Friday, March 16, 2007

Profile: Must Speak Papers

A reluctant rant

Today marks the 12th day since the “historic” speech took place. A 25- minute Wednesday morning speech squeezed between House sessions discussing the Libby case and Sewage management (seriously). The historic “I Must Speak” speech that was filled with generalities (bordering superficiality) that one would think it was delivered by mother Teresa, not by the ruler of a country who hosts more than 2 million Palestinian refugees dreaming of return.

Well, the true effect of the speech and its place in history remains to be seen: maybe the American congress and the President were so moved by the conveyed picture of a starving Palestinian family or maybe they felt the anxiety of a Zionist mother while her kid mounts the bus (way to present a picture that have the Palestinians and Jewish occupiers at a similar suffering level), or maybe they were reminded that the American empire was supposed to, at least, act like it was built on justice and freedom for all, not on slavery, genocide and bloodshed from the Native Americans to Iraqis and all the murder in between. All of this does not matter and will not matter, but please do not tell the Jordanian printed media that.

For the 12th straight day (not counting the two weeks preceding the speech) every daily news paper had at least one editorial, column or an opinion section dancing, waving hands and blowing horns in celebration of the historic speech. The first-page columnists have already written two articles each. One (more liberal) daily took a shorter route and just permanently pasted a link to the full speech on its electronic first page. “Celebrating” the speech has officially replaced his majesty’s birthday as the longest celebrated occasion of the year (and that is no small feat). Just keep in mind that all this coverage is far from being an objective debate about the “positives” and “negatives”, or the “likes or dislikes”. It is a simply a non-stop festival of picture-waving, “dabkeh” dancing, “Hashmi Hashmi” yelling over an irrelevant event.

Here is what practically happened: all four editors-in-chief of the Jordanian dailies were invited to join his majesty on the historic trip and join the exceptionally inflated accompanying delegation (which despite all the coverage, one could not find the exact list of people joining the trip, or the names of the guests in her majesty’s box). On the way home, each of the editors-in-chief was issued a bag of party whistles and was instructed to distribute them to his employees (one whistle per so-called journalist) and keep blowing them until they all choke. And that is the first step in installing free independent press that will monitor all three branches of the government.(Of course, the next step is the infamous criminalizing publications laws).

Now, over the past few years (well, few decades) one got used to the local news papers being practically a press release of the palace. Here is a quick example: Pick a random day from the electronic archives of any daily and there is no doubt that the three opening headlines, at least, are king related (not that there is anything wrong with that). About a month ago the leading daily AlRai featured SEVEN “His majesty did..” stories on its first page!! On the bright side his majesty is not really involved in the political life and he maintains an honorary and advisory role that is not allowed to be questioned.

All of this is understood, after all this is not Sweden, and the papers are nothing but a reflection of the people. One can brush off the repetitive sucking-up waste of space articles. One can laugh off a cover page column entitled “Girls” that opens with seven straight paragraphs describing “school girls” in a borderline pedophilic overtone and closes with “long live the king”… repeated thrice! (Now that’s some creative writing). But reporting imaginary things as facts, assuming that people still live in the 19th century is unacceptable.

Here is an excerpt from the 2 millionth “historic speecht” article:

جلالة الملك حقق اختراقا مهما في السياسة الأميركية فلأول مرة يجلس الرئيس الاميركي جورج بوش مع جلالته وهو يضع ورقة وقلماً ويقول لجلالة الملك ماذا تقترح علي أن اعمل؟ ومع وأين؟ وغيرها من الأسئلة المهمة التي تؤشر
“His majesty the king has achieved an important breakthrough in the American policy. For the first time George Bush holds a paper and a pen and asks his majesty: What should I do? What doYou suggest? And many other important questions”.

Honestly whether this is another form of “creative” writing or not, I could not but imagine his majesty resting back, crossing his legs in Bush’s face and dictating some suggestions to him, while poor Bush is writing down the tips in confusion: (“So you suggest we pressure them into NOT demolishing the Aqsaa mosque? Mmm, interesting! So… Do you spell Aqsaa with one A or two AAs?”). The only reason that one may be skeptical about such an incident, is the fact that there was no reported official meeting that took place between his majesty and president Bush, at least according to the unreliable American papers and the white house press releases! “The President and Mrs. Bush hosted the King and Queen of Jordan for a private dinner”. End of story. His majesty and Bush were both in casual clothes, no ties, no press conferences, and definitely no pen or paper anywhere in sight. Well maybe that took place during another one of these historically notorious secret meetings.

Again, this should not be a big deal. From the Jordanian perspective Jordan is the center of the universe, while from the American perspective, not as much. From the Jordanian point of view his majesty is meeting with the CEO’s and the giants of the Massachusetts economy lobbying for investing oppurtunities in Jordan, while from the Boston Herald’s perspective he is simply promoting his 36,000 $ a year prep school.

What is more alarming is when the 1984-ish phenomenon of actively and retroactively distorting the truth extends to polish tainted characters of lesser stature than the king. When you get to a point where you are referring to the current Head of Parliament using the sentence: “I recall that he was always democratic, understanding of differences, and receptive to arguments”!! Because nothing screams democracy more than the guy who was the chief of the police department under extended periods of “Martial Laws”. That is the same guy who threatened to use violence and to arrest a journalist, under the parliaments dome, a month ago!(And by the way, that Audi police cars deal we always joked about, according to the above “distinguished” columnist, turned out to be a great investment deal that generated revenue since the cars were eventually sold at a higher price!).
I just can’t wait to see the articles written when (when not if) the convicted ex-head of the intelligence department is released from jail (Oops, I mean returns from London, Aqaba or wherever he is currently vacationing) and assumes the position of the “Head of anti-Corruption Department”.

As a closer, some words of wisdom to live by:In my days in Massachusetts, I also learned something of New England virtues. There wasn’t actually a law against talking too much, but there was definitely an attitude that you didn’t speak unless you could improve on silence. Today, I must speak; I cannot be silent.”
Just wondering: “In the improbable case that some random Jordanian felt that his majesty did not represent him/her accurately in front of the congress for whatever reason, could this citizen “speak”, or is it a perquisite that he or she lived, currently lives or was able to afford the luxury of an education… in New England?”

Thursday, March 15, 2007

NCAA: March to Victory (I)

An intro segment to the NCAA 07 Basketball tournament

The NCAA college basketball tournament has been called the most exciting event in all of sports. This may not be very accurate but it is definitely a very intriguing event with multiple story lines and unprecedented drama generated by the single elimination format. Here are three reasons to watch the tournament:

-The talent level is just tremendous. With the NBA installing the “one year out of high school” draft rule many players who could have been acting like 16-17 year old immature basketball players in the NBA, are playing college hoops. Instead of draft class topped by Bargnani, Aldrige and Morrison (pedestrian players), we are heading towards the deepest NBA draft in years. There are NBA- level talents in the teams playing in NIT! Just check out this list and watch for some of these players during the games.

-The version of basketball played is much closer to real basketball than it is to street ball and (And1) mixed tapes. If you play basketball, you may learn something or two watching these kids. I was never a big fan of those who claim that college athletics are “better” “purer” and “more exciting” than professional ones, but one has to admit that while every now and then there is an epic instant-classic NBA game like yesterday’s Mavs-Suns, there are many extremely boring, isolation-based, ball-palming un-watchable NBA games. Take these two examples:
-College kids make their open shots. You cannot say that about the recent NBA.
-Big men play a fundamentally-sound low-post game. They may not be that quick but most of them has at least on or two low post moves.

-The college tournament is the only real high-stakes sporting event scheduled until early April. The NBA regular season is practically over but we have to sit through another month of meaningless games to determine which team, the Nets or The Knicks is going get bounced in the first round of the endless playoffs. MLB opening day is April first. And even the ridiculously over-hyped NFL draft is scheduled around the third week of April.

Now, I was planning on explaining the rationale behind my bracket selections for this years tourney until I realized that this is probably the only thing more annoying than someone telling you about their fantasy team. But last Sunday I got a good look at all four top seeds in their championship games, and I was convinced that this years tournament is a must-see event.

My notes from hoops Sunday [4 college games, and 1.5 NBA ones over 12 hours (I just could not finish the Lakers-Mavs game because it was over by the first quarter. That was the same game after which Phil Jackson announced: "we could sign Jesus Christ right now and he won't be able to help us.Terrence in Sierra Madre followed up on that by: "Let’s how they don’t try to recruit Mohammad, then the whole Middle East will go nuts, screaming bloody hell and burning Lakers jerseys")] are:

I like Greg Oden more than Kevin Durant, but my favorite Ohio State player is Mike Conley jr. Florida has three players that can be top ten picks (Noah, Brewer and my favorite Horford). I have no idea how good are Georgetown or UCLA.
North Carolina has excellent guard play and the third best player in all of college in Brandan Wright. Texas coach played zone defense on Kansas’ last possession of the second half and Kansas hit a three pointer to tie the game and win in over time.[And I am a stupid idiot to pick Texas to beat UNC in the Elite 8. I just hope Durant plays the game his life against UNC and I hope that Roy Williams did not watch tape of the undersized Brandon Rush shutting Durant down in the second half against Kansas]. More thoughts on teams (other than my final four) andsome excerts from Bob Knight's latest interviews may be coming soon.

Given the fact that the stakes are high than ever, and given the fact that this is the most important and most exciting tournament ever (for 1254 reasons), Abu Shreek may retire from public life and take a vow of eternal silence if he does not win his high-stakes pool.

Monday, March 05, 2007

The Mailbag (VII)

A mini-mailbag precisely aimed at targeting many of the current tough issues surrounding the Arab and Islamic world from a bird’s eye perspective (where everything looks flat). (و يا محلى النصر بعون الله).

What ranks lower on the pathetic human-being level: The guy who sells his sperm or the guy who sells his blood plasma?
-Bum, weighing his options
P.S. If you are planning on going with a smart-ass reply like “a job would be your best option”, then please save me your hilarious sarcasm and forget I asked.

First, Abu Shreek always does his best to answer the exact question asked, and we are all sure that if getting a job was an available option, you would not have resorted to selling bodily fluids as a survival technique.

Now, that is one of the trick questions that may make you jump to a quick conclusion only to realize that you made the wrong decision. Just consider the following factors:

Time: The process of donating sperm takes a much shorter time than donating plasma. (Donating plasma usually takes about an hour for the blood to be withdrawn, the plasma centrifuged out, and the red cells pumped back in). However the application and the pre-screening process for the sperm donation may take a longer duration
Edge (One time): Tie
Edge (repeat donor): Sperm

Money: Plasma donations usually pay around $45-60 (for two donations a week), where according to (TSBC: The Sperm Bank of California): “You are paid $75 for every ejaculate that meets our minimum sperm count, a payment that increases to $90 after your first 25 acceptable ejaculates. You are paid $200 when you complete the exit blood test, which is required six months after you retire from the program.”
Edge: Sperm by a mile. (When you factor in the time as a (per hour “wage”), the discrepancy is even greater).

Frequency: You can only donate plasma twice a week, where you can donate sperm with a much higher frequency (up to three times a day). However, it also depends on the program you are enlisted in and their needs.
Edge: Tie (you are not in control in either case)

Pain and losses: The plasma donation includes being stuck with a big fat needle for every donation. You lay on a bed with your legs up like a patient and you may experience dizziness and dehydration resulting from the loss of minerals, water and more importantly protein (which you cannot afford in the first place). Sperm donation involves no loss of nutrients and no significant pain (except that pain you suffer to your dignity).
Edge: Sperm

Chances that you will have your numerous kids running around unaccounted for and since the world is a small village, there is a remote (but possible) chance that two of your unaccounted for kids end up marrying each other, among the other many social and moral complications: Enough said.
Edge: Plasma

The final decision is always yours. Abu Shreek does not get involved in life-changing decisions affecting his own destiny, let alone other people’s future.

I would like to believe that my physical abilities are constant and does not decline (by) age. However, witnessing super stars (ripe) in their sports and eventually retire (i.e. Andre Agassi) compels me to believe otherwise, or is it possible that these guys just get fed up with the fame and fortunes and decide to pursue other interests in life?
-Romel, Undisclosed location

Wow! Thos are probably two of the most misinformed statements that I have ever heard in succession. Well, let me first break out the bad news to you: If you even have any physical abilities (doubtful), they WILL decline with age (also, this is just in: water is wet, and the student is just like a pupil if he gets an (F) he will instantly fail the class). As for the second part I just want to tell you that Michael Jordan finished his career with the Washington Wizards averaging 20 points (10 full points below his career average) on a team that finished 37-45 in back to back years. Jerry Rice, the best wide receiver of all time and the holder of every possible record at the position, finished his career with the Seattle Seahawks catching 28 balls all year and was shutout in the last three games of his career. (He still returned the next year but could not make it out of training camp as the Broncos fourth wide receiver), then he “competed” in “Dancing with Stars”!

When Andre Agassi held the World No. 1 world ranking in 2003 he was the oldest No. 1 ranked male player ever at 33 years and 13 days. He held the No.1 ranking on that occasion for 14 weeks and never held it again, never won a grand slam again, and won his last ATP event in 2005 (trumpet: obituary music). Everything that followed in his career was running on fumes and hanging in too late (again, he was D-U-N- done four years ago). It got to a point where the surprise is if he goes deep in a tournament (like when he reached the finals in the ’05 U.S. open against inferior competition (his toughest win was James Blake!)).

Athletes live for the spotlights and competition and they can never quit. Most of them are not very unsuccessful in the “other interests” they try to pursue. They may tell you they enjoy spending time with the family and playing golf, but the minute a team expresses a remote interest they jump back in (Scottie Pippen and Reggie Miller are both looking to play again). The problem is that they are oblivious to the fact that: yes skills do diminish with age (unless you are Roger Milla, Ricky Henderson, or Julio Franco).

One more thing, since you are a repeat e-mailer and you got me to do some sports research, during a really dead sports period, you are the winner of the prestigious email of the week award. Contact our offices and leave your mailing address. You will receive your award sooner or later (just ask the previous winners).

Do you agree with the following statement? “The most important thing about being alive is that one has the opportunity to do what is right, or to do what is wrong; and that one has the power to choose; and that one has not the power to refuse that choice.Second question: Seriously, why are men and women infatuated in understanding each other...who caaaaares?
-7aki Fadi, Canada

We usually do not allow for multiple questions per reader, but given the fact that: A. You are always saying nice things about my articles (Damn, it seems like I DO have a soft spot for compliments) and B. Your first statement is so inappropriate for this space, you are unfortunately banned from submitting any other questions for two months.

I read the first statement five times and every time I am starting to put something together I get completely thrown off by the last part that seems to be out of place. (Or, there is a distant chance that I am really challenged when it comes to philosophical statements especially those who have a “existence theory/humans and their lives” dimension to them. The most important thing about being alive is being able to enjoy food. Right and wrong is all relative (yet obviously clear!) (ballahi kaif? I feel like a philosophikker already) and no one can completely and freely choose, yet everyone has to make lemons out of the hand that is being dealt to them (unless one finds out about committing suicide by autoerotic asphyxiation).

As for the second part (and since I already have my philosophickization hat on): The desire to be able to penetrate the opposite gender’s brain stems from the need to experience certain incidents from the other perspective and hence to be able to relate to it, which eventually makes life easier for everyone. Women are able to read and interpret other women’s words, gestures and actions because they feel or understand how they feel. When a man see another man punching a wall because his favorite team lost ….Ahh screw it….You are definitely banned.

In light of the challenges of globalization, climate change and political reform in the region, and not withstanding the seriousness of the Danish insults to our beloved Prophet (PBUH), I found myself challenged by a new internal struggle about the proper way to eat Danish Butter Cookies.
It has long been established that Danish Butter Cookies, ( like trallali Tivoli baskot bil zibdeh), are eaten in multiples of four. However, the selection of the four cookies has always left me in bewilderment and moral dilemma: Do I eat four cookies of one kind that come in a single paper cup, or do I select one of each kind so that the can is consumed at a more even rate?
Each day we are forced to make tough decisions and I am turning to your wisdom for helping me make this tough decision once and for all.
Be Blessed.
-ka3ki, Sesame Street, Utah

As we express our appreciation to the confidence you show in our capabilities in targeting issues that are worth our time and effort, here is the best scientific breakdown we can offer to your dilemma:

-A tin package of DBCs that has the standard four cookies variety in their standard four per paper cup.
-The preferred number of cookies consumed is four or its multiples.

-The best way to distribute the consumption: One cup of four OR a collection of four different ones?

-The pretzel-shaped cookie and the rectangle cookie are assumed to have the same taste [approximation].
- The swirling-round cookie is the best [various references].
-This is a synthesis (design) problem that does not have a stand-alone answer, but rather an optimal resolution for a presented situation.
-No single individual living by himself/herself should consider purchasing a pack of this product, especially if he/she is under some psychological stress or depression. [This would offer the trivial case, where the whole package would be consumed in a single session (two sessions max)].

Case I: As a visitor.
As a guest who is offered such a treat by your host, be courteous: put your personal preferences aside and try to pick the situation that will keep the can “presentable” after you leave. Avoid the last cookie in a cup. Pick from the full ones. Your best option will be to limit your total to two cookies and give the excuse “I’m watching my weight”. (When your host leaves to get the drinks, stuff two more in your jacket pockets).

Case II: Raiding the kitchen.
Your number one target is not to get caught with your hand in the cookie jar, or at least create the illusion that would allow you to deny accusations if you become a suspect. If the can is relatively new, then a full cup of four is your best bet (do not forget to redistribute the remaining cups to cover for the empty space). If the cups have big spacings among them, then you go with the variety of four, but do not be too committed to all four different cookies of them: If your situation looks better (meaning: the can looks unchanged) with unbalanced four-cookie selection, go for it (i.e. say there is only one square cookie left, just go for two pretzels).

Case III: In a friendly family atmosphere.
You are sitting with your significant other or your parents trying to get some dessert after a good meal. That’s the situation with the most variables (that may need a small programming code (with some Do loops) to resolve), since most of the time you are under minimal outside constraints. Here is where the spouse or parents must interfere: some outsider regulations to assure that the total number of cookies consumed do not exceed four (that’s 23 calories and 7 grams of fat per cookie) and to assure that the can stays in decent shape in case some unexpected guests stop by and you have to offer them something to go with the tea.

There has been one of these chain letters circulating (I received it as recently as last weak!!) claiming that the man who drew the Danish cartoons was accidentally burnt to death and the Denmark is “hiding the news”! I just cannot stop wondering how come all the other depictions of the prophet Mohammad (from the one showing him as a little kid entitled: “The monk Bahira recognizing the prophetic mission of Muhammad [original in Jami’ Al Tawareekh (710A.D. currently preserved at the Edinburgh University library) to his appearance in South Park “Super Best Friends”] went unnoticed. Seriously who make those decisions: “Okay people, let’s go crazy. NOW”.
Either way, (قاطعوهم لعنهم الله : Boycott them god damn it).

Who are you anyway? Is Abu Shreek even a real person? Does anyone know who this person is? Are you even Jordanian or are you “Sri Lankan”? Are you being paid by foreign agencies to conspire against our flourishing country and to tarnish our legacy?
-Many Comrades, most of them who never even bothered to read Abu Shreek’s pieces, and who believe that singing “Hashmi Hashmi” twice in the morning, twice at night, and one time during the day is the recipe for success and an indication that the country is booming.

Here is a quick recollection of some of the previous points made in this space in order to cater for those who did not bother to read, because they either suffer from a short attention span, or most probably they do not care for such “nonsense”. This is a useless attempt to enable them to formulate a better judgment before feeling free to start tossing accusations around, creating their own definitions for “constructive criticism”, and questioning loyalties and devotion to our country.

-The history of the Hashemite family in Jordan may not be as “pure” as we were taught at school: King Abdullah the first may have struck a deal with the British and betrayed his own father in exchange for the piece of land east of the river. There is a chance that his father Sahreef Hussein of Mecca, on his way to exile, uttered the statement (الا ليت الفيصل فيصلان وليت عبدالله ما كان: I wish I had two sons like Faisel instead of having Abdullah). He may have had strong ties with the Jewish agency and may have had deals with them on splitting influence over the area west of the river. He ended up being assassinated. King Talal, the father of the constitution, was forced to abdicate due to an alleged mental condition. King Hussein single-handedly built modern Jordan. He was able to maintain a safe and stable country in a volatile area without resorting to murder and brutal assassination technique like his fellow dictators. However that does not mean that he was not on the CIA payroll under a code-name and for a few millions a year in direct payoffs (Bob Woodward: Shadow”- A follow-up Time magazine story from 1977), or that does not mean they he may have not had very close ties to the Zionists: he himself confirmed the allegations that he considered asking for their aid against the Palestinian organizations in 1970, and that he had secret talks with Issac Sahmir and others trying to reach a peace treaty as early as the 70s [50 years on the Arab-Isreali conflict]. He may have flown to meet with Golda Meier to warn her about a possible Egyptian-Syrian attack prior to the 1973 war. In appreciation of his efforts, the Zionists felt that it would be appropriate to issue a state stamp commemorating his death. He went from selling his tricycle as a kid to afford to eat [his autobiography] to being one of the richest rulers in the world, in less than 30 years! King Abdullah is doing his best to carry the country into the 21st century but he can barely speak Arabic (which is really not a big deal when you compare it to the some of his other problems like political inexperience and lavish spending). [Of course, if you consider speaking the official language of the country you rule an unnecessary luxury then you may consider this to be an unjustified personal/character attack. On a similar note, here is the kind of jokes that people whispered in the streets whether you choose to acknowledge them or not: “Why did the secret police arrest a man for yawning? They thought he was mocking the King swearing-in speech”. [reference: middle school kids ,1999].

Now, whether these FACTS are true or not is irrelevant. All the above does NOT MATTER as long as we can move forward towards a situation more suitable for the 21st century:

Under the current situation there is no other option than the palace as the sole and only decision-maker (there are no practical and ready alternatives). The democratic process that started in 1988 has been constantly regressing to the point that journalists are asking for the King’s protection against the parliament (!) and the assigned members of the parliament are more interested in the public well-being than the elected schmucks who continue to seek their own interests (As evident by the municipality laws, the anti-corruption laws, and the press laws). BUT, here are some basic demands that any self-respecting citizen would agree with:

-A level of proportionality between decision-making and responsibility. It is impossible to tolerate a situation where the sole decision-maker who possesses the absolute power is subjected to zero questioning and completely immune to criticism.

-Since the palace is the main (and only) political power, it can use its dominant influence to change the landscape of the political situation in Jordan (getting rid of the old-guard, using academic institutions and educated research to formulate new parties and election laws, encouraging personal freedoms…) until the palace is gradually withdrawn from politics altogether, to reach the state of an honorary constitutional royalty.

-Along the same lines, the palace can do a lot in fighting corruption. The King can use his honorable status (not to say domination on every aspect of life) to stop sponsoring and encouraging such parasites, starting at the highest level. [There is no bigger word that resonates with corruption in Jordan than the word (Deewan: Royal court): Why is this car did not get a speeding ticket? Deewan. Why is the laziest graduate of our class studies in England? Deewan. Why did this firm get the catering contract? Deewan contacts: The owner knows someone who knows the personal driver of someone who works at the Deewan]. A constitutional monitoring of fortune and spending is a vital step in fighting corruption, while always keeping in mind that the king of Jordan cannot afford nor is he entitled to the lifestyle of the Sultan of Brunei.

-Reconsidering the relationship between Jordan and the Zionists. Given the fact that the so-called Arab-Israeli peace process has been on hold, the 1994 treaty has a very “solitary” feel to it now, since none of the other Madrid conference participants has reached satisfactory resolutions. Jordan has huge stakes in the Palestinian issue (just think of the millions of refugees) and hence it needs to reestablish itself as a negotiator and a party in the process (a role bigger than the advisory theatric role it is currently attempting). While withdrawing from the peace treaty altogether may be diplomatically impossible, a harsher approach towards the atrocities of the Zionists can be taken, by remembering that the majority of the people of Jordan still consider them the enemy, and that the people are not comfortable with the current “friendly”- normalizing atmosphere.[On a side note: it may be the time to free Ahmad Al Daqamseh: So the over- enthusiastic kid committed an unacceptable act of violence, well, in times of war there are some collateral innocent casualties (just ask our American friends). The late king sincerely apologized and “kissed the heads” of the families of the “victims”. Well, the guy is not a criminal, and we are STILL in war status with the Zionists. He deserves to be released by now].

-The relationship with the United States can use some balancing too. They are the superpower and we won’t be able to deal with them as equal counterparts: Fine. But we should be able to maintain a little dignity and the feel of an independent country rather than an American colony. How else would one explain Bush visiting Jordan, meeting with his Iraqi government mercenaries and agents on our turf and then taking off without even meeting with his majesty our king?! How is this diplomatically acceptable and when did Jordan officially turned into a rented space for America and its Iraqi mess! Jordan has a lot of stakes and risks as a result of the Iraqi crisis (the refuges, the terrorism influx, the feel of insecurity and turbulence resulting from living between two occupations,…) and it had the right to be able be a party in determining the future of the region. (And just as a quick reminder: most of the Jordanian population does not recognize the CIA agents and opportunistic militia leaders as a legitimate Iraqi government even if the Jordanian officials are forced to treat them as such and give them medical attention in our hospitals).

Another option would be the "regime" making the following statement: “This is a farm owned by the royal family. They are the owners of the land and everything on it and those who dare to disagree with this situation are not welcome among our herd.” This admission will clarify the situation for those who refuse to take their heads out of the sand and most importantly would make it evident to those who long for a legitimate country that they would be better off looking for a better life as citizens of Canada. The regime would also save itself the worthless effort exerted in trying to appear as a defender of freedom and the leader of prosperity.

Other than that, Long live the king and “Hashmi Hashmi” from dusk to dawn.

Why the (heck) all the idiots in this country deem the Abdoun Bridge a threat to their lives? And would an increase in the frequency of masturbation offer a solution to the brain-dead problem in our society?
Frustrated Reckless LoML (M3assbeh),

The reluctance to utilize the monumental and completely unnecessary landmark may seem ridiculously unjustified at first but you really cannot blame the people for being cautious. Maybe the size of thing is threatening to some simple (not to say naive) citizens, but that may also reflect the amount of trust those citizens have in the officials in charge. Let’s say a farfetched catastrophic accident happens to the “complex” structure, who is going to be held responsible?: The Amman mayor? The minister of constructions and housing? The prime minister? The current ones or the ones that preceded them in holding the revolving-door positions? Actually, here is the expected official statement: “Blame the Japanese contractors.” Or better yet: “This it is the people’s fault, they are unfamiliar with the proper procedure required to “use” the “service” properly.”

Judging by the multiple useless water dams spread around the country, the recent partial collapse in the housing towers (while under construction), the partial collapse in one of the traffic tunnels (a few years back while under construction), and the sloppiness, greed, and the shortcut-mentality expected from local contactors you cannot blame the people for being a little suspicious.

With all that said, one has to agree that there DOES exist a very high percentage of inhumane idiotic stupidity living among us. My friend Balfoot explains it this way: “I tried to maintain my faith in the general public intelligence, trying to convince myself that the idiots I come across in my daily life are the exception rather than the majority norm, UNTIL the Arabic news websites added sections for readers’ comments.” Add to this the level of ignorance exposed via personal spaces and forums (especially this particular space here) by the “educated” specimen of the society and we may notice a slight problem.

However I refuse to explain this problem based on sexual-frustration, since:1.Abu Shreek refuses to tackle any subjects that are deemed taboo or approach the redlines of issues that are considered national/moral security threats, since that may jeopardize his entrepreneurial career aspirations and subject him to criticism that he does not tolerate. 2. Abu Shreek is not interested in finding solutions for any problems, but rather concentrates his efforts on destructive criticism, trivialities and personal adventures. 3. An amount of stupidity at this level [اصيب عشرة مواطنين بعيارات نارية مساء امس الاول اثر مشاركتهم في حفل عرس في بلدة الروضة ـ لواء الشونة الجنوبية ، حالة اثنين منهم حرجة ،: 10 people were injured at a wedding party after someone lost control of an automatic weapon he was firing in celebration] would not be cured by 70 virgins, let alone a little self-relief.

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