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2006 November 25 — Why Now?
On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
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The Gemayel Assassination

The BBC early this morning was reporting that John Bolton was claiming that Syria was behind the death of Pierre Gemayel, so they could engineer a coup. Ignoring for the moment that John Bolton would be hard pressed to explain the difference between a coup and a coupe, it would have been nice if he had provided some indication as to why he thought this, and why such a claim would come from the recess-appointed UN ambassador and not a State Department official who actually had a brief on Lebanon or the Middle East.

The ‘Noz, a student of Arabic and a traveler to the area, shrugged his shoulders, so I checked in with Pierre at Candide’s Notebooks who is Lebanese, EDB of Anecdotes from a Banana Republic who lives in Lebanon, Pat Lang of Sic Semper Tyrannis who had responsibility for the area at DIA, and Dr. Cole of Informed Comment, who lived there for years.

Lots of shrugging going on, although Pat Lang did sort of indicate that it might have been Pierre’s turn, as assassination has been a frequent cause of death in the Gemayel family.

The problem is trying to figure out who benefits from the death of a minor political figure with a famous name in the fractured political world of Lebanon. There are few truly disinterested parties with the knowledge to unravel the mystery.

November 25, 2006   Comments Off on The Gemayel Assassination

Let’s Just Forget The Last 24 Hours

So, the visitors have safely traversed the continent and their luggage actually occupied the same ribbon of the space-time continuum as they did at the end of the trip. This involved a three hour round trip by car at the start because the last 40 miles by air costs an extra $500 per person for reasons known only to the demons that haunt the recesses of airlines scheduling and fees.

Then it was time to replace the flapper in the toilet because the chlorine laced local water supply “wrinkles” all flappers after a while which causes slow seepage and the noise of the tank filling every fifteen minutes as well as a spike in the water bill. A simple procedure that takes place every year or so, what could go wrong? Well, the overflow pipe could snap off as you are affixing the new flapper. So, until I can drill out all four of the bolts that attach this ancient tank to its base and fit a new valve, I’m forced to flush the toilet with a bucket. The cats are not amused.

Then there was a minor medical emergency that lasted until 4AM because the patient can’t possibly understand what the problem is and the necessary prescription to deal with the situation. No, there must be bloodletting and IVs and testing to determine that, yes, the patient does indeed need a prescription for an antibiotic course, just like every other time the situation has occurred. Having the documentation for past occurrences of the situation makes no difference. And people wonder why the health system is so expensive.

November 25, 2006   9 Comments