May this next year bring you all Love and Happiness

Just don't let the Man get you down, people. Enjoy Life while you can! 

Oh yeah, and a Happy New Year! 

(Sinfest, of course) 

Outsourcing Pregnancies to India

This story made my skin crawl. And don't tell me this was inevtiable. I have no problem with Surrogacy as a concept, but what they are doing is just fucked up!

The Bhutto shooting

The Video is here!

Kinda makes the government's official story look like shit, huh? 

Victory for Free Speech

Three Cheers for the Egyptian justice system. Judge Mourad lost his case today, and the court ruled in favor of freedom of speech on the internet, with emphasis that websites should never get blocked by the government. This is a very important legal precedent, and a boon to free speech advocates everywhere. Kudos to Gamal Eid and the Hesham Mubarak legal team, and special thanks to Judge Mourad: if it wasn't for your stupidity, this wouldn't have taken place at all.

Today is a good day! 

Update: The Press release in english is here! 

Benazeer Bhutto assassinated by Al Qaeda

***SCROLLDOWN FOR UPDATES*** 

Former Pakistani PM and Opposition Leader Benazeer Bhutto just got assassinated 40 minutes ago. She was shot by a gunman who proceeded to blow himself up after shooting her, killing 20 others as well.

A party security adviser said Bhutto was shot in neck and chest as she got into her vehicle to leave the rally in Rawalpindi near the capital Islamabad. A gunman then blew himself up.

"At 6:16 p.m. she expired," said Wasif Ali Khan, a member of Bhutto's party who was at Rawalpindi General Hospital where she was taken after the attack.

The only question now is, who is behind this? The method of assassination is one used by Islamic militants, and they did try to assassinate her before, within hours of her return, resulting in the deadliest suicide bombing in Pakistan's history. Now, Bhutto had 2 people who, politically speaking, would benefit from her death: Musharraf and Nawaz Sherif. Bhutto did rub Nawaz the wrong way, especially with her insistence on not boycotting the elections-like he plans to- which weakens the position of his opposition party on the illegitimacy's of the pakistani elections. Nawaz also reportedly has strong ties with the islamist parties in Pakistan, so he also has the following that could do such a thing. However, the Bhutto supporters seem to have placed the blame on Musharraf instead:

Her supporters at the hospital began chanting "Dog, Musharraf, dog," referring to Pakistan's president Pervez Musharraf.

Some smashed the glass door at the main entrance of the emergency unit, others burst into tears. One man with a flag of Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party tied around his head was beating his chest.

That being said, the woman did have many other enemies than just Nawaz and Musharraf, both of which have more to lose if suspected of being behind her murder. She was on the hit list of both Al Qaeda and Al Taliban, not to mention other islamist terrorist groups. This could've been caused by anybody. I guess the next few days will tell. Or maybe hours. No one issued a statement of responsibility yet. It's very unlikely that it was an independent agent though, the woman is hated by many and considered the symbol of opportunism and corruption, but a gun and a suicide bomber belt? Not easy to come by  if you are acting solo. I mean, sure, it's Pakistan, but come on. A group was behind this. The only question left is who.

Update: Here are some Pictures from the Attack:

 

 

 

Update: Al Qaeda took responsbility for the assassination:

A spokesperson for the al-Qaeda terrorist network has claimed responsibility for the death on Thursday of former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

“We terminated the most precious American asset which vowed to defeat [the] mujahadeen,” Al-Qaeda’s commander and main spokesperson Mustafa Abu Al-Yazid told Adnkronos International (AKI) in a phone call from an unknown location, speaking in faltering English. Al-Yazid is the main al-Qaeda commander in Afghanistan.

It is believed that the decision to kill Bhutto, who is the leader of the opposition Pakistan People's Party (PPP), was made by al-Qaeda No. 2, the Egyptian doctor, Ayman al-Zawahiri in October.

Hell..

Paris Hilton might have to work

 
 Booooo hooooo

Big Daddy Hilton has pledged over 97% of the Family fortune to Charity, so now the Hiltons will be kicked to the curb, no thanks to Paris' shananigans. Now, Paris and Nicky might have to start getting real jobs and like, ehh, work for a living. But what would she do exactly? It's not like she ever went to college or anything. I vote for Paris Hilton: Life Coach. Follow Paris' teachings and Life's Philosophy and have her introduce hotness in your life. That or she can continue her career as a pornstar. What do you think? What should be Paris Hilton's real Life Job?

Please leave your suggestions in the comment section. The girl needs our guidance!

The most ridiculous shit I’ve heard this year..

…has to be from this "award winning" report- from Hebrew University – on why Israeli army men do not rape Palestinian women: it's because they view palestinian women to be too subhuman to rape.

The abstract of the paper, authored by doctoral candidate Tal
Nitzan, notes that the paper shows that "the lack of organized military
rape is an alternate way of realizing [particular] political goals." 

The
next sentence delineates the particular goals that are realized in this
manner: "In the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it can be seen that the
lack of military rape merely strengthens the ethnic boundaries and
clarifies the inter-ethnic differences – just as organized military
rape would have done."

The paper further theorizes that Arab women in Judea and Samaria are
not raped by IDF soldiers because the women are de-humanized in the
soldiers' eyes.

So it's not because they are not good people or anti-rape or ethical or anything like that. Of course not, they are Joooz. They don't rape palestinian women because they are racist. So, in order to show they are not racist, they should rape them a couple of palestinian women every couple of months. Make them girls feel desirable, you know?

Fuckin Academics!

Protect Sexworkers from Violence Day

Yes, it's a real thing, and it was 10 days ago and its the 5th it is celebrated (is that the right word?) in Toronto. The Sexworkers rights activist behind it are accusing the Police for not caring about dead prostitutes and are blaming GTA-yes, the videogame- for encouraging the subculture of robbing and calling them. Ok, their right, and while I am against the egotistical notion of naming a day after one's cause, I don't think Prostitutes should be hurt or killed, so bully for them. I just have one question from this article, and it concerns one quote:

According to Kuzyk, a semi-retired sex worker who has been championing
the rights of prostitutes for years, there is a stigma of sex workers
in society that makes it difficult, if not impossible, to change the
way violence against sex workers is handled.

Ok, how can you be a semi-retired sex worker exactly? What the hell does that mean? You are retired 5 days a week or something, but you are open for business on the weekend? Does anybody know?

Why the new Elissa album won’t sell

 

No cleavage, no legs, no exposed flesh. The Pioneer of boobie videos is trying to get serious and be taken seriously? Does that mean we will have to listen to her sing now? That's crazy talk. Next thing you know, Haifa will also demand respect for her "talent". Where would that leave us?

There better be some nudity in those new videos. Better be.

Egypt to copyright Pyramids

Oh yes. Zahi Hawass, our favorite media-whore, has brain-farted again. Yay:

In a potential blow to themed resorts from Vegas to Tokyo, Egypt is
to pass a law requiring payment of royalties whenever its ancient
monuments, from the pyramids to the sphinx, are reproduced.

Zahi
Hawass, the charismatic and controversial head of Egypt's Supreme
Council of Antiquities, told AFP on Tuesday that the move was necessary
to pay for the upkeep of the country's thousands of pharaonic sites.

"The
new law will completely prohibit the duplication of historic Egyptian
monuments which the Supreme Council of Antiquities considers
100-percent copies," he said.

"If the law is passed then it will be applied in all countries of the world so that we can protect our interests," Hawass said.

So, before you start thinking they will start charging royalties from artists, or maybe even the Luxor Hotel in Vegas, well, they won't.

However, the law "does not forbid local or international artists
from profiting from drawings and other reproductions of pharaonic and
Egyptian monuments from all eras — as long as they don't make exact
copies."

"Artists have the right to be inspired by everything that surrounds them, including monuments," he said.

Asked
about the potential impact on the monumental Luxor Hotel in the US
gambling capital of Las Vegas, Hawass insisted that particular resort
was "not an exact copy of pharaonic monuments despite the fact it's in
the shape of a pyramid."

On its website, the luxury hotel
describes itself as "the only pyramid shaped building in the world,"
but Hawass said its interior was entirely different from an ancient
Egyptian setting.

So..ehh..what's the point again? We only forbid exact replicas of the Pyramids and the Sphinx in and out? Is this the case? Does this make any kind of sense? Am I wrong to think that this guy just wants to be in the media wearing his "Indiana Jones" hat?

Douchebag!

Technical Difficulties

The blog is not working properly. There is a case of DNS poisoning that prevents some people from seeing it, and getting a Homesales website instead. I am working on it. Will resume our services shortly!

Yesterday

I was at a Christmas party yesterday, hosted by a muslim friend of mine. The party's invitees were mostly christians, a couple of which are Christmas orphans (foreigners studying in egypt with nowhere to go on christmas eve), and we had a tree to decorate and everything. The boss of one of our christian female friends and attendees apparently just got back from Hajj, and got her a gift: a full islamic Abayah and head covering (hint hint). So our friend came over, wearing the abayah, the hijab, and big ass cross on her chest, clearly visible. Everybody thought it was hilarious and they started to take pictures of her and asking her to pose for them, going all " But make the cross visible. Can you make it more visible? Can you hold it? Can I take another picture?" for a good five minutes. Me and the other muslim friend are just sitting there next to each other, watching all of this taking place. Then, without even looking at him, I say:

"You ever get the feeling that we are hanging out with a persecuted minority?"

"Uh-hum", he smilingly replies, nodding his head. 

I take a sip of my glass of wine and say: "Yeah, me too!" 

Merry Christmas everybody!

Third Year going..

Happy Birthday to the Monkey… 

This blog turns 3 today! That makes it the longest time I've managed to do something consistently. And people say I have commitment problems. Pshhhhhhhhhhhhh.

“Make me a Muslim” reviewed

The people from the British channel 4 have created a new "Makeover" show, but with A TWIST: It's an Islamic Makeover show, called "Make me a Muslim" . Through the help of 4 experts (3 Imams and a female British convert) , 6 contestants get to experience life as muslims for 3 weeks, in the almost exclusively white and non-muslim town of Harrogate, in Yorkshire. The group includes a single-mom glamor Model, an atheist and white Taxi Driver who likes beer and porn, the girlfriend of a lapsed muslim who lives with him without marriage but wishes to be accepted into his family, and a gay guy who likes to party too much. The idea behind the show is that through islamic teachings, they will fix the lives of those morally-compromised individuals. You know, kind of like the way the 5 gay guys from "Queer eye for the straight guy" would come in to the life of boring heterosexual males and make everything "fabulous", without the fabulousness, or, like, the humor. But I digress, it's sometimes very very funny, although for very unintentional reasons (The Promo for the show is here, the first episode, on 5 parts, here).

Take the gay guy for example: The Imams decide to fix his gayness. How would they do that? Well, they told him at first that his problem is that he hangs out with too many females, so what he needs to do is to hang out with guys and do masculine things, and that will just push the gay out of him. Needless to say that this plan didn't work at all, although it did make the gay guy happy to be surrounded "by all of this testosterone". While he is playing his manly sports with muslim men (does cricket count as a manly sport? I guess it doesn't have a lot of physical contact with other men, so.yeah..anyway), the Imam decides that in order to further cure the gay guy, he would have to find him a wife. So he takes his picture, walks around the town and asks every female he sees (quite seriously I might add) if she would like to marry the guy in the pic, to which the females laughed hysterically and told the Imam to sod off. Later on, they decide to take him shopping to buy manly clothes, because, as one of the Imams put it, "if you dress like a female, you will act like a female". Clothes shopping as a cure to male homosexuality. Hmm..Well, at least give them credit for trying something new here. I am not sure that anyone before thought clothes shopping was the way to turn gay men straight.

Ignoring the comic relief offered by the gay guy, you have the other contestants whose interactions with the "Muslim 4" might not be as funny, but they are equally as disturbing. Take Karla for example, who is doing this because she would like to be accepted by the parents of her "bad muslim" boyfriend Ash. They have been dating for 2 years and they won't even meet her, so the girl, in her desperation, tries to enroll herself in this religious experiment, hoping that if his parents saw her trying they would meet her half way. They don't, and her boyfriend considers that a normal thing. Ok, so here is your chance young Imams to set things right, and maybe help bridge the culture gap between the christian british woman and the immigrant desi parents of her boyfriend, but do they offer to mediate between the parents, or condemn how xenophobic and judgmental they are being? Hell no. The Imam just gives her the "I know it's difficult speech", but offers no help nor insight to make it better. Even his compassion to her seems a bit out of courtesy, and his solace very superficial and hollow.

Oh, and then comes the home inspection, and this was just fantastic, because it starts with the Imam telling the audience that there is a misconception that "Islam is about taking things away from its practitioners, which isn't true", and then he and the members of the Muslim 4 proceed to do just that. They go from home to home of the people enrolled in the show, and start taking away and forbidding everything they deemed un-islamic. Porn? Check. Magazine showing scantly clad bikini wearing women? Check. Pork? Check. Alcohol? Check. Shared bedroom? Check. Skimpy outfits? Check. Men's magazines? Check. Touching? Check. Glamor Modeling? Check. Pink clothes for men? Check. Friendship with women? Check Checkity Check. And when one of the women asks why not the skimpy outfit, the Imam actually has the audacity to suggest that wearing it "would invite rape". Sure, the british chick immediately bites his head off, but that's another story. The damage was done.

The thing is, this show showed the Imams proposing that Islam may be the solution to Britian's moral decay, but didn't explain how or even show it in the course of the show. The Imams had no arguments, they couldn't fend off the criticisms leveled against them. They couldn't adequately argue one convincing point to any of those people why doing things the islamic way would make their lives any better. Hell, they were constantly beaten by the contestants, and instead of admitting defeat they would just say " This is how we do it in Islam. Just try doing it our way and you will see why it's better" and then smile empty smiles at their frustrated and not-at-all-convinced students. If this is an evangelical effort, then it is the worst I've ever seen, and I actually watched CBN at one point in my life, people. The Imams appear judgmental, uncompromising and without logic, while every step of the way claiming that "this is the way of Islam", which leads the viewer to the conclusion that Islam is without logic. How this is promoting Islam in the UK, I have no idea.

In conclsuion, make me a muslim is a joke, and so are the Imams in it who think they are advancing the word of allah through this show and promoting Islam. The show, which claims to be a serious effort, borders on comical at its shallowness. It showed Islam to be judgmental, dogmatic and intolerant. That there was no spiritual aspects to it all (hell, they spent about 10X  more time lecturing the contestants on their sinful ways then how to pray and the purpose of prayer), and that it's so based on dictation it's almost soulless. I looked forward to some convincing arguments, to some dialogue, to someone given the chance to be on TV who will say that we are not all crazy people with crazy rules, but all I got was 3 bearded men and a woman who appeared smug and superior and who kept acting like" if u r too stupid to be convinced by us, just do as we say anyway, because it's what's best for you". I don't know about the average viewer, but if I had nothing to do with Islam and that was my introduction to it, I sure as hell wouldn't turn Muslim, let alone have a good perception of the religion itself at all. This show is a failure and a disgrace, and deserves to be mocked, as it will be. Let's just hope there wouldn't be a second season.

Your Prayers needed

For a very dear friend of mine, who just relapsed into Heroin addiction. She was off of it for more than a year and a half, and just recently relapsed very badly. She will need all the emotional support she can get, so please, give her the best you could.

The Bible vs. The Koran

The Battle of spreading the Holy Books is more intense than anyone would've thought.

The combination of globalisation and rising wealth is proving to be
a bonanza for both religions. The most prolific producer of Christian
missionaries, on a per head basis, is now South Korea. The biggest
Bible publishing houses are in Brazil and South Korea. An interlinked
global network of 140 national or regional Bible Societies pools
resources to reach its collective goal of putting a Bible in the hands
of every man, woman and child on the planet. The American Bible
Society, the biggest of the lot, has published more than 50m Bibles in
atheist China.

Saudi oil wealth is supercharging the distribution of the Koran. The
kingdom gives away some 30m Korans a year, under the auspices of either
the Muslim World League or individual billionaires, distributing them
through a vast network of mosques, Islamic societies and even
embassies. Go to FreeKoran.com and you can have a free book in your hands in weeks.

However…

Saudi-funded dissemination of the Koran, along with literature
promoting the stern Saudi understanding of Islam, may not have much
direct effect on Christians, or the unchurched. But it does increase
the relative weight, within Islam, of teachings which tend to sharpen
the Christian-Muslim divide. For example, traditional Muslim teaching
stresses those passages in the Koran which affirm the Christian Gospel
and the Hebrew Torah as valid revelations of God and paths to
salvation. But there is a harsher, Saudi-influenced view which insists
that since Muhammad delivered the final revelation, Christianity and
Judaism have lost their power to save.

And that is the branch of Islam that I have the biggest problem with. The Saudi view's prevelance has grown to such a degree that you can never get a straight answer from Imams now on whether or not Jews and Christians are infidels or people of the book. It's kind of like the Milk question and nutritionists: Does any of you know anymore whether Milk is good or bad for you?

I rest my case.

The distortion is of epic proportion, and so is the intolerant attitude. Long gone is the Islam of tolerance and respecting the religious rights of the country's christians and jews. Can any of you name a middle-eastern country where the christian inhabitants don't feel prosecuted by their muslim counterparts? How about a generally Islamic country. Does that work? No? How about we ignore christians and jews, and stick to islamic branches: How about a country where the sunnis don't oppress the shia, or the shia don't screw over the sunnis? I couldn't find one either. Whether we like it or not, Islam has developed a reclusive, closed ghetto mentality, mimicking those who have spent lots of money to turn it this way. But this may end up being their own undoing in the end…

The third big advantage is the West's belief in religious
freedom—guaranteed in America by the constitution, and in Europe by an
aversion to religious persecution caused by centuries of it. The
heartland of Islam, by contrast, is theocratic. The Saudi Ministry of
Islamic Affairs, Endowment, Call and Guidance employs 120,000 people,
including 72,000 imams. Saudi Arabia bans non-Islamic worship and
regards attempts to convert Muslims to another faith as a criminal
offence. Pakistan has witnessed the attacks on Christian missionaries.
Sudan punishes “religious deviation” with imprisonment.

Christian Evangelists complain that this creates an uneven playing
field: Muslims can build giant mosques in “Christian lands” while
Christians are barred from distributing Bibles in Saudi Arabia and
Iran. But uneven playing fields tend to weaken the home players. Open
competition is a boon to religion: American Evangelism has flourished
precisely because America has no official church. And theocracy is
ultimately a source of sloth and conservatism. “The Book and the
Koran”, by Muhammad Shahrur, which tried to reinterpret the Koran for
modern readers, was widely banned in the Islamic world, despite its
pious tone and huge popularity.

The stagnation in Islamic thought, fueled by the strict and stringent wahabbi interpretation, has been bearing fruit for the past few years, and we are seeing this in the Fatwas being released by so called islamic scholars. Hell, the majority of the current AlAazhar Ulamaswere previously hired and indoctrinated in Saudi Islamic Universities, which led the majority of them to adopt the more conservative Wahabbi interpertation, instead of Al Azhar's more moderate Al Ash3ary one, which is dying in the institution as we speak. This is why we are now getting Breast-feeding fatwas. Liberalization of Islamic thought and modus operandi may be essential now, but soon enough, with the direction it's been taking, it will be crucial for the religion's survival.

Ron Paul has ties with Neo-Nazis?

Well, they claim so. Would really suck if it's true!

Checks and Balances

The democrat-led congress is getting some seriously low approval ratings, even lower than the republican led congress they replaced in 06, which is quite the feat, considering how bloated, ineffective, corrupt and scandal-laden that last one was. But how do they justify their failure? Well, they are blaming the republican minority for checking them. And they are not joking!

Nothing has helped the minority party influence legislation this year
more than Senate Republicans' liberal use of the filibuster. The
obstructionist tactic can be overcome only with 60 votes in the
100-member chamber, where Democrats hold 51 seats.

The current Senate is on pace to shatter the record for filibusters, making the once-rare maneuver virtually an everyday threat.

GOP senators used vote-delaying filibusters this year to thwart
House and Senate majorities on efforts to offset the $50 billion cut in
projected revenue from the alternative minimum tax; allow the
government to negotiate Medicare drug prices; impose new taxes on oil
companies; require more use of renewable fuels in generating
electricity; grant congressional representation to the District of Columbia; and require more rest time from troops deployed to Iraq.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., says little can be done until and unless more Democrats replace Republicans in the Senate.

So, to get this straight, in order for democrats to change things, they don;t just need a majority, they need a supreme majority. That's their excuse, which was never the case in recent history. I think it's a good thing that neither party can get 60% control of the Senate, and for one to demand it, in order to "enact change", it shows how weak and unable to play politics with the other party, not to mention it allows the ignoring of the minority's opinion and voice. But then again, maybe that's the only way democrats can get things done. What do you think?

Poor Matt Dillon

I suspect, after reading this, that he will never ever visit the Cairo International Film Festival again.

I want a Lakota Passport

The Lakota Indians are withdrawing fro their treaty with the US, and are declaring themselves an independent state. American conservatives all over released a unified groan: "Fudge me. One more border to worry about. Darn!!!"

The Lakota Indians, who gave the world legendary warriors Sitting
Bull and Crazy Horse, have withdrawn from treaties with the United
States, leaders said Wednesday.

"We are no longer citizens of the United States of America and all
those who live in the five-state area that encompasses our country are
free to join us," long-time Indian rights activist Russell Means told a
handful of reporters and a delegation from the Bolivian embassy,
gathered in a church in a run-down neighborhood of Washington for a
news conference.

A delegation of Lakota leaders delivered a message to the State
Department on Monday, announcing they were unilaterally withdrawing
from treaties they signed with the federal government of the United
States, some of them more than 150 years old.

[...]

Lakota country includes parts of the states of Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming.

The new country would issue its own passports and driving licences,
and living there would be tax-free — provided residents renounce their
US citizenship, Means said.

A Lakota driving license. And a passport. That should be awesome. I am moving to Lakota land boys, where I won't pay taxes and smoke all the Peyote my heart desires. Fantastic. I wonder who put them up to this?

They also visited the Bolivian, Chilean, South African and Venezuelan
embassies, and will continue on their diplomatic mission and take it
overseas in the coming weeks and months, they told the news conference.

The Bolivian and Venezuelan embassies? Chavez and Morales? Ughh..Nevermind. Not paying taxes and smoking peyote is nice and all, but not if I'll be chilling with those assholes.