Archive for February, 2011

The insurance agent who loves me!

February 27, 2011

The cool Gekko didn’t get me. All the commercials on tv didn’t get me. The anonymity of these companies’ agents did.

Here is how I switched from the cozy, local, hometown boy insurance agent to someone who probably is located 1000 miles away from my home.

The good old home boy  made sure to call me by my first name when I walked in. He introduced himself in person and his family in absentia. The family pictures were on his desk and on the walls. I had to keep staring at his disingenuous, perfunctory smile to avoid looking at them. And I had to keep talking in order to avoid listening to his overstated, fake midwestern accent. Disclosure: Fake makes me nauseated

I made  up an excuse to get out of the  suffocating and fake ambiance of his office.  “My stomach is churning and I feel sick”, I said. It was  truthful;  metaphorically so!

The first thing I did after I made it out, I called an out-of-state insurance company.  At least, I thought, I didn’t have to see the fake smile and  all the family pictures.

ekwaysan

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The art of robbing the middle class: Gravity defying economics

February 23, 2011

You’ve got to love this. Just skim over the daily headlines nowadays.

If you slash  the funding for schools, teachers,  health care, heating oil for the elderly, or other social programs for the needy, if you slash half that budget, you’re a leader making tough decisions, trying to cut the deficit.

If you lavish AIG, Goldman Sachs, and City Bank and other Wall Street bandits who actually caused the deficit to multiply, with over $700 billion to make them whole again so they can go on gambling  everyone else’s money away, the deficit is of no concern to our elites.

If you give tax break for the super rich and ask every middle class American for more sacrifices, you’re being reasonable in making compromises.

If you go to war over a lie and spend more than $3 billion a month (this is larger than the deficit in a lot of  cash strapped states, by the way), deficit is of no concern to anyone, and you’re a leader being tough on terrorists.

The worst part about all this is the American people, snowed by our media hired guns  and glued to their tv sets and Facebook and other social networks, buy into this argument. They bailed out the bankers and for that they’re being punished with deeper cuts in their benefits while the bonuses of the “bailees” keep piling up higher and higher.

You don’t hear people’s outrage. You don’t see them marching on to wall street and capitol hill fighting for their rights.

I say we deserve what has already come and what is coming  to us.

ekwaysan

Muslim women of revolution in Bee suits!

February 22, 2011

Funny man Bill Maher likes to make fun of women in the Middle East. “Dressed in Bee suits”, he is fond of saying all the time;   he..he … I am not amused!

I hope he’s been watching the floods of  women dressed in Bee  suits  out in front of the demonstrators facing bullets of the regimes that Maher’s government supplies.  Women that have had an essential role in liberating their countries from tyranny enabled in big part by us.

Have our  women here been marching en masse in the past 10 years in the face of perpetual wars we have waged over a lie? Have they been marching en masse to protest the massive looting perpetrated by the banks and the super rich who robbed millions of Americans of their jobs and life-time savings? Have they been marching en masse against all of our government atrocities that Maher decries every week on HBO?

I am sure women in the Middle East have a long way to go toward more rights and emancipation. I am sure our women here have a long way to go as well.

However,  Bill Maher obviously likes his women to be more versed in Britney Spears’ underwear color than social justice. He’d rather have their naked bodies painted to decorate the parties at the playboy mansion than be activists. 

ekwaysan

Palestinian occupied lands under the wall of a US veto

February 19, 2011

To follow-up on my yesterday’s blog “Why do they hate us”, this is just in 

“The US stood alone among the 15 members of the security council in failing to condemn the resumption of settlement building that[in East Jerusalem and the West Bank] has caused a serious rift between the Israeli government and the Palestinian authority”

Apparently, confiscating occupied lands by religious fanatic occupiers does not constitute a crime as far as the US government justice system is concerned; especially if the occupied is a Palestinian and the occupier is an Israeli. I’ll leave you  to ponder that issue, if the roles were reversed.

“Why do they hate us?”

ekwaysan

Why do they hate us? Hint: Egypt, Tunisia, Bahrain, Yemen….

February 19, 2011

Have you heard from Obama lately? No, I don’t mean about his budget plans.

Yet another autocratic ally, Bahrain, is shooting at peaceful demonstrators (and killing quite a few) demanding the unthinkable: Democracy and freedom! And we’re practically silent. At best “we’re watching very closely”, as Hillary Clinton said! This is one of our major allies in the region, by the way! The home of our own fifth fleet.

Full disclosure: Do you want to know who our allies in the middle east are? Every monarch; every autocratic, brutal dictator. Every corrupt state ruled by oligarchy of oil, wealth, and generals. It is as simple as that! (Except Syria so far, but that is a story for another day)

Does anyone still buy into the idea that we’re a benevolent force in the world out to spread our alleged values: Democracy, freedom,  and human rights? Pleaaaaaase!

Does anyone still not know the answer to the vacuous question: “Why do they hate us”?

The sooner we realize that, the safer and the better off we’ll all be.

ekwaysan

Those anti West Muslims!

February 16, 2011

“Anti West Islamist”! A slogan I hear quite often from our “intellectuals” these days to slam and demonize Muslims.

I won’t comment on whether Muslims are actually  anti West or not. My question is: Given Muslim countries’ experience with the West for the past several decades at least, is it outrageous if they were anti West?

The West has an awfully bad record  in that region. From colonizing it directly in the past to  siding with despots (and even installing and protecting them as they’re still doing today) against any popular movement demanding democracy or some participation in running its own country . Lets not forget, the West up until a few days ago still supported Mubarak, the tyrant of Egypt, and did not side with the revolting Egyptians until it was clear that Mubarak’s regime wouldn’t survive the uprising (even then they supported the military take over of government over there!).  And that is not to mention anything about the horror of the drones that are killing Muslim civilians indiscriminantly in Pakistan and Afghanistan almost on a daily basis.

So to hear a Tony Blankly on “Left, Right and Center”, on Friday of last week saying that he feared ” This uprising in Egypt is  anti West Islamist movement that is adversarial to the Western way of life”, when in fact it was overwhelmingly secular forces that drove that uprising, and the muslim elements in it  were very  minimal, is a farce.  What is the reason for anyone in the middle east to be sympathetic to the west? Because it supported the Shah of Iran and overthrew the popular elected leader Musaddik in 1952? Or because it supported Saddam Hussein for over 20 years? Or because it supports the kings of Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Morocco now? Or because it still supports the tyrants in Yemen, Bahrain, Algeria, and the rest of those rotten regimes today? Or because it enables Israel to flout the rules of international laws and continue its occupation of Palestinian lands and invades its neighbors and/or bombs women and children and attack ships in international water? Why wouldn’t they be wary of the West when they have seen and experienced the “high moral standards” of the West”? That is the  question Blankly should have asked.

Blankly and his ilk are either paid to say these things or they’re intellectually dishonest. They practice intellectual prostitution. They sell their soul and brain for money. Only prostitution is benign, for the most part. But Blankly’s prostitution does cause catastrophic problems. It foments bigotry, intolerance, and hostile attitude on both sides of the spectrum.

ekwaysan

So much for our $80 billion intelligence agency!

February 13, 2011

Our intelligence on Egypt was  an $80 billion intelligence failure. How did they read Egypt totally and embarrassingly wrong?

Based on” intelligence” assessment of course, Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden embarrassed themselves totally! Hillary Clinton’s infamous words during the first few days of the Egyptian uprising are going to live in shame: “Our assessment is that the Egyptian government is stable and is looking for ways to respond to the legitimate needs and interests of the Egyptian people.” Oops!

 Simpleton Biden, when  NewsHour host Jim Lehrer asked him if the time has “come for President Mubarak of Egypt to go?”, answered: “No. I think the time has come for President Mubarak to begin to move in the direction that – to be more responsive to some… of the needs of the people out there”….  “Mubarak is no dictator”, he also said. Oops!

Even the much touted Israeli intelligence couldn’t predict this  either.  “Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi said Mubarak’s government was not under threat…” Oops!

So much for “intelligence”! Although these intelligence communities have the ability to wreak havoc wherever they happened to be (virtually everywhere), they’re not omnipotent. In fact, at times they’re the blindest person in the room.

The moral of the story is that when people decide to take control of their own destiny, no one can stand in their way.

ekwaysan

The happiest Valentine I will ever have: A joyous turn in Egypt

February 11, 2011

Today, on this joyous occasion of the departure of one of the Middle-East’s most brutal despots, Hosni Mubarak,  I’d like to revisit a blog I posted on February 1, 2011, and recite the verses from Abu AlKassem AlShabbi, Tunisia’s love and freedom poet.

If people, one day, demand  life

Then destiny must obey

And the night, most certainly, will  clear

And the chains must break

Indeed, that is what happened today in Egypt.

I am very well aware that the road to a free Egypt is still long and arduous. I am very well aware that the same forces that installed and stabilized Mubarak’s regime for the past 30 years (most notably the United States of America), are still lurking in the background, waiting to undercut the democracy movement, and install an heir to Mubarak that would continue his legacy under a different name. But I am also confident that freedom is so contagious and sweet that once you have tasted it, there is no turning back! It is sweeter than my first kiss!

May be the long night and the nightmare of foreign influence is coming to an end. May be the humiliation and despair induced by the USA- and- Israel- enabled dictators in the region are dissipating. May be, at last, the dawn has broken in the land that had been at the forefront of civilization twice.

I am full of hope, faith, love,  joy, and pride. The most powerful forces are frolicking in my soul and I am relishing every moment of it.

ekwaysan

 

Egypt has laid America bare

February 9, 2011

Egypt has been an education.

The true face of our government has been exposed without makeup, and it is not pretty. Anyone who still harbors an illusion about the “inherent goodness” of this country should be enlightened now by our position vis-a-vis the Egyptian uprising.  From our veep Biden who refused to utter that Mubarak is a dictator, to our secretary of state Hillary Clinton who declared “I am  a friend of the Mubarak’s family”,  to Obama himself who threw his weight behind the torturer- in- chief,  the head of the feared and brutal Egyptian intelligence agency Omar Suleiman who is on record saying that ‘Egypt is not ready for democracy yet’, as Mubarak has recently named him (I am not kidding) to oversee  the transition to democracy in Egypt.

And this is just our liberal leaning government. I am not going to mention the Dick Cheneys and  the  Rupert Murdochs of the world. 

What about our liberal pundits all over the newspapers and cable tv? Those are not elected officials. So one would think they can at least pay lip service to the democracy seeking protesters in Egypt. Sorry to disappoint you. They are overwhelmingly pro Mubarak (there are a few exceptions in the establishment media like Roger Cohen and Nikola Kristof of the NYT ).

What is disconcerting to me  here is this. Not only are our government and politicians pro dictators, but also our elite intellectuals. This is very frightening to me (you too should be afraid; very afraid about the direction this country is taking). 

We are not talking about statesmen and intellectuals that  attended Madrasas in Pakistan or graduated from the caves of Afghanistan here. These people attended Harvard, Yale, and other elite institutions. They are “la creme de la creme”. It makes one wonder about the viability and the humanity of our own culture as a whole.

ekwaysan

Big brothers in the West decide for Egyptians in Tahrir Square!

February 6, 2011

From the comfort of their retreats in their  glamorous capitals, Angela Merkel, David Cameron, Hillary Clinton, and other leaders of Western democracy are speaking for the embattled  pro democracy protesters in the now dangerous streets of Egypt. Never mind that all of these Western nations have supported Mubarak and his recently named vice president, the brutal Omar Suleiman,  for the past thirty years.  And Mubarak and Suleiman and their henchmen are exactly who  the Egyptian people are protesting against.

“There will be a change in Egypt,” Mrs. Merkel said, “but clearly, the change has to be shaped in a way that it is a peaceful, a sensible way forward”, said Merkel, the German Chancellor.

“Revolutions have overthrown dictators in the name of democracy, only to see the process hijacked by new autocrats who use violence, deception and rigged elections to stay in power,” Hillary Clinton said. She emphasized the need for Egypt to reform its Constitution to make a vote credible. “That is what the government has said it is trying to do,” she said. NOTE: The government has been saying this for the past thirty years, as Hillary very well knows.

“You need to get a national consensus around the preconditions of the next step forward, and the president must stay in office in order to steer those changes through,” Mr. Wisner, Mr. Obama’s special envoy to Egypt, said.

The intermediaries , like Wisner, whose efforts have received the tacit encouragement of Western governments, have forwarded a plan that would see Mr. Mubarak transfer his powers to Mr. Suleiman.

So what are those being beaten and brutalized in Tahrir Square really thinking?

“Mubarak needs to go; it has become an emotional issue. They need to see his back, there’s no question about it.” ElBaradei, an opposition leader said.

“We don’t want Omar Suleiman to take Mubarak’s place. We are not O.K. with this regime at all,” said Omar el-Shawy, a young online activist.

“We want a president who is a civilian.” Mr. Mubarak and Mr. Suleiman “are trying to kill what has happened and to contain and abort the revolution,” said Hassan Nafaa, a political science professor at Cairo University. “They want to continue to manage the country like they did while making some concessions.”

“America doesn’t understand,” said Ibrahim Mustafa, 42, who was waiting to enter Tahrir Square. “The people know it is supporting an illegitimate regime.”

 “… [W]e’re not going to walk away from here until Hosni Mubarak leaves!”,  a protester shouted.

That is the voice of Egypt; not those self-serving hypocrites in the West.

Note. The quotes are from this New York Times  article.

ekwaysan