Wednesday, June 28, 2006

CerebralWaste JACKASS du Jour Award!!
and the Award goes too.......
Accidental grenade explosion kills two Palestinians
Wed Jun 28, 10:44 AM ET
Two Palestinians were killed and another seven, including a baby, wounded when a grenade accidentally exploded in the southern Gaza Strip.
Family members were playing with a grenade in the town of Khan Yunis when it exploded, killing 23-year-old Qassem Massud and his one-year-old niece, medical and security sources said Wednesday.
All the casualties were members of the same family.
Copyright © 2006 Agence France Presse. All rights reserved. The information contained in the AFP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of Agence France Presse.

I can't think of anything else to add to this one except... Well... I think the story speaks for itself... ~CW~

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Subject: The P.A.R.K. Program
A female "Pinko Democrat" wrote a series of letters to the White House constantly complaining about the treatment of captive insurgents(i.e.terrorists) being held in Guantanamo Bay. She received back the following reply:

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20016

Dear Concerned Citizen,

Thank you for your recent letter roundly criticizing our treatment of the Taliban and Al Quaeda detainees currently being held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The administration takes these matters seriously and your opinion was heard loud and clear here in Washington.

You'll be pleased to learn that, thanks to the concerns of citizens like yourself, we are creating a new division of the Terrorist Retraining Program, to be called the "PINKO'S Accept Responsibility for Killers" program, or PARK for short.

In accordance with the guidelines of this new program, we have decided to place one terrorist under your personal care. Your personal detainee has been selected and scheduled for transportation under heavily armed guard to your residence next Monday.

Ali Mohammed Ahmed bin Mohamed (you can just call him Ahmed) is to be cared for pursuant to the standards as you personally demanded in your letter of complaint. It will likely be necessary for you to hire some assistant caretakers.

We will conduct weekly inspections to ensure that your standards of care for Ahmed are commensurate with those you so strongly recommended in your letter.

Although Ahmed is a sociopath and extremely violent, we hope that your sensitivity to what you described as his "attitudinal problem" will help him overcome these character flaws. Perhaps you are correct in describing these problems as mere cultural differences. We understand that you plan to offer counseling and home schooling. Your adopted terrorist is extremely proficient in hand-to-hand combat and can extinguish human life with such simple items as a pencil or nail clippers. We advise that you do not ask him to demonstrate these skills at your next yoga group. He is also expert at making a wide variety of explosive devices from common household products, so you may wish to keep those items locked up, unless (in your opinion) this might offend him.

Ahmed will not wish to interact with you or your daughters (except sexually), since he views females as a subhuman form of property. This is a particularly sensitive subject for him and he has been known to show violent tendencies around women who fail to comply with the new dress code that he will recommend as more appropriate attire. I'm sure you will come to enjoy the anonymity offered by the burka -- over time.

Just remember that it is all part of "respecting his culture and his religious beliefs" -- wasn't that how you put it? Thanks again for your letter We truly appreciate it when folks like you keep us informed of the proper way to do our job. You take good care of Ahmed - and remember..we'll be watching.

Good luck! Cordially,

Tony Snow

Press Secretary

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Hundreds of chemical weapons found in Iraq: US intelligence
Jun 22 1:56 AM US/Eastern

US-led coalition forces in Iraq have found some 500 chemical weapons since the March 2003 invasion, Republican lawmakers said, citing an intelligence report.

"Since 2003, Coalition forces have recovered approximately 500 weapons munitions which contain degraded mustard or sarin nerve agent," said an overview of the report unveiled by Senator Rick Santorum and Peter Hoekstra, head of the intelligence committee of the House of Representatives.

"Despite many efforts to locate and destroy Iraq's pre-Gulf war chemical munitions, filled and unfilled pre-Gulf war chemical munitions are assessed to still exist," it says. The lawmakers cited the report as validation of the US rationale for the war, and stressed the ongoing danger they pose.

"This is an incredibly -- in my mind -- significant finding. The idea that, as my colleagues have repeatedly said in this debate on the other side of the aisle, that there are no weapons of mass destruction, is in fact false," Santorum said.

A Pentagon official who confirmed the findings said that all the weapons were pre-1991 vintage munitions "in such a degraded state they couldn't be used for what they are designed for."

The official, who asked not to be identified, said most were 155 millimeter artillery projectiles with mustard gas or sarin of varying degrees of potency. "We're destroying them where we find them in the normal manner," the official said.

In 2004, the US army said it had found a shell containing sarin gas and another shell containing mustard gas, and a Pentagon official said at the time the discovery showed there were likely more.

The intelligence overview published Wednesday stressed that the pre-Gulf War Iraqi chemical weapons could be sold on the black market. "Use of these weapons by terrorists or insurgent groups would have implications for coalition forces in Iraq. The possibility of use outside Iraq cannot be ruled out," it said.

Santorum said the two-month-old report was prepared by the National Ground Intelligence Center, a military intelligence agency that started looking for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq when the Iraq Survey Group stopped doing so in late 2004.

Last year the head of Iraq Survey Group, Charles Duelfer, said that insurgents in Iraq had already used old chemical weapons in their attacks. Nevertheless, "the impression that the Iraqi Survey Group left with the American people was they didn't find anything," Hoekstra said.

"But this says: Weapons have been discovered; more weapons exist. And they state that Iraq was not a WMD-free zone, that there are continuing threats from the materials that are or may still be in Iraq," he said. Asked just how dangerous the weapons are, Hoekstra said: "One or two of these shells, the materials inside of these, transferred outside of the country, can be very, very deadly."

The report said that the purity of the chemical agents -- and thus their potency -- depends on "many factors, including the manufacturing process, potential additives, and environmental storage conditions." "While agents degrade over time, chemical warfare agents remain hazardous and potentially lethal," it said.

Reporters questioned the lawmakers as to why the Bush administration had not played up the report to boost their case for continued warfare in Iraq.

"The administration has been very clear that they want to look forward," Santorum said. "They felt it was not their role to go back and fight previous discussions." Fear that Saddam Hussein might use his alleged arsenal of chemical and biological weapons was a reason US officials gave for launching the March 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Subject: Solving 3 BIG Problems in Three Steps

1)Dig a moat the length of the Mexican border.

2)Take the dirt and raise the levys in New Orleans.

3)Put those Florida alligators in the moat.

Any other problems need solving?
Thanks to THE COLONEL for this one!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

A Silly Call from a Silly Girl.............

Future CerebralWaste Hotseat Interviewee SBG gave me a call last night. It was very nice to put a voice to the face of someone who has really given me a big BIG BOOST in honing my writing skills. I would say over the past year we have exchanged 100's of emails between the two of us. SBG has shown wonderful patience in dealing with my ADD filled brain. Thanks to Amira I have turned into a quasi professional writer, having now been published twice in the GDN as a guest columnist. More works are currently under review with the GDN and some other places as well. SBG will deny she did much of anything but I believe in giving credit where credit is due and she deserves the credit! THANKS AGAIN SBG!!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Woman's ID Stolen by Dozens of Suspected Illegals
Social Security Number Used, She Owed $1 Million in Taxes, CNN Says
DUBLIN, California (June 17) - One woman's Social Security identification number has been used by at least 81 people in 17 states. Though impossible to verify in every case, information gleaned from criminal investigations, tax documents and other sources suggest most of the users were probably illegal immigrants trying to get work
Audra Schmierer, a 33-year-old housewife in this affluent San Francisco suburb, realized she had a problem in February 2005, when she got a statement from the IRS saying she owed $15,813 in back taxes - even though she had not worked since her son was born in 2000. Perhaps even more surprising, the taxes were due from jobs in Texas.

Schmierer has since found that her Social Security number has been used by people from Florida to Washington state, at construction sites, fast-food restaurants and even major high-tech companies. Some opened bank accounts using the number. The federal government took years to discover the number was being used illegally, but authorities took little action even then. "They knew what was happening but wouldn't do anything," said Schmierer. "One name, one number, why can't they just match it up?" Her case is an example of an increasingly common problem: Many thieves are able to steal personal information because employers do not have to verify Social Security numbers or other documents submitted by job seekers.

The situation has long drawn fire from anti-illegal immigration groups, but Congress has only recently moved to fix it. Both the Senate and House of Representatives have passed immigration-reform bills that call for employers to verify Social Security numbers in a national database. Homeland Security officials have taken it a step further, calling on Congress to allow the Social Security Administration to share information with immigration-enforcement agents at work sites.

Under current law, if the Social Security Administration or the Internal Revenue Service find multiple people using the same Social Security number, the agencies send letters informing employers of possible errors. The IRS can fine employers $50 for each inaccurate number filed, a punishment that companies often dismiss as just another cost of doing business.

When Schmierer called the IRS, she learned that numerous people were using her Social Security number. Officials said the erroneous balances would be eliminated, but the agency would have to correct the problem again in future years. "They told me they couldn't do anything else," Schmierer said. IRS officials declined to talk about Schmierer's case, citing privacy laws. Schmierer has done a little investigating of her own, combing through tax bills sent to her for names and locations of employers who hired people using her number.
She has also obtained more than 200 W-2 and 1099 tax forms that contained her Social Security number but different names. Schmierer provided copies of the records to The Associated Press. Most of the people who used her identification number worked multiple jobs in the same year, though some remained at the same company for several years. The top wage earner made $39,465, but most reported income of less than $15,000.

Schmierer filed a police report after learning one man had used her information in 2003 at janitorial and landscaping companies near Haltom City, Texas. Investigators found the man, who told officers he had bought a fake Social Security card at a flea market, according to a police report. He was not arrested.
Schmierer tracked down other people, finding that her number had been used to get work but not to access her credit card or bank accounts. What started as a hassle turned into a major headache earlier this year when she sought work through a temporary agency that learned her Social Security number had been used by a woman in Texas two years earlier. The agency could not hire Schmierer for more than a month while the situation was clarified. "How do you prove that you are you?" Schmierer said. "It's like you are guilty until proven innocent."

While returning from a trip to Mexico with her husband last year, Schmierer was detained for four hours in a Dallas airport by immigration officials. The reason: a woman using her Social Security number was wanted for a felony.

Schmierer never determined how her number became so widely used. Sellers of fake documents often make up numbers and use them repeatedly. Schmierer's number became so compromised that Social Security officials finally took a rare step used only in extreme cases: They gave her a new one. Schmierer hopes that will end her frustrations, but she suspects her old number will continue to be misused.

"It's clear to me that because my number has been used for so long, it's not going to stop," she said.

REMEMBER.. The illegal aliens are only stealing the SS#'s of people that AMERICANS don't have the time to steal themselves! ~CW~

Thursday, June 15, 2006

World CUP Schmirl Cup...
Thoughts and random observations...

Like most Americans I generally don't give two blips about the World Cup/Soccer/Football. Though I did play soccer as a youngster, and I did enjoy it. Soccer just doesn't have that much of appeal to Americans much past the age of 13. For better or worse it is some say the most popular played sport for those under the age of 13. It is there it stops cold. It can not compete against the likes of baseball, basketball, football and in some parts of America Hockey. Heck toss Golf in there as well. Let alone the raging hormones of boys and girls as they enter their teenage years.

Part of the reason I suspect is it is very hard to televise soccer to American audiences and make a profit doing so. Other than half time there are literally no breaks in play to broadcast advertisements. While in general scoring is low, the game itself is fairly fast paced. Interrupting the game for a "television time out" just isn't a viable idea. The game depends on the continuity of continued play and as such television ads have no place in the game. In the Boston area we have professional team named aptly THE NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION. Sources tell me they are lucky to draw 5000 people to a stadium that holds close to 70,000 people. The vast majority in the crowd are immigrants from South of the Rio Grand. They seem to be the mainstay and sole audience for American soccer.

Even though there are no direct TV commercials the game is loaded with advertising. Just look at the ads that ring the playing field. Someone is making some cold hard cash but it isn't the broadcasters.

All of this said I will admit that I did watch and enjoy a couple of games of the World Cup this time around and found myself enjoying both. Good memories of past days of glory on the soccer field as a kid. Though I never remember scoring a goal I enjoyed playing the game in the Oklahoma wind and mud. Perhaps this weekend I will watch another game or two. It will of course depend on the weather. If the rain continues and there is nothing else on the tube there will be a 50% chance I will tune in. If the weather clears..... FORGETTABOUTIT!!!! I will be out piddeling in the yard and greenhouse doing my best imitation of Mahmood!

PS. There will be some more "CW Hotseat" (tm) interviews coming up in the next few days. Have a good weekend everybody!


Wednesday, June 14, 2006

ICE Arrests About 2,000 Illegal Immigrants
Jun 14 1:57 PM US/Eastern
By ANDREW RYANAssociated Press Writer
A swarm of federal immigration agents sped silently, headlights off, down a Boston side street early Wednesday and surrounded an apartment house. "Police! Policia! Police!" yelled Daniel Monico, a deportation officer, holding his badge to a window where someone had pulled back the curtain. "Open the door!"
Moments later, agents led a dazed-looking Jose Ferreira Da Silva, 35, out in handcuffs. The Brazilian had been arrested in 2002 and deported, but had slipped back into the country. He now faces up to 20 years in prison.
In a blitz that began May 26, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has arrested nearly 2,100 illegal immigrants across the country. Officials said the raids are aimed at child molesters, gang members and other violent criminals, as well as people like Da Silva who sneaked back into the country after a judge threw them out.
The crackdown is called Operation Return to Sender.
"This sends a message," said Monico, standing outside the gray Victorian apartment where Da Silva had been hiding. "When we deport you, we're serious."
An Associated Press reporter and photographer accompanied a fugitive task force as it made Operation Return to Sender raids Tuesday night and early Wednesday. The operation has caught more than 140 immigrants with convictions for sexual offenses against children; 367 known gang members, including street soldiers in the deadly Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13; and about 640 people who had already been deported once, immigration officials said. The numbers include more than 720 arrests in California alone. More than 800 people arrested already have been deported.
"This is a massive operation," said Marc Raimondi, a spokesman for immigration enforcement or ICE, which is part of the Department of Homeland Security. "We are watching the country's borders from the inside."
In New England, officials said the sweeps have caught more than 150, including 75 who had come back after being deported.
ICE has a network of 35 fugitive teams across the country. The 2006 budget increased that number to 52, and the Bush administration is pushing for 70 by 2007.
The challenge, agents said, is staggering. There are more than 500,000 "fugitive aliens" who have been deported by judges and either slipped back into the country or never left. There is often a disconnect between local and state prisons and the federal government that allows illegal immigrants to serve time and be released without being transferred to federal officials for deportation.
The work that led to the series of arrests over the past 20 days began last winter. Agents in Boston, for example, began scouting targets four months ago, conducting street surveillance and following up leads from confidential informants.
"It's a lot of preparation, and it's a lot of patience," said Jim Martin, deputy director for ICE's New England field office. "All for a couple minutes of adrenaline."
During the raid late Tuesday, the federal squad, which includes a Boston police sergeant detective, wore bulging bulletproof vests and stiff Kevlar gloves to protect their hands from needles, knives and rusty fences.
Badges dangled on chains around their necks as they passed around wanted posters and shined flashlights on the face of a 24-year-old Latvian man who had served prison time for assaulting a police officer.
The team moved in the dark, climbing fences and hiding behind parked cars to encircle a three-story house in Boston's Allston-Brighton neighborhood. All at once they emerged from the shadows. A half-dozen agents filled the front porch, their knocks on the door echoing down the block. The target had moved, the agents learned, and a team split off and caught him in Weymouth, about 15 miles south of the city.
Another man caught in the recent blitz was a Salvadoran gang member who was convicted in a stabbing that left a 13-year-old boy paralyzed. Agents caught him working at Budget Rental Car at Boston's Logan Airport.
"The problems with immigration aren't going to be solved overnight," Raimondi said as the team sped toward another raid. "You start chipping away at it ... The more teams we get up and running, the more dangerous people we are going to get off the streets."
Just Checking the Blog

Please let me know if you have a hard time reaching this blog. I have had a couple of reports from people saying they couldn't get in. THANKS! CW

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


Patrick Kennedy Pleads Guilty to DUI
Congressman Sentenced to Probation and Treatment

WASHINGTON (June 13) - Rep. Patrick Kennedy pleaded guilty Tuesday to driving under the influence of prescription drugs and was sentenced to undergo court-ordered drug treatment and a year's probation
Kennedy, D-R.I., also was fined at least $350 in connection with his middle-of-the-night car crash last month near the U.S. Capitol.

In exchange, two other charges against Kennedy were dismissed: Reckless driving and failure to exhibit a driving permit.

Accompanied by his lawyer, Kennedy entered his plea Tuesday afternoon before Superior Court Magistrate Judge Aida Melendez. "I am pleading guilty to driving under the influence," Kennedy said.

Note that "Patches" doesn't loose his license to drive, not even the dreaded "Community Service" that the rest of us would receive for a DUI. No, not for Patches. You see Patches is a KENNEDY and not only do KENNEDY's feel they are above the law, as this case shows they are, more often than not. Sadly this pill popping alcohol swilling rumb swab is still driving. Ready able and willing to cause mayhem and harm. You would think Patches would have learned a lesson from his "Old Man" Ted, who we all know had a wee little problem a few years ago with booze, a car and a bridge on Martha's Vineyard. A problem that resulted in a young lady being killed. All I can say to you DC area readers is keep your eyes open and it is better to hit PATCHES before he hits YOU!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

I am republishing this interview based on the announcement that THE RELIGIOUS POLICEMAN is hanging up is blogging hat and calling it quits. I hope you all enjoy this interview done in March of 2006. I wish the best of luck to The RP is his quest to place his writing efforts towards a novel. You will be missed!
I remember the first time I laid my eyes on the Religious Policeman's blog. Following a link from Bahraini blogger Mahmood Al Yousif ( I immediately sensed a great read was upon me. I was right. At that time the RP, using the nom de plume Alhamedi , was a Saudi who was living in Riyadh. His stated motivation for starting a blog was and still is according to his website to be: "In Memory of the lives of 15 Makkah Schoolgirls, lost when their school burnt down on Monday, 11th March, 2002. The Religious Police would not allow them to leave the building, nor allow the Firemen to enter." If you need a refresher on this tragic motivating event try this link.
To no-one's surprise the Blog took off like a rocket. People from all over the world began to visit and post, trying to catch a glimpse into perhaps the most closed society on the planet sans North Korea. Then as suddenly as it started it stopped, only to reappear a year later.
The RP turned in up the UK where he had taken up residence with his wife and children. Once Mr. Alhamedi dusted off his keyboard and opened up his stagnant blogger account, making his return to the blogging world after the death of Saudi King Fahd, it didn't take long for the blog to recapture the attention it once had. Al-hamedi was back and back with a purpose. Banging out witty satire that is side splittingly funny, blunt, pointed and tragic as he continues to call attention to the shortcomings in his home country. No topic seems to be untouchable either. From cute pictures of camels and feral alley cats, making fun of Prince Naif, parody memos and interviews, the RP leaves few if any stones unturned.
Of course all has not been smooth. A mini controversy erupted a couple of months ago that called into question the real nationality of the RP. As with most half strung accusations and questions, charges and criticisms, the "controversy" didn't seem to dampen the readership. In fact traffic increased and an ever growing world wide audience keeps clamoring for a look inside of the "Magic Kingdom" called Saudi Arabia. This author believes the RP is a Saudi as I have not seen any evidence that withstands past a prima facie glance to conclusively show me otherwise. Regardless most feel the RP's blog stands on its own merit regardless of the his nationality.CerebralWaste feels lucky that the elusive RP would take his valuable time and sit down and answer some questions. I hope you enjoy the answers. Special thanks to Amira Al Hussaini from In My Opinion for helping me shape, craft and refine some questions and to the ultra left wing liberal Desert Island Boy for tossing in his two cents... TAX FREE as well!!!.

1.When did you start blogging and what did you hope to accomplish? What have you learned?I started blogging in the middle of 2004, but with a gap of several months later that year. What I wanted to achieve was, to use a phrase that I am fond of, "To shine a light into the dark corners", those "dark corners" being the medieval practices of Saudi Arabia's ruling elite and religious hierarchy, all subsidized by Westerners filling their gas tanks. I have learnt two things. The first is that 9/11 has sparked an enormous curiosity about the sort of society that has produced mass-murderering terrorists in industrial quantities. The second is that too many of my fellow-Saudis and fellow-Muslims are in continual denial, don't want to acknowledge that we have a real problem, and regard any criticism as some form of treason.
2.What was your initial reaction to the avalanche of comments? Were you prepared? Did you expect to continue blogging for this long?I certainly was surprised, and wasn't prepared. I suppose I saw myself as some lone voice in the desert, venting my frustration, with my voice echoing around but then dying away unheard. I didn't expect that what I said would resonate to such an extent with others. I also thought that once I'd got everything out of my system, I would stop blogging. However that hasn't happened so far; every week seems to bring a new idiocy that I can't resist commenting on. The latest example of course is the Muslim community's spectacular "own goal", the cartoon controversy.
3.Do you keep a track of online visitors? If so, how many visitors have you had so far? Who is your target audience and how many people have you banned for various reasons? I don't know the total since I started, but the number keeps growing and last week there were 31,255 visitors altogether. My target audience is an English-speaking one of both Arab and Saudi professionals, and people around the world whose destiny is in some way tied up with Saudi Arabia, thru its exports of oil and /or religious intolerance. I have banned a few from the Comments section because they displayed extreme bad manners in what is, in effect, my house. However none are currently banned, because I declared an unpublicized amnesty; I have an infinite but probably naive belief in peoples' ability to improve their behavior.
4.What makes Alhamedi tick and how does the Mrs.A and the little a's feel about your internet hobby? I'm a fairly ordinary and quiet person who gets very cross about injustice, intolerance and hypocrisy. The family regard my hobby as my little quirk, but I do make sure that they get all the time they deserve, and when work gets busy, blogging time gets squeezed, not their time.
5.How long do you spend blogging daily? Which blogs do you frequent and why? It varies between half an hour to two hours per day. Other blogs I visit most days are:Crossroads Arabia; written by a US ex-diplomat to Saudi, his take on things is always more measured and diplomatic than mine, but I find it a useful counter-balance.Mahmood's Den; Mahmood writes from Bahrain, has a similar outlook to mine, and is a thoroughly nice guy. I know that things are not all roses over there, but they do at least have some form of democracy, and I long for the day when I too can complain about local politicians like he does.That's about it on a daily basis, because I spend most of my time on reading the papers. Others I read less frequently, including yours of course. I'll also mention another favorite, Walking the Streets , because it's completely off-topic for me, it's an insight into another world, a man who writes with quiet and dignified humor about being the unloved nemesis of illegally-parked cars and their owners.
6.How has blogging affected your life? It's put me in touch with many sensible and decent people,of all nationalities and creeds, whom I count as friends, virtually-speaking.
7.It must be exasperating documenting one foolish episode after the other in the Kingdom. How do you manage to maintain your sense of humor considering the personal attacks that have been leveled at you. It is exasperating. The Saudi establishment is like some nuisance neighbours on a housing estate or project; stupidly proud of their background and reputation, oblivious to the fact that they are anti-social and a problem for everyone else.The only personal attacks that bother me are when someone comes into my Comments section and slags me off. That's a violation of my hospitality, and I am strong on hospitality. If they do it on their blog or website, then I just find it rather pathetic, because what it says is "You have really struck home with something you said, but I can't muster an argument against it, so I'll try to insult you instead".
8.As a commentator in a society which lacks tolerance, do you think you can ever come out in the open and disclose who you are? It would need to be a very different society, and even then I don't think I'll ever come out, because there are always crazies out there.
9.How do other Saudis react to your blog, especially after the free publicity Jihad Al Khazen, unwittingly provided? Were you able to 'convert' any of them to your stream of thought? If you want to get your message out, there's no such thing as "bad publicity"! Reaction from Saudis is always mixed. There are some who complain that I am "rocking the boat", and approaching things in the wrong way. When I ask them what they themselves are doing, they go quiet. Others are very supportive, I encourage them to start blogging themselves.
10.Do you consider yourself as a voice of sanity in a mad, mad world? If not, who are you and what is your goal? I sometimes look at Saudi Arabia and think that I am the one who is mad, because I just don't "get it"! My objective is quite simply to keep pointing out its dangerous idiocies, in the belief that one day it will become embarrassed about them, and start to behave like any other normal 21st Century nation state. It's not as if Saudi Arabia is just a problem for its own people, like Zimbabwe and Myanmar; instead it exports its problems, in the form of terrorists and religious extremists, so it becomes a problem for everyone else.
11.What is your reaction to those who claim that The Religious Policeman's only purpose in life is to ridicule Islam and Saudi Arabia? Saudi Arabia ridicules itself daily in the newspapers; all I do is to highlight that fact. The people who decapitate others in the name of Islam, or torch cars while shouting "God is Great", or "honor-kill" women, are the ones who denigrate Islam, not me, and not the peaceful guy who goes to the mosque on Friday just to pray, and otherwise keeps himself to himself and takes care of his family.
12.Have you ever considered blogging in Arabic? I have, but I would only do that in order to reach a different target audience, which would need not only a different language but also a different style. It would effectively double the workload, which I can't afford to do at the moment.
13. What could Saudi Arabia do NOW to show the world it was serious about reforms? Any one of a number of things, like allowing women to drive, opening the courts to the public, letting women vote, having fully elected local councils, allowing the one million plus Christian expatriates to have churches....
14. Do you think you will live to see a day when there will be some Religious Freedom in Saudi Arabia like your neighbor at the other end of the Pier?(Bahrain)Yes I do. And that's an interesting comparison, because, as well as allowing churches, the Bahrainis allow non-Muslims to enter their mosques, indeed they see it as an opportunity to show them the beauty of the buildings and decorations, and hopefully win over converts. The Saudi Imams think that you win converts by keeping non-believers out of mosques.
15. As a Saudi do you think the radical elements inside the Royal Family outweigh the moderates? It is difficult to read the situation because they are very secretive. The only clues are their occasional public actions, but they are few and far between. I think there is a sort of balance there at the moment, with the moderates trying to push things their way but meeting resistance.
16. Why do you think some have accused you of not being a "real" Saudi? Is there a more sinister motive behind the accusations? I am always amused by the idea that a non-Saudi would want to pretend to be Saudi, after 9/11 and all that. It would be like someone pretending to be North Korean, or a necrophiliac, or infected with leprosy. If I wanted to pretend, I'd pretend to be tall, muscular, with wavy blond hair, athletic, a voice like Pavarotti. Pretending to be a Saudi would suck.However, I don't think it's sinister, it's just the typical "ad hominem" attack you get from people who can't engage with your arguments. "The RP is not a proper Muslim" is the other variation.
17. Your near perfect use of the English language (written) has been called into question by some. Can you provide some insight into where you learned English and did you find it difficult or was it something that came natural? Thanks to my parents, I had an extensive education both in England in the USA, and always went for the language options. For much of my early life, and even at times now, I would think in English. Generally, I find languages easy. Of the European languages, I can speak French, Spanish, Russian and, if I ever meet up with an ancient Roman or Athenian, Latin and Ancient Greek; I can also manage to read newspaper articles in German, Italian and Portuguese. I am the archetype language "geek". So colloquial English is no great problem.
18. Considering how the Press is "opPRESSed" in Saudi Arabia and the Arab world in general what do you think the impact is with bloggers like yourself opening up new avenues for people to gather news and trade opinions? Is it a threat to the old guard? Just as bloggers were a factor in the recent Canadian election, publishing the stories that others could (or would) not, so bloggers in Saudi Arabia are a potential threat to the old guard. I just wish that there were more, and that they were more radical, but I'm only too well aware of the risks they run. That is why existing Saudi blogs are generally very tame.
19.The charge has been made that the edginess of RP's satire brings negative attention to other Saudi bloggers. Will the RP ever take that into consideration in future posts? I think each blog stands or falls on its own merits. People don't judge all U.S. blogs by "Little Green Footballs" or "Daily Kos". So I'll go on doing what I am doing, as long as I feel that I am hitting the target. If others want to adopt a different style, great, there's nothing to stop them setting up their own blog, it's free, the more the merrier.
20.Do you have a "Riyadh Rumor Mill", sort of like a "Deep Throat", an anonymous source who can't go on record but helps direct you to the real story? There is no-one who is knowingly feeding me material, but of course I have a lot of relatives and friends back home, and we are always chatting about things, so I pick up insights and views that way. Having said that, meeting up with Prince Naif in a dark corner of a multi-storey car park would be cool. ;-)
copywrite 2006 by CerebralWaste