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Public Private Records

I know, that’s like a definition of an oxymoron, but as far as this situation is concerned it hits the nail very much on the head.

Let me explain: I took my mother this morning to the Salmania Medical Complex for a check-up x-ray for bone density. That section is housed in the very old part of the hospital, a place that used to be the old maternity ward and where I as well as my two younger brothers were born, but now almost completely dilapidated with that old building smell.

The corridors surround a nice area which could be turned into a lovely garden where patients might want to be brought to relax. The shocking thing however is the way that the hospital authorities decided to store thousands of presumably old x-ray films and records at the side of these corridors! Some folders and film envelopes were covered in tarpaulin for protection against the elements I guess.

I couldn’t believe my eyes, I thought these must be just empty envelopes awaiting disposal, but opening a couple and looking in I was aghast; they actually contain actual x-ray films! Some of these files especially the ones on top of the heaps are caked with dust, so these files must have been there for a while. The files had the names of patients, and of course as you can see from the pictures the film itself has the name and particulars of patients imprinted as well.

Aren’t these x-rays very private and are privileged information? Why are these files just thrown there for anyone to rummage through and find the most intimate medical details about people? Doesn’t the Ministry of Health have better ways of storing or destroying old records?

These are patient privileged information for goodness’ sake. Is this what privacy means to the Ministry of Health?

I called the PR section at SMC and spoke to Hussain Al-Mousawi who shuffled this problem on and blamed the Ministry of Finance as (according to him) they are responsible for coming and collecting these files to take them to the Central Stores, and said that these files are very old “anyway” but when I told him that some of those were dated 2003 he promised to take the matter up with the SMC management. I hope he does, and does it very quickly. I don’t have much hope that the management will do anything with this situation any time soon.

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More Royal than the King

More Royal than the King

Tomorrow is a fantastic day and you know why? Because according to my calculations it will be only one single year left for the Parliamentary elections in Bahrain!

365 days. Can we stand it for another year? Heck yes, it’s fun watching fools make even bigger asses of themselves. Let’s take the current “uproar” against the FTA and ending the economic boycott of Israel, what is it really other than cheap electioneering shots? Especially when a right honourable mouse of a man who has proven his uselessness (the first letter of his name is Hassan Bukhammas by the way he only posted 1 question to ministers – yes only ONE question while he is allowed 36 so far! – and submitted 2 legislative “wishes”) now becomes the Lion of Parliament by standing up and shouting “Death to America and Israel” which of course demonstrates his braveness in the cataract infected eyes of “his” constituents so that they can carry him on their shoulders back into the hallowed chambers of Parliament come the next time around. All because “he stood up to the Zionist enemy.”

Others of course are beating the shit out of each other and trampling whatever is in their paths to get noticed in this very emotive issue, from the illustrious Mohammed Khalid who has labelled the whole government as traitors and the remainder of the honourable MPs aren’t much better in their stances and responses. They’ve made pandering to fools their holy jihad.

The only saving grace for the whole parliament is Abbas Hassan, another unknown to be sure, but he stood up and told them that “MPs were all talk and no fight” and challenged them to pick up weapons and go to Palestine and fight for its freedom if they were men to which our major brain-farter and could well be a joint-winner of the coveted Mtv TWITBTHIFD Society Award (his co-winner can’t be other than Dhahrani) raised his great girth and issued the following brain-fart: “apologise!” To which Abbas Hassan basically told him to stuff it.

So what is this parliament doing? Discarding national interests and long term prosperity of the nation against an emotive subject that neither they nor anyone else can do anything about, especially as the Palestinians themselves have categorically recognised Israel’s right to exist. Who are we then to complain and raise these issues in parliament? Shouldn’t they have tackled the various critical items on their agendas than wasting time with something they have absolutely no control over?

No of course not.. I couldn’t summarise this situation better than how our dear friend JJ has: they’re trying to be more royal than the king.

365 days tomorrow…

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Al-Dhahrani’s at it again

Our illustrious Parliamentary Chairman not content with the state of our own laws, now suggests that we should import others from our giant neighbour (arabic); Saudi Arabia, especially as they pertain to the family, legal age and of course laws that would further demonstrate his complete “respect” for women.

It is done of course to “protect” women and minors. Nothing else you understand, and these laws will in no way impinge on their personal freedoms nor will they affect their way of life.

It’s not a big deal really, the laws he wants to pass are:

1 Restrict minor traveling without a parent or guardian’s approval. The age of majority in Bahrain is 21.
2 Restrict women (no age limit) from traveling unless approved by their legal guardian, be that their husband, father, brother or son as the case may be.

Can anyone spot a stupid moron in the house? Will you vote for him again? (Riffa are you listening? You’ve gotten more morons into this parliament and we want to make sure that you do so again next year!)

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A pig is cleaner than this bearded monster

Parliament is again interfering in the internal affairs of other countries. Legally, the Prime Minister of Iraq has given the Americans his go ahead to attack Faluja and clean it of insurgents.

The Bahraini parliament, particularly the bearded pig above, coupled with Yousif Al-Hermi and Jassim Al-Saidi were insensed when Abdulla Al-Aali asked for the motion to be put for discussion. Ali Al-Samahiji declared that this motion (rightly) would be an interference in a sovereign country’s internal affairs.

What this pig immediately assumed is that it is a sectarian issue and described the shi’a as:

You are killers, unclean (سفله) and the people of Falujah are more honourable than you and your ilk, they are the heroes regardless of what you and your lot see them as

This is a representative of the people? Someone this sick only deserves to be in a cesspool or flushed down a toilet, not in a country’s parliament.

Unfortunately we have a lot of them, most of them salafis and openly supporting this sort of thing, even if it was true.

I would not be at all surprised if they had a party after a suicide bomber blows a shi’a neighbourhood in Bahrain to smithereens.

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3rd session of parliament shaping up very nicely…

MPs seek clamp on phone pornography

By MOHAMMED AL A’ALI

MPs are calling for a new law to combat untraceable pornographic broadcasts between mobile phones.

Girls are reportedly being harassed by youths misusing the Bluetooth technology now available in some mobiles.

Bluetooth can trace any similar receiver phone within 10 metres and transmit to it without dialling up the number.

These means pictures can be broadcast without leaving any trace of who sent them, said parliament’s foreign affairs, defence and national economy committee vice-chairman Abdulla Al Dossari.

He is proposing a new law to combat the misuse of such facilities, which can also operate from personal computers.

Mr Al Dossari is planning to submit the proposal next week to parliament chairman Khalifa Al Dhahrani.

Mr Al Dossari, who is also Independent Bloc spokesman, told the GDN yesterday that the wording of the proposal was being carefully studied by the bloc’s legal adviser and would be hopefully ready by tomorrow.

“I have come up with the idea after receiving several complaints from families saying that their daughters were being harassed by young men who send them pornographic material using Bluetooth,” he said.

“Others have also complained about pictures and clips of their daughters being spread through mobile phones, without any trace of their origin.

“It is hard to know who sends these picture and clip messages, since dialling up the receiver isn’t needed.

“Most cases have been reported to have happened in malls, restaurants and event at Bahrain University.” Mr Al Dossari said that he was not proposing banning Bluetooth, just regulating its use.

“Everyone acknowledges the vital role technology plays in people’s lives today, but it needs to be monitored to ensure people don’t misuse it,” he said.

“Batelco has thankfully helped trace many people who were misusing the Internet, by identifying the location of the transmission, since it is being done through a phone number.”

But he said it was hard to catch those who misuse Bluetooth, since no one knows who is sending the information, or from where.

“Bluetooth is now available amongst half of Bahrain’s population and its use has become so common,” said Mr Al Dossari.

He said he hoped the proposed law would help protect people’s privacy and combat indecency.

“A similar law has been introduced last week in Kuwait and we hope that our government will do the same,” said Mr Al Dossari.

GDN Aug 31st, 2004

Ah what fun… trying to control technology, trying to control the untraceable, and adding a veneer of religiousity to it as well. Very nice. Can we expect anything from these carpetbaggers other than what has happened in the last two sessions?

I for one can’t wait for the next elections.

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Foulath on a roll.. get out of the way!

The right honourable gentleman Mr. Faisal Foulath [FF – let’s see if you can coin an appropriate phrase with his initials – I propose the first initial should be descriptive: fat – I leave the other to your imagination] of the Shoura Council is not resting on his laurels. Oh no, not at all, he’s now proposing a direct tax by way of a 50 Fils stamp the proceeds of which would go in part to finance his proposed Marriage Fund.

Brilliant! So he does have a plan! Phew, and here is little me thinking that he didn’t give his proposal serious thought. Silly me.

Let me give you my opinion Mr. Foulath and please take it to heart:

1] You’re not an elected official, so I don’t give a flying fuck what you propose.

2] Talk to people, oh sorry, you don’t have a constituency… so maybe you can read a few Bahraini sites/blogs for your edification.

3] copy and paste the following phrases in your word processor, increase the font size to 500 points, print it out, frame it, and hang it in a prominent place just to remind you of a few home truths:

  • PERSONAL FREEDOMS ARE SACROSANCT
  • MARRYING FOREIGNERS COULD HELP SOLVE THE PREVALENT SICKLE CELL ANEMIA AND DIABETES BAHRAIN IS SUFFERING FROM
  • I WILL STAND FOR ELECTION NEXT TIME

4] lose some weight

5] crawl back where you came from, you don’t need to mouth off in the local press so that you too can get noticed.

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Marriage Fund?

Now it’s the Shura Council’s turn to have a brain-fart.

Some bright spark looked at the marriage statistics in Bahrain in 2001 and decided that not enough Bahrainis are marrying each other with most men opting to have foreign wives, so what does he propose? Throw money at the problem and it’ll go away!

He’s proposing setting up a “marriage fund” where it will provide between BD 1,000 (US$3,770) to BD 2,000 to “help with the marriage expenses”. The enlightened rules he’s proposing putting in place are:

The marriage fund will be over-seen by the Ministry of Justice, and create (another) committee whose membership includes the Minister of Islamic Affairs (president) and 5 officials from various other ministries: Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Economy, Information, Labour and Social Affairs, Transparency office and one person from the Women’s council. Another five each from one of the municipal areas in the country representing the “people”. All of these officials are to be appointed by an order from the Prime Minister’s office after consultation from the Ministry of Islamic Affairs. And yes, we do need yet another committee. Gotta keep them in jobs right?

The fund is going to be stoked by – yes you guessed it – the budget, aka, you and me.

So who’s going to benefit? The applicant has to be:

1. Bahraini
2. Shouldn’t be less than 18 years old
3. Wife should be Bahraini
4. classified as “low income”
5. this “help” is only given once
6. shouldn’t be already married

So a Bahraini woman can’t apply to get married, only men need apply. Women? Hah! not so important.

These people have nothing better to do with their time other than increase the number of inbred morons we have in this country. What will this fund do other than encourage people to forget their schools and universities and get married as early as possible, of course have kids as soon as they get married, increase their responsibilities, leave school to provide for the family and generally increase the lines of unemployed and entrenching poverty.

Don’t even think that marriage is a very personal decision and the government and the various do-gooders like Islamic societies have nothing to do with it. Forget about scientifically analyzing why Bahraini men choose to marry foreigners in the first place. Let’s just take the fast road to (1) bankrupt this country with the various harebrained ideas like this, and (2) increase poverty by encouraging people at the very start of their lives to not think of their higher education to get better jobs. Just let’s get them screwed (literally in this case) and they’ll forget about us.

Well done McDuff. Rock on!

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This is not my Bahrain. This is not my Islam.

Nancy Ajram performing in BahrainIslamist MPs Adel Al-Moawada, Mohammed Khaled Mohammed, Ali Matar, Abdulla Al-A’ali, and Hamad Al-Muhannadi tabled an urgent motion in the Bahraini Parliament to ban the Lebanese singer Nancy Ajram from performing in Bahrain citing her act as provocative, indecent and debaucherous.

The motion was squarely defeated with most members including the chairman describing the motion as frivolous. In a democratic country, this should have been the end of the story. However, because of these MPs’ own agenda, the issue did not rest but transpired by their (passive or active) encouragement, a gang of their followers violently demonstrated at the venue last night resulting in several injuries to innocent people and property, burnt rubber tires, and set fire to a traffic light. They were clashes between these gangs and the public security who in turn used tear gas to try to disperse them.

This is clearly a precursor of the future of Bahrain. That is, if these Islamists don’t get their way democratically, they will resort to inciting simple fools to violence.

The end result? Bahrain is not a place worth investing in nor is it a place to bring your family to enjoy a peaceful time. You and your family are at the mercy of these extremists.

These so called Islamists miss the main point of democracy: “your freedom ends where another person’s freedom begins”.

The concert went ahead despite the violence, albeit with more than half of the audience forced away.

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Veiled women allowed to drive

While road-deaths have increased in Bahrain from 54 in 1995 to 81 in 2002, the number of cars increased from 169,318 in 1995 to 250,978 in 2002 and not a day passes without a serious sometimes fatal road accident, we now have a law allowing veiled women to drive!

That is, women who cover their faces completely with semi-transparent cloth. Some I’m sure will say that the cloth does not restrict vision and it’s like sun-glasses. Yeah sure!

This is the result of our infant Parliament. This is their major achievement in their last session. I’m sure that next they will find other very worthy cause to take up. And we all know that we do NOT have any other immediate problems to resolve like unemployment, a high increase in crime, continuing road congestion, etc. Allowing veiled women to drive is of the highest national priority.

Apart from that, now if you are unfortunate enough to get involved in an accident with a veiled woman driver, you have to wait for one of the seven traffic police-women to come to the sight of the accident to resolve the matter, NOT a normal traffic (male) cop.

Here are some recent links so you can form your own opinions:
– Anger over accident blackspot
– BD 200 million to be spent to slash road deaths
– Indian killed in traffic accident

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…and I thought democracy means constructive criticism?

The Bahraini press is threatening national unity and abusing the democratic system, the Minister of Information was quoted as saying yesterday.

Nabeel Al Hamer was quoted during a meeting with newspaper editors as saying the government will not tolerate those in the press who are trying to “sabotage” the democratic reforms.

“We will not, under any pretext, tolerate those abusing the democracy now available in the kingdom in order to sabotage the democratic achievements,” he told them.

Gulf News | By Mohammed Almezel | 10-06-2003

and this comes from a journalist! The minister was the managing editor of Al-Ayam newspaper for a very long time. It’s heartening to find his views have changed somewhat since he became the minister of information.

So what the hell is happening here then? This “outburst” was due to a couple of articles in the papers that I think constructively criticised the government. And isn’t constructive criticism the basis of democratic life? So what should we do now? Just turn a blind eye to everything that might be deemed “offensive” or against the government?

gimme a break.. MAKE UP YOUR MIND, either be democratic or let’s just go back to where we were before ’99. At least then everyone knew what the rules were and where the red-line was. Democracy as far as I understand it doesn’t have any red-lines. If the law on the other hand did set a red-line that no one is allowed to cross, let the (competent) courts handle that through laws, but don’t just keep shifting the line here and there at a whim.

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