Friday, December 22, 2006

Banking Secrecy (Politics Free)

Banking facilities in Lebanon are world class. But don't be fooled by the spotless sparkling floors, fancy chandeliers, impeccably dressed employees, and the priceless historic artifacts that adorn the lobby, that's all just a facade. What really keeps our banks going and pumping money into all the patriotic feel good ad campaigns you see on TV and just before the feature presentatrion at the movies is not phoenecian financial whizzery but rather a precious little thing of ours that we call banking secrecy. Banking secrecy involves plenty of questionable business ethics; though that's a different issue for a different day because as advertised this post is politics free.

I was just someone that wanted to cash a measly little check for $90 that was rotting in my pocket when I stumbled upon Bank X, well Bank X and X to be more precise and we'll leave at that because again any extra information I provide could be interpreted as a political attack and I wouldn't do that. So I approach one of the six idle tellers, being the only customer in the place I had my choice; so I chose the experienced looking one against my male instincts of heading towards the cute one who seemed too entrenched in gossip to be bothered. Anywhere else in the world, you usually find a long line of customers waiting for an overworked teller to be free to process your transaction. You estimate that your bank visit will take about 20 minutes, 15 in line and 5 for the transaction. So with the tellers outnumbering the customers, me, 6 to 1; and having the simple transaction of cashing a $90 check I assumed I'd be out in 5 minutes max. Well, I was wrong. I was fooled by the flat screens and the marble counter. The fun had just commenced ...

The Teller, who will be now known as #1 for tracking purposes, took a look at the check, punched a few keys on her computer, filled up a form by hand, and printed another form which she stable to the rest of the paperwork. #1 stands up and walks over to #2, a middle aged man who was just bragging how he completed the Medium Level of Spider Solitaire sucessfully. #2 takes a look at all papers nods and signs and directs her towards #3, a higher up with an individual glass bowl office. Meanwhile #4, the cute teller, and #5, her bleach blond gossip partner, are getting annoyingly loud and were shushed by #6, the office dork who takes his paper shuffling job seriously. #1's phone rings, it was her daughter who just got back from school, the food was ready in the fridge and just needed reheating. #1 writes down my phone number and full address on the back of the check.That was a bit of a challenge since I don't really know if the street and/or the building that I live in even have a name, "Hamra 5th floor" didn't quite cut it. #1 stood up again and went across the room to the only smart efficient being in the building, #7, the photocopy machine. #1 came back only to be intercepted by #8, a gum chewing fully made up lady, who reminded her that she needed to photocopy the back of the check too. Note that the choice of the word "lady" was also to keep this post politics-free. #7 does the job again. #1 informs me that they have to phone the issuer of the check and that it will only take a couple of minutes. #8 was in charge of the phone call, she called and asked for the owner of the company, who happened to be in a meeting. I intervened in an effort to expedite the process, you know after all I have studied productiviy at one of the Top 7 Industrial Engineering programs in the Southeast. I suggested she calls the accountant since I doubt the owner of the company is aware of a petty $90 check. #8, the lady she is, prefered talking to the boss directly.

At this point, I was a bit ... let's just say I was overwhelmed with a mixture of emotions. After 5 minutes of #8 waiting for the owner of the check's issuing company to return her urgent call, #2 noticed that I've been standing there for the duration of a few Spider Solitaire rounds and urged #8 to "help the poor man." #8 then called again and this time she did talk to the accountant.

All in all, Bank X and X spent a combined 20 manhours of work processing this $90 check, but here's the clincher: the check was NOT cashed and I was asked to deposit it in my bank account. So more people and more time are needed for processing my $90 check, well $89 since my bank discounted a $1 processing fee, you know all these people don't work for free.

So how can a financial institution with the efficiency of the Panamanian Department of Motor Vehicles strive and splurge in a deadbeat economy?

Hey, it's a secret.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

ميشال أفندي

يا حضرة الجنرال العماد الدولة والرئيس والاصلاح والتغيير وكل شي،
يا أشرف الناس و أكرم الناس و أعزّ الناس و يا أحلى عالم إنت،
بدّك رئاسة الجمهوريّة؟ لك خوذ الرئاسات التلاتة و فوقن العرش الملكي الهاشمي الاردني و حبّة مسك إذا بدّك،
هلّقتنيّي صارفي إجماع وطني عهَل قضيّة، اسلام و مسيحيّة ، دروز و شيعة و سنّية.بس في شرط واحد.
بليز ، برحمة إمّك و بيّك ، بحياة لي راحوا ولّي رح يرجعوا، بنبَوّس ايديك وإجريك. إحرُق التياب لي كنت لابسها نهار الاحد الماضي! شو كاين عمبتفكّر؟ لك عيب ، في مليون واحد شافوك . منظرك كان من اساليب التعذيب المحظورة بالمعاهدات الدوليّة ، لا بغوانتانامو ولا بأبو غريب ولا حتّى بالمزّة عملوها هيدي. لو أولمرت تجرّأ و طلع هيك بالحرب كانوا انبطحوا رجال الله في الميدان و يعطيك العافية. جماعة كوير آي قلبوا سترايت واعتزلوا المهنة بس شافوك كيا زلمي.
صارلو البلد يومين تلاتة متل المضروب عراسو من صدمة هالشوفة، لك حتّى الإكسترا بوروجو ما عم ينفع.
بشرفك ما بقى تعيدا.
- زافين و 666 من أجل لبنان
أنا كنت شاكك في لهلشخص من زمان
هلّق عرفت ليش بيتزرزع بدني كل ما شوفو

- أنا بحترم خالد صاغية، هو أوّل واحد بقرالو مقالتو بالأخبار بعد ما إخلص من جوزيف سماحة ، وبعد زياد لمّا يكتب، و بعد الأبراج أكيد.
بس عم لاحظ إنو كل ما أكتب عن موضوع، هو بيكتب عن نفس الموضوع (آخر مثال كان كذبة الأزعور). فعمبتسائَل هل يا ترى هيدا لانّو طاغي علينا الفكر الشمولي لي عم بيبشّرنا في بيك كليمنصو؟

- و أخيراً أغنية مهداة لملهم هلبوست
يطول عمرو.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Check Mate

Day 13 of the opposition's sit in has passed and still no change is sight, especially now that Amr Moussa is in charge. Has Amr Moussa ever been successful at anything?
In my humble opinion, well maybe not so humble, the opposition demands are just not enough. While I'm not to quick to adopt the "One Million" figure, even though Fisk dropped the "Two Million" bomb, it is quite clear that at least an equal number of people took to the streets to protest Siniora as did to protest 30 years of brotherly/sisterly oppression. So according to the people, which in democracies...OK ...OK... I know Democracy is sooo last year, this year is all about Moderation; But still the people are at least as as angry at this government as they were with Ghazi Kanaan's and that is a quite telling fact regardless of what deals are being tailored around the actual demands of the people.

Now I'm not a moderate, at least not by this year's definition of the word, I'm clearly an extremist as I see the opposition's demand as too lame and well ... moderate. People did not march in hundreds of thousands for a national unity government with the same old faces, they marched for change. They want to move forward, or backward that's debatable, but to move regardless. With that said, I do understand the opposition's walking on eggs approach. There are too many scary scenarios, sectarian strife being possibly the least scary of them, that must be averted. The fragility of the situation in Lebanon has pushed them towards the "moderate" to avoid the heinous distinction of "democratic" which is a shame because they do have a strong and rightful case that they are fumbling away.

On the other hand, which would be the no shame hand, Siniora continues to burry his head in sand and xanax while counting on his friend and Fatfat to bail him out. I must stop and wonder about Fatfat for a second. This summer while he was the acting Minister of Interior our National Basketball team had a very respectable showing at the World Championship including a win against France, now that he has reassumed his role as Sports and Youth Minister we lose 4 straight games at the Asian Games including a loss against none other than Borat's home team; must be the Marjeyoun Zone Defense. Off course, Siniora does have another option. He can actually choose to listen to his people but that would set a bad precedent for the region.

As many regional implications as this movement might have, make no mistake that these people who took to the streets are for the most part a bunch of genuinely disgruntled citizens. No one should take them lightly or dismiss them as mere pawns as some of the kings, bishops, and rooks are doing.

Tis the Season to be Jolly...

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

بالعربي المُشَبرَحِ

قال "بدّن يرجعوكن لورا"

ليش بعد في "لورا" لنرجعلا ، ما حرقتولا نفسا ل"لورا"

بتذكروا دعاية التيكو من شي عشرين سنة؟ بتذكروا التيكو اصلاً؟ الالتيكو كان الكرايزي غلو تبع هيديك الإيّام، الاصبع كان ينفع لاستعمال واحد موحّد و يعطيك العافية، المهمّ، كان في مرا عم بتفرفر لإنّو التيكو لزّقها عالباب. ايه هيك حالتنا اليوم، قفانا ملزّق بحيط عمبن فرفر و اصلاً ما فينا نشوف "لورا" ما بنعرف كيف خلقة حضرة جنابا، لك حتّى جناب ما فينا نشوف. محشورين بزاوية و بتقلّي "لورا"

هيدا رجل الدولة من قبل ما يصير رجل من لمّا كان بعدو بس وزير دولة لشؤون المصاري و هوّي عم بيدفش فينا "لورا" بدّك بعد أزَعوَر من ستّين الف مليار ليرا "لورا"؟

لك حتّى شوف بلاكين جيرانك بالبلس غاردن شوف، ولا علم لا فوقك ولا تحتك ولا "لوراك" . بدّك اياهن يعلقولك اعلام؟ لك روبة ما بقى يعيروك الجماعة.

قال "بدّن يرجعوكن لورا"

الله يرحما "لورا"

ملاحظة: رح إتغاضا ال"بدّن" وال"يرجعوكن" وكل معانيهن لإنّو يمكن ما كان قصدن هيك. يمكن. بس "لورا" ما فيها اي التباس ولا لباس الحمدالله، بالزلط متل ما الله خالقها.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Argileh, Cotton Candy, Dabke, Balloons,and Wiam Wahhab.

If anyone is counting on the Pro-National Unity Government protestors(known as Pro-Syrians in the American press) to get bored and go home, they better rethink their strategy as the entertainment options Downtown are never ending. (A new strategy might be to shoot at people to keep them from expressing themselves.) Some of the protestors are having more fun than they've ever had, even though they still haven't made it past the velvet rope at Buddha Bar and Asia. Kaak, Corn on the Cob, Concerts, Ice Cream Trucks, and Fortune tellers line up the open areas of Downtown Beirut. The opposition is prepared to squat for a long time. No one can question the Lebanese abilitites at squatting as only our southern neighbors can rival us in that department.

Meanwhile, the ruling coallition including those who constantly mock the notion of "Divinity" are getting religious, opening all channels of communications with God in their squatting bid. I wonder if Bassam Abu Zaid asked those at the Grand Serail mass for their IDs. I also wonder if Bassam Abu Zaid has previous experience asking for IDs. I'm not pointing any fingers....just wondering.

On a different front, Lebanon won its first medal in the ongoing Asian Games in the half-Lebanese, or is it one eighth Lebanese, city of Doha. I won't mention what event we medaled in because we don't need that reputation right now.

On a final note, does anyone know if London's Serious Fraud Office is available as a franchise?

UPDATE: Future TV's news ticker reports that the residents of the alley that runs behind the gas station deny that they denied Future TV's earlier claim that the above mentioned citizens denied Manar TV's ticker report that they denied the earlier Future news ticker item that they support the government.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Little Tidbits

Sports and Youth Minister Ahmad Fatfat was a communist not so long ago. He was so staunchly anti-God that he refused to go into a mosque to pray after his faher's death. Yesterday he was right behind the Mufti in the Grand Seraille prayinng hard to keep his job.

When the time comes, Sleiman Frangieh will go down in history as the most entertaining president in the history of Lebanon. If we're going to have a useless president, he might as well be a vulgar clown.

Book Cooking Minister Jihad Azour said yesterday that Lebanon loses $70 Million a day because of the anti-government protests . That is a flat out lie. You don't need to be a finance whiz to find out that this number is grossly over exaggerated. (Lebanon's GDP is approximately $20 Billion. Imports are about $8 Billion. So for Azour's number to be close to being accurate, Lebanon's Consumption + Investments + Government Spending + Exports must be ZERO!! on every day the protests take place. ZERO means complete paralysis, people don't work, don't eat, don't drive, don't watch TV, just don't.)

The protest site is Downtown facing the Grand Seraille, all other forms of motorized and loud expression of stances whether for or against the government must be stopped. Oh, wait the ISF is too busy harrassing Sukleen workers. Seriously though, ISF is understaffed. 22,000 Policemen for the whole country is way below world averages, yet our crime rate is respectable. So we do have potential to be something special if we did things right for once.

Speaking of potential Gold, Lebanon Basketball plays Uzbekistan today in Doha's Asian games at 17:15 Beirut Time.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Unacceptable Behavior

Here's an incident that happened yesterday between 2 men in uniform, an Internal Security Force Officer and a Sukleen Street Sweeper.

The Sukleen employee was doing his job sweeping the dirt and trash into a pile that he can then shovel into his collection bin. The officer who is entrusted with law enforcement was manning a security booth facing the residence of a VIP, or VVIP a la Libanaise. The officer suddenly decided to enforce his boot on the pile of dirt, kicked it around, and ordered the Sukleen employee in a very nice manner to sweep it again; all while sharing a hearty laugh with his subordinate.

My friend who was appalled by what he witnessed intervened telling the officer to consider that he's dealing with a human being. The officer's disgusting, though expected, response to my friend was: "OK, now we know what color you are."

Earning stripes at a record pace....

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

No Fear Here

Stop the silly talk of a civil war now. There is no Civil war around here, despite blood being on the trading floor these days. Stop it, I don't want to hear it anymore.

Governmental change does not start war in democracies. The insinuation that possible change might lead to violence is a scare tactic that has no place in a democracy, unless the ruling parties want to prohibit the prospect of change and the concept of opposition. I wonder where they could've learned these democratic practices from? Hmmm....

Anyways, there is no fear of that style of democracy in Lebanon because the team aspiring for eternal rule is a bit, how should I put it nicely, ... clueless and weak. They don't have much power to abuse or the know-how of power abuse, so they resort to demagogic manipulation of people's emotions. But enough already, they are not going to get anywhere with acting tough. They cannot rule against the will of the majority of the Lebanese people. Syria couldn't do it, and neither could Israel with the backing of the world's super best friends; so how the heck is Nayla Mouawad expected to hold up.

So enough talk about Civil war. Abdullah of Jordan is talking about it, if that isn't the ultimate proof that this talk is just plain silly, I don't know what is.

One more thing, if the humble demand of a "National Unity Government" will cause WAR, what will happen (and the time will eventually come) when people ask their Zaeems for more rights or a minimum level of accountability? Armageddon?

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Out Sick

On tuesday afternoon I was writing a light hearted post about Lebanese idiosyncrasies when I heard the sickening news of the assassination of Pierre Gemayyel. Then; I literally got sick with a flu, which or might or might not be related to the week's events, that had me in bed the past three days. So I apologize for being missing in action this action filled week.

First of all, the senseless, cowardly assassinations must stop. If you can't confront Pierre Gemayyel peacefully, then you are too incompetent to be in politics. Someone by the name of Salim Salhab got double the votes Pierre got in Metn, so eliminating him as a political foe can be done easily without having to resort to violence.

And if terrorist crime is your domain, then go find yourself somewhere more challenging than Lebanon and its open house policy on security. What satisfaction can you possibly derive from gunning down a father of two who was just leaving a church. Could you find a more vulnerable target? He was in a Kia for God's sake, A Kia.

For the record, I do not condone more challenging assassinations either. Assassinations are so passe. The last appealing assassination was Julius Caesar's; the practice has been losing its luster ever since . They must cease.

Another practice that must cease is the exploitation of blood and grief for political gains. Sadly, every group has spilled blood on this land. And we definitely shouldn't get into blood quality and quantity arguments.

Also some people should shut up for their own sake. These people harm their own cause every single time they open their mouths. (I will not name these people because it is against Lebanese law to insult one of them, and it is against my neighborhood's closed circuit TV surveillance law to critcize the other.)

Speaking of ... about a week ago I was running to get cover on a rainy night and I slipped and fell hard on my back. It was quite a sight and it was surely captured by the above mentioned surveillance cams. Can someone with connections get me a copy of the tape so I can post it here?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Holier Than Thou Alliance

I've been calling for the resignation of this Cabinet since shortly after its formation, or was it shortly before its conception... Anyways, the promised super creative steps (I doubt Saatchi and Saatchi will be involved in these) taken in the coming weeks to topple the Siniora government are long overdue, even at the risk of losing out on another begging opportunity in Paris. Just when the government was about to secure Lebanon's prosperity and erase the massive debt which was inflicted on us by Shahe Barsoumian and the Holy Ghost, here comes change and a start from scratch.

Change is imminent. There is no point in wasting any time on the futile attempts to avert it. Trying to instill fear in people has been overdone (you know the boy who cried Wolf). If you really want to rally people behind your cause, you need to have more tricks in your repertoire or maybe cosider having ... a cause.

So I will move ahead.

Let me be the first to call for the resignation of the Hezbollah-Free Patriotic Movement government. Not immediately since they have earned a shot at ruling the country with their democratic presence, but eventually they must go... They claim to be Clean and Divine, and they might very well be just that. But how long will this country continue to live on a diet of pure rhetoric? What is Hezbollah and FPM's plan to put the governmental instituions on the right track, reduce the debt, improve educations and medical care, and create jobs? All the successive government have had these goals, but where is the progress on these issues? Granted no one can be as inept as the current government, but still the people deserve to know what they are getting themselves into.

Trusting Abu Hadi and Abu El Meesh blindly isn't enough to build a country; Lebanon has trusted other Abus before and look where that has gotten the country. They'll get their chance and I wish them luck for the sake of Lebanon, but I want something better.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Practicing My Rusty Arabic

إذا أردتَ أن تعرف ماذا يحصل في بنت جبيل، عليك أن تعرف ماذا يحصل في فرجينيا. حكمة بورازانية ليست محكومة بزمنٍ ما. ها نحن وبينما ابن بنت جبيل يلتحف سماء الشّتاء النائلة منه ستّين نيلة تدور على بعد مسافة غير قصيرة من جبل عامل معركة انتخابية ضارية من أبرز عناوينها حظر الزّواج المثليّ.

المقاوم الجبيلي خاض معركته دفاعاً عن أرضه، فضحّى بأغلى ما عنده، وخسر بيته من أجل حياةٍ حرّة كريمة.

معركة فرجينيا مختلفة ، فمثليّو فرجينيا يعيشون حياتهم الحرّة الكريمة وإن لم تلتزم باسم الولاية التي يقطنون . لكنّهم يريدون الاعتراف الرّسمي بقرانهم وما يرافق هذا الاعتراف من امتيازاتٍ في نظامهم الضّرائبيّ. لكنّ معركتهم شرسة إذ أنّ عدوّهم في البيت الأبيض يجيّش أنصاره المحافظين لممارسة إرادة الله بمنع المثليّين من هذه الامتيازات الضريبيّة.ذلك بعد أن سَلَّموا بأن ليس في إمكان لا وزارة أمنهم القومي ولا الباتريوت آكت ان يمنع ما يجري خلف الأبواب المغلقة. طبعاَ هناك رغبة لدى الأخ الاكبر الجمهوري بتغيير هذا الواقع في المستقبل.

أمّا مستقبل ابن بنت جبيل، فمرتبطٌ بهذه المعركة( وبباريس 3 كما يقال له) نتيجة تبسيط وتقليص برنامجٍ انتخابيّ طويل عريض بما فيه من قضايا في السياسة داخلية وخارجيّة واقتصاد وتعليم و ... و… إلى قضية واحدة سهلة التّرويج في مجتمعٍ عمق إطّلاعه السياسيّ مقتصر على ما يراه في البريك الإعلاني لبرنامج أوبراه

اليوم يتلاهف جيش بوش الوفي على مراكز الاقتراع بهدف منع الزّواج المثليّ. هذا هو الأمر الأهمّ بل الأوحد الذي يجذب محافظي فرجينيا إلى الدّيمقراطية. الصّورة نفسها تتكرّر في الولايات الأربع الأخرى المتأرجحة القرار. مصير أكثريّة بوش في مجلس الشّيوخ تتّكل على مدى الحماسة الانتخابيّة يوم الاقتراع لمدّعي العلاء الأخلاقي. أكثريّةٌ قد تعني أنّ مشروع الشّرق الأوسط الجديد (الأخلاقي بامتياز) ماضٍ ماضٍ ماضٍ على أنقاض بنت جبيل. هكذا يجد ابن بنت جبيل نفسه في الخندق ذاته مع مثليّي فرجينيا.

قد يخسروا الانتخابات التّي لا تعنيهم أصلاَ، لكنّهم لن يُهزَموا أبداَ في معركة حقّهم. واحد ينتصر بمقاومة بطوليّة، أمّا الآخرون فلهم مقاومتهم و إن وُصِفَت بِلوطيَّة.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Lebanese Sausage Fest , The Re-erection

As our esteemed leaders are slated to reconvene Monday, many are wondering what their plans are for this round of round table chit chat. I will tell you what each of them wants, what they really really want.

I'll start with the godfather of the parliament who has successfully combined the characteristics of super glue and teflon in his persona. Nabih Berri loves the status quo and would love for it to continue forever. His natural fit is as the third side in unholy trinity of war criminals along with Geagea and Jumblatt. However, his popular base is enamored with the most Holy of men which puts him in a tough position that he skillfully transformed into a position of strength, way too much strength. He was able to place himself as the only bridge between the rival currents and thus the savior of the nation. If either camp was to gain full control of the government Mr. X would be reduced to second tier under the big kahunas of each camp.

The Bristol Team has one goal and they must work together to attain it. They want to weather the storm and hold ground. If they must give up the veto power in the cabinet, they can't do it for free. Ideally that would be one of theirs in Baabda, but realistically a compromise candidate in Baabda would be the best they can get. Judging by their performance over the last 18 months though, they will probably come out empty handed yet again.

The Orange team wants to go all out; new elections and a new cabinet (and in 10 months a new Prez) where they'd get the king's share. They know that Hezbollah would defer to them the leading role in a new cabinet because they would look sexier to the west, in spite of the Bristol media (nothing to do with ESPN) attempts at Syrianizing them.

Hezbollah would love to get their National Unity government by tweaking the current ministerial line up. They do not want to lose the perfect scapegoat in the person of Siniora. That way they would get their veto power without being burdened with more responsibilities at a time when they can buy time and just watch the Bristol team self-destruct. However, if that best case scenario fails to materialize, they will not hesitate to go all out and appease their allies.

Of course none of this would be possible without the presence of my boy Elie Skaff on the table without whom there would be no quorum.

Allah ykhallilna sale3tak ya iben Zahleh el bar.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

From Lebanon 21


The new world brought us Coca Cola; a hydrating concoction of phosphoric acid, sugar, and coloring. I must admit it is a quite refreshing beverage; in an ulcer inducing kind of way.

In Lebanon, well in the Middle East to be more precise, the ultimate thirst quencher is Jallab.

Jallab is two parts. The chilled liquid part is made from a syrup concocted (yes I love the verb concoct and all of its concoctions) from dates, grapes, and rose water. Part two is best described by the waiter at the Phoenicia Hotel that approached me last week and offered me in a heavily accented English, "Would you like nuts in your Jallab, Sir?" I am not ashamed to say that I gladly accepted his proposition for a Jallab is incomplete without a handful of fresh fine nuts. Actually the nut mix will reveal the quality of the Jallab in most cases. If all that's floating in your drink are pistachios and unidentifiable living organisms, then you are a cheap bastard who doesn't want to spend more than a thou on his drink. Pine nuts are a must, so are almonds. Cashew nuts are a bonus, but some raisins should be there for an extra oomph.


There you have Lebanon's most popular drink (after Coke, Pepsi, Coca Cola Light, Diet 7 up, Mirinda, and Starbucks' Grande Mocha Frappo Latte of course).

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Indisputable Picture Evidence

It IS a Moustache... I think.

(Thanks Cuz for the Picture, and Sorry for cropping you out but Cropping is my only photoshop skill so I have to use it everytime I get a chance.)

A Lebanese Newspaper

There are no newspapers out today in Beirut because of the End of Ramadan holiday. I feel obliged to fill the void for those of us who must get their daily dose of repetetive propaganda rants to get their day going.

As you know, Beirut features 713 daily newspapers which is roughly double the number of news paper readers in the country. Circulation is not really an issue as all newspapers' publishing expenses are covered by rich people and countries. Anyways, 712 of these dailies run the same format. The lone exception is Al Balad which decided that writers are overrated in the newspaper business and has replaced all writers on the staff with photographers and google image searchers.

So here you have what today's newspapers would've looked like.

The feature headline must be scandalous and not necessarily true so we can go with "Brammertz: Hariri died of Avian Flu" followed by supportive evidence and then what really is going on in smaller print like "Avian Flu case confirmed in Homs" and then "Bunch of Dudes and Nayla Mouawad have Nescafe and Petifour at Bristol."

The front page editorial is always an "I told you so" that proves the newspaper's credibility. "Back in the 80's you all made fun of my 70's wardrobe. Today it's back in style, so stop mocking my toupe."

Pages 2-6 feature one opinion piece that is based on conversations with a ton of anonymous well informed sources, one investigave report based on testimonials of anonymous well informed sources, and the following news items:

Siniora thanks so and so for their Generous Pledge of Support

Berri Smirks about his Ability to Get Away with Murder

Former PM Hoss after meeting with Tunisian delegate: We must maintain a good relationship with Syria

Patriarch Sfeir after hosting Harb: We insist on a Unified position (Wihdat Al Saff)

Lahoud after confirming the Ambassador of Latvia: Chirac wants my Back

Fadhlallah in Friday's Sermon : Beware of Conspiracies

Walid Eido: Look at me, look at me, look at me

Page 7 is where the newspaper tries to connect with the people by trying to bring up their problems like "Parking problem near An-Nahar Bldg. causes Citizens major delays".

The economy page has been reprinted exactly the same way for the past 15 years and no one has noticed, just look at it tomorrow and you'll see the following headlines: "US Dollar exchange rate is 1507.5 Liras", "Year nearing End and no Budget in Sight", and "Salameh: Banking Sector in Great Shape".

Sports pages always talk about teams financial woes and fan fights on the local scene, while internationally it's all about Ronaldinho and Tennis for some reason.

Culture page features Haifa or a look alike and some frustrated arab writer who blames his shitty writing on imperialism.

(The Horoscopes go here, but some girl ripped them out to show them to her friend.)

Finally, the back cover features odd news items off the wires, a random picture of Kellaj that I had promised before, and the silly Caricature du Jour which I will replace with this witty sketch by Amal.

I hope this quenches your newspaper cravings until tomorrow.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Assad I, Bush I, Iraq I, Assad II, Bush II, Iraq II and Lebanon

The picture above depicts what happened when Assad I appeased Bush I during Iraq I. Syrian soldiers dancing over what was later (last year) discovered to be a mass grave of Lebanese soldiers in Yarze.

This scene would've been reproduced in March 2005 in Martyrs' Square had Assad II done what Bush II wanted him to do in his Iraq II Project for spreading freedom, democracy, moderation, subserviency in the Middle East.

Fortunately for us, Assad II's defiance was in the Lebanese people's advantage as we got rid of, to some extent, brotherly bullying. Of course nothing is for free. The price we had to pay was a period of instability that is far from over.

Back to October 13th, 1990, I lived in Chtaura in the Bekaa which isn't exactly the commercial air traffic capital in the world. The only air traffic I witnessed growing up was that of Israeli fighter jets taking care of building code violations in the area by leveling buildings on their occupants. The morning of that day was exceptional as the fighter jets in the air were different. They sounded as if they had a broken exhaust pipe and they were coming from the East. Minutes later they returned and the battle was over. Syria was awarded a full control lease of Lebanon as a return favor for their full support of Iraq I, a lease deal that was up for renewal in 2005.

On a positive note, the events of that day meant I could now go ski in Faraya and watch Theatre du 10 Heurs at Portemilio Kaslik, two things high on my priorities' list as a young teenager. I wonder how much would my Pierre Chamassian autograph fetch on Ebay.

This weekend the Aounists commemorate that day, a day the whole world abandoned them as they stood all alone facing the Syrian occupation. Of course, you wouldn't get that impression if you see Al Mustaqbal's main headline today, but again they have an insatiable orange fetish.

In this occasion, I want to give some due credit to the Aounists. They have proven over the years to be the most "Lebanese" major political party in Lebanon. In a country where most major players draw strength from external sources to enhance their local presence (some have actually openly and shamelessly called themselves "tools"), the Aounists have patiently and painfully built a solid movement on the strength of a Lebanese base. While I don't support Aoun for president (though he will be), the example the Free Patriotic Movement has set can be a model for other "Lebanese" parties to follow. If the orange crew could overcome the hardships of the past 16 years to stand today as one of the Top 3 political parties in the country, then there is hope for some party with a better vision for Lebanon to follow the same path and succeed without embassy shortcuts or seesawing principles.

Now who's got the energy and commitment to go for it?

*Photo Source: Al Akhbar

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

I'll pick up the pace soon

I've been extremely busy that past few days, but I should be able to post more frequently soon. Especially, since the next few weeks WILL BE action packed. So says Michel Hayek, or was it a different Michel who promised that?

Meanwhile, here's something I wrote in response to some braggarts.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

From Lebanon (Ramadan Edition)

The Msaharati

The residents of this strip of land might have invented the alfabet, but they will never be able to spell "noise ordinance." Noise pollution is part of life in this city and you have to adapt to it. Puncturing your eardrums with a Pencil would work, but then you wouldn't know how Haifa plans to top "Wawa". So instead you condition your body to not hear the regular dream interrupting noises like the dawn calls to prayer, the shrieking water pump that the neighbors forgot to turn off when they left the country in 1975, and little Nadine's Saturday morning piano lesson.

Seasonal noise events, like the entire population of Lebanon chanting "Barazil" or Israeli F-16's experimenting with bunker buster bombs, shock the system and break down your defense mechanism, which leaves you struggling again with an enemy you thought you had outsmarted.

A dude banging a drum and screaming his lungs out at 3 a.m. is one of these factors that aren't programmed into your night noise blocking system. That's the Msaharati. His message is "Wake up and Eat." A noble cause except he is the bar tender who pokes a passed-out drunkard to sell him one more drink.

The best part about the Msaharati is that he will come to your door the day after Ramadan to "wish you a happy holiday". No Shame whatsoever.

The Msaharati, a Ramadan tradition for karaoke bar rejects.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Out your "Salon" Talk

We all know that in Lebanon everyone talks about everybody else. The topic could be about clothing, wedding parties, but passions run especially high when it comes to sectarian politics. This phenomenon is better known as "7aki Salonet." It involves anything from sectarian jokes to below the belt insults. These gatherings always work on the pretext that every single thing "our sect" does is right, and everything the "others" do is wrong. Of course the Sect could even be a sub-sect or a "3ashire" but the concept doesn't change.

In an effort to encourage intercommunity communications; to make people to open up to each other; to express their fears and their freudian complexes. I will open up this forum, and for one time only, to open sectarian bashing.

So at the risk of igniting a civil war, what is being said in the "Salons" that you frequent? Yes I know that no one in your family is like that, they all are a tolerant bunch, but what have you overheard your neighbors say?

Bring it all out: the jokes, the conspiracy theories, the Holier than Thou talk, the dirty laundry, etc... Fear nothing for God and internet anonymity are on your side.

Note: Please stick to topic, any unrelated comment will be deleted.

Friday, September 29, 2006

The King is Naked

I will not get involved in the petty internal political bickering. What a boring bunch of clowns with nothing to offer. Same cast for the last 20 years+ repeating the same lines, ... those are the days of our lives. I'm sure no one pays attention to them anymore.

We're in Ramadan which means Kellaj season for me. Kellaj is basically a mixture of fat and sugar that's then deeply fried and deeply sweetened. Yummy. For others, however, it's "ask Jamal why isn't he fasting" month. While it's a clearly intrusive and inapropriate question, you have to be careful how to answer it because your answer might offend some Jesus freaks, Mohammad freaks, whatever, they would be offended in way that would make the 1400 years fight over the Caliphate look like a piece of Kellaj. They really want you to go to heaven. It's for your own good.

It's day 7 or 6, depending on which of the Earth's moons you follow, which means I can't use the "I got my period" excuse much longer. Of course, I should've gone with I am Christian, that excuse would've lasted me at least a month, but too late for that now. There's also the Aoun or Geagea deal; I might miss one of the hand signals which would open a whole other can of worms. So it's back to the drawing board...

I do have my first Iftar of the month this evening. Those things I do take part in. Come 6:30 pm or 8:00 pm, again depending on which of the Earth's suns you watch set, everyone around the table would have developed an animal predator approach to dining which makes me feel normal for once.

So if I pick up the tab tonight, do you think I'll get dressed with the Sultan's Garb?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

1 Year Anniversary

This Blog is one year old today.

I want to thank everyone who has spent time reading my rants.

I also want to say a Big THANK YOU to Amal for this beautiful gift which basically sums up the year that was.

Here's to a less eventful Year 2.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Everyone Loves a Parade

Yesterday I decided to walk to the newly dubbed "Pride and Dignity Square" , an 8 KM distance as the Google Earth flies, to get a full picture of Beirut on this day.

At 12:30 pm, I had my cup of coffee and scoured the daily newspapers at my favorite cafe. There was a shouting match across the street but surprisingly it was apolitical. By the way, Rania and Abdallah of Jordan are sleeping in seperate bedrooms.

1 pm; Hamra Street has its regular crowd combined with some motorists sporting their Hezbollah flags and blasting their Nasrallah speeches while some passers by discretely wish for them and him to drown in shit.

1:20 pm; I get side tracked when I spot a new restaurant. Food gets me everytime. However, this restaurant's decor is too colorfull for it to have good food. Also, the fact that this spot used to house a Pizza Hut doesn't work in its favor.

1:30 pm; Someone I know sees me and offers me a ride wherever I was going. He felt offended because I told him I just wanted to walk. He wasn't convinced. No one "just walks" in Beirut. Oh Well.

1:35 pm; The Spears Barbar bottleneck is not exclusive to cars on the street, the sidewalk is also a victim to this phenomenon. Instead of bombing bridges, Israel should've built Barbars everywhere that would've clogged all roads (and arteries) and paralyzed the country.

1:40 pm; in Zoqaq Blat you can buy one Kilogram of Tomatoes or Grapes for 500LL. No one will ever starve to death in Lebanon.

1:45 pm; I stopped at 3ezz Cafe Downtown, since this used to be my caffeine supply when I worked in the area. "3ezz" is a staunch Haririst, and so was everyone else present there. Let the fun begin. Ok, I couldn't take notes fast enough. Siniora stopped the war, he's no traitor. All the arabs abandoned the Palestinian cause, why won't we. If they open the Golan front, we will go and fight there. We all used to love Nasrallah, but not since he said "Thank You Syria." Overall, a lot of resentment towards Syria.

2:15 pm; I spot Ibrahim Kanaan at Le Georges in Gemmayze, the dude stood less than a meter away and I still couldn't tell whether or not he has a moustache. It's a light angle trick that has me baffled.

2:25 pm; The young cedar on the Lebanese Forces posters looks much healthier than the blossoming cedar on Almanar TV.

2:35 pm; Tabaris, Furn El Hayek, Sodeco are all emptyish, early start to the weekend I guess. I hear my name and have a 5 minute with someone that knows me without having a clue who he is.

2:45 pm; Oh I remember who he is, he used to work at one of the companies I worked for.

2:50 pm; I've been walking for two and half hours mixing with the people of Beirut, but fuck it , my destination is still over 5 kilometers away, so I'm hitching a ride.

3:15 pm; The Mar Mikhail church is as far as cars can get, so back to walking. Tons of people, mostly with yellow flags, but you'll spot occasional black, green, orange, red and the unmistakeable mutant radioactive pistacchio colored flags of the Marada party.

3:45 pm; Ice cream trucks, cotton candy, roasted nuts, Nasrallah speeches on Cassette or CD (I got me the classical 1998 Jerusalem day, but most youths prefer the Ashura 2003 remix.), and lots and lots of baby carriages; plenty of pride and dignity but still no square.

4:00 pm; More people heading away from the "square", than those heading to it , they said they weren't letting any more people in. Are you kidding me, I didn't walk and hitch all this distance to be left out. Oh and by the way, I spotted a couple of Israeli MK drones in the sky filming the event.

4:15 pm; the pace got slower and the space tighter and the oxygen scarcer and butt grabbing more frequent, it was getting obvious I' m not gonna make it and even if I managed to push my way close enough to Pride it would have to be at the expense of Dignity. Right there I decided to give up.

5:00 pm; While I was in an air conditioned living room, Nasrallah started delivering his victory speech.

6:15 pm; He finished his brief talk. Main points: Olmert and Peretz are pair of boobs. Condy's New Middle East is a miscarriage. Yo Arab Leaders, wake up(Dream on Sayyed). Blue Helmets, Blue Balls. Internally he delivered strong words but weak messages. The roof of his demands remained a National Unity government. I already commented on this issue in my last post.

8:00 pm; Shower!!!!!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Blue Helmets and Black Turbans

On the eve of the "Divine" victory rally, there are several asking "Where to?" Since it's pretty clear to everybody that we're not "there" yet.

Let me start south of the Litani on the frontlines with Israel. UNSC 1701 is starting to look like a bizarro Cairo Accord. Allow troops from all over the world, it's preferably the light skinned ones outnumber the darker complexions, to turn South Lebanon into a stage where they can "protect Israel's right to exist" and prove to the world that they are not anti-semitic and have no Hitler genes whatsover. Today's Unifil is a baby blue helmeted PLO with guns pointing north instead of south. Well, come to think of it the original PLO's guns also pointed north instead of south. Freedom, sovereignty, Never Mind. While the ambiguity of Unifil's role is of concern, I personally think they are just here for show. While I don't question Europe's genuine love for Israel, I doubt they are willing to administer Qana III for them. They should start leaving come February. So for the southern Lailas looking for blue-eyed Romeos, Hook'em Fast!

North of the Litani, on the always entertaining Lebanese political scene, we are due for action. The first voices after the war were those who where screaming that they shouldn't be accused of treason. Why would anyone with a clear conscience be concerned with this issue? Hmmm. Anyways, these people were and will always be irrelevant tools, so let's talk about the more relevant free people. The Siniora government will not be overthrown, not now at least. It is protected from "El Diablo" himself. (Sorry Cowboy John, I know I shouldn't be taking this comic book approach to dealing with international policy. Destructive wars, bloody invasions, and violent occupations are the way to go.) However back to Lebanon, Hezbollah owes it to his supporters and allies to stand up to the Bristol troop. But how? They can not pull out of the cabinet because they do not trust the ruling majority with all the power and they can't overthrow it. So their only option is to press for a national unity government. Boring. If you thought the current crew has been impotent wait til you see the National unity jambalaya. Well, at least it'll be more entertaining when you have Fatfat and Frangieh in the same room.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Half Good or Half Bad

I'm sorry I've been slow when things are moving at light speed around here. When I try to put my thoughts about a topic on paper it seems to be trumped by another more urgent news. To keep up with the pace of ongoing events I will resort to bullets, just like everyone else seems to be doing these days.

  • The Saudi-Qatari propaganda war is the best thing on TV since Seinfeld (before Larry David left the show.)
  • The Saudi-Qatari propaganda war is the best thing to hit news stands since Oprah's Magazine.
  • What's with the media blackout on the gun clashes erupting here and there.
  • Walid Jumblat was a tool, he's now free. His words not mine.
  • A country whose number one export is Cocoa was rewarded with a shipful of fatal toxic waste.
  • God hates chocolate ... and Africans.
  • God led Hezbollah to victory .
  • God also led the Miami Heat to victory.
  • My friend who has been job hopping in the desert since the 90's thinks the job market and economy in Lebanon are dead because of the 2006 Israeli war on Lebanon.
  • Finance Minister Jihad Azour agrees.
  • Dori Chamoun: Goatee or no Goatee?
  • This week marked the death anniversaries of Bachir Gemayyel and Hadi Nasrallah, as seen extensively on TV, oh yeah and the thousands at Sabra and Shatila, barely seen on TV.
  • Yemen.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Por La Plata Baila El Mono

A Spanish saying that translates to: "For the Money, The Monkey Dances."

While many people fit the description, my monkey du jour is Hassan Sabra.

I saw the cover of his respected magazine today and he had Michel Aoun featured with a photoshopped Iranian flag patterned foulard draped around his neck. I guess the idea of Aoun being in bed with the Syrians didn't fly, so Sabra is resorting to the other "bo3"*. Apparently people don't forget 15 years of Syrian-enforced exile so easily. I mean what does it tell you when even Al-Shiraa readers don't believe the story?

But why is he a dancing monkey?

I remember Hassan Sabra of the early 90's; his son used to play soccer with us when the father performed his weekly pilgrimage to Chtaura. Actually, Junior broke his arm once and that was when I learned that when bones break, they actually break break. As in break in two pieces break. But enough with my childhood traumas.

My point is that Hassan Sabra used to have his tongue so far up Ghazi Kenaan's ass he could taste his lunch. Today he's a "courageous journalist." Who's fooling whom?

But dancing monkeys are not completely useless. You can always use them to gauge whose propaganda machine has the deepest pockets at any given time.

*The bo3 is the Lebanese version of the Chupacabras.

The Crucifix of Siniora

At the end of the day, Fouad Siniora is just a loyal employee of Hariri Inc. (Not to use harsher descriptions thrown his way.) His failed 13+ months experiment as Prime Minister was nothing more than a lesson in the grooming process of his boss. While he was dizzy being pushed around in different directions, Boss was lounging on a Mediterranean island beach doing lines and taking notes on the Dos and Don'ts of Prime ministering. Siniora's usefulness seems to be expiring soon and while his name has been battered in many circles, his non-committal Boss is unscathed.

Welcome to Feudal Leadership 101.

Unfortunately for us, it has been reported the Boss's top advisors do not think he's ready for the job yet. (Insert your favorite expression of astonishment here.) So which loyal employee will be volunteered to be the next lab rat in Boss's educational curriculum?

Monday, September 11, 2006

Cluster Bombed

I've been away for a few days not because I have nothing to comment but because I have too many things that I wanted to talk about that I didn't know where to start. I'll just vent a little now, but I'll have a more level headed analysis in the future.

At this moment Prime Minister Lame Duck is meeting with Prime Minister Lame Duck in the Grand Seray. I wonder what they're quacking about. They are probably comparing golf vacation plans. Meanwhile, south of our border Prime Minister Lame Duck is still in denial. What can one do to get job security in this world?

On another front, if you are "pretty", "rich", or "smart" and you are secure about it would you go around announcing to everyone your virtues? So why does the ruling majority in Lebanon feel the need to keep reminding everyone that they are the majority.

I see Hezbollah targeted the Bristol gathering with a batch of Katyushas a couple of days ago. To Hezbollah I say, Stop teasing the people. You've been using these empty threats for over a year now and every time these supposed "thieves" bend and give you what you want, you turn a blind eye to all the looting. You are either against corruption or you are a partner in it. You are either against the government or you are part of it. You can not have the damning evidence you speak of and sleep on it for political gains. Stop talking off both sides of your mouth, state your position, and stick to it.

As for my contribution to the ongoing media smear campaign against Aoun, hmmm, what hasn't been used yet? Digging up picture with IDF, done. Calling him senile, done. Questioning his Maronitism, done. Syrian Mukhabarat accusations, done. Sold his soul for the presidency, done. Abou Ali Aoun, done. Party hand symbol resembles gun slinging, done. Well, it seems I can't add anything to this campaign, our fair and balanced media has got it all covered.

Enough for now...

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Beyond Bint Jbeil

As I was leaving Beirut I ran into the around the clock procession of dump trucks that are moving Dhahieh to its new seafront location. Once you get past that, you'll start noticing some redecoration courtesy of the Israeli Air Force. Overpasses are out. Not a single overpass remains between Beirut and Saida. Silly Israelis! Any casual observer of Lebanese driving patterns knows that we don't use these things. Why take the long dizzying way when you can just jump the median?

Bridges are a different story; we do need those because we have many many rivers. A river is a continuous flow of water that pumps life into everything in its path. Water is life and we have an abundance of water. I just wanted to rub that in.

After a few detours to find alternative ways to cross the numerous water sources along the way we reached Soor, home of LBC's favorite mufti Sayyed Ali El Amin. Just a piece of advice here, If you're heading South fill up gas before you leave Beirut since gas pumps are an extinct species south of the Litani.

My destination was the border village of Yaroun, my grandfather's hometown and where he spent the first 15 days of Olmert's anger tantrum. Yaroun is one of the heavily damaged villages that didn't get much media coverage, probably because it is beyond Bint Jbeil and Bint Jbeil is more photogenic. Like most houses in Yaroun, my grandpa's is now missing a wall. On the bright side the living room is well ventilated and enjoys an unobstructed view of Jabal Al Jarmaq. So we went to the local "Jihad Construction" office to pick up some cash. Note that "Jihad" is one of the Arabic words that is never translated to English only so that the terror alert levl can remain at orange, just like Madrassa. By the way, Little Jihad cannot go to his Madrassa in Bint Jbeil because Bint Jbeil is, well, more like Bint Jbeil was.

Before you reach Yaroun from Bint Jbeil there is an ant hill on the left between the road and the border. It is known as Maroun El Ras. When I used to see the TV footage of the Maroun El Ras battles, I thought that was just one angle of this strategic base. It turns out that there were no other angles, Maroun El Ras is just what you saw in the camera frame; a couple of houses on what would be rated as a baby stroller hiking trail. You have to see how small the areas in question are to grasp the magnitude of the Israeli military failure. There are no visible Merkava tracks beyond the outskirts of Bint Jbeil. To put it in perspective the distance from there to the border is shorter than the distance from where you are to Starbucks.

On the way back, we stopped for food at th only open restaurant in the area. Two rocket holes adorned the seating area. A couple of mine explosions and stray Israeli jets provided the ambience music. Judging by the clientele present, the waiters will be needing intensive French and Italian courses. Barbecued Merkava was the Plat du Jour.

Tomorrow (Lebanese time, so it might be a few days) I'll go Beyond Beyond Bint Jbeil with a political reading of the war's results.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Back from the Frontlines

I shall write up a detailed account of my trip to Bint Jbeil and what's beyond beyond Bint Jbeil sometime tomorrow.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Go Shorty...It's Your Birthday

This Virgo is 46 years old today, so what do the stars tell us about him.


"The universe is really rocking and rolling right now. The fun and games begin very early as the Moon enters exuberant and enthusiastic Sagittarius (12:02AM PDT). Less than one hour later, Vesta in Virgo opposes Uranus in Pisces (12:55AM PDT). If you are feeling worried about a loved one's safety and security, join the club. This is amplified enormously by the long-awaited Saturn-Neptune polarity from Leo to Aquarius (2:56AM PDT). This sky pattern will form again on February 28 and June 25, 2007. Steer clear of anyone or anything that brings confusion, chaos, fogginess and nebulosity into your life. Saturn-Neptune oppositions only occur every 35 years and many people experience a potent tug of war between the material (Saturn) and spiritual (Neptune) realms of life. Unless you are very wise and sensible, there is a great tendency to be unrealistic right now. Try to be the Rock of Gibraltar to dear ones on the ropes. Help the downtrodden and disenfranchised to the best of your ability. Learn more about meditation and yoga. Explore the fine and graphic arts to your heart's content. Challenges may also manifest around the time of the First Quarter Sun-Moon Phase (3:58PM PDT) - activating 9 degrees of Virgo and Sagittarius. Cut through obstacles in your path with mental clarity and emotional calm. Your mental universe is abuzz during the Sun-Mercury Superior Conjunction (9:50PM PDT) at 9 degrees of Virgo. You can think of this as a ""Full Mercury"" - with the Earth, Sun and Mercury lined up in the solar system, and Mercury on the far side of the Sun, but moving at top speed. Ingenious ideas flash through your mind like meteors lighting up the night sky. Research, reading and writing receive the thumb's-up sign."

...and all this time I though that the activation of 9 degrees of Virgo and Sagittarius only manifested itself in the Second Quarter of Sun-Moon Phase. Also in case you're confused, PDT is 10 hours behind Beirut Time.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Hal Balad

"Hal Balad" is the most bitched about thing around here. This expression is always used in a culpatory tone. Whenever you need to highlight a flaw in this country, and we have a handful of those around, you blame it all on "Hal Balad."

You cant' find a job in "Hal Balad."...People in "Hal Balad" are full of crap..."Hal Balad" is all about corruption...The humidity in "Hal Balad" is unbearable...

I hate thee people that use this expression. Not because of your incessant whining, nor because of your criticism of my beloved country, but for the helpless guilt free victim image that you have of yourself.

"Hal Balad" is nothing but a reflection of your sorry ass. You pass your sense of irresponsibility to those you empower to roam free with no worry of accountability.

Then there are those who romanticize "Hal Balad" and fantacize about"Hal Balad" from afar. Sure you all love "Hal Balad", the summer vacation one night stand kind of love, that is why you abandon it at the drop of a Dirham. "Hal Balad" is not your Balad. Your "Hal Balad" is a farce.

"Hal Balad" today is bleeding, almost dead. I say we finish it off and bury it deep. Let's build our Lebanon instead.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Crashing Back into Normalcy

I live off one of the most traffic accident prone intersections in Beirut. The traffic congestion in the area prevents high speed driving and thus limits injuries caused by these crashes. But the vocal blame fights between the drivers after such incidents have been known to puncture a few ear drums.

Last night was no different. A speeding tinted windows Mercedes slammed into an arrogantly-strutting-its-trunk-in-the-middle-of-the-street Peugeot. The druzetache sporting driver of the Mercedes stepped out of the car and told the other car owner not to worry; the Mercedes is Walid Beik’s and his insurance will take care of everything. The Mercedes was pretty slick, which reminded me of a conversation I had with a friend that the MTV crew should have a go at the Lebanese zaeems’ Cribs.

Move over Dr. Dre, here comes Dr. Geagea’s Arz estate, and he has prison creds too. Hassan Nasrallah’s crib has been reduced to a radioactive pile of rubble, but his charred motorcade is a perfect candidate for Pimp My Ride; a Manar Studio in the back seat, a Zelzal under the hood. On to Qoraytem where you’ll find a 7 meter wide life size poster of the Martyr on every wall of every room and a 1700 men strong security force guarding a house that is completely empty eleven months out of the year. In Rabieh, you’ll see the navel room, the afandi room, the tangerine room, the Clementine room, the Balkis room, the fresh squeezed room, etc…

In other Zaeem houses (without naming names to avoid lawsuits) you should pay particular attention as you might be able to spot your neighbor’s chandelier, your great grandmother’s long lost grandfather’s clock, uncle Joe’s 1975 Citroen amongst other loot that didn’t cross our soon to be closed borders during the past 2 decades.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Off the Internet

Here's a little article I found about blogging from Beirut during Olmert's angry days.

Bleu , Blanc, Lose

I'm still shaking. I think I burnt off more calories than the actual players over the past 2 hours.
What a performance, what a Game, what a Win.

Final Score Lebanon 74 France 73.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Something Stinks

I've had a self imposed ban on internal politics since Olmert started burying Lebanese kids under the rubble of their homes.

Well, I will continue this hiatus for the time being even though I have a bone to pick with, well, everybody except Elie Joseph Beik Skaff of course.

I've gotten a lot of "what national untiy" exclamations when I wrote my letter of admiration to the Lebanese people. I stand by what I said. The way the grand majority of the Lebanese people acted during the war and continue to behave these days is light years ahead in national maturity than where we were a couple of months ago. A political compromise will be reached internally and there will not be another civil war, Ever!! I will repeat it one more time for the delusional haters, Lebanon will NEVER have another civil war.

On a final note, as the Israeli elite fighters strategically repositioned their asses to their side of the fence, they have left a lot of stinking souvenirs: open tuna cans, sweaty and bloody boots, phosphorus-torched landscapes, and ..... used adult diapers. Apparently the baby killers from down south have the same bowel control as their victims. I smell an endorsement deal here. Depends, J & J's Baby Powder, or Mr. Bidet's Clean Healthy Tush; the possibilities are endless.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Lebanon 82 - Venezuela 72

No honking, no fireworks. But Lebanon wins its first game at the World Championships.

After a slow start and 17 first half turnovers, the Lebanese team woke up in time to dominate late. Joe Vogel kept us in the game early and Fadi El Khatib had a huge second half, but the surprise today was Ali Mahmoud's performance off the bench. Rony Fahed wasn't his usual self today and Paul Coughter went for plan B with Mahmoud, and what a game he had. Roy Samaha had a good game on defense, but dude's gotta make the easy layups.

This is Lebanon's first win at this level, and I'm glad I woke up before dawn (is dawn before or after sunrise?) to witness it.

Let's do this one more time and move on to the Second Round.

*Photo Source: AP

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Rebounding and a (Fast) Break

Lebanon's National Basketball team arrived in Japan today to participate in the World Championships. I highly doubt there is any team in this tournament that had as rough a time preparing for this tournament, so basically just the fact that we are there is a huge accomplishment. Still a win at this stage would be nice. Our best chances to avoid a winless participation are in our first and last games.

Lebanon-Venezuela, Saturday 7:00 am Beirut Time
Lebanon-Argentina (Olympic Gold Medalists), Sunday 10:00 am
Lebanon-Serbia & Montenegro (5 Time Champions under a different name), Monday 10:00 am
Lebanon-France, Wednesday 1:00 pm
Lebanon-Nigeria, Thursday 10:00 am

Yalla Ya Shabeb!!!

Monday, August 14, 2006

A letter to the People of Lebanon

I owe you an apology. You've proved me wrong.

I had no faith in you. You must admit, history was not on your side.

I thought you would crack under fire. Israel thought so too, it was banking on it. It based its whole war on this premise. How could they not think so, any observer of Lebanon's never ending internal friction could see how feebly tied together this society was.

I saw you a month ago creating divisions on top of divisions just so you can further taunt each other. You have used every shade in the color spectrum to differentiate yourselves from your neighbors, cousins, and brothers.

I was doubting the concept of Lebanon. I was afraid it will become just another history lesson of failed sociological experiments.

Lebanon will not be a failed experiment because of you, mighty people of Lebanon. Your will will never be bent, your Country will forever be respected, because of you. An army of 4 million hardened unique soldiers cannot be defeated.

I don't know what it is that holds all of you freaks together, but it is damn special.

I was wrong about you.

Please accept my apologies.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Angry and Soon to be Unemployed Olmert Days 32 & 33

13 hours to go until the promised ceasefire.

Just over a month ago, a man by the name of Ehutzpanim Olmert declared war on Lebanon to send it back 20 years, to free 2 Israeli soldiers, and to destroy Hezbollah.

Instead he earned himself war criminal credentials, strengthened Hezbollah considerably, and caused damage to the Israeli army image that not even 20 years would fix. Not a very successful war, is it?

A couple of hours ago, Israeli F-16's bombed the hell out of another Beirut suburbs neighborhood. 11 high rise buildings were reduced to rubble. The scene is repeated throughout the country in a "final?" muscle flexing show of Israel's ability to destroy stuff and kill civilians. Bravo! Now someone throw Olmert a cookie, since he failed to earn a trophy or even a medal.

P.S. I want to point out that quote attributed to me in today's New York Times is a cut and paste job of different things I said during our conversation re-arranged conveniently out of context to make it "fit to print."

Friday, August 11, 2006

Angry Olmert Days 30 & 31

Early wake up call today.

I counted over 20 blasts before 5:30 am, which shows you that after a month of Olmert war crimes his Israeli superior mass murdering machine is resorting to random bombing of buildings in hope of catching something in his line of fire. Anything.

All the Hezbollah legitimate targets that Israel knew of were targeted in the first couple of days of this killing campaign. Everything since then has been frustrated mass homicide. Israel did not just discover that the 20+ buildings targeted today were strategic targets that they have missed, they just wanted to bomb stuff.

The biggest sign of Israel's military inability to hit targets of value can be seen around the world 24 hours a day. Al Manar Television, whose home has been reduced to sand from numerous bombings since day 1 of this war, is still broadcasting 24 hours a day. Not only is it a constant taunt for Israeli's confused military intelligence, but it hosts live daily shows with visiting guests. If Israel can't find the studio of a fully staffed TV station that they've been trying to destroy for a month, how are they to be expected to find Hezbollah's top leadership? Oh wait they captured a Hassan Nasrallah in Baalbeck.

Speaking of press, or lack of press in this case, have you noticed that IDF casualties are always confirmed between 2 and 3 am local time. While the IDF insists on a daily basis that their battles in Lebanon are going smoothly and spend all day denying any losses, sometime before dawn when no one is listening they sneak out a report that reads something like that: "The IDF lost 3,5,8, or 15 soldiers in battles near Aita El Shaab." That report is buried into the back pages by the time the sun rises.

Just now, news reports of another war crime against civilians are coming in from Akkar. 12 reportedly died by Israeli F-16 bombs. For those of you not familiar with Lebanon, Akkar is the Northern most district in Lebanon. No Hezbollah, no Katyushas, so let's just call them Islamo-fascists with bottles of liquid and disposable cameras.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Angry Olmert Days 28 & 29

The war rages on with no end or gas in sight. At this pace, sometime next week I'll have to start blogging using smoke signals.

Speaking of smoke, we have not even began to grasp the extent of lives that will be cut short by Israel's war crimes against Lebanon. When the dust and the other venomous substances in our air settle, the disease outbreaks will begin. With one million people living in places that are not meant to be human homes, we're going to have the normal airborne contagious diseases spreading widely. Medicine shortages caused by the Israeli enforced embargo will surely affect more than few people with chronic diseases, not to mention those in villages where roads have been erased off the map.

All that is before we go into the crazy scientist experiments being conducted on us. In all fairness though, Hezbollah fighters are using biological weapons too. Anyone who has tried Kibbeh Nayyeh Jnoubiyyeh knows what I'm talking about. The Israelis in their Merkavas expected a breeze instead they are ill sailing against a mighty wind.

Finally, on the subject of stinkers, the Israelis switched commanders for their war on Lebanon. I can't wait for my Israeli visitors to explain to me how this move is a sign that things are going according to plan.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Angry Olmert Day 27

The Israeli terror raids are getting closer and closer. I guess the people of Shiyyah sleep with rockets under their beds too. Judging by previous performances by the IDF intelligence, this was probably just another name confusion incident. They probably confused pocket rockets for long range weapon systems. A pocket rocket is a vibrator used by females (and some males) for self gratification purposes; it's military usefulness is almost nil.

Another masturbation tool for females is the dildo. A wide array of them was on display today in Beirut. The widest of them being .....I'll stop here before I jeopardize our reconstruction fund collection.

As for the south of the border gamecock, he's still putting the moves on Aita El Shaab. 27 days of flirtation and he still hasn't come close to sniffing anything, which makes him a certifiable limpdick.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Angry Olmert Days 25 & 26

1000 Deaths. Olmert's War on Lebanon has now claimed over 1000 Lives.

Over a third are under the age of 13. 13 kids under 13 a day, yet the world's freedom lovers are taking their sweet ass time to do anything about it. They just don't care. No one cares. That's moral superiority.

This is military superiority for you. 90% of the Israeli killing machine's victims have been civillian, or what the dehumanaizing media prefers to call collateral damage. Meanwhile, the big bad so called terrorists have been causing most of their damage non-collaterally against the Israeli military.

On to technological superiority, the distance from the border fence to the village of Aita El Shaab is 900 meters. That is about a 10 minute walk for an able body. It would take you less than a minute to cover that distance in a Renault 12. An average tortoise would make it in 6 hours. 26 days and counting for the state of the art Merkava beasts...


I started writing this yesterday. I don't feel like finishing it tonight, but since I don't want to go three days without checking in; here I'll post it as is.


Friday, August 04, 2006

Angry Olmert Day 24

I lost my internet connection, so I'm checking in from a smokey dungeon that happens to be conveniently equipped with Commodore 64s.

I have to get out of this place as soon as possible since the odor of this place is already invading my clothes, and with that showing better military offensive skills than Olmert's Elite. I can't exactly make it out, but I can tell it has a heavy dose of Marlboro and Gauloises, a few Gitanes and Winstons thrown in, and a hint of Hermel's finest.

Speaking of Hermel, that was the site of Olmert's massacre du jour but no one will care about those killed since they are mostly poor kurdish farmers. However, Olmert really pissed off the Saudis today by bombing the Casino du Liban road. Upon hearing the news Saud Al Faysal said he'll head to Beirut on Monday to work on immediate ceasefire.

I really need to get away from this cloud of cancer.

Heading straight to the shower.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Angry Olmert Day 23

The air raids returned to Beirut's southern suburbs which means we are sleeping to sweet sounds of F-16 lullabies.

Today, Hezbollah's big boss spoke for the first time since Saturday. Let's meet Hassan Nasrallah. He's only the most popular living figure in the arab world today, yet the rest of the world only knows him as another bearded Sheikh.

Who is this arrogant, chubby, myopic lisper who just froze countries and world "leaders" in anticipation of every word coming out his mouth?

First of all he's Lebanese, thus the arrogance; From the South, thus his "healthy" appetite; and born and raised in East Beirut, thus the lisp.

Another important thing you need to know is that the man lovvvvvvvves to talk. He can go on and on and on....

Now on to the current conflict, the dude has Israel dazed and bumfuzzled. Angry Olmert feels impotent in this military confrontation against the Sayyed. So in a desperate attempt to get himself some mojo, Olmert ordered a massive military operation to get himself a Hassan Nasrallah. This was just a brilliant move that no one saw coming. Talk about an Ace up his sleave, Olmert's troops got their man while he was in a middle of card game.

If that is not an omen of an impending change of fortunes, I don't know what is.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Angry Olmert Day 22

Make that Angrier Olmert.

As if death simmering over the fire he lit 3 weeks ago wasn't enough, Olmert and his blood lusting crew kicked it up a notch today. After taking care of Qana, Olmert is looking for another medal. What will it be? A nursery? An orphanage? The special olympics?

That elusive medal; Forget the Trophy. He'll probably settle for bronze right about now.
Yesterday, I pointed out Olmert's lame propaganda machine. Today I would like to talk about his flat out lies. Oh wait that is just not possible to cover in one day. Plus I'm very sleepy.

I'm just going to snooze now, could it be one of Olmert's chemical experiments that is making me this sleepy? Nah, no chance in hell, he isn't that humane. Nothing less than charred bodies would satiate his cravings.

Power just went out, later....

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Angry Olmert Day 21

750 civilian deaths and counting in Olmert's raging war against women and children, or as he prefers to call them: terrorist farms because there are no innocent civilians. Lebanese children don't hug teddy bears when they sleep, they sleep with katyushas in their beds in case you didn't know.

Israeli military incompetence has exceeded all expectations, that was a bit surprising. Surely though their random killing and destruction credentials are untouched.

More surprising, however, is their war propaganda which has shown complete creative bankruptcy. For example , the number of Hezbollah fighters the IDF have claimed to kill is always a round number. I would recommend they use odd numbers more often, 43-31-17 -93 makes it sound more credible than 200-20-40-50.

May I also recommend a computer program called Adobe Photoshop. You can very easily place a chubby black turbanned dude running into any of the civilian shelters you plan on bringing down on top of 42 kids under the age of 13.

As for the cartoons, fliers, and radio interference; that was so amateurish that it's not even worth discussing.

My favorite war propaganda item though is the "strategic redeployment". If you are planning to "strategically redeploy" your ass out of a village, DO NOT spend a week hyping it up as the Capital of Hezbollah.

I can provide you with plenty more tricks if you want. Just tell Halutz, Peretz, or Olmertz to contact me. I'm sure they have no problem reaching me, I'm a civilian after all.

Angry Olmert Day 20

A day late since my internet connection does not work on candle light.

Anyways, I'll be posting something later today.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Angry Olmert Day 18

"Ummm, It's essential, uhhhh, that we do what's, ahhhhhh, right -- not necessarily, ummmm, what appears to be, ohhhhh, immediately popular."

George Bush stuttered these words yesterday as he stood next to his loyal alibi from the land of royals with cool accents. What's the definition of Democracy again? Never mind.

I must say thank God and all his annointed men on earth that we have a man in Washington DC that is willing to decide what is Right for us in Lebanon and impose it on us dumb fucks. A "peace proposal" will fall from the sky tomorrow and land in our bombed out airport. We must accept it and kiss it on both cheeks because that is what's right.

Do what we say is right, or have nothing left. Don't be naughty, listen to Rice. All sort of offers we can't refuse, yet the self-righteous one does not bring up the obvious solution according to 99% of the civilized 21st century humans on this globe.

Immediate cease-fire and peaceful negotiations.

Alas, that is just not, umm, ahhh, oohhh, ummm, uhh... Right.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Angry Olmert Day 17

Day 17 of Olmert's military campaign against Lebanon sees no major changes. Civilians still being killed by the dozens by Israel's war machine with the blessings of Bush's team of liberators. There doesn't seem to be any efforts in sight to stop the bloodshed. The world watches on TV, feels bad but does nothing.

Lebanon has become part of Bush's New Middle East Project. The most democratic country in the Middle East, the most diverse country in the Middle East, the country whose people enjoy the most freedoms and rights in the Middle East is being punished for not being submissive. Meanwhile the root of extremism and champions of oppression are praised as moderate allies in the New Middle East.

Lebanon will be the example for the New Middle East alright. It won't be what the nincompoops in Washington are hoping for though. We will make it happen without invading countries or bullying people. Our will will not be bent. Our choices will be respected. We will set an example, that is beyond doubt.

What is questionable though is how long will Olmert be willing to do Bush's bidding in Lebanon. Is he dumb enough to turn Israel into a sacrificial lamb for Bush's failed experiments in the region? Well, he is, but how long will the Israelis put up with his ever-changing goals and diminishing expectations. He might've been angry, but he's starting to look more like Dazed Olmert, or In way over his head Olmert, or Singing-the Lebanon-blues Olmert, or ok You get the point.


Thursday, July 27, 2006

Angry Olmert Day 16

I don't want to get accused of only pointing the negative side of Olmert's vicious criminal war.
If you look beyond the 500 civilians killed so far and the immeasurable pain and suffering he inflicted on the people of Lebanon and the people of Israel for that matter, you might find a positive.

Back in January I tipped the scales at 96.5 Kg. When I saw that number I freaked out and started a serious diet. My goal was 89 Kg, but when I hit 91 Kg I was content with my achievement and went back to pigging out. Since then I've hovered around that weight.

Today, after 2 weeks under siege and no working elevator, I weigh 87.5 Kg.

I look and feel great. Heck, Ariel Sharon has had tubes up every orifice in his body over that same period of time, he has kept a strict diet of liquid dripping from a sac(yummyyy), he's had half his brain removed, and he probably still weighs more than me.

Surveillance planes are overhead now. That's usually a sign that the F-16s will be following soon.

Good Night.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Angry Olmert Day 14

Since a ceasefire seems to be frowned upon by the whole universe, a.k.a the Bush Regime, it's time to make the necessary lifestyle adjustments to withstand a long battle. With bread prices going up and liquor prices going down some choices are too obvious. Other decisions, however, aren't quite as easy.

When commuting, for example, the only variables to consider used to be traffic congestion and the parking situation at your destination. Now you have to monitor truck activity, plan a route that minimizes bridge usage, plan a route that actually still exists, factor in the gas consumption index since what is burnt might not be easily replaced, and then scrap it all and stay put since no commute is worth getting killed by a precision phosphorus bomb.

Another daily dilemma is how to budget your Gillette Super Turbo Mach 3's with gooey stuff. Shaving must become less frequent, but you have to make sure you don't let it go a day too long for the obvious reason that Olmert is too eager these days to show his people pictures of dead bearded men.

More on these issues in the coming days, but can someone please explain to me what the heck does a post-menopausal virgin know about birth pangs!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Angry Olmert Day 13

While the world's attention is divided between the border skirmishes and the diplomatic empty talk, I want to remind you of the plight of hundreds of thousands of Lebanese people.

Over half a million people have been left homeless by Olmert's war crimes. A lucky few are getting to sleep on the floor in overcrowded apartments. The grand majority have lost their homes and all their belongings overnight, courtesy of precision weapons which happen to accidently cause mass destruction, to find themselves in schoolyards and rat infested parks.

Then there are those who are stranded in many isolated villages in the south. They are told by the Israeli armed assassins to leave their homes, even though there are no ways in or out. If they do leave, they are met by the most technologically advanced, but not always legal, weaponry. Off course those are designed to annihilate everything in or around their path.

The peace-loving democracy-spreading rulers of the free world don't seem to be too keen on the idea of a ceasefire. Probably because it will lead to that alien and barbaric concept of "peaceful negotiations and resolutions." That only means the humanitarian catastrophe Lebanon is facing is due to worsen. The destruction of all ports and roads won't help much.

What I'm trying to get to is that we all need to get off our asses and help. We're gonna need to provide help today, tomorrow, and for a long time in the foreseeable future.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Angry Olmert Day 12

Day 12 of Olmert's killing campaign is in the books and still no military accomplishments to speak of. This is the point where you start making them up. These make believe scenarios have to be creative, captivating, and convincing. Recent examples of such practices can be seen in Bush's War on Terror. Remember when the CIA stopped a group of Haitians in Miami seconds before they punctured a Sears Tower voodoo doll? How about that junkie here in Clemenceau that was going to flood Manhattan in one of his LSD trips?

Ok, maybe make-believe war accomplishments don't have to be convincing but they must make for catchy headlines. So in an effort to help Olmert sell a "victory" to his people and so that he stops killing civilians left and right, I propose we compile a list of war trophy headlines that he can showcase in lieu of real accomplishments.

I'll get it started:

-Mossad Agents trim Nasrallah's Beard, Render him Powerless.
-Overdose of Eighties' War Songs Drive Lebanese Society Nuts.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Angry Olmert Day 11

Beirut is still relatively calm today. Most people think it's because of the American evacuations taking place these days. Whatever the reason for this lull is, I don't expect it to last especially with the lack of any military progress for Olmert's terrorist troops.

Lebanon has been taking a pounding for eleven days, but we still stand tall. Olmert tried to sever our knees, only to see us rise higher. Chopped our hands off and we reached further. Olmert stuck a dagger in our heart, but the heartbeat got stronger.

Yo Olmert, baffled huh? This isn't the Lebanon of 1982. It is not the Lebanon of 2000 either.

In 2006, Lebanon hears through your empty noise. Take out our eyes but you can't blind us.

To Olmert's credit though, he is realizing Lebanon won't break. He is moving to plan B.

If you can't fool the Lebanese, fool yourself. Kill more innocent civilians and tell your people you are finishing off Hezbollah. They'll believe you and hail you as a hero. Isn't that what you wanted in the first place?

Be careful what you wish for though, you might get the same heroic end as your master.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Angry Olmert Day 10

I've been out and about all day today and I haven't had time to write something up. I do have a question for Olmert though.

After killing over 300 Lebanese Civilians and destroying the infrastructure a country, what have you accomplished?

How much closer are you to the Goals you set up for your war?

... Thought So.

I'll leave you with a song tune that will be annoyingly stuck in your head and that you will be humming all night long. Sorry.


What is it good for?

Absolutely nothing,Uh-huh

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Angry Olmert Day 9

Beirut has been calm today. Again that's not the case in the South where for the second day in a row Israel is attempting to advance on the ground. Ariel Sharon is still shitting himself, while his understudy is scratching his bald head looking for a way out of the "Lebanese Mud".

Olmert is discovering that even in the driest month of the year, Lebanon is as muddy as ever for his killing machine. The high ceiling he set for this bloody adventure on Day 1 is looking more unrealistic with every passing day. Instead Olmert is looking for any trophy photo op to save face. Until then expect a plethora of crimes against civilians and barrage of lies to cover them up.

Olmert's problem is that he failed to realize that no one can figure out Lebanon, not even the Lebanese understand Lebanon. Lebanon is and has always been a permanently PMSing female.Thinking that he had it all figured out and that he could manipulate this little country, he proceeded with his little killing campaign. Well, that arrogance is only gonna get him a swift kick in the balls.

Olmert is trying to tame the untamable. Well let's see his face when he finally concedes that his only way out is through negotiations. It won't be the face of someone stuck in Lebanese Mud; It'll be the face of someone absorbing the full force of a Lebanese Khazouk.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Angry Olmert Day 8

Beirut is relatively calm again. That is not the case with the other areas where it has been the fiercest since the beginning of the Israeli offensive against Lebanon. Olmert's killing machine is still doing a heck of job rooting out civilians on the run. Wait though, according to some Israeli propagandists who have infested the comments section of this blog, "There are no innocent civilians. Even the Babies are "terrorist" sympathizers."

Let's use this twisted logic for a second. Hezbollah earned about 400,000 nationwide in the last elections. Add to that the number of kids who apparently are fair game for the Israeli military targeting and you'll get about a million people.
So according to Olmert and buddies these one million people are legitimate killing prospects.

By this same logic, there is a consensus in Israel supporting this killing campaign. Again using Israeli logic, civilians with sympathy towards assassins are fair game for targeting. I repeat by Israeli logic, 4 to 5 million Israelis might be civilians but they are killer sympathizers. Definitely not innocent and should not be spared in this confrontation.

What do you think? Sounds Fair?

So my Israeli friends,
As angry and frustrated Olmert continues to cowardly kill civilians, I have no doubt you will find more creative ways to spin it and legitimize these killings. Go ahead convince yourselves that crushing a fleeing family is necessary for a safer Israel but believe me you are only fooling yourselves.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Angry Olmert Day 7

Today I toured a few of the shelters, well that's if you can call an open area with no roof and no place to sleep a shelter. I see a need for a relief effort coordination. I spoke to the supervisors in different sites, and while they are doing a great job running their sites there seems to be a lack of communication with other sites and relief organizations. So extra food in one site is not getting to places where they need food. The same goes for volunteers and other supplies.

Seeing how the relief effort will have to go on well after a possible ceasefire, coordination and long term planning is of utmost importance. So any people with ideas or resources to create such a coordination effort, please contact me or the different volunteer groups. We all can help, and we have to help for a long time as this is a humanitarian disaster that the whole world is happy to applaud. One thing I heard in all camps is that there is a shortage of medicine and a complete absence of the government. I'm sure the truckload of medicine that was liberated by an Israeli F-16 today in Zahle won't ease the situation. Also entertainers for kids are very important. They have a clown and a puppeteer alternating at one site, but just picture hundreds of kids bored and asking "Are we there yet?" simultaneously.

Now, what you'll find an excess of across every school, park, or any other make shift shelter you visit are high spirits. That'll surely make Olmert even angrier.