Friday, November 25, 2005

Brilliant Idea

Ex-FEMA sham director Michael Brown is starting a disaster preparedness consulting firm!
This action had inspired a revolution in the consulting business.
I, for one, will follow in Brown's steps and start a consulting firm on Career Advice.
Osama bin Laden started the Institute for Tolerance and Dialogue among Cultures.
Lebanese Cab drivers went on a seminar tour on Safe Driving.
Terrel Owens launched T.E.A.M. Inc.
George W. Bush established the W School of Witt.
Condoleezza Rice named her firm: Jane's Hairdressing Salon.
Ariel Sharon has the Peace and Diet Center.
The Pope published the Kama Again Sutra.

The list goes on.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Gotta go...

Just because no one can see you on ground level does not mean God (or someone on the 7th floor playing with a camera) doesn't.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

$1000 Reward

If you find this story on Foxnews or CNN

"This is commander. Anything that's mobile, that moves in the zone, even if it's a three-year-old, needs to be killed. Over."

Can you fit 17 bullets in a 3 year old body?

Analysis of the Top 10 Lebanese "Political" Parties

There must be over a 1000 "political" parties in this humongous country, but as a first step I will look into the Top 10 according to the last election results and rate their stock.

1. Future Movement: Banking on the Tupac effect following the assassination of its leader, the Future movement had a strong showing in the elections and was clearly the top party in terms of popular vote (17.2%). However, election time was the peak; its support is already waning within the Sunni community. Saad (ironically means happiness) Hariri has looked weak. The movement has ctrong charity work but lacks any political and economical agenda outside of Hariri Inc.’s business plan. The number’s show almost 40% of the votes came from the north where Saad spent some generous campaign time following his defeat in the third round of elections, that will not hold.
Outlook: Future Movement will continue to be a major player in the Lebanese political landscape as they will continue to be the top Sunni party for a while. But expect it to fall into #3 in the Popularity Rank if it’s not already there.
Favorite Color: Baby Blue. Favorite Day: March 14th.
2. Hezbollah: Here come the Men in Black, and women. Hezbollah has the strongest base among the Lebanese parties, especially since they kicked Israel’s ass out of Lebanon. It has been under a constant American/Israeli attack since its foundation and yet it has managed to grow stronger with time. How? Resistance. They resist occupation, capitalism, communism, money, liquor, make up, colors, entertainment, good image, creativity, music, razor blades, basically anything except sex.
Outlook: At 14.6% of the popular vote, Hezbollah will be around for a long time. It will not grow beyond its current circle of support, however this circle will stretch since they fuck a lot. Each Hezbollah couple is required to have a Mohammad, Ali, Hussein, Hassan, Haydar, Mehdi, Moustafa, Zeinab, Fatima, and Zahra.. Favorite Day: May 25th. Favorite TV Personality: the Midget on the kids shows on Al Manar.
3. Free Patriotic Movement Party: The cool, hip, orange, sexy, fashionable, orange, new kid on the block; this party is the IN party, it has a political platform which is a novelty in Lebanon, even though it looks like it was written by an orange. It’s been referred to as the tsunami and it has lived up to the label, checked in with 14.5% of the popular vote on election day, and has been growing fast. Although it markets itself as secular, its supporters are 99% Christian. 100% Lebanese of course.
Outlook: Well funded and organized and will continue to grow for a while. However, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. The “General” can talk a good game, but his history doesn’t back it up. Also the “General” is not young, and he is the party, expect a rapid collapse similar to the rapid rise it has enjoyed when the “General” chokes on an orange. Favorite Drink: Orangina. Favorite Color: Guess?
4. Amal Movement: The Party for the Shia who are too cool for Hezbollah. Grasping on to the legend of Musa Sadr, it continues to enjoy a strong southern base. Led by war criminal/ post war public money suction machine Nabih Berri, it has been in constant decline due to the fact that it is nothing, stands for nothing, and represents nothing. In the past year it has adopted the follow Hezbollah in everything they say approach. Well that has them good enough for 8.6% of the voting public.
Outlook: More nothingness so it makes a perfect fertile base for a new party to target. Favorite Color: Fluorescent colors with “kashkash”. Favorite TV Personality: That Herb doctor.
5. Progressive Socialist Party: Although it sounds like a political party, it is not. This is just the code name for the Kingdom of Jumblatt. War Criminal Walid Jumblatt has proven to be the undisputed King of the Mountain. Jumblatt is the smartest, most astute politician in Lebanon.
Outlook: Having a loyal Druze base of 6.2% of Lebanese vote will guarantee the Jumblatts’ generations of presence in the Lebanese political tabbouleh as representatives of their religious sect. The irony here is that Walid Jumblatt just like his father Kamal are atheist. Favorite color: Gray. Favorite Day: Today.
6. Lebanese Forces: Led by the only War Criminal to do jail time, Samir Geagea, the Lebanese Forces enjoy 5.1% of public support. (51% according to LBC). Geagea is a hard core Christian fundamentalist, except he disagrees with Christ on all morality issues. He promises to be a changed more tolerant man in the New Lebanon. He has a HOT wife.
Outlook: Geagea’s time in jail helped increase his popularity, since he was portrayed as an oppressed victim. Well now he is a free man. People can see him and hear him; that is terrible news for his political future.
7. Sleiman Frangieh Gang: Patriarch of Zghorta. Controls 2.4% of Lebanese vote and will pass it on to his kids and grandkids.
Outlook: no changes in the foreseeable future to his reign over Zghorta. Since he’s an ally of both Hezbollah and FPM so he will probably be President of Lebanon at some point in the future.
8. Kornet Shehwan: R.I.P. An amalgam of presidential hopefuls, Kornet Shehwan has parted ways with the Syrian withdrawal as that was their only uniting issue. Only 2.2% of public votes on their own, they try to court the major parties as moderate flexible maronites who can fill the constitutional role of President of the Republic.
Outlook: Boutros Harb and Naseeb Lahoud are strong presidential candidates. Loud and obnoxious Fares Seaid is thankfully gone with the wind.
9. Communist Party: One of 2 parties with equally spread support across religious sects and geographical areas. That explains its low popularity (1.7 %). Once a strong proud party it just couldn’t hold up with the fall of the CCCP and the Berlin wall.
Outlook: Che Guevara T-shirts are raising interest amongst the youth, but how long can that fad last? Favorite color: hmm, what could it be?
10. Syrian National Socialist Party: The other secular geographically spread party. The grand daddy of them all. It is older than Lebanon itself, thus its name. This old fart is good for 1.6% of Lebanese vote.
Outlook: SNSP seems to be making a comeback in recent months by targeting the secular crowd. However, I have two words of advice for them: NEW NAME!!!! “Syrian” and “National Socialist” are a PR double whammy.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Shit or Get off the Pot

The current ruling party is in unenviable position these days. Some tough decisions have to be made. Ever since Siniora took over there has been a wait and see approach on many of the critical issues facing the country. The wait was for the Truth. The Truth came and went and the situation only got tougher.

The toughest decision the Hariri camp has to make right now is who they are going to side with in the American attack on the Syria. They have to take a position and suffer its consequences and either position entails a whole lot of suffering.

Mehlis made it clear that for this investigation to reach conclusive evidence it will take months and even years. Waiting for the absolute Truth is not an option, the country can not be on hold for years. So that leaves the Hariri camp with three options.

The first is to assume Syrian guilt. Just openly state that they know the Assad regime killed Rafic Hariri and they will seek justice at any price. That would a courageous and righteous decision if they convince the Lebanese people of Assad’s guilt. Half the population will believe it just because Saad said it, but what about the other half? They will need more evidence and more time, and they don’t have either. Also siding with the Bush Regime against the Assad regime will cost Hariri a lot of support among his voters.

The second option is to forgive and forget. Walid Jumblatt did it when his father was assassinated, but he didn’t have other bills to pay. Not only would they have to stand with Syria knowing they might have Hariri’s blood on their hands, they are going to face American ire in doing so. Any financial help from Wolfowitz to jump start a dead economy will be just a dream, not to mention all the files that would be opened by the US against Lebanon.

The third choice is to step aside. Keep pursuing the Truth and justice for however long it takes, but not as representatives of the Lebanese people. Let someone else make the tough decisions and face the economic and political firestorm Lebanon is heading into. When the Truth is clear, Saad can come back bigger, badder, and stronger. He would come in as the savior, the hero that will clean up the mess left by a Mikati or Hoss government; that is unless they actually succeed.

The clock is ticking…

Friday, November 11, 2005

Mr. Shit, Meet Miss Fan

Bashar Assad took a page out of George W.’s book yesterday. He blabbed, called Siniora a slave of a slave, and then blabbed some more, but the main points were a Fuck You to the U.N. and a Bring It On to the U.S.

Walk Out

Normal World

5 Ministers walking out of a Cabinet meeting in protest = Healthy Democratic display

Special World

5 Ministers walking out of a Cabinet meeting in protest = Sectarian Strife

Practice Makes Perfect

Today was student government election day at LAU. Middle to upper class kids, higher education, and an American influence provided the perfect setting for a model democratic process.
Well, as of noon the “Abu Bahaa” screamers were fighting with the “Abu Hadi” yellers, classes were called off for the day, and riot police was in full force around campus.

This puppet show will move to AUB next Wednesday.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Hail to the Chief

George W. (and most other presidents for that matter) has to look "Presidential" for a few minutes a week, a couple of hours max on a busy week. That is with plenty of help from top image consultants, advisors, speech writers, and Coco Chanel; and he still comes across as an idiot.

Damn Contractors

Burj El Murr - March 1975 ---------Burj El Murr - November 2005

The House of Druze

More secretive than the fortress of solitude, even though it's on one of the busiest intersections in Beirut.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Freedom News

Americans laugh at the French military, rename French fries, and cleverly come up with puns like French Whine. However, America has Geraldo Rivera and France has Melissa Theuriau. France Wins.

More Mooning

Last week, Hezbollah's Hassan Nasrallah criticized the random inclusion of Mr. X in the Mehlis report and all the speculation that followed. "As if Lebanon today needs more reasons for sunni-shia strife," were his words. That was very mature and responsible of him. On to this week, while most of the muslim world including Lebanon's top Shiite cleric declared Thursday as the Eid marking the end of Ramadan, Hezbollah went with Iraq's Sistani's view of the new moon and celebrated* the Eid on Friday. Well here's my message to Nasrallah: As if Lebanon today needs more reasons for sunni-shia strife.

*The celebrations were wild. I'll post the pictures of the wet chador contests once i get them uploaded.

UNSC Resolution # 1636

It has become hard to keep up with these resolutions as a new one pops up every couple of days, but this latest one is their best yet. UNSCR#1636 resoluted something that has not been resoluted in the history of the UN. UNSCR#1636 unanimously declared that Detlev Mehlis is now officially God of Syria. This is great news for all aspiring Gods in the world; the precedent has been set. The author of Bird Flu for Dummies has already finished writing the Complete Idiot’s Guide to Becoming God.
Back to Syria, the B-52s are loaded with bunker buster MOABs, fuel tank is only quarter full but that’s enough these days, Top Gun CD is playing in the cockpit’s CD player, and the pilot sharpens his skills on his Xbox. It will come down to December 15th, when God is due to give his verdict whether Syrian cooperation was satisfactory. So if God is unhappy with the way Bashar shined his shoes, the Original God would say, “George, go liberate Syria.” And George will oblige. If Mehlis somehow gets all he wants from Syria, then it’s on to more UNSC resoluting.

Mehlis Report Timeline

Early Oktober: Detlev Mehlis leaves to Geneva and Germany to finalize the report.
Oktober 20th: He hands Kofi Annan a report then rushes to make changes in it because he didn’t know it was going to be made public!!!
Late Oktober: He’s back in Germany again just waiting for UNSC to decide on further action.
November 1st: Mehlis is back in Beirut ready to resume his investigation, but he has an inexplicable headache.


Completely Random Picture of the Day

Oktoberfest 2005

From the Q & A Session

Just random things learned from yesterday’s parliamentary session

- A few years back a Palestinian gang from Ain El Helwe Refugee Camp killed 4 judges in Saida. The killers were on Motorcycles and shot down the judges as they left the courthouse. The punishment for the crime was: BANNING MOTORCYCLES IN SAIDA!
- A Lebanese fisherman disappeared last week. Israel returns his boat with bullet holes and blood traces but no body. The Lebanese Government action in this case was: Absolutely nothing.
- Two mouhafez (county manager) jobs are open and the government listed the vacancies in the newspaper. It turns out that’s unconstitutional, the jobs should be filled through nepotism or as partisan favors.
- There are a lot of missing Lebanese citizens between Syrian and Israeli jails/mass graves. It’s likely that these cases will never be resolved. Ditto for Moussa Sadr who vanished at Ghaddafi’s Tent in Libya. Then the MP’s played the “Name a Libyan other than Ghaddafi” game. Nobody won.
- Speaker of the Parliament/ Former War Criminal Nabih Berri flirted with Nayla Mouawad.
- All in all, about 10 MPs presented a question, about 10 others were absent, and the rest, over a hundred of them, just showed up because it was pay day.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Beirut Taxis

Just substitute Athens for Beirut in this Dave Barry article, and you'll get the most accurate description of a Taxi experience in this town.


I was watching today’s Parliamentary Question and Answer session. No one has ever taken part in one of these things so they are learning and setting the rules as they go. It’s like watching a baby take their first steps. So Cute!