On Responsibility and Authority and their kinship to Accountability

I really waited before I wrote this because I couldn't believe we had reached the end of the story, but apparently we have. A few days ago, the Jordanian Lower House of Parliament passed for it's part a constitutional amendment that effectively recreated the Ministry of Defense (MoD) as a separate entity and allowed it to secede from the civilian Prime Ministry (PM). Possibly, to allow a man in uniform to hold that responsibility.

It also gave His Majesty the power to install a military regime within the regime by allowing him to appoint the leader of the military establishment and the head of the General Intelligence Department. The new thing wasn't the power as all who observe the situation in Jordan agree, as his majesty holds de facto powers all over the place; it was the act of formalizing that power and having it held firmly in the constitution. 

I will refrain from commenting on how the amendment to the constitution managed to pass the Lower House in three days, while lesser regulations get stuck in the deliberations for months. I will also let go the fact that the overwhelming majority of the people's representative rubber-stamped such a gross violation of the people's rights; this is to be expected when the electorate continue to agree that they vote for people based not on programs, agendas, political or partisan affiliation but rather on trivial basis such as clan and tribe or simply based on promises of services.

My comment is going to focus on a little bit of myth-busting. Namely, those who are "plus royaliste que le roi". I cannot accept that there are a select few that try to perpetuate the myth that the constitutional amendment was pushed through for the right reasons.

The royaliste insist that this amendment guarantees the exclusion of the military from political games that will ensue when political parties start forming goverments. Allow me to systematically debunk this myth

A) The responsibility for maintaining the unity and security of the homeland in the Westminster system -which the Jordanian system was molded after- rests with the PM, he leads his cabinet to that goal.

B) The professional military which we are all proud of has the duty to remain clear of the political game and has the responsibility to stay within the boundaries of its scope. This runs quite well in the United Kingdom and I don't see why we need to reinvent the wheel, especially since we accepted the Westminster system as a reference in the first place. The military should be able to resist any pressure from the MoD to interfere in politics.

C) The civilian PM has a civilian MoD who preferably is a Member of Parliament (MP) and therefore has been sworn to uphold the constitution and consequently is accountable to the courts of law and the courts of public opinion. This accountability will provide the necessary constraints to prevent the MoD from using the military outside its scope.

Another myth insists that this authority is a management technique that allows His Majesty to be a safe guard for democracy while keeping the option available for His Majesty to consult with the PM on his selections.

A) Anyone with the most basic education in management will understand that responsibility should come hand-in-hand with authority. If the PM didn't hire the military and intelligence top brass and if the PM cannot fire them, how will the PM be able to manage them and be held responsible for their actions?

B) The constitution should be modeled in a manner that allows checks and balances in all its aspects and should be able to protect the country from any one centre of power to hold to much much of it.
The issue isn't what powers we want or do not want to give King Abdullah II, but rather what powers the office of the King should or should not hold. There is a clear distinction to be made.

C) Democracry should not need so many safe guards and so many years to be activated. The American Constitution did not mandate a maximum number of terms that a president can run for until after FDR won four terms. Let us start with a decent election law and a decent parliamentary government and then if something is wrong let us fix it.

Finally, there has been tens of Royal families in the world that have tried to rule indefinitely and totally and have failed, the only way we can sustain our beloved system is to model it after the most effective governments systems in the world. 

Peace, out


Photographic Mode.

A moment to be captured was presented to me and I couldn't help but capture it.

Climbing in the skies over the river Rhine (Rhein), I could see to the left a network of contrails. And to the right some clouds against a backdrop of blue.

I had to post.


Domain names today

There was a day when a domain name was a simple exercise of national identity, if you were a commercial enterprise you chose .com, otherwise you could be .net for networks, .edu for educational institutions and .org for non-profits, organizations, trade institutions and such.

Then, you could have been a Jordanian business and opted for an account such as Royal Jordanian's rja.com.jo, or you could have been an institution like Cambridge University and opted for cam.ac.uk, where .ac stands for academic. Those were the days, now its not so simple.

Today, rarely anybody types in URLs directly, but the URL still matters apparently. Comedy Central uses the .cc domain in some of its ads in Europe, while a software called ClipConverter uses .cc as well. .cc is neither this nor that, it is Cocos Island's domain! Italy and Libya are other countries with similar uses of their domains.

bit.ly, visual.ly and others are actually using the Libyan Top Level Domain, while all major television networks use the Tuvaluan .tv domain and many IT companies are clamoring to use the Italian .it domain.

It would be nice if my website became www.ra.di, or something similar but what would be funny is if the Soviet Union country code came back, and lawyers started owning something like johnson.su or Ammanlaw.su.

Get it? Oh, it was worth a shot.  

But the new change is that domain names now are a huge variety from .email, .boutique,.cheap, .rich and go all the way to .international, .guitars, .management and .sexy. The worst one? companies in Cock Islands might use .co.ck

How much would a site like rr.com cost me? Well, I don't know but rr00.com is on sale for $3,000 and rr.com is being used by TWC a company belonging to the Time Warner Conglomerate and for all I know is has nothing to do with me, and therefore maybe I should contact AmmanLaw.su and sue them for using my Initials?

Peace, Out 


When you have the title to lose

Liverpool Football Club have achieved a level of comfort on the top of the table that I don't recall in my history with the club that goes back 18 years! It is ours to lose and we don't intend to lose it.

There used to be the feeling that we are becoming the Red-Sox of the Premier League, that we could try and try but that the premiership has passed us by. We don't have the budget of Manchester United, and we certainly don't have a sponsor as rich as Ettihad to buy us a whole array of players like Manchester City. Our stadium is still called Anfield, and it is not named after a rich gulf carrier like the Emirates or Ettihad. What we do have, however, is a comradeship and a global following the rivals the best of them.

This time last year, we were actually 7th on the tables and this year we are definitely playing it differently:

Last year seems so far back, but I recall wondering if playing the Europa League is achievable, now we are looking at not only a Champions League position, but we #daretodream, after 24-years of our last title, we are on the verge of something historic.

The information giant Bloomberg has us pegged at a 59.4% chance to win the title, and 100% chance to make it to the Champions League. It does make sense that we should be dreaming, and the only way we can make it work is to keep the current 10-wins-form running until the end of the season. The 27th of April is arguably the most important date for both us and Chelsea. 

When we play them in ten days time we will have to remind them that:


My first flight to Lagos (LOS/DNMM)

It is a matter of fact that Nigeria is growing at an exponential rate, and it has just been announced that the country has become the continent's largest economy. Royal Jordanian should be able to find a decent market in there, and our connectivity in the region is unparalleled. However, it is unfortunate that the passenger load in our airline is not high enough to maintain an A330 profitable operation. Royal Jordanian has decided to operate the route on more profitable equipment. Therefore, once again it is the A320 to the rescue.

My outfit has a fleet of A320 family A/C that can fill the role, however, our A320s are not ETOPS approved, which simply means we should have an acceptable airport within one hour of our route at all times. Unfortunately, our route is mainly over underdeveloped airports, and the only approach in there is built on GPS. Also the flight is a tad longer than 6 hours, which is much of a stretch for our machine! Remember, the A320 was designed for a maximum range of around 2000 NM (Nautical Miles) and the route we intend to fly is 2,600 NM. Add to it the wind and our Air Distance is around 3000 NM.

The way to get that is by lightening the aircraft up and we did just that. I was lucky enough to be part of the first crew to operate the A320 to Lagos. What we did to prepare for the flight for previous months is significant. Whether it was the GPS signal prediction software, or the re-scheduling of the flight to allow for a daylight operation or the contacts our staff made to make sure we have the weather. Whatever it was, we beat it to the bush and when I came back from the flight, I was proud to report that we made it work.

Around 6:30 of flight time and 7:00 hours of block time later and we got there. Royal Jordanian now has a scheduled operation to Lagos on the A320 and I'm proud to have played a part in it.