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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

Saturday, December 31, 2005

May the next year not suck

So Today is the last day of the year 2005, one of the new millenium's worst years so far. There was so much bloodshed, mayhem and death to last 5 years in this year, which is why I am glad it's over and why I am hoping that next year things get better. I am hoping, but not really expecting it, cause honestly, the Future holds more of a threat than a promise these days. Oh well.... Since none of us can do anything about it, I say we stop worrying about all that could possibly go wrong or will go wrong for just one night and one day. I say we celebrate today with one another, be merry and enjoy the one night in which everyone in the whole world gets down and boogeys. Whether it's a fifth of tequila or non-alcoholic champaigne you are toasting when that clock hits midnight, I say drink it, and wash away all the crap that this past year inflicted on all of us. This way, even if WWIII starts tommorow, we will at least face it with a clean slate and a cheery disposition, you know? Happy New Year people! :)

The US to strike Iran in the new year

This is the latest rumor boys and girls: The US and NATO are planning a surprise secret attack against Iran in 2006. How do we know about it if it's a surprise secret attack you say? Well, it's in the media and if it's in the media it must be true, no? The Bush administration is preparing its NATO allies for a possible military strike against suspected nuclear sites in Iran in the New Year, according to German media reports, reinforcing similar earlier suggestions in the Turkish media.

The Berlin daily Der Tagesspiegel this week quoted "NATO intelligence sources" who claimed that the NATO allies had been informed that the United States is currently investigating all possibilities of bringing the mullah-led regime into line, including military options. This "all options are open" line has been President George W Bush's publicly stated policy throughout the past 18 months.

But the respected German weekly Der Spiegel notes "What is new here is that Washington appears to be dispatching high-level officials to prepare its allies for a possible attack rather than merely implying the possibility as it has repeatedly done during the past year."

I say attack on New Year's eve. That would be taking them by surprise, ya know?

Not to mention: Bombs, explosions and fire= Fireworks and what's a new year celebration without Fireworks?It would be like taking part of their New Year's celebrations! They might even welcome it! No? They wouldn't? That doesn't change the point though, and the point is that fireworks are awesome. Yay for fireworks.

Our National Shame

The stand-off between the Egyptian security forces and the sudanese refugees ended up being more deadly than originally imagined: At least 20 sudanese died in the clashes. This is the kind of violence that took place: In a showdown played out during the first five hours of Friday, the protesters dismantled their plastic sheeting and cardboard, but most refused to leave on buses brought in to take them to camps elsewhere in Cairo.

Shortly before dawn, thousands of riot police encircled the camp, set up near the refugee agency to draw attention to the refugees' demands. Police fired water cannons at the protesters, then invaded the park when the Sudanese refused to leave.

Protesters could be seen fighting back with long sticks that appeared to be supports for makeshift tents.

Police beat the unarmed migrants with batons, continuing to hit them even as they were being dragged to the buses. One officer carried a girl of about 3 or 4 years old who was unconscious. An ambulance worker said the girl was dead.

A policeman clubbed a Sudanese man with a tree branch as two officers hauled the refugee away.

And what's the response of the interior ministery?

The Egyptian Interior Ministry said it had acted in part after the UNHCR asked for protection because it had received "threats to attack the commission offices and its members."

The Interior Ministry blamed the violence on the Sudanese and said the dead and injured were victims of a stampede.

Of course. The Police is never at fault huh? I bet the Sudanese government will have something to say about this:

Sudanese Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Ali Ahmed Kerti, speaking to reporters in Cairo before returning to Khartoum, joined Egyptian authorities in blaming the refugees, some of whom "sought to escalate the situation with no regard to the consequences," Egypt's MENA news agency reported.

Oh. Nevermind! And don't develop any conspiracy theories either: Just because the refugess were christians and the government is controlled majorly by muslims has nothing to do with its blaming their own people response or anything. After all, the sudanese government isn't secterian or biased against the christians or anything. Right? Right? Riiighhht! Sigh... Nora Younis has a first hand eye-witness account of the clashes with pictures that's a must read. Make sure you check it out!

Former Syrian VP confirms that Syria threatend Harriri

Not everyone in Syria tows the protect Bashar line anymore: Former Syrian Vice President Abdul-Halim Khaddam, a one-time stalwart of the ruling Baath Party, said on Friday that former Lebanese Premier Rafik Hariri was threatened by Syria months before he was assassinated. [...]

Khaddam made the claim as he declared a formal break with President Bashar Assad in a television interview from Paris, criticizing the regime and citing corruption and its failure to reform.

"Hariri was subjected to many threats from Syria. ...Serious things were said. Once he was summoned to Damascus ... and spoken to in extremely harsh words by President Bashar Assad," Khaddam said in the interview with Al-Arabiya, the pan-Arab satellite broadcaster, his first since he left Syria several months ago.


He quoted the Syrian president as telling Hariri, months before he was killed: "You want to bring a (new) president in Lebanon. ... I will not allow that. I will crush whoever attempts to overturn our decision."

The Syrians , in turn, have responded. Well, kinda... In Syria, government officials could not be immediately reached for comment. But pro-government observers were quick to criticize Khaddam's disclosures.

"It is strange that he's criticizing government behavior when he was part of it," said George Jabbour, a legislator for the Baath party. "Why now? ... And how an official who dedicated his life to his country makes these statements?" asked political analyst Ahmed Haj Ali.

I smell a conspiracy. Someone is behind this. Must be the Jews! Update: Raja thinks this couldn't have happend at a better time. I agree.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Planet of the Arabs

You have to watch this movie and tell me what you think: Quicktime version here, Mediaplayer version here.

More Mayhem in Gaza

The situation in Gaza is getting worse by the minute: Palestinian policemen went on a rampage over the killing of a colleague and seized the Gaza-Egypt border crossing for several hours Friday, forcing European monitors to flee in the latest sign of growing mayhem in the coastal strip. [...]

Friday's border takeover and the kidnapping of the Britons fed worries that chaos in Gaza may be spreading to outsiders brought in to help develop the area following Israel's pullout.

Gaza has experienced a wave of shootouts, kidnappings and armed takeovers of government buildings in recent months, undermining Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas' efforts to impose law and order in the wake of Israel's withdrawal from the area in September.

In new violence, a 14-year-old boy was killed Friday when a powerful Palestinian family attacked a local police station for a second straight day. Their assault the previous day caused the death of the police officer that set off the furious eruption by police Friday.

About 100 policemen stormed the Rafah border terminal in the morning, firing in the air and taking up positions at the crossing, security officials and witnesses said.

OK, so one of their own gets killed by this family, and instead of attacking the family they attack the checkpoint? Ok, cause that makes sense!

The Police is out of control, Abbas is losing control and Hamas seems to be getting more popular by the day amongst the palestinian population. If this ends up with an inner revolution and Hamas takes over, well, you can say goodbye to any peace plans in the near future.

Oh well..

Thursday, December 29, 2005

2005 ends on a dry note for Bush

After all, the White House has been oral-sex-free for the past 5 years. This calls for a celebration.

Munich movie review in two sentences

Too long, has no ending, tries to please all sides and fails msierabely at that. The few and far between cool scenes of violence are worthy of the admission ticket's price though.

The Face of Evil

This is how it looks like: A man on December 25 allegedly killed his four daughters by slitting their throats while they slept in their home in eastern Pakistan, after the eldest married a man of her choice, police said. "The man came to a police station to court arrest after killing his four daughters on Saturday," senior police officer Mukhtar Iqbal Tikka said. Nazeer Ahmed, who worked as a laborer near Burewala, some 110 kilometers (68 miles) east of Multan, had resented his eldest daughter's love marriage and killed the three others, fearing they might follow her, Tikka said. Ahmed apparently told police his eldest daughter Muqadas Bibi, 25, had married a man of her choice against his wishes and her act had tarnished the family's honour so he plotted to kill her and his other daughters. While she was asleep with her sisters Bano Bibi, 12, Sumera Bibi, 8, and Humera, 6, he allegedly cut their throats with a sharp knife, Tikka said. Disgusting..

You won't believe this

The Year 2005 strangest stories are here. Check them out


An american teen from Iraqi origin decides to travel to Iraq by himself for a school assigment. He better get some extra credit for this.

There will be spanking

The US ia warning Egypt's government of causing damage to their relationship for the verdict against Ayman Nour. Apparantly there will be some harsh language involved and they maybe even send Mubarak a letter telling him that they are really really mad at him. And then Mubarak will say that he is sorry and the US will say "That's ok sweetie pie. You know I can't stay mad at you for long". Or something like that!

Egyptian Police vs. Sudanese refugess

The Egyptian Police finally clashed with the thousands of Sudanese refugees that have camped in one of Mohandeseen's public gardens for more than 2 months, leaving 6 injured and a little girl dead. Here is what happend:

About 2,000 riot police stormed the camp site and beat the people inside with truncheons and sticks after officials failed to persuade the Sudanese to board buses to take them to another site.

About 4,000 riot police in total ringed the site in an affluent part of Cairo near the offices of the U.N. agency that deals with refugees.

The protesters had refused to clear the area after police fired water cannons on them, demanding that the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) arrange for them to be flown out of Egypt.

"Let the UN arrange to take us to another country," said one Sudanese protester who gave his name as Wilson.

"Most Sudanese refugees have been subjected to violence in Egypt. We don't want to be here anymore," he said.

The only problem is this: They don't want refugee status in Egypt; They want refugee status in the US/Europe or Canada and they can't have that , because the civil war in Sudan is over with the new Peace agreemant. No more War = no overwhelming humane crisis that grants them such status. The UN already told them that, that there is no reason for any of those countries to give them assylum. Egypt , on the other hand, agreed to let them stay instead of bussing them all to an airport and deporting them back to Sudan. And now this happend. Great, huh?

The Holocaust contradictions

Zainab Al Suwaij wrote an excellent article called "Accepting contradictions as a means of survival" about how muslims and arabs cope with the world. The best contradiction in beliefs, and also the most classic one, is the way the arabs talk about the Holocaust. If you live in an arab country, you know you heard those 3 statements before and sometimes from the same person: 1) The Holocaust never happend. 2) Hitler is a great man for killing the Jews. 3) Sharon is as bad as Hitler. You figure out how someone can have those 3 statements in their heads and feel utterly comfortable with believeing them despite their galring contradictions, and you will figure out how the mind of the average conspiracy-theory-obsessed jew-hating arab works. Confused? Can't find a way to make those 3 statements work together or exist in the same reality? Imagine how I feel!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The Sandmonkey Tour

I am currently in Boston MA, and will soon fly to California, where I will be visiting LA, SanFran and the O.C. for 3 days sometime next week. I may also drop by NYC for a night or so. So If you are in any of those States and you wish to see me, drop me a line via my E-mail! Ok? Sweet!

I am moving to Planet Buffy

Those who know me know that I am a whedon-head, which means I love everything that Joss Whedon is involved in, which includes : Buffy, angel, Firefly, and the movies Toy Story, Xmen, and Serenity. So for me, knowing that there is a planet Buffy now,like an actual planet in space and everything, makes me all kinds of excited. There is also planet Easter Bunny, a mini-world nicknamed Santa and has a moonlet named Rudolph. How awesome is that? Okay, so I am a dork. Sue me!

Just for Sharon Haters

Sharon apparently has a hole in his heart. Make your own inappropriate Sharon-hating joke here!

Syrian arrested in Tueni's murder

Ok, anyone surprised at this? No? Didn't think so! In other news, Ghassan Tueni seems to share my views on Amr Moussa, by accusing him of setting up a federation of arab tyrants to prop up Syria's regime. Ghassan Tueni has blasted the mediation of the Arab League Secretary General as an attempt to break Syria's isolation and form a federation of Arab tyrants to prop up the Damascus regime. He also said that his call for burying "the grudges" and "revenge inclinations" did not mean compromising the "dignity" of Gebran Tueni, his slain son, An Nahar's General Manager and Beirut lawmaker. Asked about Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa's mediation between Lebanon and Syria, Tueni said: "Moussa wants to create a federation of countries with tyrannical regimes to protect Syria." I said it once, I will say it a million times: Amr Moussa is a Hack and a Tyrant apologists. People who admire him are morons.

And the stockholm syndrome lives on...

This is pirceless: A former German hostage who spent 24 days in the hands of unknown captors in Iraq said her kidnappers were not criminals and had demanded humanitarian aid for Sunni Arab regions. Speaking to Doha-based satellite channel Al-Jazeera, Susanne Osthoff said her captors told her not to be afraid as her kidnapping was "politically motivated." "Do not be afraid. We do not harm women or children and you are a Muslim," she quoted them as saying. "I was so happy to know that I had not fallen into the hands of criminals," she said. Ok, so even though they kidnapped you and made a list of demands, they are not criminals. Allrighty... She described her captors as "poor people" and that she "cannot blame them for kidnapping her, as they cannot enter (Baghdad's heavily fortified) Green Zone to kidnap Americans." Ok, wait a minute. Hold on a second. Stop right freakin there. Did she just say what I thought she said? Are you kidding me? Wow, so not only are you ok with them kidnapping you, you actually lament the fact that they can't kidnapp americans? Lady, I am no psychologist, but I fear you suffer from a severe case of the stockholm syndrome. Just a wild guess. Check out the Big Pharaoh on this piece. He tears the woman a new one.

Islam booming amongst European women...

...And that's making the anti-terrorism authorities there all kinds of uncomfortable, at least that's what this piece by the CSMonitor says. The reasons behind the surge in conversions? Well... Fallot laughs when she is asked whether her love life had anything to do with her decision. "When I told my colleagues at work that I had converted, their first reaction was to ask whether I had a Muslim boyfriend," she recalls. "They couldn't believe I had done it of my own free will." In fact, she explains, she liked the way "Islam demands a closeness to God. Islam is simpler, more rigorous, and it's easier because it is explicit. I was looking for a framework; man needs rules and behavior to follow. Christianity did not give me the same reference points." Those reasons reflect many female converts' thinking, say experts who have studied the phenomenon. "A lot of women are reacting to the moral uncertainties of Western society," says Dr. Jawad. "They like the sense of belonging and caring and sharing that Islam offers." Others are attracted by "a certain idea of womanhood and manhood that Islam offers," suggests Karin van Nieuwkerk, who has studied Dutch women converts. "There is more space for family and motherhood in Islam, and women are not sex objects." Ok..hold on a minute. Women are not sex objects in Islam? Are you kidding me? What are women but sex objects in Islam? Seriously. She needs to get married once she hits puberty, she needs to be coverd in order not to entice men, you can have 4 wives and Gawary (female slaves) and that's cool. Hell, even in Heaven men's reward is more sex with more women, while women, well, they get to be with their busbands and nobody else. Which Islam are these women converting to? Listen, I am not against them converting (or reverting for that matter) to Islam, but the reality is, a lot of the western converts are given a waterd down version of Islam at first until they convert and after that their spirtual mentors bring on the heavy stuff and by that time it's too late to go back. Your eagerness and ignorance make you a prey to a big slew of people, and this could really be trouble, because... Others jump right in, eager for the exoticism of a new religion, and become much more pious than fellow mosque-goers who were born into Islam. Such converts, taking an absolutist approach, appear to be the ones most easily led into extremism. The early stages of a convert's discovery of Islam "can be quite a sensitive time," says Batool al-Toma, who runs the "New Muslims" program at the Islamic Foundation in Leicester, England. "You are not confident of your knowledge, you are a newcomer, and you could be prey to a lot of different people either acting individually or as members of an organization," Ms. Al-Toma explains. A few converts feel "such a huge desire to fit in and be accepted that they are ready to do just about anything," she says. "New converts feel they have to prove themselves," adds Dr. Ranstorp. "Those who seek more extreme ways of proving themselves can become extraordinarily easy prey to manipulation." At the same time, says al-Toma, converts seeking respite in Islam from a troubled past - such as Degauque, who had reportedly drifted in and out of drugs and jobs before converting to Islam - might be persuaded that such an "ultimate action" as a suicide bomb attack offered an opportunity for salvation and forgiveness. Dagauque is the female belgian suicidebomber who died in Iraq, in case you didn't hear about it! "The saddest conclusion" al-Toma draws from Degauque's death in Iraq is that "a woman who set out on the road to inner peace became a victim of people who set out to use and abuse her." Indeed.

Catholics follow muslim footsteps

You know how Islam says that everyone is born a muslim and when you convert to Islam from another religion you actually revert to Islam? Well, the catholics have done the muslims one better, and have managed to issue an official vatican doctrine that makes everyone in the world catholic and thus eligable to salvation. Nice, huh? Now all I need is some Jewish Rabbi to say that we are all Jews and I am all set. There ain't noway they are keeping me out of heaven now. Satan, eat your heart out! Muhahahahahahah! On a side not, this is why despite my utter respect for religion*, I have no respect what so ever to "Men of God". They are just usually full of bullshit like that. Sorry. *I said I respect religion. That respect is not automatically extended to followers of those religions, especially the crazy ones.

To the readers

The webstat thinghas been removed, so there should be no more pop-ups anymore. Death to POP-UPS!

Schwarzenegger deleted

After making the Mayor of Graz his Bitch by demanding that the city remove his name from the city's stadium, the austrians are striking back by removing refrences to Arnold from their town website. Ooooohhhhhhhh! Good one Graz. Einfach Toll.


My Flight was a disaster, even though I was sitting business class. There was a bug in the video system on the plane, so only 2 movies played on my own TV entertainment console : Herbie: Fully loaded and Cinderella man. To add more insult to injury, the audio language tracks were all messed up, and the english ones weren't working, so I had to chose between watching Cinderella man in french or Herbie: Fully Loaded in Japanese. And you thought that Lindsay Lohan can't possibly get more annoying. Try Lindsay Lohan speaking Japanese. That's punishment.

" This passport guy was so rude. I told him I was here visiting my cousins who live here. He asks me if they were egyptians too. When I said yes, he smirked and said "Not any-mooooore!" This egyptian kid I met on the plane.
My connection flight was supposed to be in 4 hours, so I was counting on the airport entry or customs dudes to act like assholes or something and take me to that side room for like an hour or so like they used to. I would've welcome it this time cause I had time to waste. Foiled again. They let me pass through in exactly 30 seconds. The customs guy didn't even look at my customs sheet and he just let me through. He then proceeded to search everyone that came after me. Grrrrrrrr.....
A Magazine had Jack Black on its cover with the headline "The King Kong of comedy!". Oh how clever and original.
COMAIR SUCKS. It's this airline that's a Delta affiliate. It sucks. Never take it. Fly Jetblue instead. Hell, Airtran is an awesome airline next to Comair.
I was invited over for a christmass dinner at a friend's house. She and her family are scottish immigrants who happen to be vegeterian buddhists. So you basically had a muslim and a bunch of scottish buddhists celebrating christmas by having a vegeterian christmas dinner. Ohh yeah! On the bright side, they put whiskey in like..everything. In the eggnog, on the christmas cake (then lit it on fire, which was awesome) and in my glass on the rocks to my drunken joy. I officially love scottish people now.
You figure out the reason why you are overweight when you pass by the delis and restaurants in the neighbourhood you used to live in and the people who work there not only know you by name, but they get out and greet you with hugs and ask you when you are planning on moving back to your old place. I am guessing their business has sufferd ever since I moved away. Hmmm..........
I am currently staying at a friend's house in this old hippie area in Boston, which is cool, except that like, everybody in that neighbourhood, and I mean everybody, likes to shower with the curtains open with a full view of everyone on the street. I am not sure how I feel about that yet, but I bet I would be far more comfortable with it if we had more hot female neighbours. You know?

A bittersweet joke

A German, a French, and an Egyptian went to an Art museum and were spending some time in front of the painting of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. After observing the painting for a while an intrigued observer asked the three men where they thought Adam and Eve's origins could be from. The German said: "Look at the perfection of their bodies. She with her slender and well formed figure and he with that athletic body and bulging muscles. There is no doubt they must be of German origin." Immediately the Frenchman reacts! "C'est Impossible! One can clearly see the eroticism that is exuding from both figures... She so feminine? he so masculine... and both so aware of the impending temptation... They must be French!" Shaking his head in disagreement, after a few more seconds of contemplation the Egyptian exclaims: "I do NOT agree with ANY of your theories! Look closer, they don't have clothes, they don't have shoes, and they don't even have shelter. All they have is ONE apple to eat and to top it all off, it is prohibited! They don't protest and they STILL think they are in Paradise!? Clearly, these two can only be Egyptian!!!"

Friday, December 23, 2005

I am ok!

Guys, I am fine. I just arrived to Boston yesterday and passed out for like 10 hours after I arrived. Even now the jet lag feeling is still making me tired. Or it could be the airline food. Hmmm... Anyway, stories of what happend will surely come on later, when I have the time to tell them and right now I am too busy. Will Blog soon, but for the next day or two I am on hiatus. Also, If you are in the Boston area and you wanna meet, send me an e-mail with ur phone number and we will work something out. Cheers, The Sandmonkey

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Beantown, here I come!

All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go, I'm standing here outside the door, I hate to wake you up to say goodbye. But the dawn is breaking it's surely morn, The taxi is waiting, he's blown his horn Already I'm so lonesome I could die. So kiss me and smile for me, Tell me that you'll wait for me, Hold me like you'll never let me go. 'Cause I'm leaving on a jet plane, Don't know when I'll be back again, Oh babe, I hate to go.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Regarding our week-long rush-hour

Question: You know why Mubarak never opens a project, visits a ministry, doesn't go anywhere or do anything on Fridays? Answer: Because Friday is the only day when the streets of Cairo are empty from the morning to the afternoon, thus allowing anyone attempting an assassination a chance to run away with their car afterwards. This isn't the case during any other day of the week, where there is a contention of traffic everywhere and it takes you at least an hour to go for a 15 minute drive. That's why he insists on going places on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, wendsday and Thursday during the worst hours of traffic; where would a potential assassin run away to when all the streets are packed? Ohh, the things you learn from the President's security detail people!

The NDP's next move

The election is over, the casualties have been counted and the dust settled. The Parliament is now convened with 88 MB parliamentarians, which means they have more then enough votes to back an independent nominee in the next presidential elections, while none of the actual opposition parties have enough to back one of their own. The trend in the elections shows that the majority of people who vote for the MB aren't MB sympathizers as much as they are NDP haters, who wanted to vote against the NDP and therefore backed its biggest opposition group. It's like our own version of the ABB movement. This isn't good news for the NDP, because the moment the next presidential election comes, they will have a 2 man race between their nominee (Mubarak Jr.) and the MB's nominee, and they can't want that. Gamal Mubarak is hated to the degree that people will vote for the MB candidate just so he wouldn't become our next President, and the NDP knows this. They know that in order for Jimmy to have a chance in hell the MB need to be neutralized and not have a candidate, which we all know is improbable as a Christian becoming the next President of Egypt. Even dissolving the parliament and having new elections won't guarantee that the MB won't get enough seats again, especially that the Egyptian people showed that they will brave anything to vote, and the Judges are showing that they won't just do what the government tells them anymore, which means that voter fraud won't go smoothly at all. There needs to be a solution that allows people to vote, but would prevent the MB from fielding candidates and would get rid of them and their influence in this parliament. And no, arresting the MB head figures won't do, because the MB could field nobodies and those nobodies would win just because they are the MB candidates. This has to be legal and fair solution that would gain wide-ranged support from our intelligentsia. Luckily for them, such a solution does exist after all: Voting by candidate lists. For those of you unfamiliar with such a process, this is how it goes: Every party fields a list of candidates equal to the number of the seats in the Parliament, with usually the most prominent or important names placed at the top of the list. The Egyptian voters will go and vote for the list that has names that they approve off, and based on the percentages each list gets of the vote, an equal percentage of the seats in the parliament gets distributed to the respective parties and handed out in ascending order: i.e. if they get 22 seats, the first 22 names get those seats, if they get 100 seats, the first 100 names get seats and so on. Basically you vote for the party you believe in instead of the representative you like. I believe this is the way that Iraq and Israel run their elections as well. Anyway... Well, you may ask, how will that limit the MB exactly? Well... They don't have a party, therefore they can't have their own list of candidates. There maybe an independent list, but who is going to manage it? Who will decide which name goes first? In parties the election committee would decide that, but there is no such a thing for an independent list. Unless the MB forms a party (which the government won't allow) or joins an existing party (which is unlikely because there isn't a party that likes their ideology or are ready to be taken over by the MB. Not to mention the government can then freeze the party from political activity), they won't be able to play at all. And it would be all legal and would have the support of the opposition parties, because now, that the MB is neutralized, they have a shot of getting more seats and having more Power, and maybe even get a shot at the presidential elections again. The NDP would like that too, because most of those parties are out of touch with the Egyptian voter and have very little street presence, unlike the MB. So how would that happen exactly? Well, the process already started. First of all, you have one of your stooges-preferably not an NDP MP- start a motion for something the MB would have to support but didn't intend to bring it up now for their own political interests of seeming moderate, like Al Ghad defecter MP Ragab Hellal Hemaydah's recent proposal to ban the sale of alcohol in Egypt since "it is against the Sharia and the sharia is the basis of the constitution". This is something the MB would not be able to weasel out of, because they are supposedly the protectors of the Sharia and if they don't support it you could call them Hypocrites for it; And, on the other hand, if they do support it, you can then claim: "Hey, look, the moment they have power they show their true colors, and it looks like the Taliban". Their choice would either be looking like extremists or looking like Hypocrites and either way it's a lose-lose situation for the MB and their image will be tarnished one way or another. After tarnishing their image, you move to proposing a law that would change the electoral system in Egypt from an elected representative one to that of a candidate list one. The opposition parties would hail the decision as the greatest breakthrough in Egyptian politics and another move towards democracy, the MB would of course object, but since the NDP has a 2/3 majority the MB would be helpless to stop it. After the law passes, the President would dissolve the parliament and call for a new parliamentary election, this time without MB candidates. Since the majority of the other parties are disorganized and lack funding, the NDP list would probably win most seats, and give the Egyptian people a multi-party presidential elections that will look like a circus once again. The NDP and Gamal win, the impotent Opposition parties win, and the secularists and the Christians would finally breathe a temporary sigh of relief since the Big Bad Brotherhood is now out of the picture, again. The losers, of course, would be the MB and the Egyptian people, who may end up feeling that the only way to change the system would have to be a violent one and we are back to the days of the early 90's once again and the emergency laws will never ever get revoked. So, basically, Egypt and democracy will end up being the greatest losers after all. But that doesn't matter, since the NDP and Gamal will win, and a victory for Gamal is a victory for Democracy, right? Riiight! Sigh...

Israel has a problem

It will have a..ehh...leadership crisis the moment Sharon is no longer leading the country, it seems: That's why Sharon's new party, Kadima, is so popular, even though it has no grass-roots activists, no organization, no history—and no future. It's a one-man, one-time show enabling the public to avoid the crucial leadership issue. "If Sharon is not capable of running," said someone interviewed by Israeli radio, "this in itself will not make Netanyahu or [Labor leader Amir] Peretz good candidates." Forty-two percent of Labor voters—Peretz voters—when asked which candidate they would prefer if it were necessary to decide whether Israel should attack nuclear sites in Iran, chose Sharon. Peretz was picked by only 17 percent. When asked who is more suited to be prime minister, 15 percent said Peretz, 43 percent Sharon. Hmm...........

Iraqis claim voter fraud

Not only the Sunnis, but also the kurds are demanding an investigation. I say re-do the election if necessary. If this is ignored , it could lead to further complcations. Solve the problem people. And maybe, just maybe, try to ensure that Iran isn't bringing in forged ballots? That could be a good place to start, you know?

Schwarzenegger makes Austrian mayor his Bitch!

One day after the governrator told the Austrians politicians from his hometwon- who denounced his decision to deny clemency to Tookie and wanted to rename the Schwarzenegger stadium as punishment-to shove it where the sun don't shine and take his name off of anything they have, the mayor of that town is now publically begging him not to do so. Hehehe. PUNK! The mayor of Arnold Schwarzenegger's Austrian hometown on Tuesday begged the California governor to reconsider his decision to cut ties to the city after locals assailed him for his death penalty stance. Siegfried Nagl, mayor of the southern city of Graz, said he wrote Schwarzenegger pleading with him not to return a ring of honor bestowed on him by officials in his birthplace in 1999 and reassuring him that most residents still admire him. "I hope that very soon we'll hear you say, 'I'll be back,'" Nagl told the actor-turned-politician, one of Austria's most famous sons. [...] Nagl told Austrian television he hoped to persuade Schwarzenegger. At a minimum, he said, he hoped to persuade Schwarzenegger to keep the ring — though he conceded he did not expect to succeed. "Those who know him realize he sticks to his opinions," he said. "The chances are not good. I regret this deeply, but I understand." Well, then why didn't you speak up against the drive before Mr. Mayor? Oh right, re-election: Kurt Flecker, a local official with the opposition Social Democrats, said Schwarzenegger damaged his own image — not Graz's — by refusing to spare Williams' life. There is no point, he said, in "glorifying anyone who supports the death penalty." Walter Ferk, the deputy mayor of Graz, said Schwarzenegger's decision to allow executions to go forward makes him "an unsuitable godfather for a public building." An unsuitable godfather for a public building. Hmmm.. Is everyone in that town retarded?

Rep. John Conyers starts a motion to impeach Bush

Hey, America, ready for another presidential impeachment session? You will have one if Rep. Hon Conyers has his way. Ranking House Judiciary Democrat Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) has introduced a motion to censure President Bush and Vice President Cheney for providing misleading information to Congress in advance of the Iraq war, failing to respond to written questions and potential violations of international law, RAW STORY has learned. The resolutions were quietly introduced Sunday evening along with a third resolution (HR 635) to create a Select Committee to investigate the administration’s intent to go to war prior to congressional authorization. The committee would also be charged with examining manipulation of pre-war intelligence, thwarting Congressional oversight and retaliatory attacks against critics. As part of this resolution, House Judiciary Democrats seek also to explore violations of international law as pertaining to detainee abuse and torture of prisoners of war. [...] The Select Committee seeks to subpoena the President and other members of the administration in hopes of ascertaining if impeachable offenses have been committed. Sources close to the Judiciary Committee indicate they believe this is the only avenue left after having written repeated letters requesting answers on matters ranging from the Downing Street Memos to the outing of covert CIA officer Valerie Plame Wilson. HR 635, which would create the select committee, could potentially recommend articles of impeachment against both the President and Vice President. I highly doubt this will be anything more than a publicity stunt. But if you are worried, the reoloutions are here, here and here!

Egyptian readers: Go get your voter ID cards now

You can apply at a police station next to where you live. All you need is a photocopy of your National ID card and they will have it issued to you by next march. Go get it now!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The NYT guide to child pornography

Ok, is it just me, or did this article by the NYT explain how exactly a child can sell his images to pedophiles online and make money off of it while making the whole thing sound easy, profitable and harmless?

Jordan actively joins the war on terror

Good news: Jordan has gone on a war footing against Muslim extremists, determined to bolster the moderate face of Islam after a year in which the most stable Arab country was shaken by an unprecedented triple suicide attack. In the aftermath of the November 9 attacks on three Amman hotels, King Abdullah II asked close aide Maaruf Bakhit to form a new government tasked with launching an “all-out war against extremist groups and their ideologies.” “The government’s priority is to adopt a new anti-terrorist law to launch a preemptive war against terrorism,” government spokesman Nasser Jawdeh told AFP, citing a key point in the king’s letter appointing Bakhit. One of the focal points of the strategy is the determination to fight Muslim extremists who, against all rules, are declaring as apostates Muslims who refuse to join them, Jawdeh said. About damn time!

Egypt left behind

The GCC countries are forming a single market by 2007, removing all trade barriers, creating a common market with a unified trade policy. We- who should be doing that and wanting to join them- won't be seeing anything closely similar anytime soon, because the government loves our tarriff and custom duties money, and it would require them to get rid of all of their senseless and bureaucratic laws that make investers run-away from actually seriously investing in Egypt. We, who were leading this region at some point, are going to end up trailing everybody else. Fantastic!

MSM media is supporting Lebanon?

Raja just pointed out something fairly strange: The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times and The New York Times all ran editorials on the same day that condemned the Security Council's resolution concerning Mehlis' investigation into Hariri's murder for not being stricter on Syria. Whoa! Even Raja can't believe it! Wow! Three editorials published on the same day from news papers that have been relatively hostile to the Bush Administration's foreign policy! Could this mean good tidings for Lebanon? I definitely hope so! For, considering the watered down resolution that the Security Council passed, we definitely need good tidings! Indeed.

El Sahy's interview with Chomsky

Here is the transcript to the interview, altough I am a little dissapointed that my question was not asked! Oh well...

Iran Prez bans western music

Oh Joy. Talibanism is on the rise in Iran: Iran's President has just banned all western music- even classical- from Iran's TV and Radio, cause, you know, its un-islamic. Hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has banned all Western music from Iran's state radio and TV stations — an eerie reminder of the 1979 Islamic revolution when popular music was outlawed as "un-Islamic" under Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. [...] The official IRAN Persian daily reported Monday that Ahmadinejad, as head of the Supreme Cultural Revolutionary Council, ordered the enactment of an October ruling by the council to ban all Western music, including classical music, on state broadcast outlets. "Blocking indecent and Western music from the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting is required," according to a statement on the council's official Web site. And you know Iran is all about decency: However, women are prohibited from singing in public, except to a segregated female-only audience. Hard-liners were afraid the voice of a woman soloist might arouse impure thoughts in men. Women are allowed to sing as part of a chorus. Wow. Ahmadinejad's order means the state broadcasting authority must execute the decree and prepare a report on its implementation within six months, according to the IRAN Persian daily. Earlier this month, Ali Rahbari, conductor of Tehran's symphony orchestra, resigned and left Iran to protest the treatment of the music industry in Iran. Before leaving, he played Beethoven's Ninth Symphony to packed Tehran theater houses over several nights last month — its first performance in Tehran since the 1979 revolution. The performances angered many conservatives and prompted newspaper columns accusing Rahbari of promoting Western values. Those poor crazy bastards. God help them!

Schwarzenegger strikes back at Austria

Das it ya schon geil! Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Monday told officials in his hometown in Austria to remove his name from a sports stadium and stop using his identity to promote the city. The governor's request came after politicians in Graz began a petition drive to rename the stadium, reacting to Schwarzenegger's decision last week to deny clemency to condemned inmate Stanley Tookie Williams. Opposition to the death penalty is strong in Austria. In a letter that began "Dear Mister Mayor," Schwarzenegger said he decided to spare the Graz city council "further concern" should he be forced to make other clemency decisions while he's governor. Another inmate is scheduled to be executed in California Jan. 17. "In all likelihood, during my term as governor, I will have to make similar and equally difficult decisions," Schwarzenegger said in the letter. "To spare the responsible politicians of the city of Graz further concern, I withdraw from them as of this day the right to use my name in association with the Liebenauer Stadium. Hehehe In the letter, Schwarzenegger also said he would no longer permit the use of his name "to advertise or promote the city of Graz in any way" and would return the city's "ring of honor." The ring was given to him in a ceremony in Graz in 1999. At the time, Schwarzenegger said he considered it "a token of sincere friendship between my hometown and me." "Since, however, the official Graz appears to no longer accept me as one of their own, this ring has lost its meaning and value to me. It is already in the mail," the governor wrote. Nice. This is why I like Arnie. He takes no shit from nobody!

Title Fight

The War over Christmass is on and what a vicious battle it is. It's the old Jolly Fat man from the Northpole vs. the young crucified skinny man from Nazareth. It's the Christmass spirit vs. the Holy spirit. Who is going to win and lay claim to christmas? Well.. according to Reason magazine, Santa is winning, and he is far more dangerous then you may think. You don't believe me? Read this: The conventional view of Santa Claus posits a centralized operation run by a bearded fanatic in an undisclosed Arctic location. His agents are everywhere, and this spy ring provides the raw data that allow him to calculate the details of each year's mission. He then enters America illegally, plants packages in homes around the country, and returns to his base, from which he issues occasional communiqués urging peace, good will, and our presence at various post-Christmas sales. Certain improbabilities in this account have inspired a revisionist take on the topic, in which Santa is either a figurehead dependent on a decentralized network of "helpers" or -- according to more radical scholars -- does not exist at all. (While this might seem to contradict the visual evidence of Santa's appearances on video and eyewitness accounts placing him in shopping malls around the country, forensic analysis suggests that these Clauses are not, in fact, the same person.) The revisionists offer a darker view, in which activities attributed in the media to Santa Claus are actually accomplished by local loyalists operating with little or no centralized direction. Even if Santa were splattered across a cave in Tora Bora, they argue, his minions would continue to act in his name. But everyone, traditionalist or revisionist, agrees that Santa is struggling with Jesus for control of Christmas. What might not be as obvious is that this is the year -- in the U.S., anyway -- that Santa finally won. Poor Jesus. First he gets crucified, and now his birthday is taken from him by old man who does nothing but stalk and watch children all the freakin time. It's just not right!

So I lost to Zimbabwe

I have lost the third place in the weblog awards to This is Zimbabwe. I have known that for days now, but I have been unwilling to admit it to myself or on this blog. But oh well. I did all that I could've done, from asking people to vote for me, to harrassing them to vote for me, to starting alliances with other bloggers, to waging a vicious smear campaign against my opponents and still I lost my first blog elections. Now I am a loser. With a big L nonetheless. LOOOSSSEERRR! Grrrrrrr...... You know who's fault is this? It's your fault. You and the Jews. Because you didn't vote for me consistently like I asked of you, I didn't even make it to 3rd place. I knew I could never compete with ITM or RCI, but Zimbabwe I could've taken. But apparently even my web visitors suffer from voter's apathy, and now thanks to them (YOU) lots of dolphins have been molested and lots of angels now have cancer. Hope you are happy now! And you know why it is the Jews' fault? Because Isreallycool wasn't a big enough of a threat. Had he been fighting there against me for 3rd place alongside of Zimbabwe, I could've used that to encourage the egyptian readers to vote for me more. You know, to beat the damn Jooooooozzzzzzz. But no, they had to trail me and not be a real threat. Thanks a lot Israel. You've been a real help! But all in all, I got to give it up to Zimbabwe, even if they do use internet vodoo to get their votes, because they won fair and square. Them Boys know that I have nothing but love for them and respect what they try to do over there. They also know that even though I lost the third place, I don't hold any grudges against them. None whatsoever! Ok, maybe just a little grudge. But hey, I gotta be me, you know? But I should take the chance to thank all of those who did vote me and who campaigned for me. Thank you, all of you. Those who put links to me to get me votes will most defintly get a permenant link on my blogroll and a christmas card once I am able to track you down and find out where you all live. Shouldn't take long. I have "The complete Idiot's guide to Hacking" and I am almost done with chapter 1. Shhh........ don't tell anyone! Also, congratulations ITM. You Boys must have a mighty firehose of webtraffic. 3600 votes, Jebus! You guys kicked ass. Rock on. :) Time to go back to blogging now, cause there is always next year! ;)

Monday, December 19, 2005

Go Monkey, It's your Birthday...

The Sandmonkey Blog has turned 1 year old today. It was exactly 1 year ago that I wrote my first post here. Wow. How fast the time goes by. What started as the by-product of self-fancy, frustration and Boredom- to me anyway- has grown to become something that I never anticipated it to be. I started this blog to just vent off my frustration with my own people and what I thought to be their refusal to think or reconsider the points of view that they were programmed to have. I wanted to make them address the problems that we have in our country, to stop blaming the jews and the americans for everything that goes wrong, to demand more rights and freedom, to show love for our beleagured country that seems to be descending more and more with each passing day into oblivion. I thought no one would read me. I thought I would get arrested within a month of writing what I write. I thought that I would keep my distance from what's going on in Egypt in order not to get arrested. I thought I would get bored within 2 months and just quit. I thought wrong! This blog, it took on a life of its own, thanks to its readers from Egypt, the US and everywhere else. It was sustained by its readers interaction, their encouragment, their denouncment, their fair and unfair criticsims, their love and their hate. In many ways this blog has continued this long because of its readers. They fed my ego with their attention, they stimulated me menatlly with their comments and they now had expectations of me that I needed to live up to and I loved it. Quitting was no longer an option because of you. Thank You! If it wasn't for your continued support I wouldn't have left my chair and role as an observor and actually tried to do something. I wouldn't have started or joined protests, I wouldn't have participated in vigils, I wouldn't have coverd political rallies or, hell, even botherd to vote. You guys gave me the courage I needed to get over my own fears and go out there and try to do something. What I did may not have been much compared to what other egyptian bloggers/activists have done, but it got me off my apathethic ass. It forced me to stop being a talker and actually try to do something. That would've never happend if it wasn't for this blog, its readers and the rest of the egyptian blogsphere that is filled with smart and courageous people who have nothing but love for this country, and therefore I have nothing but love for them, despite whatever ideological differences we may have. But man, oh man. What a year it was, huh? We had 2 iraqi elections, 2 palestinain elections, Harriri's assassination, Syria withdrawel from Lebanon and the Cedar reveloution, Mubarak caling for a multi-party presidential election, the Ayman Nour circus, The referendum, Black Wendsday, numerous terrorist attacks in Egypt, London, Bangaldish and Jordan, Ahmeddinjad taking over Iran, the Mehlis report, our own presidential "election", the parliamentary elections, the MB winning, and finally Gebran Tueni's assassination. So much happend in the past 12 months that it's hard to take it all into perspective. One thing is certain though: this region is far more democratic then it was a year ago, and whether you want to admit it or not, the US had a big role in making that happen. We are not there yet, but damn, look how far we have come in a year.

anniversary Anyway... On the account that its my blog's birthday, I am taking the rest of the day off. It's been a busy and taxing year, and the sandmonkey is pretty damn tired, so he is taking the rest of the day off. Rest assured though, he shall resume ranting once again tommorow. Today he just wants to take a break is all. Love you all, The Sandmonkey

Iran wants you to be tolerant of its intolerance

This is... ehh..... ohh, what the hell, just read: Iran dismissed international criticism of anti-Israeli remarks by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, urging the West on Sunday to show greater tolerance for differing points of view. Last week, Ahmadinejad called the Holocaust a "myth" and said if Europeans insist it did occur, then they should give some of their own land for a Jewish state, rather than the one in the Middle East. The comments came just two months after the hard-line president called for Israel to be "wiped off the map." The remarks sparked outrage in Israel and the United States, and European leaders warned Saturday they would consider sanctions. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said Sunday the international reaction was overblown. "The West had a very emotional attitude about Ahmadinejad's comments. Westerners have to learn to tolerate other's opinion," Asefi said at a news conference. LOL Nope, wait, it gets better.This Foreign Minister guy is really good at this: He dismissed the European sanctions threat as "baseless and illogical" and said Ahmadinejad was simply articulating Iran's position toward Israel. Oh Boy! Mr FM, I have one question for you : You sure you are not high or something? No? Ok. No, didn't meant nothing by it. It's just a thing I ask people. Nevermind me. So, what you are saying is that Iran's official position toward Israel is a one where they deny the holocaust ever happend and want the country wiped off the map? Is that what you are saying? That's your diplomatic calrification that is supposed to calm down criticisms and concerns? Wow guy, you are doing a heck of a job. Keep it up!

Kafr Salamma updates

Here are some updates on the recent religious clashes in Alsharqeyah in Egypt: The situation is not resolved yet, with negotiations still being worked out between the authorities, the christians and the muslims. The Police is still afraid to step into town, but it did surround it to prevent anyone from the media from coming in. The deal they are working out right now is this: No more bloodshed, the christian guy responsible for the death of the muslim dude will sell his land to pay the muslim dude's family his "Diyah" ( monetary compensation for someone's death. It's an Islamic thing. It absolves you from the crime of killing them), and the muslims and the christians who went around and burned other people's houses will have to sell their houses and land and leave their village for good. That's the compromise they seem to be reaching right now, and I still can't decide if it's a good soloution or a bad one. What do you think?

The lebanese shut down Syria military route

Now that's a good start: Lebanon closed a military route that crossed its border into Syria, ending nearly three decades of unmonitored flow of high-ranking officials and goods between the two countries, the official National News Agency reported Sunday. The closure came nearly eight months after Syria withdrew its troops from Lebanon amid international pressure and street protests over allegations that Damascus played a role in February's assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Syria denies involvement in Hariri's death. Good. Now the next step is to start rounding up suspicious syrians in Lebanon and interrogating them. Hell, deporting them may even be a good idea. Send them back to psycho Syria. At least until the assassinations stop or the Rafiq Harriri commision is done with its work, you know?

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Only the Japanese

Only the Japanese would even attempt to do such a thing as this: It's wintertime and the king penguins at a zoo in northern Japan are putting on weight. But the keepers there have a solution: exercise. Authorities at Asahiyama Zoo are taking the penguins on 500-yard walks on the snowy grounds twice a day, said zoo spokesman Tetsuo Yamazaki. [...] The zoo's 15 king penguins aren't exactly obese. Penguin winter weight varies from 33 pounds to 40 pounds, said zoo official Kazunobu Maru. So far, only one of the flock is 40 pounds, he said. The reason for weight gain is natural, zoo officials say. "In order to withstand the cold, the penguins have a habit of standing very still during winter months," Yamazaki said, while in the summer they can walk around and swim as much as they want. To fend off obesity, the zoo instituted the winter exercise program in 2003. You know, I would've just loved to be a fly on the wall of the room in which someone first made that suggestion.

Sharon has a stroke

Sharon is now in the hospital suffering from a stroke. This puts the arab world in a moral dilemma: Wish that the man they so loathe would finally die, or hope that the only man currently capable of pulling off peace with the palestinians would live to win the next elections? Hate vs. Pragmatism! Choices, Choices....

A love-affair turned into a psychotic obsession

No better term explains Syria's reluctance to let Lebanon go. At least that's how this article (H/t the arabist) puts it: There can be no doubt that Syrians, for the most part, love Lebanon. Their love is a dramatic love, amongst its symptoms, a constant desire to stay close to and imitate the beloved, and occasionally to bicker. The majority of Syrians believe that the two nations are not merely joined by common borders, but by the unshakeable bond of brotherhood. Without thinking twice the young Syrian girl says to the television camera: "We love the Lebanese. We and the Lebanese are one people." Like most young Syrians she truly believes what she says, and she would be surprised to find out how many Lebanese are repelled by these simple words, how much they inspire caution and fear; that this brief sentence harbours an ideological and political discourse that refutes Lebanon's independence and denies its separation, as a state and people, from Syria. She hasn't the faintest idea that these very words are parroted by millions of other Syrians in imitation of their leader ("...one people, forever..."), a state of affairs that only goes to support the theory that Syrians don't have opinions of their own; that such uniformity is a symptom of an awful, Soviet-style totalitarianism. [...] After the Lebanese demonstrations of recent times, this love seemed someone dishonest, the same one-sided love (mixed with frustration and anger) hinted at by their young leader in his two "historical" speeches. They had no idea that their country "loved" Lebanon, too: that oppressive, suffocating, Syrian affection. Like them, their country is jealous of Lebanon and fantasizes about domination, possession, merging as one... And it has turned into a full Single White Female-esque obsession, even to the point where Jennifer Jason Leigh changes her appearance to look like the freaked out Bridget Fonda. Bridget Fonda is of course Lebanon, and Syria is JJL. You think I am overreaching? Read this: The demonstrations in Damascus' squares imitated the language, slogans and techniques pioneered by the Lebanese in the Cedar Revolution, and especially those witnessed around the world on 14 March in the demonstration of more than a million and a half citizens that took place in Martyr's--now Freedom--Square in Beirut. [...] Nor did the organizers attempt to disguise the source of their inspiration, brazenly changing the 14 March slogan "For Lebanon" into "For Syria". "All of us for the nation" was written on a huge sign hung across a building's facade, the very same phrase the Lebanese chanted at the beginning of their national anthem. There was no attempt by the Syrian demonstrators to invent their own slogan. Dazzled by the television reporting on the Lebanese demonstrations, the Syrian government tried to televise their own attempt, setting up huge screens next to the marches. Noticing that the Lebanese protesters had agreed to wave only the national flag to preserve unity across the spectrum of ethnic, party and religious affiliations, the Syrian authorities ordered that only the Syrian national flag (and not the Baath emblem) be raised above supporters' heads. Then, as if they'd suddenly realized that on other occasions the Lebanese actually had been flying different flags, the Syrians then encouraged a whole profusion of different flags to appear, which ironically included Lebanese flags: the National Party and Hizballah). And as a final touch, because the Lebanese carried banners, the Syrians carried banners, too. [...] They couldn't even manage to use the beginning of their own national anthem ("Syria, my sweetheart") as a slogan, they had to use the Lebanese national anthem. They couldn't think of anything for themselves. They made no attempt to distinguish themselves from the Lebanese. And why would they? Syria sucks. It's like Lebanon if Lebanon was stuck in the 1950's. The Syrians would love nothing but to keep Lebanon forever, because that's where they breathe air. That's where they get their fashion, that's their idea of whom they could be. If your reality is that of daily-life in Syria, why would you ever wanna give Lebanon up? It's like you being a drunk loser whose asked to give up the woman that you love, the one good thing in your life and your source of income, because she wants to leave your loser ass. You naturally would be against it, and would have to beat up your woman daily till "she loves you again". That's what Syria is doing. It is like Lebanon's abusive boyfriend who just won't let her go, because if he does it would be the end of him. Running around town telling everyone he would never put his hands on her, that it's not in his best interest to do so, while beating the shit out of her every chance he gets. After all, they belong together.

New religious clashes in Egypt

On Friday I received an e-mail with a link to this post on the freecopts blog: Another episode of terrorizing Christians has just taken place in Egypt. In a small village called Kafr Salama near Menya El Kamh' in the governorate of Sharkeya (north east of Cairo) some Muslims, mainly young men belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood group , attacked the houses, shops and properties of Christians. This took place after a fight between a Christian and a Muslim in the village, during which the father of the latter dropped dead after going into a diabetic coma when he watched the fight. Things quickly escalated after the rumor spread that "Christians killed Muslims." The naive Christians, knowing the tension was only the result of a normal fight, did not believe things would get any worse. However, members of the Muslim Brotherhood began sending messages to neighboring villages asking for their assistance. Subsequently hundreds of Muslims gathered from different villages, attacking the houses, shops and belongings of Christians. So far, seven houses and one farm have been completely burned, and many houses have been destroyed. The Christian young man who was involved in the initial fight was massacred by the mob of Muslims. Furthermore, the numerous police vans that rushed into the village have been so far unsuccessful in protecting the Christians, most of whom have fled the village. The few Christian families that remain are currently stranded in their houses, awaiting attack by the Muslims, unless protection arrives in due time. Hundreds of Muslims from neighboring villages, screaming "Islam is the solution," are still flooding Kafr Salama and threatening to burn and kill whatever crosses their way. Now, I didn't post on it back then because A) I was taking a break and B) I had no way of knowing if this was actually true or mere hearsay. Given that not a single News outlet broke the story, and that it was on a blog that isn't the least impartial or unbiased, I figured it may be just a rumor. I was wrong. The Lawyer in our Company comes originally from Minyah el Kamh and visits his village there weekly. Before I even got to ask him about it, he greeted me with a smile asking me if I have heard what "my loved ones" have done now. By "My loved ones" he meant christians, cause, you know, I am the one who usually defends them in my company. I told him that I didn't hear anything, so he proceeded to tell me this aforementioned story, only he added some new information that made it even more distrubing. Apparently after the old Muslim guy died and all of those clashes occured, the government started negotiations with the villagers, to see what would get them to stop the riots. The villagers said that since one of the Muslim elders died, that it's only fair to kill one of the christian elders, an eye for an eye is all. They said that it's probably better and more peacefull to kill just one elder than whatever masscares that can take place if this conflict continued. And the government apparently agreed to their logic, authorizing them to kill one prominent christian elder to even out the death of the muslim one that died. Ohh yeah! The interesting twist , however, is that after getting that ok, the muslim elders gatherd with eachotehr and then decided that they won't take their revenge after all. That what they did was enough for now and that it's better just to keep the peace. He said all of that to me in a tone that suggested "See, not all muslims are bloodthirsty reactionaries. We have more common sense than that!" Fine, Ok, kudos for the muslims there for choosing not to go ahead with the government sanctioned murder, but..but what in the name of god is the government doing by agreeing to let the villagers carry out their own justice with their sanction? What the Fu*k is that all about? Look, I get it. It's the pragmatic thing to do. One dead and conflict ends versus god knows how many others in an ongoing conflict. Fine. But it's the government's job to protect its citizens, especially if they are innocent and done nothing wrong except being a prominent member of a religious minority. The fact that they wouldn't stop such a murder, let alone sanction it, means that it's failing even at its most basic function. We are living in a police state that can't police its own citizens anymore. While this maybe a good sign that the regime may be at its last throes, I fear and shudder at the anarchy that will be unleashed the moment it crumbles.

The Majority of american people still have common sense

File this under "Good news": A solid majority of Americans oppose immediately pulling U.S. troops out of Iraq, citing as a main reason the desire to finish the job of stabilizing the country, an AP-Ipsos poll found. Some 57 percent of those surveyed said the U.S. military should stay until Iraq is stabilized, while 36 percent favor an immediate troop withdrawal. [...] "You've got to finish the job," said Terry Waterman, a store manager from Superior, Wis. "The whole world is looking to us for leadership. We can't have another Vietnam." [...] Over the past two years, some of the biggest shifts on whether the war was a good decision or a mistake have come among married people with children, those with low incomes and those with a high school education or less. "Whether the war is a mistake is less relevant than what we should do now," said John McAdams, a political scientist at Marquette University in Milwaukee. "A fair number of people may think it's a mistake, but still don't want to lose." And looking at the latest iraqi election, where the sunnis participated, the militants chose not to attack, and which all in all was a great success, I would say that losing iraq may just remain as a fanatsy amongst the left all over the world. Make no mistake, Iraq will make it, not because the americans are going to win, but because the Iraqis do not want to lose whatever freedom they have gained so far. Just don't tell that to Cindy Sheehan, who is still out of touch with reality as ever: Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan led a small protest Saturday outside the U.S. Embassy to denounce the war in Iraq. About 100 protesters carried banners criticizing President Bush. Sheehan, whose soldier son was killed in Iraq, called Bush a war criminal and said, "Iraq is worse than Vietnam." cindy Yeah, Ok, whatever You say Cindy. Her crowds are getting smaller though. You think she noticed that? Hmm........

Ayman Nour is back in the headlines

After a 9 day huger strike in protest for being unlwafully detained, Ayman Nour's health has deteriorated to the degree that he has to get hospitalized. Given that he is getting hospitalized in the Mazra Tura prison hospital, I am afraid his chances of recovery are not very good, especially that he suffers from diabetis, high blood pressure and a heart condition. Let's hope he gets better anyway though..

Go Egypt's Judges

They are tough, they are outspoken, they got immunity and they are taking on the regime. Go Judges Go!

Satisfy your inner geek

and Choose the top rated science story of 2005 here.

Ok, if she can get a book deal, why can't I?

oh god

Thursday, December 15, 2005

The Syria hitlist

After all those assassinations, 6 names remain on the syrian hitlist. Here they are: Anti-Syrian Lebanese figures including Druze leader Walid Jumblatt and Telecommunications Minister Marwan Hamadeh are among six men on what a Lebanese newspaper has called a new "hit-list". Al-Balad newspaper, quoting government and parliamentary sources, on Thursday named the other alleged targets "on the hit-list of people to be killed" as deputies Wael Abu Faoor, Samir Franjieh, Elias Atallah and Farid Makari. The list was published a day after prominent anti-Syrian MP and press magnate Gibran Tueni was buried in a politically and emotionally charged funeral following his killing in a bomb blast which many blamed on Damascus. The six people named on Thursday all belong to the anti-Syrian majority in parliament which swept the polls in June, in the first election in Lebanon after Syria withdrew from the country, ending nearly 30 years of political and military domination. "It is almost the same list that surfaced before Tueni was assassinated and which also included his name," said Atallah, one of the MPs. "We will be more careful and limit our movements but this will not change our policies." I guess the reason why the Junior Harriri's name is absent from that list is due to the fact that an assassination attempt against him could seriously turn all the tables against Syria. That doesn't mean he feels safe though; he is still moving around all over the gulf states, probably out of fear of getting assassinated if he comes back to Lebanon. I am afraid of what will happen if those assassinations continue. While some people theorize that they would scare the anti-syrian critics into silence, I have a feeling that it could end up framing in the minds of most lebanese that they are at war, and that they should start acting like it. Arabs usually have this stereotype of the lebanese male of being effimenate and only after his fun or the latest fashion, but they forget that the majority of them engaged in one hell of a bloody civil war of the kind that the arab world rarely sees. They gave up fighting willingly, and most of them are against warfare from what they saw of its horrors, but it would be a mistake to think to underestimate them. Almost all oftheir political leaders are former warlords and they could all start having their militias once again, only this time united and in the form of the lebanese army. God knows Aoun especially would sign up for that plan, since it was the Syrians who exiled him. That's one itch I would bet he is dying to scratch. And the US could provide the lebanese army with all kinds of military aid to beef it up. It could be done. Two problems though: 1) How would they convince Hezbollah to get out of the way, if not join them? and 2) Do I really want to see a lebanese-syrian war? Is that the only soloution left at this point? It sure seems like it, with the Mehlis report taking this long, the option of sanctions looking more and more remote and the syrian regime insistance to continue to mess with lebanese affairs. The Lebanese may have to depend on theirselves to save Lebanon's future, even if the price is more warfare and bloodshed. sigh...

The leader of the MB calls Israel "a Cancer"

Ahmeddinjad, you have found your soulmate: CAIRO - Israel is a "cancer" in the Middle East and its peace deal with Egypt should be submitted to a referendum, the leader of Egypt's Muslim Brothers said in an interview published Thursday. "I declared that we will not recognize Israel which is an alien entity in the region. And we expect the demise of this cancer soon...," Mohammed Mehdi Akef told the state-owned English language Ahram Weekly. Egypt signed a peace agreement with Israel in 1979, becoming the first Arab country to establish diplomatic ties with the Jewish state. Islamists opposed to the deal assassinated President Anwar Sadat in 1981 for signing the Camp David accord and opposition to the normalisation of relations with Israel remains strong in Egypt. Akef stopped short of demanding the peace agreement be scrapped but suggested it should be submitted to a popular referendum. "That is for the people to decide... If I had the power I would put it to the people," he said. This shouldn't be a surprise to anyone involved, since the MB palestinian branch is known by a different name altogether. That name is Hamas. It's a little known fact, but MB members founded this movement. Fantastic, no?

This is so sad

Gibran Tueni's Funeral in pictures: coffins The Funeral funeral United Muslim Cleric and a Christian priest carrying the coffin together Muslims and christians Muslims and Christians united in their mourning capt.bei12112141720.mideast_lebanon_tueni_bei121 Gibran's wife and youngest daughter mourning on his coffin. capt.sge.odm86.141205183914.photo01.photo.default-360x284 Gibran eldest daughter Nayla and his father the legendry Ghassan Tueni. gebran1 message A message goodquestion A good question r778040806.0 Gibran Tueni, Parliamentarian

Teachers gone wild

Over here is a list of recent indicents of female teachers having sex with their teenage students. All condemnation and indignation aside, some of those teacehrs are hot. Lucky goddamn students. Unlucky parents though. I bet homeschooling is looking more and more like a good option every passing day!

The Post Office: God and Santa live together

According to the US Post Office, God and Santa share the same address. Well, I guess that explains how Santa gets his intell on who's being good and who's being naughty.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Please vote for the angels' sake!

There is only 2 days left and Zimbabwe is gaining on me. I don't know how they manage to pull 150 votes a day, but I am guessing they must be using some zimbabwean internet Voodo rituals or something. In case you didn't know, using internet vodoo rituals gives angels cancer. Show them that you oppose Vodoo and giving angelscancer and vote for me. I figure a good 300 vote margin should send them Vodoo-using-angel-cancer-giving-zimbabweans a message that says loud and clear that "Giving Angels Cancer is not cool!" by you. Otherwise, what would the children say? That you allowed angels to get cancer when you could've stopped it because you were too lazy to vote for the sandmonkey? What a great role model you are being. SHAME! Stop Vodoo Voting now and vote for me. Do it for the angels. Ohh and the Children. Don't forget the children!

Iran tries to smuggle forged iraqi elections ballots

Oh yeah. They were seized thank god. Big Pharaoh has the story!

Bring that government down

The Chinese are having problems controlling protests, especially after the Dongzhou incident. Gateway pundit has the whole story and the aftermath here. I second Stefania's and Freedom for Egyptian's Call to boycott chinese products and the olympics. That's the kind of government that should be boycotted by the whole world. On a side note, has there ever been a communist government that ended up not being a despotic regime and didn't violate the rights of its own people? Cause I am running down that list, and it's looking pretty bad for the communist movement. Let's see: The USSR.....check for tyranny, bad living conditions, lack of free speech, murdering their own people. Cuba.....check for tyrany, horrible living conditions, lack of free speech and violating the rights of their citizens. North Korea....check for..well..do I really need to explain that one to you? China....check for killing its citizens, violating their rights, censoring their free-speech and-oh shit- exploiting their workers.

Did I forget any? All of them worse then each other.
As a matter of fact every communist movement claims to be for worker's rights and every single one ends up violating the rights of its workers and making them experience worse working conditions than their not-living-under-communist-rule counterparts. How the hell can communism still attract followers and supporters is still beyond me. PS: please don't tell me it's because it has been never implemented correctly. Bullshit. It has been implemented correctly and this is how this story always ends. Government guns being used against its own citizens.

Equal opprutunity offensive Joke : The 10 commandments

I received this joke in my e-mail and I figured, hey, what the hell, let's share it with my readers . (Warning: It's kind of offensive to, ehh, everybody. So if you lack a sense of humor just don't bother reading after this sentence ends.) God went to the Arabs and said, "I have Commandments for you that will make your lives better."And the Arabs asked, "What are Commandments? Can you give us an example?" "Thou shall not kill." "Not kill?? No way! We're not interested." So He went to the Blacks and said, "I have Commandments." And the Blacks wanted an example, and the Lord said, "Honor thy Father and Mother." "Father? Yo man, can't tell who our fathers are, man! Not interested!" So He went to the Mexicans and said, "I have Commandments." And the Mexicans wanted an example, and the Lord said, "Thou shalt not steal." "No steal? No steal??? Hey Senor, we no steal then how we live, huh?? Gracias, but no!" He went to the French and said, "I have Commandments." The French wanted an example and the Lord said, "Thou shalt not commit adultery." "Not commit ze adulteries..?? Non, non, monsieur, we French, we must have ze romance." So he went to the Jews and said, "I have Commandments." "Commandments?" they asked, "how much do they cost?" "They're free." "We'll take 10." Ta-dum-dish! Thank you, thank you. Will be here all week!

Europeans pissed at Ahhnold over Tookie

File this under "European and Stupid": Europeas are mad, and dissapointed at Arnold for rejecting clemency for Tookie's execution. Some Austrians actually went as far as demanding that he would be stripped of his citizenship. Fo' real! The execution of convicted killer Stanley Tookie Williams sparked outrage Tuesday throughout Europe, which has a deep aversion to capital punishment sustained by the painful memory of state-organized murder during the Nazi era. The disappointment was particularly strong in Austria, native country of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, where many had hoped the former bodybuilder and film star would spare the 51-year-old Williams. Leaders of Austria's opposition Green Party even called for Schwarzenegger to be stripped of his Austrian citizenship — a demand rejected by Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel as "absurd" despite his government's opposition to the death penalty. But that's not all: The Germans, the french, the italians and the vatican are all mad at Arnie as well... Volker Beck, a leading member of the opposition Greens party in Germany, expressed disappointment at the execution. "Schwarzenegger's decision is a cowardly decision," he told the Netzeitung online newspaper. In Graz, Schwarzenegger's hometown, local Greens said they would file a petition to remove the California governor's name from the city's Arnold Schwarzenegger Stadium. A Christian political group suggested it be renamed for Williams. "Mr. Williams had converted and, unlike Mr. Schwarzenegger, opposed every form of violence," said Richard Schadauer, chairman of the Association of Christianity and Social Democracy. At the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI's top official for justice matters denounced the execution. "We know the death penalty doesn't resolve anything," said Cardinal Renato Martino. "Even a criminal is worthy of respect because he is a human being. The death penalty is a negation of human dignity." Most of the outcry in Europe came from opposition political parties, city leaders, human rights groups and churches, with national leaders remaining silent. "Schwarzenegger has a lot of muscles, but apparently not much heart," French Socialist Party spokesman Julien Dray told RTL radio. In Italy, Franco Danieli, vice president of the Senate's Foreign Affairs Committee, criticized executions as an act of "dehumanization." "The execution of Tookie Williams is even more intolerable exactly because he had managed to transform the negative into the positive, violence into nonviolence," Danieli said. Amnesty International also condemned the execution. "Tookie Williams' violent past was well known, but he had become a textbook version of rehabilitation and his execution was a travesty of justice," said Kate Allen, the group's director in Britain. A travesty of Justice? WOW. Ok, how about we have some persepctive here? Let's see if you can follow this with me: Tookie killed people, and he founded a gang that killed people and ruined hundreds if not thosuends of lives. The fact that after his arrest, conviction and being put on death row he finally saw the light and wrote a couple of children books against joining gangs, well, it's pretty goddamn conveinent and doesn't change what he did. Will executing him bring back those he killed? No. Will it bring some sense of Justice to the families of his victims? Sure. Is it an appropriate way to make him pay for his crimes? Nope. He should be executed 4 times, one time for each life he took by his own hands. But since that's impossible, killing him once will have to do. The fact that you can only kill him once, well, that's the travesty of justice. Ok? That's all there is to it. Any questions?