Blogs
08 November, 2012
08 November, 2012

We need to make some decisions about power at the local level, about how different levels of government are funded, and about who is elected. The current system is hyper-centralized. All decisions are made at the center and are simply carried out at the local level. Almost everybody I know outside of Tbilisi feels powerless. They believe that the decisions that influence their lives are made in Tbilisi and that those who have the power to make these decisions derives that power not from their neighbors but via the central political leadership.

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01 November, 2012
01 November, 2012

I would like to talk about the senior civil servants who have served under the Saakashvili administration. This is an important group with a great number of talented individuals. Afterwards let me say a few words to them.

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25 October, 2012
25 October, 2012

The new team is looking at how it can fix things. Here is an idea. Let's pass a law preventing people from hiding ownership. That has become a very popular activity in Georgia and not just in Georgia. It used to be that setting up a company was so difficult and bureaucratic that nobody wanted to do it. Now it is so easy, in Georgia and in many other places, that somebody can set up a company in Georgia so it is owned by another company in another country and that company is owned by another company in another country. That can be done in a day for not too much money. This makes it so difficult to find out who owns the actual company, that a potential business parter or journalist or anybody else gets discouraged or runs out of money and gives up.

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18 October, 2012
18 October, 2012

For the last nine years, the government of the United National Movement was in a rush. Immediately after Shevardnadze's resignation, we were told that time was limited and that we must act quickly. Later on, the rushing became a habit. Deadlines were adopted - sometimes an election, sometimes a state visit - and things happened quickly. Remember Rezo Nebieridze? He was the man from Zovreti near Zestaponi killed on 17 June by a wall that fell on him while building the new parliament building in Kutaisi.

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11 October, 2012
11 October, 2012

Sky blue painting Untitled, 1969 by Vasudeo S. Gaitonde was sold for close to a million dollars at a Christie’s Auction House earlier in September. For a non-scholar, for a layman, it is a beautiful and calm blue and brown color palette, with serene and slightly somber feel. 

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11 October, 2012
11 October, 2012

Two different narratives about the election have arrived and they are both wrong. Periodically, before the elections, The National Democratic Institute based in Washington came out with a poll that indicated a much larger portion of the likely voters supported the United National Movement than Georigan Dream. Many in the UNM still believe that the NDI poll was correct at the time it was done, that the UNM was in the lead. They are making the same mistake NDI did which is ignoring the 46% of respondents who refused to answer and thereby assuming that those with no answer would vote for the UNM and Georgian Dream in similar proportions to those who were comfortable answering.

 

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04 October, 2012
04 October, 2012

 

The two things that ended the National Movement's monopoly on state power started very early on: the punishment of those in Shevardnadze's government and the amendment of the constitution on 6 February 2004.

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27 September, 2012
27 September, 2012

In the latest Saga that is Apple vs. Samsung, two giants of technology, Apple sued Samsung yet again. This time Apple was suing Samsung for $707 million for “wilfully diluted its trade dress, taking billions in sales in the fast- growing U.S. smartphone market at a key moment in the transition between feature phones and smartphones.

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27 September, 2012
27 September, 2012

The ruling party has insisted that the results as judged by credible international observers must be respected. This seems like a reasonable request. Credible international observers can be defined as those whose funding is clear for all to see.

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20 September, 2012
20 September, 2012

 

By now, we've all seen the videos. As I write they are new and people are on the streets. A few words about prisons in Georgia. The fact that people are being tortured in Georgian prisons is not new information for the authorities. NGOs and the Public Defender have been saying it, with evidence in reports and statements for years. The authorities didn't care and did nothing. The attitude was always that NGOs were paid to write these reports and so they would write them.

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13 September, 2012
13 September, 2012

In a speech in the House of Commons on 11 November 1947, Winston Churchill said: No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time. Churchill forgot to add that democracy is also by far the most entertaining form of government. In the last two weeks in the US we have been treated to dazzling (some more dazzling than others) political performances.

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13 September, 2012
13 September, 2012

 

There is plenty of building going on around Tbilisi and through out the country. Some of it has been going on for a long time, some has been sitting half finished for a long time, some of it seems to be in a rush. What it shares in common is that there is almost never a sign out front that says what is being built, who is building it, the plan, or any other information about it. It is the same in other cities. This is illegal and also a bad thing for Georgia. Even more frustrating is that often these construction projects are being done by the government itself or by companies closely connected to government officials.

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06 September, 2012
06 September, 2012

Everybody is relieved that there has been a new start and that the difficult times are over. Now is our time. And things will start clean. Unfortunately there were those who benefitted from the old system and they must be excluded from the new system. Some of them should be punished. Maybe simple exclusion from the system will be sufficient but for some they need to be actively pursued and punished. What is particularly frustrating is that some of those who were very much a part of the problem in the old system, they become the loudest critics of the new system. They somehow didn't get the message that things have not only changed and and that they desperately needed to change but that their role was not just negative but treasonous. They need to sit down, stay home, be quiet and let us do our work.

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30 August, 2012
30 August, 2012

 

I just spend several days with somebody in a hospital in America. Other than in a maternity ward, I had not done that before. I was with somebody who had a serious problem and ended up needing an operation. The comparison between the how Georgian and American hospitals function was striking.

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30 August, 2012
30 August, 2012

When you were little, did you spend time with you father or your mother? I must admit when I was growing up, it was the norm for fathers to work and mother look after children and also work. Homework was looked over by mothers, problems were told to mothers, food was cooked by mothers, school clothes were bought by mothers, punishments were dolled out mostly by mothers. 

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23 August, 2012
23 August, 2012

In a previous article an attempt was made to summarize the proceedings that were taking place in Moscow’s Khamovnicheski court house where three young women, Ms. Tolokonnikova, Ms. Samutsevich and Ms. Alyokhina were being judged for a forty second performance inside a Christian Orthodox church.

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23 August, 2012
23 August, 2012

 

A few words on energy in the rest of the world and on energy in Georgia; some differences, some some challenges, some ideas. Everybody around the world is discussing renewable energy and most of the very high growth companies around the world in the energy sector are renewable energy companies. Around the world, this summer is the hottest summer since climate records have been kept, and the number of unusually violent weather events, hurricanes, etc is increasing each year. The polar ice caps are melting and sea levels are rising. Developed countries have all built in to their strategic planning some kind of recognition of this fact. But not Georgia. Why is not clear. Until recently many in the government would say openly that they don't believe in human caused climate change. But now that position is so widely ridiculed that rarely is it said out loud. But it is still said in private.

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16 August, 2012
16 August, 2012

 

As is the case before elections in Georgia, there are now three groups of us:  those who hate the opposition and are blind to the faults of the  ruling party, those who hate the ruling party and are blind to the faults of the opposition.  These two groups hate each other and can not understand how the other is so deluded, they think the other must be composed of bad people, immoral, or corrupt, or all of those.

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16 August, 2012
16 August, 2012

On my visit to Italy, I had a chance to spend a night and half a day in Eco Del Mare, an exclusive resort in Lerici on the cost. Eco Del Mare is a small (by American standards) boutique resort, the kind you see in travel magazines, where all the details from the bellowing nets of the canopies to the private elevator down to the private beach make you feel like you are in paradise on earth. I got in really late night, as I got lost a few times driving in from Modena. 

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09 August, 2012
09 August, 2012

 

William Penn was a Quaker aristocrat who lived in Great Britain in the late 1600s. During this time, England was torn by religious civil wars fought among the Church of England (a spin off of the Roman Catholic Church), the politically ambitious and religiously severe Puritans, and the tolerant, anti-materialist, pacifist Quakers who had no political ambitions. Penn proposed a mass migration of Quakers to the American colonies and he was given a 120,000 square kilometer land grant, making him the largest non-royal land owner in the world at that time. Today this land grant is better known as the state of Pennsylvania. Many thousands of Quakers left for the new world along with Penn and together they founded the city of Philadelphia.

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GJ Editor's comment
12 November, 2015
“Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.” Just in Denmark, not in Georgia! Aren’t we lucky that nothing
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Other Stories
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On January 19 Orthodox Georgians celebrate Epiphany feast.
The world-famous American musician Moby expressed his support to Georgian rock band The Mins at the nearest Eurovision contest publicly.
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Georgia’s Dashbashi Canyon transforms into a real miracle in winter time.
Business Insider UK published an incredible footage shot in Georgia.
Georgian contemporary artist Andro Wekua’s works will be exhibited in a leading contemporary art gallery in New York from January 26 to February 25.
Vazha Machitashvili is the youngest Georgian beekeeper who has been discovered by a well-known journalist and photographer Goga Chanadiri.
The rhetoric of sexism and division during the US Presidential campaign has left many concerned.
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