(I’m thinking of taking up the noble clowning trade…nah, never mind…cd)
Funny business: Clowns are becoming true stars of circus
Once mainly sideline acts, circuses now hope to boost their bottom lines with celebrity clowns
By Kelly Crow
The Wall Street Journal
When the circus came to town this summer, the Klutz family could hardly wait. They snagged front-row tickets and got to the Las Vegas arena an hour and a half early. Nine-year-old John was the most excited of all: He wore clown makeup and a foot-high orange rubber wig his mother had bought so he could look like his favorite character.
His big moment came when Bello Nock, the vertically coiffed star of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, walked by between acts. As the Klutz family whipped out their cameras, the clown patted the boy on the head. ”Nice hair, dude,” Nock said.
To boost the bottom line, circuses are turning to a new marketing tool: the celebrity clown. Under pressure from animal-rights groups and higher costs of maintaining large beasts, and facing competition from live-action shows based on cartoon characters, the $1.8 billion industry is trying to transform these once-nameless sideline acts into major brands. Multimillion-dollar ad campaigns are focused on clowns like Nock and ”Grandma,” of New York’s Big Apple Circus. Salt Lake Tribune – Business
Frankly, we, the scary arab clowns, are happy to have a little break from Vago. That doesn’t mean we will stop posting though…boy, as if the economic worries aren’t enough, here is one more reason we don’t want to become American citizens:
A man armed with two handguns killed 13 people at an immigration services center before apparently turning the gun on himself, authorities in Binghamton, New York, said on Friday.
Police Chief Joseph Zikuski told a news conference the gunman blocked the back entrance of the building with a car, walked in the front door and shot two receptionists, one of whom died, before entering a classroom and killing 12 more people and then apparently committing suicide.
Just imagine, those twelve people loved your country enough to want to take tests and oaths and what reward? Shot in a classroom where they were learning about the bill of rights…hmmm…well done America.
In a report underscoring the economy’s distress, the Labor Department said employers slashed 663,000 jobs in March and revised prior data to show job losses of 741,000 in January, the biggest decline since October 1949. February’s drop in non-farm payrolls was unrevised at 651,000.The report showed it has become increasingly difficult to find new jobs, with the number of Americans experiencing long spells of joblessness rising by 265,000 to 3.2 million. Nearly one in four of the unemployed had been jobless for 27 weeks or more. Rising unemployment is cutting into household incomes, which already have been decimated by the collapse in housing and stock prices, restricting consumers’ spending ability.
And it looks like your President is really doing a good job. As we said before, we like him, but doubt he can do all he is expected to, but then again, maybe he is the return of Jesus.
We like the g-20 protestors but we have to agree with Vago that Protest is no longer an effective means of changing things. Not that we discourage it though. Protest in the modern technological police state is simply a way of putting dissenters in tightly cordoned protest areas and then taking many pictures of them.
We find it curious that Vago is in Europe at the same time as Obama, he denies that there is a connection but we have seen his Agent 808 profile.
We expect that there will be a massive selloff on Wall Street when we prove that there are no stigmata on Obama’s hands.
We the Scary Arab Clowns aplolgiwe for not doing a very good job containing Vago. We acknowledge that we have not kept very good tabs on him and have allowed him to get into all sorts of mischief. First of all, we turned our backs for a moment and he became engaged to a Moroccan girl. We know, we never should have let this happen and if we were paid employees in charge of watching him, you would probably fire us, but to be fair, we like the girl and for the most part, she has made our job easier. Then, we leave him alne for a moment more and suddenly the madman has become a rabbit farmer and is talking of buying a donkey! It’s too late to stop the engagement or the rabbits, but certainly we won’t let him ride around in a djalabba on a donkey! He is our prisoner and we won’t let him parade around as if he is some sort of wandering jew or good samaritan, nor even like he is a berber tribesman. As to his plans of the Sahara…we will see about that. We may send him to France instead just to punish you American pig dogs for not making any contributions to this site! We will have him eat freedom fries until his heart explodes!
Enough of that…
We also apologize for our lack of updating the news and threaten to tell you more about the failings of your foolish economic ways unless you pay us!
Your bailout is working…but not the way you thought it might!
Embattled bank JPMorgan Chase, the recipient of $25 billion in TARP funds, is going ahead with a $138 million plan to buy two new luxury corporate jets and build “the premiere corporate aircraft hangar on the eastern seaboard” to house them.
And we are laughing about the new Obama plan to create a market for toxic assetts, isnùt that what created the problem? Traders creating a market for toxic assetts? It’s funnier than 35 sheep in big shoes crammed into a tiny wagon!
The Obama administration will announce details of a plan today to expand the $700 billion rescue of the financial system that will rely on enticing private investors to buy the troubled assets clogging banks’ balance sheets.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who will unveil the Public Private Investment Program today, has crafted an approach using up to $100 billion of bailout money to spur investment funds to purchase — and banks to unload — the illiquid securities and loans that have caused credit to dry up. The Treasury, Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. will all play a role alongside private investors in aiming to buy between $500 billion and $1 trillion of troubled assets.
“By providing a market for these assets that does not now exist, this program will help improve asset values, increase lending capacity by banks, and reduce uncertainty about the scale of losses on bank balance sheets,” Geithner said in an op-ed piece published in today’s Wall Street Journal. “The ability to sell assets to this fund will make it easier for banks to raise private capital.”
Backwards just like in India where the maker of the worlds cheapest car took out massive loans to buy Jaguar and Land Rover from Ford and thus made the cheapest car unporfitable. Nice work India, Henry Ford, who you just bought Jag and Land Rover from is laughing in his grave at your stupidity. By the way, we project Ford to be the only major U.S. auto company in five years.
Tata Motors Ltd. will begin taking orders next month for its Nano, the world’s cheapest car, after a failed effort to build a new factory for the vehicle delayed production. The low price and late sales mean the car won’t generate enough revenue to refinance by June $2 billion of a bridge loan Tata used to buy Land Rover and Jaguar from Ford Motor Co.
And can you make sense of this, if so, you are right to be scared!
Economists see the Fed’s balance sheet ballooning to $4.5 trillion this year, with its announced purchases added to existing lending facilities. That’s trillion with a “t.” And it would be five times the size of the balance sheet in the first eight months of 2008, before the Fed cranked up the printing presses.
We would like to offer the world an appropriate term for the Obama administration. Narnia. Just as the Kennedy administration was known as Camelot, we think that Narnia is a good term for Obamas. We have many reasons for this, mainly it is that what you think you are seeing is not what is really happening. We would like to suggest that perhaps what you are witnessing is a modern fairy tale and as such is not quite what you think it is.
A few examples might suffice to get you to think more about this:
The highest levels of the Obama administration are infested with members of a shadowy, elitist cabal intent on installing a one-world government that subverts the will of the American people.
It turns out that Sebelius – like top administration economists Timothy Geithner, Larry Summers and Paul Volcker, as well as leading Obama diplomats Richard Holbrooke and Dennis Ross – is a Bilderberger. That is, she is someone who has participated in the annual invitation-only conference held by an elite international organization known as the Bilderberg group.
The group, which takes its name from the Dutch hotel where it held its first meeting in 1954, exists solely to bring together between 100 and 150 titans of politics, finance, military, industry, academia and media from North America and Western Europe once a year to discuss world affairs. It doesn’t issue policy statements or resolutions, nor does it hold any events other than an annual meeting.
According to U.S. Representative Ron Paul “The one thing that concerns me is that the people who surround Obama or Bush generally come from the same philosophic viewpoint and they have their organizations – they have the Trilateral Commission, the CFR [Council on Foreign Relations] and the Bilderbergers, and they’ve been around a long time. And my biggest concern is what they preach: Keynesian economics and interventionism and world planning. And I don’t think it’s just Obama. Whether it’s the Republicans or the Democrats – Goldman Sachs generally has somebody in treasury. And the big banks generally have somebody in the Federal Reserve. And they’re international people, too. And they’re probably working very hard this weekend, with the G20. And they get involved in the IMF. But that is their stated goal.”
And look at what we see when we go to the day’s news:
WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Goldman Sachs Group Inc and a parade of European banks were the major beneficiaries of $93 billion in payments from AIG — more than half of the U.S. taxpayer money spent to rescue the massive insurer.
The revelation on Sunday by American International Group Inc was another potential public relations nightmare, coming on the same weekend that the Obama administration expressed outrage over AIG’s plan to pay massive bonuses to the people in the very division that destroyed the company by issuing billions of dollars in derivatives insuring risky assets.
The fact that billions of dollars given to prop up giant insurer AIG were then transferred to European banks and Wall Street investment houses could raise new doubts about whether the rescue was really economically necessary.
Goldman Sachs, formerly led by Henry Paulson who was treasury secretary at the time of the original AIG bailout, said, as it has in the past, that its AIG positions were “collateralized and hedged.”
And suddenly, we have to wonder if we are seeing the world of muggles or the world of wizards, we know we are mixing our metaphors here…so we will say, which side of the wardrobe are we on, and is the woman who gives us Turkish Delight actually on our side? We found this from BoingBoing today and it is worth considering:
The Obama administration has undone a few of the Bush administration’s worst policies, true. Yet when it comes to Obama’s increasingly clear disdain for some core civil liberties and his administration’s penchant for secrecy despite cheerful rhetoric to the contrary, Salon’s Glenn Greenwald arrives at a dismal — but sadly, logical — conclusion:
After many years of anger and complaint and outrage directed at the Bush administration for its civil liberties assaults and executive power abuses, the last thing most people want to do is conclude that the Obama administration is continuing the core of that extremism. That was why the flurry of executive orders in the first week produced such praise: those who are devoted to civil liberties were, from the start, eager to believe that things would be different, and most want to do everything but conclude that the only improvements that will be made by Obama will be cosmetic ones.
But it’s becoming increasingly difficult for honest commentators to do anything else but conclude that. After all, these are the exact policies which, when embraced by Bush, produced such intense protest over the last eight years. Nobody is complaining because the Obama administration is acting too slowly in renouncing these policies. The opposite is true: they are rushing to actively embrace them. And while there are still opportunities to meaningfully depart from the extremism of the last eight years, the evidence appears more and more compelling that, at least in these areas, there is little or no real intent on the part of the Obama administration to do so.
Democrats in Congress and much of the political left have been silent or nearly so despite the evidence. You expect cowardice from Congress, which spent the Bush presidency in a perpetual bent-over posture. The Netroots folks who did so much to elect Obama should be screaming bloody murder by now. Too few are even slightly audible. A shame.
We, the Scary Arab Clowns, see that things are not quite what you think them to be, but the question is, do you?
We the Scary Arab Clowns admit to taking some satisfaction in being right, but the misery that you and your people are going through bring us no joy. With that being said, we wish you peace and equality with the rest of the third world.
U.S. unemployment will approach 10 percent as the country endures its worst recession since World War Two, leaving more than 13 million Americans jobless, according to a Reuters poll of economists.
We admit to joy that there are less billionaires than there were before.
The financial crisis is taking its toll on the world’s richest people, wiping 332 names off Forbes magazine’s “rich list” of world billionaires.
Just 793 people can now lay claim to a place on the list, but on average they have lost 23% of their wealth.
Sadly, the wealthy feel this crisis the least:
Nearly 291,000 properties in the U.S. got a foreclosure filing in February, the third highest monthly total since RealtyTrac began tracking the data in January 2005.
Hawaii had 537 foreclosure filings in February, up 59.3 percent from January and up 275.5 percent from February 2008. There were 337 foreclosure filings in January and 143 foreclosures in February 2008.
And the poor and desperate will continue to murder each other in increasing numbers:
Police in Texas say a man shot and wounded his estranged girlfriend and then killed her mother and her son before killing himself in a home in a Fort Worth suburb.
Police say the shooter was found dead of a gunshot wound inside a home in North Richland Hills on Tuesday night.
and not just in the USA
A 17-year-old in black combat gear killed 15 people in southwest Germany on Wednesday in a shooting spree that started at his former school.
But there is good news too: Monkeys in Thailand have learned how to floss and are teaching their offspring, so when we humans disappear, the next species will have good dental hygiene.
TOKYO (AFP) – Thai monkeys have been observed showing their young how to floss — proof primates teach offspring to use tools, a Japanese researcher said Wednesday.
“I was surprised because teaching techniques on using tools properly to a third party are said to be an activity carried out only by humans,” Professor Nobuo Masataka of Kyoto University’s Primate Research Institute told AFP.
His research team observed seven female long-tailed macaques and their offspring and monitored how often the mothers cleaned the spaces between their teeth with strands of human hair, in a colony of 250 animals near Bangkok.
The study found that the frequency of teeth-cleaning roughly doubled and became more elaborate when the infant monkeys were watching, suggesting that the females were deliberately teaching their young how to floss, he said.
“The study is still at the hypothesis stage,” Masataka cautioned. “We would like to shift our focus to the baby monkeys to check whether the mothers’ actions are effectively helping them learn how to clean their teeth.”
First of all, since we have gotten to know Vago pretty well, we are amazed that Obama would consider making Gil Kerllikowski, the top cop in the WTO riot debacle the head of anything, but then, it was under Clinton that the actual repression of free speech began in the United States and the growth of the protest movement was stopped by Israeli tactics. For example, you can protest in this spot, about this issue, from this time to this time. We would like to remind people that protests are designed to check the power of oppressive institutions, not enforce it. Protesting in a cage wouldn’t have worked for Gandhi or King, though Mandella did do a nice job of it, but this is a different story. So, we are not encouraged to see a man who used rubber bullets and tear gas against mostly peaceful U.S. citizens in what might have been a defining moment of change being appointed to a position of power in what is being painted as a climate of change.
We do however give Obama credit for trying. And because we believe in signs and omens as written about in al-Quran we think it is hopeful to hear about the pocketwatch of Lincoln and the message in it, though since we are not only scary arab clowns but also suspicious ones, we wonder if the timing (get it?) is a set up.
Dillon told his children (and, half a century later, a reporter for the New York Times) that he opened the watch’s inner workings and scrawled his name, the date and a message for the ages: “The first gun is fired. Slavery is dead. Thank God we have a President who at least will try.”
He then closed it up and sent it back to the White House. Lincoln never knew of the message. Dillon died in 1907.
The watch, meanwhile, was handed down and eventually given to the Smithsonian Institution in 1958. It didn’t run anymore. No one had pried open the inner workings in ages. The old watchmaker’s tale was just that.
And then Douglas Stiles, Dillon’s great-great grandson, alerted Smithsonian officials to the family legend last month. He was a real-estate attorney in Waukegan, Ill., he explained. He’d heard the legend around the dinner table as a kid, but had just discovered a New York Times article from 1906, quoting Dillon as telling the story himself.
The truth was a little different though, yesterday the watch was opened. And the message was revealed as being not quite so psychic as it was thought to be. Split into three different sections to get around the tiny gears, was this razor-thin etching: “Jonathan Dillon April 13, 1861. Fort Sumter was attacked by the rebels on the above date. Thank God we have a government.”
We also want to wish Chuck Norris a happy 69th birthday. We enjoyed recently when he spoke about seccession from the United States by way of Texas. We think the United States would be a much better country without Texas and we can think of no one more inept, er qualified to preside over the lone star state than Chuck Norris or George W. Bush and frankly we are tired of Bush, at least Chuck Norris could fight with Putin and have a chance of winning.
We see that in Hawaii, the response to an increase in use of public transportation is to raise the cost of using the transport. We hate to be the one’s to tell the big oaf Mufi Hanneman, but this is bad economics and a bad way to help save the environment. Stupid greedy mormon fucker. Lower the fares, subsidize it more, and watch as your need for rail disappears…oh, wait a minute, maybe it is that you want more support for your rail plan….we get it.
We would also like to congratulate the U.S. government on training a new generation of Taliban and al-quaida leaders in Gitmo. We are not certain whether you released a leader or created one, but either way, good job.
U.S. officials say the Taliban’s new top operations officer in southern Afghanistan is a former prisoner at the Guantanamo detention center. Pentagon and CIA officials say Abdullah Ghulam Rasoul was among 13 prisoners released to the Afghan government in December 2007. He is now known as Mullah Abdullah Zakir, a name officials say is used by the Taliban leader in charge of operations against U.S. and Afghan forces in southern Afghanistan.
Also, we applaud your continued defense of a gun culture in your increasingly deadly country. We would be interested to see how many Americans have killed themselves with guns since the monetary crisis (thanks be to Allah) began. And we see this as just a beginning of your gun troubles, it’s a thorny crop you have planted, prepare for a bloody harvest.
At least 10 people including the suspected gunman and his mother were killed in a shooting spree and car chase in southern Alabama on Tuesday, authorities said.
The shooter, who was in his mid-30s, killed five people including the wife of a local deputy sheriff and her 3-month-old baby at a mobile home in Samson, according to Wynnton Melton, mayor of nearby Geneva, Alabama.
His other victims included his own mother, two people killed at a convenience store and a man in a pickup truck who died during a car chase as the gunman apparently fired at random, said Melton.
Mass shootings have become a feature of life in the United States.
In one of the worst recent incidents, a gunman dressed as Santa Claus killed nine guests at a Christmas Eve party, before taking his own life in Covina, California, a suburb of Los Angeles.
On April 16, 2007, Virginia Tech, a university in Blacksburg, Virginia, became the site of the deadliest rampage in modern U.S. history when a student gunman killed 32 people and himself.
Guns are widely available for purchase in the United States, a country that prides itself on the right to own weapons for self defense and hunting.
Nice work America. We are glad to be living someplace that is relatively safe like Morocco.
Vago tells us that some of his local friends in Hawaii describe living in the islands like being a crab in a bucket. That is, whenever someone sees something good coming your way, like a crab almost getting out of the bucket, instead of pushing you out, they grab you from below and pull you back to the bottom.
We’ve noticed the same thing in Morocco. The latest example is Hanane falling in love with Vago and the dirty looks, snide comments, and harrassment that follow the two wherever they go. Zhile it could be attributed to her being a dark skinned Muslim girl and he bing a light skinned foreigner that doesn’t fit the image of a Muslim, or it could be that she looks like a very young girl (but is actually almost 25), we think it is the same phenomenon. For instance, today a government representative came to the house and told them they need to file papers of residence since someone had called and reported a foreigner living there with a girl. He will come by later and demand money and paperwork. Luckily, he is good corrupt and while he xtorts, he actually does what he says he will do, or so we, the evil arab clowns have been told.
Now more news from clown-jazeera:
The Oracle of Omaha on the Fantastic Depression:
Warren Buffett said on Monday the U.S. economy had “fallen off a cliff” but would eventually recover, although a rebound could kindle inflation worse than that experienced in the late 1970s.
Speaking on CNBC television, the 78-year-old billionaire said the country is experiencing a “close to the worst-case” scenario of falling business activity and rising unemployment, causing consumer confidence and spending to tumble.
And suddenly we like John McCain again:
John McCain and Richard Shelby, two high-profile Republican senators, said Sunday that the government should allow a number of the biggest U.S. banks to fail. “Close them down, get them out of business,” Shelby, the senior Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, said on the ABC television program This Week With George Stephanopoulos. “If they’re dead, they ought to be buried.”
and our fascination with Detroit continues, along with other foreigners who are buying up homes there:
Outside buyers are the latest in a long line of landlords taking over the deteriorating housing stock of a city that because of its once mighty auto industry boasted one of the highest owner-occupied housing rates in the U.S. And unlike many large cities, Detroit’s single-family homes dominate its landscape, not high-rise apartment buildings.Through the first month of 2009, average sales were $6,035.
And the Chinese aren’t scared of America:
Five Chinese ships including a naval vessel harassed an unarmed U.S. Navy ocean surveillance ship in international waters in the South China Sea Sunday, the Pentagon said.
And it turns out that chimps can plan so Planet of the Apes may happen after all
A canny chimpanzee who calmly collected a stash of rocks and then hurled them at zoo visitors in fits of rage has confirmed that apes can plan ahead just like humans, a Swedish study said Monday.
Santino the chimpanzee’s anti-social behavior stunned both visitors and keepers at the Furuvik Zoo but fascinated researchers because it was so carefully prepared.
According to a report in the journal Current Biology, the 31-year-old alpha male started building his weapons cache in the morning before the zoo opened, collecting rocks and knocking out disks from concrete boulders inside his enclosure. He waited until around midday before he unleashed a “hailstorm” of rocks against visitors, the study said.
“These observations convincingly show that our fellow apes do consider the future in a very complex way,” said the author of the report, Lund University Ph.D. student Mathias Osvath. “It implies that they have a highly developed consciousness, including lifelike mental simulations of potential events.”
Osvath’s findings were based on his own observations of Santino and interviews with three senior caretakers who had followed the chimpanzee’s behavior for 10 years at the zoo in Furuvik, about 93 miles (150 kilometers) north of Stockholm.
Seemingly at ease with his position as leader of the group, Santino didn’t attack the other chimpanzees, Osvath told The Associated Press. The attacks were only directed at humans viewing the apes across the moat surrounding the island compound where they were held.
However, he rarely hit visitors because of his poor aim, and no one was seriously injured in the cases when he did, Osvath said.
Scary Arab Clown update of the news, quick and dirty for ya…
First of all, congratulations to Kim Jong Il for winning an election that no one could predict:
Now, it has been pointed out that 10% unemployment is considered pretty good here in Morocco, we think that pretty soon, it will also be considered pretty good in the USA (Thanks Bambs!)
With “no end in sight” for U.S. job losses amid a recession that could stretch into 2010, American workers will soon have to contend with another blow to their confidence: stagnant, or even falling wages.
Job seekers — already coping with the highest unemployment rate in a quarter century, their savings mugged by a plunging stock market — can also expect lower pay once they land a new job, labor market experts say, because the current downturn shows no signs of turning around anytime soon.
Lower wages, in turn, could further erode the outlook for the U.S. economy by hurting consumers’ spending power.
The unemployment rate leaped to 8.1 percent last month from 7.6 percent in January, the highest number in 26 years
And for those of you who think a graduate degree might be the answer, the news is even more grim as reported by the New York Times. Link
How bad can it get? We notice that Vago and others have been warning about just how bad it will get for quite some time, but if you prefer to listen to the optimists have a look here link and then read about the improving conditions in Detroit. Link
For decades, scribes from America’s coasts and beyond have been parachuting into Detroit to marvel at its horrors. The city never fails to deliver colourful copy: the urban decay, the $1 houses that still go unsold, the tragicomic city politics. Jerry Herron, a writer and scholar at Detroit’s Wayne State University, likens journalists’ morbid delight at Detroit to that of Victorian travellers reaching Pompeii. “City of the dead, city of the dead,” Thackeray wrote. The words might as well apply here.
We might point out that here in Morocco, things are improving, even if it looks like complete chaos to a wanna-be evel arab clown like Vago. Link
Led by Morocco and Tunisia, the region of 84 million people is attracting serious investment—more than $30 billion over the past five years—to build everything from auto and aerospace factories to five-star resorts and call centers for multinationals.
We are a little bored sometimes with our own focus on the USA so today we will discuss Moroccan news and culture:
First, we are excited about several upcoming festivals:
We are missing this one but it looks great: The Nomad Festival in the small village of M’hamid.
The Nomads Festival is based in the small Moroccan village of M’Hamid El Ghislane some 60 kilometres south of Zagora in the Draa Valley. This, the sixth edition of the festival, features dance, music, exhibitions, conferences and handicraft displays and draws international artists from France, Spain and Brazil.
First held in 2003, the Nomads Festival performances are held at two sites, in the village itself and in a specially set-up nomadic camp in the desert, located about 20km from M’Hamid.
The festival runs through until the 9th of March and details (in French) can be found on their website. Nomad Festival. http://www.nomadsfestival.com/
Also coming soon are the Sufi Culture Festival in Fes 18-25 April:
Brainchild of Sufi scholar, Faouzi Skali, the 3rd annual Fes Festival of Sufi Culture will be held from 18-25 April. The programme promises some fascinating discussion topics and superb concerts, including various Sufi brotherhoods from Morocco and Algeria, and the Egyptian master, Cheikh Ahmad al-Tuni.
The conference will be held in the Bouanania Medersa, and all the concerts in the Batha Museum.
For more information, see www.par-chemins.com.
The Fes Sacred Music Festival 29 May to 6 Jun:
Welcome to sacred music festival in Morocco! Internationally renowned artists from around the world flock to Morocco’s spiritual capital for the annual Fez Festival of World Sacred Music and perform a variety of styles, from Moroccan Sufi chants, Pakistani qawwali incantations, and Egyptian madhi odes, to flamenco-style Christian saeta, ancient Indian gwalior chants, and Turkish whirling dervishes. Over the course of the event, musicians from France to Rajasthan find common ground, with collaborative performances culminating the program and celebrate this festival of sacred music.
and the Cherry Festival in Sefrou 11-24 Jun:
Sefrou’s Cherry Festival celebrates the harvest with music and dance, a colourful souk (market), sporting competitions, a torchlit procession, a fairground and the election of Miss Cherry, with a parade by her admiring followers.
The event takes place in an ancient walled town, one of the oldest in the area, pre-dating even Fez’s 8th-century structures. Sefrou lies on the rising slopes of the Middle Atlas, the ideal ground for the thousands of cherry trees which lend the town its fruity renown.
Sufism is very importtant in Morocco, though Vago has been looking for a Sufi teacher and has not yet found one:
Sufism has been infused in the culture of Morocco for centuries. Sufi teachers are viewed to be moral examples for the rest of the public, because of their teachings of leniency and their lives that reflect peace and compassion. This form of spiritual education is seen as the centre piece for the Islam faith and has been recorded to have been in existence as far back as the eleventh century. Spiritual centers where Sufism is taught started coming to light in the thirteenth century and during the Mongol invasions. Sufi became vital to the Muslim religion by preserving their belief in spirituality.
For the people of Morocco, Sufi has become an important part of spiritual and human development.
Morocco has a long history with Sufism. In Morocco alone, there are 1000 different Sufi cultures and brotherhoods. Brotherhoods established by Sufi teachers were known for their leniency and tolerance and have long been viewed as models of moral conduct to be emulated. Sufis founded institutions of learning run by local zaouias in towns and villages, many of which remain today and enjoy state support. Morocco has always made a considerable effort to encourage Sufism. The country has produced such a remarkable number of Sufis such as Gnaoua, the Aïssawa, the Hamadcha and the Master Musicians of Jajouka.
In the news Morocco has cut diplomatic ties with Iran:
Morocco and Iran have had a rocky relationship since the Iranian revolution in 1979. The two only normalised relations in the late 1990s and now, in a reversal, Morocco on Friday severed diplomatic ties with Iran.
Morocco’s move is not considerd by analysts to be so much about Bahrain but about the Iranian diplomatic mission in Rabat seeking to spread Shia Islam in the predominantly Sunni Muslim kingdom. A statement from Morocco’s foreign ministry accused on Friday the Iranian embassy of “intolerable interference in the internal affairs of the kingdom”, and of engaging in activities which threatened the religious unity of the country.
and as to the Economy
According to a Reuters report Morocco’s Central Bank is more worried by inflation than by global financial markets turmoil originating in the United States.
We, the Scary Arab Clowns admit to taking a special joy in watching as the U.S. falls, but at the same time we are highly impressed with the steps the Obama administration is taking. We have convinced Vago not to give up his U.S. citizenship and he is even considering returning someday to his native land of birth. In any event, we think that things are going in the right direction and we bring you this update of the news we find most interesting in the world.
We admit that we are enjoying the blogging. We may start a new network called al-Clownzeera.
We think that Venezuela’s Chavez and the North Korean Kim Jong Il are only the vanguard of nations that will begin testing the limits of the United States.
President Hugo Chavez seized a unit of American food giant Cargill on Wednesday and threatened to take over Venezuela’s largest private company, renewing a nationalization drive as the OPEC nation’s oil income plunges.
A day after warning Washington against launching military exercises on South Korean soil, North Korea focused its rhetoric Thursday on its neighbor and warned of “powerful” retaliation if Seoul goes ahead with joint drills next week.
There will be other tests of the limits of United States power.
Kyrgyzstan will not reverse its decision to shut down a United States military air base, which is key for Washington’s war in Afghanistan, a spokesman for President Kurmanbek Bakiyev said on Thursday.
We like that Obama is doing things that go against conventional wisdom:
The Obama administration plans to expand a program to bolster Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s security forces in the occupied West Bank as part of a push for statehood, officials said on Thursday.
The debut of the two-pronged Making Home Affordable Program, focused on mortgage modification and refinancing, will likely be delayed for several weeks, though, as lenders prepare for the anticipated onslaught of borrowers’ looking for help.
We would also like to point out that if you want to treat your corporations like human binegs, you should consider making them mortal, that is, taking away the immortality of corps that are iresponsible and dangerous such as Eli Lilly.
Eli Lilly & Company’s rap sheet as a public menace is so long that for Lilly watchers to overcome the “banality-of-Lilly-sleaziness” phenomenon, the drug company must break some type of record measuring egregiousness. Lilly obliged earlier this year, receiving the largest criminal fine ever imposed on a corporation.
And we have a rather nice update on the soundtrack of the Fantastic Depression. We think it is more than likely it will be Phish. Link.
And here is an itneresting way to find a wife…”If you build a road, they will come” We call this the field of dreams method.
More than 100 Bachelors from a remote village in Bihar, India, are building a mountain road to the outside world to raise their eligibility among prospective brides. The village of Barwaan Kala is located high in the Kaimur hills and known locally as the “village of unmarried people.” The last wedding in the village was reportedly 50 years ago.
We find these two stories about Morocco interesting today.
1. Sufism in Moroccan Islam Link
2. EU Cooperation with Morocco to Increase Link
Finally we want everyone to know that if Gandhi’s eyeglasses go on auction we plan to buy them for $4.95 and if anyone else raises the bid we will cut off their head. Link.