Friday, 11 November 2016

What the flying Trump?!

Preface: I had sworn to myself to avoid politics (and social media) completely. But here we are. I couldn't resist writing this because I'm pissed. You've probably read something similar elsewhere by now. This is not meant to be an insightful viewpoint that's never been thought of before. This is a quasi-rant. 

If you're one of my friends or followers or readers, I expect you may be pissed off by this post. You've been warned. Additionally, I am NOT a supporter of Trump or Hillary. In my eyes humanity deserves better than both. I can also give two shits about the GOP or the DNC. 

Disclaimer: In case you're a new reader, Frankly I'm the exact shade of brown that should be afraid right now, and I am.
What the flying fu*k?

So unless you've been living in a cave, All hail president Zod Trump. Before you sell your property and move as far away as possible in a futile attempt to avoid the end of the human race, just remember that in the current global market environment, no place is far enough away to not be affected by anything he does or doesn't do.

So how did a racist, sexist, bigot become president? I'll tell you how; Hubris. No, not hubris on his behalf (although he's a narcissistic and arrogant to a fault), but the hubris of his opponents. Yes, including a large number of you.

Your Hubris:

Additional Disclaimer: I'm not immune. I'm guilty of lots of this myself. However I HAVE lived in both Red and Blue states and counties. I've experienced my fair share of bigotry and racism, so no, I'm not "blind" to the realities. 

Judging by reactions on social media, reddit ...etc, Most of his average Joe/Jane opponents believe that all his supporters are racist, sexist, bigoted...etc. Well, that's simply not true. A large portion of them, maybe even the majority? Undeniably. All of them? Nope. He couldn't have won based on his bigoted, racist, sexist supporters alone. It's just not possible. The USA would be an entirely different country otherwise.

It's human nature to be tribal, to default to an "us vs them" zero sum game, to assume your opponents have no valid points, concerns or fears, and that they're basically spurred on by all that is wrong with the world. In some cases, you're absolutely right. But most of the time, you're completely wrong.

"You want me to stoop to their level? You want me to try to understand and empathize with someone that supports a monster like that? Are you out of your mind?"

Perhaps I am, So let's go with your hypothesis that your enemies aren't human beings, but rabid monsters. To quote;

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.” 

You're so obsessed with your enemy being evil, that you've shot yourself in the foot by not trying to understand your enemy.

You've ridiculed, belittled, insulted, and more, and you're surprised when the reaction from these people is a giant middle finger.

I tweeted an article a few weeks, Sourly noting that a comedy site writer was able to identify the keys to Trump's popularity in a manner that political analysts weren't able to until weeks later. What was the key to the writer's insight? He didn't look down at them, didn't disparage them, he just tried to understand. Sure, he finds some or all of their beliefs despicable, but he tried to understand.

While the entire world was slammed in the global economic crisis of the 2000's, Rural areas have not recovered anywhere near as well as urban areas have.

To quote a friend:

"Yup, the whole thing rang true, but especially because of the changes we saw in small-town America during our cross-country motorcycle rides between when we did our first one in the early 2000's vs the last one we did in 2012. We rode off the freeways as much as we could on all our trips and couldn't believe how moderately thriving small towns had turned into near-ghost towns over that 10 years. Cafes/diners, motels, gift shops, clothing stores, convenience stores, and even gas stations boarded up and closed -- to the point that we got worried about being able to find gas for the bikes and a place to sleep in some areas in the latter years. Small towns out in the middle of nowhere with giant murals on the side of buildings and even billboards against meth. Tumbleweeds or the equivalent in the streets. And in both countries, and everywhere else, as if fascism will solve this..."

But no, no. It's totally because they're all racist, sexist and bigots.

Hell, some of you will blame 3rd party voters, people who abstained from voting, the third vertebra on the neck of a purple giraffe, my left toe, and potato salad, but won't consider the possibility that maybe, just maybe, you approached the entire situation the wrong way.

There's another reason, that may very well get me lynched...

Political correctness.

Before you start gathering the pitchforks and hunting me down to destroy me, hear me out;

While they definitely have noble and admirable intentions, The leftist PC movement over the past period has to quite a few people, taken it too far. South Park ridiculed the hell out of the movement for an entire season.

It's gotten to the point where people are afraid of accidentally saying the wrong thing, in fear of having their life destroyed. Let me repeat that; In the USA, supposedly the land of freedom and liberty, people are actually AFRAID to accidentally say the wrong thing, in fear of having their lives destroyed. REGARDLESS of intent or context. Let that sink in for a second. Hell, In writing this entire article, THIS is the only section I'm legitimately worried about writing.

Frankly, it's gotten absurd. Stand-up comedians have refused to perform at universities because of it. Even fairly "tame" comedians like Jerry Seinfeld have avoided performing at campuses because of it.

Even more absurd, you can't voice an unpopular opinion at most colleges now because of "safe spaces" (The term itself has definitely been warped out of context). If you don't learn to listen to and argue against opinions you don't find appealing or don't agree with in college, when the hell are you going to learn? Hell, If someone's opinion really is wrong, what better place to convince the individual otherwise than a college campus?! Instead they're silenced out of fear.

As one of my friends who escaped for his life from the Middle east told me;

"I didn't leave a country where I was afraid to accidentally say the wrong thing, in fear of my life being destroyed by the government, to come to a country where I'm afraid to accidentally say the wrong thing, in fear of my life being destroyed by the people instead"

Think about that for a moment. He was as afraid from a tyrannical government as he is of regular people in a free country.

And no, it's not fear-mongering. It's actually happened. Several times. Regardless of intent or context. Hell, some of them weren't even from the same country!

Hell, There's a co-opt'ed battle raging to this day over video games that has managed to destroy people's lives. FUCKING VIDEO GAMES! Which frankly managed to make some fairly despicable people into "heroes".

Is it any wonder that there would be a backlash against this trend? A backlash against being told what you can and cannot say? Any wonder that people that are being referred to as "Racist country-bumpkins", by many of the same people that are trying to enforce this language control, would fight back? "Live free or die" is the most popular state motto in the USA for a reason.

"Are you seriously defending this bigotry?! You're defending sexism and racism and all this crap?"

No, No I'm really not. But I am from the school of thought that people should be given chances to fuck up and learn. Make mistakes and grow. That convincing is better than bullying. Uncomfortable truths are better than lies. I believe intent and context matters.

I'd be the first to verbally destroy someone who is legitimately insists on being a racist or a sexist or a bigot, but I'm not going to go after someone that innocently makes a bad joke, I'm not going to go after someone that doesn't know better and never had a chance to learn.

And if you still think your enemies are monsters, there's another problem to forcefully shutting them up; You lose the ability to tell what they're thinking.

Enough about the people, what about...

The Establishment

Before you roll your eyes, again I ask you to hear me out.

Contrary to popular belief, most elections fall back and are decided on one central theme. Sure people care about the issues, but there's always one key issue that's the real crux of the outcome of any election. In this election it was frustration with the establishment, and yet the people that led the current (or former) establishment were the most blind to it.

Did you know that Congress approval rate in the US hasn't gone above 25% in the last five years? Approval rating hasn't gone above 50% since 2003.

Not to mention the recent study that found that the USA is no longer a democracy but an oligarchy, has resonated with a large (and growing) number of people's beliefs.

So it makes perfect sense to go with an anti-establishment candidate right? Someone either not directly associated with the government, or who's always been a troublemaker....etc, right?

But no, Even though it was EXTREMELY clear, the DNC leadership, riding and banking on their perceived successes, insisted on rigging the system so that Hillary, someone who is perceived as establishment born and raised, would be the candidate instead.

They fell for their own echo chambers, they fell victim to their own hubris, and we're probably all going to suffer for it.

If you're in doubt, realize that Bernie won in most of the battle ground states and counties that Hillary lost to Trump.

Then there's the media. I'm not going to talk much about the fourth estate. But thanks to technological advancements it was already weakened. Trump may have dealt it a crippling blow.  But it's the media itself that shot itself in the foot, stretching too far and vindicating Trump and all his supporters (and otherwise) that believe it's crooked. Making outlandish claims is one thing, making outlandish claims and being proven right? That can have consequences. Once again, Trump's supporters decided to raise a giant middle finger.

We're fucked aren't we?

"Fine fine, you've told us why you think we're all to blame. But what do we do now? We're fucked aren't we?

Well frankly, I haven't had the best success rate when optimistic, and tend to have a higher success rate when pessimistic, So I'm not sure how much what I say here will matter. So let's go at this both ways ok?

The Scary;

The last few administrations and governments have been setting up a recipe for disaster (Read the entire thread), that Trump will thrive in. It reminds me to the machinations of Anwar ElSadat in modifying the Egyptian constitution to solidify power, only to get whacked and have Mubarak reap all the benefits. In fact, the amount of parallels to Egypt in this election is frankly alarming. 

To make matters worse, Trump as president, Republican majority in Congress and Senate, and a potentially tie-breaking vacancy on the supreme court that will be filled by Trump's nomination, does mean Trump will enjoy quite a bit of power. 

Furthermore, it's not just the USA that's concerning; when Populist/Nationalist movements spread globally, they tend to foreshadow really really bad things. 

And they are spreading. The USA is just the latest country to head in that direction. The middle east, Philippines, Europe, large parts of Asia, Russia, and the list goes on. I know it has a shitload of shortcomings, but Globalism actually does tend to reduce head on conflict, Although the situation with China MIGHT be an exception to the rule

The hope:

Even with their big gains, Republicans actually lost two seats in the Senate, and Democrats gained two, with two independents.  Yes Republicans are a majority, but not a super majority.

What about the House? Well, Again Republicans lost 6 seats and the Democrats gained 5. 

"But they're still the majority! They control everything! What does it matter?!"

It matters, because yes, it does mean that Republicans can force through more laws than they previously, but remember two things; One, there are multiple factions within each party, and Libertarian minded republicans are more likely to side with the Dems on some issues than they are to side with their own party. Two, well.. Trump's own party doesn't really seem to like him much. Although in realpolitik, who gives a shit what you like. 

Of course, Democrats if motivated enough, could probably play spoiler, Much like Republicans before them.

Hell, It looks like the DNC MAY have finally gotten the kick in the butt it needs to shake things up. We might see some of the more "relate-able" factions of the DNC gain power.

At risk of sounding cheesy, There's only one bulwark against fascism, and that's you. Stay vigilant and be willing to fight, and it will never take hold.

Falter, and focus on fucking bullshit like Kim Kardashian instead of the laws that regularly get slipped through on bills, Gerrymandering, and all the other bullshit that happens (You know, the shit that's been happening for decades now) and we're all well and truly fucked. The entire globe mind you.

On second thought, I may as well just shoot myself.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Egypt: C-FAST (Think slow)

In case anyone is interested, here's the text for the international patient application for this 'Wonder" device, Note that the application was filed in March 2010.

The patent also claims C-FAST works in the following as well;

Technical field
1 - Drugs and explosives detection.2- Bacteria and viruses detection.3- Gases, liquids and metal detection.4- Plant diseases detection.

The ATSC "detector" cost thousands of people their lives. How many lives will C-Fast claim?

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Egypt in a Nutshell.

Egypt in a nutshell:

A Quick and Simple guide to Egypt.
  1. Army allies with MB to overthrow the king.
  2. Army Betrays the MB, takes power for itself.
  3. MB attempts to betray the Army, Allies with the British.
  4. Army Imprisons and persecutes MB for decades, Allies with Leftists.
  5. After he takes power, Sadat allies with Islamists to defeat leftists.
  6. Islamists betray Sadat and assassinate him.
  7. Army allies with NDP (Although one could say the NDP was the offspring, but whatever) for decades.
  8. Revolution breaks out in January 2011; Revolutionaries ally with MB to overthrow regime, Salafis ally with Regime, Army Betrays NDP and tosses them to the "wolves", Army then Allies with MB.
  9. MB and Salafis ally to win Parliament. Non-Islamists pretty much betray one another (not to mention infighting)
  10. MB allies with Revolutionaries and Salafis to gain power during presidential elections, betrays Army (somewhat) and removes top two army brass.
  11. Morsi gains power, MB betray Revolutionaries , ally with Army and Former NDP in addition to Salafis.
  12. Morsi overextends his power, Army betrays the MB, Army Allies with revolutionaries, former NDP and Kanaba Party to overthrow MB. Salafis betray the MB and ally with the anti-Morsi block.
  13. MB start begging (and insulting, and threatening) their former allies the revolutionaries to join them, the same allies they've already betrayed at least twice, to join them and fight the Military and Former NDP. Revolutionaries for the most part, ignore them, Which a lot of MB consider a betrayal (The hypocrisy from the MB is staggering)
  14. Army Betrays Salafis in constitution writing process.
  15. Army keeps alliance with Former NDP, betrays Revolutionaries in both the constitution writing process AND on the streets. 

Remember when I said our revolution has similarities to the Lebanese civil war, in which "During the course of the fighting, alliances shifted rapidly and unpredictably: by the end of the war, nearly every party had allied with and subsequently betrayed every other party at least once" , and people called me an idiot?

Well you can Kindly go fuck yourselves.

Note: By Salafis in this context i mean "Political Salafis" i.e the Nour party and the offshoots like ElGama'a. I'm not talking about non-political salafis that have joined Rabaa, or stayed away from politics altogether. Unlike the MB , Political Salafis and Salafis can be (and sometimes are) two different groups.

............ Fucking shitstorm getting me back into politics after i swore it off.... gah.

Disclaimer: Yes I do recognize that there's a HUGE difference between the Lebanese Civil War and Egypt post-Jan25. But there IS a similarity in the betrayals.

Edit: Someone Commented that this is oversimplified. Well No shit Sherlock, it's "Egypt in a Nutshell" not "Egypt in a dissertation", You wanna write something more complex and in depth, perhaps correcting my mistakes (if any), then by all means go do so. 

Saturday, 27 July 2013

MB & Islamists: We support Brutality Until it's used against us.

"From (the) revolution with love." photo by Abdallah Adel (Jan 2013)
A lot of people (especially non-Egyptians) are wondering : Why are people who stood against the Military and the Police forces, and decried their brutality previously, not doing the same now that the Pro-Morsi protesters are facing off against them?  The main reason? Because while they were in power, the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists Condoned AND Supported brutality by the army & police against those same people.

Perhaps these videos/articles/screen shots can shine some light, and keep in mind this is just a sample.

(Note: I'm not going to translate every one of these, Nor am I going to caption them all, I will also add more videos/images/articles as I find them. Special thanks to @Hany2m, The Human Google,  for helping me find a lot of these.)

Disclaimer before you read further: I am not condoning violence against them. Unlike them, I will not support brutality by state security forces. The point of this post is NOT to gloat. The entire point of this post is to point out one of the reasons why a lot of people are not sympathetic with their current plight, and why the MB hypocrisy in invoking events like Mohammed Mahmoud, Maspero, Abasseyia...etc to prove army brutality, is in fact infuriating to revolutionaries, as those are the same events in which the MB & Islamists condoned brutality by security forces, with no support to (and condemnation of) revolutionaries on their end.

Don't Shoot the Messenger.

Morsi: Blocking roads is a crime that we cannot be lenient with. 

Morsi : There is no problem with sacrificing some (people) for the sake of the rest

MB's ElKatatny: The Minister of Interior informed me that they didn't use buckshot. (Rest of Islamist MP's are outraged at former MP Abou Hamed presents shotgun shells, accusing him of lying )

Morsi: Praises Police and Army for preserving security and institutions. Says he ordered Police forces to respond with Firmness & strength to any "threats" including "rock throwers" .

Salafi MP (after clashes with security forces): says Tahrir protesters are given 2 meals, 200 L.E and given a strip of "Tramadol" (An over the counter drug that can be abused) , Then says 'We need to stand by the MOI not against them, We're trying to Try the Minister of Interior for the sake of some Thugs"

Safwat Hegazy: I'm against bring down SCAF, and I see no difference between the Army itself and SCAF, And I completely trust that the SCAF will hand over power to a civilian government. 

Safwat Hegazy: I admit there's a deal between us and SCAF and I see no problem with it. There's no problem in there being a deal that if they hand over power, we're not going to look into their corruption. 

MB's ELKatatny Thanking SCAF for "protecting the revolution, and managing the country wisely"

Khaled Abdallah making fun of anyone decrying military brutality. Notably the Blue-Bra incident. 

Khaled Abdallah attacking fellow Islamist Hazem Abo Ismail for statements Abou-Ismail made against SCAF 

Safwat Hegazy walking out of show in protest of Egyptian television post-revolution banning Hazem Abou Ismail from appearing on Screen. Safwat Hegazy said absolutely nothing when the MB minister that took over the Ministry of Information did the same exact thing with those opposing the MB

Essam Sultan claiming that groups using stolen police weapons to fire on protesters and falsely implicate the police forces. 

"اللجنة الثلاثية" بالشورى تعدل مشروع "قانون التظاهر" وتسمح لوزير الداخلية بإلغاء المظاهرة (Islamist & MB dominated Shura Council modifies protests law allowing Minister of Interior to "cancel' and/or Shut down protests) 

Some Screen Shots:
Morsi Praising the Police.

A twitter user asks Morsi why he doesn't reform the ministry of interior that is making him look bad.  His response was give it your trust and you will see good things god willingly.

Prominent MB Mohamed ElBeltagi asking Ministers of Interior and defense to strongly and firmly deal with those that block roads, burn buildings ...etc , says they should activate the emergency law if that is what is needed.

"Following tweets are from prominent Brotherhood youths" 

Friday, 5 July 2013

Who the hell is Adly Mansour?

           Disclaimer: This is intended as Humor.

Adly Mansour, The Interim president of Egypt

When it was announced that Adly Mansour was to become our new interim president, The question on everyone's mind was "Who the flying f**k is Adly Mansour?", mainly because well.... no one knew who the hell he was. Well luckily, Wikipedia came to the rescue...

Here are some of the earlier iterations of Adly Mansour's wikipedia page:

The Original Stub
Absolute Boss
He wasn't even sworn in when this was posted
Apparently he's a homosexual absolute boss
The Homosexual Healer Paladin of Egypt
The Healer Paladin of Egypt... Without the Homosexual part
We now know who Batman really is.
He's also Ironman... Talk about multi-tasking. 
The Snake of the Nile
The Snake of the Nile is A Brony (A Brony is a Bro that likes "My Little Pony")

Friday, 8 March 2013

Egypt: When Logic Fails

For the average spectator on affairs in Egypt, making sense of events and situations tends to be an exercise in futility; as since the majority of average spectators are not "in the loop", the events tend to make little sense.

As a result, people tend to react in one of two ways; emotionally (and that's a topic for another time) or logically. But ah, there's the rub; What about when logic fails?

I argued long ago in a personal post that there is no real logic, and in this case it's even more applicable; for there is no definite uniform "logic" nor exact "guidelines" to achieve a standard definition of logic, as such Logic differs from one person to the next. But for the sake of this post, let us assume that logic is absolute, after all, the very basis of logic and deduction is If A= B, and B = C, then A = C.

But again, I'm not here to discuss philosophy, so let's return to my original question... What about when logic fails?

In regards to Egypt, the "logical" observer attempting to make sense of things, has no choice but to resort to logical deduction, to do so, the observer gathers what information they can , and proceeds to come to a conclusion based on the information provided. But as I stated above, unless the observer is "in the loop" they don't have access to all the information, and as thus they can never really reach the proper deduction unless by absolute chance. Therefore, logic in this case, has failed.

So what's the solution? To deduce as best you can with the info you are able to obtain, and live with your conclusion, right or wrong? To forgo logic altogether and rely purely on emotion? Do you reach the best conclusion you can, and constantly revise it when you obtain new information? Or do you close your brain off, and just rely on whatever you're told? Or do you do something else entirely?

If anyone has an answer to this question, I'd like to know it, but above all think about this before you're too judgmental towards others.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Egypt: Tourism in numbers 1995-2012

A quick breakdown of Egyptian tourism figures between 1995-2012 with some minor notes.

YearValueNumerical Difference to pervious year% difference to previous YearNotes
19983,213,000-443,000-12.12%Decline thought to be caused mainly by The Luxor Massacre that took place on 17 November 1997, at Deir el-Bahri, an archaeological site located across the River Nile from Luxor in Egypt. In the mid-morning attack, Islamic terrorists from Al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya ("The Islamic Group") and Talaa'al al-Fateh (Vanguards of Conquest), massacred 62 tourists at the attraction, their modus operandi included beheadings and disembowellings.
20014,357,000-759,000-14.84%Decline believed to be the result of two major events; The start of second Palestinian Intifada (also known as the Al-Aqsa Intifada) and the resulting support protests in Egypt, as well as the Terrorist attacks in the USA on September 11th 2001 
200911,914,000-382,000-3.11%Decline believe to be the result of three main factors:

The Sudan kidnapping In September 2008, in which a group of eleven European tourists and eight Egyptians were kidnapped during an adventure safari to one of the remotest sites in Egypt deep in the Sahara desert and taken to Sudan. They were subsequently released unharmed.

The 2009 Khan el-Khalili bombing: In February 2009, the Khan el-Khalili bombing killed a French schoolgirl on a class trip.

The 2009 Hezbollah plot: In April 2009, Egypt said it had uncovered a Hezbollah plot to attack tourist sites in the Sinai, causing tension with the Shia group from Lebanon.
20119,845,000-4,206,000-29.93%Decline caused primarily by the January 25th revolution of 2011.

It is worthy to note that while tourism figures have increased in 2012 as opposed to 2010, they are still significantly lower (17.93% less) than 2010.