31 August 2007

Google's 'Blogger' Used to Spread Virus

BBC technology news is reporting that Blogger, like the one used to post this piece of news, is being used by malicious hackers. The report states that these hackers are posting fake entries which contain weblinks leading to booby-trapped downloads that could infect Windows PCs. The infected computers are then hijacked and mined for data or used as a base for other attacks.

NB: The links in this post are not malicious, they were not planted by hackers, I can testify to that, honest :-)

29 August 2007

"Anti-Crise" Musical Festival - An Invitation

Our blogger friend Amal is inviting everyone to these musical events [dates have been updated]:

Hello everyone!

Our band "Hudna" or "Hudneh" or "Hedneh" - as you wish to pronounce it - shall be performing as part of the Anti-Crise event organized by INCONCERT.

Beirut- Sanayie Park
8:30 - 9:00 PM
Tyre Port -Tyre City
8:25 - 10:00 PM

We will present NEW songs of ours and other traditional songs that you love.

"In Concert" has the pleasure of inviting you to overthrow a political, educational, economical and presidential crisis by attending the "Anti-Crise" musical festival.
All concerts are free of charge and open to everybody without any discrimination. Your presence is very important to keep music culture alive in Lebanon.

Click on the image for the program of the event

تدعوكم " إن كون سرت "، للإطاحة بالأزمة السياسية والتربوية والاقتصادية والرئاسية وذلك من خلال مهرجان " بلا تأزيم " للموسيقى.
الحفلات مجانية وللجميع دون أي تمييز. ندعوكم لمشاركتنا في هذه الحدث والعمل سوية لأحياء ثقافة الموسيقى في لبنان
اَضغط على الصورة للحصول على البرنامج
Malab Balade st., Kassis bldg #20,
Tohwita- Furn el Chebak, Lebanon
Telefax: +961 1 280957

26 August 2007

Lebanon: Upcoming Presidential Elections

The Lebanese constitution stipulates that the parliament should convene and elect a new president within a period of at least a month before the end of the tenure of the presiding president. The term of the current President Emille Lahoud will be over in November of this year. Therefore, it is only expectable that the elections should be the topic of discussion of many of the blogs in the Lebanese blogosphere.

Last week, it was hinted in the media that the commander of the Lebanese armed forces General Michael Suleiman could be a candidate for the presidency. But for this to happen the constitution would have to be amended since General Suleiman is currently serving in what is classified as a Category One public service job. The constitution states that public servants in such a category cannot run for presidency. To be eligible, they must have resigned or retired and had nothing to do with their job for at least a period of two years.

The following selection of blog posts discuss the candidates in the upcoming presidential election, the foreign intervention in this election, comment on the proposed constitutional amendments and other stuff of the sort.

What does the constitution say about the presidential powers, on electing a president and on amending the constitution. Blacksmiths of Lebanon posted the articles of the constitution regarding electing a president and the presidential powers.

Beirut to Beltway posted the constitutional articles on how the constitution can be amended and added:

>>> to read the rest go here at Global Voices

17 August 2007

Thus Spake Bush or was it God?

Did you ever, even for a split second, harbor the sinful thought, that God had nothing to do with whatever is going on in your life? Especially you who are residents of the Middle East and of the United States? Well as much as I hate to, I will have to repeat what we all know: that God is runnig our lives through Pres Bush, and here the proof, for all you disbelievers:
(I know, I know, we have a lot of those around here too, but thats for another day. Let's be enlightened by one God spokesperson at a time now, shall we?)

So, thus spake Bush (a reminder):

1. I am driven with a mission from God. God would tell me, 'George go and fight these terrorists in Afghanistan'. And I did. And then God would tell me 'George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq'. And I did. And now, again, I feel God's words coming to me, 'Go get the Palestinians their state and get the Israelis their security, and get peace in the Middle East'. And, by God, I'm gonna do it." Sharm el-Sheikh August 2003.

2. I trust God speaks through me. Without that, I couldn't do my job. Statement made during campaign visit to Amish community, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Jul. 9, 2004

3. I'm also mindful that man should never try to put words in God's mouth. I mean, we should never ascribe natural disasters or anything else to God. We are in no way, shape, or form should a human being, play God. Washington, D.C., Jan. 14, 2005

4. God loves you, and I love you. And you can count on both of us as a powerful message that people who wonder about their future can hear. Los Angeles, California, Mar. 3, 2004

There are many more, go to Candide's Notebooks for the rest of Bush on God in 50 Quotes

So now we know from whence cometh our tribulations.

15 August 2007

Lebanon: Fatwa to Ban Honor Killings

From rules on how to handle men in Lebanon to the meaning of the name Lamia, we end this round up (see previous post) of Lebanese blogs to a fatwa (religious edict) by a top Shia clergyman which bans honor killings, which he describes as a “repulsive act.”

Rules how to handle Lebanese guys
Our first post today looks into relationships. Lebanon Reporter learned that there are certain rules a girl needs to learn when in Beirut. These are the rules necessary in dealing with Lebanese guys and avoid sending the wrong messages:

Every girl you’ll see walking around in Beirut will appear to be very stuck up. But it’s not that they’re really arrogant… It’s more like a facade. If you DON’T act like you’re the princess, you won’t be able to get anything done or go anywhere. Or worse, you could be sending out the wrong message to a guy.What to do when a guy you don’t like is talking to you:

1) Look extremely bored. Raise an eyebrow, look skeptical, yawn a bit… just get good at using the facial expressions saying: ‘you’re an idiot’.

2) Pretend to be busy. Read something, you need to cross this ultra busy street right now, you’re meeting your boyfriend, whatever. But don’t say you’re married. They will think you’re looking to have fun with someone else since he’s not with you and you’re happily talking to another guy right now.

3) Ignore. ‘What’s your name’ and ‘where are you from’ might seem innocent questions but before you know it, you won’t get rid of the guy.

4) Strut around as if you own the place. Do not make eye contact.

5) NEVER, never ever smile!

Art and Mythology
Einmal-Ist-Keinmal posted the beautiful painting of the half-nude “Lamia”. The name Lamia is popular in the Arab world. Einmal ist Keinmal gives us an idea of the meaning of the name Lamia in Greek mythology as well as its meaning in Arabic. And the meanings are totally different if not opposite:

>>> Read the rest here....

Lebanon: Analyzing the By–Election Results

Are you interested in finding out the different interpretations for the results of the by–elections held last week in Lebanon? Then you have to read this week’s round up of the Lebanese blogosphere.

By–elections results
Many bloggers discussed and reported on the by–elections held last week. The elections themselves were a point of controversy. While some saw them as illegal because they were being held without the signature of the President, others believed that they should be held with only one candidate and no contestants since they are supposed to occupy parliamentary seats left vacant due to the assassinations. Some of the parties in the opposition took part in the elections while others abstained. The elections were held and the results are out and can be found on any news site. The reactions to the way the elections were held and to the results were diverse. Some of these reactions are mentioned here:

Jamal’s Propaganda looked at the aftermath of the elections and highlighted what he saw as an ugly manifestation of racism and sectarianism in the speeches that followed the elections and the declaration of the results:

In a country where there is a constant battle of what is and isn’t true, and who is true and who is truly an inconvenience. Yesterday was a full display of the true nastiness of our society. Lebanese raceo-sectarianism reached unprecedented lows; which says much considering this country was a stage for a fifteen year bloody sectarian war.
It wasn’t just Amin Gemayyel who in keeping up with family tradition found a new group of people to direct his hate at. When your hate mongering towards Syrians, Palestinians, Arabs, Muslims, Sunnis, Shia runs out of steam; a new channel must be created. Also, why let the people of the southern suburbs bear all the brunt of condescending speech, let the intruders of the northern suburbs share the load. So take “them” out, and Gemayyel is victorious in the Metn Mountains where the true Christians reside. Sadly, many of the electoral reform scenarios circulated would encourage the Gemayyel school of thought.
Two of the bloggers posted interviews with the two prominent opposition candidates who were contesting the pro-government candidates in the elections:

>>> the rest (many more) can be found here...

03 August 2007

Lebanon: Elections, Socio-political Theories, Relief and Blogging

The Lebanese government decided to hold by–elections on August 5. These elections are to fill the parliamentary seats that became vacant due to the despicable assassinations of the past months. This decision, the nominees and the campaigns are the subject of discussions of many blogs in the Lebanese blogosphere. Other topics also discussed this week include: the Lebanese middle–class, Lebanese architecture, language and social consciousness, and why dictatorship may be the best solution for Lebanon. In addition to these, there are posts about activities taking place during summer, the border town of Ayta Shaab a year after the July war and about blogging and netizens. This week’s weblog include the aforementioned and posts that request and discuss aid given to the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. Enjoy:


Jamal’s Propaganda tackles the issue of the by–election by discussing the curricula–vitae of the candidates in a very sarcastic post that he begins by saying:

An election is the process through which the people hire a parliamentary representative to work for them. It is imperative in any hiring process to thoroughly evaluate the candidates for the job. A one on one interview with the candidates would be ideal. Some might argue that it would be exhausting for the candidates to answer to thousands of citizens, but isn’t that the job description of the Member of Parliament? Anyways, in a more practical world a town hall meeting style debate should be the minimum required interaction between the candidates and the decision makers, but even that is absent in our democracy since that might be considered a form of accountability which is officially a sin in all 18 religions of Lebanon. This leaves the people only one way of judging the candidates which is by looking at their curricula vitae.
Lebanon Update contends that it is very difficult to stay neutral in Lebanon. He explains his position and goes on to discuss the elections:

these days you have to have an opinion in Lebanon. It seems that these are not the times for neutrality: you are either with March 8 or March 14. In that sense, Lebanon starts to resemble a two party state, similar to the USA. There is one huge difference, though: in America, the winner takes it all, the loser’s standing small…and the losers are OK with that. Not so in Lebanon. In a suffocating way, the Lebanese political scene does not allow the winner to take anything unless all losers agree.
Jeha’s Nail also discusses the elections and introduces his analysis by saying:

We Lebanese wear our emotions on our sleeves, and we often tend to overreact with passion. Doing so, we can greedily focus far too much on the potential Rewards, and forget about the Risks associated with our actions. The Elections in Metn and Beirut 2nd District are a case in point.
Middle class, language difference, Ayta Shaab, dictatorship etc.

Remarkz posted some socio–political analysis of some aspects of the Lebanese society. In one of these articles he states that difference of the language of broadcast in the local Lebanese radio stations is a symptom of the difference in the social consciousness of the Lebanese and he gives examples to explain:

Let’s take the events of Nahr el Bared and the political deadlock as an initial environment from which media derive statements about modes of conduct. One conclusion of all this is that there are no French media outlet (written, spoken, visualized), none whatsoever, that dedicates its program to real social issues. So no wonder that you have a francophone population that is mainly unaware or oblivious of such issues but very much vociferous about hazy concepts of “independence” and “rule of law” tainted sometimes by mild racism.. Social and economic issues are indeed debated in Lebanon but mostly in Arabic. To some extent, you can find some voiced in English. This is why I would argue that the English-speaking community is already more aware of things. So some English-French speakers but most importantly readers, may be more in touch with what’s going on (Daily Star has some good stuff being written from time to time, although this hits a very narrow portion of English speakers, not those who don’t read obviously). There is no fully fledged English language radio station. I think radio is a very important media outlet especially among the average working class.

>>> view the rest here...


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