Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Lebanese Conflict, Saudis Have a Flogging Good Time

David Brooks
Dana Milbank
James Surowiecki

"Over the past year, the bonfire of overconfidence has shifted to Washington. Since the masters of finance have been exposed as idiots, the masters of government have concluded (somewhat illogically) that they must be really smart."  - DavidBrooks
"The St. Louis Rams lost yesterday to the Indianapolis Colts. The Rams are now 0-7. In fact, they're so bad, the Rams called Rush Limbaugh collect and said, 'Make us an offer. Anything, please.'"  – Jay Leno

drones are now so passe...

Here's a muddled story that may have disastrous consequences: It begins with Hizbullah in Lebanon, claiming to have found three spying devices planted by Israel, who then remotely exploded one of the devices. "Hizbullah has for years been claiming to find various forms of "listening" or "spying" devices on Lebanese soil." Israel said that the elaim was a coverup by Hizbullah, because the explosion was really an arms cache that had ignited. Members of Hizbullah tend to bury lots of weapons in their back yards. No description what the spying devices were or how they would work was given. Israel has used drones before, and has several type of spy bots, including the inexpensive Eyeball: "The EyeBall is a small, inexpensive robot equipped with day and night cameras and a mic, meant to be tossed into a room, so the thrower can look and listen without being seen." So, Hizbullah's claim may not be that far out of bounds.

This morning Hizbullah fired a rocket from Lebanon into northern Galilee, causing a fire to break out. "Channel 2 reported that IAF planes carried out strikes in southern Lebanon within an hour of the rocket being fired; other media sources said artillery shells were fired at the source of the rockets. The army called the rocket attack "a grave incident," and stressed that it was holding Lebanon responsible for the attack." This incident and response may escalate into another war with Lebanon, with Israel treating it as a training ground for when they will attack Iran...

flogging good time...

Living in the imperfect United States, I take many things for granted, and enjoy watching the culture wars on the television. I tend to forget that this freedom of expression is not allowed in many other countries, especially when it comes to sex. In Saudi Arabia, a woman was recently pardoned by the King from her sentence of 60 lashes: "for her role in a television show in which a Saudi man detailed his sexual exploits." Ouch!

"In that episode of the show, aired by the mainly Saudi-owned Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation (LBC), Mazen Abdul-Jawad, a Saudi man, spoke openly of his sexual experiences including giving tips on how couples can spice up their sex lives. On camera from his bedroom, he spoke about how he picked up girls in the city of Jeddah and had sex with them.

Earlier this month, Abdul-Jawad was sentenced to five years in jail and 1,000 lashes."

Saudi Arabia is a country stuck between ancient and modern times, with many archaic laws that are vigorously upheld. It's against the law to talk or write about sex on tv or in newspapers and magazines. Yet behind closed doors, many people watch movies and a lot of porn, just like we do. The areas in the US that sell the most porn are the ones dominated by conservative Christian mores, so it's not surprising to see a similar situation in prudish places like the Kingdom.

Public floggings take place regularly throughout the Muslim world, and is especially upheld by Sharia law. It's one reason that villages in places like the Swat Valley in Pakistan resent the Taliban coming in and enforcing Sharia law on them, whether they want it or not. Because if you spare the rod, you'll spoil the child... but  1000 lashes just seems too barbaric to me, I cringe at the thought...

let's liven things up with some late night political jokes:

"President Obama is in the news. He's been criticized for only playing sports with other men. He's been taking some slack for that lately, so yesterday, he played golf with one of his top female advisers or as Fox News reported it, 'Obama plays a round with another woman.'" –Conan O'Brien

"Well, according to CBS News, President Obama has played more golf in nine months than George Bush in nearly three years. Actually, Obama's a good golfer. You know what his handicap is? Joe Biden." –Jay Leno

"And former Vice President Dick Cheney has accused the White House of 'dithering' over the strategy for the war in Afghanistan. Today, the White House said they're thinking it over, and they should have an answer for him in six to eight weeks." –Jay Leno

"It's getting nasty. Cheney said that when it comes to Afghanistan, Obama seems to be 'afraid.' Afraid? Isn't Cheney the one that was hiding in the underground bunker?" –Jay Leno

"An MSNBC anchor, Contessa Brewer, made an embarrassing mistake on the air last week. She called Jesse Jackson, 'Al Sharpton.' Even worse than that, after he told her, 'I'm Jesse Jackson,' she said, 'Are you the one that's between Jermaine and Tito?'"–Jay Leno

"It's a great day for America, everybody. Yes, it is. It is our secretary of state's birthday. It is Hillary Clinton's birthday. Happy birthday, Hillary. President Obama asked her what she wanted, she said 'Your job.'" –Craig Ferguson

"Bill Clinton is planning a romantic candlelight dinner tonight. Then he'll go home and see Hillary." –Craig Ferguson

"Hey, guys, this is big news. President Obama just declared the swine flu outbreak a national emergency. A couple of weeks ago, it was like, 'Calm down, it's going to be fine.' Now it's a national emergency. I'm telling you, swine flu is a big threat, then it's not, then it is. Make up your mind. This thing is like the Brett Favre of infectious diseases." –Jimmy "Fallon

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hi! Thanks for commenting. I always try to respond...