Sunday, November 30, 2008

Mikro-Blogging, Wake Me Up When November Ends

* I saw the youtube video of HM Queen Rania. Not that I can say it was awful if I wanted to, but I really think it was pretty cool. Despite the accent, she speaks English way better than George Bush.

* I drove for 15 hours on freeways between Arizona and California this weekend. I'd rather do this than drive from Amman to Zarqa for half an hour.

* Every person who speeds while driving for more than 30 kms over the speed limit has complex psychological problems. I'm generalizing. There are no exceptions here.

* The past tense of hurt should become hurted, and read (present) should be written differently from read (past). Whoever changed the meaning of "gay" from happy to a hemorrhoid hitman must be able to make the changes I'm suggesting.

* It was sad to hear about the attacks in Mumbai. What was more sad is that it took a terrorist attack that killed 200 people for some people to realize that Mumbai and Bombay is the same city.

* How come Israel's occupation of Palestine caused Palestinians to stick together and tore them apart once they started withdrawing from it, but the US occupation may cause exactly opposite effects on Iraqis?

* I miss the old Jordanian newspaper "Sawt al-Sha3b". I remember always feeling sorry for it because nobody used to read it. I'm also surprised there are still people reading Al-Dustor.

* I'm a bit upset that oil prices have went down. I don't mind them staying a bit high. That would bring more money to gulf countries.... you know, gulf countries, where half of Jordan lives these days.

* Why are people so obsessed with vampire movies and vampire characters? If you'll looking for someone to suck up your blood we've got a parliament to elect every 4 years.

* A new movie "Milk" was released. It talks about a gay man (Harvey Milk) who was the first homosexual to be elected to a public office in the US. He was also Jewish. So he was a Jewish homosexual, something that guarantees for anyone to get killed if they go down to Wihdat.
(In the picture above: Frech Tv anchor Melissa Theuriau. No relation to the post, just an eye candy. Warning to diabetes patients: before looking, take an extra shot of insulin)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Micro-Blogging Lil Yawm Al 27 Thul Qe3dah Alf O Arba3miyyeh O Tes3a Wa 3ishreen Hijri, Al Mowafeq Lil 25 Tishreen Al-Thani Alfain O Thamanyeh Miladi

-People should stop wondering if Michael Jackson had converted to Islam. After 25 years we're still unable to tell his race or gender. I don't think we'll figure out his religion by the weekend.

- I'm watching a black gay guy on TV complaining of racial discrimination in the American gay community. I invite him to come to Jordan, we don't discriminate against black people.

- I saw James Bonds' Quantum of Solace today. It's a proof that complicating the movie's name does not make it a better James Bond movie. Agree with me, Dr. No?

- I think that in America, love is overrated and marriage is underrated. In Jordan love is underrated and marriage is overrated.

- "House" is a great TV series except for.... you know... the medical stuff.

- I know some of you will hate this, but Jordanians on facebook should stop creating groups for their loved ones when they get sick and ask strangers to pray for them. Every such group ends up with the sick person dying. Can't you see it really brings bad luck? If you really care about that sick person don't just click on the button to join the group, move your lazy ass to the hospital and bring something nice with you.

- I have a Citibank credit card with 1000 dollars due. Citibank is suffering some financial difficulties and is asking Congress for help. Congress will give them billions of dollars from tax payers (like yours sincerely) to help. Hey Congress bastards, how about you give me the 1000 bucks and we're even?

- I'm hearing a report that there is an increasing number of Americans seeking work as porn stars. I guess that when given the choice of either being screwed by their angry boss at the office or being screwed by a 190 cm guy called Melvin, they went with the choice that brought them more money.
P.S. In the picture, the always hot Jessica Alba. Has no relation to this post. You're welcome.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Recipe For Singles: How Not To Cook a Beef Tongue

After miserably failing to find a couple of good mushy juicy testicles, I decided to look for a tongue and found a 10-pound beef tongue at Walmart. When I was looking at the tongue in the meat section I felt it talking to me, "Take me home and cook me" and so I did.

Here is my recipe on how NOT to cook a 10-pound beef tongue:

1- Do not pre-heat you cooking pan for 30 minutes
2- Do not add a mixture of fluids consisting of olive oil and soy milk.
3- Then do not add barbecue sauce to that mixture.
4- Do not throw the previously cut pieces of tongue inside the pan and cover it.
5- Do not add parsley, fried parsley does not taste good.
6- Sixty minutes later, after you've realized this meal will taste horrible, do not add half the bottle of red wine that you bought 2 years earlier and never opened. Just adding wine to whatever you're cooking does not elevate your meal to something that belongs to the French cuisine.
However, If you insist on adding the wine, make sure your fire alarm is off. The tongue-BBQ sauce-wine reaction is not pretty.
7- Eventually, after you have realized that your meal is ruined, do not try to cover up the taste by adding six eggs to it. That is a waste of eggs.
8- Your meal is now ready, do not enjoy.

Anyway, if you don't know what I want for Christmas, here's a hint :)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Bi-Monthly Video: Thrilla in Manilla

A Qantas flight had a sudden decompression caused by a little explosion in the back. Oxygen masks opened and the plane landed safely. A passenger with a camera and cool tempers taped a few minutes during the emergency landing in Manilla. This happened last July.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

الصومال.... شبه جزيرة الكنز

الطاقم الفني والإداري والمهني في مدونة هاريغا يتمنى للاخوة الصوماليين كل التوفيق في إحكام سيطرتهم على سفينة النفط التابعة للاخوة السعوديين ويتمنى لهم كل التوفيق في قرصنة كل ما تبقى من هذه السفن، ولتشجيع الاخوة القراصنة نقوم بتقديم هذه الأغنية الهادفة من مسلسل جزيرة الكنز، المسلسل الوحيد المعروض على شاشة تلفزيون مقديشو منذ عشرين سنة وهو ما ألهم الاخوة القراصنة في تنفيذ عملهم التاريخي ....


Shagfeh sipping coffee, ya raitni shagfet gazazeh bi hal kobbayeh

At Starbucks.
Hareega, "Can I have a medium-sized Mocha?"

The tattooed girl behind the bar looked at the half-blonde guy with the earings next to her, "Mocha, grande"
Thinking that grande means large, I told her, "No I don't want the grande, I want the medium one"

The guy with the earings looked at me in disgust, as if I was the most illiterate piece of crap who had just stepped down from his camel, and answered with a nasal voice "Well grande is the medium size, the large one is the Venti"

"Yes Venti, here's your Mocha sir"
I drank the coffee and was glad to learn a new Italian word.

Starbucks again.
I asked Christine, the awfully hot, only un-tattooed and the shamefully single chick behind the coffee bar, "Can I have a Venti Mocha? I usually take the grande but I need to stay up tonight"

Christine made a brilliant suggestion, "Why don't you add a shot of espresso?"
then she made another suggestion, "I love the White Chocolate Mocha, many girls do, it's my favorite drink"
Automatically, following the gatmoosheh's recommendation I said, "then I'll have the White Chocolate Mocha with an extra shot of espresso".

"Can I have a Venti White Chocolate Mocha with an extra shot of espresso"
"Sure, do you wanna add a flavor to it for 50 cents ?"
"OK, I'll take the Creme de Mint. whatever sounds French must taste good"
Realizing how fat I was getting, I added "low-fat" to my drinks.
" Hi, can I have a low-fat double espresso White Chocolate Mocha with a creme de mint flavor shot and another shot of caramel without whipped creme... oh and make it a Venti"

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Losing Your Religion

If you were wondering what incident have killed almost a thousand Americans in one day, only second to 9/11 in its number of causalities among US citizens, then you're talking about the mass suicide committed by a religious cult in the country of Guyana in South America in 1978.

This religious group formed a few years before this incident. What was remarkable is that its leader, a white guy with an outstanding charisma named Jim Jones, invited people from all races to join this church. It wasn't more than a large church where people prayed and sang together, joining with a sense of brotherhood.

That guy, Jim Jones, had an outstanding influence on his followers. It was gradual but very effective. With time it became more difficult for the followers to leave his church. As the US government started questioning this cult, Jones went with his followers to an isolated town in Guyana called Jonestown. When the families of the 1000 followers became very concerned about their family members, a Congressman flew there with a big team of journalists. He visited the Temple where the followers used to pray, and some of the followers wanted to leave the church and return with him to the US. Long story short, things turned very tense and one of the guards of the Temple shot the Congressman and a few members of the team and killed him with 2 journalists. Minutes later, Jim Jones made a speech that was taped (click here to listen, boy it's scary) asking all the followers to drink cyanide. The followers gave toxic cyanide to their children (300 children) then swallowed it themselves. A few of them refused to do so, so the guards forcibly injected them with cyanide. Jim Jones was then shot by one of the guards.

What may come to your mind, is that a bunch of hippies joined some weird cult formed by a weird guy, and they deserved what happened to them.

What you need to keep in mind, is that this religious group formed on good intentions. People from all around joined together, for a common cause, prayed together and sang together. It was fun. It felt right to them. Jones took it to the very extreme and that's why he and most of his followers perished. Very few of his followers survived, and they described in a few interviews how influential Jones was. Even those who drank the poison to kill themselves felt it the right thing to do, they were following the commands from upstairs.

I think every religion has its Jim Jones. Those Jim Jones' are a bit smarter, more qualified, more friendly-looking, less dramatic, but after all they are Jim Jones. Never underestimate the love of power many religious leaders have. Don't be afraid to question what they say, and don't hesitate to challenge them if you think they're leading you on the wrong track. You've got five senses, use them. Don't be blind. Maybe Jones killed his followers by making them drink cyanide, but a whole lot of poisons can kill faster and quicker than cyanide.

In this picture taken from the day after the incident , you can see the sign : "Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it".... well-said Mr. Jones!!

To watch a clip of a report of the incident, click here.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Operation Iraqi Freedom

This is what Sarah Palin calls God's plan.
This is what Americans don't see on Fox News, CNN, NBC, ABC, but they may occasionally see on Comedy Central if Jon Stewart could pull a Bush-bashing joke out of it,
This is what's supposed to be the war on terror,
the war on evil,
the war to crush al-Qaeda
the war to bring democracy to the Middle East
the war that John McCain didn't want to stop before he could declare victory,
when there wasn't anything to win in the first place
those are the people who, if not attacked in Iraq, were going to attack Americans on US soil

According to Ghosts of Abu Ghraib documentary, one US soldier asked, "Who should I be shooting?". He was told, "Just shoot anyone who looks like the enemy", and he thought to himself, "but they all look like the enemy"

The Life and Times of Tim

That's the more hilarious thing I've seen on TV in a long time.
Tim is a normal guy who always gets into trouble despite having good intentions. He has a nice girlfriend who strangely forgives him for anything he does. His job is a source of one embarrassment after another.
The dialogue: priceless.

Every Sunday night on HBO, you probably can watch a few epsidoes on youtube, here are some short clips, a bit of an adult language:

To watch a full episode, you may click here

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Hareega's List of the Ten Most Controversial Figures in the Arab World

In a nation of more than 300 million people, who are extremely emotional, every famous person is a controversy.
But those ten people I'm going to discuss here were very exceptional in that the controversy they have created was very significant and lasted for a long time. Their lives, actions, thoughts and struggles have affected and will continue to affect our lives, thought, actions and struggles in the future.

1- Hasan Nasrallah

Despite the negative image about him in the West, the Arab street's opinion is split on the Hizbullah leader, and one can hardly find anyone who has a neutral opinion about him. To some he's the first Arab to score a military victory against Israel in decades, but to others he's only serving Iran's interests in a critical area in the Middle East. Regardless of what you think of him, his influence has been dramatically rising inside Lebanon and in the region and that doesn't seem to be changing anytime soon.

2- Nawal Saadawi

One of the most liberal writers in the Arab world, Saadawi's writings and opinions caused her to get expelled from her job, go to jail, and receive numerous threats from Islamic groups. She suffered from genital mutilation herself then became an adovcate against it. Her writings inspire a lot of feminists in the Arab world. She remains a very controversial figure, and here's a short clip to help you understand why:

3- Hoda Shaarawi

The leader of the feminist movement in Egypt. Not only did she study in Europe and accompany her husband to many political meetings, but in 1923 she removed her face veil in public. She lead the first women's first street demonstration, the first women's social service organization, and published the first feminist magazine.

4- Faisal Al Qasim

Many things can shake relationships between two Arab countries, but very few would have expected it could be merely a TV debate show airing every Tuesday night. His provocative introductions have triggered verbal and near-physical attacks between his guests almost all the time , closed embassies and made angry people protest in the streets. Just to tell you how pissed off some governments were, his brother singer Majd Al Qasim was prohibited from entering Egypt for one debate show that Faisal hosted the week before.

Here's a clip from one such debate:

5- Yasser ArafatHe was the symbol of Palestinian resistance with all what it meant, but at the end many Palestinians thought he gave up too much and gained too little and wasted decades of fighting and sacrifice in vain. They also blame him for the corrupt officials they ended up having up to this day. They can't forget though that he was able to have all sects sit on one table. That became more clear after his death.

6- Nizar Qabbani

His tragic personal life brought the best of him. All of his poems about women, love, feminism and nationalism stirred controversy. It's not unusual to have his poems banned from schools and it would be hard to see anyone reading them uncensored on a TV screen. Many singers have to edit his erotic poems to make them a more family-friendly material for singing.

7- Moammar Qaddafi

He has been the leader of Libya for nearly four decades. He has supported liberation movements all over the world, which created many enemies especially in the Arab world. He has been linked to bombing a commercial flight, bombing a discotheque, kidnapping a Shiite leader, invading a neighboring country, and appointing himself as the "king of Africa". He also insists that Coca Cola is African, not American.

8- Jamal Abdil Nasser

The father of Arab nationalism. Had enormous dreams about Arab unity and liberating Palestine only to have them all crushed in the 1967 defeat. Has many followers to this day who name themselves after him. His critics hold him responsible for the shameful six-day war defeat and permanently destroying the self-esteem of Arabs.

Here's a clip playing the death announcement by Anwar al-Sadat and parts of his funeral.

9- Sayyid Qutb
An Egyptian Islamic writer and philosopher who had a massive contribution to the emergence of Islamic brotherhood on the political scene. He despised everything about America, supported the 1952 coup in Egypt against the monarchy but disagreed with the non-Islamic Abdul Nasser regime, which earned him a few years in jail. He was accused later of a plot to assassinate Abdul Nasser and was therefore executed in 1966. For that reason he is considered by his followers to be a martyr. Ironically Al-Azhar considers him to be a defiant.

10- Haifa Wahbi

Among all the new female Arab singers who are showing more flesh and less talent, Haifa Wahbi stands out. A former Miss Lebanon, she is a pioneer in the modern Arabic music era. More than that, this woman is beautiful and she was chosen as the 41 st most beautiful woman in the world per People's magazine. She proved that beauty and a few steamy clips can bring you a lot of money and fame in the Arab world, raising many serious questions among Arabs on how conservative we really are.
If you don't think so, watch this and tell me you didn't like it:

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A little micro-blogging

-- For those in the US, Linen and Things is going out of business. Local stores have an 80% discount and on top of that you get a 25% discount on your final purchase.
Man, I can't wait for Macy's and BestBuy to go bankrupt, that would be the best day of my life.

-- Lindsay Lohan said she might be bisexual. Can someone tell that girl that the only we'll care about her is when she gets drunk and hits a tree.

-- I saw Tyra Banks on the Today Show (yes I'm transforming into a desperate housewife) saying that one out of 5 teenage girls wants to become a teen mom. Man, once a black guy becomes president the whole country turns black.

- After gay marriage was banned in California, gays there took the streets. All protests were crushed when policemen threw cappuccino that is not fat-free at the protesters.

- HM Queen Rania won the Youtube Visionary Award after she posted inspiring videos on youtube. Hard Luck to that guy from "The Evolution of Dancing".

- France's minister of foreign affairs said that Obama's election brings great hope. Ok you French motherf--kers, when you elect an Algerian president you can start talking.

- Quote from Bill Maher, " When we make a joke about Obama, we're not making a joke about all black people, anymore than when we made a joke about President Bush, we were making a joke about all mentally challenged people"

Thursday, November 13, 2008

USA.... United for Socialism Altogether

In the most recent US election, most independent voters who ended up voting for McCain chose to do so because they were scared of Obama bringing "socialism" to the country.

What many of them did not get is that social justice does not mean socialism. When the top 1% of the country owns more than what the bottom 50%, someone has to step in and do what it takes to prevent the whole country being owned by the top 1%.

When the middle class starts shrinking in any country, the economy will continue collapsing and the country starts falling apart. Many Americans were so scared of Obama redistributing the wealth. They forgot that what Republicans did and were still planning on doing is exactly the same: redistributing the wealth. They redistributed it from the less privileged to the more privileged. Sooner or later most people will end up with no more wealth to resdistibute.

Most concerned Americans give an example of hurricane Katrina victims, or some poor family getting benefits from welfare when its members are not showing any effort to work or bring money to their family. That may be true, but what's more true is that most Americans who are suffering from the economic crisis are those who worked hard and have 2 or 3 jobs to continue surviving, or senior citizens who have worked all their life to spend a few good last years but end up mopping floors or greeting customers at 11 pm at Walmart for a few worthless bucks that will prevent them from going bankrupt after getting their last medical bill.

Yesterday DHL stopped its domestic service inside the US. Some low-cost airlines like ATA and Aloha stopped their operations within the US. Other airlines like Delta and Northwest merged. Some banks went bankrupt and other banks are in serious threat and may close as well.
What America may end up with, is one or two banks, one or two airlines, one or two express mail services, or or two American auto makers, one or two video rental places all over..... where have we seen all that? Oh yeah, socialist countries! When you rememer that there have been only two parties running everything in this country for the past few decades, that shouldn't come as a big surprise.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Jordani-yat: Pictures of Jordan and the Royal Family, long long time ago

Great picture from 1935 of the Jordan River Valley with the Dead Sea and the Moab Mountains. Click to enlarge. Worth clicking. --------------------------------
Thunderstorm around Maan in 1926. Click to enlarge.------------------------
Jordan River, 1926! ---------------------------------
Photo taken in March, 1976. Late Queen Alia greeted by flag-waving youngsters and adults upon arrival at National Children's Hospital in Tokyo. ----------------------
British soldiers in Amman streets in the 1950s.

A house damaged by the Black September events in 1970.

Pages from a British magazine in 1961 following King Hussein's wedding to Queen Muna, who is the mother of King Abdullah


Picture of late King Hussein and his first wife Queen Dina, circa 1955. They got married in 1955 but their marriage lasted one year only. She remarried afterwards. He daughter is Princess Alia.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

That's why I'm still single

At this point of time, TV is the best companion for me, much better than any woman on the planet, which kind of explains why I'm still single. I'd rather spend the weekend watching 10-16 hours of kick-ass European and Latin football than sit with a wife gossiping about relatives, trash the neighbors or fight over stupid things. Worse: we could be having a little monkey running around the house that we have to chase that son of a bitch day and night.

I really don't know how to raise kids. I know what I want my kid (only one) to be, someone with good manners who is respectful and has a purpose in life, besides of course being ready to give up everything he has for his father and (optionally) his mother. But I haven't figured out the process through I which I transmit this desire of mine to him, that process that many smart people and Oprah call raising.

It's like being a genius professor at college, dedicated to the job but at the same time you're a very bad teacher. You do your best to teach your students and want them to be great scientists but you can't get the job done. You cannot deliver. And the students end up being ignorant and dumb.

So I'm still confused how to do it. What should I do if my son makes a dreadful mistake? Should I sit down with him and explain very quietly that what he did what wrong, or should I beat the crap out of him and hang from his balls for 48 hours? Maybe I'll settle for both options, talk to him first then hang him from his balls, just to make sure that I'm right at least 50% of the time.

When it comes to raising kids I can't help but categorize kids into two categories: The Kit-Kat kids and the Bag3a kids. Kit-Kat kids are treated very gently and are kept in a bubble that protects them from all harms but that bubble also keeps them away from many challenges in life that are necessary to make them strong tough human beings. Once they start growing up they're shocked by how tough life is and a lot of them experiment with drugs, alcohol or sex and do not "listen to their parents" anymore.

Bag3a kids are being raised in a much more rough environment, and their parents beat the hell out of them for anything wrong they do, and in other occasions for no clear reason. These kids are able more to survive however quite a lot of them get a few psychological problems and become abusive in the future to their wives and kids.

Ok, most kids don't fall in either extreme, although many kids in America are Kit-Kat kids and many in Jordan are Bag3a kids. My point is that you need a lot of effort, knowledge and experimenting to learn how to raise your kids the right way. That's why I plan on having 5 kids; the first four will be for experimenting and once I'm done I'll donate these kids to some organization or Angelina Jolie, hopefully that will be legal by then (so vote for Ralph Nader, I'm sure he'll still on the ballot in 2024). Only the 5th kid will be my kid.

So, that's with the kids. But how about the wife?? I can barely stand having a roommate for a month, so how about a roommate forever? I dedicate 2-3 hours daily to watch TV, and a few hours every week to SOMADON (Sit On My Ass and DO Nothing). After a few year experience, I realized that SOMADON helps relax you quite a bit. Each SOMADON session lasts 1-2 hours, and it feels great, knowing that you're gonna waste some good 100 minutes doing absolutely nothing, which gives you a fake sense of relief. Now will my future wife understand how important is that for me?

And I don't want her to share these Somadon sessions with me. If she wants to Somadon she can do it herself. But if I'm Somadoning and I see her in front of me, I'll remember that I'm married and that I have a lot of responsibilities as a married man and that will ruin the whole Somadon session for me. I'll just politely ask her to getfosa (get the f--k off and somadon alone).

What Does SOMADON involve? I just sit on Raheejeh (my sofa) and look at the wall. I don't have any picture or painting on the wall, it's empty, but I just enjoy sitting and watching. One to two hours, until I start feeling better.

How about my eating habits? I like to sit on my big super-ugly super-cheap green Raheejeh and masticate my food while watching the TEVOed Leno's monologue from the night before or Knocked Up for the 100th time. I doubt that any woman would appreciate that. Then how about the bottle of Ketchup that I always keep under the sofa within my arm's reach. What's the point of returning the ketchup bottle to the kitchen if I'm gonna use it for every meal?

A friend told me that getting married is good for you, at least you don't sleep and wake up everyday in an empty house. However I know a few married guys who wish they'd sleep and wake up every night in an empty house, instead of living with the witches they're married to. Let's say for now, that I'm single and happy and until I'm about to absolutely feel that my life is wrecked and not worth living, I'm planning on keeping it the same way.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Fastest Sharpest Least Shitty News Coverage From Hareega

* Barack Obama, who ran as a candidate for change, was elected as the next US president. He gave an emotional speech in Chicago last night. It was the first time a black man gets elected as a president of the US, although it was not the first time a black man stands in Chicago at midnight asking for change.

...and HM King Abdullah called to congratulate Obama for his victory. He was heard telling him, "with a father's name like yours you'll definitely make a fantastic leader".

* George Wassuf was arrested in Sweden and charged with possession of 30 grams of cocaine. Wassuf was enraged by the arrest, and later told reporters , "This cocaine is not mine. I never carry less than 5 kilos"

* A new study revealed that women have more bacteria on their hands than men. To be fair that conclusion was reached after studying only one woman: Monica Lewinsky.

* Jordan's basketball team ended its participation in the Arab Championship in Tunisia. The players will be heading back home in the United States tomorrow morning.

Thursday, November 06, 2008


He said, "I don't know if you're a Bush fan, but I think he's a pretty bad president. I voted for Kerry in 2004 because all what he said made sense, but people didn't like him, and now Hillary is running and I don't think people will vote for her, and there's Obama, they can never vote for him. I'm not prejiduced but he is black and people will never vote for him. I'm from Tennessee. I know people very well, they can never vote for him even if said all the right things"

... during a conversation with a cardiologist in June, 2007

Come on come on
I see no changes wake up in the morning and I ask myself
is life worth living should I blast myself?
I'm tired of being poor & even worse I'm black
I see no changes all I see is racist faces
misplaced hate makes disgrace to races
it takes skill to be real, time to heal each other
And although it seems heaven sent
We ain't ready, to see a black President,
It ain't a secret don't conceal the fact
the penitentiary's packed, and it's filled with blacks
But some things will never change
Lyrics from the song Changes, by Tupac Shakur, 1998

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Wings of Shame

Date: Halloween Day.
Location: Some bar packed with Elvis Presleys, Osama Bin Ladins and Sarah Palins.
What the hell was I doing there: throwing trashy comments on people with different costumes.

So I saw this girl dressed up like a butterfly (or an angel as I later was told).

I started a conversation, "So can you fly" followed by a silly laugh.
"I'm asking: can you fly?"
"What, can't hear you?"
I started thinking how stupid I was to be doing this.
"Can you fly? Can you fly?"
I followed that question by placing my arms next to my body and flipping them like wings.
She looked at me as if I were an alien.

Feeling that my dignity as a human being has hit rock bottom and I'm left with nothing to lose, I asked again, "Can you fly, because you have wings you know, so can you fly?" and I flipped my arms again.

She smiled at me and replied, "Aren't you a doctor?"
"You're a doctor right?"
I felt that I just hit another lower level of rock bottom, inexperienced by anyone before in history.
I remained silent.
She went, "I'm a nursing student, I always see you at the ICU"
then a Guerrilla next to her said, "Hey Dr. Masanat"

I just said, "Hey" and started heading for the exit.

Morale of the story: Always hide your identity before embarassing yourself

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

What if Obama Loses?

With the polls showing Barack Obama leading with a wide, often double-digit, margin over John McCain, especially in swing and previously red states, one would assume that Obama should win this election very smoothly. I will only give him a 50/50 chance. As I had argued before, there are a lot of people who will be scared of voting for a black person, and some recent ads sponsored by Republicans groups are running ads reminding people of Obama's association with angry people, mainly Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers, and nothing scares non-blacks and blacks like an angry black man.

History supports me in this. In 1983, Harold Washington, a black man, was leading in the polls for Chicago's mayoral race by a wide margin but won with a much narrower margin. In 1989 Douglas Wilder, another black candidate, became Virginia's governor winning by less than a point although polls before the elections showed him leading by 9 points. In 1989 David Dinkins was leading by 18 points over Rudy Giuliani in New York's mayoral race but won by only 2 points. The most significant of all was Tom Bardley, a black dude, who was way ahead of his white opponent but lost the elections for governor of California.

History also can prove me wrong. These were all elections held in the 1980s. The country has changed since then, There are a lot of young voters this time. We also did not also see Obama suffering from any Bradley effect in the primaries, except probably in New Hampshire where he unexpectedly lost to Hilary Clinton. But if you look at the swing states like Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida, there's a large population of people who may have a problem with Obama's race. Ralph Nader still has his supporters (3%) and he may take more of Obama's votes especially with Obama's opposition to gay marriage.

So what if Obama loses?
It would be only in electoral votes, just like Bush won in 2000 despite losing the popular vote. Politicians will seriously reconsider the electoral system.
Other than that, the country will be in shock. The only people who won't be shocked will be black people. Most of them have lost any confidence in the political system long time ago. This will probably kill any remaining hope that some of them still had in America, but a lot of them won't feel a thing (but I'm telling you, downtown LA will be wrecked). The people who will be in absolute shock are young people who are participating in this election. It will be sort of a wake-up call for them that tolerance exists less in US politics than it does in their college dormitories.

And then there will be the shock of electing another Republican, who voted with Bush 90% of the time, as the next president along with a vice president who has poor qualifications for any political office. The fact that Bush got away with all what he did was shocking enough, but the shock of electing a president for the incumbent party will be more shocking and disappointing to a lot of Americans.

I truly hope Obama will become the next president, but if he didn't that shouldn't come as a big surprise. It happened before and it will happen again.

Monday, November 03, 2008

A Visit to Washington D.C. and Some Pictures

I visited D.C. for a medical conference 2 weeks ago and stayed there for an additional couple of days to visit the museums there. Regardless of what interests you in life, you'll find a lot of things to do and places to visit there. It's totally worth staying there the longest you can.

One of the places I enjoyed visiting the most was the Newseum, which opened 6 months ago. It's a museum that takes you through all the major world events in the past century , even before that, and how the media covered those events.

Plenty of images, tapes and invaluable collections.

Here are some photos that you may find interesting:

This is a poem hand-written by Saddam Hussein.


Remember Daniel Pearl, the American journalist who was kidnapped and beheaded in Pakistan a few years back? This is his passport and laptop.

The front page of the San Francisco Chronicle, a day after the foundation of the United Nations-------------------------------------
Part of the antenna over one of the World Trade Center towers, behind which were dozens of front pages from different newspapers following that day.

At the White House people can demonstrate, you'll almost always find some demonstration there.

In the first gulf war in 1991, the coalition troops struck a weapon factory in Iraq. Peter Arnett from CNN later revealed that it was actually a milk factory for children and showed this packet of milk from the factory to prove that. Self-explanatory.

The grave of John F. Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline at the Arlington Cemetery.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

The Bi-Monthly Video: Mussolini's Hanging Body

This is a news bulletin from 1945, following the execution of Benito Mussolini. He was executed, then his and his mistress' body were hung in the streets of Rome for everyone to come and kick or spit on it. You could tell he was not a very popular guy.

This clip is a bit graphic. I would label it PG-7, if your kid is younger than 7 don't let him see it. If he's 8 or older it's great to watch.

This comes as another addition to my bi-monthly youtube clips which I consider very important and have less than 500k views on youtube.

(N.B. To see the actual execution, click here