Archive for November 13, 2005
And the Economist (the best magazine there is) says: “Since 1979, median family incomes have risen by 18% but the incomes of the top 1% have gone up by 200%. In 1970, according to the Census Bureau, the bottom fifth received 5.4% of America’s total national income and the richest fifth got 40.9%. Twenty-five years [...]
“Sen. Clinton: I support W. Bank fence”
“But noticeably missing from the dialogue are the issues of political reform and democracy, which top of Washington’s foreign policy agenda but are the most politically sensitive matters in the Gulf nation. The six new U.S.-Saudi groups will instead focus on counterterrorism, military affairs, energy, business, education and human development, and consular affairs.”
Evidence of US support for democracy in the Middle East: “U.S.-Saudi Plan Aims To Expand Relations: ‘Strategic Dialogue’ To Include Energy, Counterterrorism”
Pearls of Wisdom of the Dalai Lama: ” The source of happiness is within ourselves.” Or “It is possible to eliminate ignorance through prayer or other behavior.” Now I know why Richard Gere is impressed.
I heard the Lebanonese broadcaster that I can’t stand ask: “Who is responsible for the state of Lebanese-Syrian relations”? I answer: 1) the era of Syrian domination in Lebanon; 2) all those who demonstrated on March 14th, and on other days, and who fueled a racistly and chauvinistically anti-Syrian campaign; 3) US exploitation of Lebanese [...]
Hariri’s great political services to Hafifh Al-Asad: “Hariri propagandist, Nuhad Mashnuq, says this today in his weekly article in As-Safir: “[Hariri] reminded Dr. Bashshar that he stayed in a relationship of firm alliance for the duration of twenty years with his father, may God’s mercy be upon him, and that he never turned down a [...]
“more often she applies witty asides, snippy comparisons (“Arabs put their women in veils. We put ours in the stocks”) and tabloid-style alliteration (e.g., “dazzling dames” and “He mused that men are in a muddle”).”
“In Jordanian town, radical Islam thrives: Government crackdown, lack of jobs called factors”
“Behind French unrest, cries of racism, neglect”
Condoleezza Rice is in Saudi Arabia. She is taking note of Saudi democracy. Here, in this picture, and at a press conference with Prince Sa`ud Al-Faysal, she was asked about what she thought about the spectacles of public beheading in the Kingdom. She just could not stop smiling. She said that she finds public beheadings [...]
Sen. Clinton launching her relection campaign at the racist Israeli separation barrier.
Today, Lebanon celebrated the Beirut Marathon. Typically, the Lebanonese had to add a vulgar and nationalist cast. It was said that the participation of Lebanese in the marathon is evidence of Lebanese support for “democracy” and “freedom of expressions.” As for how, don’t even bother asking. Just accept it. Just as LBC-TV is still running [...]
The Homs Declaration: The External Danger is at the Door. Unlike the Damascus Declaration that I did not like, and which dealt with matters from the right-flank of the regime, and which contained language of the Syrian Muslim Brothers, and which avoided the crucial issues of foreign policy, a group of Syrian intellectuals just issued [...]
The “new” Iraq.
Ibrahim Al-Amin is back, despite Hariri’s pressures on As-Safir to ban him. Here, he gives an accurate evaluation of the current state of Lebanese politics.
Robert Fisk: “It was a bloody, cruel message to the Plucky Little King Mark II. Help the Americans, train their Iraqi policemen, entertain their special forces officers and you will be a new target of al-Qa’ida. Not that new, of course. A US embassy employee, Laurence Foley, the softest of targets because he loved the [...]
In the US, we had for years the constant crackpot presdiential candidate, Lyndon LaRouche. In Lebanon, now we have the crackpot candidate, Shibli Al-Mallat, who suffers from more delusions of gradneur than even LaRouche. Also, notice that how this ostensibly secular intellectual is clinging to the robe of the Maronite Patriarch. (thanks Saleh)
MicroCapitalism. I read a feature on microfinance in a past issue of the Economist. Did not change my mind. Never been a fan of microfinance, and it is based on a team (often linked to Western banks or Western donors) that decides who gets what and why? Also, even the touted Grameen Bank was based [...]
Sunset, Riverside Drive, 1961. Alice Neel.