Hello Good People of Dehai:

The following farce is a parody of The McLaughlin Group. To the uninitiated, "The McLaughlin Group" is a weekly chatter panel of pontificating wise guys (and a gal) who presume to be experts on everything and pronounce their frequently-wrong analysis and predictions with an air of certainty so smug it is only surpassed by the rate of rude interruptions, put-downs and incivility. Hugely entertaining but not enlightening. In other words, it is a great show. Today, August 1, is the launching of the Dehai McGua Group. (I hope it will be a series). I have selected the participants because they happen to be my favorite writers at Dehai; they didn't volunteer for this discussion.

(Reminder: this is a joke and only a joke: designed to provoke a smile, a laughter....)

Moderated By

Sal Younis     and     Mobae Afeworki

[Captial City - Language: #1]   [The Bad Puns Continue: #2]   [Religion in Dehai: #3]   [Freedom of Speech: #4]   
[Back Without Vengence: #5]   [Identity Crisis!**HOT twist**: #6]   [Where is Eritrea, Mr. President: #7]
[Democracy Overdose: #8]   [Presidential Debate in Om-Hajer. Year 2017: #9]   [Who is Asmarino ?: #10]
[Ron Hubbard-vs-"all"dehaiers match (unpublished): #11]

The MaGua Group #I:
Captial City - Language


The Magua Group, an unrehearsed discussion among opinionated loud mouths about issues that are almost relevant to Eritreans.

Today's panelists are: Magua, Tekie, Semere, Beyan, Nicole and Berhan
[Caption: A CAPITAL IDEA] [Fade in...]

MAGUA: Issue One! A CAPITAL IDEA! [loud voice introducing a bad pun] Should the capital of Eritrea be moved to Keren? At present, the capital of Eritrea is Asmara. Some say that a city already congested by high traffic cannot and should not be the mecca of civil service high rise offices and government agencies! Furthermore, it is said that the weather of Keren is more conducive to doing business! The question is: should the capital be moved! I ask you...Semere!

Semere: Well, this is hardly an original idea. According to Plato, the ignorant residents of the cave were hesitant to leave their cave, too. On the other hand, Montaigne states unequivocally that subject to egregious phenomenon that necessitated frivolous conglomerations of exploding phantoms, the idea may have some merit...
Tekie: I must say that I was in Eritrea recently (one of my half-a-dozen visits; when was the last time you were there, Magua?) and I have to announce this idea of moving the capital ranks next to the creation of an Eritrean space shuttle in terms of its importance...
Magua:` Well, that's because you don't have my spacious vision! Get it? Space and shuttle? Or is that too subtle for you, Tekie!! [laughs] Isn't it true that as part of the CCE you discussed this issue?! Don't deny it!
Tekie: What? Only you...
Magua: What do you have to say Beyan?!
Beyan: Actually, I must say my good friend Semere has articulated his points very well. Although, it is true that the contribution of the poignant Tekie, who works so hard for our country, is apt and should not be discounted, either. Let's not forget, however, that Keren is part of the lowlands and Asmara is part of the highlands... and this is an issue that the Tigre and Blien, the largest population group in Keren, should address. Incidentally, why is this show called the "Magua Group"? Magua is a Tigrigna word. Also, in this panel, the Christians outnumber the Muslims...
Berhan: While we are asking the Kerenites whether their town should be the capital, perhaps we should ask them on what they think the official language should be as well. As far as moving the captial to Keren, I don't know... Keren is only a two hour drive from Asmara. By bus; at least it used to be before the PFDJ took control. Is that still the case?
Magua: By bus? Is that the Eritrean bus? Call it ERI-BUS!
Semere: In Latin, "Eribus" means hell. At least that is what Herman Melville states in his excellent book "Billy Budd, Sailor"...
Nicole: Listen to you! I don't have much time to cover the details, but listening to you, I can't help thinking of my recent discussion with my good friends from Fiji Islands and the Bahamas and wondering that you are being manipulated to forget your blackness. Let's not forget that it was Martin Luther King who said, "I have a dream! I have a dream that, one day..." Which reminds me of my favorite quote by Malcolm X who said, " We didn't land on Asmara; Asmara landed on us!" So, as we discuss this solemn issues, let's not forget Tawana Brawley...And it was Bob Marley who said, "you can people some of the people some of the time; but you can't fool all the people all the time" although this line is wrongly attributed to Lincoln who, suggest historians, wasn't against slavery per se...
Magua: We have to get out; exit question: on a scale of 0 to 10; 0 being 0 possibility and 10 being metaphysical certitude, what is the possibility of the capital of Eritrea moving to Keren?! I ask you: Semere!
Semere: 2 Beyan: 0, but it should be 10
Tekie: 0
Nicole: 10, but it should be 0
Magua: The correct answer is 7.
[Fade out....] [Caption: WATCH YOUR LANGUAGE!]
[Fade in...] ISSUE TWO! WATCH YOUR LANGUAGE! What should the official languages of Eritrea be? To be continued....


The McGua Group #II:
The Bad Puns Continue

Before we delve into Part II, an explanation is in order. "The McLaughlin Group" is a syndicated TV program and usually airs on public television (PBS) --thus, those of you who "don't watch TV; and if I do, I only watch PBS cheetah-chasing-deer show" can come out of the closet and admit that you watch the show. The moderator, John McLaughlin, is a formerly-respectable essayist on National Review who has matamorphosized into a bombastic entertainer. He was recently featured on the god-awful movie "Independence Day"-- (I haven't seen so many coincidences and plot holes in a movie since Hati Mere Sati). To those wonderful Dehaiers who offered to air commercials on the show, please note that The McGua Group is, like the McLaughlin Group, brought to us by GE who, as you know, bring good things to life (such as missiles, explosives and other fun stuff)... An aside to Saleh Gadi who protested the ending of the first issue without satisfactory resolution--the discussion of the move of the capital city from Asmara to Keren. Brother Saleh, please note that at Dehai, issues are, thank heavens, never resolved; they are just posted under a different heading by a different person... And now, back to our regularly-scheduled program which is already in progress....

Moderator: McGua
Panelists: Tesfai (Kflu), Yonas (merHaba), Negga, Tekie, Kebire McGua:
ISSUE TWO! WATCH YOUR LANGUAGE. According to reliable sources, the Constitutional Commission of Eritrea's position statement on the issue of official languages is something to the effect that "all languages in Eritrea are equal"! This was the recommended language on the issue of language! Before we do the merry-go-round, is that your understanding, Tekie?
Tekie: I am not the official spokesman of the CCE so I can't really say. Read Hadas Eritrea. McGua: Are you being evasive? Has the CCE shirked its responsibility by dodging such an important issue and condemning Eritreans to a rancorous situation? I ask you, Yonas!
Yonas: merHaba. now, with respect to the issue of languages, all we can say is that whatever the eritrean people decide should be acceptable as far as we are concerned. my question is: what language will we use to ask you to contribute to build an eritrean stadium?
McGua: Speak up! Why are you writing in lowercase! REMEMBER, at this show you better BE BOMBASTIC!
Yonas: how is this: SHUT UP! if we build the stadium, they will come.... Ye Old Yeller.
McGua: In the absence of an English concept, the immediate point of reference seems to be Tigrigna...
Kebire: In the last issue of the Eritrean Profile, there was a reference to "Kiremti" rain and "Zoba Debubabawi Keyh Bahri". As my friend the good professor Tekie will agree, this doesn't send the message that all languages are equal, does it? Thus, I would have to say that even you may have a point here, McGua. Obviously Tigrigna should be one of the official languages; the question I haven't resolved is...
Kebire: You must be joking? Any reasonable census...
McGua: I ask you Sammy!
Sammy: G, I don't know the official language should be but I know there is a retreat and you are all invited. Next year: Here's A Treat: Retreat in Eritrea. Tell'em the Eritrean Simba sent you.
Tesfai: Enter body, "//" or "]END" terminates; "]CANCEl" aborts.
Negga: I don't mean to be controversial but if there is only one language in Eritrea that is the obvious choice to be the official one, it is one that has not been imported; one that doesn't belong to any religious group predominantly and one that is beautiful. It is home-grown. The choice is obvious: blien.
Kebire: I must leave in protest since this subject delves into religious issues and is a clear violation of our charter! [Kebire leaves]
Tekie: I must leave in protest because I have a standing invitation to attend a more sober and insightful show: Crossfire. Unless I have to go back to Eritrea for one of my many visits. [Tekie leaves]
McGua: Our ratings are better on this show! Have you checked my ratings lately? Do you know that I am a movie star?
Sammy G: I have to leave because I take issue with your $19.95 approach to broadcasting. [Sammy leaves]
Yonas: merhaba, my friend; count me out as well..i have to go read e.e. cummings [Yonas leaves]
McGua: Dire situations call for dire actions! I will call in my standby guests: Saleh Gadi and Sal Younis. But in deference to our audience, I will change the subject: the new question is: IS THERE DEATH AFTER LIFE? I ASK YOU, TESFAI! [by the way, thanks for not leaving me]
Tesfai: Enter body, "//" or "]END" terminates; "]CANCEl" aborts. I wish you were aborted!
Tesfai: Enter body, "//" or "]END" terminates; "]CANCEl" aborts. Yes, there is death after life. How do I know? Well, I had a friend who sold life insurance and now he is dead. Therefore, there is death after life.
Saleh Gadi: Was he dyslexic? If so, that would prove that there is life after death.
Sal: 38% of dyslexics are in love with 83% of the remaining dyslexics. This finding will be printed on the Eritrean Exponent...
Sal: "Shame And Procrastination": also in our next issue.
Sal: Of course there is death after LIFE. There is also death after NEWSKWEEK and there is death after TIME...
Tesfai: Enter body, "//" or "]END" terminates; "]CANCEl" aborts. Also, if you don't like LIFE, you can always switch to Kelloggs.
McGua: We have to get out. Exit question: on a scale of 0 to 10; 0 being 0 possibility and 10 being metaphysical...
Sal: You are not allowed to say metaphysical. Violation of charter...
McGua: ...and 10 being extranatural certitude, what is the possibility that there is death after life.
Tesfai: Enter body, "//" or "]END" terminates; "]CANCEl" aborts. Death is relative. And you are killing me... I'd say 10.
Saleh Gadi: 10. Unless you kiss Mariam DeArit; then it is 4.
McGua: The correct answer is a 5!

Next Show: Moderated by Mobae's Bad Alter Ego....Take It Away, Mobae!


The MaGua Group #III:
Religion in Dehai

Selamat, Saleh, the whole idea of "The Magua Group" is Brilliant! Absolutely brilliant!! This should be a weekly post! I hope nobody gets offended and that we all get to laugh; those who could laugh at themselves are really blessed. I nominate Saleh to accept posts from individuals with ideas (topics, panelists and their statements) and then he will forward them to dehai once a week (every Friday?). It would be nice if anonymous posts are also allowed on this series--after my tavern post, I got more than 40 posts, most with a plea--please don't forward this to dehai--and the majority were real funny and a bit aggressive. Someday I will compile them and post it. For now, here is my version of The Magua Group...at Sal's invitation, blame him if you have a problem with it; I took it because of my "Bad Alter Ego." If push comes to shove I can back up most of the statements with facts ;-) You will notice that most of the puns are from old topics, the ones that made an impression on me. No offense intended, against anybody: from the president (the most honorable) to Beyan (the youngest?).... Enjoy! Mobae PS: I am sure the writing style will tell you that I do sometimes watch The UNREHEARSED McLaughlin Group.

Moderator: Magua
Panelists: Mehret, Beyan, Ghidewon, Ismail, Aya Tesfai [block letters indicate real loud and obnoxious voice]
Magua: ISSUE ONE!....
Mehret: ...Before you start, I have a comment! You always seem to have four men and a woman as panelists--two muslim men, two christian men, and a woman. You should consider a second woman for a panelist.
Beyan: Preferably a muslim woman.
Ismail: Why are you concerned about women at all? How about muslims and other ethnic minority of Eritrea--like the Afar, who own one of the only two Eritrean ports?
Magua:...SHUT UP!! ISSUE ONE: in light of the fact that religion should be practiced in the privacy of our homes, mosques, & churches and the endless religious verses with sophomoric analyses we witnessed in dehai, should religion be discussed in Dehai? I ask you, ISMAIL!
Ismail: Of course! How can we talk about absolute morality and universal values otherwise? Religion is the most important institution and the only one that is not completely destroyed. Don't lecture me about secularist values! I know the works of Voltaire, Ibn Batuta, Aristotle...and the teachings of the Maharaja. I hold the belief that secularism is responsible for homosexuality, single parenthood, drug problems, drive-by shooting...that you and I witness in the west. The west is good in creating weapons of destruction, but so what? It is going to some sort of moral bankruptcy. Something tells me that some of you are camouflaging your communist skin with secularism.
Ghidewon: (pounding the table) No! No! No! No! I am not against religion, and my religion and my ethnic group IS Eritrea. By the way, my wife is mathematics. If you want to talk about religion on this medium, you will not only offend me and my wife, but all mathematicians as well. Recently, there is word that life exists in Mars; you will offend those goddamn aliens too. It is to be noted that religion causes people to have ridiculously big and expensive weddings, which I am on record of being against. That's why "Hamli temesiHe" (I am a vegetarian): "gWayla zdrer" (& love to dance)!
Beyan: Before talking about religion you have to know how many Eritrean muslims there are and what the government policy is towards educating the muslims of the lowlands, which I believe my friend Yosief has the data. In my next post I will type the report. I am a highland muslim and I do speak for my fellow muslims. BTW, my cousin tells me that there are more exploited muslims than christians over the whole world; I mean, look at Egypt, for example, after Nasser all it could show for is a puppet like Moubarek; I don't even want to talk about Lubnan, Jordan, or Syria. I know Semere will correct me if I am wrong and Negga will come up with some food for thought.
Aya Tesfai: Magua, I have one more jebeli joke!...
Beyan:...you have to realize that the nomadic life and rural development minister of Eritrea is a jebeli!
Aya Tesfai: I know! that's why the jebeli are my favorite!...
Beyan:...Making fun of the "J"emenies is not going to help us solve the Hanish incident...
Aya Tesfai:...You want to talk about the Hanish? OK, nothing you will say affects the war or peace process....
Magua: ENOUGH about Yemen. Mehret, why are you uncharacteristically quiet? Are YOU HIDING something?!
Mehret: I just came back from a vacation in Eritrea and the women need a lot of help and all you could come up with is whether religion should be discussed?!....
Beyan: ...I just want to interject: there are more muslim women who are uneducated than their christian sisters. The government seems to send more christians for higher education, too. What kind of signal is that to the woman in some 'agnet' (hut) in lowland Eritrea who never went to school?
Aya Tesfai: Come on Beyan! Nobody cares whether your name is Beyan or Beyene, Negash or Negassi. Especially when you write them in Geez; remember Geez is us! When I was your age, life was good: some called us, Catholics "r`si meleliK" and we called tewahdo's "r`si gudgudo." Nobody got offended, life was good.
Magua: I agree, life used to be better. On that we go to the exit question for this panel. Mehret complained and this panel will be dismissed with this exit question: on a scale of 0-to-10, what are the chances that religion for the sake of religion will ALWAYS be discussed in dehai: 0 being 0 possibility and 10 being metaphysical certitude....oooops, I have to see an ooopsologist?! Tesfai!
Aya Tesfai: 5, because there is good religion and bad religion.
Ismail: 10, religion is our most important institution; more important that the defence ministry! Mehret: 0, upto the time we solve the women's issues. I don't give a hoot after that.
Beyan: It could be anywhere between 0 and 10. It just depends on the way we address each other.
Ghidewon: My heart says 0, my mind says 10. You know that if you put your right hand in boiling water and your left hand in ice water, my statistician cousins say that on average you will feel comfortable. Thus, as a mathematician I would go for 5.
Magua: The answer is 10! (ten factorial, that is). Religion is more like sex, the only way to cure it is by having more of it. It will attract the sophomore as well as the cleric, always! BRING in the next panelists; Mehret; your prayers are answered--we will have two women and a larger panel.
[As Zebiba & Rahel walk in, Magua has a huge smile on his face, believing that he solved the women's issues.]
Panelists: Zebiba, Mobae, Rahel, Tekie, Saleh, Yosief, Kamal
Magua: ISSUE TWO! I don't need to tell you that there are more than 60,000 Eritreans who are HIV-positive. You know eating "berbere" ain't gonna help! And neither "may dgamet" nor "gabr derAnto" help when it comes to AIDS. SO, HOW SHOULD Eritrea solve its AIDS crisis? I ask you, YOSIEF!
Yosief: The data should make one and all of us shiver! In light of that fact, there is no alternative but to stop everything else! I mean people should even STOP going to school; the only schools that should be operating are those that emphasize sex education. AND all bars should be closed and condom dispensers should be installed at every corner in the cities and should be hanging off of a tree every five kilometers in the hot and humid lowlands. BTW, the waitresses (barista) should teach the sex education classes.
Magua: AHA! What do you say to that, SALEH?
Saleh: The spread of AIDS can only be stopped by stoning all adulterers, cursing anybody who LOOKS (you know what I mean) at the opposite sex, and quarantine those who are already sick with the disease.
Kamal: Ya abu Saleh, you are ridiculous! Don't you have any compassion for the sick? Are you a practicing moslem, by the way. DON'T LIE TO ME NOW, I know your type.
Saleh: Compassion? My foot!!
Mobae: Magua, you are losing control of the panel. It's gonnago back to issue one.
Magua: OK, Shut Up everybody. What do you say MOBAE?
Mobae: Your data is erroneous, 60000?!!! That is 1 in 5 of the adult population in Asmara. Come on! I know more than 10,000 adults in Asmara and you are telling me that 2000 of them are infected, on average. Do your homework, Magua. Anyway, whatever the numbers are, you should involve the president, the interior minister, the mayor of Asmara, and every shiek and every "diaqon". Friday services at mosques and Sunday sermons in churches should be about AIDS.
Kamal: As a believer of the evolutionary "theory" and practising it to get my paycheck, I say AIDS will eventually be eradicated. But, have some compassion for the sick...give them to the USA if you can't. In my last trip to New York, or is it Noo Yawk, I learned that the Statue of Liberty stands for that.
Tekie: Oh, talking about AIDS, I hear that this guy believes that AIDS is caused by "swa"! How ridiculous! I wonder why the medical people and the scientists are quiet?! This economist did it in a special way: by going all the way to the origin of "swa"--Adwa, for the historically challenged--and I can prove exclusively that swa is as safe as it will ever be. Menghis is my witness. BTW, the "komarit" (bartender?) was cute!
Rahel: Tekie, "swa" is safe! Anybody who tampers with swa will have a lot of enemies in Eritrea and Ethiopia. Mobae, you should also note that AIDS awareness is effectively done at 'gWayla' nights where all artists could give us a piece of their minds and sing about AIDS. There is gWayla tonight and let's convince our artists to do just that.
Magua: Before we go for that gWayla, let's do the exit question: On a scale of 0-to-10, what are the chances that President Issayas will address the nation on the AIDS issue? 0 being never, you know what 10 stands for, I am never going to get caught on this one again. MOBAE?
Mobae: 2, the president is too busy looking for a place to stay; with his salary of about 4000 birr (or is it Naqfa now?) a month he cannot afford to buy an apartment in Sembel; ask an accountant if you don't believe me.
Yosief: 1, but it should be 10.
Rahel: 5. Let's hurry for the 'gWayla' at the basement.
Tekie: 0 as it should be, the researchers are telling him "swa" is the cause of AIDS and his uncle is still alive after drinking swa every day of his 89-year life.
Kamal: 0, but I go with Yosief, it should be 10.
Saleh: Kamal, you can't even make up your mind on a single number. The answer is 0; this should be left to the shieks and priests.
Magua: The correct answer is 8; it won't be too long before somebody important in Eritrea dies of AIDS that will capture the attention of His Excellency Mr. Issayas Afeworki and the entire nation. Let's go enjoy the gWayla [for some of us, literally ;-)]. BYE! BYE!


The MaGua Group #IV:
Freedom of Speech

Hello Dehai Heads: Hello Dehai: The McGua Group continues because of the overwhelming support it has generated. Have I received tons of mail encouraging me to? Not exactly. Then how so? It is just that I haven't received a single mail urging me to stop. This, in politics, is considered a mandate. There are over 1200 Dehaiers (including the Shadow Dehaiers) and, todate, not a single person has written to say, "For God's sake, Sal, how many more guinea pigs will you kill before you call the experiment off?" My answer: when we run out of guinea pigs... Speaking of John Tesh (ouch)... Before I go with my story, for those of you who reside outside the good ol' US of A, John Tesh is a ubiquitous media creature who--having been married for two whole months--ran infomercials giving advice on how to stay happily married; co-hosted a bubblegum celbrity suck-up program known as E.T.; toured the nation to promote his musical album and, more recently, co-hosted the 1996 Atlanta Olympics as a commentator on Women's Figure Skating where his gushy commentary generated a chorus of criticism from every corner. In any event, a mean person writing in the San Jose Arts & Entertainment (Sunday insert) referred to him as a "human screensaver". I am not sure what it means but it is damn funny. Speaking of funny things I don't understand, a few years ago, The New Republic wrote that George Bush reminded every divorced woman of her first husband and that Al Gore was an old man's idea of a young man... Wow, I digress!! What does any of this have to do with Eritrea? Not a thing: Beyan-atitis is contagious! Hold on to your seat belts...

Moderator: McGua
Panelists: Ghidewon, (John)Yohannes, Norai Ahmed, Solomon Paulos, Omar Kekia, Gamal Aberra, Paulos Natnael
McGua: Issue I! According to recent news reports, the Eritrean troops have occupied Lesser Hanish completing the frontal attack after the December military initiative that finds Eritreans occupying Greater Hanish. The Arab media has been unanimous in its condemnation of Eritrea and its president. The question for the panel is--and this is a grave one--How Should We Spell The Name of the Eritrean President? I ask you, John?
John: Well, as you know, I have been spending a great deal of my time and energy, researching this very important subject. Last night, after researching 2,895 print, electronic and smoke-sign media, I went to sleep at 2:00 AM, San Francisco Time. My research shows that the name is spelled as Isias, Issias, Issiass, Esias, Esiass, Essias, Essiass, Esayas, Esayass, Essayas, Essayas... McGua: But how SHOULD IT BE SPELLED? I ask you, Ghidewon?
Ghidewon: I have often pondered this subject. Mathematically speaking, the possibility that two ss's should precede two vowels is suspiciously sublime. I say let's drop all pretenses of "His Majesty" and [insert appropriate Tigrigna proverb]call him Wedi Afwerki...
John: In my research, (which I finished at 3:00 AM Alaska time and a token "Thank you" wouldn't hurt, dammit), I have found that Afwerki is sometimes spelled Afewerki, Afworki, Afeworki...
McGua: But my original question is: if we don't settle the NAME ISSUE right this very minute, WON'T we send the message that we are confused and invite an invasion by our enemies? I ask you, Omer! Or is that Umer? Omar?
Omer: Mr. Kekia, if you are nasty. My question is: What planet are YOU from McGua? I haven't heard an analysis so shoddy since Dick Lamm predicted that Perot would not run..
John: By the way, weren't you originally introduced as Magua? Why did you change to McGua?
McGua: Actually, due to criticism I received that I am contributing to the Tigrignaziation of Eritrea, I am, as of next issue, changing my name to McKua which, in Arabic, means "iron". John, and sometimes Yohannes, perhaps you should call yourself Yahia--which is the Kuranic name for John The Baptist....(Buzz) By the way, that is the new electrical shocker we have installed: anytime someone mentions anything religious, he will be shocked. McKua and Iron: I hope that my new name will "iron-out" the differences. Until someone else complains that we are trying to Arabacize Eritrea... do you get it or is that too subtle for you?
Solomon: How delightfully ironic...
McGua: Hey, watch it, I am the only funny guy here! Obviously, you have decided to duck the issue... HOW SHOULD WE SPELL THE NAME OF THE PRESIDENT? I ask you, Norai! Norai: Actually, it is quite easy to spell. A-U-T-O-C-R-A-T...

[CAPTION: We are experiencing technical difficulties. Please be patient while we work on our satellite hook-up...] [Behind the scenes, there is total commotion at the McGua Group. The panel seems to have experienced a collective nervous breakdown. Ghidewon has fainted and the ambulance is called to wheel him out. John is in a state of fury and rage and he decides to go for a walk. Norai, claiming that this panel is too rigid to accept his dissenting view goes to attend another panel which, of course, is too rigid to accept another man's dessenting view... The satellite is restored and the new panelists are seated: Gamal, Solomon, Omar Kekia and Paulos Natnael]

McGua: ISSUE TWO: We are back! Although here at The McGua Group we have a fine tradition of talking about irrelevant things, let's break with that tradition and talk about FREEDOM OF SPEECH...it will give us Something To Talk About. Omar?
Omar: Well, my only objection to Noray's statement was that it was utterly devoid of reasoned analysis. It lacks any understanding of the politics of Yemen as opposed to my analysis which conveniently leaves out the fact that the reason Yemenis speak with 10 different voices and we speak with one is because they have 40 political parties with diverse opinions and we are a party of one...
Gamal: But, why is it necessary to attack those who oppose your view point? Will you allow me to scratch your back to see if you are hateful,small-minded and irrational? Peace and Prosperity. McGua: The question is: What are the limits on freedom of speech especially during war time? I ASK YOU, SOLOMON?
Solomon: Listen here, Fitwerari; freedom of speech is freedom of speech. Whoever appointed you to speak on behalf of the government?
Gamal: The only criticism that is allowed at this Echo Chamber called Dehai is the equivalent of: "I love the government; some people don't--and I don't understand them--but I respect their right not to love the government, although I don't understand them and I doubt that they are Eritreans especially if they used to live in the Middle East and we all know who THEY are..." PEACE and PROSPERITY.
Paulos: There should be freedom of expression. But every criticizm should be constructive. Who decides what is constructive? The government, of course. Although, if one criticizes a revered, much-loved, demi-god like our president, the critic should not be surprised if he is criticized for criticizing the much beloved president.
Solomon: I thought only the pope was infallible... [buzz!]
McGua: Exit Question. If we all agree that the president is not autocratic, it would mean that certain policy decisions are made without his knowledge or approval, right? And if he is subject to criticism, we can cite areas where he can be criticized, right. On a scale of 0 to 10; 0 being nada, niente, abeden, sifr possiblity and 10 being monumentala certainty equal to certitude that Clinton will not lower your taxes, what is the possibility that you will name some? Omar?
Omar: [Long Pause] 0. What's the point?
Solomon: [Long Pause] 0. What purpose would that serve?
Paulos: [Long Pause] 0. Is this the medium for it?
Gamal: Freedom is one thing; recklessness another. Where I find the balance I will. 5. Peace and Prosperity.
McGua: The correct answer is 10 among friends; 0 among enemies!


The McGua Group, Part #V:
Back Without Vengence

Dear McGua Addicts: McGua has been released due to the excellent constitutional discussion that followed immediately after his kidnapping. He will need a little time to recuperate and, of course, do the talk-show rounds to exploit his new-found fame. A book contract and a movie deal are in the works. One thing he has learned to appreciate (not for long, I hope) is the value of silence....therefore... This issue of The McGua Group is dedicated to the vast majority of Dehaiers--the hundreds upon hundreds of Dehai members who, regardless of whether we are discussing important issues such as the constitution, the press proclamation and metaphysics; or trivial issues such as jokes, lyrics from songs (for God's sake); or the occassional Nasty Eruptions, have remained consistently silent. To answer the question: "Are they secretly laughing at us loudmouths? Enjoying their eavesdropping? Ignoring us completely?", I sent our intrepid reporter, the Mother of All Loudmouths, McGua, aka Magua, McKua, Me'Alka, MaIlega, and MaA....(hey, watch it!). His report follows:

McGua: " What do you think of Dehai?" ", ?"
Guest # 1: "...................."
Wedi Afro: If you did ask this question a few years back, well I would have told you dehai is a community of educated, nation builders, good friends and most important the respected each other I guess those were the good old times:-(((((((. I the 96 version of deahi well it makes me sick to my stomach to see grown men and women disrespecting each other, discussing topics that has no point some times I can't even understand what the originally question of msg. was? You know it is very easy to get online and form a community, a family and make friends and some times life time enemies. Dehai was a community of good hearted pple. not any more, we are the joke of the erittrean community around the world, when I tell pple. that I am a member of dehai; I use to feel power, fire not any more actually I don't any more. When I see educated pple. making an ASS. Sorry 4 my language.
McGua: "Really?!!!!??!!"
Guest # 2: ".....,...........,.... ;....@#$!"
Wedi Afro: I think we should have servay on what pple. feel about dehai, or how dehai should conduct its daily operation; don't take me wrong the dehai-Admin are doing a superb job except we need more saying, I think we should revisit the by laws and I think this community should be moderated if you leave the mailing list for pple. to talk about topics that doesn't pertain the community and the Eritrean pple. well then this is not a community it is like have foot ball Hooligans running around the information super highway and wasting my time and your time. Think we should have a goal and we should focus on what we can do to Dehai not what Dehai can Do for ( Men J.F.Kennady is rolling on his grave).
McGua: "But do you think that's the opinion of the majority of Dehaiers or is that an aberration?"
Guest # 3: "......, ........ (....)...!"
McGua: "Exit Question. On a scale of 0 to 10, 0 being a complete waste of your time and 10 being the highlight of your day, how would you rate Dehai?"
Guest # 1: "....."
Wedi Afro: "-1"
Guest # 2: "....@)*@)."
Guest # 3: "....."

Of course, the last few weeks have given McGua ample fodder and plenty of juicy targets....However, since I was in the middle of the goo, I think Mobae should guest host and make fun of the players... Sal


The MaGua Group #VI:
Identity Crisis!**HOT twist**

Hello everyone, Did I call Semere to ask him if it is ok to use his name in this amateurish satire? No. Did I e-mail Hellen to check if it alright to make fun of her name? Nope. Did I run the story by Ghidewon first? Hell No! I know you all have some funny bones; but, if you absolutely have to 'flame' me, please do it on this medium...if you send hate mail to my private address send a copy to Sal, he just might make it an issue for the next MaGua, or is it MagWita now?, group ;-) This is just a warm up till Saleh "the dittore, emir of el-Kuwait" Gadi or Saleh Younis to come up with their versions. Anything goes here, even reversal of polarity, back and forth :-). Enjoy. Mobae

Moderator: McGua
Panelists: Thomas, Semere, aya Tesfai, Nicole, Hellen, Single White Female (SWF), Ghidewon.
Magua: ISSUE ONE! You all realize that the Greatest Piece of Land in the Horn of Africa, aka Eritrea, has so many people of all shades: there are toQrirs and Arabs in Eritrea. The toQrirs are originally from Nigeria and the Arabs are from across the Red Sea. For those interested I can have my producer come up with the proper references. Some Eritreans are pitch dark and others are "as light-skinned as the Egyptians"--"Sa...E...da! gbSi'ya tmesl" is a common saying in some areas of Eritrea. Even within a single family you see lighter skin and darker skin kids. Question: Are we Eritreans black? I ask you, THOMAS!
Tomas: What a stupid question! Of course we are black! Does this merit discussion?
Magua: YES IT DOES! Don't tell me that you believe the lighter skinned are from "mies" and the darker skinned from "swa"....[roaring laughter from all panelists but Thomas]
Semere: Blackness and the whole idea of color is such a simplistic concept. Pigmentation and color intensity refer to non-living things only; it is ignorant to think otherwise. It is below you MaGua to even address such an issue. I don't have to accept the racist west's idea of classifying people based on their skin color. I am Habesha and damn proud to be one! Why can't we just be that, Habesha?! I don't even believe we are Africans.
Tomas: Of course we are Habesh! Haven't you heard the Yemenis calling us "al Habesh Hanesh." But, we are also more than that. We are Africans, we are black. Unless the Rift Valley is split all the way down to the ocean floor, thus creating a new pseudo-continent--hopefully bringing the Hanishes closer to Eritrea or else being swallowed by the Red Sea, YOU and YOU and YOU... (pointing at the panelists) are Africans. You are black. Get used to it!!
Nicole: I am sure some of you guys are happy if somebody tells you that you have a European butt, an Indian hair, a middle eastern nose,.... but you hate being called black. You are in an identity crisis!!
Aya Tesfai: Talking about noses, I have this joke on intelligence and nose sizes of people. Look at Arafat and Mao...hahahahahah...get my point?!
Saleh: Wait a minute! We don't have an identity crisis! We are black, PERIOD! Leave us alone, for God's sake!! There is an Arabic saying: if you stare at a monkey long enough, it sure looks like a gazelle! Stare at us long enough, you will see that we are beautiful people! Go visit gindaE, I am sure you will change your narrow concept of classification.
Semere: Saleh, you have absolutely no concept of the Arabic language. The saying is: the monkey is so ugly and so like us, which is scientifically proven as humans share about 98.2% of their genes with that of monkey, a monkey of one type or another.
McGua: You don't know what you are talking about. The arabic saying is: drink enough areqi and you will surely think that a monkey is as beautiful as a gazelle.
Nicole: On a serious note, look at Hellen for example. She looks just like an Indian but because she hates herself, she doesn't admit...
Hellen:..Watch your language, sista!! I am not an Indian and I don't hate myself. If I simply refer to myself as black, I feel that I am unfairly riding on the accomplishments of Malcolm X, Dr. King, and others. At the same time I am being less than honest by claiming that I share the same experience as your average Joe-blackman.
SWF: You know the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, has said and I quote "it doesn't matter if you are black or white"....
Magua: ..."If it doesn't matter whether you are black or white, then why is he trying to be white?!" [SNL joke] [real loud and sarcastic laughs from all panelists, but SWF]
SWF: I am from Southern part of Africa, born and raised, but my parents are Dutch! Now, am I African?
Nicole: Let me answer that! Your ancestors went to South Africa in search of wealth; out of greed they exploited my ancestors. It is time for you to pack and go back to where you came from....
SWF: ...and do YOU have to go back to Africa?
Nicole: You don't get it, DO YOU??!! Read the works of Malcolm X. He teaches that America landed on us, we didn't land on America. We were brought here as slaves. If we were able to swim, we would have gone right back to where we came from. GET IT?!
Tomas: In short, anybody who even appears to be black is black. So, we are black. If you don't agree with me, then as Sister Nicole said, you are in an identity crisis!!
Magua: I like the whole concept of identity crisis. Let's explore that by going to our regular panelist, signor Ghidewon, who just came out of the hospital after the unfortunate incident of our last show. Ghidewon, today all panelists are sworn not to call "wedi aforqi" an aristocrat...relax, you will be safe on that. Ghidewon, if your head is still spinning, please be just a listener, we all understand and appreciated your inputs before.
Ghidewon: I am not fully recovered. I just have one question for Tomas: what percent melanocyte should my skin pigmentation be to be called black?
Tomas: Come on, Ghidewon! You know it, it is upto you to call yourself black. If you are proud of yourself, you will admit that you are black. Unless, of course, you are in an identity crisis.
Magua: I like this concept of identity crisis. Let's talk about it more.
SWF: Mr. Magua!!....
Magua: ...Girl! Why are you addressing me as Mr.? That pseudo presidential candidate Kebire called me Mr.; another clown called me McQua; the "dittore" preacher called me MaAquar; the part-time dehai news-anchor asked what my sex was, and whether I have problems with my sexuality..... [SWF blushes]
SWF: Mr. McGua? w...h...y.. not? BTW, why do you keep on changing your name? At one point it was magua, then MaGua, McGua, McKua,...now people are arguing whether it is MaQua, McQua, MaAquar, MaEgWar,....what is it? Do you have an identity crisis, too?
Magua: Identity crisis! An interesting concept! We all have it and it starts with our names. Thomas-Tomas, Hellen-Helen, Ghidewon-Gideon, Issayas-Esayas-Isaias-Isayas, Saleh-SalH-SaliH, Afeworki-Aforqi-Afewerk-Afewerki,....at the national level we can't even agree whether we are black or not, whether it is Eritrea or Ertra, dehaians or dehaiers,....even at the international level, all of us have an identity crisis which in part explains MY INTERNAL conflict. Get It?!!
All Panelists: NO! What are you talking about?
Magua: Let me be frank with you all: I was born to a very decent kunama "animist" woman and a very religious BeniAmir muslim man, grew up in Mendefera with Catholic nuns, preached to Christians in gaHtielay, translated documents for the atheists (Tariku is my witness) to Bilien, converted to the Jehova's Witness after their last plight. Controversy on top of controversy. To top it all, I am a woman!! [dead silence]
Ghidewon: Great Joke, Magua!
Magua: This is not a joke "dittore"! [real loud] YES, I AM A WOMAN!! [poor Ghidewon passes out, again!] Yes, I am a woman! My producer is a 'male chauvinist pig' who would never offer me this job if he knew that I was a woman. That's why I had to change my name from MagWita to MaGua, wear this huge ugly suit to cover up..you know what. If he dares to fire me now, I will have to sue him to his last penny. BTW, "a book contract and a movie deal are in the works;" "MaGua: The Gender Reversal Theory at Your MouthTips" and my tour will start from the lowlands of Eritrea. Since people love controversial issues, I will end up being a millionaire.....

[time's up. Announcer: no exit question today. Program interrupted by a commercial from one of the sponsors of the program: EriBus, the most convenient way to go to Keren...you don't have to be scared of lbi tgray...and you don't have to pay for hotels, you could spend the night inside our huge buses.]


The MaGua Group #VII:
Where is Eritrea, Mr. President


Dear McGua Fans: Following up on the advice of his exceptionally talented handlers, Bob Dole challanged President Bill Clinton to a third debate. "After all, I won the last two and I want to give my opponent a chance," quipped the Dole Man. Bill Clinton, bored by his huge lead, and looking for mischief agreed, adding: "I'll do it --but only if McGua moderates it. AND Ross Perot is invited." Perot immediately seized on the opportunity and said, "now, looka here! Looks like the skunk's been ihnvihted to the picnic..." Bob Dole shrugged: "whatever..." This debate is NOT in the format of a "town-hall meeting" because two women from the last town-hall meeting accused Bill Clinton of hitting on them and said they could prove it to the special "independent" prosecutor. The debate moderator, McGua, insisted that he is not having any of that "phony sincerity" unless he, too, can indulge his vices. The rules? The candidates are not allowed to ask each other questions but civility is definitely considered a wimpy, unpresidential character trait. Mr McGua had only two requests: first, to accomodate for his loud voice, he insisted on having all the microphones turned off and second, he requested that Perot's incomprehensible Texan accent be translated into New England English or be subtitled...

McGua: Question Number One! Mr. Dole, the centerpiece of your re-election campaign is an across-the-board 15% tax cut. If 15% will stimulate the economy, why not a 30% tax cut? 50%? 80%? How about no income taxes at all?
Dole: [batting his eyelashes furiously and his eyes wondering all over the place, he wets his lips...and suppressing a smile...] Bob Dole thinks that that may not be such a bad idea. After all, IT IS YOUR MONEY. Remember in 1981---maybe it was 82, whatever---we once proposed a deduction in the capital gains tax--which is not a tax cut for the rich as President Clinton says---by the way, I will address you as president, although you didn't address President Bush as President back in 1992 who, by the way, gave me some advice on how to run an election--- how to lose one, I guess. I understand that George Mitchell, a very good friend of mine, is standing-in for me in the mock-debates, whatever. The tax cuts, IT IS YOUR MONEY. That's what this campaign is all about.
Clinton: [bites lower lip and makes direct eye contact with the camera] I am glad you asked that question, McGua. In the last four years I have worked very hard to ensure that GingrichDole don't make huge cuts in our EnvironmentEducationMedicareMedicaid to finance their tax SCHEME. A 15% tax cut would blow a huge hole in the defecit which we [narrows his stare and grinds his teeth] have worked very hard in this administration to reduce while growing the economy: 10.5 million new jobs....[the litany is recited] Will you help me build the bridge to the 21st century?
Perot: [shrill, impatient, agitated] Have you ever heard a more cockamamie ahdea than this? Folks, this is show bizdness. It duhnt take a village to understand that; a village idiot gets it. The defecit has been reduced by 60% because President Clinton has been selling off US Assets to foreigners, that's whhhhy. It is YOUR COUNTRY, folks. Now. It's not about me; I am your servant taking care of your crazy aunt in the basement and crazier mechanic looking up the hood of your car and the skirt of your wife...
McGua: Question Number Two. Let's get to the good stuff: Mr. Dole has raised the "character" issue, questioning the integrity of President Clinton. How about it, Mr. Dole?
Dole: [sighs, takes a long pause] I have never been one to disparage the personal ethics of a politician or a businessman, whatever. 900, 9000, 9 million--whatever--FBI files--It is not about personal character but public character. That's what this campaign is all about...
Perot: [interrups impatiently] The reason you won't attack a politician is cause you are one. Let's get down to it, folks. Bill Clinton smoked dope and lied about it. Bill Clinton cheated on his wife. Repeatedly. Unlike Dole who is a war hero and mahself who is a hostage-saving-hero, when his nation called on him, Klinton hang up on it to protect his "political viability." He is a pathological liar, and chooses his friends carelessly. We don't have many Aytalians in Texas but Ahhh've been to Italy and those damn greaseheads say, "Tell me your friends and Ahhh'll tell you who you are." But the most egregious character flaw of the president is that he won't return my calls...
Clinton: [about to explode but swallows hard and bites his lower lip in the nick of time] You know, Mr Perot, the Italians also used to have another saying, "Il Duce ha sempre ragione": The Duke is always right. And, right now, I am the Duke, shorty, so live with it. I could respond to all these charges, and, come to think of it, I will. I have been working very, very, very hard on building the bridge to the 21st century. I didn't go to Vietnam 'cause it was an immoral war--in a moral sort of way. If I cheated on my wife, and I am not saying I did, I did it to save my marriage. And if I chose my friends, and I am not saying I did, it is because I didn't want them as my enemies. If I lie, and I am not saying I do, I am just frugal with the truth. I am an occassionally hypocritical, big, dramatic, happy, food-crazed fat man who is obsessed with his image. I AM AMERICA. It sure beats being a shorty, whiny, bald, egotistical billionaire or a skinny, bitter old hack. That's for Europeans. And I am building the bridge to the 21st century.
McGua: Question Number Three. Foreign policy hasn't come up in this debate although that's arguably the most time-consuming portion of a president's job duties. To demonstrate your competence in this field, could you tell us all you know about Eritrea. I ask you, Hercule Perot!
Perot: Ah will answer the question but Ah first would like to ask: don't you wish you could detonate that damn bridge he keeps yammering about, folks? Now. Eritreans? We have a few of them in Texas. Strange breed: they are the only cab drivers Ah know who listen to National Public Radio and watch PBS. They are probably here because of NAFTA: right after that huge sucking sound you heard, they flooded the country. And we give them 50 billion dollars in foregin aid. [it is not true, but who cares?] It is not about me; it is about the owners of the country. Now. What does that have to do with the price of cotton?
Dole: As co-owner of the country, Bob Dole wants to ask you will you please shut up? Eritrea--Ertra, whatever--used to be an Italian colony. Lost my arm in Italy defending our values. Eritrea is a small country about the size of Kansas. [chokes up]. I remember in 1967--maybe 68, whatever--a bill came to the congress--a bipartisan, non-partisan , whatever-- in any event, we voted it up or down and then there was a filibuster. But I like to take a moment to say one thing: Bill Clinton is a LIBERAL. Liberal, Liberal, Liberal. He doesn't want you to know it but he is. Campaigns as a conservative--moderate, whatever--then governs as a liberal. This is the most important election in our lifetime. Two more weeks. And if Bob Dole gets elected---when Bob Dole gets elected---by the way, Kemp is with me all the way and my wife Elizabeth and my daughter--what's her name? whatever--in any event I like your help. My word is my bond and my bond is my stock and it is a preferred stock and there will be dividends. Whatever.
Clinton: [bites lower lip] Speaking of PBS, GingrichDole want to eliminate it and HURT OUR CHILDREN. [eyes get wet] No Big Bird, no Barney! Can you imagine that? my fellow citizens, elect me because I can speak in full sentences. I know compound sentences that have subjects, verbs, objects and adjectives that precede nouns and adverbs that precede verbs and I know the rules about "e" before "c" except before "i"--and I will not end my sentences with propositions. Thanks to Big Bird and Barney, your children won't, either. We have made a lot of progress in Eritrea: ever since it gained its independence it has been effective in checking the progress of militant extremists. Speaking of extremists, Newt Gingrich along with Bob Dole--wanted to shut down the Department of Education. And Eritrea--a nation of 3.5 million-- has a Department of Education, an aggressive policy towards the Environment, has Medicare and Social Security--which my opponent voted against, to starve old ladies and children [tears roll down his cheek which Clinton refuses to wipe off]
McGua: Last Question. Instead of the traditional closing statements, I'd like to give you an opportunity to make predictions about your opponents.
Clinton: My prediction is that Dole will lose in a landslide; Perot will be a national joke, again, and I will be the first democrat to be re-elected in decades. And then, I will date Dole's daughter and Gingrich's lesbian sister. [Winks at Dole]
Dole: Bob Dole's prediction is that if Bob Dole wants the presidency as badly as his wife wanted to be the First Lady he will win. If he doesn't win, he will be retire in Florida or Kansas [chokes up again].
Perot: Am Ahh missing something? Did Kansas get swallowed up in a hurricane? Strange. My prediction is that Clinton will win and be indicted in 1997 for Whitewater, Filegate and Indonesiagate; Dole will be a lobbyist for the Archer Daniel Midland Group [ADM: supermarket to Bob Dole, hahaha] and I will be in Texas counting my billions until the year 2000 when I will haunt your minions, Gore and Kemp. [laughs hysterically]
McGua: Well that's one thing we have to look forward to in four years. Speaking of Gore, if a tree fell in the White House, would he have an alibi? Bye Bye.


The MaGua Group #VIII:
Democracy Overdose

Hello Dehai:- "The McGua Group: Democracy Overdose The inspiration for this issue is the following instant classic: "[No one] including me, knows the composition of Penicillin, but what it does, well, everybody knows. Overdose might kill you, but lack of it might be equally fatal." - Saleh Gadi
Now that we are done (?) congratulating one another on the depth, intelligence, and eloquence of our discussions regarding "Democracy", it is time to puncture the balloon and make fun of the hyperbole, the stretched analogies and the sanctimonious arrogance of the participants (Who, me?) lest we take ourselves too seriously... The participants are Ghidewon, Kamal, Ismail, Saleh G, Saleh Y, Mulughetta, Paulos N and Afeworki P, Tsehaie Maekebai, Negga and a special guest: the mysterious Sicilian Priest. Bring on your bibs, your forks and knives: today, the sacred cows will be slain and so hide your Bruno Magli shoes and get yourself an alibi. A room has been reserved at a posh hotel (the West Wing, of course) and while the crew is busy setting up the room, the panelists are loafing around the lobby area, in groups of two and three, munching on peanuts supplied by Saleh G. "These were sent to me by Hajia Mororo straight from Keren," said the Emir between bites. A female Dehaier, approached the group and said, "how come no women were invited to this party other than Senay?" Someone responded, "this is a self-invited party, sister, so join in!" "I don't think so," she huffed with considerable indignation, "you guys are nuts!" After she left, all the men agreed that she was suffering from [Awful Pun Alert] Peanuts Envy.

Moderator: McGua
Panelists: All panelists were required to be registered party members to be invited to the party...

Ghidewon, representing the "Math For Official Language" Movement Kamal, representing the "Yes To Zeitun, No To Apple" Party Ismail, representing the "Eritreans For Staggered Days Off Movement" Saleh G, representing the "Dembezan Mouthwash Front" Saleh Y, representing the "Ban The Press Proclamation Movement" Paulos N and Afeworki Paulos representing the "Bemused Spectator Movement" Mulughetta: representing "The Bread & Butter Movement" (Dawit & Sammy G , representing the Mihuran Akal Movement, are missing.

Ghidewon is present but to show his disdain for the subject in question, he is busy reading a book entitled "The Infiniteness of Finite Math: A Treatise For People Who Think Advanced Calculus Is For Wimps." Kamal is going through the Quran looking for a Chapter about Zeituns)

McGua: Issue One! Is Western Democracy...
Ghidewon: [puts his book down and without looking up says...]Excuse me, but we can't start this meeting. We don't have a quorum. We need one more person... Just following your countably infinite western rules....
McGua: Oh, right. Where are Dawit and Sammy G?
Ghidewon: They are dropping a friend on [inside joke alert] Pennsylvania Avenue. Or maybe Connecticut.
McGua: While we are waiting....glad to have you back, Gidu. Last time I saw you here you had fainted and were carried on a stretcher. How long did you stay at the hospital?
Ghidewon: [looks up from his book] Oh, I never made it to the hospital. I saw the name tag of the EMT carrying me on a stretcher-he was an Amhara-and the shock did it: I walked all the way home.... [T. Maekebay walks in...]
McGua: Great, we have a quorum. The subject today is Western Democracy and the question is.... [Tesfay Maekebay gets up from his seat and, pushing a mechanical device goes around the panelists....]
McGua: Excuse me! What do you think you are doing? Tesfay: I am wheeling in the Polygraph Device. I am going to hook up every panelist to enable me to detect their lies. My lie detector test is already giving out signs that some people here are damned liars or worse yet Arabists...
McGua: Fine. And I suppose only you can read the test results, right? Whatever. Now, with respect to Western Democracy...
Kamal: By the way, McGua, who elected you to be the panelist?
McGua: My term expires on the seventh day of the seventh month at 7:00 AM, unless a majority, by a margin of 6/7 agree that seven is an unreasonable number....
Ismail: O, McGua! We have a motion on the table that we need to vote on. The question is: can we move Saturday to Sunday or change the name of Sunday to Saturday? This way, we can have a Friday-Saturday or a Friday-Sunday weekend.
McGua: O, Ismail! The motion is on the table. Does anyone second the motion? [Pause] Motion denied...Can we please get back to the subject at hand. Democracy is being...
Ismail: I object! Parliamentary rules say that....
Ghidewon: What is democracy?
Saleh Y: Democracy is a system where democratic...
Ghidewon: You can't define a word using the same word! That is circular argument. If you don't believe me, look up your precious Compton's Encyclopedia or Dictionary.
Saleh G: Actually, the Oxford Dictionary is much better and bigger. I once knew someone who was crushed by a super-large Dictionary. I guess words CAN kill people... [T. Maekebay moves around, unhooks the lie detector tests and plugs in an X-ray machine all the while muttering, "Liars...this will expose you to the bone..."]
Saleh Y: It is impossible to discuss "democracy" without talking about freedom of expression. And, in the Eritrean context, it is impossible to discuss freedom of expression without talking about... [The Entire Panel rolls its eyes and says, in unison,] We Know: The Press Proclamation. For God's sake give it up. Look up monomaniac in that big Oxford Dictionary...
Mulughetta: Does anyone wish to share a piece of bread?
Saleh G: Only if it comes with some Dembezan...
Kamal: Make that Zeitun or water. But no apples, please.
Ismail: O, Mcgua! Why don't we vote on the day off issue? I believe this is a hot issue that needs to be resolved today!
McGua: Alright. There is a motion on the table... All those in favor of having a Friday-Sunday day off say Aye. (A bunch of Ayes heard) All those opposed say Nay (A bunch of Nays heard)....That was too close: can we have a roll call? All those opposed, raise your hand please? [Ghidewon, Paulos, Afeworki, Mulughetta raise their hand.] All those in favor? [Kamal, Ismail, Saleh G. Saleh Y raise their hand]. There is a long, uncomfortable silence where everyone is heard cursing this mess called democracy...]
Negga: [changing the subject...] How about this cloned sheep in Scotland, huh? Gives a new meaning to Sigay Sigaka, Hamley Hamlika...
Saleh Y: That is baaaaaaad... [In the distance, a Muezin is heard calling people to prayers and the church bells ring...Happily, the awkward silence is interrupted by a holy man on a motorcyle.]
Saleh Y: [gushing uncontrollably] Oh, my God! Father Lauro is here! Father Lauro was the best teacher I ever had; he was instrumental in my development as...
Father Lauro: I say-a comma open inverted commas and- a capital letter...
Kamal: In the United Kingdom we call quotation marks (") inverted commas. And that was one of the rules of Father Lauro and he added a vowel to every English word...
Father Lauro: Open inverted commas capital letter-a, Saleh, I am a-very disappointed-a inna you. When-a talking about me, you sound like you are writing your own-a eulogy. Get a grip. First of all-a, I don't know if-a they give away-a colons and hyphens in California; your prose iz-a full-a of colons and hyphens. So, you need-a to study how to punctuate, ok? Read the Melanin Man or maybe Hellen Tesfamariam; now those folks-a can punctuate. Then, stop-a making up words that do not-a exist-a. Dont-a you know-a that there is-a a no plural-a for "idealist"? And what, sweet Jesus, is the meaning of "per vatum"? Did you mean to say "verbatim"? Full stop, closed inverted commas.
Kamal: In the UK, we don't say "period"; we say "full stop." In the UK, we don't have a constitution, so I don't know why I am invited to this panel...
Father Lauro: Saleh, can you get me a job-a at UC Berkeley?
Saleh Y: Are you kidding? You are: white--Strike one--You are: religious--Strike two--You believe in: saints and angels--Strike Three--You are: male--Strike four...
Father Lauro: Ok, ok. Ghidewon, anything in Richmond-ih?
Ghidewon: I believe in clear separation of church and ivory tower. The only time a priest should speak is when he begins by saying , "Dearly beloved, we are gathered ..." Incidentally, are you an ordained minister? If so, can you join me and my math book in holy matrimony?
McGua: I am really losing this group today. Father Lauro, it is nice to have you but we must proceed with our meeting. Thank you for...What Time is it? [McGua is interrupted; Vanna White comes rushing in....] Vanna: Stop that priest! He has taken a lot of vowels and refuses to return them. Stop! [Vanna chases the good priest on the motorcycle. Sammy G finally shows up.]
Ghidewon: Time now is the square root of 4 or the cubic root of 8...
Saleh G: You know, I can still remember some of the election slogans that were held in Keren in 1972 to represent the district to the parliament in Addis Abeba. "Hagaz We Aderde, Asenai New'ewa Osman we Tewelde..."
Ismail: O, Eritreans! Heed my call and abandon your wicked ways. Repent, the end is coming!
Kamal: O, Ismail! Save us from our wicked ways...by the way how do you reconcile your advocacy for Western democracy with your belief in Islam? Islam recommends rule by religiously enlightened clerics-not elected officials. [browsing through his Quran] Hey, I found it: Wetini Wezeituni... [A stranger clad in comouflage and a Klashinkov (AK-47) storms in the room yelling "Arden!Arden! (hands down! get on the ground!)]
McGua: Sir, I think you are in the wrong room....the Abdella Idris meeting is next door... [Ato T. Maekebayiars comes back with an EKG machine. "Hope you guys all get cardiac arrest. Liars..."]
McGua: Exit question. Is it democratic for a population to choose not to be democratic?
Kamal: Depends on the tradition and the culture...
Saleh G: Only if they are stone-drunk on the best Dembezan drink...
Ismail: O, People, oh no.
Paulos N & Afeworki P: [bemused chuckle]
Sammy G & Dawit: Not on Pennsylvania Ave; try Connecticut...
Saleh Y: Are we talking about democracy with a small d or big D?
Ghidewon: What...[before he can speak, the entire panel says: We know:What is democracy?]


The MaGua Group #IX:
Presidential Debate in Om-Hajer. Year 2017.
Fri, 8 Nov 1996 15:57:06 +0300

WARNING: This is only A dream; settle back, relax, and enjoy! Is this the best we could hope for? NO,NO,NO! This is just a nightmare. Thus, not meant for people who never had a nightmare ;-() The Year: 2017. The Topic: Presidential Debate in Om-Hajer Candidates: Humed and Sahle Questions: from all 148 (150-2, that is) assembly members, all of whom were dehai subscribers [thank God, it is only a dream!] in that famous year, 1996.

The Moderator: who else, but McGua!
McGua: The rules are already agreed upon by our candidates, and by you all, our assembly at large. Each one has to reply to the questions asked by the assembly members who vote for the presidency. I urge our candidates to be truthful and forthcoming to our tv & radio audience and, of course, to you, the assembly members. First, both candidates will give introductory, vision statements. [Directly facing the tv camera] Each candidate will have only one chance at responding to a question asked by anyone of the assembly members, including women ;-). At times, candidates could be nasty to one another, they do stretch the truth, they may even promise you things they will never deliver. So, parents might want, and are encouraged, to explain and to reaffirm to their children that politicians are liars. The more they abuse each other the better it is for the general public. Finally, if I, McGua for those who don't know me, believe that real issues are not addressed, I will ask them; I am also at liberty to ask follow up questions. I would like to welcome, as observers, meraHit, jemila, belom-belom, salH-duba,...and some other college students. I should remind you that, to their credit, none of the observers voted for any of the assembly members, including the women. Now, for the introductory statements; based on our results of "bim-bom-bak", we will start with SAHLE!
Sahle: my friends, when I run for the assembly my goal was to serve the public, and my record reflects just that. Now, I am running for president and my goal is AGAIN to serve the public. I will even work for free if the Eritrean people think I am not worth it, but I want you to keep an open mind. I will keep my promise of a University in every village of 500 or more students. Every classroom below the 10th grade will have two teachers, per subject. The elderly will be taken care of under my tax plan which is modest by the standards of Africa, and I have a plan for re-building our famous bullet trains from Tessenei to Massawa. Remember how disrespectful ato Humed has been to the ex-Transportation Minister, Mister Kebire, in their last debate on the feasibility of bullet trains. Let's keep God in all of our hearts.
Humed: I am running for president because I have a vision! My opponent believes in taxes, I don't: his tax code is composed of two simple lines: Line 1. How much did you make this year?______. Line 2. Send it all to the Government bank. On education, his idea is to produce teachers who will teach those who will be teachers, in turn teaching students to be teachers, producing absolutely nothing! AND talk about transportation [giving Sahle a weird look & grinning] JUST REMEMBER [pointing at the tv camera], the last time bullet trains were in operation under the failed transportation ministry of Kebire, one speeding train actually made a wrong turn at nefasit and ended up on top of Debre Bizen. On food security: Under my leadership, no Eritrean will go hungry, if we cannot produce enough we will invade those who do. On immigration: all Ethiopian and Yemeni refugees will go back to their country; our lost province of Jibouti, forget the stupid D stuck by the French, will come to its mother, Eritrea; the Yemenis will not even dare swim in the Red Sea; AfghanisTan will not bother us again, CHina will never dominate us; we owe it to our young, like jemila, meraHit, belom, and salH duba.

Editorial Comment: THIS SERIES WILL CONTINUE BY SEVERAL HOSTS: Sal Younis, Mussie O., Hellen, aya Tesfai, Saleh Gadi, Abraham Zeweldi,.... They have all agreed (:-0) to continue the series ;-) for now, PREVIEW OF UPCOMING EVENTS from yours truly:

McGua: Next question will be asked by Ibrahim Ahmed.
Ibrahim: brother Humed, we had aristocrats and technocrats for presidents and we never seem to improve fast. We have gotten a little richer, but we never took responsibility for regional matters; we never helped our neighbors either. Now, what is your opinion of the AfQans in North Sudan?.
Humed: AfQans are in North Sudan trying to recapture the independent South Sudan by destabilizing all neighboring countries. You know my record on that; I oppose it and as president I will do all I can to defend our Sudanese brothers.
Sahle: I can tell you in your face; vote for me and I will support the reunification of Sudan.
McGua: Next question is from Berhe.
Berhe: You know that the population of Ethiopia has doubled in the last twenty years and it is projected to reach 200 million in 10-years. You also know that the economic refugees from Ethiopia are becoming a big problem in Eritrea, especially Massawa and Asmara; Eritrean youth cannot find even low-paying jobs anymore; all daily laborers are Ethiopian. How do you propose to solve this problem?
Humed: Under my presidency, there will be no compromise: all Ethiopians will be sent to Harrar, the furthest place we can ship them within Ethiopia. We will even consider building a wall at the border.
Sahle: [sarcastically] You are missing the point. The problem has all along been sex education. If the Ethiopians multiply like rabbits that's not their fault, but their government's policy on education. That's why we are producing many teachers, for export to countries like Ethiopia.
McGua: next question, [looking at a fresh face] SEMERE!
Semere: I hate you both for your condescending remarks about Ethiopia, the only country that has our version of the tewahdo church. At any rate, who will you appoint as "PaPas" of Eritrea if you become the president, Mr. Humed?
Humed: What "PaPas"? What "mufti"? What we need is a strong defense minister, no church or mosque has ever saved a hat before.
Sahle: I believe in teaching the young and making them assume power. I would appoint a fresh face, a diaqon to the post of PaPas.
McGua: next question, please. Yes, Ghidewon.
Ghidewon: Ato Sahle, I admire your stress on education. But, how do you view my proposal of sending all students to the villages, since I have shown that the villages are places where students learn more.
Sahle: Exactly, vote for me and your kids will learn in Adi QurunQurit.
Humed: I don't even know where Adi QurunQurit is; but, the whole idea of sending kids to villages is really stupid. What we need is people who will produce, not people who study to be teachers.
McGua: ya Humed, do you have anything against teachers?
Humed: Absolutely Not! But, the whole idea of building schools to produce teachers is counter-productive. What we need is schools that will produce bullets, bombs, tanks,...schools that will produce students who will be able to tell our officers where a bomb will land when fired from a gun at a certain angle with a given speed. For that, you don't send students to villages, but to military camps.
McGua: Ok, Bushra will ask the next one.
Bushra: We all know that it is a new day in Eritrea. What do you believe will the best way to transfer technology to Eritrea is?
Sahle: That is exactly why I am working for more and more teachers, who will teach application softwares to students under strict guidance, with no more than 5-students per computer. In short, the more teachers we have the easier it will be to transfer technology.
Humed: My opponent completely misses the idea of technology transfer; all we need is protractors and simple calculators to give us an idea what targets our bombs need to hit.
McGua: Next question, Sal Younis.
Saleh: You know I have predicted the present turmoil on language policy 20-years ago! My words at the time were: "deal with it now, otherwise some party will make it the center of its platform!" I clearly remember the CCE shirking its responsibility then. That is why we now have the AOLP vigorously campaigning for Arabic to be an official language, disrupting markets in keren, mSwaE, asmera, and gindaE.... What is your position on this issue?
McGua: What is AOLP?
Saleh: the Arabic-for-Official-Language Party.
Sahle: I understand your frustration, that's why more teachers will be needed to translate all documents to all Eritrean languages; each textbook is going to be eight times its present size. What will be two teachers per classroom in the next year will be eight teachers per classroom by the end of my presidency.
Humed: Look, this is a non-issue. The only words all Eritreans will need to understand will be my orders! And understand, they will! My orders will be given in clear phrases and will be translated into 20-languages.
McGua: Next question.....

Editorial Comment: when one starts writing such satires, one could get carried away....So, if you are angry at this point and you are planning to send me an angry note, don't do so. Blame Sal, he started it:-) I just woke up from my dream = nightmare, too. ;-)


The MaGua Group #X:
Who is Asmarino ?
Wed, 15 Oct 1997 19:40:30 +0300

selam dehai: The following piece is dedicated to all asmarinos. I have yet to meet an asmarino who claims to be an asmarino :-) There are a lot of inside jokes, but I hope you all have a good laugh. The creator and original host tells me that the show will be back on its regular schedule if more than 15 dehaiers ask for it. Mobae PS: you know the McGua rules, if not contact Saleh AA Younis. PPS: all hate mails are to be sent to SalYounis@aol.com :-)

Moderator: McGua
Panelists: Elias, Paulos, Saleh, Tomas, Ephrem Tewelde, Solomon Meskel, Solomon "wedi Hagos" Farnello, Sal, Ghidewon. [Tomas and Elias are sitting leisurely, cross-legged and all, with dark sunglasses; Ghidewon is wearing shorts and has a stick by his side; Ephrem has books under his seat; Saleh is guarding his brief case full of Q8i dinars; the rest are very relaxed....]
McGua: ISSUE ONE! How will the introduction of the naQfa in Eritrea and the new Birr in Ethiopia affect the Ethio-Eritrean relation? I ask you Sal!
Sal: Instead of talking about naQfa, I'd rather talk about Asmara or Keren or Kampala. Let's start with Asmara: Asmarinos are cool headed. Look at the two impeccably dressed Asmarinos in the panel, Tomas and Elias.... Tomas: ...unless you call a person in blue jeans and a t-shirt well dressed, I don't see how I could be classified as an Asmarino.
Elias: I am not an Asmarino either. Actually, I hardly speak tgrNa.
Paulos: Sal, I know Tomas! I know Elias! None of these guys is an Asmarino. Being an asmarino yourself, how can you make such a silly mistake; you should be able to recognize asmarinos from a mile. Don't you agree with me Saleh? Saleh (degrading Asmara to one level below Keren everytime he gets a chance): Well, we have 446 villages in Eritrea. Actually 444, if you leave Keren and Asmara out.... Sal: ...Ya brother Saleh, let's give asmarinos what they deserve. I admit asmarinos never claim they are asmarinos; they just know and everybody should know that they are asmarinos. I also admit that it is a sorry site when two wannabe asmarinos try to decide who is more asmarino in the middle of Manhattan, in a city of 8 million people, vs asmara with its 68,000 people. But,....
Ephrem: ....Asmara! 68,000 people?! btw, what or who is an Asmarino? [dead silence for a few seconds...]
McGua (seeing that the panelists are not going to discuss issues that don't have anything to do with Asmara, takes control of the stage again): ISSUE TWO! Even the president of Eritrea, Ato Issayas Afeworki was asked this question; you can't bite me on this. Time will tell us if it is important. The question is what or who is an Asmarino? I ask you Ghidewon! BTW, welcome back to the panel. Are you sure you can handle the heat this time around?
Ghidewon: Oh yes! I can handle everything, I am in a great shape. I have a perfect definition of Asmarinos: they are "abzi niere: abti niere" lot. (hitting the ground with his stick) Tell me if anyone of you is an Asmarino, huh?
Sal: Ghidewon, just by that statement, I can tell that you are not an asmarino. How can anybody be an asmarino when the REAL asmarinos change the ideal constantly? The asmarino thing to do is to refute people by finding faults. Let me start: If you are not impeccably dressed, then you are not an Asmarino; if you carry a stick, then you are not an Asmarino; if you carry a briefcase to a community meeting, you are not an asmarino; if you don't know all 204 words for gerfaf, you are not an asmarino; (speaking in a typical Asmarino speed) if you are from aKrya-hadamu-gejeret-godayf-villagio-paradiso-maytemenay-EdagaArbi-EdagaHamus-mh ramCHra-gezaKenisha...thenyouarenotanasmarino.... BTW, Efremthat'showyoucomeupwith68,000. Sorry,totellyouthebadnews: if you spell your name as ePHrem, you are not an asmarino....
Ephrem: How about Haz-Haz, Sal?
Sal: You might as well ask Saleh. For Asmarinos, Haz-Haz is closer to Keren than to Asmara.
Ephrem: I got the drift; let me add mine: If you don't know biet shahi saba, you are not an Asmarino.... If you ask what time it is, then you are not an Asmarino. If you are in a hurry for your qoSera, you are not an asmarino. If you didn't fight with your high school teacher,....
Solomon Meskel: ...if you have a watch, you are not an asmarino; if you respect qoSera, you are not an asmarino; if you don't cry everytime you hear Abay-aba-shawl, you are not....
Sal: If you don't make qoSera for another qoSera, you are not an asmarino.
Elias: If you claim you are an asmarino, then you are not an asmarino.
Paulos: If you don't know Ali Borko, you can't be an asmarino.
Tomas: if you ask who an asmarino is, then you are not an asmarino; (McGua shrugs at this one....) if you say asssmera instead of aZZZmara, then you are not an asmarino...
Solomon W.H.: if you have a farnello at home, then you are not an Asmarino. if you don't believe that aZmara is THE city, then you are not an aZmarino. If you don't have a nickname, then you are not a farnello...I mean asmarino.
McGua: why are you so quiet Saleh?
Saleh: Who cares about Asmara and Asmarinos?! The real question is "who is a Kerenite?", because all famous Asmarinos are Kerenites. wedi ATa, a Kerenite. YHdego, a Kerenite; Musa Abe, Temesghen Bahta, Solomon wedi bashay, Ali lingo jokier, are all Kerenites. I hope you never talk to me about Asmarinos again. Asmara is just a wimpy village, even the Asmara sun is wimpy! The only mountain they have is in aKrya, which Sal told us is not in Asmara. They call forto FORTO? Men, if you want to see forto, you've got to come to Keren. Boy! I miss Keren [while slowing down to a typical Kerenite way of communication, with eyes closed to impress concentration...unfortunately, all panelists walk out with Saleh's briefcase], its mo....ro....ro...., da...ma....., ze...y...tu...n..., ga...ba..., A...ka...t..., gi....ra.... fi....yo....ri...., ma...r...ya...m... de...AAAAA...ri...t,.... What do they have in Asmara? I ask you, McGua!
McGua: zzzz...ZZZZZ...zzzzz...kKkKk...kKkKk...kKkKkKkK......

"debes" This one (heard it from a friend) is dedicated to all those who don't give a damn whether they are classified as asmarinos or not: __ "tK `lkum tetsEsU qedem AdKum m`ateKum" Hade sudanawi wegaH-tbel-leyti kuda nzsEsU Eritrawian ab kartum (~1980)


The MaGua Group #:
Ron-vs-"all"dehaiers match.
Thu, 2 Oct 1997 17:22:41 +0300

This is a "collector's" issue.... :-) most likely will not be posted in dehai. selamat: I don't mean to put an end to the Ron-vs-"all"dehaiers match. But,....For disclaimers and introdution to McGua write to Sal Younis or check out thedehai archives, McGua I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII,....Enjoy. Mobae

McGua: This is not our weekly Friday evening issue of McGua, that's why it is not numbered. No issues today, just a simple presentation, on a State of cows and cornfields forgotten by Americans--KANSAS. We have a distinguished Sociologist from the USA. He will tell us about Kansas. Mr. Ron Hubbard.
Ron: My name is MISTER Ron Hubbard. Can we talk about the plight of the Oromo, instead? You Eritreans are killing the Oromos on behalf of the Tigrayans; you are also fighting the Sudanese on behalf of the US. Now, we can safely assume that you are becoming the Israelis of Africa. Admit it, you are involved in a genocide of the Oromos!
Sal: As the church lady would say: Well, well, well, who is causing you to say this? Hmmmm! Who could that be?! Could it be SaaaaTTTTTaaaaN!?!
Solomon wedi Hagos: Look Ronnie, do you speak Oromigna? Akam Jirta, my brother. Why do you have to hijak my issue, the issue of asking each and every muslim Eritrean if s/he is for killing christians?
Elias: Can we talk about Museveni? I want to "rumble in the jungle" with Sal.
Amanuel: Ron, you have to understand the anger expressed towards you. We have no quarrel with the Oromos, they could actually be persecuted, but genocide is a strong term. I suggest you read the following books: 1)... 2)... 3)... 4)....all by non-Oromos. When you are done with your assignment, we can talk.
Ron: I know you are all against me. Even the dehai-administrator who is censoring my posts, why don't they print otherwise? I am also getting every e-mail TWICE. (pointing his index finger at everybody) How can YOU explain THAT?!
22 dehaiers, in one voice & at the same time: Nobody censures anybody in dehai. Tell him that Mr. Administrator?
Ephrem: Please don't waste my time. I have a full-time job! I am not going to answer every accusation of censorship, those who accuse me of such characterstics will eat their words when they see what they wrote on dehai. BTW, I will appreciate it if all of you guys don't send me any mail unless you have some problem, real not imagined problem, with dehai. I am outtahere!

[as Ephrem storms out of the room, the Monitors were talking to each other....]

Monitors-to-admin: We hate this job! We summoned and thus pissed off people for saying Amhara earlier. We angered Claudia&Yemane, because he used the phrase A**K***ers. Now what are we going to do about this guy who is using the F word left and right, endlessly? Ephrem any suggestion?
Ephrem: I will just maintain the list, thank you. ;-)
Ron: 75% of the mail in dehai is just junk. Why can't I talk about the Oromos, when you endlessly talk about your braless runner. You know that I understand world politics better. Americans don't understand world politics, not even Clinton. That's why he sent his wife to Eritrea. BTW, I am your friend. And admirer. Ebta (Ron, that is, in disguised voice): BTW, why do you call the southerners "Hadgi"?
Solomon wedi Hagos: nTahrya bela:: Ronnie is Ebta is Ronnie. My friend, the Asmara cat said that if it is too hot, get out of the "`ton" oven. You also know what they say: A hyena asks for a king-size bed in alien land. We have seen so many Cicilianos in Asmara, but you are just unique. I am wedi villagio, you know....
Ron (cuts Solomon off): ok, how can you respond to me when I don't see my mail on dehai, yet. IT's been TWO days! Isn't that proof enough of censorship?! Gotcha!
Beniam: You got your ears chewed, didn't you? I was on that same spot last week because of my stupid Royal blood. You need to listen to the weekly radio programs in DC to know what I mean.
Dr. Reesom: adgi `ilu'ka nay adgi msla azekereni:: kemzi msreKebu'yom abotatna "halilu zmeSaKa adgi's aKbidka SAno" zbelu:: SaEda adgi'yu: Selim adgi'yu keybelkum halilu nzmeXakum adgi aKbidkum XaAanwo::
Mike Seium: Look Ron, I AM A JOURNALIST! I can assure you, I repeat ASSURE you that you are wrong. You have to always, I repeat ALWAYS trust me, especially because I am on the side of the Eritrean government.
Tomas: Let's go back to Museveni....McGua! do something about this nonsense...McGua, McGua!
McGua: zzzzz...ZZZZZZ...kKUK..kKUK..kKUK..kKUK..kKUK..kKUK..kKUK......