Un-Democratic Wages (updated)

By Ghassan Karam

Any reasonably aware person knows very well that there are major problems domestically, are the elections going to be held on time and under which set of laws, regionally, when would the Syrian uprising manage to force Bashar Assad out of office and what kind of a regime would replace the Baath or even globally, is the EU going to pull a rabbit out of the proverbial hat, an deux ex machina, if you will or are we about to witness the total meltdown of the EU and its Euro currency. Not to mention the saber rattling between China and Japan over the status of two rocks in the ocean, the possibility of a major confrontation between Iran and Israel, The disappearance of Arctic Ice plus the real possibility of a radical climate change that will impact everyone all over the world.

In spite of all the above I have chosen to highlight the problems associated with the wages that the Lebanese parliamentarians appropriate for themselves. In a sense this is a very small issue that is not of much interest to many including the Lebanese. Had the Lebanese been well informed about government and had they been acting as responsible citizens then this would have been a non issue. Many sociologists have claimed that it is the small things that matter. Just ask any New Yorker about the Rudi Giuliani philosophy that had reinvigorated life into the greatest city in the world. He started with the squeegee kids.

What concerns us is the quality of life in the Arab world in general and the Lebanon in particular.  There aren’t many people in the world who are not familiar with the phrase the Arab Spring and the fact that it has lots of promise. Many hope that this Arab reawakening will end up in bringing forth a true democratic tradition to the Arab world. Lebanese politicians, such as our president Suleiman never lets a day go by without issuing a statement about the potential for Arab democracy and the role that Lebanon will have to play in promulgating it. Unfortunately president Suleiman forgets that he is not in a position to give lectures about democracy since he was unconstitutionally elected, people will never forget that, and that he is the president of a country whose parliament operates as if it is farm of the speaker Beri who never tires of pretending that he has created democracy. (It does predate him by 2500 years). But what is the absolute worst case is that the parliament that never meets and that rubber stamps decisions taken by instructions delivered to non elected officials keeps on pilling insult to injury by increasing its pay, its pension and its perks when the country is in a fiscal mess, an economic slowdown, a political standoff and an exploding sovereign debt.

Yes parliament members need to make two ends meet, just like any other citizen. Being a member of parliament is not meant to be wage free work. If it was then only the wealthy will be able to perform that function. But no one wants the rules and regulations that affect the life of each citizen to be dictated by the people at the top. But maybe we do. That is why the Lebanese members of parliament have one of the lowest workloads in the world. They barely meet and when they do they never discuss anything important and each represents only about 35,000 citizens. Their annual compensation in a country who’s GDP per capita is less than $10,000 when that of the German, EU, British, and French, Spanish, Portuguese Canadian, Australian and US counterpart is more or less in the same ball park. Actually most of the countries pay their parliamentarian less than Lebanon while they ask them to work harder and under much more transparent conditions. As a general rule a Member of Parliament should be limited to only twice to 2 ½ time the median household earnings. Anything above that and the legislatures will be living in a cocoon. They will not understand the realities that their constituents have to deal with on a daily basis. But in Lebanon this does not appear to be a problem. Our MP’s get maybe six times what the mean household income receives which explains why they live in a world of their own making. Their children do not go to public schools and they do not have to worry about social security since they have their own tight social safety net in the form of a generous pension. When confronted with the question that some constituents are finding it difficult to by bread they typical response” Let them get biscuits”. What is truly shameful is that the Lebanese press has not made an issue of any of this.

Addendum: The following graph should illustrate the above point about being overpaid and underworked.

  • breakthemould

    Allow me to say that it is very important to examine what they do. Or better expressed what they do not do. Tell me please: if you write to your own mp with a problem, do you get a reply? and if you do, will the reply help you in your predicament. I think this is more important than the mp’s salary. If you employ a person in your company for example to carry out marketing and they don’t do any of it, do you keep them in your employment yet alone pay them for work not done.  To be honest with you this issue has been troubling me for a hell of a long time. Do the mp’s serve their community regardless of their religious persuasion? If the mp represents the citizens of a residential area of a city like Beirut, will he serve all embracing number or the residents or will he do something for one religious group and not the other?
    Further more, do you know an mp who in his life was: a taxi driver, a school teacher, a shopkeeper, a merchant,  a plumber, an electrician or a manquoosheh baker?
    The almost always or is it always people of only the elite of the community mostly lawyers. So how on earth can this be  even a miniscule of democracy. It is a private set up and we all know it. It is a closed club which denies the rights of any of the people in the above professions. So deal with this first then worry whether they get 35K or 20K or 100K. You should worry about their competence or lack of it. And like any business which needs to stand on it’s own feet, fire them if they do not perform.

    • Ghassan Karam

      breakthemould
                           I would have thought that it was obvious where I stand on each of the issues that you mention. The ruling class is incompetent, does not act democratically, does not represent a cross section of the Lebanese society and is actually close to being a feudal political setup. But unfortunately we have no one to blame but ourselves. We voted them in , we show no outrage and we will vote them in again. Its a sad story.

      • wargame1

        Iran and Israel work hand in hand , they do not make war. Iran is the first country in the middle east who recognize Israel. Its a great pass time to talk about Iran vs Israel as these two parties along with USA have been attacking by mouth for the last thirty years. 
        But in reality we have seen “Iran contra scandal” were high officials in the USA including the President were secretly involved selling weapons to Iran via Israel. Besides that Iran got caught many other occasion buying weapons from Israel specially the spare parts for their existing american weapons after the American embargo on Iran. The embargo itself helped Israel to monopolized the arms sell to Iran. 

        I know its great to talk about Iran Israel war which will never happen. But I can assure you about A war against Iran by the sunni resistance specially from Syria,Afghanistan and Iraq and here we will possibly find some European countries  not USA  helping the Muslim resistance for strategic benefit like that of helping the Afghan Mujaheddin against the Soviet Union. You will find here a leading role of USA but again you will find the pro Israeli Neocons in the USA plus Israel secretly helping Iran just as it happened during Afghan Russian war. Anyway Can you set a tentative date of the supposed Iran Israel war ? and please explain what are the possible reasons for this war and how Israel would benefit from it.

    • 5thDrawer

      Which seems will never happen, since ANY issue is somehow turned into a religious one – even the flow of electricity seems godly. At least the Sun God hasn’t raised prices …. I’d go with him.
      But would ‘they’ allow you to use a solar panel??

    • dateam

      hariri fixes everything via twitter

      • Hannibal

        lol

  • breakthemould

    Allow me to say that it is very important to examine what they do. Or better expressed what they do not do. Tell me please: if you write to your own mp with a problem, do you get a reply? and if you do, will the reply help you in your predicament. I think this is more important than the mp’s salary. If you employ a person in your company for example to carry out marketing and they don’t do any of it, do you keep them in your employment yet alone pay them for work not done.  To be honest with you this issue has been troubling me for a hell of a long time. Do the mp’s serve their community regardless of their religious persuasion? If the mp represents the citizens of a residential area of a city like Beirut, will he serve all embracing number or the residents or will he do something for one religious group and not the other?
    Further more, do you know an mp who in his life was: a taxi driver, a school teacher, a shopkeeper, a merchant,  a plumber, an electrician or a manquoosheh baker?
    The almost always or is it always people of only the elite of the community mostly lawyers. So how on earth can this be  even a miniscule of democracy. It is a private set up and we all know it. It is a closed club which denies the rights of any of the people in the above professions. So deal with this first then worry whether they get 35K or 20K or 100K. You should worry about their competence or lack of it. And like any business which needs to stand on it’s own feet, fire them if they do not perform.

  • breakthemould

    Allow me to say that it is very important to examine what they do. Or better expressed what they do not do. Tell me please: if you write to your own mp with a problem, do you get a reply? and if you do, will the reply help you in your predicament. I think this is more important than the mp’s salary. If you employ a person in your company for example to carry out marketing and they don’t do any of it, do you keep them in your employment yet alone pay them for work not done.  To be honest with you this issue has been troubling me for a hell of a long time. Do the mp’s serve their community regardless of their religious persuasion? If the mp represents the citizens of a residential area of a city like Beirut, will he serve all embracing number or the residents or will he do something for one religious group and not the other?
    Further more, do you know an mp who in his life was: a taxi driver, a school teacher, a shopkeeper, a merchant,  a plumber, an electrician or a manquoosheh baker?
    The almost always or is it always people of only the elite of the community mostly lawyers. So how on earth can this be  even a miniscule of democracy. It is a private set up and we all know it. It is a closed club which denies the rights of any of the people in the above professions. So deal with this first then worry whether they get 35K or 20K or 100K. You should worry about their competence or lack of it. And like any business which needs to stand on it’s own feet, fire them if they do not perform.

    • http://profiles.google.com/karam.ghassan Ghassan Karam

      breakthemould
                           I would have thought that it was obvious where I stand on each of the issues that you mention. The ruling class is incompetent, does not act democratically, does not represent a cross section of the Lebanese society and is actually close to being a feudal political setup. But unfortunately we have no one to blame but ourselves. We voted them in , we show no outrage and we will vote them in again. Its a sad story.

      • wargame1

        Iran and Israel work hand in hand , they do not make war. Iran is the first country in the middle east who recognize Israel. Its a great pass time to talk about Iran vs Israel as these two parties along with USA have been attacking by mouth for the last thirty years. 
        But in reality we have seen “Iran contra scandal” were high officials in the USA including the President were secretly involved selling weapons to Iran via Israel. Besides that Iran got caught many other occasion buying weapons from Israel specially the spare parts for their existing american weapons after the American embargo on Iran. The embargo itself helped Israel to monopolized the arms sell to Iran. 

        I know its great to talk about Iran Israel war which will never happen. But I can assure you about A war against Iran by the sunni resistance specially from Syria,Afghanistan and Iraq and here we will possibly find some European countries  not USA  helping the Muslim resistance for strategic benefit like that of helping the Afghan Mujaheddin against the Soviet Union. You will find hear a leading role of USA but again you will find the pro Israeli Neocons in the USA plus Israel secretly helping Iran just as it happened during Afghan Russian war. Anyway Can you set a tentative date of the supposed Iran Israel war ? and please explain what are the possible reasons for this war and how Israel would benefit from it.

    • 5thDrawer

      Which seems will never happen, since ANY issue is somehow turned into a religious one – even the flow of electricity seems godly. At least the Sun God hasn’t raised prices …. I’d go with him.
      But would ‘they’ allow you to use a solar panel??

    • dateam

      hariri fixes everything via twitter

      • Hannibal

        lol

  • 5thDrawer

    Ghassan hits the nail on the head again.
    As usual, of course, most won’t listen and will blame some ‘others’ for the problems.
    ‘Democracy’ in Lebanon is simply a ‘catch-phrase’ used by a larger group of self-serving despots than in some other despotic single-ruler countries. That the present bunch were not even elected to that purpose of running a country should be the biggest clue. Hezzys only got 2 seats in the last round … for instance.
    Wonder why they are changing things around for 2013?? You shouldn’t … although one viable change that voting only for where you live – after a real census is done – would help; but with 13 or 50 ‘zones’ it’s still a ‘payolla’ system – whether the ‘pay’ is cash, or an unthreatened life.
    Good to see the chart too … interesting.

    • Ghassan Karam

      Nice to hear from you 5thDrawer, hope all is good on your end.

      • 5thDrawer

        Hi Ghassan. Thanks for a ‘hello’ – and you are Welcome.
        Nothing is ‘pefect’ but we muddle along in life, right? Health being the first consideration, I’m fine, and hope you are as well. :-)

        • daber

          if yu prostat good mr health goood mr 

        • 5thDrawer

          Ah, thanks Dab … seems ok … and I’m beginning to enjoy the Doc’s finger too. :-)

  • 5thDrawer

    Ghassan hits the nail on the head again.
    As usual, of course, most won’t listen and will blame some ‘others’ for the problems.

    • http://profiles.google.com/karam.ghassan Ghassan Karam

      Nice to hear from you 5thDrawer, hope all is good on your end.

      • 5thDrawer

        Hi Ghassan. Thanks for a ‘hello’ – and you are Welcome.
        Nothing is ‘pefect’ but we muddle along in life, right? Health being the first consideration, I’m fine, and hope you are as well. :-)

        • daber

          if yu prostat good mr health goood mr 

        • 5thDrawer

          Ah, thanks Dab … seems ok … and I’m beginning to enjoy the Doc’s finger too. :-)

  • 3AlawiMinHouran

    a real politician would never confirm the departure of assad as this political anal yser of the weekend is doing in his article; assad is going nowhere; it does not need a 4th or a 5th einstein, it does not need a political analyser to know it, it does not need to be in the secret of gods to know it: all what it needs is a bit of common sense; when a political anal yser says “when assad is leaving” i stop reading the rest of the logorrhea and leave it to more einsteins than me like 5th einstein; i bet the person will appreciate the prose in the text

    • 5thDrawer

      MiniAlawi … I am surprised that someone who has decided not to sample the tap water in various other places, probably due to knowledge of the possibilities until verifying it’s safety, has not also picked up a view of ‘mankind’ which necessarily goes beyond a little relatively insignificant Syrian turf. If you had, you would know by now that people like Assad are the ones who must be replaced if humans are going to survive into their bleak possible future – something Ghassan is pointing out on a more global scale. You yourself have noted UK electrical futures – but is that only done to castigate a country you learned nothing in while you were there??
      We’re all on this planet together, after all, and people had better get a more worldly view of it’s problems and the impact of humans on it, as well as the stupidity of both politics and religions as they relate to that. 
      Ghassan’s views need to be read past the one line you don’t like to see … because the ‘common sense’ you profess to seek tells us it’s true. If you fear the unknown, however, don’t read anything about nature.

      • 3AlawiMinHouran

        i do not fear anything except God and still; i am astounded when i see people, who claim to fight for democracy, yet support salafism or other radical theocratic terrorist dictatorships just because they follow leaders; it is true syria did harm Lebanon, both alawis and sunnis did, but if given the choice between two disasters, i would prefer the least destructive; if you think deeper in the issue you would find that syrias assad comitted a mistake by fighting Lebanon but again what YOU AND THE AUTHOR OF THIS MASCARADE OF AN ARTICLE ARE NOT GETTING IS THAT WHAT SYRIA DID AND WHAT OTHERS ARE DOING ARE JUST AMERICAN ORDERS. High time to wake up and stand united; stop firing on each other like idiots; none of us can go against americas wish and will; if you do, you will be hanged like saddam hussain; the only logic i am trying to make you understand is that muslum brotherhood is certainly not an alternative you would wish, unfortunately you are refractory to logic

        • 5thDrawer

          Sorry MiniAlawi … I don’t recall saying I would enjoy the Muslim brotherhood anywhere. (Gasp).
          But I also do not enjoy the indiscriminant bombing of women and children, or think they should be arrested and abused for voicing an opinion – even if it’s against ‘the ruler’.
          I think the fellow in Tunisia did it a much better way. He dived out quickly enough, at least, when shown the people had had enough of him. And he can’t be blamed for anything that goes on after that moment, can he?
          And one CAN go against the Americans if one wants to. It takes a bit of resolve to be independent – but they will respect something that began their own constitution, and is named by that word. What they don’t like is either themselves or other ‘friends’ being shot at – and they WILL let the shooters know it.
          Beyond that, for Americans, it’s only business. If you don’t like their ‘Made in China’  labels, don’t buy their stuff. ;-) Stay with Russia, if you wish. If you had a viable vote on that, the guys at the top would know soon enough.

        • Hannibal

          I never saw anyone on this blog vouching for the “brotherhood”… Not even Wargame.

        • 3AlawiMinHouran

          5th drawer reply is childish; she believes in santa claus; one small remark concerning her: america gives weapons to those firing at americans, it is part of their tactics. As far as hanibal is concerned, dear friend, when you are praying night and day for assad to fall, who are you supporting? democracy? my ass. BY SO DOING YOU ARE SUPPORTING MUSLUM BROTHERHOOD, MAYBE YOU DID NOT KNOW BUT NOW YOU SHOULD

      • yahootizi

        dearest 5th majroor (arabi or salafi for 5thdrawer): it is not because i got your ass rather i kicked your ass that i am an asshole; maybe you meant assholer in other words the one who widened your ass

    • Ghassan Karam

      3AlawiMinHouran,
                               This post is not about Syria but is about democracy in the Arab world and the fact that it is always and forever misapplied even in the case of Lebanon. If our representatives cannot find it in themselves to do the right thing when it comes to their salaries then you can bet that they will never do the right thing . It is often assumed that those that read such media outlets are mature and well mannered. If you do not agree with what you read then express your point of view without denigrating others. If all things are so clear in your mind then why are you wasting your time reading common blogs, that is inefficient and not very smart Mr. Einstein. Have a good day.

      • Hannibal

        lol

      • dateam

        lebanon is a country full of annomilies and contradictions yet it defies any formula relating to not just democracy but sense…lets look at the media including this particular outlet…we probably have one of the highest percentages of media outlets in the world per capita…every tom dick and harry has his/her own outlet to spin their own crap, not to report but to give their own opinion and influence people…their is no accountability because we still (all sects) have this feudal mentality of follow the leader no matter what….people do wrong get jailed and are released for olitical purposes and suddenly they become saints…we currently have parliamentarians residing outside the country not doing their jobs yet getting payed….the economy is a mess yet as a population of 4million roughly we we have about 200000 maids working in the country…we have probably one of the highest rates of cosmetic surgery per capita in the world, we still dont abide by road rules, or know how to stand in line for our turn…democracy is not just about freedom of speech but holding people accountable especially our politicians..our next generation has been muzzled and squeezed into frustration because the old guard wants to preserve itself to keep its dynasty alive…but its ok next elections no matter what formula is used the money will roll out to buy votes and people will forget.

        • breakthemould

           Hear hear.

      • 3AlawiMinHouran

        i try to enlighten the wannabe failing einsteins sir; i understand someone pointing to you that you are just a cheap propagandist is not very smart; people in this blog are for democracy…hahahhaha; democracy when people agree with them, and if you dare to disagree then you are not democratic; reminds me of assads democracy: 99.99% of the votes. I wonder why do you criticise him as a dictator since you are imitating him in your democracy. The admins in this blog gave us great examples of good manners, mostly democratic manners. OOPS i forgot they are all very smart. Reminds me of tribal feudal and feodal systems. My day does not need your arrogance or your hypocricy to be good; it will be good anyhow sir; i hope yours will be as good though i have my doubts seen the acidity in your language, hidden acidity, kinda taqqya. BTW sir i understand the truth hurts, no worries; those who support you in this blog will always support you since as i noticed none has a lot of, judgement, they just parrot. That is your strong point, however with such mediocre prestatioon you wont recruit many adepts which i presume is the purpose of a blog; my advice is that you try harder; i am not aware of souks like souk oukaz where people can buy brains

        • 5thDrawer

          Well, allow me not to hide acidity or run with any ‘kinda taqqya’. You, sir, are a complete asshole.

        • 5thMajroor

          lol i liked the 5th reply; she is denuding herself; the outer layer polish is over; now the rotten inner core is getting out

        • 5thDrawer

          Just a simple statement of fact. No passion in it. :-)

        • hollis1

          lol i bet you are boiling inside yet practising taqyya hiding it

      • 3AlawiMinHouran

        btw sir, i am not here to challenge you on who is right and who is wrong anyhow you do not make the wieght; as i said before i am in an enlightening trip,trying to clarify things to hard core stubborn mislead people who are trapped by your propaganda; since a year and a half you are talking about the imminent fall of assad; since a year and a half i am saying there is no fall of assad; i let you guess the rest

        • Leborigine

          Hey mini haza (haza means small fart in the Shouf region), assad may not fall and after 1.5 years, I hope he does not fall and that he stays in power. As you know I do not take sides in a country that means nothing to me, but what actually does make me happy is to see his sad face while his country is burning. These C%$ts destroyed my country, if it wasn’t only by murder and theft, they definitely destroyed it with stupidity and idiocracy. I want assad to stay in power, the longer he stays, the more fuel gets added to the fire!
          If Lebanon gets exhumed in the process, it will be a sad situation, but not drastic. I would rather Lebanon burn as well if syria keeps getting the green light to continue interfereing in our domestic and international affairs. I prefer Lebanon to die on its feet than survive on its knees! 

  • 3AlawiMinHouran

    a real politician would never confirm the departure of assad as this political anal yser of the weekend is doing in his article; assad is going nowhere; it does not need a 4th or a 5th einstein, it does not need a political analyser to know it, it does not need to be in the secret of gods to know it: all what it needs is a bit of common sense; when a political anal yser says “when assad is leaving” i stop reading the rest of the logorrhea and leave it to more einsteins than me like 5th einstein; i bet the person will appreciate the prose in the text

    • 5thDrawer

      MiniAlawi … I am surprised that someone who has decided not to sample the tap water in various other places, probably due to knowledge of the possibilities until verifying it’s safety, has not also picked up a view of ‘mankind’ which necessarily goes beyond a little relatively insignificant Syrian turf. If you had, you would know by now that people like Assad are the ones who must be replaced if humans are going to survive into their bleak possible future – something Ghassan is pointing out on a more global scale. You yourself have noted UK electrical futures – but is that only done to castigate a country you learned nothing in while you were there??We’re all on this planet together, after all, and people had better get a more worldly view of it’s problems and the impact of humans on it, as well as the stupidity of both politics and religions as they relate to that. 
      Ghassan’s views need to be read past the one line you don’t like to see … because the ‘common sense’ you profess to seek tells us it’s true. If you fear the unknown, however, don’t read anything about nature.

      • 3AlawiMinHouran

        i do not fear anything except God and still; i am astounded when i see people, who claim to fight for democracy, yet support salafism or other radical theocratic terrorist dictatorships just because they follow leaders; it is true syria did harm Lebanon, both alawis and sunnis did, but if given the choice between two disasters, i would prefer the least destructive; if you think deeper in the issue you would find that syrias assad comitted a mistake by fighting Lebanon but again what YOU AND THE AUTHOR OF THIS MASCARADE OF AN ARTICLE ARE NOT GETTING IS THAT WHAT SYRIA DID AND WHAT OTHERS ARE DOING ARE JUST AMERICAN ORDERS. High time to wake up and stand united; stop firing on each other like idiots; none of us can go against americas wish and will; if you do, you will be hanged like saddam hussain; the only logic i am trying to make you understand is that muslum brotherhood is certainly not an alternative you would wish, unfortunately you are refractory to logic

        • 5thDrawer

          Sorry MiniAlawi … I don’t recall saying I would enjoy the Muslim brotherhood anywhere. (Gasp).
          But I also do not enjoy the indiscriminant bombing of women and children, or think they should be arrested and abused for voicing an opinion – even if it’s against ‘the ruler’.
          I think the fellow in Tunisia did it a much better way. He dived out quickly enough, at least, when shown the people had had enough of him. And he can’t be blamed for anything that goes on after that moment, can he?
          And one CAN go against the Americans if one wants to. It takes a bit of resolve to be independent – but they will respect something that began their own constitution, and is named by that word. What they don’t like is either themselves or other ‘friends’ being shot at – and they WILL let the shooters know it.
          Beyond that, for Americans, it’s only business. If you don’t like their ‘Made in China’  labels, don’t buy their stuff. ;-) Stay with Russia, if you wish. If you had a viable vote on that, the guys at the top would know soon enough.

        • Hannibal

          I never saw anyone on this blog vouching for the “brotherhood”… Not even Wargame.

        • 3AlawiMinHouran

          5th drawer reply is childish; she believes in santa claus; one small remark concerning her: america gives weapons to those firing at americans, it is part of their tactics. As far as hanibal is concerned, dear friend, when you are praying night and day for assad to fall, who are you supporting? democracy? my ass. BY SO DOING YOU ARE SUPPORTING MUSLUM BROTHERHOOD, MAYBE YOU DID NOT KNOW BUT NOW YOU SHOULD

      • yahootizi

        dearest 5th majroor (arabi or salafi for 5thdrawer): it is not because i got your ass rather i kicked your ass that i am an asshole; maybe you meant assholer in other words the one who widened your ass

    • http://profiles.google.com/karam.ghassan Ghassan Karam

      3AlawiMinHouran,
                               This post is not about Syria but is about democracy in the Arab world and the fact that it is always and forever misapplied even in the case of Lebanon. If our representatives cannot find it in themselves to do the right thing when it comes to their salaries then you can bet that they will never do the right thing . It is often assumed that those that read such media outlets are mature and well mannered. If you do not agree with what you read then express your point of view without denigrating others. If all things are so clear in your mind then why are you wasting your time reading common blogs, that is inefficient and not very smart Mr. Einstein. Have a good day.

      • Hannibal

        lol

      • dateam

        lebanon is a country full of annomilies and contradictions yet it defies any formula relating to not just democracy but sense…lets look at the media including this particular outlet…we probably have one of the highest percentages of media outlets in the world per capita…every tom dick and harry has his/her own outlet to spin their own crap, not to report but to give their own opinion and influence people…their is no accountability because we still (all sects) have this feudal mentality of follow the leader no matter what….people do wrong get jailed and are released for olitical purposes and suddenly they become saints…we currently have parliamentarians residing outside the country not doing their jobs yet getting payed….the economy is a mess yet as a population of 4million roughly we we have about 200000 maids working in the country…we have probably one of the highest rates of cosmetic surgery per capita in the world, we still dont abide by road rules, or know how to stand in line for our turn…democracy is not just about freedom of speech but holding people accountable especially our politicians..our next generation has been muzzled and squeezed into frustration because the old guard wants to preserve itself to keep its dynasty alive…but its ok next elections no matter what formula is used the money will roll out to buy votes and people will forget.

        • breakthemould

           Hear hear.

      • 3AlawiMinHouran

        i try to enlighten the wannabe failing einsteins sir; i understand someone pointing to you that you are just a cheap propagandist is not very smart; people in this blog are for democracy…hahahhaha; democracy when people agree with them, and if you dare to disagree then you are not democratic; reminds me of assads democracy: 99.99% of the votes. I wonder why do you criticise him as a dictator since you are imitating him in your democracy. The admins in this blog gave us great examples of good manners, mostly democratic manners. OOPS i forgot they are all very smart. Reminds me of tribal feudal and feodal systems. My day does not need your arrogance or your hypocricy to be good; it will be good anyhow sir; i hope yours will be as good though i have my doubts seen the acidity in your language, hidden acidity, kinda taqqya. BTW sir i understand the truth hurts, no worries; those who support you in this blog will always support you since as i noticed none has a lot of, judgement, they just parrot. That is your strong point, however with such mediocre prestatioon you wont recruit many adepts which i presume is the purpose of a blog; my advice is that you try harder; i am not aware of souks like souk oukaz where people can buy brains

        • 5thDrawer

          Well, allow me not to hide acidity or run with any ‘kinda taqqya’. You, sir, are a complete asshole.

        • 5thMajroor

          lol i liked the 5th replay; she is denuding herself; the outer layer polish is over; now the rotten inner core is getting out

        • 5thDrawer

          Just a simple statement of fact. No passion in it. :-)

        • hollis1

          lol i bet you are boiling inside yet practising taqyya hiding it

      • 3AlawiMinHouran

        btw sir, i am not here to challenge you on who is right and who is wrong anyhow you do not make the wieght; as i said before i am in an enlightening trip,trying to clarify things to hard core stubborn mislead people who are trapped by your propaganda; since a year and a half you are talking about the imminent fall of assad; since a year and a half i am saying there is no fall of assad; i let you guess the rest

        • Leborigine

          Hey mini haza (haza means small fart in the Shouf region), assad may not fall and after 1.5 years, I hope he does not fall and that he stays in power. As you know I do not take sides in a country that means nothing to me, but what actually does make me happy is to see his sad face while his country is burning. These C%$ts destroyed my country, if it wasn’t only by murder and theft, they definitely destroyed it with stupidity and idiocracy. I want assad to stay in power, the longer he stays, the more fuel gets added to the fire!
          If Lebanon gets exhumed in the process, it will be a sad situation, but not drastic. I would rather Lebanon burn as well if syria keeps getting the green light to continue interfereing in our domestic and international affairs. I prefer Lebanon to die on its feet than survive on its knees! 

  • breakthemould

    Ghassan
    I was not attempting to contradict you. It all ties up together. The core issue now is how to “breakthemould” -forgive the bun- I have been searching for this for a long time. How on earth does this change. It has been going on for far too long. A tribal way of life in a land of some sophistication with many of the voters highly educated. Or, am I wrong. I am aware of some sizable percentage of illitrate in some parts of the North according to a person I met who is high in the educational authorities. Yet my most highly educated friends when it comes to election they vote for their family or religious attachment. Could the way be to alter the electoral law?. Then we are back to the politicians who are meant to debate this and final make the changes which does not suit their interest. A vicious circle. Do you think we need a House of Senates? for the elders in our country who would who would have wiser heads, hopefully. Or this could be even worse as they will need some more extravagant wages. How about the academics?
    It is very hard because the man in the street is fed up but won’t do anything about it. And the inheritors of the older politicians remain with the same old ways. I am reminded of Samy Gemayel’s speach with much applaud when he said that he is first Maronite, then he is Christian, then he is Lebanese. Only when leaders state and the people in the street think first that they are Lebanese will we have a hope. The pessimism continues.

    • 5thDrawer

      Hate to say anything Mr. Mould, but I think you meant ‘pun’ there ;-)
      It was Dab who was talking about the ‘bun’ … ;-))
      Yes, we are pessimistic on any of this beginning to work well in a lifetime … and with good reason as you point out. Is there a chance that any of the thoughts seen in YaLibnan will filter to ‘the people’ generally? Probably not.

      • breakthemould

         Sorry, I mistyped. sorry. You knew what I meant. Teaching people citizenship in all schools. Lebanese flag every morning with stand for national anthem may help. At the moment we do not know who we are. Skirmishes on Syria/Turkey border are signs that Syria wants to export the problem, Turkey and who else? wait for it – Lebanon. Lebanon is easy to light it’s candle. Assad needs a regional war. Turkey does not need anything. left alone will be good with growth of 7% and reduction of national debt from 35 billions to one billions. We can learn a bit from them than have war with them.

    • Hannibal

      Can you please point me to Sami’s speech where he said that? Much appreciated…

      • wargame1

        “Muslim Brotherhood” is a pro Iranian organization devoted to bring the “Fatimid Dynasty” back in to action which were disintegrated by Salahuddin Ayubi. Since Egypt is a sunni majority country these group need to work in disguise but there are plenty of analysis and information about them already about their Iranian connection. 

        Their leader Marsi/morsi is already partially exposed and very likely will be chased out of Egypt in forth coming hard core Egyptian revolution after the first tweety bird revolution where Hosni Mubarak showed a great compassion and wisely avoided a bloodshed like in Syria. 

      • breakthemould

         I heard it and watched complete on TV. I don’t have a date. But, I can tell you that it was in a gathering of supporters, family and friends – it could be in Bikfayya. It was at the time of his accepting nomination to be representing the area in Parliament.  I am sure some other persons on this forum know about it. Did you not see it? or can you not find it on some archive?

    • dateam

      it comes back to the people..lets look at the north…second largest city in the country…most concentrated number of politicians and political/religious parties yet most underdeveloped…yet eople accept it….heres in idea? we are currently exploring the potential for oil and gas…how about plucking out the top 1000 students in the country and sending them on scholorships in the oil sector instead of the politicians getting a pay rise…a 4 year investment so that when we are ready we can do it ourselves instead of selling ourselves to foreign companies?????

      • 5thDrawer

        That sounds too sensible, Dateam. It involves logic.

  • breakthemould

    Ghassan
    I was not attempting to contradict you. It all ties up together. The core issue now is how to “breakthemould” -forgive the bun- I have been searching for this for a long time. How on earth does this change. It has been going on for far too long. A tribal way of life in a land of some sophistication with many of the voters highly educated. Or, am I wrong. I am aware of some sizable percentage of illitrate in some parts of the North according to a person I met who is high in the educational authorities. Yet my most highly educated friends when it comes to election they vote for their family or religious attachment. Could the way be to alter the electoral law?. Then we are back to the politicians who are meant to debate this and final make the changes which does not suit their interest. A vicious circle. Do you think we need a House of Senates? for the elders in our country who would who would have wiser heads, hopefully. Or this could be even worse as they will need some more extravagant wages. How about the academics?
    It is very hard because the man in the street is fed up but won’t do anything about it. And the inheritors of the older politicians remain with the same old ways. I am reminded of Samy Gemayel’s speach with much applaud when he said that he is first Maronite, then he is Christian, then he is Lebanese. Only when leaders state and the people in the street think first that they are Lebanese will we have a hope. The pessimism continues.

    • 5thDrawer

      Hate to say anything Mr. Mould, but I think you meant ‘pun’ there ;-)
      It was Dab who was talking about the ‘bun’ … ;-))
      Yes, we are pessimistic on any of this beginning to work well in a lifetime … and with good reason as you point out. Is there a chance that any of the thoughts seen in YaLibnan will filter to ‘the people’ generally? Probably not.

      • breakthemould

         Sorry, I mistyped. sorry. You knew what I meant. Teaching people citizenship in all schools. Lebanese flag every morning with stand for national anthem may help. At the moment we do not know who we are. Skirmishes on Syria/Turkey border are signs that Syria wants to export the problem, Turkey and who else? wait for it – Lebanon. Lebanon is easy to light it’s candle. Assad needs a regional war. Turkey does not need anything. left alone will be good with growth of 7% and reduction of national debt from 35 billions to one billions. We can learn a bit from them than have war with them.

    • Hannibal

      Can you please point me to Sami’s speech where he said that? Much appreciated…

      • wargame1

        “Muslim Brotherhood” is a pro Iranian organization devoted to bring the “Fatimid Dynasty” back in to action which were disintegrated by Salahuddin Ayubi. Since Egypt is a sunni majority country these group need to work in disguise but there are plenty of analysis and information about them already about their Iranian connection. 

        Their leader Marsi/morsi is already partially exposed and very likely will be chased out of Egypt in forth coming hard core Egyptian revolution after the first tweety bird revolution where Hosni Mubarak showed a great compassion and wisely avoided a bloodshed like in Syria. 

      • breakthemould

         I heard it and watched complete on TV. I don’t have a date. But, I can tell you that it was in a gathering of supporters, family and friends – it could be in Bikfayya. It was at the time of his accepting nomination to be representing the area in Parliament.  I am sure some other persons on this forum know about it. Did you not see it? or can you not find it on some archive?

    • dateam

      it comes back to the people..lets look at the north…second largest city in the country…most concentrated number of politicians and political/religious parties yet most underdeveloped…yet eople accept it….heres in idea? we are currently exploring the potential for oil and gas…how about plucking out the top 1000 students in the country and sending them on scholorships in the oil sector instead of the politicians getting a pay rise…a 4 year investment so that when we are ready we can do it ourselves instead of selling ourselves to foreign companies?????

      • 5thDrawer

        That sounds too sensible, Dateam. It involves logic.

  • Prophettttt

    Ghassan, As I have said many times on this forum; Lebanon is “unique” in every sense of the word. Starting with its backward and sectarian  political structure, passing through its organized social and institutional corruption , which is designed  and protected by corrupt warlords/leadership,who would (and have done)do anything including all kinds of battles in order to preserve their power ,and ending with the total failure as a state and as a society.
    It all comes down to the boring question of whether Lebanon can ever be rebuilt based on true democratic principles ,and on law and order,or not.
    A corrupt leadership will always guarantee laws which would  ensure their own interests,especially when they’ve convinced and/or manipulated their constituencies into believing that their welfare and safety depends on the continuation their leadership.

    • Ghassan Karam

      Prophettttt,
                     What really surprised me this time is the fact that while the whole world is in a mood to restrain government spending by cutting on unnecessary expenses Lebanon is increasing the budget deficit not by spending on socially desirable projects but by making sure that the rubber stamp legislature that is made up of many a billionaire is giving itself a raise that makes it one of the best paid in the world. The Egyptian counter parts earn $1320 a month i.e only 15% of what the Lebanese counter parts make. Any fair metric would suggest that Lebanon does not need 128 “leeches” and definitely not ones making over a $100,000 a year excluding their perks when the average Lebanese household would be glad to have an income of $25,000.

      • dateam

        who asked for the pay rise in particular? wasnt there certain parties that rejected it?

  • Prophettttt

    Ghassan, As I have said many times on this forum, Lebanon is “unique” in every sense of the word. Starting with its backward and sectarian  political structure, passing through its organized social and institutional corruption , which is designed  and protected by corrupt warlords/leadership,who would (and have done)do anything including all kinds of battles in order to preserve their power ,and ending with the total failure as a state and as a society.
    It all comes down to the boring question of whether Lebanon can ever be rebuilt based on true democratic principles ,and on law and order,or not.
    A corrupt leadership will always guarantee laws which would  ensure their own interests,especially when they’ve convinced and/or manipulated their constituencies into believing that their welfare and safety depends on the continuation their leadership.

    • http://profiles.google.com/karam.ghassan Ghassan Karam

      Prophettttt,
                     What really surprised me this time is the fact that while the whole world is in a mood to restrain government spending by cutting on unnecessary expenses Lebanon is increasing the budget deficit not by spending on socially desirable projects but by making sure that the rubber stamp legislature that is made up of many a billionaire is giving itself a raise that makes it one of the best paid in the world. The Egyptian counter parts earn $1320 a month i.e only 15% of what the Lebanese counter parts make. Any fair metric would suggest that Lebanon does not need 128 “leeches” and definitely not ones making over a $100,000 a year excluding their perks when the average Lebanese household would be glad to have an income of $25,000.

      • dateam

        who asked for the pay rise in particular? wasnt there certain parties that rejected it?

  • wargame1

    Assad Plans Escape to Russia as Putin Prepares 300 Apartments for Regime Leaders 

    Abdullah al-Omar was one of the staff members in the Media Office of Bashar al-Fag defected and now exposing some good news. He was privy to many of the secrets of the adminstration until his defection last September. 

    In an interview Omar claimed the Assad regime knows it cannot hold onto power and has already made plans to escape to Russia. 
    Please search the following to see the interview on youtube

    ” Syria – Assad Plans Escape to Russia as Putin Prepares 300 Apartments for Regime Leaders 7-Oct-12 “

    • 5thDrawer

      Takes the Russians longer these days to clear apartments – usually overcrowded with more than 5 to a room.

  • wargame1

    Assad Plans Escape to Russia as Putin Prepares 300 Apartments for Regime Leaders 

    Abdullah al-Omar was one of the staff members in the Media Office of Bashar al-Fag defected and now exposing some good news. He was privy to many of the secrets of the adminstration until his defection last September. 

    In an interview Omar claimed the Assad regime knows it cannot hold onto power and has already made plans to escape to Russia. 
    Please search the following to see the interview on youtube

    ” Syria – Assad Plans Escape to Russia as Putin Prepares 300 Apartments for Regime Leaders 7-Oct-12 “

    • 5thDrawer

      Takes the Russians longer these days to clear apartments – usually overcrowded with more than 5 to a room.

  • FadiAbboud

    Mr. Karam, 
    You are always the voice of reason and truth.. thank you for not allowing the  intimidation of bullies and terrorist to keep you quiet. May the Lebanese in Lebanon and abroad never feel fear that they need to quiet down for daring to question those in power because of the repercussions of terrorists.

  • FadiAbboud

    Mr. Karam, 
    You are always the voice of reason and truth.. thank you for not allowing the  intimidation of bullies and terrorist to keep you quiet. May the Lebanese in Lebanon and abroad never feel fear that they need to quiet down for daring to question those in power because of the repercussions of terrorists.