Friday, June 30, 2006

نبيها خمسة

1- Education reform: We want no more Midieval ideas that frighten students and future community members out of thinking for themselves, out of natural curiosity and out of using reason and logic. We want no more Midieval textbooks that make slugs look like they could beat us to college. We want better equipped schools, and better teachers and higher standards.

2- Healthcare: We want hospitals and clinics that actually reflect the fact that we are one of the richest countries in the world. We want enough beds for patients. better equipment, better waste management. We want better doctors and nurses and we want them paid well so that they actually do their jobs.

3- We want the criminals, who bribed the last dregs of a soul out of a selfish and ignorant group of voters, to first be shown the exit sign of the Majlis, and next the entrance sign to some jail time. And we want their counterparts in the sickeningly false and corrupt business culture of kwt to also get a nice taste of retribution. Otherwise we are just letting citizens know that the only way to the top is to be the dirtiest fat cat around. And we want better trained more idealistic and responsible members of the criminal justice system.

4- The arts and culture: We want freedom of expression and not just for those who have the most unbelieveably fantastical imaginations that match their beard length. We want the kind of freedom that will bloom in theaters and on the screen and on the page and all across the airwaves. We want it to shake people out of their lazy putrid narrow corners and to make them think a million, no a million billion, things...

5- The environment- We want pollution dealt with, we want cleaner cars and no more landfills that poison entire communities. We want the water problem dealt with, desertification dealt with, the filthy polluted sea dealt with, and the radiation poisoned country dealt with. We want a proper recycling system and an environmental awareness campaign. We want companies that are causing pollution and getting rid of their waste in dangerous ways to be fined. We want to trust what we are eating drinking and breathing.

That's my khamsa...also known as the keep dreaming list.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Akkkhhh!! ya ahl il-man6iqa l''ve made your bed, now sleep in it..and good luck with the nightmares.
District three has given a we'll see if it will make any difference in the coming term..
Uhm, the people who got 0 votes...didn't they even vote for themselves?
Now the real work begins and the real faces show themselves...lets not allow any of the candidates who coloured themselves orange, and who talked about reform and progress and women's rights and all those pretty things think that they can just proceed with business as corruptibly usual..The easy part is over, now is when activism is most important.
And shame on every single person who accepted a bribe and on the authorities that did nothing, nothing, nothing...and then some more nothing...I won't even mention the criminals who were offering the bribes...the disgust is too much to handle at this time of night.
And I would like to make a little request...I would love to not hear 'ya jama3a'..'shilli sayer'...'3aib ya jama3a' or any other shrill, loud pronouncements... especially when the sentences are repeated twice or three times as if for emphasis, when it's probably because the speaker has lost his train of thought..the habit of repeating sentences as if it were an Um Kulthum song doesn't really help the speaker when it's done throughout the speech ...emphasis should be used sparingly, or else it loses it's point. Why am I saying this?..because I am cranky, as I knew I would be at this point in the process, and also because I have been hearing too many passionate speakers this month, who shout even when the have huge sound systems that are blowing our eardrums off, and who sacrifice eloquence for melodrama..and that goes for both the candidates I am not a fan of and for many of the beautiful people who are trying to make a positive difference..I keep wanting to destroy the sound systems at the rallies..please don't turn me into a speaker plug puller, turn it down a little and turn up the level of the discourse instead...
One district had a woman in third place, and that would be the former Um Il-Haiman...district 25..
As expected?
Surprisingly hopeful?
Shockingly worse than feared?
or nothing to blog about?
Despite the MTC ad, it always tugs at my heartstrings to hear بلادنا حلوة
And with that I should get some rest, because the nerves from watching the election results have me nursing a headache..good luck with the continued fight well.

Vote Vote Vote, and stay hydrated!!

There are reports that some voting lines were moving slowly due to the many elderly voters who are out to celebrate their right to vote...keep on celebrating with them ! I hope that everyone stays in line and gets to the voting booth before the day is done..It's hot out there folks..take care of yourselves while you enjoy your duty and your right.

"I insisted on being the first to vote. I am so happy that I could not sleep last night," said Zahra Ramadan Benbehani, 54, who arrived in a wheelchair pushed by her daughter.
First results are expected at midnight (9pm GMT)...get the popcorn ready..
To keep up with each district and who is running where this is always a great resource
Registered Voters
District 19 New Jahra
Registered female voters are double the males
The Daily Star
Arab Times
Open Democracy

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Good Luck, sleep well and let'a all wake up to a better country...

There is a tiny flutter of excitement as the sun is setting on the last day before the big 29th...There is something in the air, like a fluttering of feathers..heads held a little higher than usual..little signs of pride..because I for one know that I am proud..Not of the suffocating corruption that swims all around us, but because so many have decided to rise above it..I am proud not of the pretences and the lies that are splattered all over our elections, but of the people who aren't fooled by them...I am proud not of the bribes so flagrantly passing hands, but of those who won't degrade themselves by accepting them...I am proud not of the arrogance of power and wealth that beats instead of some people's hearts here, but of those who saw through it all and instead found a country, a people and an ideal to stand up for, to hold high...above all the nonsense, all the fleeting things, all the I find that I am holding myself up a little higher all those budding citizens that are making us all proud...because they have lifted us all up with them... isn't the view beautiful from up here?
Good luck everyone...Thank you to all the people who wanted a better place for us all..
Don't forget the proper documentation you need to vote, and take some water out there with you for the waiting in the heat...Smile, it's almost election day...
Claims of fraud as Kuwait poll looms (The Guardian)
"Kuwaitis will be electing a new parliament tomorrow in what might be dubbed the handbag election"
And in case anyone wants to ask any questions about a certain disputed 'he said/they said' issue, here are the contact details for ArabSat and Nilesat

An election is coming. Universal peace is declared and the foxes have a sincere interest in prolonging the lives of the poultry.
T.S. Eliot
Politicians are like diapers. They both need changing regularly and for the same reason.
Author Unknown

Sunday, June 25, 2006

It really is sad when kwti grandmothers on vacation in the US know the details of who is bribing voters and with how much and the government is still dilly-dallying..."the Interior Ministry is monitoring issues such as vote buying and by-elections"..isn't that sweet? Call us when you have actually done something..we are all waiting..
وعن تعاون 'نزاهة' مع الجهات الحكومية لمحاربة شراء الاصوات، اكد الدكتور الزايدي ان نزاهة على استعداد تزويد الحكومة اذا كانت
جادة بذلك بأماكن الشراء واسماء السماسرة الذين يستخدمهم المرشحون لشراء الاصوات
رائحة المال السياسي تزكم الأنوف.. وكل هذا يتم تحت سمع وبصر الأجهزة المختصة
Where is the Gov't? Time is passing, passing, passing...thank goodness we have citizens who are actually doing something..and thank goodness for some voter integrity..

"The Amir said this phase needed practical methods and well-studied programs, which aimed at finding appropriate solutions for problems and causes of the country, in a way that serve the country and citizens."Arab Times
Which is a novel idea considering:

تستمر تصريحات مسؤولي وزارة الطاقة وتطميناتهم حول قرب انتهاء أزمة المياه ويستمر معها تذمر الناس من الحالة التي آلت إليها البلاد وضياع المليارات من دون استخدام الحد الأدنى من التخطيط البدائي
الانفجارات المتكررة في شبكة أنابيب المياه رغم تجديدها مؤخراً قد تشير الى تلاعب قام به بعض المقاولين ولم تراقبه الوزارة بشكل صحيح
الأزمة، كما تقول المصادر، ليست سوى جزء من أزمة أكبر تتمثل في فقدان التخطيط على كل المستويات اللهم إلا التخطيط لمزيد من نهب ثروات البلاد
And the hits just keep on coming...
فضائح العلاج في الخارج

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

June 19th was Aung san Suu Kyi's birthday...she is still under house arrest...17 years now..she is 61 years old...Here is U2's Walk On, dedicated to The Lady...
June 20th was Refugee Day...9 million children are refugees...which is why the UNHCR has launched we can learn and help..there are over 20 million refugees in our world...I'm not sure that's the kind of world I want.
Refugee communities hail from places like Afghanistan, Angola, Burma, Burundi, DR Congo, Eritrea, Iraq, Palestine, Somalia and Sudan/Darfur. They can be Armenians, Biharis, stateless Arabs, Kurds, Romanis, and they are called stateless, asylum seekers, displaced , uprooted, forgotten people... but they are ultimately people with a "right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution."
The BBC's beautiful...awful... photos of Palestinian children...the world's oldest and largest refugee population

Refugees International
Convention relating to the Status of Refugees

But for pure luck, go any of us...

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The report mentioned in yesterday's post is finally on the front-page somewhere :
Considering this is what Media Matter had to say about it: Media ignore memo from U.S. Embassy least one front-page so far is a blessing..even if it's not Stateside.
To be fair, the report was mentioned in editorials yesterday:
"I've just returned from Baghdad," President Bush informed journalists in the Rose Garden of the White House last week "... and I was inspired to be able to visit the capital of a free and democratic Iraq." Guardian
The memo was sent just before this surprise propaganda trip to Iraq...
And just so it's not all tears....well, not just tears let's is Wonkette on the issue

Monday, June 19, 2006

y'know "Lazy Sunday" aka The Chronic of Narnia, by SNL's lovely Andy Samberg and Chris Parnell..and how it generated tons of copycat skits..
US Soldiers have made a music video "Lazy Ramadi" case you haven't seen it yet..
Ramadi is this place, if you are curious.
Juat a reminder of the world our neighbours to the North are living in..
Iraq has descended into ethnic cleansing and probable civil war...women are being kidnapped to have their heads shaved if they don't wear a hijab, little boys are not allowed to wear shorts, people wearing jeans are attacked, the biggest industry booming in Iraq is the 'death industry' and if you aren't in the mood to read anymore then just click here, here and here...and if you have a very strong stomach here are tons of other photos collected over the span of the war.
As of today, over 38 thousand civilians have been killed...Numbers that do Not include the maimed, injured and orphaned...Or the over 100,000 the Lancet said died as a result of the effects of war...and do Not include illness due to deterioration of services...It really takes talent to make a place worse off than when Saddam the butcher was in power...Is there a prize for something like that?.. just so everyone can remember it forever.
Except that:
"Media coverage of the Iraq War has generally portrayed the current quagmire as the result of an American failure to achieve a set of otherwise admirable goals: ... its inability to halt and reverse the destructive forces within Iraqi society. "...
..."This rather comfortable portrait of the U.S. as a bumbling, even thoroughly incompetent giant overwhelmed by unexpected forces tearing Iraqi society apart is strikingly inaccurate:" continue
A show that follows the daily lives of those treating the wounded in an army Er in Baghdad.
"empty jingoism of those who use the abstract words of glory, honor and patriotism to mask the cries of the wounded, the senseless killing, war profiteering, and chest-pounding grief….The truth about war comes out, but usually too late." Chris hedges
Operation Iraqi Freedom indeed..
Remember 2003?
Remember the other mission accomplished? The one in Afghanistan?
well, 2006, for them, looks like this:
War is hell..

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Phew, now that the Minister of information has assured us that there is nothing but freedom and liberty in this country and that there is nothing but goodwill towards those who might have opinions he can't agree with...and that his only concern is the security of the country and the safety of society..Well i'm sure that we can all sleep better tonight. What a swell place we live in...It's perfection seems to just blind everyone who dares to look at our glimmering, shimmering spectacle of democracy and do-goodiness.
If you missed the interview that just took place, you can always take a look at the leaked copy of the prepared questions and answers found on Sa7at il-Safat...
I for one am glad that those dangerous, security threatening, law-breaking, non-Kuwaiti, sneaky kittens known as the nabeeha ta7aluf channel are safely barred from threatening my security, safety and sanity and filling my mind with anything that might damage its frail, impressionable constitution..who knows what might happen to society if we watched anything that sounds soooo dangerous and suspicious..
Thanks again to the super-duper ministry and its non-interference in press freedoms and its assurances that it is not its actions that got nabeeha ta7aluf volleyed from one satellite feed to another trying to get on the air..I for one believe the ministry had nothing to do with anything that may sound like censorship, persecution or any non-liberty enhancing behaviour whatsoever... or else how could his excellency the minister sit there in his shiny silver suit and say all that?
Until the effects of whatever I must obviously be on wear off, that's all I'm saying...

Wednesday, June 7, 2006

The hurricane of hot air..

Ok Ok OK..Whoa! What?!
This quote here smells a little offensive, but I'll let it pass..just barely:
"Kuwaiti women surprised us with their level of organization and professionalism and their ability to pose real competition before their male counterparts."
Surprising because we thought women might come out banging pots and pans and throwing nuts and 7ab in the air as an election strategy? Or were they just not expected to figure out the ever so complicated and sophisticated 'pitch up a tent, offer food and repeat some stock phrases while you wink wink, nudge nudge about the bribes' technique that the men seem to have perfected over so many years of practice?
Did I say I was going to let it pass?
See, all the lying going 'round the country must be contagious.
This next one is a bit funny...and by funny I mean the kind of funny that makes you want to pick up a gun and blow your own head off... twice:
"The accusations of the government interfering in the election campaigns and supporting some candidates and opposing others are baseless, Minister of Information Mohammad Al-San'ousi stated Monday."
Really? Do you think the phrase 'show me the money' came before or after he had to get that wolloping fat absurdity out?
Wait wait there's more:
"The minister was also asked to comment on demands of international monitoring of the elections and he said "There is no need for such a thing because democracy and elections in Kuwait are an example by now from which other state could actually learn a lot."
Well ladies and gentelmen, you can sleep easy tonight. All is well and perfect in lala-land...
This other 'state' that could actually learn a lot (the singular is not my Freudian crash bang-up) could it be the state of hypocricy?
We're hearing the big news these days that the State of Ohio would probably like to hook up with some other shining examples of election perfection. Quick someone give them Kwt's number.
We thank the Minister of Information and Kuna for this report and for reminding us that "A free press can be good or bad, but, most certainly, without freedom a press will never be anything but bad." ~Albert Camus
And speaking of freedom of the press and expression and all that other fantasy stuff... the whole shutting down the nabeeha ta7aluf satellite channel remains the stupidest move yet on the part of the powers of dimness...They should have learned from Mae west who said "I believe in censorship. I made a fortune out of it.":
The amount of people who might have tuned in before the censorship will be nothing compared to those who are interested now. Keep your idiot advisors, they do the reformers' marketing job for them..
Kuwait acceded to the ICCPR in 1996
Why should we care? well:
2. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice.
Article 19 ICCPR
Since we are quoting today, I leave you with some words from the yummiest voice to have come out of the supreme court, Justice Potter Stewart:
"Censorship reflects society's lack of confidence in itself. It is a hallmark of an authoritarian regime."
Why is his voice so dreamy?

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

I know it's all about Orange...
for the sake of the ol' white, red, black and green ...
But I'm just feeling a little grey.
It's another one of those rare song days.

*Thanks to alternative sounds for the music.