Thursday, March 30, 2006

PRECURSORY RHYME

Sung to the tune of "Old MacDonald had a farm"

Old Iran wants uranium enrichment, I-A-E-A: "NO!"
And Tehran believes it is their legitimate right, I-A-E-A: "NO!"
With "intrusive inspection" here and a "nuclear option" there
Here a "bomb" there a "blast"
Everywhere a "Terror Threat"

Old Ahmed-nejad doesn't give a damn, I-A-E-A: "Oh?!"
Old UN Security Council issues a 30 day deadline, I-A-E-A: "Yo!"
And Iran does not want to comply, I-A-E-A: "Woah!"
With a "US hypocrisy" here and an "Israeli pressure" there
Here a "bull" there a "sh*t"
Everywhere "steaming poo"
With a "Mossad contrived intelligence" here and a "CIA backing" there
Here a "proof" there an "evidence"
Everywhere an "Impending attack"

The Atomic Agency is being prostituted by Security Council, I-A-E-A: "So?"
Do you know what the Iranis call this Agency? , I-A-E-A: "Ho?"
The five permanent members are ethnocentric and duplicitous, I-A-E-A: "Lo!"
With a "Globalism" here and a "Democratization" there
Here an "Oil Reserve" there a "Strategic Military Base"
Everywhere a "New World Order"

Should Iran get ready for US led attack?
I-A-E-A: "Sure."

Saturday, March 18, 2006

FOR SALE:

Non-existent WMDs found in Iraq. Hardly used. Looking for buyers specifically in Iran.

Unused conscience, available in pristine condition. The owners do not have any use for it.

Large amounts of faux, incriminating data, generic enough to be adaptable for use against any Middle Eastern country that possesses large of amounts of oil reserves or can accommodate multiple strategic military bases.

Large containers of mainstream media testicles collected over the course of the last 5 years.

Surplus amount of hypocrisy, available for anyone who might be interested.

A special deal on used 'HIGH' Threat Level Alerts available from Homeland Security Advisory Department. Procurement of a box of 10 'HIGH' Threat Levels qualifies you to receive a 'SEVERE' Threat level for free.

Hunting Rifles and cartridges available for sale, as 'undisclosed' owner has recently given up hunting birds.

Large areas of untouched national park reserves available for sale to highest bidder. Comes with pre-approved drilling rights.

Extensively large collection of factual, documented evidence regarding global warming. Never been used.

The constitution. Obsolete piece of historical document of little relevance. Any offer will be entertained.

Priceless collection of Iraqi national treasures (of historical value apparently but any offer will be accepted).

Contract for management and logistics of election rigging (in US and abroad). Always on the look out for best offer.

Last remaining pieces of Human Rights still left over from last year's sale. Already boxed up, shredded and ready to be used as refuse.

The War on Terror. Available for free for mass consumption. Comes with a variety phobias and fears for the general populace.

A lovely box set of the middle class and the poor. All proceeds to go to the foundation of the Repulsively Rich.

The Soul – (ALL SOLD OUT - SORRY!)

Sunday, March 12, 2006

ANATOMY OF A PROTEST

I think I have delayed writing about this subject long enough; even procrastination is beginning to think I am over doing it with the 'laziness' bit. So here is how it all happened….

Flashback (Swirly visual effects accompanied by 'doo roo roo roo' sound-fxs)

It was the winter of my discontent, and I was enjoying my evening constitution of sulking about the house, playing with my favourite piece of string, when I was interrupted by an email from the South Asia Editor of Global Voices Online. It said, " Pay attention, I shall write this only once. Are you aware that blogspot.com blogs cannot be viewed in Pakistan? I want you to contact your sources in Pakistan, and find out why. Now drop your piece of string and get to work! This email will self destruct in 2 seconds." No, wait! I am still in the middle of reading your ema..BANG!

I quickly sprung in to action; took a shower, made myself a sandwich, went shopping and trimmed the hedges. Then I realized I forgot to email my contacts. "Oh fudge!" I expeditiously sent out a message to my blogger group: "BLOGSPOT.COM BLOGS NOT VIEWABLE IN PAKISTAN [STOP] CAN YOU CONFIRM [STOP] MUST FIND OUT THE REAL REASON FOR THE BLOCK SO DON’T [STOP] UNTIL YOU FIND OUT THE CAUSE [STOP]"

Over the next 24 hours, I received several reasons for the blockade, which are listed as follows:
-Bush visit to Pakistan
-Blogger.com suffering from technical glitch
-Martians taking over cyber space
-Controversial cartoons considered blasphemous are being blocked by the Pakistan authorities and a blanket ban has been applied to the blogspot.com domain by the ISPs who are in fear of being prosecuted by the government for not abiding by the regulations set by the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA).

Needless to say, all were likely possibilities for the ban except for one. The 'cartoon controversy' sounded totally ridiculous!

The news finally hit a few news sites (and the Martians were lambasted for the screw up). I was deeply upset by this unfair ban. The massively large number of Pakistani fans of my blog were inconsolable, as they could not view my site. Yes, both of them were grief-stricken (and still remain in mourning).

I had to do something and quick, to protest this injustice. So I went out for dinner with my wife. Upon my return, I contacted an old blogger compadre, Dr. Awab (of the Teeth Maestro fame) and we mutually, synchronistically and surreptitiously decided to launch the DON’T BLOCK THE BLOG campaign.

With our campaign page propped up within nano-seconds, we (Awab and I) hit the internet highway in my trusted rickhaw (with a nameplate that says, 'BLOCK THIS!').

Within a course of the next 48 hours, 23 minutes and 8.6 seconds we had spread the word about the ban far and wide (within a cyber parameter of an eight mile radius). As a result, our efforts were covered by main, alternative and obscure stream news sites (the links to those news items can be found on the campaign page – plug, plug).

So far the blanket ban on blogspot.com web logs has not been lifted but I continue to fight for the cause I believe in – the freedom of blogs from Martian attacks.

-------------
(On a serious) Note:

So far, I've kept silent about my own personal opinions about the free speech issue and have let the DONT BLOCK THE BLOG campaign speak for itself. But I believe it is time to set the record straight as to my point of view.

The controversial cartoons in questions are offensive. In Pakistan, as in many other (Muslim) countries they qualify as blasphemous, so no big surprise there.

These cartoons to me as a Muslim are offensive and various other disagreeable adjectives but I never asked for them to be banned. It would be extremely naïve and juvenile to believe that purpose of the re-printing of these cartoons was only an exercise in the 'freedom of speech'. These distasteful caricatures were meant to incite hatred, fear or derision of a specific religion and were specifically printed and re-printed for that purpose, considering the current global political climate.

I also believe that the resulting protests against these cartoons went way beyond insanity. It became a field day for nutters and political party morons to exploit the issue, and go on rampage; burning effigies and breaking windows which inturn led to riots that resulted in the burning of buildings and the murder of innocent people.

The recent ban on blogspot.com blogs is unfair because it is a blanket ban. Because of a few offensive sites, the authorities in Pakistan have blocked out so many other blogs that were actually protesting the cartoons. By that logic, the authorities could block the entire net because they are blasphemous writings and illustration on multiple web sites through out the internet.

I am a realist, and I realize that it is very unlikely that the government is going to lift the ban on the offensive sites that are considered blasphemous. And let me be honest here, I don't give a jot about the banned sites (listed on the PTA letter)…just couldn't be buggered because they serve no other purpose than highlighting a racist point of view. I qualify them in the same group as a KKK web site, no matter how much they cover themselves under the 'freedom of speech' blanket. Any web site or blog that ridicules a religion or a race of people gets my vote for 'lower than bug excrement'.

For those who believe that I should be fighting for the 12 banned sites listed on the PTA letter I say I would rather concentrate my efforts towards unblocking the millions of blogspot.com blogs that aren't on the list. If you have a problem with that, I suggest you start your own campaign to fight for the 12 banned sites, and please be sure to include the freedom of speech of all holocaust revisionists , all KKK/white supremacist web sites, along with all the sites promoting Al Qaeda drivel. Got that?!

(The views expressed above are my own and do not reflect those of my co-founder of DON’T BLOCK THE BLOG campaign, Dr. Awab Alvi).

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

NOTES TO SELF

On the visit to India and Pakistan, avoid trying any spicy local food. Air Force One toilet still clogged up from my last trip to India in 2005. Remind Laura to give me Pepto Bismol after each meal, as a precaution.

Avoid all temptation to ask Doc. Manmohan to try on his turban. He didn't like it the last time I asked.

Sign Nukular Deal with India. (Don't forget to collect my copy of the accord). Remind Doc. Manmohan to send me keys to all of India's civilian, and possibly military, nuclear facilites (so I can send my people to carry out inspections) as soon as we send nukular technology and fuel to India. Ask Condi, what this deal is all about – still don't have a clue what it means!

Don't forget to scare the pants of Doc. Manmohan on Iran's nukular ambition. He must support the US when we go after Iran. There's no flexibility on Iran's nukular issue as India imagines. Ask Condi to back me up on this, as Doc. never believes what I am saying anyway.

Don't forget to stop in Pakistan, and accidentally fly over Pakistan on the way back to Washington. Remind Air Force One pilot of the same.

Exchange pleasantries with Pres. Musharaf and his Mrs. Don't show them copies of Danish Cartoons just because I think they are funny. Condi says the caricatures are blasphemous. Must look up the word 'blasphemous' in dictionary,…and the word 'caricature'.

Don’t forget to give Pervez, his 'Bush meets Mush so Shush! – 2006 Tour' T-shirt.

If Pres. Musharaf asks regarding the delivery of the promised F-16s, tell him that they are on their way like the last 40 times he has asked. Find out from Condi, if these are the ones we ended up using in Iraq when we were running short.

Give Pres. Musharaf a big hug for being such a good ally on my war on terror. Tell him to find some more Al Qaeda number 2s for us to hunt down, before we bomb the crap out another wrong target (killing innocent civilians) due to CIA's flawed guess work.

Give a 'heads-up' to Musharaf regarding Iran, and remind him that we might use Pakistan's airspace during the planned attack so please don't target any of our jets, as they might be carrying tactical nukular weapons, and shooting them down would create hell of mess for both our countries.

Remind Pres. Musharaf not to invite Cheney for his annual hunting expedition in Northern Pakistan. Dick is a bad shot, apparently.

Remind Pres. Musharaf not to worry about my recent and continuously sinking approval rating back in the US. 34% approval (as per CBS poll) is not bad as it matches my IQ!

Ask Condi if we can avoid our stop in Afghanistan. I am already feeling homesick.