A friend received this in his email inbox yesterday. It seems the Nigerian 419 email scam has evolved. Love the reply-to address:
I am Mr Hosni Mubarak former leader of Egyptian am currently released from prison charges of complicity resulting from political turmoil during the 2011 the government has seized everything i have here and prevent us from traveling out of Egypt because the released is conditional.
As a result of this, I need somebody outside Egypt to represent my interest to manage our reserved funds value (25,000,000.00 [U.SD] in long-term business venture especially in public and private business (including real estate investment,
I am willing to negotiate with you how much I will offer you to handle this for me after your acceptance. And all needed to proceed the legality and movement of the (25,000,000.00 [U.SD] shall or will be duly obtained in due course.
Mr Hosni Mubarak
Nour Youssef writes to us regularly with a mix of legitimate, useful information and things I wish I'd never seen. I thought I'd put her latest missive up as a taste of the current ambient Egyptian insanity:
Reasons to at least limit ability to upload videos on Youtube:
- This person.
- And this one too. Remember that belly dancer Sema al-Masry who broke an olla in front of the US embassy and made that anti-Qatar song? She has her own show now where she wears a shirt with Mubarak's laughing face on it and had this supposed El-Baradei look-alike to shake her boobs at.
Things that maybe interesting:
- Bassem Youssef is coming back. On MBC.
- The transcript of the absolutely ridiculous interrogation of Ahmed Abdelaty, head of the presidential office under Morsi, and one of the defendants in the espionage case. What's funnier than the fact that their "evidence" of the "crime" that is talking to people out of Egypt -- or worse, not even Egyptian people in Egypt, or even worse out of it -- comes from hacking his email is that they a) don't care/understand that that is a crime and so don't react to his emphasis on that and b) el-Watan picked this up and ran with it like it proved that Mohamed Badie surprised the smuggling of weapons from Libya to Egyptian MB youth in 2012, completely indifferent to or unaware of the fact that the word Libya was not mentioned in the interrogation, that the man denied all charges and that the investigative bodies are a).
Didn't think I'd find such pointed socio-economic critique and truly inspired comedy at Cairoscene:
But the true slap in the face was the witnessing of the whole “convince the West that this is not a coup” social media campaign. Who cares what they think, honestly? Do they care that I think that their 2000 election was rigged and that George Bush is funnier than 90% of their sitcoms? No. And why weren’t these people also trying to convince the president of China that this allegedly wasn’t a coup? Is he not in their field of vision? Personally, I wasn’t seeking validation from the West regarding June 30th but I must admit that I did write a letter to Tommy Remengesau, the President of Palau, claiming that June 30th was caused by four middle aged women masturbating simultaneously to Mohannad from Nour. I explained that the electricity cut (Yes, fuck Morsi) prior to climax, and when it returned, MBC4 became state TV Channel Two and Mohannad became El Sisi. The dark shades conducted the activity to its orgasmic conclusions and 20 million people poured into the streets to celebrate the first genuine Egyptian female orgasm by parading posters of the suave general and his nipple-erecting gaze. Suffice to say, President Remengseau was skeptical. He simply wrote back “Tawfik Okasha, is this you?”
And check out the author's previous post about the secession of the island state of Zamalek, too.
Is this a joke?
State and private media showed special interest in a carrier pigeon carrying paper and microfilm that was found on Sunday.
According to the state owned news agency MENA, the pigeon was found by a security guard in Shubra al-Kheima, north of Cairo, who reported it to the police.
The pigeon as well as both the paper and the microfilm were sent, amid high security, to the Crime Laboratory. Written on the paper was “Islam Egypt 2012.”
State TV quoted a senior official at the Qalyubiya Security Directorate as saying that they are checking the contents of the microfilm. The directorate assigned two senior officers, General Mohamed al-Qusairy and Brigadier General Usama Ayesh, to conduct the investigations on the pigeon
Carrier pigeons were used in ancient times as a messengers, as well as during the First World War. One French pigeon received a medal for doing its job despite being injured.
In a landmark ruling today, a Cairo appeals court struck down air. “We can find no legal basis in any Egyptian legal text for air. This lack of legality extends to various human activities connected with air, including breathing, use of vacuum cleaners, and parliamentary debates,” the three-judge panel stated in a written ruling. (The judges were unable to deliver the opinion orally because they were all holding their breath).
The court deferred to a September session consideration of challenges lodged against windows, emoticons, ful for any meal other than breakfast, and Jonathan Livingston Seagull.
In other Egyptian legal news, the country’s Supreme Constitutional Court issued what legal observers have already termed a “continuous loop” judgment. The Court found itself unconstitutional. However, it argued, since it had no constitutional authority, its own ruling was invalid. And if the Court’s finding of its own unconstitutionality had no constitutional standing, the Court actually did have full constitutional authority after all. And it would use that constitutional authority to find itself unconstitutional. But then, since it had no constitutional authority, its own ruling was invalid.
The decision continued for 4000 pages before a printer jam prevented completion of the ruling.
Meanwhile, the parliament escalated its conflict with the judiciary following yesterday’s State Council ruling that Britain’s severance of Egypt from the Ottoman Empire in 1914 was legally invalid because it had been issued in English, which is not an official language. The Court had ordered that all Egyptian state institutions be disbanded as a result. By an overwhelming vote, parliamentarians reacted by repealing the original Ottoman conquest of Egypt, thus hoping to remove the court’s jurisdiction over Britain’s 1914 decision.
The SCAF has also reacted to the State Council decision, posting on its Facebook page a statement declaring that the first existing Egyptian legal document, the Narmur palate, clearly gives ultimate political authority to the military and that all subsequent constitutional documents draw their authority from, and thus cannot contradict, that text.
A Freedom and Justice deputy promptly filed suit in an administrative court to strike down the Narmur Palate as belonging to the gahiliyya.
More news tomorrow.
A particularly elections-and-music obsessed friend of the blog writes:
Strategy for the next three weeks: Every time you hear Egyptians debating the merits of Morsi or discussing his platform, imagine that they are talking about the grim dandy crooner Morrissey. Egypt will seem to be a trippy place! "But don't you think that Morrissey will be able to work more effectively with parliament?" "Morrissey is an Islamist technocrat, he can't lead the largest Arab nation!" "Morrissey is the only man who can fix the Egyptian economy!" And, the most basic question: "Who are you going to vote for, Ahmad Shafiq or the preening lead singer of The Smiths?
And he sends us a treat after the jump.
This photo, which ran with David Kirkpatrick's story on Suleiman in the NYT, had the caption "Omar Suleiman, Egypt’s former intelligence chief, in his Cairo office."
So Omar Suleiman paints his office walls black. What else!? And is that shiny bit behind him the hyperbaric chamber he sleeps in? And on the right side, the mini-fridge where he keeps body parts and truth serums.
Also confirms that really powerful people do not use computers. Kind of disappointed that there's no picture of Hosni there. Where's the love, Omar Pasha?
The cat pictures are the newest permutations of a social media campaign started over the weekend by two Israeli graphics designers that is called “We Love Iranians,” aimed at raising public awareness against the steady march to war the Likud government has been taking Israel on towards Iran.
The meme has “gone viral” in Israel, and while it’s spawned a number of sensible parodies (such as noting that the same tone was on display for Iraqis to hear - if they could hear over the ack-ack - by George W. Bush in 2003) and is inevitably going to lead to a “slacktivism” discussion, at least it’s demonstrating that public opinion against war with Iran in Israel is growing. Israel is ostensibly a democracy, so the best case outcome is that all those national security specialists and “cultural icons” who have been keeping quiet realize there is a base of domestic support for them to tell Bibi to can the Holocaust references.
More comforting, though, has been news that 1) Mossad once again concludes with the U.S’s intelligence services that Iran has neither the capability nor political will to pursue weaponization now, 2) some Iranian leaders are saying they’re willing to make concessions at the new P5+1 roundtable, and 3) Netanyahu has failed to convince his kitchen cabinet that he knows what he is talking about on Iran, and considering some of the people in that cabinet, that is saying something — not least because one of the skeptics is in fact the Intelligence and Atomic Energy Minister, a post Netanyahu’s Likud party established in 2009 to have a kind of go-to-guy looking over Shin Bet and Mossad, a la Dick Cheney.
Still, no one is out of the woods yet, Mossad assessment and grinning Israeli couples’ pinterest tags aside. Netanyahu has deliberately set the bar for Iranian concessions so high it’s difficult to believe progress can be made in talks1 - i.e., asking the Iranians to do things no other NPT signatory is expected to do when Israel itself isn’t even an NPT signatory - and the U.S. has made it pretty clear it will take military action if it feels “compelled” to do so in the region by either an Israeli or Iranian “action.”
Where else but The Onion:
TEHRAN—Amidst mounting geopolitical tensions, Iranian officials said Wednesday they were increasingly concerned about the United States of America's uranium-enrichment program, fearing the Western nation may soon be capable of producing its 8,500th nuclear weapon. "Our intelligence estimates indicate that, if it is allowed to progress with its aggressive nuclear program, the United States may soon possess its 8,500th atomic weapon capable of reaching Iran," said Iranian foreign minister Ali Akbar Salehi, adding that Americans have the fuel, the facilities, and "everything they need" to manufacture even more weapons-grade fissile material. "Obviously, the prospect of this happening is very distressing to Iran and all countries like Iran. After all, the United States is a volatile nation that's proven it needs little provocation to attack anyone anywhere in the world whom it perceives to be a threat." Iranian intelligence experts also warned of the very real, and very frightening, possibility of the U.S. providing weapons and resources to a rogue third-party state such as Israel.
[via Paul Mutter]
This just in — the peace process is still 'dead':
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Imprisoned Fatah leader Marwan Barghouthi said on Tuesday the movement should focus on building and reforming Palestinian institutions and peaceful resistance, as the peace process has failed.
In a letter penned in jail to the Palestinian people, commemorating his Fatah party's 47th anniversary, Barghouthi said peace negotiations with Israel are finished, "and there is no point to make desperate attempts to breathe life into a dead body."
Meanwhile, Israelis are having Facebook fun with their variation of LOLcats:
I like this one too — for some reason he reminds me of Ariel Sharon:
See more at the excellent +972.
Confidence is not what I feel when I read this type of item (admitedly in the pretty dire Youm al-Seba3):
Member Egypt’s ruling military council Mohsen Al-Fangary said the parliamentary and Shura Council elections will be held on schedule and both the Ministry of Interior and the Egyptian army will participate to perform these elections to make them successful.
"Egypt will be a civilian country with a strong elected parliament," al-Fangary said, who called on citizens to choose the candidates wisely.
He made this statement during his inspection to the Ministry of Interior group in Jazeera youth center headquarters, while celebrating the tallest flag of Egypt.
Al-Fangary showed an invention from the military council, a device to ward off sharks. The invention was invented in coordination with the Ministry of Tourism, since sharks attacked many tourists in Sharm el-Sheikh city.
What next? Will Tantawi unveil Zagazig's largest ball of twine and Anan launch the production tinfoil-lined helmets to protect soldiers from the mind-control rays of foreign hands?
(This post is motivated by today's performance by General Adel Emara, in the press conference today in which he explained that the military did not shoot or run over anyone on October 9, among other things.)
- The screwing-on of lightbulbs is a sacred national duty that will be carried out with due haste with by appropriate number of generals according to a set but secret timetable.
- The inability to restore the lighbulb to its rightful function is the work of infiltrators and saboteurs!
- A foreign hand has stolen the lightbulb, but its plots will be foiled.
- No foreign agenda can dictate to us what to do with the lightbulb!
- Despite reports and video evidence to the contrary, we assure you that the lightbulb is fully functioning.
- Together, the SCAF and the people will ensure that all lightbulbs everywhere are screwed on with one hand!
- We refuse the lightbulb's resignation and order it to return to its socket immediately!
- How do you know about the lightbulb, spy?
I urge you to contribute your own in the comments.