Stuff you should read

Katrina Relief Effort

Posted on Wednesday 31 August 2005

Click here if you want to donate for the Katrina Relief Efforts.

Our prayers are with you.

The Sandmonkey @ 2:17 am
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Devestation

Posted on Wednesday 31 August 2005

This is New Orleans after Katrina.

It seems I spoke here too soon.

Needless to say, the situation is horrible: The levee system that keeps the water out broke down, the city is sinking, Martial law is declared, the amount of homeless and people looking for shelter grew, 2 people died in the Superdome shelter already, there are mass riots and lootings, and even the cops are looting with the looters.
And to show their sympathy with this human tragedy, the walking human douchebags that planned the MTV’s VMA award show had a theme of “Water Works”, with fake rain falling and drenching Kelly Clarckson during her performance and 50 cent using huge water cannons to drench the crowds. Oh MTV, that’s really cool how you did the whole fake flooding while a real city is being flooded and people are dying by the minute.Nice going assholes!
Sigh…

The Sandmonkey @ 2:09 am
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The Bad Joke that is the Egyptian Election

Posted on Wednesday 31 August 2005

When I saw this news article I almost fell on the floor laughing.

Police have been ordered to exercise “maximum self-restraint” during Egypt’s first contested presidential campaign and to prevent a repeat of attacks against opposition protesters, reformist Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif said Monday.

LOL.

Ok, hold on, what does it say about our Police when they are asked to “exercise maximum self-restraint”? Huh? Can someone tell me? Because, to me, it sounds like they are admitting that police brutality is the norm here, and that they are asking them to hold off on it until the elections is over. “After that , feel free not to exercise maximum self-restraint boys. Beat the shit out of anyone you want.”

Ohh, and it gets better..

Nazif acknowledged there had been scattered violence and “a few incidents in tens of thousands of poll stations” during the May 25 referendum on constitutional amendments to allow the multicandidate vote.

“What I can assure you is that all this happened not because the government wanted it,” he said.

“We didn’t really want it, but we didn’t really mind it either, as you can see by the fact that not a single arrest has been made in those incidents, despite the existnace of pictures and videos showing the faces of the perpetrators and the police officers that allowed them to not excercise self-restraint”, he said. “And no one can do anything about it. Is this a great country or what?”

Ohh, and he rejected again any International monitoring of the elections, because of- I shit you not- sovreignty issues:

Nazif again rejected the presence of international monitors during the vote, saying “Egypt is a country that considers its sovereignty at a very high priority.”

“Monitors in terms of supervising the elections — that won’t be accepted, we said that very clearly,” he said.

Ahh, oh well. It’s a good thing that we at least have the Egyptian Judges supervising the elections. You remember them, they issued this report showing that the constitutional ammendment referendum was a sham? Good thing they will be monitoring the elections, they will minimize the foul play, you know?

Ohh, wait, this just in:

Apparently 1700 Judges were informed yesterday that they will not be allowed to monitor the elections. Those are the same Judges who are demanding Judicial independece, issued the aforemention report and demanded full monitoring and transperancy in the elections. Yeah, they are not allowed to monitor the elections anymore.

My dad always said that Democracy in Egypt is joke. Just not , you know, a good joke.

I think he is right.

The Sandmonkey @ 1:50 am
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Christopher Hitchens takes on male circumcision

Posted on Wednesday 31 August 2005

Christopher Hitchens, in his new column, is mad as hell at Mayor Bloomberg for his stance on an incident involving male circumsicion gone horribly wrong. You see, what happend is.. ehh… it’s quite disgusting… ehh.. just read:

A circumcision ritual practiced by some Orthodox Jews has alarmed city health officials, who say it may have led to three cases of herpes—one of them fatal—in infants. … The practice is known as oral suction, or in Hebrew, metzitzah b’peh: after removing the foreskin of the penis, the practitioner, or mohel, sucks the blood from the wound to clean it.

EWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW

This, Hitchens reports, isn’t a new or an isolated incident:

The continuing scandal of this practice, which most Jews abandoned many years ago, is newly illustrated by the death of one little boy from type-1 herpes, and the infection of two others, in Staten Island and Brooklyn, after they had been subjected to this ritual by the same mohel. Let’s be clear what’s involved here. The Times refers to an article published last year in the journal Pediatrics that argued that metzitzah b’peh carries a serious health risk and is, for that reason alone, a violation of Jewish law. (“We suspect … that this entity is underreported for cultural reasons and that the studies described here are only the “tip of the iceberg” of the true incidence of the disease,” the authors note).

So what does Bloomberg have to do with it? Ehh, well, here is his reaction to the infants who contracted herpes from the practitioner:

We’re going to do a study, and make sure that everyone is safe and at the same time, it is not the government’s business to tell people how to practice their religion.

A study. On how having someone suck the blood off an infant’s penis after circumsizing them maybe not very healthy or sanitary. Right. Cause you need that.

Hitchens feels the same way I do apparently…

Study? What study? Can’t the fool get through an article by a Jewish authority in Pediatrics? For the Times reporter to add that Mayor Bloomberg’s comment appeared to be designed not to “upset a group that can be a formidable voting bloc” was, in the circumstances, worse than superfluous.

Ok, if you want to circumsize your boy, do it in the hospital people. Let the doctor do it as well: If you should let anyone go near your son with a satchel or a cutting tool, it should be the medically certified dude. That’s what we do in Egypt. WTF are the jewish people in New York doing?

Bloomberg, get a spine: If you are gonna ban cigerette smoking in bars, you may as well ban non-medically supervised circumsicion, because, you know, they have a different name for that. It’s called genital mutilation, and I have a feeling that that’s not legal.

The Sandmonkey @ 1:29 am
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Egypt: We will not rest until Palestine is liberated

Posted on Wednesday 31 August 2005

This shit pisses me off:

A senior Egyptian envoy told the Palestinian parliament Tuesday that Egypt will not rest until the Palestinians have established a state on land captured by Israel in the 1967 Mideast War.

I guess we will not be resting for a while, huh?

The envoy, Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman, spoke in the name of Egyptian President
Hosni Mubarak and used particularly strong language to support the Palestinians.

“It’s time to see the suffering ended, to see the prisoners released and to see the Palestinian territories living in security and prosperity,” Suleiman said.

Oh, and here are some more quotes from Ritzy’s post on it:

“Our security cannot be guaranteed while you are being threatened. We cannot rejoice while you suffer. We will not be silent until you have recovered your legitimate rights,” he added.

Ok, you know what? Let me be the first to say it : Screw the palestinians (Sorry Nadz, but it’s not personal). Do that shit in Egypt first, ok? It’s time to see the egyptian people’s suffering ending, our prisoners released, our legitimate rights recoverd and our territories living in security and propserity. After you do that, talk about the palestinians and about helping them all you freakin want, ok? I am not going to stop you.

I am sorry, but i am sick and tired of the issue of Palestine to be the focus and the excuse of the Egyptian government. We do have other problems you know, big ones, that if you had applied to it 10% of the attention you gave the palestinain cause we wouldn’t be in this mess we are in. Stop the goddamn alturism, no one else but us does it anyway and we are precisely the people who can not afford to do it. CUT THIS SHIT OUT.

So, one last time, repeat after me: Egypt first, everyone else second. Ok?

Good.

The Sandmonkey @ 1:12 am
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Childbirth is not sexy

Posted on Wednesday 31 August 2005

A couple of men declared to their therapists that they have been sexually traumatized after watching their wives childbirth experience, and uber-femenist bloggers went on the offensive decrying such male jerks and comapring them to racists. hmm…

Ok, let’s be honest here: While having a child is a beautifull experience, the actual process of childbirth is not: It’s messy, it’s painful, there is blood and goo everywhere and then the grand finale of having a whole baby come out of the woman’s vagina. Yeah, doesn’t really turn me on and if it turns you on then there is something wrong with you. Sorry women, but i bet if you watched a videotape of it you will not be getting horny anytime soon either. Luckily Meghan O’Rourke wrote an excellent article here to set those women straight.

The Sandmonkey @ 12:53 am
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Sharon vs. Bibi

Posted on Wednesday 31 August 2005

This should make my egyptian readers happy:

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon yesterday lambasted former finance minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his arch rival for the Likud leadership.

“Netanyahu is prone to panic. He panics and loses his cool – and such a person cannot lead a country,” Sharon said on the Channel 10 program, “London and Kirschenbaum,” broadcast last night

[...]

“Whoever flees responsibility a week before presenting the state budget and abandons his work team is an irresponsible man and I would not rely on him to run a country,” he said.

Bibi, on the other hand, declared that he intends to challange Sharon for Likud’s leadership:

Benjamin Netanyahu announced Tuesday that he would challenge Prime Minister Ariel Sharon for leadership of the ruling Likud Party and replace him as premier, setting off a bitter fight that could shake up Israeli politics and paralyze Mideast peacemaking.

Appealing to his hawkish supporters, Netanyahu lashed out at Sharon for his unilateral pullout from the Gaza Strip accusing him of creating a de facto Palestinian state — and said he would take a far tougher stance.

And he intends to take on Sharon for it:

The Sharon-Netanyahu battle burst into the open after a party tribunal ruled Monday that the 3,000-member Likud Central Committee, stacked with Netanyahu supporters, could set a primary date in a Sept. 25 vote.

Netanyahu would benefit from a quick leadership contest. Sharon, whose standing in the hard-line party plunged because of his Gaza pullout plan, needs more time to reposition himself and stage a comeback.

But this could be political suicide for the Likud, because:

Some confidantes have advised the prime minister to leave the party he helped found three decades ago and create a new centrist party with Likud moderates, capitalizing on the broad popularity Sharon enjoys among the general public.

A Netanyahu-led Likud is expected to win far fewer than the 40 seats that Likud, the largest party, holds in the 120-member parliament.

May the Likud wars begin!

The Sandmonkey @ 12:50 am
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I am back

Posted on Wednesday 31 August 2005

1000 visitors, only 8 comments.

You guys sure missed me.

Well, me is back!

May za blogging commence!

The Sandmonkey @ 12:00 am
Filed under: Uncategorized
No blogging today

Posted on Tuesday 30 August 2005

Dear Readers,

I am sorry to inform you that there will be no blogging today, since I will be having a super busy day. You see, I do have one of those, ehh, whatchamacallit, ohh yeah, job thingies it seems and it requires my full attention today. Let me tell you though, when it comes to this whole Job deal, I am like obsessed. I go 5 times a week, sometimes six, and even on mondays ( imagine that), and I spend the whole day there from the early morning to the afternoon. And I did that throughout the summer too. I don’t know what’s wrong with me, I better go get my head checked or something, cause like, this whole thing is weird.

I do have a feeling, however, that this isn’t an isolated incident, but a part of a more bigger and stranger phenomenon. What makes me say that? Well, I see people waking up with me, dressed the same way I am and also going to all of those offices and corporate buildings around the same time that I do. Someone needs to investigate this, cause something is fishy here.

Anyway…

The point is, dear readers, that I won’t be around today to give you tidbits on this whacked out world we live in. I know, I know, some of you are like “Well what am I supposed to do now, mr. Sandmonkey?”, and for those of you, I urge you all not to fret, for I am not really going to be leaving you here all alone to fend for yourselves. No, no, I wouldn’t do that to you.

The way I see it, You have three options:

1) The “Open thread” option: You can start an open thread in this post; you know, start a discussion in the comments section. I see it on other blogs all the time and the people doing it seem to have a hoot. In case you don’t have a topic in mind and are all verklempt about it, let me give you a good old one: The Civil War: It wasn’t civil and it wasn’t a war. Discuss.

2) The “Read Ritzy” option: You can go and read the excellent blog of my female compatriot Ritzy; She is as prolific as i am, almost as funny and she will have all kinds of stories for you. And If you don’t like her blog- and I have no idea why you wouldn’t- you can always check any of the other options on my Blogroll. They are all most excellent.

3) The “Donate to me” option: So you think the world is a horrible place and you want to make a difference, but you don’t know how. Well, my friend, you came to the right place for advice. You see that button that says “Make a Donation” on the right hand side of the screen? Well, click on it and donate some money to the “Sandmonkey escape fund”. It’s a charity that aims to save my ass and get me out of dodge in case the feared crackdown on all Mubarak dissenters after the September 9th elections does happen. Every dollar counts by the way: I am not even close to 15% of the required amount, there hasn’t been a single donation all of August and there is like 10 days left. So it’s not like i am panicking or anything, oh wait, I am: THIS BUTTON IS NOT FOR SHOW PEOPLE, CLICK ON IT AND DONATE DAMN IT!

So as you can see, you have plenty of fun options ahead of you for your day without me. And don’t worry, I won’t be gone long: I will be back tommorow to fill your lives with joy or utter despair. It’s all in the eyes of the beholder me always says, and me is usually right about those things.

Have a lovely day, and please remember: No stranger is allowed to touch you in your bathing suit area.

See y’all tommorow,

The Sandmonkey

The Sandmonkey @ 12:31 am
Filed under: Uncategorized
NOLA spared, others not so lucky

Posted on Monday 29 August 2005

So Katrina spares New Orleans from its nightmare scenario, but a lot of damage happend there anyway and other states haven’t been as lucky:

Jim Pollard, spokesman for the Harrison County emergency operations center, said 50 people were killed by Katrina in his county, with the bulk of the deaths at an apartment complex in Biloxi. Three other people were killed by falling trees in Mississippi and two died in a traffic accident in Alabama, authorities said.

[...]

But it was plenty bad, in New Orleans and elsewhere along the coast, where scores people had to be rescued from rooftops and attics as the floodwaters rose around them. An untold number of other people were feared dead in flooded neighborhoods, many of which could not be reached by rescuers because of high water.

Let’s hope that wasn’t the case.

Dave, Ramy, Beth, and every other reader I have from that region that was affected, I hope y’all are ok! E-mail me if you get the chance.

The Sandmonkey @ 9:16 pm
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The Eye of the Strom

Posted on Monday 29 August 2005

This is Katrina.

This is what Katrina is like:

Monstrous Hurricane Katrina barreled toward the Big Easy on Sunday with 165-mph wind and a threat of a 28-foot storm surge, forcing a mandatory evacuation, a last-ditch Superdome shelter and prayers for those left to face the doomsday scenario this below-sea-level city has long dreaded.

Showers began falling on southeastern Louisiana and other parts of the Gulf Coast on Sunday afternoon, accompanied by pounding surf as far east as the Florida Panhandle, the first hints of a storm with a potential surge of 18 to 28 feet, even bigger waves and as much as 15 inches of rain.

“We are facing a storm that most of us have long feared,” Mayor C. Ray Nagin said in ordering the mandatory evacuation for his city of 485,000 people, surrounded by suburbs of a million more. “The storm surge will most likely topple our levee system.”

Needless to say, the situation is bad.

Conceding that as many as 100,000 inner-city residents didn’t have the means to leave and an untold number of tourists were stranded by the closing of the airport, the city arranged buses to take people to 10 last-resort shelters, including the Superdome.

This what Katrina will do:

The storm surge — water pushed into a mound by hurricane winds — would pour over the Pontchartrain levee and flood the city. A severe hurricane could push floodwaters inside the New Orleans bowl as high as 20-30 feet, covering most homes and the first three or four stories of buildings in the city, he says. “This brings a great risk of casualties.”

In this type of scenario the metro area could be submerged for more than 10 weeks, says Walter S. Maestri, Director of Emergency Management for Jefferson Parish, which encompasses more than half of the city. In those 10 weeks, residents would need drinking water, food and a dry place to live.

Besides the major problems flooding would bring, there is also concern about a potentially explosive and deadly problem. Suhayda says flooding of the whole city could easily mix industrial and household chemicals into a toxic and volatile mix. Coupled with an estimated 100,000 tons of sediment, a cleanup could take several months. In the worst case scenario, the mix of toxic chemicals could make some areas of the city uninhabitable. “It could take several years for the city to recover fully, economically, from a strong hurricane,” says Suhayda.

What’s the worst case scanerio?
Well, with the chemicals? Bad..
Estimates have been made of tens of thousands of deaths from flooding that could overrun the levees and turn New Orleans into a 30-foot-deep toxic lake filled with chemicals and petroleum from refineries, and waste from ruined septic systems.
Without the chemicals, it’s still bad!
A stronger storm on a slightly different course — such as the path Georges was on just 16 hours before landfall — could have realized emergency officials’ worst-case scenario: hundreds of billions of gallons of lake water pouring over the levees into an area averaging 5 feet below sea level with no natural means of drainage.

That would turn the city and the east bank of Jefferson Parish into a lake as much as 30 feet deep, fouled with chemicals and waste from ruined septic systems, businesses and homes. Such a flood could trap hundreds of thousands of people in buildings and in vehicles. At the same time, high winds and tornadoes would tear at everything left standing. Between 25,000 and 100,000 people would die, said John Clizbe, national vice president for disaster services with the American Red Cross.

“A catastrophic hurricane represents 10 or 15 atomic bombs in terms of the energy it releases,” said Joseph Suhayda, a Louisiana State University engineer who is studying ways to limit hurricane damage in the New Orleans area. “Think about it. New York lost two big buildings. Multiply that by 10 or 20 or 30 in the area impacted and the people lost, and we know what could happen.”

Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that!

My Prayers are with all of the New Orleans people.

Dave, buddy, I hope you will be safe.

The Sandmonkey @ 3:11 am
Filed under: Uncategorized
Sheehan, Sharpton & Sheen Shannanigans

Posted on Monday 29 August 2005

Man, this protest is really becoming a goddamn circus: Enter Al Sharpton.

On Sunday, Sharpton joined Sheehan in laying roses at crosses near “Camp Casey.”

“I feel that it is our moral obligation to stand and to be courageous with these families, and particularly Cindy, that have become the conscience of this nation,” said Sharpton, an activist and former Democratic presidential candidate.

Al Sharpton talking about conscience. Me laughs. Me laughs hard.

And then enter, The American President on West Wing ladies and gentlemen, Martin Sheen:

Actor Martin Sheen, who portrays the Democratic president on NBC’s “The West Wing,” also met with Sheehan and spoke to a crowd of more than 300. “At least you’ve got the acting president of the United States,” the actor said. “I think you know what I do for a living, but this is what I do to stay alive.”

Oh baby.

And would it truly be a circus without a wedding at the memorial for dead soldiers?

Amid all the comings and goings around Camp Casey on Sunday, peace activists Genevieve Van Cleve and Peter Ravella got married. The aisle was strewn with hay, and the crowd hummed “Here Comes the Bride.”

“This is meaningful. This has substance,” said Van Cleve, 34, of Austin. “We completely support what they’re doing, and we just wanted to add whatever love, fidelity, loyalty and honor that we could.”

And Vodka, don’t forget to add Vodka. It’s not complete without Vodka. Or at least that’s what I need after reading this.

Are those people high? They are having a wedding amidst what’s supposed to be a memorial for dead soldiers? WTF? What’s next? A Rock Concert? A Hemp Festival? A free-Love open air orgy? It would add love to the whole thing, without the restrictive fidelty part.

And to think that this woman is idolized. Arghhh……

I need a drink!

The Sandmonkey @ 2:48 am
Filed under: Uncategorized
The big Fucking mess

Posted on Monday 29 August 2005

The residents of an Austrian village are mad at the british tourists for insisting on stealing the town’s signs. What makes the signs so special? Well, the name of the village, it’s, ehh, it’s called Fucking!

And the villagers don’t seem to understand what the big deal is and they are mad as hell:

“We will not stand for the F—ing signs being removed,” the officer told the broadsheet.
“It may be very amusing for you British, but F—ing is simply F—ing to us. What is this big F—ing joke? It is puerile.”

Local guide Andreas Behmueller said it was only the British that had a fixation with F—ing.
“The Germans all want to see the Mozart house in Salzburg,” he explained. “Every American seems to care only about ‘The Sound of Music’ (the 1965 film shot around Salzburg). The occasional Japanese wants to see Hitler’s birthplace in Braunau.

“But for the British, it’s all about F—ing.”

Not just the british Herr Andreas. Not just the british!

The Sandmonkey @ 1:52 am
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The Sinai face-off continues

Posted on Monday 29 August 2005

In this riveting developing story, The 4000 pansies that call themselves the egyptian police force, who have been incapable of bringing down 15 militants hiding in a mountain, are finally getting some help from the Army. Chances are the Police are scared because they are not used to the Officers dying: it’s usually the low-payed (10 dollars a month) police soldiers (yes, we have those, our Police follows the millitary structure, how do you think we have police generals? Ohh, yours doesn’t? oh..) who usually get killed trying to bring in the terrorists, while the lazy fat police officers sit in the air-conditioned cars. Now that some of them are dead and injured, they are shocked, shocked, that they might have to do something themselves, and since they are unaccustomed to this, they are retreating and asking for the army’s help.

On the bright side, the local government newspapers are feeding the people’s Israel conspiracy theories by informing them that the I.E.D’s explosives weren’t actually mines (Ha, I told you so Raf. Ohhhh yeahhh! In your face!) but were actually from an “imported explosive material“, the same one used for the Sharm and Taba bombings mind you, which would transalte in the minds of the average egyptian to the preferred conclusion= Israel. Somehow they will rationalize that it’s all the Jews’ fault and that the Moussad is behind it all. As one of my readers told me “How the Moussad does all of this and still has time to kick puppies, I have no idea. I tell you, us jews never sleep”. But let’s face it, since Israel is the hanger on which we hang all of our failures, why not this one as well? Right?

This world is stupid!

The Sandmonkey @ 12:14 am
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Sharm is getting back to normal

Posted on Monday 29 August 2005

This story by AP shows that despite the terrorist attacks, things are getting back to normal in Sharm El Sheikh. The tourists are coming back, and occupancy is up to 86%. I guess the “Come visit the place where more then 80 people died despite heavy secuirty. It’s 15% cheaper now!” campaign was a resounding success. And they call tourists stupid. Ha!

All kidding aside, go visit Sharm people. It’s pretty nice and it’s very unlikely to get hit again. It’s like the Lightning thing, it may kill you when it hits you, but it’s very unlikely to hit you and kill you again, or something.However, if you prefer something simpler and safer without any big targets for the terroriststo blow up, there is always Dahab, for all of you scuba-diving, yoga practicing, hash-smoking party animals.

Egypt is cool man. Come down and visit. If you don’t, then the “Terrorists have won”.

You don’t want that now, do you? ;)

The Sandmonkey @ 12:01 am
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Jesse Jackson supports Chavez

Posted on Monday 29 August 2005

Al Sharpton declared his support to Mother Sheehan and went to join her crawford Protests with marxists and neo-nazis. Not to be outdone, Jesse Jackson went to Venezeula to declare support for the Marxist-lite Chavez regime, deliverd a speech at their national assembley and told reporters at a news conference that the US “must choose a civilized policy of rational conversation”.

Jesse was apparently sleeping that week!

The Sandmonkey @ 12:00 am
Filed under: Uncategorized
“You mean getting rid of the jews didn’t solve our problems?”

Posted on Sunday 28 August 2005

According to this Al Jazeera story, the palestinians, after celebrating heartily because the Jews are out of Gaza, are suddenly preplexed that they still have problems, even though the Jews are gone.

No, really.

However content they were to watch Jewish settlers evicted from their homes kicking and screaming, they see little material substance behind the glossy TV footage and accuse their leaders of deluding them still further.

Unemployment stands at more than 40% in Gaza and 65% of its residents live below the poverty line, says the head of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, Raji Surani.

“Even our leaders are contributing to this state of mind. If you listen to them, you’d think the Gaza Strip is going to become Hong Kong or Singapore,” he said.

Which I am guessing they believe won’t be the case.

So, what kind of stuff makes them so unhappy or doubtfull of the future?

Well….

With no guaranteed freedom of movement after Israeli troops leave Gaza, and Palestinians not knowing how they can import and export goods, most believe more than ever that they are headed for life in a giant prison.

“Can we come and go from Gaza? How can we get to the West Bank? What will happen to the Palestinian workers who work in Israel? These are the only questions people are asking today,” said Farhat.

Ohh, so the occupation made all of those things easier huh? And why do you want to work in Israel?I thought you no longer wanted anything to do with it. Whatever happend to Death to Israel?

Ohh, I guess they are not soo bad when you want a job huh?

But at least you got your land back. That counts for something, right?

“This withdrawal is a trap,” says Suha Jibril, an English literature undergraduate who calls the operation “theatrical”. “We don’t know what’s happening behind the scenes, but even a five-year-old understands we won’t be freer than we are today.”

[...]

Questions of restoring the Gazaairport are still in limbo “From a human rights point of view, there is nothing positive about the withdrawal. Gaza will de facto and de jure be cut off from the West Bank and the rest of the world,” said Surani. “We are still in prison, the Israelis have just added various sectors of land. Apart from that, we have nothing to be happy about,” he said.

I am sorry, were you saying something? I couldn’t hear you from all the whining. Jeez, you guys are positive.

Hey, at least there is hope in the children.

“I also want to rebuild my school which was damaged by an Israeli rocket and the stadium so my friends can play football,” said Hisham who lives in the al-Maghazi refugee camp which lies close to the recently-evacuated Jewish settlement of Kfar Darom.

“We spend most of our time demonstrating. When there is an Israeli raid and when the martyrs fall, we demonstrate. And when the army carries out a raid, we go into the street,” he said, explaining his life in a place which has seen countless clashes between resistance fighters and the Israeli army over the last five years.

But Asra al-Hush, 13, hates the fact that children have spent so much of their lives protesting in the streets. “We have had enough of demonstrations. We mustn’t waste time, we must stay at school,” she said pointedly. Her dream is to become a lawyer. “I want to defend children and their right to play, to participate in debates and to express their opinions.”

Now we are talking.

Look people, nobody said it was going to be easy, but this is what you wanted. You want the Israelis out, and now they are gone; so now you can’t start complaining about how you lost your job working for the jews. You didn’t want the jews living at all, remember? Good, now that you got your wish, it’s time to move on with your life.

Plus, why the doom and gloom? Who says it all has to be bad? You are free now. It’s up to you to change your future. Let me quote Karim here for a second: “Gaza isn’t held hostage. Gaza is free. Gaza is bigger than Dubai and look what they’ve accomplished. They too are surrounded (by desert) and less than 5% of their GDP comes from available resources. The Palestinian Diaspora has also created in many ways a reflection of post WWII Jews. A group of people, bound by a common belief, dispersed into every corner of the world, primarily first world countries. These people have been exposed to and nurtured by the best elements of modernization. Economics, Democracy, Professionalism…ect. If even elements of stability can be pronounced after the withdrawal, the Palestinians will get there own “Aliyah” (a Jewish concept of return to their homeland) comprised of some of the worlds best doctors, authors, thinkers, scholars, and scientists. Combined with the guaranteed flooding of foreign aid, the Palestinians could create a truly magnificent place in Gaza.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Now, let me quote one other blogger whom I admire very much as my way to end this post: “Unfortunately, too many people either argue that more violence with somehow help, or continue to analyze Sharon’s motives with the West Bank. Instead of the endless pessimism and blame, we need to be thinking about how to use this opportunity, and turn lemons into lemonade. If more people had faith in the future instead of faith in ancient texts and invisible figures, we’d have more hope about this whole story.”

Word.

This is your future people, get on with it.

The Sandmonkey @ 6:13 am
Filed under: Uncategorized
Linky Love

Posted on Sunday 28 August 2005

Check out Ritzy’s post on how Japan’sTV teaches kids on the Arab-Israeli conflict. Cool toys btw. I can’t wait for Pokemon style marketing blitz with cards and everything: “I have the card of David, with his Uzzi and his Grav Mada” “Well, My card beats yours: I have the card of Ahmed the suicide bomber, and he got a wired bomb to his chest. No one can beat Ahmed except for the “Cohen the Sniper” card. Give in Jew, give in now!”. Their slogan will be “Choose Your Side“.

Am I the only one who sees the Anti-semetic potential here? I am sure David Duke would endorse it!

In other news that involve the transcendent Mother Sheehan – I know, I am obsessed-check out Beth’s post regarding how compassionate Cindy is exactly.

Mubarak the supreme Pan-arabist leader? Or does it has a very interesting poster up.

Check out Egyptian Person’s collection of Stories of the Egyptian elections, with one of the candidates promising to give the Presidency to Mubarak back if he wins and the Azhar Sheikh’s who say that it is the islamic duties of muslims to vote, unless they are liberal muslim who don’t follow islamic rules, who, in his opinion, should be banned from voting. One word still describes it all best: Circus.

Ohh yeah, and here are the latest people to join Cindy Sheehan’s protest in Texas: Al Sharpton and the Neo-Nazi Stormfront. So, let’s recount: so far we have marxists, communists, neo-nazis and Al Sharpton supporting her. This should be great! All that we are missing are some Al Qaeda people and you would have yourself a “Hate-America” fest. No?

The Sandmonkey @ 3:03 am
Filed under: Uncategorized
Who funds Cindy Sheehan?

Posted on Sunday 28 August 2005

I was mentioning how the financial backers of Cindy are getting their money’s worth, but I didn’t know who they were. I suspected they were lefty organizations still bitter about Bush’s win last November with a majority, and I was right.

The camp at Crawford is full of Cindy Sheehan supporters, people from all walks of life, but off to the side are a small group of professionals skilled in politics and public relations who are marketing Cindy Sheehan’s message.

Cindy Sheehan kneels before a cross with her son’s name on it, touches his picture, wipes her tears. It’s an outpouring of emotion that is part of a scheduled news event organized daily for the television, radio and print reporters who crowd in to capture a mother’s grief.

A scheduled outpouring of emotion. Say that a couple of times in your heads and tell me how geniuine it sounds.

Organizers are set up in a house trailer. Their meetings closed to reporters. Leading the group is Fenton Communications employee, Michele Mulkey, based in San Francisco. Fenton specializes in public relations for liberal non-profits.

Their bills are being paid for by True Majority, a non-profit set up by Ben Cohen — of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream fame. Ben Cohen, True Majority: “People are willing to listen to her and we want to do as much as we can to make her voice heard.” Cohen’s group has teamed up with Berkeley based MoveOn.org, an anti-Bush group co-founded by Joan Blades.

[...]

Current Democratic National Party Chair Howard Dean’s organization Democracy for America is also involved, as is the more radical anti-war group Code Pink organized by San Francisco’s Medea Benjamin. Money donated through these groups and others is helping to pay for Gold Star families whose children have been killed in Iraq to attend anti-Bush protests.

Code Pink, in case you don’t know, was founded by a group of Marxists and Castro supporters and have ties to the communist Workers World Party, which lionizes Joseph Stalin, Slobodan Milocevic, and Kim Jong Il. Lovely People.

Hmm, I can almost hear you screaming “But this is a geniuine effort, it’s from the heart. Even ask the participating families”.

Oh really? Ok!

There is real reluctance to talk about who’s paying, and the P.R. machine that’s promoting Cindy Sheehan, but not everyone here is completely comfortable with it. Gold Star mother Karen Meredith came here from Mountain View. Her son Ken Ballard died last year.

Karen Meredith, Gold Star mother: “Sometimes things don’t feel quite right to me. They don’t feel wrong, but maybe that’s how they do it in the marketing business.”
ABC7′s Mark Matthews: “You feel you’re part of a marketing business?”
Karen Meredith: “Possibly. Yeah I think so.”

Gee, I wonder what would give her that crazy Idea!

The Sandmonkey @ 12:26 am
Filed under: Uncategorized
Being mentioned in Al Ahram Weekly & other things

Posted on Sunday 28 August 2005

Dr. R. pointed out to me in this comment that My Blog is mentioned in the State-owned Al Ahram weekly. After checking it out, I found out that they did not only mention me, they mentioned Big Pharaoh and Baheyya as well: The same Trio mentioned in the Christian Science Monitor article. This I consider to be funny, because, like I mentioned before, Baheyya isn’t the Biggest fan of me or Big Pharaoh. I am guessing we are becoming increasingly like the Egyptian Blogsphere’s political equivelant of the “Axis of Evil”. I am betting the Egyptian goverment will probably have as much love for us as the USA has for the original Axis. I just hope I don’t end up being Iraq.

Just one thing about the mention that pissed me off: Why does everyone insist on mentioning that i am a “Young blogger”? I mean, I am not mad because it’s a misrepresentation or anything, because let’s face it, I am young. But for that to be the only thing that I am associated with seems kind of condescending so to speak, You know? I don’t know, I guess the tone just irks me is all.

On a different note, I find myself agreeing with R. that the arabic writing bloggers in Egypt are not getting the attention they deserve (R.’s Beyoned Normal and Mohammed’s Digressing blogs are amazing) from the media, but I kind of understand it as well. The international media would have a problem with it because the writer would have to be fluent in reading arabic and able to understand the expressions used, and such a writer would probably be rare to find.

On the other hand, the local media, since it’s mostly state-controlled, would probably not want to attract the attention of the average egyptian population to the existance of blogs, because that would make them a far more effective venue for information and organization. Not to mention, those blogs- like me- are often critical of the local media and the kinds of public “Ass-kissing” that they adminster to the President on Daily basis. But it’s not like they were never mentioned: The independent weekly newspaper El Dostoor, when it first came out, used to dedicate a page to Blog posts from various arabic-writing egyptian bloggers; altough they stopped doing that now for some reason. Why none of the other independent media venues and newspapers didn’t see the potential and the quality of writing of arabic-written egyptian blogs is just beyond me.

Oh well R., I don’t know what to say. At least you know i am a fan. ;)

The Sandmonkey @ 12:25 am
Filed under: Uncategorized