote because of all the bombings and the shooting (done by terrorists) that was designed to keep them too scared to go out and vote, thus not legitimizing the iraqi elections and give out the illusion that the resistance speaks for the Iraqi street. They were so afraid, you said, that even Al Sistani’s fatwa couldn’t have gotten them out and only this rumor made them gather enough strength and courage to go and vote. You cry foul, while I am thinking “ the guy who thought of that rumor idea deserves a medal”. He was able to get them to conquer their fear and go vote Raed. He motivated them in an ingenious and pragmatic way to get over their fear and go and vote. Why is that bad again? Run that logic by me one more time please, cause I wanna understand it. You remind me of this other dude that I was reading yesterday, who was going on and on how this election is illegitimate cause it is done under occupation. So following that same logic, Abu Mazen’s victory is illegitimate as well? Last I checked where he was campaigning it’s called the “occupied territories”. That must make him an illegitimate Palestinian president then. That makes perfect sense. Or doesn’t. whatever On a side note, don’t u think it’s kinda sad that the only 2 countries that actually do have democratic elections are Iraq and Palestine? Hmm… Raed, Habibi. You are on my shitlist forever. You can’t handle reality and you have no respect for the Iraqi people or their hopes and dreams, not to mention freedom. You actually called Saddam Hussein the “national leader” of Iraq at some point. You, my friend, disgust me! I am glad that the brave Iraqis ignored you and went and voted anyway. You are only happy when Iraqis are oppressed, so go rot in hell you saddam-loving scum. IRAQ IS FREE NO THANKS TO YOU! Now, in the words of Dick Cheney, I say with all the love in my heart to you: Go Fuck yourself!

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Reform Watch: Saudi

It seems that with the apparant success of the Iraqi elections, the Saudis are starting to feel the heat. I believe that they are scared shitless now, that they know that the jig is up, and that they can no longer pull their opressive shit on their own people any longer. They are starting to get the idea that they better start acting right, or else Bush might make them act right. What the hell am i talking about? Ladies and Gentlemen, soon and for the first time Saudis will have elections and women will get to vote: A top Saudi diplomat and member of the royal family predicted that women will be allowed to vote in future elections, giving women in the strictly segregated Islamic nation a political voice for the first time. The Saudi government has responded to international pressure to democratize the Middle East by promising municipal elections across the country, with the first stage on Feb. 10 in the capital, Riyadh. The elections, in which only men can participate, will be the first since the 1960s, when local polls were held in a few cities. Prince Turki al-Faisal, the country's former intelligence chief and now the Saudi ambassador to Britain, said late Friday that the United States, France, Switzerland and many other countries waited many years after giving men the right to vote before extending that privilege to women. "Since this is our first election, probably we will be better and have women vote the next time around," he said after a dinner on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum. Abdulrahman al-Tuwaijri, secretary general of Saudi Arabia's Supreme Economic Council, said the law adopted for the municipal elections "doesn't make any distinction between the voter, between men and women." I call it the "Iraq trickledown effect"!

Ohh, now they wanna play?

Remember how Hamas boycotted the palestinian elections, out of principle and not because they were gonna Lose or anything? Well, it seems that this boycott that was based on principle didn't last long when it came to elections that they could win: The Palestinian radical Islamist movement Hamas was celebrating on Friday a landslide victory over the previously dominant Fatah faction in the first local elections held in the Gaza Strip. Thousands of its supporters converged on the Gaza City offices of the Palestinian parliament for a celebratory rally as final results from the 118 seats up for grabs were announced by local government minister Jamal Shobaki. While Shobaki only announced the names rather than party affiliation of the winners, official sources said that Hamas had won 77 of the seats against 26 for the Fatah faction of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. The rest went to independents and minor parties. And now, it's time to enter spin alley regarding this victory, you ready? Hamas had campaigned on a strong anti-corruption ticket, amid widespread disillusionment among voters about the incompetence and cronyism that has characterized many councils. Abbas has vowed a crackdown on corruption and to implement sweeping reforms of the Palestinian institutions but the results in Gaza appear to indicate that voters do not trust the establishment party to put its own house in order. Zahar said that the results were a damning indictment of the levels of institutional corruption. "This result shows the desire of the Palestinian people for change and reform," he said. "The strong popular support for Hamas will give us a chance to end the administrative and financial corruption." "Not to mention, encourage a lot of you to go kill yourselves to advance our political ambitions! Huh, this mic is on? Freakin Zionists!" Ohh..the strong popular support you say? While voting did not take place in any of the major population centers such as Gaza City and the towns of Khan Younis and Rafah, the elections were seen as a first major test of Hamas' electoral strength. Isn't that something?

Absurd post of the day: Secretary rice's cousin and the size of Bush's package!

Here comes a piece of news you don't hear everyday: Apparently, Condi has a drag Queen cousin, who she is naturally ashamed of, yet manages to inform him(her) of all kinds of sexual details: Like, how she is really a lesbian, yet her and Bush are sexbuddies and not to mention the size of Bush's..ehh..package: So here it is, la familia "T" for all the world to know: Condolezi Rice is my cousin, and actually she’s my first cousin. Until she got involved with the president she was basically a non sexual dyke. Wound too tight and way too brittle, more so than any brittle blonde i know. Thats why she's remained a lesbian virgen, but she is definitely bumping bush with Mr. Dub. Who I’ve heard from reliable sources doesn’t have a very large penis but does have a giant mushroom headed knob. Both Diane "I Am a Man" Feinstein and Barbara Boxer were too lenient with Condi during the senate hearings, at least Babs challenged her, but not enough for it to count. That was..ehh..more then i have ever felt comfortable or wanted to know about Bush's private Life. The thing about him and Condi is most probably a lie, but it makes one hell of a mental picture when you think about it. Ohh yeah, and as for physical resemblence between condi and her cousin Vaginal Davis (that's the name, no joke), check out the following pics: They are practically seperated at birth!

The requisite Iraq post

Good morning everybody, As you all must know by now from watching the news or reading your newspapers or whichever way you get your info from, today is the Iraqi election day. So, as expected from all middle-eastern bloggers, i shall provide you all with my requisite Iraq post, although I highly wonder if what I have to offer is any different from the umpteenth other posts on the topic. Oh well, gotta do it anyway. Would be against the rules or something if i ignored this event, you know? So, where to begin? Well, a good place for all of you ill-informed about the election out there- and there are many of you, so don't feel embarrassed or anything- I would recommend going over to Kat's Iraq Elections Questions and Answers post, which provides an answer to almost any question you could've had on the topic and is updated daily. Excellent source if you ask me. Then, if you are looking for a blog that offers you plenty of opinions and views about the Iraqi elections-posted by anti-war non-iraqis mostly though- you should definitely check the Iraq Election Blog. However, if you wanna sift through the BS, find a link to all the iraqi blogs and snippets from their daily postings, well, then look no further then the NYT mentioned , Sandmonkey's old friend Jeffery's blog , Iraqi Bloggers Central. There you will find the links to the blogs, plus jeff's own stinging commentary towards those who try to oppose the vote. He isn't unbiased people, just so you know! We then will move on to what the international news agencies have to say about this historic election: The Economist provided an article that started with this paragraph: IRAQIS danced in the streets outside the polling station, proudly displaying the indelible blue ink on their fingers that showed they had cast their votes one gleefully called it the mark of freedom. However, this scene, on Friday January 28th, took place among the relatively small community of Iraqi exiles in Sydney, Australia. Voting in Iraq itself, to be held on Sunday, seems unlikely to produce such joyful scenes. They apparently did not check out this yahoo story: Despite the heavy attacks, turnout was brisk in some Shiite Muslim and mixed Shiite-Sunni neighborhoods. Even in the small town of Askan in the so-called "triangle of death" south of Baghdad a mixed Sunni-Shiite area 20 people waited in line at each of several polling centers. More walked toward the polls. ************************************************** In Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit, only seven people showed up in the first two hours of voting at a school in the city center, while in the diverse city of Baquoba, jubilant voters danced and clapped outside a polling station. Is it just me or does it seem like that in the mixed neighbourhoods lies the actual model of how iraq could be? Anyway.. The economist's article isn't all doom and gloom though. It helps to remind us of an important fact: Whether or not the Sunnis vote, this election will be legitimate. Iraq's Shia Muslims, around 60% of the 25m-27m population, will be torn between the fatwa issued by the country's most senior Shia cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, instructing the faithful to cast their votes, and the fear of being blown up at the ballot box or murdered afterwards. The marking of voters fingers with indelible ink, to prevent multiple voting, will also make them an identifiable target long after polling day. However, most Shias and most Kurds (around 20% of the population, based largely in northern Iraq) seem keen to vote, despite the risks. So even if most Sunni Arabs (the remaining 20% of Iraqis, roughly speaking) stay away out of fear or opposition to the elections, it is possible that up to two-thirds of Iraq's electorate will turn out in what will be a genuine multi-party election a dazzling rarity in the Arab world for the first time in half a century. May i remind you that in the US elections, there is less then 50% voter turnout in presidential elections? No one claims that those are illegitimate, do they? Hm... And Finally , in order to not forget mentioning the obvious, it seems that the White house has a high stake in Iraq's vote. No, really? (How do you spell "Duhh" again?) The White House is keenly watching the Iraqi election because it could affect U.S. military action there and sap President Bush's political strength here and abroad if the balloting doesn't lead to stability. In his radio message, Bush called the Iraqi election "a turning point in the history of Iraq, a milestone in the advance of freedom crucial advance in the war on terror." At the same time, however, his advisers have downplayed the importance of Sunday's vote by calling it just the first step toward a new Iraqi constitution and fully elected leadership. And naturally, the democratic response to that was constructive and right on target: In the Democratic radio response on Saturday, Sen. Ike Skelton, D-Mo., said that while the election shows progress in Iraq, its outcome will not likely be representative of the views of all Iraqi ethnic and religious factions. The Shiites likely will control a majority of assembly seats with considerable Kurdish participation, he said. The Sunnis, however, will likely be underrepresented, said Skelton, the ranking Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee. NO! You mean to say that the 60% majority will have more represntation then the 20% minority? Really? Wow. That is such a shocker. No one could've possibly forseen that! By the way, do you notice that he says considerable Kurdish participation, yet says the Sunnis will be underrepresented and they are both 20% of the population? "If they do, it will be tempting to question what we could have done differently for the last two years," Skelton said. "What if the administration had listened to commanders like former Army Chief of Staff Gen. Eric Shinseki, who called for a larger force for postwar stabilization? What if the reconstruction funds appropriated by Congress had been spent more quickly to provide more economic opportunity for the average Iraqi?" Apparently, the amount of Sunnis in the country would have been bigger if the president woud've asked for a larger army in Iraq or if they had spent more money there. Hmm! Yes, i can see the connection. In the end of the day, in any elections, it's those who go to the polls that do win. The Sunnis know that in a demoracy they have no chance to rule again, so they wanna ruin it for everybody else. Some may say that they are afraid of getting bombed or killed if they do vote, but here is my question: Where are the terrorists hiding? Not in kurdish neighborhoods, not in Shia neighbourhoods, they are in freakin Sunni neighbourhoods. They know who the terrorists are and they are not reporting them in. If they are really scared and wanna vote they would turn them in. They don't. It is not in the best interest to do so. Better to sit at home and decry the lack of security and the elections illegitemacy. ya know? Anyway, who knows? The day has just begun over there and until it's over we won't know what to expect. What we will know is that an election took place, an election that a majority of iraqis voted in, and if that's not democracy, well, it's at least a big first step.

Friday, January 28, 2005

For the love of God—that breast was almost nude!

The Onion, America's finest Newst Source, has just written an article detailing the psycholigical effect the Super Bowl XXXVIII tragedy had on children, since its one-year anniversary is coming right up. The article's finidng, to put it mildly, showed that american children are irrevocably "fucked in the Head" from seeing Janet Jackson's nipple, and i can't say i blame them: WASHINGTON, DC—As the nation approaches the one-year anniversary of the Super Bowl XXXVIII tragedy, an FCC study shows that millions of U.S. children were severely traumatized by the exposure to a partially nude female breast during the Feb. 1, 2004 halftime show. "No one who lived through that day is likely to forget the horror," said noted child therapist Dr. Eli Wasserbaum. "But it was especially hard on the children." The tragic wardrobe malfunction occurred approximately 360 days ago, during Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake's performance of "Rock Your Body," when Timberlake tore Jackson's costume, accidentally revealing her right breast. "By the time CBS cut to an aerial view of the stadium, the damage was done," said Wasserbaum, who has also worked extensively with orphaned and amputee children in Third World war zones. "I've found that children can be amazingly resilient, but this event was too much for many of them to take. The horrible image of that breast is likely to haunt them for the rest of their lives." ******************* "Mommy has dirty chest bumps," said a 5-year-old boy quoted in one of the thousands of case studies compiled by the FCC. "She's like the bad lady on TV. I'm afraid Mommy will take off her shirt and scare everyone. I hate Mommy." ******************* "How can my son Brandon be expected to make it through something like that unscathed?" asked mother of four Shonali Bhomik of the San Francisco-based What About the Children? Foundation, one of many social-awareness groups spearheading the fight for increased NNBD funding in Congress. "For approximately 1.5 seconds, he saw a breast. The image was seared into his innocent, tiny retinas. He can't close his eyes without replaying the whole ugly scene over and over in his little head." "For the love of God—that breast was almost nude," Bhomik added. ****************************** "One thing is certain," Wasserbaum said. "For us as a nation, the horrific consequences of almost-nakedness have only just begun to make themselves apparent." Wasserbaum added that children who saw the televised breast in Europe, Australia, and various other nations throughout the world were somehow unaffected by the sight. I love the Onion!

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Sharon is pleased with Abbas' measures

This may be a good sign: Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon expressed satisfaction in a newspaper interview on Thursday with measures taken by new Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to reduce violence. There's no doubt that Abu Mazen [Abbas] has begun to work," he told the Yedioth Ahronoth daily, adding, "I am very pleased with what I hear about what is going on the Palestinian side and I very much want to work with him to make progress." Sharon said that he was keen to help Abbas but gave few other details. "I intend to promote the chances of reaching an arrangement with the Palestinians," said the Israeli leader. "I intend to accommodate Abu Mazen [Abbas] and at the same time to keep my eyes open and to examine the situation on their side." Sharon's top advisor Dov Weisglass met on Wednesday with Palestinian negotiations minister Saeb Erakat to discuss the prospects of a summit between the Israeli and Palestinian leaders. Baby steps everyone. Baby steps. Hopefully one day we will get back on the road to peace in the middle-east! I ,for one, am keeping my fingers crossed.

Hint to the US state department : Make the Bin Laden bounty higher!

Sometimes i wonder if the US government is really interested or is really serious when it comes to capturing Bin Laden. I mean the man has been on the run for more then 3 years now and they still havn't captured him. The fact that the bounty on his head is 25 million doesn't really help either, because whoever is gonna tip off the US and get the bounty is likely to sepnd the rest of his life hiding from people who are very fond of decapitating people just for being "american" and they consider it business as usual. Can you imagine what they will do to that guy who will hand over Bin Laden? I dunno about you, but i think they may get just a little peeved about it. And those people decapitate people for fun, can you imagine how they are like when they are angry? 25 million isn't even close to justify the kind of risk that person would be undertaking. So what's the State department's answer to that problem? Mounting a publicity blitz and maybe raising the bounty up to 50 million dollars. Cause you know, whoever didn't sell him out for 25 million, is likely to think it over now that the bounty may become 50 Million. Is ANYBODY HOME? A nedia Blitz won't accomplish anything. I doubt if there is anybody on this planet who havn't heard the name Bin Laden by now or doesn't know how he looks like. What will the media Blitz accomplish besides putting up a show for people that "you are trying" to capture the man? You are better off using the media blitz money in beefing up that bounty, cause people, 50 million is still not enough to get a Osama loyalist to betray his leader. Think about it, his people have no problem with dying to kill you, you think this kind of faith and conviction comes cheap? A person who will be that close to Bin Laden must be a serious believer with serious faith in the cause. 50 Million dollars aren't enough to convince a fanatical believer to give up his leader, especially if he knows that he will be spending at least half of it in security expenses. The Amount has to be more then that, much much more then that, in order to convince someone to betray his cause, convictions and leader. Raise the amount to 250 million and you may start getting somewhere. Hell, for 250 million more you would have arabs hunting his ass down voluntarily. Shit, i would hunt him down for that kind of money. I know what some of you may say, that 250- 500 million dollars may be just way too much money to pay to get this guy, but think about it this way. On 9/11, he killed more then 3000 americans. With the current bounty amount, the average 9/11 american casualty is worth less then 10,000 dollars, with the number rising slightly to approx 16 thousand per casualty if the bounty is raised to 50 million. Does that seems right to you? Is that how much you are worth? Are american lives that cheap? The state department seems to think so. At 250 million we are talking a little less then 100 grand per each casualty, which seems to be a slightly fairer rate if you ask me. Not to mention, capturing him will be worth every penny. This will be more then just getting one man, it will be about destroying a symbol for jihadist worldwide. That's - to quote mastercard commercials- freakin priceless! So , to the US state department i say, stop being wankers and raise the bounty at least 10 fold. A media blitz doesn't show that you are serious and isn't likely to get any results. A 250 million dollar bounty, on the other hand, is more likely to get the job done. So please, if you are serious about getting him, stop tinkering around and bring out the big bucks. That mofo has enjoyed his freedom for way way too long, it's time for that to end!

Nutty Professors!

Ok, so first there was that college professor that told the Pro-US Kuwaiti student that he needs regular pyschotherapy for being an arab who loves America, and now there is another one who said that the 911 victims were not innocent people and that they had it coming. That it was another case of the chickens coming home to roost. Churchill's essay argues that the Sept. 11 attacks were in retaliation for the Iraqi children killed in a 1991 U.S. bombing raid and by economic sanctions imposed on Iraq by the United Nations following the Persian Gulf War. Ok, so there goes the first sign of nutty liberalism: Blame America First! The essay contends the hijackers who crashed airplanes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on Sept. 11 were "combat teams," not terrorists. It states: "The most that can honestly be said of those involved on Sept. 11 is that they finally responded in kind to some of what this country has dispensed to their people as a matter of course." Second sign of Nutty liberalism: Defend the enemy who tried to kill you! The essay maintains that the people killed inside the Pentagon were "military targets." What about the people inside the hijacked plane man? They weren't working for the pentagon. They were merely traveling.Or how about the ones in the World Trade center nutbag? Are those military targets as well?

Oh God! He has an answer to that you wouldn't believe!
"As for those in the World Trade Center," the essay said, "well, really, let's get a grip here, shall we? True enough, they were civilians of a sort. But innocent? Gimme a break." Well, they were in a mall, right? They supported commercialism and capitalism by going to work in the WTC. Innocents you say? I say evil capitalist pigs! I mean, they were enjoying life while iraqi children died. They deserved to die. Now, you may wonder: Sandmonkey, what about the third and final sign of nutty liberlaism? Where is the Hitler/Nazi analogy? Let me assure you, it's also availible here: The essay goes on to describe the victims as "little Eichmanns," referring to Adolph Eichmann, who executed Adolph Hitler's plan to exterminate Jews during World War II. I wonder if that guy knew a single person whose family was affected by this tragedy. I wonder if he would've maintained that same attitude if let's say his wife or son died in those attacks. I also wonder how is it that those people can keep their jobs. Hell, how do they manage to get them in the first place? Does anyone know? Cause seriously, i can not figure it out for the life of me!

VolksWagen "Teerrorist" commerical update!

A while ago i posted about a fake VW commerical that involved a terrorist blowing himself up. The commercial, which i and everyone i know found to be extreemly funny by the way, apparently "offended" some people who thought it was politically incorrect to show a terrorist who doesn't kill people. So V.W. , afraid of getting sued by some liberal crybaby, decided to take action first and sued the poeple who made the fake commerical. Volkswagen is to take legal action against the mystery duo who made the controversial suicide bomber short film that apparently shows an Arab blowing himself up in a Polo car. After a week of prevarication, the car giant has decided to go ahead and sue the people behind the advert on the grounds that it was damaging its reputation around the world and falsely linked the VW with terrorism. But...but.. it wasn't linking VW to terrorism, it was linking VW to stopping terrorism. And it was FUNNY. Whatever happend to having a sense of humor? Jesus.. However, it maybe that fate has enough sense of humor to balance V.W. lack therof . It seems that the V.W. lawsuit is facing a minor snag: they can't seem to find the people who made the commercial. But the company privately admitted that it cannot locate Lee and Dan, the London based advertising creative partnership who dreamed up the film, which has been seen around the world via the internet. "We are prepared to pursue the two individuals but need to locate them to ensure the success of our legal claim," the company said in a private memo, details of which have been obtained by MediaGuardian.co.uk. Serves them right! Go Lee & Dan!

Getting a little popular here!

People, i am starting to notice that this blog is getting a little more popular then i thought it was. The other day i googled my blog and i found myself linked in blogs i have never even heard of. Some indian college professor has me on the "must read" list and that little trackbar i put up yesterday shows more then 360 hits in 24 hours. But that was nothing compared to what i have just experienced: I have just stepped foot in a cyber cafe that i have never visited before, sat on a computer and upon typing the name of my blog i found it already in the history list. Someone , who coincidently sat on this computer of all the other ones they could've sat on, was reading my blog. Holy SHIT! This could be all just a coincidence, but I may be getting myself an egyptian audience. That could either be good or bad depending on who the audience is. Either way, it means more people are paying attention to this little sandmonkey, so i can't be slacking off on my blogging any longer today! Let's get it started!

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Apathy and the Opposition parties in Egypt!

There is an excellent OP-ED peice in the Middle-east Times by Youssef M. Ibrahim that explains the old mystery: If so many people in arab countries don't like their rulers, then why don't they flock towards the opposition parties? The Easy answer would be that the government opresses the opposition with their emergency law, but Mr. Ibrahim argues that it's not as simple as that: All Egyptian opposition parties held their first conference together in the Delta city of Mansoura last week but nobody, except a measly 400 people, came. Indeed, two of the main so-called opposition parties did not show up. Organizers were quick to blame it on the more than a quarter-century-old Emergency Law that allows the Egyptian government to basically do anything it likes without recourse to the constitution or the law. But in truth, the reason for the nonexistent opposition in Egypt or in any other Arab country is the apathy of the public toward the opposition and the bankruptcy of these so-called parties. The Emergency Law, in any country, is always an excuse for failed opposition movements. But the issue goes deeper than character flaws within the Arab mind. A promise is never a promise. A plan does not have to progress. There will always be another plan and, as we all know, the word Inshallah, or God Willing, is not a religious expression as much as it is advance insurance to break a commitment. If you ever, ever been to a middle-eastern country, you would know how true those paragraphs are. Hell, some people say that the bane of egypt is the word "Inshallah", because if someone says it to ya, it almost always gurantess that they won't do what you asked them to do. Egyptians actually include it in what they call the "failure" acronym, also known as I.B.M.! The I stands for Inshallah, which means "god willing"; the B stands for Bokrah, which means Tomorow, as in "will do it Tomorow"; and the M stands for "Maalesh", which is word that conveys solace if you are met with failure or frustration. Those 3 words are usually given in that order for a reason, they compliment eachother as the perfect Trifecta to justify failure. At first they promise u to do it "Inshallah", and when you wonder why shit isn't done, they tell you "Bokrah" and when you relaise that nothing is gonna ever get done and confront them with your realisation they tell you "Maalesh". I.B.M. people, making Egypt an economic failure for more then 20 years now. Anyway, back to the article. Mr Ibrahim then proceeds to kick the opposition parties ass! If all you can offer the public is that you cannot offer them anything because the Egyptian or any other Arab government would not let you say it, why do you call yourself a party or, for that matter, why do you exist? Good point! Opposition parties organize, speak, mobilize and innovate. They shout loud enough to be heard by their people. They know how to alternate pressure with conviction. And the same goes for the public. True that! People who do not like their rulers will only support opposition parties if they explain what they oppose and offer a credible substitute. Bingo! It's the reason why the democrats keep losing in the States by the way. They are too busy trying to emulate the republicans and their ideas and yet claim to oppose them that people don't see them as credible anymore! Being republican-lite isn't the way to win for the democrats, u think they would have realized that republicans will vote for the real republican candidate instead of the fake one, but they keep on doing that anyway. In Egypt opposition parties are no different from the government. They have positions that have been occupied by the same head of the party forever. So when these opposition parties say that they oppose another renewal of term for the sitting president, who has been in power for 24 years, people look and see that their own leaders have been in power for 24 years too.

And then comes the perfect conclusion:
Unless they lead by example, unless they encourage among their ranks the coming forward of new leadership to rejuvenate their sick and bankrupt parties, the opposition parties can hold any number of conferences, but no one will attend. Go read it!

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Warming up for the Hillary 08 campaign!

Hillary Clinton really seems to believe that she has a snowball chance in hell of winning the 08 election and actually becoming America's first female president. She made sure that the democrats wouldn't run anyone who can actually compete in 04 for that reason, and now she is trying to shed away her divisive liberal stigma by claiming to be more centrist or moderate then people know her to be. Recognizing that a lot of people are no longer voting democrats because they disagree with them when it comes to "religious and moral values", Hillary has been trying to "reach out" to those potential voters by claiming to be down with religion. Imagine that! On the eve of the presidential inauguration, US Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton last night embraced an issue some pundits say helped seal a second term for George W. Bush: acceptance of the role of faith in addressing social ills. In a speech at a fund-raising dinner for a Boston-based organization that promotes faith-based solutions to social problems, Clinton said there has been a "false division" between faith-based approaches to social problems and respect for the separation of church of state. "There is no contradiction between support for faith-based initiatives and upholding our constitutional principles," said Clinton, a New York Democrat who often is mentioned as a possible presidential candidate in 2008. As Josie already said on her blog: Ah ha! Addressing a crowd of more than 500, including many religious leaders, at Boston's Fairmont Copley Plaza, Clinton invoked God more than half a dozen times, at one point declaring, "I've always been a praying person." Ohh, really? Wow, i had Hillary all wrong. I mean she mentioned God and even said that she prays. I feel ashamed. I always thought that she was an opprutunistic, cold, calculating, power-hungry, will do anything to get ahead kind of person. Surely that must not be true, since she mentioned God 6 times and mentioned that she prays. I mean, in a country that is 80% christian and where evngelical voters provided Bush the winning 2 % of the popular vote, invoking god and saying that you pray must not have any kind of ulterior motive, Right? What's that old Proverb again? Ohh yeah : Even the devil can cite Scripture for his purpose. And if that is not enough reaching out in one week, Hillary tackeld another divisive issue in America: Abortion. She apparently wants to reach some common ground on the issue, for the sake of America of course! Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, a longtime supporter of abortion rights, said on Monday that "people of good faith" can "find common ground" in the abortion debate, the New York Times reported. She indicated that both sides should be able to agree on preventing unwanted pregnancies, and she also called abortion "a sad, even tragic choice" for many women. The New York Times noted that Sen. Clinton is "widely seen as a possible candidate for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination in 2008," and it also said she "appeared to be reaching out beyond traditional core Democrats who support abortion rights. "She did so not by changing her political stands," the newspaper said, "but by underscoring her views in preventing unplanned pregnancies, promoting adoption, recognizing the influence of religion in abstinence and championing what she has long called 'teenage celibacy,'" the newspaper said. Hillary Clinton for Abstinence and Celibacy. I think it makes sense, cause when i think of Hillary Clinton, I suddenly understand why celibacy is a good option for men to have. So from now on people, please remember: Hillary Clinton= Celibacy, Abstinence and Religion! OK?

Free Martha Stewart!

Are you a Martha Stewart Fan? Do you feel depressed, dejected and that life is unfair because Martha is in jail and you had no idea what to do about Christmass dinner this year? Well, my friend, i cam bearing good news for you. There is an organization that is dedicated to freeing the sheet-folding goddess and its website is right here! And just so u know how serious and dedicated they are to freeing your opressed hero, they have purchased space on a man’s body to bear a “Save Martha” tattoo. Behold the uplifting power of an eBay transaction: Here’s a heads up on something new we are doing prior to Martha Stewart’s release from jail at SaveMartha.com. We won a permanent tattoo for Martha Stewart on Ebay. Here’s the latest: Long Islander Joe Tamargo is heading to Cliff’s Tattoo & Body Piercing at 394 New York Ave. in Huntington Village this Thursday at 1PM to get the first permanent Save Martha tattoo. We will be capturing the moment on video so we can share it with all of Martha’s fans online. It cost us an arm and a leg, but having a piece of body art done for Martha is worth it. The tattoo will be on Joe’s right arm, and will say “Save Martha! Sign the petition to pardon Martha Stewart! SaveMartha.com” Awwww! Folks, isn't this the most heartwarming thing you have ever seen? I mean, now that they have this tattoo on this guy, it will be visible to..ehh..dozens of people who will suddenly become aware of Martha's Plight and sign the petition so that President Bush can pardon her! Food for thought: Martha will be out in 39 days, but a Tattoo....a Tattoo is FOREVER!

The Chickenshit Academy Awards!

A lot of people, including fallafel lover Bill O'reilley, were anticipating this year Aacademy Awards to be a place where Blue America and Red America would resume fighting their so called "Culture war". The Battle this time is over which Movie should get the best Picture / best director nods: The Passion of the Christ or Fehrenheit 9/11? The red states wanted Mel Gibson to win for Jesus and the blue states wanted Michael Moore to win, cause they really wanna win something. Apparently some people thought the Oscars were a place to continue last November's election for the "soul of America" or something. They apparently forgot that the Oscars are political above all else and that they would never try to appease half of america over the other half. It's a ratings thing. So, being the chickenshit cowards that they are, they decided on a compromise: they won't nominate either one for anything! Wouldn't want anything taking the focus off who is wearing what on the runway now, do we?

The Anti-Oscars

The Razzies - also known as the worst movies Oscars- nominations just came out, and they are truly representitive of the worst crap Hollywood had to offer us this year. I mean, the Worst Movie Nominations just make my heart sing, with Catwoman and Alexander racking up 7 and 6 nominations respectively, cause they are so dead on. Some people think The Razzies are mean, but i digress. Those movies and actors are so good at sucking, that they must be recognized for their efforts. Check out the Nominations here. They even have Bush nominated.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Why do they keep sending these e-mails?


Sunday, January 23, 2005

A question and Two requests!

Hey everybody, Lately a number of you have been e-mailing me and urging me to use Haloscan for comment posting. I usually hate Haloscan because it has a character limit which annoys the shit out of me personally when i try to leave a comment. This is why i havn't been leaving comments at your blog jeffery, even though i really wanted to a couple of times. The thought of hitting a character limit just turns me off completly. However, some people keep telling me that it is a good thing to have because it allows people who are not signed in to Blogger to post their comments. This makes me confused cause i thought you could leave anonymous comments on my blog, which is basically people who are not signed in to Blogger. But maybe i got it wrong and there are people who truly want to leave comments and can't because i don't have Haloscan. Since i am a comment whore, i am willing to do anything to ensure that people that read this blog are able to put their 2 cents in and post whatever they feel like it. So i am leaving this up to you guys: If you feel that Haloscan would be a nice edition to this site, tell me by posting a comment or by e-mailing me and do the same if you don't think haloscan is necessary. I will make my decision based on majority rule. ok? Ohh yeah, and i have been looking for someone to be a blogging partner to post in this site and cover my ass the days in which i seem to just disappear. Anyone is welcome to send in an application if they are interested or if their blog happend to just shut down on them ( hint hint: Louise). The person applying doesn't have to agree with me on everything, but should at least have similar or parallel views. If you are interested and feel that this applies to you, again send me an e-mail telling me all about you. Oh and as for the ones who asked me to update you about my mother, well, she did check in to cleveland heart clinic and is scheduled for surgery on tuesday. I think they are doing a double bypass even though she is supposed to have a triple one, but when i asked my mother for explanation she spouted lots of medical jargin in my face and i couldn't follow her at all. Anyway, she is having heart surgery on tuesday and that's all i need to know. And here comes my second request: Please pray for her. I don't care if you believe in Allah, Krishna, Budha or Tom the god of biscuits, any prayer will help. And if you don't believe in god or any higher power, then just send some positive vibes her way will ya? I am trying to cover all my bases here! Thank you guys in advance and i am waiting on your responses.

The healing will begin any minute now!

Yes, Blue America is still bitter about Bush's re-election and they really really hate the people who voted for him. Wanna see how they view Red America? Go here! Try not to be greatly offended! If there is any solace at all for Bush supporters, here is a visual of how Blue America felt during Bush Inaguration! Makes you almost feel sorry for them. Almost!

NFL Championship Sunday: AFC!

I am rooting for the New England Patriots. Any Pats fans out there? If you do then make some noise in the comments section. Belichick and Brady rule! Go for 3! And does anyone else think that Ben Roethlisberger is the devil's spawn or at least must have made some kind of pact with the dark lord? He is just damn good for a rookie and too damn good for my comfort! Those damn Steelers! How dare they give my boys some competition? It doesn't matter anyway, cause The PATS will win tonight and they will go to the superbowl and win that shit too! They have to! I can't handle them losing now. GO PATS!

Al-Zarqawi : Democracy is evil!

Speaking of the Iraqi elections, i just stumbeld upon this on yahoo news. Apparently Al-Zarqawi has been following the footsteps of his mentor Bin Ladin and released his own audiotape outlining his views. What are his views you may ask? Ehh, that democracy is evil and that participating in it makes you an Infidel. No, I am not Joking! A speaker purporting to be Iraq's most feared terror leader declared a "fierce war" on democracy and said in an audiotape posted Sunday on the Web that the Americans were using next weekend's Iraqi elections to install the Shiites in power. "We have declared a fierce war on this evil principle of democracy and those who follow this wrong ideology," said the speaker, who identified himself as Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, head of the al-Qaida affiliate in Iraq. "Anyone who tries to help set up this system is part of it." The speaker said candidates running in the Jan. 30 elections are "demi-idols" and those who vote for them "are infidels." U.S. and Iraqi officials fear insurgent attacks and have announced massive security measures to protect voters. And if democracy isn't the kind of thing that scare you, nor do you see the link between voting for your government and Idolatry, well, Al Zarqawi has some bigotry all lined up for ya. "You have to be careful of the enemy's plan to implement so-called democracy in your country," he added. He said the Americans have engineered the election "to make Shiites dominate the regime in Iraq. Four million Shiites were brought from Iran to take part in the elections to achieve their aim of winning" most of the positions. Not scared yet? What? You should be! Let Abu Musab explain why you should be scared! Break it down for them Abu: He said the Shiites aim to "begin spreading their evil faith among people through money and fear" and that in a few years they will take over Baghdad and Sunni areas of central and northern Iraq. See, that's why you should be scared, cause the Shiite Muslims will have a chance to spread their "Evil Faith"! Shiite Muslim= Evil! How can he make it any simpler or clearer for you people? By the way.... Did anyone else notice that this man actually declared Islam to be an evil Faith? Helloooo! Is anybody home over there? Anyone paying attention? The speaker said democracy was based on un-Islamic beliefs and behaviors such as freedom of religion, rule of the people, freedom of expression, separation of religion and state, forming political parties and majority rule. Very Bad Things. Rule of the people sure is evil and dangerous and freedom of expression... don't even get me started on freedom of expression! Just imagine people expressing themselves freely.*Shudder* Evil I tell ya! EVIL! He said that freedom of expression is allowed "even cursing God. This means that there is nothing sacred in democracy." He said Islam requires the rule of God and not the rule of "the majority or the people." Actually, part of the islamic religion is the tradition of "Shura" and it basically means doing what the majority of muslims agree upon. Prophet Mohamed actually emphasized that concept when he was alive and was implemented by Islamic rulers after his death. "Shura" is an islamic sunni concept and tradition Abu Musab, and it requires the rule of the majority of people. It's what the word means you idiot. And as for y'all insurgency supporters, please take a good look. This is what you are supporting! Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside doesn't it?

The Iraq problem!

Here is a cartoon that explains the problem with next week's election perfectly!

Saturday, January 22, 2005

The Dubies!

What do Ted Kennedy, Johnk Kerry, Saddam Hussein and Martha Stewart have in common? Ehhh.... no, probably not what you are thinking. I know that those names sound like the orgy from hell and those poeple do have the distinction of getting spanked by the Bush adminstration, but it is actually simpler then that. They are all recipients of the Esquire Dubious Achievement Award, all for different reasons: You don't have to be stopped by airport security or go to prison to win an Esquire Dubious Achievement Award - but it helps. Once again, the magazine's editors have selected the richest, most succulent morsels of celebrity absurdity. Sen. Ted Kennedy is back on the list, thanks to those vigilant sentries who blocked him from boarding planes three different times because a similar name appeared on a federal counterterrorism watch list. Similarly, Esquire salutes Nicole Richie for being forced to bare her breasts when her nipple ring set off an airport metal detector. Ex-dictator Saddam Hussein wins a Dubie for taking up the gentle prison pastimes of gardening, enjoying cookies and muffins, and writing poetry. Fellow convict Martha Stewart earns her place by describing her West Virginia prison as as being "like an old-fashioned college campus, without the freedom." But, among pandering political figures, the mag can find no one to top Sen. John Kerry, who entered an Ohio grocery store and asked, "Can I get me a hunting license here?" Ok, does anyone find it kinda distrubing that Martha Stewart likens women prison to "an old-fashioned college campus"? What kind of colleges did she go to? Was she forced to engage in activities similar to prison-sex there? Eww, mental image.. mental image!

A "Peacefull" Rally!

The Bush Inaguration, as expected, had it's share of people who came to protest his policies and actions for the past 4 years. The Protesters included Women rights groups, ACLU members, Gay rights activists and of course Anti-war ptrotesters. I always thought that being Anti-war means that you are pro- peace, so in a way being in an anti-war rally meant you were in a peace rally. Since i am a foreigner and english isn't my first language, i figured that being a peace protester or a peace activist also meant that you protested peacefully. I am apparently wrong and misguided: Hundreds of people gathered at both ends of Meridian Hill Park in Northwest Washington for a peace rally sponsored by the D.C Antiwar Network. But there were interlopers: Thirteen members of ProtestWarrior, supporting the Bush administration and its policies in Iraq. When the Bush supporters arrived, about 20 black-clad, self-described anarchists emerged from the crowd, shouting profanity and epithets and demanding that they leave the peace rally. When the Bush supporters refused to leave, the anarchists tore the sign out of the Bush supporters' hands and stomped on them. When ProtestWarrior leader Gil Kobrin objected, several male anarchists knocked him to the ground, kicking him in the back and punching him. Other anarchists punched and shoved Kobrin's 12 colleagues. After D.C. Antiwar Network members broke up the fight, the Bush supporters heeded their order to leave the park. Kobrin then called D.C. police, who are now guarding them at the entrance of the park as they hold up their pro-war signs. "We're going to hang tight," Kobrin said. "We're expressing our freedom of speech just as they are expressing theirs." --Robert MacMillan So let me get this straight, the Pro-Peace people attacked the Pro-War people and kicked them out? Wow. I think it's safe to say that Irony is officially dead!

V.W. Politically Incorrect "Terrorist" commercial!

Ok, In my opinion, this is the best V.W. Polo commercial ever! Sure, it's politically incorrect and downright offensive to some people, well to a lot of people, but it's still funny as hell! You won't be seeing this on your TV screens anytime soon though. Apparently it's a fake commerical because the V.W. people would never in a million years have the balls to actually make or run such a commercial. It is however still damn good! Check it out!

The Stop Ashlee Simpson campaign!

I don't know if you guys noticed, but I really really really dislike Ashlee Simpson! Strike that, I hate Ashlee Simpson! Here, i said it! I hate her. I think she is annoying, a disgrace to musicians everywhere, and just another untalented MTV creation that they wanted to shove down our throats just because someone said so. Kinda like Colin Ferrell when you think about it! But yeah, i think we have one Simpson sister and that's quite enough. I tolerate Jessica because she is Hot and a singer that can actually sing. Ashlee is neither! Jessica, although a little annoying, also gets a free pass because she is retarded in a funny way. Ashlee on the other hand is retarded in a whole new way: she knows that we hate her and keeps on singing anyway. She keeps trying to pretend that the fact that people dislike her doesn't matter and that if we saw her preform a couple more times we might actually forget that she lipsynchs and can't sing and continue making her rich anyway. Not gonna happen sister. We fell for that shit with Britney 5 years ago and we are getting sick of her too. Not to mention, she is -or at least used to be - HOT and you, sweetie , are NOT! Anyway, i used to think i was the only one who thought so, but apparently there are others who have been feeling that same way about her. I figure there has to be at least 2 or 3 people who visit this website who might share my sentiments. So if you do, please go and add your name over here to the "Stop Ashlee Simpson" petition and send the entertainment industry a message! Please, help us stop the madness!

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

The news? I hate that show!

Apparently watching the News is bad for your mental health! A recent study in stress at Nottingham Trent University found that watching the news triggered depression, confusion, irritation, anger and anxiety. News comes at the price of your peace of mind. Like we need a reason for people to not pay attention to what goes on in the world around them!

Al-Azhar TV!

According to the Egyptian Minister of Information, there is a serious threat that needs to be dealt with and that is Egyptian television series. He has decided that something needs to be done to stop those evil immoral TV writers and directors. What is his plan to deal with this scourge? Having Al-Azhar Islamic clerics screen the TV shows and decide which shows qualify as acceptable wholesome family entertainment and should be aired and which are nothing but dangerous immoral filth-flarn-filth that should be burned alongside with its creators! He said that under the new rules, only shows that are "responsible" and "respect the values and traditions of Egyptian society" will be allowed to hit the airwaves. "The media cannot be transformed into instruments to distill poison under the pretext of artistic license," he said. Certain programs will now be presented to the clerics of Al-Azhar, the world's highest Sunni Islam authority, and the small but powerful Christian church before being broadcast, Beltagi said. This decision of his didn't come out of nowhere it seems: The man seems to have a huge affinity for censoring TV shows for religious and political purposes! The minister has already axed a television miniseries called "A Girl from Shubra," a tale of the relationship between a Christian woman and a Muslim man during the Egyptian struggle for independence in the 1940s. The ban sparked a deluge of criticism from writers but Beltagi defended the move saying the program "deals with relations between Christians and Muslims in a way that undermines national unity". The funny thing is, no one watches the egyptian state-run television in egypt anymore! Everybody- and i mean everybody- has Satellite dishes in egypt and they all watch TV channels broadcasted from other Middle-East countries like LBC or Dubai. Hell, that TV show he cancelled, it was broadcasted on the Kuwaiti Channel Al-Ray and everyone in egypt was able to view it. That man is not only an idiot, he is also out of touch with reality, and he is the freakin Information Minister. Sigh....

A small government is a beautifull thing!

It is not a secret that the majority of Egyptians don't really like their government because it is so damn big. In fact, Egyptians are usually anti- big government when they are given a choice in the matter, which is why every US egyptian immigrant i know votes republican. This disdain for government started after the 1952 socialist revolution, because prior to that , the Egyptian government was incredibly small. It had 10 Ministries ( Our word for Cabinets) and they covered only the areas that government should cover in my opinion, which are: Policing, Justice, Health, Defense, Treasury,Education, Foreign Affairs, Transportation, Trade, and Public Utilities (which included energy). That was it! The egyptian economy was in great condition, the UK owed us money, The Egyptian pound's exchange rate was $4 US Dollars to 1 Egyptian Pound. Egypt was a constitutional Monarchy , we had democratic elections that determined the parliament and government based on Party coalitions. That was then! Now, with the socialists in power since 1952, we have no democracy to speak off, Our Debts exceed our GDP by 33%, The president picks the government , the economy stinks and the Egyptian Pound Exchange Rate is 6 Egyptian Pounds to $1 US Dollar. Ohh yeah, and we have a much bigger government now. We have 34 Ministries. Thirty-Freakin-Four! The USA, which is comprised of 50 states, has only 16 Ministries (Cabinets) and that's including the newly developed Homeland Security Department. And the americans don't like it. They complain that the government is too damn big and they want it to get smaller! But we, in Egypt, we know better then the Americans. We have 34 Cabinets and we are cool with it. Do the Americans have a Secretary of Culture? Don't think so. They could use one, those stupid french-hating ignoramuses! Souvage! Anyway, when i first heard that our government has 34 cabinet positions i was more then shocked. I thought we had 23, tops! So i went today and did some research and i found out that the number is true. We really do have 34 Minisiters, and i am not counting the 2 Ministers in charge of the Parliament Upper & Lower House affairs. But yeah, for those non-believers, here is the complete List:

  1. Ministry of Defense
  2. Ministry for Environmental Affairs
  3. Ministry of Treasury
  4. Ministry of Information
  5. Ministry of Military Production
  6. Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation
  7. Ministry of Investment
  8. Ministry of Education
  9. Ministry of Higher Education
  10. Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  11. Ministry of Manpower and Emigration
  12. Ministry of Public Works and Water Resources
  13. Ministry of Tourism
  14. Ministry of Transportation
  15. Ministry of Media
  16. Ministry of Culture
  17. Ministry of Justice
  18. Ministry of Operational Development
  19. Ministry of Housing, Utilities and Urban Communities
  20. Ministry of Health
  21. Ministry of Scientific Research
  22. Ministry of National Development
  23. Ministry of Interior (Policing)
  24. Ministry of Foreign Trade and Industry
  25. Ministry of Social Insurance and Affairs
  26. Ministry of Energy and Electricity
  27. Ministry of Civil Aviation
  28. Ministry of Subsidies and Internal Trade
  29. Ministry of Youth
  30. Ministry of International Co-operation
  31. Ministry of Planning
  32. Ministry of Telecommunication and Information Technology
  33. Ministry of Petroleum
  34. Ministry of State-owned Assets (Awkaf)

Now, i may not know much, but it seems to me that there are some ministries in that list that we can do without. The Ministry of Youth for example, which is in charge of athlete teams development and running the nationalized sporting clubs. Yeah, that's a necessary function of government! The Ministry of Civil Aviation also comes to mind, since last i checked aviation is still a mode of transportation. We could also eliminate the Ministry of Higher Education, cause we already have a ministry of education and all egyptian universities either enjoy autonomy or are privately owned and run. Or how about the Ministry Tourism? I don't know anyone who knows what those people do. The pharonic and historic artifacts and monuments fall under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of culture, while the Tourism Police( we actually have a tourism police people) operates under the Jurisdiction of the Ministry of Interior. They don't even bring the Tourists over here, that's the travel companies job. What do they do exactly? No one knows the answer to that question! Although there are two theories that do explain why our government is this big.

Theory # 1 deals with the fact that we have certain policies in Egypt that cause Investors -foreign or domestic- to shy away from investing here and subsequently creating jobs. Policies like our Labor Law, which prohibits the employer from firing anyone that they employed, because- i shit you not- "workers are entitled to their jobs and job security"! Or like our Education policy, which gives egyptian citizens the right to a free education throughout Highschool and College. This may seem like a good idea on paper, but in reality it's application has some serious consequences on the economy, because every year colleges produce about half a million graduates, with the economy only creating between 20- 30 thousand new jobs. With the private sector not hiring because of the labor laws, and the educated elitist students shy away from iffy blue-collar jobs, the only place people can seek employment is the government. Fearing riots, the government every year hires thousands of people they don't really need, for jobs that involve doing nothing and paying them salaries that they can't possibly afford to live on. And this has been happening for over 50 years now. You wanna know how bad it got? Well, for example, the Accounting department in the egyptian state owned Railroad company has approx. 40 thousend employees. 40 thousand. What the hell are they doing with 40 thousand accounting employees? No one knows, but the conventional wisdom seems to be that it's better then having 50 employees in that department and 39, 950 egyptians added to the ranks of the unemployed. So why do we have 34 Ministries? Cause the people need jobs!

The other theory deals with the notion that the government likes being in charge of everything, because it allows it to steal from everybody. For example, we are the only country in the world with a Ministry of Subsidies and Internal Trade, the only one. That ministry's job is to control the inner-trading of goods and making sure that commodities prices remain affordable to the general population no matter what the market condition may be. They have the power to stop goods from coming into the country, from being sold in supermarkets, and from being traded between traders. For example, you can not import wheat and sell it in any way you please, cause they classify it as an essential good and the people have a "right" to get essential goods in "a price they can afford". They have to direct the percentages you can sell for your own private profit and the rest has to be sold to the government at a lower price then you bought the wheat for in order for the government to sell bread to the egyptian public at an "affordable" price. Of course, such policies don't get exacted on everybody, and you can always get someone in that Ministry to ignore the rules just this once for a Price. Hell, you pay the minister enough money and you may get yourself a permanent exemption from all the laws governing egyptian "Inner-trade". Once you figure that out , you can also understand why they have the Ministriers of Petroleum, foreign trade and telecommunication. And you thought american politicians were corrupt!

The only hope Egypt has in getting rid of corruption and improving its economy once again is to reduce the size of the government and let the market lead the economy. Egypt is an incredibly rich country that could've been a First-world country years ago if we only had some decent adminstration that cared more about the poeple and less about how much money they can loot from them. A lot of people-including me- talk about Reforms in egypt, but such reforms will never accomplish anything with government bureaucracies controlling and affecting every aspect of the egyptian economy and society. Get a smaller government in Egypt NOW ; the big government people had their chance the past 50 years and they failed us all miserably.

It's time for them to go!

Monday, January 17, 2005

Abbas /Sharon situation update!

This is a step in the right direction! This , on the other hand, isn't! Not now anyway!

9/11 Pentagon attack!

Here is a nice conspiracy theory for ya! Enjoy!

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Things fall apart!

Poor Abu Mazen! Not only did Hamas ruin his Swearing-Inn ceremony by their attack on Israelis, The Israelis decided to revert their position and to cut all ties with him, while 46 members of the Palestinian election commission, including top managers, resigned Saturday, saying they were pressured by Abu Mazen’s campaign and intelligence officials to abruptly change voting procedures during the Jan. 9 presidential poll. Things are looking bad for him indeed, especially because of the Tie cutting that was carried on by the Israeli side all of a sudden, something that I mentioned here that they wouldn’t do and praised them for it, because if they did cut ties they would be playing right in the hands of Hamas, which they now did. Sharon’s reasoning for it was that Al Aqsa Martyr Brigade also declared responsibility of the attack next to Hamas, and they are linked to Fath, which Abu Mazen is its leader. I think this is politically unwise move by Sharon at the moment because he really needs to give Abbas a chance to assert his authority and not look like Israel’s Bitch. Abbas is a new leader, and he needs time to do some House cleaning to get rid of Arafat’s shit stains like Al Aqsa Martyr Brigade. Oh well… It is worth noting that this cutting of all ties caused things to fall apart very rapidly: Violence raged in the Gaza Strip as he took office Saturday. The Israeli army killed eight Palestinians, and militants in Gaza fired homemade rockets at the Israeli town of Sderot, critically wounding a teenage girl. Early Sunday, Hamas militants fired two more rockets at Sderot but no casualties or damage were reported. And then, as if to add insult to injury, Hamas used the resignation of Palestinian officials to blast Abbas’ election, you know, the same election they refused to participate in because they wouldn’t have a majority vote? Hamas also issued a statement early Sunday warning that if there is not an immediate inquiry into the allegations — one that would hold accountable those responsible — it will be seen as an endorsement for future corruption. "These mass resignations put a big question mark on the credibility of the voter turnout and the results," the statement said. You wanna know what kind of irregularities those officials resigned for? They resigned cause they were pressured to keep polls open even longer then usual and for people to be allowed to cast ballots anywhere they wanted. The election officials actually stated that the irregularities don’t cast a doubt on the validity of Abbas’s victory and that their resignation was symbolic more then anything in order to ensure such things don’t happen again. The thing is though, the Palestinians were supposed to vote while having their movement restricted by the Israelis for security purposes. If they didn’t keep some of the polling stations open, many of them wouldn’t be able to vote at all. Anyway, now the question rises again. What will Abbas do now? He should crush Hamas, right? He should show them who is the president of the Palestinian people, right? He should smack them like toothless Whores and show them who is their Daddy, right? Abbas has said repeatedly that he prefers to co-opt the militants rather than crush them. If he fails to end their violence either through negotiations or a crackdown, however, there is little hope for a renewed peace process after four years of Israeli-Palestinian bloodshed. Sigh.. Why Abbas? Why? Kick their asses! They have no respect for you! If you don’t show strength as a leader now they will do as they please in the future and you won’t be able to negotiate anything with Israelis because you will have zero credibility. You have to crush Hamas Abbas. Let me help you get in the spirit of it. Wanna see what they say about you and the peace you say you want to have? "Our current position is against a truce. We are in a situation that does not allow us to accept a truce at this time," Abu Marzouk told The Associated Press. "It's known that Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Palestinian resistance have carried weapons to defend themselves, to fight (Israeli) aggression and to resist the occupation," he added. "It is unacceptable that (Abbas) demands the Palestinian people remain unarmed." Abbas, Arabs only respect power. If you don’t show it now, and really Kick Hamas’ Butt, you will have no respect by either your people or the Israelis. A man of peace must be strong enough to go to war to get that peace Abbas. You are failing your first test man, and you might not get a chance to make it up!


Okay, this is just ugly! Joseph Farah, writing for the World Net Daily News, wonders the following in an article about Iraq: It's time to ask, bluntly, whether self-government can work for people not operating within a Judeo-Christian worldview. Ehh, Yeah! Turkey comes to mind. India comes to mind. Japan comes to mind. Taiwan. South Korea. Indonesia- an islamic country- seems to be doing just fine as well. Ohh, and his soloution for the Iraqi problem? This is why I believe the best solution for these nations is to break them up into smaller states. Iraq is an artificial country. It was a creation of the imperial powers of the 20th century. Its borders were arbitrarily drawn on maps for reasons that have little to do with the best interests of the populace. It seems self-evident to me that smaller nations, with homogeneous populations, have a much better chance of maintaining freedom and avoiding volatile internal conflict. Smaller nations are much less likely to attack their neighbors. Well , the bigger ones will attack the smaller ones if they have, ehh, something the bigger ones may want. A Natural resource of some kind. Like Oil perhaps? If they divide Iraq between the Shia, the sunnis and the Kurds, they will dooming at least one country to be poorer then the other two. One of them may find it necessary to attack its oil-rich neighbour, with Kurdistan being a perfect victim for that with their complete lack of anything resembeling a modern day military against the battle trained and better armed and equiped Sunnis and Shia. It is not that hard to imagine a leader from one of those two countries waging a war to Unify Iraq; after all that was Saddam's excuse for invading Kuwait. He claimed- some even say believed- that Kuwait was a part of historical Iraq and therefore should be annexed. Not to mention, can you imagine the outcry across the arab world against it? How they will scream that the US is following the footsteps of the british and french colonials who originally cut and crafted the borders of the majority of the modern arab world's countries? Next thing you will tell me, Joseph, that this is a reasonable soloution for the Blue state/ Red state divide! They have a word to describe such a soloution Joseph and it's called a "Cop-Out".

Fair view!

In this interesting OP-ED piece in the NY Times, Thomas Friedman writes about what I previously mentioned here, how the Arabs / Muslims can never give the Americans credit for anything! He points out the fact that no matter what the US does for the Arab and the Muslim world, nothing will shake their deep-rooted disdain towards America: In the wake of U.S. aid to help Muslim and other victims of the recent tsunami, Colin Powell suggested that maybe, now that the Muslim world had seen "American generosity" and "American values in action," it wouldn't be so hostile to America. Don't hold your breath waiting for a thank-you card. If the fact that American soldiers have risked their lives to save the Muslims of Bosnia, the Muslims of Kuwait, the Muslims of Somalia, the Muslims of Afghanistan and the Muslims of Iraq has earned the U.S. only the false accusation of being "anti-Muslim," trust me, U.S. troops passing out bottled water and Pop-Tarts in Indonesia are not going to erase that lie. It is not an exaggeration to say that, if you throw in the Oslo peace process, U.S. foreign policy for the last 15 years has been dominated by an effort to save Muslims - not from tsunamis, but from tyrannies, mostly their own theocratic or autocratic regimes. It clearly has not made much of an impression. So you will pardon me if I say that I don't care whether the state media in Saudi Arabia - whose government gave far less to the Muslim tsunami victims ($30 million) than the amount spent by King Fahd's entourage on his last two vacations in Marbella (reportedly $100 million) - say nice things about us. Ouch! He then hammers on: I believe the tensions between us and the Muslim world stem primarily from the conditions under which many Muslims live, not what we do. I believe free people, living under freely elected governments, with a free press and with economies and education systems that enable their young people to achieve their full potential, don't spend a lot of time thinking about who to hate, who to blame, and who to lash out at. Free countries don't have leaders who use their media and state-owned "intellectuals" to deflect all of their people's anger away from them and onto America. To me, this article is interesting, because it made me notice something that I didn’t notice before about my surrounding environment, which is that I can’t find any Egyptian Christians who are Anti-American. Not a single one. They may not usually voice that fact in public- Translation = when surrounded by Muslims- but in private they will tell you that they actually support what Bush is doing in Iraq and the pressure that he is putting on the region to reform. That, in turn, made me remember when I was in college, how all the Lebanese Christians were, more, or less, Bush supporters. They didn’t identify with the perspective the rest of the Arab student body had, which was that Bush was out to invade and occupy the middle-east and oppress and kill all Muslims. The rest of the Arab student body, needless to say, was all Muslim. This could lead us to one of two conclusions: The Arab Christians support the US and Bush because they identify with his faith and share his "hatred" for all things islamic or that the Arab Muslims have a biased and often skewed perspective when it comes to the US. I personally doubt that the Arab Christians are supporting Bush cause he is anti-Muslim, because in the case of war, bombs don’t discriminate; they kill Muslims and Christians the same. It’s also kind of hard for me to believe that Arab Christians are less patriotic or nationalistic the Arab Muslims , when the history of Egypt from the days of Napoleon to the Yom Kippur War has proven that in times of war religion becomes a non-issue for arabs and they usually fight side by side. Which leaves the second option: Arab Muslims have a skewed perspective when it comes to the US, no matter what the latter does for them. I had this discussion with my aunt regarding the US tsunami aid and how she also thought that the US aid to the Tsunami victims was stingy, but when I asked her about the rich Muslim or Arab countries aid, or rather how much she herself donated, she couldn’t come up with a good answer and ended mumbeling that it's not the same. I never heard a single Arab Muslim intellectual ever give the US credit for bombing the Serbs out of Kosovo and saving the Muslims from genocide. No one ever mentions that, in many ways, Afghanistan is better off now then it was under the Taliban, even when they all agree that the Taliban were on the Ckoo-Ckoo side of Islam. And, it is in many ways, the fault of the local government-backed Muslim Arab Intelligentsia that wants the populace to be angry at the US and Israel then at their own corrupt governments. The US could try and broker 100 peace conferences between the Arabs and the Israelis and it's never good enough cause the US isn’t tough enough on Israel for their liking. The US- not Saddam- is to blame for the death of Iraqi children due to their economic embargo on Iraq, even though it was Saddam who waged war against the Islamic republic of Iran for 8 years, invaded the neighboring Muslim country of Kuwait and almost invaded Saudi. Don’t blame the Muslim who was a deadly threat to his neighboring Muslims. Just blame the Americans, it’s easier that way! The Arab Christians, on the other hand, don’t really fall for that perspective, because, well, they are not Muslim and that makes them slightly more objective when it comes to judging events. They do not subscribe to the notion that Arabs are persecuted all over the world and that the US is to blame for all their problems. They are more willing to entertain the idea that Arab Muslims are a little hypocritical when it comes to self-reflection and personal assessment. They have no interest or stake in maintaining a corrupt ruler or government in place just because it is a Muslim ruler or government. Some might say they may not be completely unbiased either, for they would like to have Christian rulers or governments replace the Muslim ones. That could be true, but I have a feeling that they wouldn’t mind having a secular government that would respect Muslim and Christian’s equally rather then one group over the other, which is something the majority of arab muslims would never be for. This leaves the question, well, why do Arab Muslims act and view things this way? Well, besides the local government using the media and their flunky intellectuals to divert their subjects disdain from them towards the US, there is also the issue of Islamic pride. At some point in History, the Muslims had a great empire that even included Spain. They were a world power and a force to be reckoned with. Those days are over, but their nostalgic allure still exists in the hearts and minds of the majority of Muslims who currently live in what is referred to as Third World Countries. They blame those conditions on the old colonial empires of France and Britain instead of blaming them on leaders who had no vision or aspiration but to remain in power as long as humanely possible. It’s easier to blame the western world for your problems then to actually try to solve them. Arab Christians on the other hand never saw any glory in the Muslim empire- mainly because they were considered second class citizens those days- and see no problem blaming the inept Muslim leaders for failing to bring their country forward. While Arab Muslims will doubt that anything good will come from the west, the Arab Christians will look at what the west does well and try to emulate it. A lot of Arab Muslims seem to hang on too much to the past, while the Arab Christians seem to be interested more in their future! I just hope, that one day, the majority of the Muslim world would just stop for a minute and think in a logical, reasonable and pragmatic way, you know, the way Turkey did after the first world war. They have problems that need addressing, and the least of which is America. You know, things like education, equality between the sexes, freedom of religion and democratic reforms. But until they are able to hold an objective honest debate about what they are doing and why it seems that the rest of the world is passing them by, then they risk staying forever where they are now, while blaming the U.S. for it naturally!

I guess relationships are hard enough as it is!

Do you feel lonely in a country that seems predominantly conservative leaning? Are you in a relationship with someone that doesn’t share your hate for Bush? Do you not wish to engage in intellectual or political (or something equally yucky) discussions with a significant other who may have views that vary with your own? Well, my democrat friend, this website is for you! Cause relationships aren't about exposing yourself to new and different things…. PS: Does any one else notice the subliminal notion on that homepage with its token black man and white blonde woman that connects being liberal with interracial dating? Nothing says liberal like white people sleeping with black people. That’s because, ya know, anyone who is not a liberal is racist. How do I know? Cause Democrats say so; and they never lie! PPS: Is it just me, or are the only people that continue stating that your race matters in America are democrats? Not implying anything. That’s just an observation from my perspective as a foreigner.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Website update : Site Feed is up!

Per order from Lisa from New York and cadetpage before her, i have enabled the site feed for this blog, and you can find the url on the sidebar under "Monkey Business"! I was kinda against it at first because i would've liked you-yes you Lisa- to come visit my site personally everyday, but oh well! Life goes on, c'est la vie, yada yada yada! Ohh, and i have my e-mail up there as well, so it wouldn't take you long to send me those words of lavish praise or inventive insults that my readers love to bestow upon me! Just be warned that anything you send me can and will be used by me to make fun of you on this website if i feel like it! So lets try not to write anything that we may later on regret haters, ok? Ok! Have a nice Day! :)