Andy Takes on Trump Again; Andy And Humor Of Course Triumphs; More About the UAE; The Bail Out of Dubai by Abu Dhabi; The True Story of Covid-19 in Dubai; Geography Lesson; Criticism of UAE by Wikipedia But How Free is Free Press in the USA? Picture of Feet on the Beach

The title: Trump Banned From His Own Social Network: “In a major setback for the former President, Donald J. Trump has been banned from his own social network.Trump’s permanent ban went into effect just moments into the beta test of the new social-media platform, Truth Social.”

The conclusion and result of the ban is hilarious. Harland Dorrinson, a spokesman for Truth Social, confirmed that the platform had banned Trump, adding, “It’s unfortunate, but our hands are tied.” Reportedly, Trump has prepared a blistering statement about his Truth Social ban but has been unable to find anywhere to post it.”

I have joked about the lack of satire here in the UAE and thought of assuming that role. But, the more learned about such matters, the less appealing this thought is. But I shall continue the story of this region began on the December 6,2021 blog

We left off with transfer of leadership due to the death of the Abu Dhabi Ruler and the Dubai Ruler. Their sons, in both instances, took the over their role with all of its rights and responsibilities.

Abu Dhabi people were prospering because of generosity of their leader who had invested in them. But it became a different story in Dubai. Do remember that: “ Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai, was able to invest the revenues from the limited reserves found to spark the diversification drive that would create the modern global city of Dubai.” So Dubai’s use of its oil dollars was much different than that of Abu Dhabi.

This is from an article from the BBC: “Sheikh Mohammed became ruler of Dubai and vice-president and prime minister of the UAE in 2006, after his brother died aged 62 during a visit to Australia.Under his leadership, Dubai’s development continued apace. In 2008, the emirate unveiled the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa; Dubai Mall, then world’s largest shopping centre by total land area; and the Dubai Metro. Such ambitious projects were, however, reliant on borrowing billions of dollars. The global financial crisis caused Dubai’s real estate market to crash and in 2009 state-linked companies came close to defaulting on their debts. Abu Dhabi stepped in and loaned the Dubai government the money it desperately needed. Dubai’s construction boom also relied on low-paid migrant construction workers, many of whom complained that they suffered exploitation.”

Today, more than 95% of the emirate’s gross domestic product is non-oil-based, with tourism contributing 20%.
Dubai’s population has also grown from about 40,000 in the 1960s to 3.3 million, including almost 3.1 million non-Emiratis, many of whom live in the hundreds of high-rise buildings filling its skyline.

In ordinary terms, Abu Dhabi bailed Dubai out. This rescue from Abu Dhabi was successful and Dubai continued to grow and grow and grow. At the present time, according to Wikipedia over over two-thirds of the UAE population lives in either Abu Dhabi or Dubai. The population of Dubai is estimated to be 3,386, 941and Abu Dhabi is 1,807,000.

Back again to Wikipedia, informing us about Covid-19. “On 29 January 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic was confirmed to have reached the UAE, as a 73-year-old Chinese woman had tested positive for the disease. Two months later, in March, the government announced the closure of shopping malls, schools, and places of worship, in addition to imposing a 24-hour curfew, and suspending all Emirates passenger flights. This resulted in a major economic downfall, which eventually led to the merger of more than 50% of the UAE’s federal agencies.”

But this does not tell the whole story nor the whole truth. At this time I was aware, and vitally interested in what was going on in Dubai, for one reason or another. Dubai did not confess to the January 29, 2020 entry of the virus by the Chinese grandmother. But instead reported its first Covid-19 entry was a young Indian women student in March. However, it seemed they were being preliminarily cautious – shutting down shopping malls, schools and places of worship. They were not actually acting in an abundance of caution, hiding the January 29, 2020 entry. In all fairness Dubai and the UAE have done an excellent job of both vaccination and spread of the disease at this point in time – the best in the world actually. I do hope this does not get me in trouble.

But back to the UAE itself.

I have no sense of direction nor of geography but now there is no excuse. Wikipedia informed me that “The UAE lies between 22°30′ and 26°10′ north latitude and between 51° and 56°25′ east longitude. These figures make sense to me. the largest emirate, Abu Dhabi, accounts for 87% of the UAE’s total area (26,000 sq. mi).The smallest emirate, Ajman,only 100 sq mi. Learned also about some border disputes – . I did know that the UAE and Qatar were not exactly bosom buddies (do recall the blockade of Qatar which briefly sealed it off from the rest of the world. It does seem that the two have been fighting over their contiguous borders for years and years. I am not going to take sides, it would not be prudent, however, it does bring a certain element of irony into my rather distorted thinking that the Royal Family of Qatar was actually the Royal Family of Dubai. That thinking prevalent December 2019 – March 2020. All I can say in my defense, is that Arab names are most confusing to one unaccustomed to Bins . Moreover, Arab men (and women) are uniformly handsome.

At the moment I am in the big place, Abu Dhabi. The UAE coast stretches for nearly 650 km (404 mi) along the southern shore of the Persian Gulf – the largest natural harbor is in Dubai (although I have never seen it). Abu Dhabi is ‘growing’ its own harbor, that one I have seen. .

Of course it is necessary to know of climatic conditions in the place one leaves. This climate is not going to be fun for me. The climate of the UAE is subtropical-arid with hot summers and warm winters. The hottest months are July and August, when average maximum temperatures reach above 45 °C (113 °F) on the coastal plain. Oops – perhaps traveling during those months might be in order. For example, I have visited, and very much enjoyed, Iceland. Definitely that would be the venue of choice during those horrendously hot months.

News from the health scene is particularly encouraging. “The life expectancy at birth in the UAE is at 76.96 years. Cardiovascular disease is the principal cause of death in the UAE, constituting 28% of total deaths; other major causes are accidents and injuries, malignancies, and congenital anomalies. According to World Health Organisation data from 2016, 34.5% of adults in the UAE are clinically obese, with a body mass index (BMI) score of 30 or more.”

“The introduction of mandatory health insurance in Abu Dhabi for expatriates and their dependents was a major driver in reform of healthcare policy. Abu Dhabi nationals were brought under the scheme from 1 June 2008 and Dubai followed for its government employees. Eventually, under federal law, every Emirati and expatriate in the country will be covered by compulsory health insurance under a unified mandatory scheme. The country has benefited from medical tourists from all over the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf. The UAE attracts medical tourists seeking cosmetic surgery and advanced procedures, cardiac and spinal surgery, and dental treatment, as health services have higher standards than other Arab countries in the Persian Gulf.”

We shall now speak of religion. The UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, Abdullah bin Zayed, announced in 2019 the design and construction plan of the Abrahamic Family House, which will serve as an interfaith complex that houses a synagogue, mosque, and a church on Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi. I am now on Saadiyat Island. I just might get to live near an interfaith complex. That is most encouraging.

Another major achievement reported on Wikipedia. “On 9 February 2021, the UAE achieved a historic milestone when its probe, named Hope, successfully reached Mars’s orbit. The UAE became the first country in the Arab world to reach Mars, the fifth country to successfully reach Mars, and the second country, after an Indian probe, to orbit Mars on its maiden try. That is truly admirable, but on earth, on terra firma, as they say, there are huge enormous traffic jams in Dubai. Hours are wasted by inhabitants sitting in traffic. Does make one wonder about priorities – go to Mars but not solve traffic jams? But then, the population of Dubai is almost three times the size of Abu Dhabi, where there are very few traffic jams. I hope that saying this does not get me in trouble.

Now I am neither saying that the following is either right or wrong. But this is what Wikipedia says about freedom of speech, here in the UAE. “The UAE is an authoritarian state. According to The New York Times, the UAE is “an autocracy with the sheen of a progressive, modern state”. The UAE has been described as a “tribal autocracy” where the seven constituent monarchies are led by tribal rulers in an autocratic fashion. There are no democratically elected institutions, and there is no formal commitment to free speech…The UAE also ranks poorly in the annual Reporters without Borders’ Press Freedom Index.

But ‘freedom of speech’ is selective in the USA. It is absolutely impossible to get any reliable information whatsoever about the Middle East in the USA. We have been fed lies through the media – the only way to discover what goes on here is to come here. And who would, particularly if one was a woman. The arrogance of the press in the USA is astounding. Why and How? By and large the media is controlled by Jews. I worship The New Yorker, its fact checking, its intellectual, hard working reporters. But do they ever feature the Arab world – very rarely if ever. I have been searching in vain for years. It is, as if, the Arab Muslim world does not exist. Well, it does not to most of the United States. Recent conversation with a fellow Californian:
He: People in the USA are told only that their country is superior to others – the true facts about others are suppressed, hidden or form the basis of falsehoods.
Me: Great minds think alike. Mine and yours. Hahahaha

This was found on a UAE site: “In his November 2020 election victory speech, Joe Biden promised a “time to heal” after the divisions of the Trump era. Presidents – with the exception of Donald Trump – always do promise to heal. But as we approach Christmas, the threat of the government shutdown, the bitter row over abortion and the nastiness in Congress all attest to the fact that “healing” American public life is a better slogan than a political reality.” This seems very accurate. This does seem like freedom of the press. The article ends by quoting a song: Only In America
One kid dreams of fame and fortune
One kid helps pay the rent
One could end up going to prison
One just might be president.
The song is called “Only in America”. It is a land where the American dream lives alongside some nightmares. “

Photograph was taken this morning on the beach and posted on Instagram with the following caption. “My feet on a chaise on the beach. Gorgeous day, towel and pillow provided by lifeguard. This is heaven. Work your whole life and this can be yours.”

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