Thursday, August 28, 2008
Monday, August 25, 2008
Labels: BihariShabab Programming Notes
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Oh hello there. Fancy seeing you here. As you have undoubtedly felt, we have been missing the last couple of days. While there are many reasons for this: work, Fahad's vacation, the performance of Pakistan's Mens Hockey team (more on that later), the primary reason is the depression from GPM's farewell and resignation from the office of President. In case you don't know the details, here's a mini recap courtesy of the Guardian that I've manipulated with some of my own comments, which is probably plagiarism of some sort:
August 1943: Born in Delhi, India. Along with Bollywood star, Jackie Shroff, has the distinction of being one of two babies in India to come out of the womb with a mustache.
1964: After visiting a local palm reader and finding out of the impending filmography of one Sunny Deol, joins the Pakistani army to personally counteract the damage done by classics such as The Hero: Love Story of a Spy.
1998: Becomes army chief of staff.
October 1999: Seizes power in a bloodless military coup, overthrowing the prime minister, Nawaz Sharif. Cements his position as the man in charge by sharing an intimate candlelit dinner with the Mrs. in the Bhutto Bawarchikhana, the Pakistani equivalent of the Lincoln bedroom. Saucy!
June 20 2001: Makes himself president, replacing Rafiq Tarar, while remaining head of the army. Tarar is forced out of office when the parliament that elected him is dissolved. Has Tarar decapitated and uses his skull as a chalice to sip his crunk juice for the remainder of the time he is in power.
July 2001: Holds first meeting with the Indian prime minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, at Agra in India. No progress is made because of differences over the disputed territory of Kashmir. Another heavily debated point of contention at the meeting? Sunny Leone vs. Priya Rai(You curious Googlers out there should know that this is very very very NSFW).
September 11th, 2001: Uh, 9/11.
September 2001: George Bush courts Musharraf, asking him to join him in his "war on terror" and help defeat the Taliban in neighbouring Afghanistan. The US president promises Pakistan $1bn in aid....aaaaand twiiiiiinnns.
April 2002: Wins a referendum giving him another five years in office. Observers criticise the referendum as blighted by irregularities. Quips one critic "I haven't seen irregularities in the system like this since that month when I was on an all banana diet...HEYOO." Critic is subsequently booed off the stage at the Apollo for making poop jokes.
May 2002: Pakistan test fires three medium-range surface-to-surface missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads. Musharraf insists his country would not be the one to initiate war. Follows this up by smirking and stroking his stache, then chuckles and says "No really yaar, Khuda Paak Ki Kasam."
October 2002: Pakistan's first general election since Musharraf seized power in 1999 results in a hung parliament. Privately makes a variation of the same inappropriate "I'll show you a hung parliament" joke to friends on multiple occasions.
November 2002: Mir Zafarullah Jamali becomes the first civilian prime minister since 1999. He is a member of a Musharraf-supporting party. Mir Zafarulla Jamali aka the Original Dmitry Medvedev.
November 2003: Pakistan's National Assembly meets for the first time since 1999. Jalebi and chai is served.
December 2003: Musharraf promises to step down as head of the army by January 2005.
December 2004: Musharraf announces he will stay on as head of the army. Releases a simple, two-word press statement: "Psyche Bitches!"
March 2007: Musharraf suspends the chief justice, Iftakar Mohammed Chaudhry, triggering a wave of anger across the country and the first joint protests held by the parties of exiled former prime ministers Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif. Probably around the time that he started losing it.
October 2007: Signs a corruption amnesty, opening the way for Bhutto's return and a possible power-sharing agreement. Within hours of Bhutto's arrival back in the country, bombers attack a Bhutto rally in Karachi, killing more than 100 people. A tremendous tragedy, especially considering that all of the people that were killed were from poor neighborhoods who are given money and food to attend such rallies. And we don't mean to speak ill of the dead, but isn't it a bit telling when you need to sign something called a "corruption amnesty" to be let back into the county?
November 2007: Declares a state of emergency, rounding up opposition leaders at gunpoint. In the same month, Musharraf quits as head of the army, becoming a civilian president.
December 15 2007: Lifts state of emergency and announces plans to go ahead with parliamentary elections scheduled for January 8.
December 27 2007: Benazir Bhutto is assassinated at an election rally in Rawalpindi.
January 2008: Elections postponed until February 18.
February 2008: The two main opposition parties gain a clear majority in the elections.
August 2008: The two main parties strike a deal to impeach Musharraf if parliament backs the move.
August 18 2008: Musharraf announces his resignation.And there you have it. That is basically what's happened in Pakistan the last 9 years under GPM. A lot to like, a lot to not like. We were, for the most part, fans. It is not an overstatement to say that Musharraf was a key figure not only in Pakistan, but globally as well. His decision to side with the US and it's allies during the war in Afghanistan was a tough one, but the right one for the country. He also was a strong representative of Pakistan on the international stage and one the country desperately needed. Not to mention the bestseller he wrote, his surviving multiple assassination attempts, the fact that he was adorable on the Daily Show and most importantly, his lifting of the ban that Nawaz Sharif put on Junoon.
But for all those positives, it does feel like in the end his rule was a failure. He had 9 years to bring about a change in Pakistani politics, to get rid of the characters that brought Pakistan to the situation it was in in 1999. And for a couple of years it looked like it was something that he may be able to accomplish, but he fell under the same trappings of politics and paranoia that befell his predecessors. And for all of his hard work in the early years, who was he forced to leave the country to? Nawaz Sharif and Asif Zardari. The man he ousted on corruption charges and a man who's nickname is Mr. 10% for the money he's jacked from government contracts. Fanfuckintastic.
It was clearly time to go though. He was getting increasingly paranoid and the loss of power was something he was not coping well with. The suspension of the judges, the declaration of state of emergency were not in the best interest of the country and someone else needed to step in. This is the reason why there's a two term limit in America. No one man should have that kind of power over any country. To paraphrase Clemenza from the Godfather, these things gotta happen every five to ten years. It helps get rid of the bad blood. While that is true, we just wish Musharraf left Pakistan in more able hands, like Tom Hagen. Unfortunately, at this time, only Fredo's available.
Friday, August 15, 2008
Labels: Have a Good Weekend
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Abhinav Bindra: The biggest story of the Olympics by far for the subcontinent is the Gold Medal won by Abhinav in the Men's 10M Air Rifle. The medal represents the first individual Gold ever won by an Indian athlete at the Olympics, which is staggering considering that it is the second most populated country in the world. While most people point to the lack of a real sports program in India, such as the state of the art ones in the US or China, we think the problem here are the so-called Olympic sports themselves. The Olympic committee just doesn't have programs catered towards the strength of the Indian populace. Take Air Rifle for example, anyone who has seen any Akshay Kumar Khiladi movie from the 90's knows that Indians, especially homely looking males that would be relegated to henchmen roles in an Indian movie, are an awful shot. Akshay Kumar made it through the 90's with a career "shots fired at-to-shots absorbed" ratio of roughly 1,832:0. If dodging henchmen bullets were an Olympic sport, not only would he be the Michael Phelps of it, but would also have a lifetime endorsement deal that would put his face on every single bottle of Hajmola Digestive Tablets.
The problem here is the lack of focus and commitment of India's Olympic Committee to develop the talent, although this year has been a step in the right direction. This is the first year India sent a swim team, and although they didn't medal or anything it's nice to see them expanding. There is still a lot of work to be done though, starting with the official Indian Olympic Committee web page. Seriously, a country full of programmers and that's the best they can do? I've heard, from friends and associates, that there are umm adult Indian websites with better drop down menus. Anyway, aside from the page, the other big problem is the misallocation of funds and just general mismanagement. For example, check out how much money has been awarded to young Abhinav. Now I agree he should be heralded for his feat, but keep in mind that this is the son of a millionaire whose father built him a personal air-conditioned shooting range in the lead up to the games. Couldn't that money be better used in developing talent or paying the Desi Baba guy to build a better website, since he probably doesn't have much to do these days.
I don't want to be a party pooper, and hope that's not how I come off. We know that sports are trivial and everything else, but this is something that can be greatly improved with just better management. Congratulations to Abhinav though for his achievement as he has made the subcontinent proud. He should enjoy his day in the sun for the next month or so before being welcomed back by Narain Karthikeyan, Sania Mirza and Karnam Malleswari into the tender bosom of obscurity and indifference.
Raj Bhavsar and the US Men's Gymnastic Team: The US Men's team found it's way to an unexpected bronze medal in the team overall championships thanks partially to the efforts of last minute alternate Raj Bhavsar. Raj, as noted here before, is from Houston and desi, so I can only assume his parents work at HP/Compaq or the Dell headquarters in Austin. I would go into more details here, but I don't want to cop to the fact that I watched Men's Gymnastics till 1AM and held my breath as they did dangerous, mid-air transfers on the high bar. It really is majestic.
Paraguay's Javelin Thrower Leryn Franco: The track and field competitions start on Saturday so there's no update on this yet. We're covering her because she's technically desi through marriage. Leryn Franco is your bhabhi. Google her!
Monday, August 11, 2008
RIP Bernie Mac (NSFW)
Khabarnama is a regular roundup of news and links that we just don't have enough juice for but would still like to pass on to you. Mainly so that you know, that we already know, so you know, you know your place.
Heartiest 65th Birthday wishes to General Pervez Musharraf aka the Pakistani Don Magic Juan. As you must know, the President is on the verge of impeachment on charges of murder, corruption, and misuse of power. Additionally, he has been cited by the International Carrom League for using a prohibited powder in his match with Indian president Pratibha Patel for that extra gliiiide. We will hopefully have much more on this later in the week. For now, please join us in wishing the president. Ahem, "Hum Bhi agar Bachay hotai, hum bhi agar bachay hotai...."
Rough week for male African American celebrities with discernible voices. If I were a member of Dennis Haysbert's family, I'd take his advice and insure the shit out of his life:
Legendary actor and notorious curver of bullets, Morgan Freeman was involved in a very serious car accident, which left him a broken arm, shoulder and a couple of ribs. If that wasn't bad enough, two days later it was announced he was getting a divorce from his wife of 24 years.
Rock n' Roll Hall of famer Isaac Hayes, aka Chef from South Park, past away on Sunday at the age of 65. Isaac also famously sang the Academy Award winning theme song for 1971's Shaft. There's an awful grave/"Can ya dig it" joke somewhere in there.
And finally, comedian and actor Bernie Mac succumbed to pneumonia on Saturday. I know we had some issues with his MCing job at the Obama event a couple of weeks ago, but he really was pretty hilarious. In the words of the incomparable Mansoor Syed, "Oh Lord, why couldn't it have been Cedric the Entertainer?".
The deal between Dreamworks and Relliance is almost complete. We can't wait for this to come through as we are overflowing with Shatrughan Sinha in Live Action "Shrek" jokes.
Our man, Jeev Milka Singh came up a bit short, but still finished tied for a very respectable 9th place at the PGA Championships which means he is automatically qualified for the Masters next year. Can you imagine an Indian winning the Master's? If he has brothers, his parents would then have to identify him as their "Masters Beta". I know that was a long way to go for a dirty joke, but I have no regrets, you hear me? None!.
And finally, since we are contractually obligated to pimp Generation Kill, here are links to the original Rolling Stone articles that the series is based on. Fans of the show will recognize a lot of the moments in the articles, although you should save the second and third article for after the series if you want to stay spoiler free:
The Killer Elite
The Killer Elite, Part Two: From Hell to Baghdad
The Killer Elite, Part Three: The Battle For Baghdad
Please send any Khabarnama links to firstname.lastname@example.org. You shall be thanked with love, because baby my love is all I have to give, without you I don't think I could live, I wish I could give the world to you, but love is all I have to give...to you. Oh also, we'll thank ye publicly.
Saturday, August 9, 2008
The one time Presidential candidate admitted to the affair on Nightline on Friday night but said that he does not believe he is the father of Ms. Hunter's baby as the affair ended in 2006. Seems a little sketchy considering he does admit to meeting with her at a hotel room in LA just two weeks ago. Pictures taken by National Enquirer's "spy cam" which is evidently code for "shot from inside a dirty bong", show Edwards holding the child at the hospital are above. Either way, his bid for the VP spot on the Obama ticket is effectively over.
You can watch the interview here. If you are someone who has admired the senator in the past , be prepared to be completely disgusted. I highly doubt this is anywhere close to being over and look forward to seeing it resolved soon on Maury.
Follow Jeev's exploits with live coverage of the third and fourth rounds on CBS this weekend.
Friday, August 8, 2008
Name: Mustafa "Masti" Kamal
Hey, Mustafa Kamal? That sounds sort of familiar to me but I can't put my finger on it: Perhaps you are thinking of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey....nerd.
Date of Birth: No confirmation on this. Either 1971 or 1972 according to various online sources. We think he probably shaved off a year for around 2001. Yaar, it's just harder to get rishta's after you hit 30.
Place of Birth: Wait a second...East Pakistan? And they elected him Mayor of the biggest city of Pakistan-proper? For the love of Rashid Minhas, who let this happen?
Official Title: Nazim Mustafa Kamal. Gotta admit, that sounds pretty hot. Diddy should sign him to a deal purely based on that title and that badass goatee.
Education: Undergraduate from Malaysia. MBA in Marketing from the University of Wales
Biwi / Bachay: Yes. Not a lot of information available on Mrs. Nazim, but met her during undergrad in Malaysia. She's from Tanzania, which I think is somewhere in East Africa, but since I don't want to look it up, I'm going to say all the women there look like a hybrid of Rihana and the hot South African lady in Lethal Weapon 2. SCORE Mr. Mayor! Bonus points on the Love marriage.
Political Background: Young Mustafa used to run with the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) crew back in the day. By his own admission, he has took time out from school and got into trouble with law post "matric"(10th grade). Loitered for a couple of years with the MQM and never completed his schooling in Pakistan. Left in 96 to study abroad. After completing his MBA, he took up an IT job in the UAE. Came back to Karachi to look after his mother after the passing of his father in 2002. Once back in Karachi, took up again with the old crew who convinced him to run for office within the Sindhi government. Elected as a member of Parliament in 2002, and assigned to the Office of Minister of Information Technology for the state of Sindh. Ran for mayor in 2005, easily defeating incumbent Naimatullah Khan by a margin of 1493 to 800.
Political Views: Upon his arrival into office, Mayor Mustafa has managed to avoid major political controversy and instead focused exclusively on fixing the city's infrastructure. He has aligned himself with the government of Prime Minister Pervez Musharraf which up to this point has been fruitful. Although that may change as the hybrid two headed monster that is the PPP and Nawaz Sharif's Muslim League continue their lovefest and gain more power.
Accomplishments: Has spent half a billion dollars on water and sewer projects in the poorest areas of the city over the last two years that are viewed at as a major success. In addition, under his watch the city has completed 6 over and underpasses that have brought some relief from the usually debilitating traffic. Work is also underway on a 47 story IT tower (The Prodigal Son Returns!) that would be one of the biggest in Asia.
Outlook: From what we have seen on the Mayor there is a lot to like. If he can continue to avoid the political traps, he may very well accomplish a lot before his time is up. There will of course be situations like the one in May when while he was on a trip to the US, the board was temporarily seized in a coup by the PPP. Why? Mostly because they were bored or some shit and that's what you do in Karachi when the boss is away. It was overturned a couple days later and order was restored but the point is it would be silly to think that everything will be smooth sailing from here on out. The mayor needs to stick to his guns as he has done thus far and treat these issues for what they are. Minor inconveniences that come with the job.
He is very loyal to where he came from, but realizes that the best for the city and even for the party for that matter is for him to keep his nose clean. He is open, down to earth and best of all can apparently program if you need him to. He is a bit idealistic, believing he can turn Karachi into Dubai within five years, which seems to be a bit of a pipe dream. But he should be admired for aiming for such a goal and working towards it.
We will end with this clip of the Mayor taking it hard to the audience while addressing a business community meeting:
Labels: Your Classic Cricket Clip of The Week
In honor of the ever important 16th anniversary of Pakistan's 1992 World Cup win, here are the highlights from the final.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
This week's clip comes to us from the superhit 1994 movie "Main Khiladi Tu Anari", which I just found out courtesy of Wiki, is a remake of a 1991 Hollywood movie called "The Hard Way". I don't know what's more earth-shattering. Finding out that 14 years worth of fond memories were based on a stolen script, or that "The Hard Way" is not an adult film. Anyway, here's the clip. It's the title song from the film, which translated into English means "I'm the hero, you the dimwit".
As always links and suggestions to Biharishabab@gmail.com
Monday, August 4, 2008
Much like all other major mainstream media outlets, we have been avoiding reporting on the John Edwards baby scandal. The two major reasons for this: a) The initial reports are from the not always reliable, National Enquirer and b) George Soros and the lefties pay us billions of dollars to stay liberal. At the risk of antagonizing of our sugar daddy, here's the latest from the National Enquirer because it looks like it is probably true. My mom's going to be heartbroken. Ugh, even the website's trashy. Anyway, enjoy National Enquirer from the comfort of your home, without having to steal glances at it in the checkout line at Shoprite!
According to an ex-bodyguard, Salman Rushdie's a cheap, nasty and arrogant ass. These are unconfirmed reports, but really there was no way I wasn't linking to that.
Raj Bhavsar, an Indian fellow from Houston, has replaced defending Gold Medalist Paul Hamm on the men's Olympic team. Hamm had to pull out due to an injury. The odds of Raj Bhavsar having a Getting To Know feature done on him have just doubl...nay, triple axled (Thanks to Pritam)
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Makhtoum, the PM and ruler of Dubai, is at Camp David. Upon his arrival he employed a Bedazzler to "do up" his helicopter by adding 24 karat diamond studs to his seat belts.
Apparently there was a huge face-off between Shahrukh and Salman Khan at Katrina Kaif's 24th birthday party. How has this not made the cover of TIME? Here's a clip about the showdown complete with voice over work that would put Morgan Freeman to shame:
Friday, August 1, 2008
Labels: Happy Friday
Phew! That was a busy week. We got, what four posts? I have to pace myself better, at this rate, I'm headed straight towards burnoutsville. Of course I speak in jest. Yeah we had some scheduling issues this week, between Fahad leaving, and me having to mend my lonely, broken heart, and umm work, the time just flew by. But fear not loyal readers, we will be back and stronger than ever next week. There are some intense brainstorming sessions set up this weekend. Deadlines will be met, people will be fired, and most importantly my shipment of blow is scheduled to arrive on Saturday from Columbia...Maryland, not the country. I'm insourcing my drug use. Speaking of, here's a little ditty from everybody's favorite show about the Maryland drug trade, The Wire. It's the theme song from Season 5 of the show, performed by the very liberal Steve Earle who played recovering drug addict Waylon on the show. Enjoy the song, try not to pick up a coke habit and have a hell of a weekend. See you Monday!