Monday, Joe N was not feeling too hot and went to the hospital for some check-ups; Friday morning, Joe had a heart attack, he called his brother later that day to say that he was fine and that he was leaving the hospital, but hours later the elder brother got another call, this time from Joe's doctor, saying that it was all over.
Joe had turned only 55 a few months earlier. (He was one of two NP bloggers who happened to share the same birthday.)
UPDATE: Obituary at The Citizen's Voice:
Celebration of Joseph's Life begins with visitation from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Friday at McLaughlin's, 142 S. Washington St., Wilkes-Barre. It continues with a funeral liturgy at 10 a.m. Saturday in the Church of St. Anthony & St. George, 323 Park Ave., Wilkes-Barre. Burial will take place in St. Mary's Cemetery.
For ten years or so, Joe N (whom we sometimes called N-Jo) tried to blog on a daily basis — his common-sense principle was that the blog should feature at least one post a day — but he called it quits some years ago, although he continued to engage people on No Pasarán's Twitter page in vigorous debate.
During the Bush years, Joe often showed up at CPAC events (notably with the blogger crowds). And no wonder: he lived right across the Potomac.
My first meeting with Joe was when this avid but otherwise unknown No Pasarán reader (by then, the blog had barely existed for some eight months) wrote or called (I forget which) from Washington in the Fall of 2004 and asked if he could come spend a weekend with me in my Paris apartment. Who on earth is this nut?! was my immediate thought.
But I had blogged that I was preparing a Protest Warrior-type infiltration of a rally for John Kerry under the Eiffel Tower during the 2004 election while asking for volunteers, and Joe said that he would take a flight across the Atlantic (yes—really!) for the sole reason of wanting to join in the fun. He brought with him a lot of ammo, in the form of a number of Protest Warrior T-shirts and, as the good handyman he was (more about Joe's job below), he bought the material for our signs and put them together…
In general, this reader commented — at length — on so many posts, and with such knowledge and passion, that U*2 and I eventually said that we might as well invite Joe N to join the blog. (Thanks for the Instalink, Ed.)
An architect by training, Joe N had to keep his anonymity: he could hardly identify himself as a a conservative, since he lived in Alexandria and crossed the river every day of the week to go to work in his Washington office at BBGM (Brennan Beer Gorman Monk Architects & Interiors) or heading out with his hard hat to work on some of DC's most massive and most (in?)famous buildings, not least the Watergate Hotel and the Pentagon itself.
It is with deep sadness and a heavy heart that we inform the death of our colleague, Joe Noussair. Joe unexpectedly passed away of a heart attack. Joe was a dedicated member of our Team for over 20 years. He was not just our co-worker, but part of our BBGM family. He always was willing for help whenever needed and remained loyal and committed throughout his career.
Joe was a kind, caring and humorous person with an expansive intellect. He was filled with numerous colorful stories and explanations regarding everything under the sun. We will all miss him more than words can express.
Joe was the hallmark of generosity. Crossing the Atlantic from Paris to attend CPAC once a year, I usually stayed in his apartment — where he always let me have his bed, my being much taller than him, while he settled on the sofa. When CPAC was over, we would take a road trip to visit a Civil War battlefield or other historical site, such as Fredericksburg or Harpers Ferry. During the drive we would listen to talk radio stations (I believe his favorite hosts may have been John Batchelor and Rebel News's Ezra Levant)… At home he liked to watch old black'n'white comedy TV shows from the 1960s and 1950s (which I had never heard of), which had him roaring with laughter…
Joe was a frugal man; I never saw him use a credit card. He was a man of principles: one of them was that once a month he would figure out how much money he would need for the following four weeks, he would take that amount out in cash, and he wouldn't touch the credit card again that month, only using the cash he had over the following 30 days.
At one point, he became a Uber driver — but only twice a day: on his way to work in the morning and on his way home in the evening. This provided enough funds for all the car bills, he said, meaning no part of his salary was necessary for his means of transport… He was pro-Second Amendment, needless to say, and since he lived in a ground-floor apartment, I asked him what type of gun he owned. None, he answered; he lived in Virginia, where guns are protected, and since bad guys cannot tell who has and who doesn't have a gun, he felt safe enough not to need to carry one.
Joseph Noussair was a Lebanese-American Christian with a French last name and German roots (can hardly get more international than that, huh?), and often wrote on Germany and the Middle East upon which he had much to say.
If my memory serves me right, his father was high up in the government in Beirut after World War II and he served as ambassador to both Washington and Berlin in communist East Germany — where his sons lived with their parents as kids — and whenever some woke leftist would try to engage him in debate about socialism's alleged superiority, Joe would fire broadside after broadside, blowing them out of the water.
Here is a post from November 2009:
Leftists who sneer at Conservatives who call Obama a socialist don’t know Socialism. The [construction] of the “progressive” states of the East Block was incremental, and peppered with euphemisms about democracy and even fake opposition parties to demonstrate that they were in reality pluralistic.
It all began with creeping nationalization.The Second Five-Year Plan committed East Germany to accelerated efforts toward agricultural collectivization and completion of the nationalization of the industrial sector. By 1958 the agricultural sector still consisted primarily of the 750,000 privately owned farms that comprised 70 percent of all arable land; only 6,000 Agricultural Cooperatives (Landwirtschaftliche Produktionsgenossenschaften--LPGs) had been formed. In 1958-59 the SED subjected private farmers to quota pressures and sent agitation teams to villages in an effort to encourage "voluntary" collectivization. The teams used threats, and in November and December 1959 resisting farmers were arrested by the SSD. By mid-1960 nearly 85 percent of all arable land was incorporated in more than 19,000 LPGs; state farms comprised another 6 percent. By 1961 the socialist sector produced 90 percent of East Germany's agricultural products. An extensive economic management reform by the SED in February 1958 included the transfer of a large number of industrial ministries to the State Planning Commission. In order to accelerate the nationalization of industry, the SED offered entrepreneurs 50-percent partnership incentives for transforming their firms into VEBs. At the close of 1960, private enterprise controlled only 9 percent of total industrial production. Production Cooperatives (Produktionsgenossenschaften--PGs) incorporated one-third of the artisan sector during 1960-61, a rise from 6 percent in 1958.Overraught? No. For one thing, I lived in the DDR and find the US left’s intelligentsia to be promoting IDENTICAL rhetoric. Even with the irony of Lavrenti Beria, the brutal intelligence chief telling the East Germans that they needed a freer market (Tito-like) solution to the poverty that was threatening the newly founded state, the adherents sticking to Stalinism long after the Soviets had painfully purged themselves of it pressed on. They pressed on in underhanded ways that seemed to boil the frog in subtle little steps which within 3 years, a time shorter than one US presidential term, to transform a society into an oppressive command state flouting it’s own Constitutional protections (such as that of Labor action) rather flagrantly.
At CPAC in 2017, Joe was interviewed by Da Tech Guy regarding his childhood in Erich Honecker's East Berlin while he crossed the border daily (his father being a diplomat) to go to school in West Berlin.
In DC in our era, a driver once followed Joe N's red mini until he could come to a stop alongside him. He rolled down his window and the driver, who turned out to be Hungarian, asked with wild eyes, deadly serious: "Your plate, your license plate — Does it mean
what I think it means?!" Yes, Joe laughed, yes it does… His car's license plate looked quite innocent to most people, but BSP8R was effectively a sort of stealthy vanity plate, meaning "see you around" (or CUL8R, if you prefer) in German.
FYI, since No Pasarán started in 2004, almost 20 years ago, half a dozen bloggers have worked on the blog, although the three young men who created it left early, lasting only weeks or at the most, about a year or so. It finally came down to myself, to U*2 (aka W, who was the creator of Merde in France), and to Joe N. With the current obituary, NP has reached a total number of 13,776 posts; and that is a number that Joe would have liked, since it ends with the three last digits of America's birthday, 1776 (which double as the final four digits of one of my phone numbers).
One of Joe's acquaintances writes that
I remember looking up in an architecture magazine that detailed his beautiful contribution to the annex of the Pentagon. He was so proud of it and rightly so
while another remembers his many blog posts, reminiscing that
He had a tough, busy mind and often approached topics from directions that had me thinking twice.
I remember my own conversations with him, notably the time when the architect explained in which ways wind and solar energy were totally impossible to rely upon. A French friend who also joined in the Kerry infiltration and who has since left France to move to the country of Ayn Rand (Texas, no less) reminisces that
Joe était profondement cultivé et une personne d'une incroyable gentillesse.
A great human being with a heart of gold. Besides a tough, busy mind, and a gentle soul, Joe also had lots of humor, as he proved with his license plate, with his contagious uproarious laughter, and when he tried in 2011 to create a little-known satire blog called The Angry Liberal. It only lasted two months (since an architect is a busy man), but here was Joe's, I mean Wayne's, introductory post:
"I am mad as hell and I am not going to take it anymore!"
It is these immortal words which found this blog. In a world gone mad it is time for the progressive among us to take back our planet!
The reactionary forces around the world are marshalling under the banners of "globalization" and "free markets". The remaining few of us who care must work as a collective 'WE' against these modern-day fascist movements.
This blog is my manifesto. My name is Wayne and I am the Angry Liberal! I work as an organic farmer in the Northern Virginia area and am active in my community. There is not a school board meeting or town council meeting which I miss. My wife and I are the proud parents of a 3-year old baby boy, Max. We want Max to grow up in a world in which government takes care of all its citizens, healthcare is a right, all genders are treated with respect and equality, and the environment is inviolate.
Beware, there is a new sheriff in town, he is not armed with a gun ... just knowledge and communal beliefs which will get you thinking.
It's always hard to lose a friend. I like his last name - it's an "ism fu3ail" in Arabic, a diminutive of "nasr", which means victory. So, you could say his last name means "little victory", a humble name, I think, but also a suitable one for his life.