Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Flags suck

From gulfnews.com
25th Dec 2005

"New law amending penal code's provisions issued"

Article 176 says anyone convicted of insulting the President, the national flag or national anthem will be jailed for up to five years.

What exactly is an insult?

If my band chose to cover the national anthem in a rock style because we "Artistically" want to express our belief that the anthem is relevant or perhaps we want to get people thinking would that be an "insult" (the answer is yes if you are having a hard time with this question).

Anyone see that episode of The West Wing (greatest show EVER) where Penn and Teller burn a flag in the white house? Relevant?

Why have none of my fellow bloggers highlighted this? Tie these new laws in with the DNA imprinted ID cards and it won't be long before everything looks a little Singaporean.
iopBlogs.com, The World's Blog Aggregator

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Glad my tax dollars are going to good use

from gulfnews.com:

Shop selling notes for cheating in exams trapped
By Nasouh Nazzal, Staff Reporter



Ras Al Khaimah: Police are interrogating a bookshop owner and his staff for selling notes to help students cheat in examinations.

The covert operations came to light following a sting operation conducted by a top official of the emirate's educational zone.


Okay, I don't pay taxes but if I did I think this little bit of news would irritate me. Why are the police launching covert sting operations to arrest people who are printing things on little pieces of paper?

Is paper illeagal? Is printing notes? How is it the responsibilty of the bookshop owner what students do with his "cheat notes"?

Once again we observe the typical middle eastern attitude of blaming everyone else for lour problems. Once again, it's someone elses fault that our kids are corrupt.

Can we please find something of relevance for the cops to do? It seems to me that arresting wives for cheating on their husbands and entrapping bookshop owners for making tiny little notes blurs the line between what is legal, ethical and morally acceptable. Our cops might not wear short kondoras and grow their beards to a fistfuls length but their role in our society is uncannily similar in a lot of repects to the religious policemen in Saudi Arabia.
iopBlogs.com, The World's Blog Aggregator

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Careful what you wish for

From:

http://www.gulfnews.com/tabloid/Entertainment/10003239.html

"....Yet even if the UAE makes a hard place to rock, it also offers its rewards.

"If you've got one life to live you might as well live it where things are changing so you can influence change in a positive way,
I feel that we are breaking ground, challenging stereotypes and redefining things. That's a lot of fun."
....."


Yeah? Well let’s see how much fun you think it is when you have to walk the fine line of keeping the crazy extremists off your back, the Arab nationalist off your case and maintaining your own values and culture identities without becoming western culture poster boys.

I suppose someone has got to do it. Rather you than me mate.
iopBlogs.com, The World's Blog Aggregator

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Read a book ya homophobes!

From Gulfnews.com:
Scholars seek punishment for gays
By Bassam Za'za' and Shireena Al Nowais, Staff Reporters

Dubai, Abu Dhabi: UAE scholars and social experts denounced the recent attempt to hold what security authorities called "a mass homosexual wedding," and stressed that such people should be punished by law.


Isn't it enough punishment that they got "outted" en masse?

According to Islamic Sharia Laws, a man who has intercourse with another man "should be executed", said Abdul Salam Mohammad Darwish, an Islamic scholar and social and family counselor.


Actually, it doesn't really say that. It says that God punished those who were homosexual by destroying their towns and there are lots of places were God expresses serious displeasure and anger at the act but there isn't anywhere where it says "IF gay then kill, do not go pass go do not collect on human compassion or understanding"
Scholars, correct me if I'm wrong for all I seek is the truth.

Denouncing the alleged gay wedding party that took place in one of the hotels in Ghantout, Darwish said, "It is scandalous. It is not part of the Islamic religion or UAE culture".

Ha Ha! Man, I went to school in the UAE. There is plenty of homosexuality going on. The biggest white elephant of all time!

"Surely it was not the first time they met. They must have held parties and met in similar unacceptable and abnormal celebrations. There had been reports of similar incidents in other emirates," he said.

He warned against the increase in such deviant behavior. "Some of the males who live an extravagant life became decadent," he said.


Ha Ha! It has nothing to do with decadence! Surely it has something more to do with perversion (not homosexuality but the concept of the party). And where does perversion come from? Usually oppression and suppression or childhood trauma. Ask a psychologist.

The counselor urged the authorities to place those "sick men" in an intensive psychological and educational rehabilitation program.

Woo hoo! Aren't we at the cutting edge of medical science! I suppose being a hermaphrodite is a "sickness" as is blindness, deafness and being unusually hairy.



Colonel Najm Al Howsani, Director of Social Support Centre at Ministry of Interior, where the 26 men who had been arrested were referred to, said the suspects would undergo a psychological and physical therapy after the court rules into their case.

Don't worry fellas! the courts are so fair. Apparently if a rapist gets only a couple of months you guys (who were all consenting) can't get off with much more than that, right? Even if you did, you'll be in Jail! Remember to bend over for the soap in the shower

He added: "According to the Islamic Sharia, the suspects won't be let go unpunished, if proven guilty, and society disapproves and resents such behavior."

Society disapproves of anything they don't understand or have the capacity for sympathizing with.

Dr Saif Bin Rashid Al Gaberi, the Director of Ifta'a and Researches Administration at the Dubai Department of Islamic affairs and Charitable Activities, said it is an immoral and "abnormal" behavior.

Yay! Morality! Woo hoo! Catch all word for anything we don't understand that scares us! "It's immoral!".

"It is not a new phenomenon in many other religions and cultures. It rarely happens in Muslim societies. It happens particularly when religious and social education weakens and the individual's religious deterrent becomes non-existent," he said.


Ha ha! That's ridiculous! They have no evidence for this whatsoever! It's just another unqualified and unchallenged statement! More empty dogma and rhetoric please sir! Religious deterrent? That has nothing to do with anything. It has more to do with social liberties. IF people are less afraid of being killed for being "different" more are going to "come out". Just because they aren't in your face gay doesn't mean they are not gay.

He said society was also responsible for the deviant behavior of the men.

That's absolute bollocks! I am a member of society and I don't encourage homosexual activities. I don't know one person who ever has. And not only that, but there are very few people here who encourage "deviant" behavior (which we must admit orgies are). Next we'll be blaming Will and Grace for the party.


"The responsibility falls primarily on fathers for failing to bring up their children as God-fearing, and secondly on their mothers who saw their sons behave like a woman but failed to stop them," he said.
Yay! More blame! Let's get the fathers embarrassed so that they get stigmatized and in effect encourage more fathers to beat their sons to a hairs breadth with death's grasp! Fantastic! No need to try and understand when we know all the answers already. Everything worth knowing was known in the 4th century and there is absolutely no need to listen to so called medical, psychological and sociological experts.

And of course all gay men act like women! That's why it's so easy to spot them when they are out about on the streets. So how come we needed a special gay party to catch them all? Surely, there should be a special gay police with job specific tools that they use when they crawl the streets and cruise the malls, catching gays in their special nets.

"This is what happens when schools and parents neglect children. The openness and technological advancements sometimes lead to such deplorable acts."

And now it's technology's fault! you are right! We need to Amish-ize ourselves! Away with electricity! Away with modern medicine and the internet and cars! everything can be solved by living like we did during the stone age.

Nevertheless, he expected the trend to increase "due to the ill-mannered openness, lack of social restrictions and straying from the path shown by God."

Or maybe we could start dealing with humanity instead of trying to control. Maybe we could start understanding and tolerating instead of coercing and forcing. Maybe it isn't everything else on earth that is a problem but instead it's this irrational conceptualizing about gayness and perversion. Just a thought.

What the penal code says

- Anyone convicted of committing a lewd or indecent act in public would be sentenced to a six-month term in jail.

- Anyone convicted of shouting, singing or saying invectives in public, or anyone convicted of seducing others to commit adultery, would be sentenced to a jail term that would not exceed six months, and to be fined not more than Dh5,000 or both.

- Any person who makes advances to a male or female or attempts to seduce or commit any lewd acts would be sentenced to not less than a year and fined. If the victim is under the age of 18, the accused would be imprisoned for no less than two years and be fined.

- Any person convicted of setting up or running a prostitution den, or assisting anyone else in setting it up or running it, shall be imprisoned temporarily.

The prostitution den shall be closed down and shall not be opened except if the prostitution activity is changed and an approval is obtained from the Public Prosecution.

Let me translate the above:

- If you traffic other human beings and force them into the flesh trade you'll get a slap on the wrist.

- If you find yourself attracted to anyone who I do not agree with you being attracted to I'm gonna teach you a lesson you'll never forget and stigmatize you for life.

- If you are too young to understand the consequences of your actions I'm going to hold that against you and punish you more severely than if you had been more mature.

- If you try and meet new people you will have to pay severely.

What on god's good green earth is an "invective" ? Who determines that?
iopBlogs.com, The World's Blog Aggregator

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Time to lobby

Inspired by Secret Dubai Diary Post
18 November, 2005
Title : Laborer Day

My fellow citizens, it is time to stop with the complaining and start with the fixing.

Apparently, we don't agree with treating laborers unfairly, right? And we also don't want to get deported (if you are an expat) or arrested and disappeared (if you is local) so? We lobby, peacefully and rationally and we exploit the media to do it!

What do we need? Some locals with (As the say) cajones and some expats with even bigger cajones!! (if you physically do not have4 cajones then please understand it is just an expression).

So who is with me? We can do this. We just chose an issue that is bothering us (like no glasses for laborers) and then find entertaining ways (otherwise media uninterested) to repeatedly embarrass the companies into cleaning up their act!

Our struggle is uphill. Citizens, let us behave like Citizens! We are all in this boat together. We are implicitly teaching our kids the values of these companies and at least we stand together and make sacrifice and take action we are teaching nothing but complacency and negativism!

Viva la lobbying! Viva la (censored)!
iopBlogs.com, The World's Blog Aggregator

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

I pledge allegiance to the flag....

From Gulf News today:

President to unveil reform plan in months

Abu Dhabi : A major declaration on political reforms in the UAE is expected to be announced by President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan "within months", it has been revealed.


What's that on the horizon? Reforms? What? But we didn't want any...actually, we hadn't thought about it really. We were more concerned with the price of rents and stuff, but if it's on the table, why not?

Apparently there's gonna be e-l-e-c-t-i-o-n-s and politics and stuff like that.


Dr Abdul Khaleq Abdullah, professor of political science at UAE University said he expects full election for the currently appointed Federal National Council, a widening of its legislative powers, expansion on the membership and presence of women.

But another analyst felt the planned reforms could start with elections to municipal bodies.


What is das? What is "Federal National Council" you ask?

Apparently :

The U.A.E. Federal National Council consists of forty members. Seats are distributed to member Emirates as follows:
Abu Dhabi 8 Seats
Dubai 8 Seats
Sharjah 6 Seats
Ras Al Khaimah 6 Seats
Ajman 4 Seats
Umm Al Quwain 4 Seats
Fujairah 4 Seats

Each Emirate shall be free to determine the way of selecting its citizen’s representatives it in the Federal National Council.
The member of the Federal National Council shall be:
1. A citizen of one of the Emirates of the Union, permanently residing in the Emirate he represents in the Council.

2. At the age of not less than twenty five Gregorian years at the time of his selection.

3. Civilly competent, of good conduct and reputation and not previously convicted of a dishonorable offence unless he has been rehabilitated according to the law.

4. Having adequate knowledge of reading and writing.

While being a Council member, a member shall not combine between the membership and any of the public jobs in the Federation Government including the ministerial posts.
The mandate in the Federal National Council shall be a period of two Gregorian years commencing from the date of its first meeting. Selection for the remaining period up to the end of the transition period quoted in the Article (144) of the U.A.E. Constitution, shall be determined by the Council.
A member, whose mandate in the Council has expired, may be re-selected.

Prior to assuming his duties in the Council or its committees, a member of the Federal National Council shall take the following oath before the Council in a public session:
“I swear by Almighty God that I will be loyal to the United Arab Emirates; that I will respect the Constitution and the laws of the Union and that I will perform my duties in the Council and its Committees honestly and truly”.

If, for any reason, a seat of any member of the Council becomes vacant before the end of his mandate, a replacement shall be selected within two months of the date on which the vacancy is announced by the Council, unless the vacancy occurs during the three months preceding the end of the term of the Council. The new member shall complete the mandate of his predecessor.
Sessions of the Federal National Council shall be held in the Union capital. Exceptionally, sessions may be held in any other place within the Union on the basis of a decision taken by a majority vote of the members and with the approval of the Cabinet.

The Council shall decide upon the validity of the mandate of its members. It shall also decide upon disqualifying members if they lose any of the required conditions, by a majority vote of its members and on the proposal of five among them. The Council shall be competent to accept resignation from membership. Such resignation shall be considered as final from the date of its acceptance by the Council.
A member of the Federal National Council shall represent the whole people of the Union and not merely the Emirate which he represents in


Hey! I'm older than 25! I have adequate knowledge of reading and writing and I'm from an emirate with more seats than one of the other little guys!

I'm gonna run for congress, ahem, i mean the FNC! YAY!

Oh shit! Just remembered. I'm not from one of the big families. My last name isn't Kennedy, Clinton or Bush.

Aww Shucks!
iopBlogs.com, The World's Blog Aggregator

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Get your hands off of my monkey

From Khaleejtimes.com:

The time to act
The Monitor

8 November 2005



MARRIAGE fund is meant to support people with limited income who are unable to bear the burden of marriage. However, grants from the Fund are being misused, with individuals from well-off families — even the sons of businessmen and dignitaries — applying for the same. And this is nothing new to come up. Khaleej Times has discussed it earlier as well.


Pitiful.

It's embarassing how greedy some individuals in my society are.

When I was born my parents were in England and my dad was a student. HE recieved a grant from the government here. My mother was advisedto claim benefits to help and she out right refuses saying that there were definetly others who were more needy.

What is that called? Honesty? Integrity? Responsibility?

These bleeding IPOs. The rich nationals go on about how it's meant to redistribute the wealth. How on earth is that going to happen when the rich bastards keep oversubscribing reducing the potential for the small investors to get a good look in?

It's all about the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer.

Well, they can keep their billions. I know where the wild roses grow...
iopBlogs.com, The World's Blog Aggregator

No logo please, I'm on a diet

I was out doing a lil' shopping last night when I cam across a gaggle of young boys, all in white overcoats walking into a non descript building on Electra. I was extremely curious. There was at least a baker's dozen if not more (you can't tell with small humans) and they were caring brown bags that sounded like they were full of bottles. My desire to learn more convinced me to investigate.

I watched as the doors of the elevator they entered closed and ran into the lobby to see what floor it would stop on. 13th. Ominous.

After a short elevator ride I found myself on a floor not quite unlike the one below me I considered. I could hear more bottles clinging and clanging from down the hall. Flat 1307.

I stood outside the door and could make out the mumblings of several young boys interspersed with laughing. Except it wasn't the normal laughter of a bunch of boys who'd secured allot of booze and cigarettes and had their parents flat to themselves. Oh no, this laughter tinged with something altogether more sinister.

I then heard the squawking of birds and the cuckles of some chicken. Deciding that what was happening inside might not be pleasant, I decided to call by brush with the unnatural over and scuppered down the flight of stairs as quickly as possible, unwilling to risk being discovered waiting for the elevator.

then I read this in gulf news today:


'Economists must be drafted in to help if bird flu strikes'


Abu Dhabi: Suitable schools should be selected to act as centers to receive patients in the wake of a major bird flu virus outbreak in the UAE, the National Committee for Emergency Response to Bird Flu has said.


Those kids! They were trying to develop the dreaded bird flu strain that would turn their schools into health centers! That's the only possible explanation!

Tonight I will free the chickens (fingers crossed)


Disclaimer: just in case some government type is reading this or anyone with only half a brain cell, I'm messing about. There were no kids. It's all fiction. But apparently, I'd be held responsible for anyone getting hysterical or spreading a rumor about little boys trying to concoct bird flu in their bedrooms with starter chemistry sets. Or so the following would have me believe:

Violent events fuel debate on policing of chatrooms

Dubai: The internet can be a priceless tool for finding out information on almost every subject under the sun just ask any harassed journalist who has a deadline looming.
However, as we all know, it can be misused in all sorts of ways and recent events have raised new questions about whether further regulation or censorship is needed.

For example, unfounded fears that an earthquake was imminent in the UAE have been spread through online chatrooms.

There were clashes in Birmingham in England between black and Asian youths after malicious internet rumors said that a 14-year-old girl had been sexually assaulted.

In Los Angeles, 19-year-old William Freund posted violent rantings on the internet shortly before going on a rampage, shooting dead two neighbors and killing himself.



For god's sake! Are people across earth just getting dumber? Or is everyone just waiting for something to have an excuse to take out their 21st century anxiety and frustration on their environment?

Ever heard of Adbusters or Reclaim The Streets ? When I first read that they were concerned that the annihilation of public space through the use of advertising and the insistence on function I though they were loonies. What harm could some billboards do, I though? But increasingly I'm coming to the conclusion that big cities make big idiots. We are all just on the edge of our seats, our trigger fingers itchy and our battle cries on the tip of our tongues.

And it looks like it's getting worse.
iopBlogs.com, The World's Blog Aggregator

Red through and through


From Gulfnews. com:

Dubai: Eleven Arabtech workers who were arrested after a fight at labor accommodation in Jebel Ali are being held at Bur Dubai police station.
Beeshu Raj, a 24 year-old Nepalese, was beaten to death in the incident which occurred on Thursday. The brawl involved Indians and Nepalese workers.


Gangs! We have gangs!

And the solution to the problem?

To avoid further tension, Arabtech has moved all its Nepalese workers to another labour accommodation site in Sonapur.

That's right, separate them! Segregation is the key! This way they can quietly work out and make weapons and plan their next attack thoroughly. I mean it's work everywhere when ever there were tensions, separate the groups because obviously that's the problem. Some races and people just don't mix well with others. Take the Northern Irish and Irish for example. Obviously there is something in their genes that cause confrontation. How about north and south Sudan? Same thing really.

Actually this could be the start of a wonderful experiment I like to call WWIII: The pilot. Here's how we do it:

First round up all people of the same nationality. Break this down into race by nationality and then Religion by Race by Nationality (RXRXN). Then give each RXRXN a color and some sticks and make them fight amongst themselves in an arena (lions and tigers can be thrown in the mix for the sake of entertainment). Then once a clear winner is decided for each nation we pit them against each other in a international cup broadcast on ESPN. That Le Pen can commentate just to keep the descriptions nice and colorful. Once the winner is decided, we give that nation a medal, the title of "WWIII Champion" and the keys to the universe. The consolation prize for all the losers is the adoption of a new mother tongue and culture and possible death (if you are a male or a combatant female).

You know china is gonna win. They're break down into a RXRXN would give a billion people on their team. I wouldn't tempt those odds.
iopBlogs.com, The World's Blog Aggregator

Pharmacists refuse to lower drug prices despite ministry ruling

Abu Dhabi: Pharmacists are refusing to budge on the prices of medicines, Gulf News learnt yesterday.

Fantastic! Could this be the straw that broke the camels back? Will the government be held at bay and made to take responsibility for the lack of a minimum wage and a comprehensive health insurance/welfare system plan for all residents? How long with the pharmacies hold out against the hammer? Will they beaten into submission?
iopBlogs.com, The World's Blog Aggregator