18.5.08

My resignation to His Majesty

I have insisted over the years that Jordan has had more than its fair share of attacks and slandering, and that people just didn't understand progressiveness when they saw it. I was always quick to take the task of defending the vision.

I did this out of loyalty to the crown and the Hashemite family, that will never change, but I refuse to defend policies I don't believe in, therefore I quit and plee with His Majesty to take another look at the erosion of the social programs and civil and political rights, with the rise of poverty, unemployment, racism and classism.

in 2001 I was proud to claim that freedom house gave us a rising score and that soon enough we would not only be the most advanced country in the Arab world in freedoms, we will catch up with Israel. Our scores in 2001 were:

Political Rights Score: 4
Civil Liberties Score: 4
Status: Partly Free

After moving an shaking for 6 years the levels never hit the 2001 level again downgrading to 6 and rising back in 2007 to:

Political Rights Score: 5
Civil Liberties Score: 4
Status: Partly Free

Press Freedom has failed again too and while we were in the Partly Free category, this 6 year period downgraded us to Not Free, and rightly so, the rights of the people have been eroding for sometime, but the right of the press was squashed in new legislation that even holds me accountable. Well, I hope I do get held accountable, at least one part of our government will be functioning then.

Kuwait and Lebanon rank higher than us and so does Indonesia, so next time you hire an Indonesian maid, do tell her that she came here to work and not for freedom of opinion, and make sure you make her understand that newspapers are meaningless here.

In times of great strife and difficulty, it is our freedoms that should be defended when all else is lost, I hope someone does read it. People around the world have to understand that we are an educated people and therefore will give intellectually sound excuses for our government, but for only so long. Intellect fails when the stomach growls!

I have failed to see once and again how decision are made in Jordan, I saw three zones to be dedicated to towers, but the prominent tower projects are in areas that can't handle it.

I have seen Her Majesty on Oprah and on Youtube and I thought surely women's rights have improved at least, the UN Gender-related Development index says that we actually failed to improve with the world and our ranking fell 7 steps in one cycle.

14.2% live under the national poverty line, making Jordan a whole country that needs to be dealt with and not just "poverty areas". 850 thousand people live in poverty in Jordan. The situation isn't improving. It has definitely gotten worse.

Undernourishment is something no one speaks about, people have a general saying in Jordan, no one starves to death, well, BREAKING NEWS:

The rate of Jordanians suffering from undernourishment rose from 4% to 7% in 10 years, and the last report was in 2003, I am presuming that with current food prices and the inflation that has brought Jordan to a freeze, 10% is the current number.

Well, at least we can do something about it, we can elect a parliament to improve the situation, right? well, WRONG, we rank 113 out of 167 in terms of democracy, and to prove it, ever wondered who picks the Mayor of Amman? Yes, Jordan is an Authoritarian regime.

How about the programs of e-government and electronic transparency and all that we were told about for a few years since 1999, well, we rank 53 out of 70. Not one thing in the government can be achieved online. Even by failed States Index, we are in the warning zone!

The days when the military was the assuring force in Jordan are long gone, we spend 8.60% of our GDP on the military, and people don't want to spend more, we also know that most of the military think the salaries aren't sufficient which is yielding a very unstable factor in Jordan and and an armed one at that. The days when a military job meant a sustainable career are over and don't expect the people who benefit most of it to be happy. We have 17.4 people considered active troops per 1,000 citizens, and to maintain them a big chunk of our taxes.

Why maintain such a sizeable army? I have no idea!

Other indicators that fell in Jordan: Accountability, Voice, Political Stability, Absence of Violence, Government Effectiveness, Regulatory Quality and Rule of Law.

Why such a bleak picture? well, mainly because it is based on facts, and second I believe we are going to have a whole lot of internal trouble if anything new comes up. People are almost fed-up, and if there isn't any immediate improvement, people will go to extremes. That includes a revival of an Islamic party, protests and public or mass strikes.

Please people wake up!!!

3.5.08

Jordan led the way

Al Arabiya News did a program a few minutes ago, suggesting that Sudan might be the solution to the price of grains, Jordan has been planting in (the?) Sudan for a few seasons now, but I don't want the people to forget what got us there in the first place.

The United States has been the breadbasket of the world world for the past 50 years at least and one season changed it all. The frost and deterioration of the weather plus the switch to corn (because of bush's ingenious bio-fuel initiative) almost destroyed the harvest of wheat, so lets not create another basket for us to put all our eggs in.

Sudan might be a smart idea, yet I want people (especially Americans and to a lesser extent Europeans) to understand that 271 Kilograms of corn can feed an average African kid for a year, while it can produce 17 Liters of bio-fuel.

The only way for an effective solution to the price of grains is for local subsidies for farmers and progressive plans that will allow the costs of farming to be diluted between farmers. Something like the good old days of socialism.

On another note, if the whole farmlands of the United States were farmed corn instead of wheat, the price of wheat would at least quadruple and would only suffice for 10% of the Americans' needs for fuel! So please stop buying ethanol and stuff like that, and think hydrogen, hybrid, electric or anything else for that matter.

1.5.08

Arrrrrrgggggggg!!!!

That's all I can say about tonight's match, I won't talk about the referee, or about the chances or even about drogba, all I'll say in all the class I can muster at this moment is "You'll Never Walk Alone"

Thanks Benitez for an exciting season and there is always next year.



Arrrrrrrrrggggggggggggggggggg!!!