Tidbits: Incompetence in the Small and the Large
In the Press: Naharnet leading headline/story on Sep 5 SCREAMED: 'Fifth Column Renews Beirut Assassinations to Show Pro-Syrian Generals not Guilty', and was accompanied by the pic of a burning car.
I don't know about you, but when I saw that, my heart dropped and I thought this is it. "They" killed or tried to kill again, MY GOD! Then I read the story and the headline turns out to be highly inaccurate (euphemism for taffniss). Naharnet's writing is in bad need of a real editor, but this instance goes beyond editing to sensationalism and outright truth-stretching, to be generous. Those who read the story know it goes on to say that some "source" expects these events to happen in the future. And Naharnet is one of our main news sources for daily news on the net.
Also check this for more sensationalism:"Lahoud, Hariri Lock in Gun-Drawing Showdown as Bkirki Scolds the President". (Josey likes gun drawing, but we are not in a western movie)
At the Phone Cos: From the Daily Star, the people in charge of the phone companies show that they are really on top of nothing. The "planned" change of mobile code number from "03" to "71", which according to the story came after a 2-year study was postponed another 3 months. Why? Because the geniuses at the phone company(ies) who spent 2 years studying this matter missed the fact that it involves reprinting all business stationery (twice in one year). I don't get it, but that's what they said.
Note that people who can't handle calendar change issues are in charge of sophisticated telecom circuitry. Of course the story says it may have had to do with the Mehlis investigation and phone records and the like. Again, yours truly does not get it, but if that is the real reason, just say so.
In the Gov. and Press (Not the DS per se this time): Finally this story: 'Tons of garbage collapse into Sidon's seas' from the Daily Star. Of course Sidon and others have known about this for years. Of course I suspect similar problems elsewhere. Of course little is being done while committees are being formed to discuss matters (WOW!). Of course no single person bears responsibility. It's the "authorities", the Ministry of "this", a "committee" in Sidon. NO NAMES. In the aftermath of Katrina, blame was lain at the feet of all sorts of people, rightly or wrongly, and the first to pay was the head of FEMA (the federal emergency response agency) who was stripped of some of his responsibilities, as a start.
In Lebanon: NO NAMES. No one is responsible (same as the bombings until now). Is it any wonder that Lahoud feels responsible of and for nothing? Everyone is busy with the really important and big stuff: defending the arabity of Lebanon, trying to guess what the Mehlis report might contain, making fun of the US' response to Katrina...
And the (critical) press goes on doing its sometimes boring, sometimes sensationalist, but always mediocre job. And sadly, they and we and everyone keep asking:
Where are the competent people?
More ominously: Are we a "serious" people?