Dubious Doings in Dubai, or just Fantasy Islands?

In a previous post(Around the World), I linked to a an article about the massive building projects currently ongoing in Dubai.

Here’s more:
Boing Boing (The Headmistress is not pleased with the ads on this site) says

300 private islands shaped like world map, near Dubai
A developer near Dubai is building a supervillain lair straight out of the funnybooks — a collection of private islands arranged to look like a map of the world, with African game preserves, luxury hotels, McMansions, condos, etc etc etc. Also, a fleet of (heavily armed?) water-borne private coppers patrolling the islands for crooks, and, I’m guessing, hidden missile silos, or possibly a labroatory for breeding a race of superbeings.

Boing Boing has a photograph, a link to the offical page, and more, including a link to Ego Food, where we learn there is no Israel in Dubai’s fantasy world. Sez Ego Food:

“Political much? My, Dubai, That’s an interesting world you have there. Let’s see whom else you’ve removed from that map of yours. No Washington State or Oregon, but that’s okay, they’re all California to me, too.”

A Complete Waste of Time (“wasting time so you don’t have to”) also has the very impressive photograph and says that “Islands are expected to sell for prices beginning at US$ 6.85 million.”

Start saving your money now, as the project will be completed by the end of this year.

The Official Website is here, where you can even see video, listen to a midi file of the United Arab Emirates national anthem, see the lyrics in English and Arabian, look at photographs, get email postcards (one of them is really very odd), and much, much, more.

Equuschick, JennyAnyDots and Pipsqueak watched the video with me.

“I wouldn’t want to clean that” says JennyAnyDots, as we view a mansion dreamhome, all in white interiors.

“If you were that rich, you’d have an army of servants,” points out Equuschick. “How about I buy an island and you come be my servant?”

JennyAnyDots says, “You buy an island and I will gladly come live there and clean for you.”

“Choose your island. Choose your opportunity,” the video narrator encourages us.

“Horses?” asks Equuschick (of course). “Are there places to keep horses?”

The Deputy Headmistress supposes that since it is an Arabian country, there will be places for horses for those who want them. She privately wonders if that was stereotyping, but the video continues.

“I want the castle,” says Pipsqueak.

“Oooh, I want that” – in unison from all three girls as the African Game preserve island comes up.

“The only limit,” the narrator assures us, “Is the imagination.”

AND MONEY” the Common Room Chorus replies, on cue and in perfect harmony. Uncanny. It’s as though they rehearsed.

And to think, just yesterday I was listening to somebody tell me on the radio that Americans were the most materialistic people on earth.

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Us and Them

Best of the Web today:

Jack Nargundkar of Germantown, Md., is confused, as he made clear in a letter to the editor of the New York Times the other day (third letter):

The most critical conclusion to be drawn from the [Schiavo] case is that with the injection of religion into our politics and our governance, it has become increasingly difficult to differentiate between the demands of “evangelism” in a Western democracy and “fundamentalism” in a Middle Eastern theocracy.

Jack, you’re in luck, for we know just how to distinguish them. If someone is demanding that a life be spared, he’s probably an evangelist in a Western democracy. If he’s demanding the infidels be murdered, chances are he’s a fundamentalist in a Middle Eastern theocracy.

Bonnet Tip: World Magazine’s Blog

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Around the World

Afghanistan– if you haven’t bookmarked Chrenkoff already, you’ll want to do that so you can keep up with his updates on the good news from Afghan and Iraq. He acknowledges that there is bad news too, but that’s about as hard to discover as the ground where you put your feet.

See Chrenkoff also for the results of an interesting study on the root causes of terrorism. It also inadvertently reveals something about the assumptions of people who feel the need to study those root causes.

Kyrgyzstan: Be sure to read the whole article, and then check out some of the links.

They just don’t make Pulitzer Prize winners like they used to. See Powerline and Michelle Malkin for the full story. Warning: Michelle has the questionable photograph on her website, and it’s not for the squeamish.

What do you know about the 1981 Kremlin plot to kill the Pope?

Come down, Kofi come down, sings Norm Coleman. I hope it’s a smash hit.

The U.N. Commission on Human Rights- is it also the private club of the World’s Most Oppressive Regimes? Bonnet tip to Certain Slant of Light

Dubai may just be a place to watch. Impressive story, with just a wee bit of unnecessary snark.

Major political scandal in Canada, now with ramifications for bloggers everywhere.
See Captain Ed here, and just keep on scrolling. This story of political corruption and cover up is just incredible. See also Small Dead Animals (keep scrolling for an amusing Haiku connection), Winds of Change, Michelle Malkin, and keep your eye on these Canadian Bloggers and others- especially this one.

UPDATE: See Bird of Paradise for some ethical concerns about Captain Ed’s coverage

And Back Again:

The ACLU embarrasses itself over the Patriot Act:

In one case described by Senator Cornyn, the ACLU stated that a federal court had struck down parts of the Patriot Act, calling the decision “a landmark victory against the Ashcroft Justice Department.” Newspapers repeated this claim. But it turned out that the statute in question was not the Patriot Act, but rather the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986, drafted by liberal Democrat Patrick Leahy and endorsed at the time by the ACLU.

Further developments on the case of the Documents of Dubious Origin.

Blogs for Terri has a thought-provoking list of ideas for where we go from here. I’m not comfortable with all of them, but it’s a start. Volunteered at a nursing home or hospice lately?

And home in time for tea:

With sugar or without?

Since 1820, when Louisiana sugar planters successfully argued for high tariffs to prevent a collapse in the value of slaves, the industry has used political influence to fleece consumers and taxpayers and avoid competition. No other industry has used its deep pockets and vast political clout ($22 million of campaign contributions to both parties since 1990) to restrain trade and competition.

Read the above article to catch up on the sugar industry today.

Update: When posting these links this morning, fragments from a child’s poem kept running through my head. I used bits of them for headers. I couldn’t think of the complete rhyme, though. JennyAnyDots and Pipsqueak said they knew what I meant, but they couldn’t remember it either. Equuschick said it was from a yellow book with a brother and sister in it, but neither of us could remember the title. Indeed, I could not remember such a book. The First Year Girl just sat down to read me a rhyme from a book- and it was the yellow book with the brother and sister! Here’s the rhyme, dictated to the Headmistress by the FYG:

Off we go on a piggyback ride,
Fair and fancy free.
Around the world on an empty purse
And back in time for tea!

From the delightful book Catch Me & Kiss Me & Say It Again, by Clyde Watson, illustrated by her sister Wendy Watson

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Narration of The New World ch 9

This is JennyAnyDots 🙂 The New World is by Winston Churchill

Queen Elizabeth had the Royal Navy (built by Henry VIII) rebuilt and refurnished by John Hawkins. John Hawkins was a brilliant man but, sad to say, he learned his seamanship in slave-running and shipping. Hawkins taught one of the most famous seaman known, Francis Drake.
Drake became one of the most feared Admirals of the Sea; his Spanish adversaries gave him the name “Master Thief of the unknown world.”

Elizabeth sent her Royal Navy to meet the Armada, but unfavorable winds separated the ships. Humphery Gilbert was on a ship that was lost in the storm. That ship and the people on it were never seen again. Gilbert thought that finding a route to China would enable the English gain access to more supplies (spices, cloth, and whatever else they were after), and it was because of him that Elizabeth became interested in discovering a route to China.

The ships that were left went back to port and stayed for a long time; scurvy was aboard. Once the sailors recovered from scurvy, they set out again, using ships that Hawkins had made smaller, easier to handle, and faster.

They met the Armada, and a fierce and fiery battle took place, and, with God’s help, the English won.

“He is not worthy to live at all, that for fear or danger of death
shunneth his country’s service and his own honour; seeing death is inevitable
and the fame of virtue is immortal.”- Humphery Gilbert

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Collected Quotes, Quote 4

Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive.
C. S. Lewis

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