Thursday, October 20, 2005


Transparency international came up with their list of most transparent countries. Iceland apparently took pole position, and Bangladesh and chad were the not so champions. Zooming into the region; Oman ranks 1st, followed by the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Jordan...etc. Hmmm. A week ago the Omani government came out with a Medieval law allowing them to repossess any GCC national owned land just for the fuck of it... They weren't transparent enough to disclose that clause now, where they? It basically means spend money or we take whats yours. Well what if he wanted to hold on to it, so it appreciates in value? I'm afraid thats not going to happen. How about this for transparency.. They started some major projects in Suhar.. I don't know if they're real developments or just smoke and mirrors, and quickly hung up billboards in Bahrain and elsewhere asking people to buy lands in Oman... apparently you can't buy a plot of land within a developmental area... you're deceived into piece of land in the middle of the sahara desert... I've heard stories about these plots not having blue prints... the closest you get to a visualization is a handheld video camera.... even that piece of property can be taken away from you for the least market value they can find....

I'm going to skip over the silver and bronze medal....Bahrain deserves a consolation prize... I mean.. CEOs of major telecommunications companies spend a good portion of their productive day chasing fancy mobile phone numbers.. trying to get a hold of them.. and giving them out as friendship gestures. We have fictional land plots 2 kilometers offshore changing hands right now... I wonder who bought it off of whom exactly? I bet its someone with a nice mobile phone number and a pretty decent license plate on his car. As if getting their hands on public land isnt enough, they get illegal labor for the cheap to start up construction, and freelance their rent with government and semi government entities that apparently decide to be generous with these people for some reason...

This report looks to me like the British Crown's popularity contest... because honestly... this is the one sport we really compete with each other in... and lets be honest.. Oman would rank first there.. and Bahrain not far behind... Saudi Arabia needs to get in shape... I'll give them a tip.. pick up a fat Weapons Contract from the Royal Air Force... those old tanks and jet fighters might cost you a bit.. but sure will improve your rank.

If Bahrain and Oman are at the top.... I am filled with dread when I try to imagine what goes on in the bottom half. How fucked up is it down there?


Blogger Cerebralwaste said...

Eminent domain is something all government must have. It follows the logic of the GREATEST GOOD for the GREATEST number of people. However the use of or better the MISUSE of is of primary concern. Now what government would you trust to give you a fair settlement for your property?

On a positive note I think CEO's wheeling and dealing for low number special plates and phone numbers is a good thing. I knew a guy who had the vanity plate "BUD". Needless to say more than one Gucci Shoed Rolex wearing VP at BUDWEISER offered him a wheelbarrow full of cash for that 3 letter plate. Someone later told me that COORS also offered him a pile of cash and free beer for life for the plate JUST to spite the rival company. Don't let the system work you... Work the system!

9:21 PM  
Blogger The Joker said...

I see what you're saying, cerebralwaste. In a transparent system, they'd try to buy you out... In a not-so-transparent system, they MUSCLE you out. One fine morning you'd walk into your garage and find your car towed for fines and tickets someone just made up... so you lost your number.

3:04 AM  
Blogger Cerebralwaste said...

A few short weeks ago in Bahrain the unthinkable happened when a certain someone was ordered to "TEAR DOWN THIS WALL". Remember that? Slowly change is coming. Not as fast as some would like and to fast for others but it is happening. Of course it is easy for me to say this sitting on the outside looking in.

In the US we are dealing with a big brainfart that the US Supreme Court passed down concerning property rights which now means eminent domain can apply not just for governement use. It is a scary thing that ruling. A ruling I am sure that will result in death and bodily harm to innocent people down the line.

3:51 AM  

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