Archive for August, 2007
After coming across to Stormfront, a “white nationalist” hatesite, through a Google search, I realized that my Internet provider AOL has blocked it off.
I am actually very upset wit AOL’s censorship. There are plenty of racist websites out there, especially having to do with the KKK, and if AOL starts banning one it should ban others too. Even more stupid is the excuse for the ban of the hatesite: “The page you are trying to view was linked with e-mail determined to be spam.”
For those of us who want to research racism what are we supposed to?
|AOL Safety Alert: Known Spam Solicitation Site
|The page you are trying to view was linked with e-mail determined to be spam.
For your protection, we have blocked access to this site from AOL.
To learn more about this threat and AOL’s protections, visit AOL Keyword: Site Security.
Note to site owner: If you feel your site is being blocked in error, please visit postmaster.aol.com
As the letter below shows, the main Turkish lobbying organization in the Unites States is facing serious troubles. Although they are not blaming Armenians for their inhouse fights yet, Armenians are certainly guilty for bringing the Turkish lobby together in the first place. If Armenians had not existed in history, Turks wouldn’t committ genocide against them and then having to create a lobbying group to deny it. Here is the letter:
“August 17, 2007
Dear ATAA Members and concerned Turkish Americans, and Friends of Turks:
Recently, you have been receiving phone calls, emails and letters from a group of ATAA members, who are telling you a story that they want you to believe.
Like in every story, there is more than one version of events that are taking place. I ask you to listen and read all sides of the story before you render a judgment.
ATAA’s chronic problems surfaced about in 2003. At that time you observed an open debate about ATAA in emails. This was settled in late 2004, and we had relatively quiet period during 2004-2005.
In 2005, there was a challenge to the longstanding structure of ATAA. Currently, this struggle continues.
At the heart of the issue is that certain members of Board of Directors feel that they can run ATAA like their personal fiefdom without providing any financial records to other bodies of ATAA and members, and avoid verifiable audit of the financial records. They want members to rely on some numbers placed on a white sheet of paper by them and ask you to take these numbers on a faith. ATAA is not a faith based organization. We trust but would like to verify.
Since current administrations takeover, ATAA has no budget. We do not now where the ATAA’s funds are being spent. Administration refuses become transparent. They provide no minutes. They keep no records. They are unaware of the number of component associations. They do not know who are the legitimate members or component association of ATAA. They resided over two elections and later turned around and announced these elections to be invalid, thus clearly declaring their own incompetence.
A group of us from Board of Trustees and long time volunteers of ATAA pleaded with the administration many different ways and times. They stubbornly continue to refuse accountability and transparency. They gave us no choice but to complain to court to secure the records we should have access in the first place and in order to bring ATAA within a legal frame than the current illegal orbit ATAA is wandering. The court documents and interrogatories are public documents and we will also publish them.
We are paying legal costs out of our own pocket. We never intended to spend any ATAA funds in this controversy, unlike our opponents. So, ATAA’s funds are not wasted by our group. Our opponents should also defend themselves with their own personal funds.
Our group of friends continues to work on all the issues involving Turkish American community. We never stopped. We continue to work individually with our local leaders to inform our legislators and media about our issues.
ATAA Endowment Fund is untouched and being invested under the supervision of an Investment Committee comprised of professional money managers. As chairman of Board of Trustees, I attend these meetings for record keeping purposes. All meetings are recorded in minutes and delivered to the legal Secretary of ATAA with a copy remaining with Board of Trustees.
The problem is complicated. You will hear more details in near future. Keep and open mind. Some members may be disappointed from the current situation. Please do not throw the baby with the bathwater. Stick with our beloved ATAA. It shall rise again and eventually become a grassroots organization, not a puppet of few elitist in Washington , D.C. When people speak beltway will always have to listen.
Tamer Acikalin, M.D., MBA
Chairman, Board of Trustees
Assembly of Turkish American Associations”
The lack of customer service in Armenia is often blamed on the Soviet legacy. But where there so many cafes and restaurants in the Soviet Union?
While in Armenia earlier this month I could not but dislike the bad customer service almost in all cafes and restaurants (with the exception of an entirely unknown cafe within a gift shop, “Treasures of Armenia,” on Abovyan street in downton Yerevan where customer service is the best in the world; “The Club,” “Art Bridge” were not bad either). In the gorgeous Astral cafe, for example, during our third visit my friends and I had to leave it because no one approached us to help in 30 minutes. In Jazzve, another famous place, I had to ask the manager to send a waiter to help us. And on Princess Marianna, a ship-cafe in the Hrazdan gorge, I had to give “tips” on how to be nice to customers to their waiter. And I’d better not talk about the funny waiters in Harsnaqar resort at the lake Sevan.
It feels like waiters in cafes are about to start a fight with you. Yes, WAITERS and not WAITERS AND WAITRESSES because for some reason 99% of cafes have male waiters only. On one hand, it is good that Armenian women don’t have to go through the regular sexual harrasment by working in cafes*, on the other hand I felt like I was in an Arab country where men serve in bars and restaurants. And I am pretty sure this new “fashion” of having men serve comes from many Armenians’ beloved Dubai, the place on the Earth I hate perhaps the most. Too bad that places like Dubai have become many Armenians’ model. But for some reason many like going to Dubai; well, those eastern Europeans are taking their introduction to capitalism/materialism obsessively.
Ironically, capitalism – I think – can help us understand the lack of customer service in Armenia. I was surprised to find out, for instance, that bills in Armenia’s many cafes include the “service charge.” This means you are not supposed to tip the waiter because they already charge you for it. For the customer, it may be a good deal because the “service charge” is usually only 5% in contrast to the 15% charge in the United States and other places in the world. Sadly, most waiters don’t even get this 5% because many cafes are said to keep a percentage from the “service charge.”
No wonder waiters don’t care about the customer. No matter how they serve, they are going to get the same paycheck which is very very little money to survive with in Armenia. And since they make so little money, all they can think about is what to do to make more. This was best observed in the beautiful Parvana restaurant complex in the Hrazdan Gorge, where the waiters – again all males – would gather in groups once a while and I guess talk about saving food from customers to later resell them or take them home. A former barman, who is now involved in the entertaiment industry, told me he would sell his own products at the bar in order to make money.
Capitalism may not be the only explanation for Armenia’s common lack of customer service. Still, I am pretty sure if the culture on tipping based on service replaced the precharged service fee there would be some improvements. And ordinary Armenians should also learn to tip. I understand that money is scarce in Armenia, but if they afford going to a cafe they should anticipate leaving something for the waiter. And the waiter should be a helper and not a headache.
And yes, I was looked at as a fool when I tipped 15%. But hey, I do it in the West and why not do it in Armenia?
*The other thing I noticed that the direct manager of the male waiters is often a lady.
Everyone is asking me what I will be drinking this Sunday. In America, you may know, 21 is the drinking age.
For some reason I am bad with drinking. While in Armenia, for example, I got sick two weeks ago just from drinking two small glasses of wine. Beer is out of question; “Sex on the beach” is tolerable.
So yes, I will be 21 this Sunday. But what worries me is not the fact that I won’t be able to drink much, but the simple reason of having a birthday that I don’t want to have.
It’s not that I am getting old. I guess I am afraid from the question, “what did you do for your birthday?” Because quite simply I may not have an answer to that.
Friends? I have many in America. But I don’t really know the definition of a “friend” here. In Armenia, for example, I don’t need to tell my friends that it’s my birthday or invite them. They will be there on that day no matter if I am doing anything or not. They will be at the airport to meet me even if I tell them I don’t like being welcomed like a president.
Actually at my work I was treated like a president today. They had organized a surprise party for me attended by about 45 employees! I entered a committee room and voila – lights are turned on and people start singing Happy Birthday, Simon! Even the House Speaker, whose actual birthday is today, had to delay his own small birthday gathering to attend mine. So, yes, I felt more than special and especially loved the dozens of happy birthday cards. One of the cards congratulated my 92nd birthday, with a note from a senior millionaire friend stating, “Simon you know I am cheap. So I decided you can use this card for 71 more times and I won’t have to buy you another one.”
And again, everyone asked what I was going to do on Sunday! And I was quite speechless, because I didn’t want to say that I don’t think I am going to have anything at all, not at least with the people that I would like to be there, which would include my sister in Armenia and her little daughter, my brother who got me a nice surprize by getting himself into a little trouble and won’t be with me this Sunday, my High School friends in Armenia and of course a girl that I am not sure if she is still my girlfriend or not.
And yeah, I wear glasses now. I guess that upsets me the most. Happy Birthday to me.
p.s. after posting the above, I scrolled down the page and saw the photo of Kim Kardashian. Kim, maybe you could prepare a surprize party for me this Sunday? I guess she doesn’t remember me! lol
You thought he was a denier, but did you know he was also an urologist?
Turkey’s official chief historian Yusuf Halacoglu, who has made news at Blogian for his role in covering up the discovery and the destruction of a possible Armenian Genocide mass grave, is under fire now for what many in Turkey see as racist comments against both Armenians and Kurds.
Halacoglu, the head of the governmental Turkish Historical Society, has now ridiculed himself by proclaiming at a conference that there are no Kurds in Turkey: “Kurds are converted Turkmen and Kurdish Alevis are converted Armenians.” (Halacoglu is quoted as saying in the Turkish Daily News)
Apparently, after going through the penises of PKK (a militant Kurdish group deemed as terrorist by the West) members, Halacoglu has once again discovered there has been no Armenian Genocide. He is quoted in the Turkish press as saying, “For example when some PKK members are arrested it becomes apparent that they are not circumcised.”
If a Kurd is not circumcised then he must be Armenian, thinks Halacoglu. If there are so many covert Armenians in Turkey then there has been no Armenian Genocide, thinks – or should I say hallucinates – Halacoglu.
I wonder what Halacoglu could find out by looking at my penis.
It is difficult to say what is the most shocking aspect about Halacoglu’s new hallucination – denying the Kurdish identity, propagating conspiracy theories about Armenians, denying the Armenian Genocide or trying to even more dehumanize Kurds by calling them Armenians?
Kenan Ercel, a native of Turkey now at the Economics Department at the University of Massachusetts, says that the motivations behind Halacoglu’s statements are ignored.
There is much talk and outcry around Halacoglu’s latest statements but
what gets surprisingly little attention in the midst of all the hubbub is
the motivation behind those statements, which is not so much to deny Kurds
a separate ethnic identity (he already backpedaled on that) but to
downplay the scale of the 1915 deportations. As Halacoglu stated in a TV interview yesterday (on SkyTurk), if it can be shown that hundreds of thousands of Armenians who were believed to have disappeared from Anatolia were actually still there under the guise of a different ethnicity (Alevi Kurds), then it can be proven that the deportations were no where near as widespread as they are claimed to be. In the said interview he argued that if this hidden population was accounted for, the number of Armenians living in Turkey as of 1920 would turn out to be 1.3 million! Hence, not only was there no genocide, but even the “tehcir” was very limited in scope.
As to how such a sizeable Christian population managed to meld in
(almost en masse) with a Muslim sect without being noticed by the CUP authorities and their collaborators, I’m sure Halacoglu has other fairy tales to tell.
ADL recognizes the Armenian Genocide, but falls short of supporting U.S. legislation
ADL Statement on the Armenian Genocide
New York, NY, August 21, 2007 … Abraham H. Foxman, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today issued the following statement:
In light of the heated controversy that has surrounded the Turkish-Armenian issue in recent weeks, and because of our concern for the unity of the Jewish community at a time of increased threats against the Jewish people, ADL has decided to revisit the tragedy that befell the Armenians.
We have never negated but have always described the painful events of 1915-1918 perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire against the Armenians as massacres and atrocities. On reflection, we have come to share the view of Henry Morgenthau, Sr. that the consequences of those actions were indeed tantamount to genocide. If the word genocide had existed then, they would have called it genocide.
I have consulted with my friend and mentor Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel and other respected historians who acknowledge this consensus. I hope that Turkey will understand that it is Turkey’s friends who urge that nation to confront its past and work to reconcile with Armenians over this dark chapter in history.
Having said that, we continue to firmly believe that a Congressional resolution on such matters is a counterproductive diversion and will not foster reconciliation between Turks and Armenians and may put at risk the Turkish Jewish community and the important multilateral relationship between Turkey, Israel and the United States.
I found this pretty funny:
Kim Kardashian’s Big Fat Armenian Butt
Urinatee Kim Kardashian wants you to know that not only is her ass real, it’s genetic:
“Everyone now says I have a fake butt or butt implant,” the sizzling pseudo-celeb, who made an infamous sex tape with rapper Ray J, tells King magazine. “I’m Armenian; you should see all the women in my family. The women have bigger breasts and bigger butts. That’s how I was born. I can’t help it. I’m not gonna fight it. I definitely need to work out more and tone up, but I’m proud of my body.”
Good lord. No wonder the Turks tried to genocide these people out of existence. If we lived in a world full of enormous-titted women roaming the streets with impunity, how would we ever get through a work day with half a thought in our already tiny, petty little brain? There’d be too many gigantic asses to think about.
graphic by HragVartanian.com
By this point perhaps most of you know about the Anti-Defamation League affair and Armenian Genocide denial that has appeared in the international media.
While you can review information (photos, videos) on the affair and get updated with the developments through www.NoPlaceForDenial.com, a website founded by Armenian-American activists, you can sign a petition at www.FireFoxman.com, a website established by Jewish-American activists.
It has been two days since I have returned back from Armenia and all I can think of is going back again.
This is not to say that everything was great there – especially the
absence of customer service. But overall it was a wonderful experience that cannot be fully explained.
The 17 days I spent there went so fast that by the time I realized I hadn’t visited 20% of the places I planned to see I was on my way back to the States. I only managed to visit some places I had been to before – Geghard, the incredible medieval church built from one stone, Garni, the pagan temple that I didn’t enjoy much, St. Echmiadzin, the Holy See of the Armenian Church, and Sevan, the lake that Armenians use like a sea. I had the best time in the latter by spending a day at the most expensive resort – Harsnaqar. It was sooooo cool and I am glad I went there; my 5-year-old niece enjoyed it the most.
There are so many things to tell and so many photos to post. I will just continue writing about some experiences in later entries.
One important thing I want to mention,
and perhaps this deserves a seperate post, is that Armavia – an airline in Armenia – SUCKS! Don’t ever get on their service even if that’s the only option. Not only the crew is absolutely stupid, rude and unhelpful, but they may take you somewhere else. That’s what exactly happened.
My Yerevan-Paris fligt (Armavia, August 15, 5:30 a.m.) made a stop in Lyon to drop off some passengers – something that had not been announced before the plane took off. Lucky me, I still managed to get on my Atlanta flight in Paris but at least two people I know of missed their other flights thanks to Armavia’s trick.
Another suggestion on traveling. Avoid Paris’ CDG airport; it sucks to death. Armenia’s airport is wonderful, but Armavia needs to be banned.