Feeling bored and lonely people? Call a meeting. I thought I'd seen the light at the end of the tunnel on Wednesday, but it just turned out to be some bastard with a torch bringing me more work.
So, this week! What a week. Real news at the end. meanwhile:
We're buying some new military transport planes,
A C130J Hercules in Oman: Nice kit.
We signed a non-binding deal deal to talk to the Russians about nuclear power,
We bought 5% of a Spanish gas utility,
For what seemed a lot of dosh... still, a safe investment I guess, especially if you have LNG to sell....
Oh, and we thought about buying
with an international following... as many Shibab will attest
Meanwhile, the Taliban are getting beaten back in Swat, and more importantly the Tali-wackos are loosing the PR campaign too,
And speaking of wackos, the lady who forced an Oman Air plane to divert, and be searched, got caught, and is so harmless she made the Omani media too.
the Saudi censors decided to unblock Susie the Saudi blogger,
and we had the hottest week here since... fcuk knows. It was HOT. HOOOOOOT. Over 50 deg.
Local blogger Muscato...
As a result, Ms. Dragon has taken to the airport with a clutch of my credit cards, turned left at the boarding gate into the wonderful world that is international business class, and quite sensibly flown back to cooler climes for the duration.
Deliveries of loose women, caviar and bubbles will therefore be gratefully received and possibly might eventually even have to be ordered!
This is the life. I will soon too depart for the summer exodus. Dragon's don't do suffering.
First - Real News:
Obama. No surprise perhaps that I thought it was a pretty masterful speech.
Obama made possibly the most reasonable, frank and forward looking speech I've heard from a Polititian in a long time... it blew me away. He successfully articulated a firm but fair approach, stating his underlying reasoning, and most definitely positioned himself as a pragmatist.
Most moderate Islamicists I know loved it. OK, Ok, we need action and results, but even Al Jazeera struggled to find anyone sensible who could really fault it.
The extremists of all persuasions hated it.
right-wing Christian apocalyptics,
(oops - are those last 2 actually different these days?)
OBL sulking from his damp cave...
Man on right: 'I know he's the President of the Great Satan, But I still sort of like him OBL, you know? He sort of makes sense...'
the list goes on. Yeah, the speech exposed the haters all right.
To all of them he said, No. There is a way that is not driven by your hatred and irrational desire to screw everything up. Lets be adults who can discuss things rationally and focus on all the critical stuff we all agree needs addressing now. I liked especially the bit about Gulf states using the Israeli/Palestine conflict as a diversion from domestic affairs. Talk about spot on.
Wow. Could you imagine GW Bush giving a speech that coherent, and understanding what it meant at the same time? The man's doing good. Even Essa is a fan,, no mean feat that.
[lol: try an image search for Essa Al Zedjali!. UD]
Second - Reports continue of many Omani 'big companies', especially those with some real estate exposure, having a few cashflow problems.
I've been told that ol' faithful Blue City continue to pay no-one (except their staff, nats), and are about to be sued in London by Bovis (who walked out in disgust after Blue City stiffed them [Bovis]/who were kicked out for non-performance and didn't do anything worth being paid for [Blue City].
Has the writ been served yet .. John? I realise such trifles are a standard part of doing business in the real world, and big excellent development companies get sued ALL THE TIME by pesky small people who build things and want to be paid. I mean, what a cheek. Don't they know who they're dealing with?
Plus, we can't comment too much as its now all sub-judice soon...
I'm reliably informed too that even extremely well-connected and historic Omani company W.J. Towell Group, are underpaying contractors (by 50%) and pointing to a queue of over 4000 outstanding court cases against them, saying 'hey, sure sue us, take a number, but this is what you're getting'...
Of course, that can't be true. A venerable major company like that acting with such disregard for the laws of the land or legal contracts?
That sort of behaviour could end up in foreign courts and start to blacken the name of the whole business environment in the Sultanate (not to mention the good name the company has established over decades), imposing an indirect cost on the whole economy that is the last thing we need in these days of recession and increased competition for FDI. Surely not. And yet people tell me these tales...
Perhaps the older Sultan family board members should be asking some more pointed questions of the younger generation at the board....?
And last, the comedy at the Crown Plaza. I managed to sneak in the back, and - only partially assisted by copious amounts of ethyl alcohol - laugh my socks off, along with everyone else (and mostly an Omani audience too).
Ms Dragon and a rather agreeable female friend also had a total blast, although that wine wasn't cheap. OHI, and Eihab Al Saleh in particular, deserve massive kudos for pulling that off 'cos it took some balls.
Darren Short - erstwhile disk spinner for Hi! Fm
joined in the comedic spirit of the evening by wearing an outfit that perfectly captured the 'sleezy promoter' look with a garish white vest and black office suit ensemble.
Well done chaps. The buzz of the audience before the event was palpable and that said it all. More please. Eventually we'll get a bit more satirical, but this was hopefully just a fantastic start to lots more regular Arabic comedy in Oman.
Oh, one of the comics, - Dean Obeidallah - has a blog, too.
I have always insisted the Gulf needs a load more comedy. Hillary Clinton should be sponsoring this shit. Then the wine could be cheaper too.
Coming soon - advice to a dear Omani reader who is overseas at University and wants to be a Minister in the Sultanate some day. Bless.