Blogs
20 December, 2012
20 December, 2012
After several-year interval Georgian-Russian dialog has ensued. What does Georgia expect from this dialog with 88% of its population, supporting relations with Russia? Answer to this question is intertwined with the reasons that conditioned increase of the supporters of the dialog with Russia while Russia as an image of enemy, is considered as a stigma for the last 20 years and not only desire of relations but even mentioning it in a slightly positive context, was almost equivalent of expulsion from the society.
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13 December, 2012
13 December, 2012
For the first time I can remember in my fifteen years of watching Georgia, judges have publicly disagreed with prosecutors on high profile cases. This is something new and important, and I'm surprised that there is little conversation about it in the media.
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06 December, 2012
06 December, 2012
Waste a.k.a. garbage, rubbish, trash, refuse, junk and litter is unwanted or useless materials, as our beloved Wiki is teaching us. Litter refers to waste disposed of improperly, hence the title of this distressing editorial. One of the biggest paradoxes of life in Georgia is that in this country of hi-tech, ubiquitous cell phones, ostentatious fashion-shows and, let us say, of European culture, waste is mismanaged regardless the efforts of authorities, and litter is mishandled by the public in spite of our claim to be called a civilized nation.
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06 December, 2012
06 December, 2012
When you take a taxi now, the driver doesn't seem to mind if you wear a seat belt or not. Mind you, it is still officially the law that everybody in the front seat of a car wear a seatbelt, but now it is treated as one of those optional laws. Some taxi drivers still wear theirs out of habit or fear or maybe because they're just plain smart. Some don't. Many will tell you that passengers don't need to anymore now that Georgian Dream is in power. I find this very interesting and will often ask taxi drivers about it. I have been told by several that it was Misha's law or, more often, that it was Vano's law and that they aren't in power anymore so it is optional.
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29 November, 2012
29 November, 2012
There used to be a statue of Stalin at a school in the village of Zemo Alvani. On the night of 17 June 2011 it disappeared, officials claiming they didn't know anything about it. One recent morning, it came back to where it once was but now wrapped up. The new officials are pleading ignorance, but locals say it will be unwrapped on Stalin's birthday, 22 December 2012. Putting up or in this case the re-putting up a statue of Stalin will become international news, particularly in this period of trying to figure out the likely direction of the new Georgian Dream government.
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22 November, 2012
22 November, 2012

For those who don't know, the climate is changing due to the activity of human beings. There are several human activities that cause it but the main one is burning fossil or hydro-carbon fuel like gasoline and coal. Most people in countries with strong education systems know that it is happening. The correlation between education and accepting climate change is clear. Educated people understand this and accept this and uneducated people don't. Hurricane Sandy hit New York city a few weeks ago and caused such damage just before the US election, practically everybody saw it as evidence of climate change. And yet this topic is so infrequently discussed in Georgia unlike everywhere else.

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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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PHOTO OF THE DAY
Other Stories
Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Kvirikashvili has been provided with information on anti-fire efforts in Borjomi
The United States of America is ready to help Georgia extinguish the Borjomi wildfire.
Black Lake, previously unknown and unique tourism destination, will receive visitors in Highland Adjara
"Business Insider", a well-known American news website, named Kazbegi Mountains among the 100 places where you have to travel at least once in your life.
Music unites the people of different cultures around the idea of peace,
One family was evacuated from the village of Daba last night
As reported by the special staff of the Georgian government, tens of hectares of land have burnt down as a result of the fire in Borjomi gorge.
Firefighters have been fighting with fire in Borjomi Gorge for three days already.
Alternative energy has been popular in many countries of the world in recent years.
Georgian beer brand Argo launched limited series of beer called “Special Exhibition”
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