Saturday, July 30, 2005

Darwin Awards

They are finally out again. You all know about the Darwin Awards. It's an annual honor given to the person who did the gene pool the biggest service by killing themselves in the most extraordinarily stupid way. Last year's winner was the fellow who was killed by a Coke machine which toppled over on top of him as he was attempting to tip a free soda out of it. The winner this year was actually painful to read. Not for the squeamish, it's the first time I can remember that the winner didn't actually die, but he won't be reproducing either, so the gene pool is safe. And the 2004 nominees are:

9. A young Canadian man, searching for a way of getting drunk cheaply, because he had no money with which to buy alcohol, mixed gasoline with milk. Not surprisingly, this concoction made him ill, and he vomited into the fireplace in his house. This resulting explosion and fire burned his house down, killing both him and his sister.
8. A 34-year-old white male found dead in the basement of his home died of suffocation, according to police. He was approximately 6'2" tall and weighed 225 pounds. He was wearing a pleated skirt, white bra, black and white saddle shoes, and a woman's wig. It appeared that he was trying to create a schoolgirl's uniform look. He was also wearing a military gas mask that had the filter canister removed and a rubber hose attached in its place. The other end of the hose was connected to one end of a hollow wooden tube approx. 12" long and 3" in diameter. The tube's other end was inserted into his rectum for reasons unknown, and was the cause of his suffocation. Police found the task of explaining the circumstances of his death to his family very awkward.
7. Three Brazilian men were flying in a light aircraft at low altitude when another plane approached. It appears that they decided to moon the occupants of the other plane, but lost control of their own aircraft and crashed. They were all found dead in the wreckage with their pants around their ankles.
6. A police officer in Ohio responded to a 911 call. She had no details before arriving, except that someone had reported that his father was not breathing. Upon arrival, the officer found the man face down on the couch naked. When she rolled him over to check for a pulse and to start CPR, she noticed burn marks around his genitals. After the ambulance arrived and removed the man, who was declared dead on arrival at the hospital, the police made a closer inspection of the couch, and noticed that the man had made a hole between the cushions. Upon flipping the couch over, they discovered what had caused his death. Apparently, the man had a habit of putting his penis between the cushions, down into the hole and between two electrical sanders (with the sandpaper removed, for obvious reasons). According to the story, after his orgasm the discharge shorted out one of the sanders, electrocuting him.
5. A 27-year-old French woman lost control of her car on a highway near Marseilles and crashed into a tree, seriously injuring her passenger and killing herself. As a common place road accident, this would not have qualified for a Darwin nomination, were it not for the fact that the driver's attention had been distracted by her Tamagotchi key ring, which had started urgently beeping for food as she drove along. In an attempt to press the correct buttons to save the Tamagotchi's life, the woman lost her own.
4. A 22-year-old, Glade Drive, Reston, VA, man was found dead after he tried to use octopus straps to bungee jump off a 70-foot railroad trestle. Fairfax County police said Eric Barcia, a fast-food worker, taped a bunch of these straps together, wrapped one end around one foot, anchored the other end to the trestle at Lake Accotink Park, jumped and hit the pavement. Warren Carmichael, a police spokesman, said investigators think Barcia was alone because his car was found nearby. "The length of the cord that he assembled was greater than the distance between the trestle and the ground" Carmichael said. Police say the apparent cause of death was "Major trauma."
3. A man in Alabama died from rattlesnake bites. It seems that he and a friend were playing a game of catch, using the rattlesnake as a ball. The friend-no doubt a future Darwin Awards candidate-was hospitalized.
2. Employees in a medium-sized warehouse in west Texas noticed the smell of a gas leak. Sensibly, management evacuated the building,extinguishing all potential sources of ignition; lights, power, etc. After the building had been evacuated, two technicians from the gas company were dispatched. Upon entering the building, they found they had difficulty navigating in the dark. To their frustration, none of the lights worked. Witnesses later described the sight of one of the technicians reaching into his pocket and retrieving an object that resembled a cigarette lighter. Upon operation of the lighter like object, the gas in the warehouse exploded, sending pieces of it up to three miles away. Nothing was found of the technicians, but the lighter was virtually untouched by the explosion. The technician suspected of causing the blast had never been thought of as 'bright' by his peers.

The latest nominee for this year's Darwin Award (awarded to people for incredible feats of stupidity) goes to....

1. Based on a bet by the other members of his threesome, Everitt Sanchez tried to wash his own "balls" in a ball washer at the local golf course. Proving once again that beer and testosterone are a bad mix, Sanchez managed to straddle the ball washer and dangle his scrotum in the machine. Much to his dismay, one of his buddies upped the ante by spinning the crank on the machine with Sanchez's scrotum in place, thus wedging them solidly in the mechanism. Sanchez, who immediately passed his threshold of pain, collapsed and tumbled from his perch. Unfortunately for Sanchez, the height of the ball washer was more than a foot higher off the ground than his testicles are in a normal stance, and the scrotum was the weakest link. Sanchez's scrotum was ripped open during the fall, and one testicle was plucked from him forever and remained in the ball washer, while the other testicle was pressed and flattened as it was pulled between the housing of the washer, and the rotating machinery inside. To add insult to injury, Sanchez broke a new $300.00 driver that he had just purchased from the pro shop, and was using to balance himself. Sanchez was rushed to the hospital for surgery, and the remaining threesome were asked to leave the course.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Is this the point of marrige?

A very close friend of mine was telling me how hard it is for him to marry his sweetheart. He took on this DREADFUL job so he can save up and pay the "down-payment" for the rest of his life. He loves this girl to death, and love is his energy... like any young man, he is full of hope and is just pumped to get the most out of life and keep his better half happy for the rest of their time together. He works his fingers to the bone, and doesn't touch a fils out of his salary (although its not much for the effort) in order to give it off as a randsom to free the woman from her parents capture (traditional mahar) and ride away. His mother picked out this beautiful set of jewelry, and his fiónce just passed... not expensive enough apparently.
As they were closing the deal, and in order to start off on a high note, him and his family proposed a very good amount of money to end this chapter. Something over the market rate, if you can say so. The counterparty steamrolled them, using negotiation tecniques by the book, and demanded 150% of the initial offer. My friend talked to his fiónce about this. "Is this how we were planning to start off our life?" he asked. She started playing dumb and brushed off his concerns.." I don't know how this process is done.. talk to my mother" she replied.

What is this bullshit? We are at a point way past greed here. Are they seriously exchanging offers? How does someone bargain with his daughter's future? How can money become an issue like that? And from time to time, we have the audacity to comment about other cultures being materialistic, and ours being collective and strong-knit. I tell my friend, you ought to reconsider. You don't get to choose your natural parents, but you do get to choose your in-laws. Do you intentionally want to relate yourself to pan-faced bargain hunters like that? I know he loves her dearly, and she's the song in his heart bla bla bla... but if she really loved him, she could at least persuade her parents to loosen the rope around his neck.

I had an Omani friend.. he told me about the process in Oman. It is even more redicilus. When the man cannot afford the lumpsum initial offer (mahar) the father of the bride strikes a deal with him. He makes him get a loan of the maximum credit limit he can get, and the happy couple spend thier first years together paying it off! Unconditional love!

Offbeat: so the bonus I greatly opposed was given out. Apparently travel agencies were booking tickets and hotels left and right. I hope the good people of Thailand, Syria, Malaysia, and other countries that still allow Arabs through their borders, enjoy our wisely spent public funds.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Good old days

Since Silver Girl put us in the mood, these pictures are for your viewing pleasure (in case you haven't seen them before.)

And not to be outdone, lets have a game going. Can you tell what each picture is? 1 point each

Monday, July 25, 2005

A job well done

The headlines yesterday said that the Government is going to pay out 12 million BD in a single payment (bonus,) and an incrimental increase in government staff salaries of 18 million BD for the fiscal year 2005-2006. Simple math.. thats BD 30m. Usually a bonus is a reward for accomplishment. With the whole Malikiya wall, Ghada Jamsheer Trial, unemployed bash-o-thon parts 1 and 2, the suspension of the Bahraini fisherman law, and the MOI's website registration ( near and dear to this blogger's heart) I say WAY TO GO GUYS !! Thats a job well done !! We're aiming for a bigger bonus next year.

Lets drop the sarcasm now and talk some sense. What could Bahrain do with 30 million BD? First off, we can afford to not spend it on the folks that already have jobs. I mean, the traffic police, bless their heart, doing a very good job organizing traffic in the scorching heat... But I mean some lazy bums that take off 3 hours for the "noon prayer" when people need their beurocratic paperwork stamped... why should he get a 200 BD increase? We're talking close to zero productivity.

Isn't that money better spent in loans to small businesses? Hey, I'm going to hire some help, lower unemployment, try to pay it back, and things get moving around here. Just a fund that gives out loans... They can charge rates even close to retail banks, as long as they help out the Bahraini start-up entraprenuer. This guy is willing to work hard to PAY IT BACK, not sit on his ass all day demanding more pay for a job half done.

Friday, July 22, 2005

empty circle

We clearly have lost focus. We need to pull out a big map to get a clue of the direction we should be moving to. Let us recap :

1. people outside the parliment were trying to throw eggs and tomatos at it
2. people inside the parliment were punching each other for not getting attention
3. the government was beating the people outside the parliment like they were pancakes
4. the people that boycotted the parliment are closing down

Now can someone please tell me what the fuck is going on here? Did anyone of the four groups in the political spectrum (government, mp's, angry mob, and political societies) make something rational so that I, and hopefully a number of citizens, can say " this person has made a good choice. I will listen to what they say, and I will pin hope on them to make good decisions from now on" ?

1. Angry Mob: Throwing eggs at an entity you didnt have faith in to begin with won't solve anything. please take this time to look for a job or take a night course. I know its hard, but what will your potential employer think of someone throwing food at a building?

2. MP's: Gentlemen, we get it. Half of you is furious at the situation, and the other half wants to please the government and the radicals. Now can we act as grown ups? Can the good ones manage and pull off another term until we boot out the fucked up fanatics next time around? Can you keep your hands to yourselves? Please?

3. Government: we've had enough of this bullcrap. We have a human rights record that makes Sudan blush. Do we really want to keep up with this? We know that a (higher up official) cant go to England or any major europian country because the human rights activists will give him a piece of their mind. The Bahrain representative at the human rights meeting last month was sweating like a pig that weekend. Do we really want to make it harder on ourselves?

4. Wifaq & co.: so the parliment is capable of something after all, isnt it? What do you think now of the "mouthpiece that doesnt have any authority?" Is that what you wanted? half the people shy off the voting polls so the votes skew to the longest beard? You know what I think? Serves you right. Next time around, work on something workable rather than offer nothing and expect change to the better.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

News Make-over

So the newsroom at Bahrain TV got a makeover, but it was the material was the same ass-kissing, half-truths, irrelivant and selective news.
I guess you can dress up a pig in a tuxedo but he's still a pig!

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Big problem, obvious solution.

So the unemployed got beaten up again. I'm not getting into who is right, and what could've been, since most of you have reached your own opinions already. I will rather use my gift of common sense to identify the problem and propose a solution.

The Problem: We have a government that was afraid of getting pushed off the rocker for more than 30 years. Rather than investing in infrastructure, capital markets, labor market, and natural resources; it chose to buy bigger guns, hire more policemen from different countries, and smooched off money for security in case - god forbid- something happened.

The Solution: So the oil business (bapco), ALBA (aluminium), Batelco (telecommunications), Gulf Air (aviation), NBB, the sea ports, and pretty much most of the "private" sector is owned and run by the government. Since we dont have taxes in Bahrain (direct distribution of wealth,) why don't they cut out some government expenditures (like overstaffed police, fat government contracts, entities we dont really need like the ministry of "information," and sending paychecks to some folks just because they belong to a certain clan.) Its not as easy as I make it look. Now you're asking, how is the transition period? Here is the trick. Since all the money is still funneled through the government, the EDB or any other capable agency can launch ventures. Not necessarily profit maximizing, like real estate thats apparently selling like hot cake right now, but long term stability and growth projects. Something like the International Circuit or ALBA. The government's capital reserve can serve as an incubator until they start picking up, and then offered for public ownership by listing (selling) shares for people like you and me, for a PROFIT!! We own more of Alba and Bapco; they have extra money to re-invest in other projects and infrastructure to sell off, and more people are hired to keep these projects going.

By then no one will need to hire forces to beat up the unemployed, because they will be in a factory somewhere rather than throwing stuff at the parliment.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Strong, Independent, Women.

Every morning, before I sit on my chair at the office, I prepare a cup of instant coffee. If I walk in the kitchen and this girl in particular is in there (and its a big kitchen,) she shivers; which puts me in a very awkward and eerie situation. I feel very uncomfortable around her, since she uses all her conscious senses in an effort to avoid getting close to me. After a couple of instances, I just head back until she is done so I can make my cup of coffee and avoid the awkward silence. The poor woman is conditioned psychologically to feel that men are packs of wolves. My assumption is that our culture devides the genders socially to the point that she feels if she touches me by mistake, she is pretty much damaged goods.

Another situation that makes me very uncomfortable is when I am introduced to a lady. I hesitate to shake hands. If I dont, and she expected me to, Im retarded; If I extend my hand and she doesnt shake hands, Im embarrassed.

I dont know what is it exactly. My guess is women have much less rights; and they are cognitively taught through involvement and perception, that they basically take the back seat. Anything they say or do can be used against them, since men are responsible for keeping women in line.

Like in Saudi, women cant go anywhere without a male relative. The only word I can think of is
dependant. The Mullas (religious regulators) always warn from Women being alone, and the necessity of a male relative to make sure burning sexual desires are repressed, and that women dont run off with strange men. Im sure all of you heard about the fatwa that women can log on the internet only when a man is present.

Why dont we have many Ghada Jamsheers and Nada Hafath's? And not one single elected female in any office?

In my opinion, one of the reasons we dont have many women leaders, is because men are more comfortable with each other. I can have a friendly (man-to-man) conversation with my superiors. It does not have to be about work. It can be about football, vacation, how much I hate someone... anything ( if they're in a good mood.) Ladies, on the other hand, are limited to discussing work and nothing else. If they carry a friendly conversation with a man, they might be seen as flirty sluts. This barrier limits her access to little tips and skills that a man like me gets from more experienced individuals, since there is more interaction. When managerial vacancies and promotions come around, guess who's more likely to get them? Good old joker, thats not the sharpest tool in the shed, but picked up some tricks of the trade? Or the shy girl that hides behind her files and I cant remember her name?

Bottom line is, I believe that if women can easily approach men, and had more space to be independent, they will be much better off.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Thou shalt not kill

In Protestant, Catholic and Hebrew testaments, one of the ten commandments is thou shall not kill. Islam also takes a very clear stand on murder is not allowed without "probable cause." I can't think of a religion that doesn't criminalize murder. Well, when you come to think of it, most wars and deaths in the world happened for God... starting with the Roman Empire, Islamic Jihad, crusades, WW II, 9-11, and whats in between.... So we cant really take the religious folks very seriously in that department can we?

I say enough with that "the terrorists have a distorted view of islam, and thats why the west has a distorted view of us," and face the problem.

We need to get rid of that mono view system we have in place. You have one person, that people assume has a clean soul and devine wisdom, telling them what to do. We have authoritarian regiems. These unilateral regiems are backed with 1 religious view about much of everything, so if you are arguing with that man that wants to stay in power, you are basically arguing with god.

The young men that flew straight into concrete and metal on that september morning were not angry at the United States. They were angry and frustrated with their own situation... They never had the chance to voice their view in order to progress collectively.... All they got was a single tone message telling them: "the United States is the cause of your misery, and if you dont believe me, the quran right here said that 1,400 years ago." And since these societies didnt use the young mens' input and potential to develop any advancements, NOT EVEN WEAPONS (major necessity to them,) they decide to use the only thing they're left with; their bodies.

Friday, July 08, 2005

It must be muslims....

I was sitting in my office until someone told me something blew up in the tube in London. So I log on to Aljazeera website, one dead and tens are injured, and they said it was an electrical accident, so I close the window and get back to my work. The fellow in a couple of hours tells me that it was a couple of bombs on different tracks, and that the death toll was rising.

Then he says "Im sure they will peg it to arabs and muslims!" And I'm like "NO SHIT ?!"

If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, swims like a duck, ITS A FUCKIN TERRORIST !

The crime isnt only blowing up the innocent and unsuspecting. The crime is the disassociation by the likes of the fellow that saw the news.... rubbed it off.... and was concerned about the "west" blaming "muslims" rather than "what just happened?"

I'm sure what went through his mind that hour was "ahh shucks, we cant go to London for a vacation in a couple of years now. There go my summer plans. I really need to cool down... I think I'll call the agent ... we didnt bomb Moscow yet.."

What if someone that looks like me took the Subway next week ? Isnt it rational for folks to eye him from top to bottom? Just to make sure at least.... Hell.. I WOULD !

We grew aloof to death and blood..... radio in the background... "bomb in Iraq leaves 10 dead and 114 injured" isnt really top news anymore....

The presumably open-minded draw a blurry line... "well 9-11 and the underground is wrong, but the suiciderds in Israel are martyrs"

No they're not... they're burning your bridges with the rest of the world.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

The Golden Rule

As I grow up... I'm getting more cynical I'm afraid.... its been a while since I learned the golden Rule.
"He who has the
Gold makes the Rule!"

Money is a resource. Some have plenty of it, so they buy out a couple of mouthpieces ( newspapers, TV channels, storytellers) to give any story flavors and spices to make it look kinda like how they want it to
One can argue that the single source of information is the biggest threat to democracy.

A good example of this is the Alayam propaganda machine whinning like a baby about the demonstrations happening daily, and claiming that investments are shying away from Bahrain because of their frequency (and not from ripping them off by some people)....
That is fair... but this leaves us wondering.... wasnt the Bahrain representative at the Swiss human rights agency or whatever proud that there is an average of 2 protests a day in Bahrain?
Funny... our rights to protest are a great show off over there (compared to the region we're in) but the paintbrush newspaper makes it look like something way out of style HERE.

I have an idea... if we persuade folks up in switzerland to subscribe to Alayam, the editor might change his attitude about what's going on. They might take out full page adds inviting people to one of these gatherings like a press release


Alayam and protests remind us of something. Whats the deal with the cartoon? Everyday someone draws something touchier than this everywhere else.. why is that turban dude restricted area?
PLUS.. it was funny...
I mean the beard and the election results... classic

No wonder we cant get our full rights.. WE DONT WANT THEM !
Usually authorities try to silence the public... this time we're doing it for them.....