Saturday, October 31, 2009
Omar Khadr 'innocent' in death of U.S. soldier, SPIEGEL Interview with James Murdoch,
SPIEGEL: In your youth you were the enfant terrible of the family: You quit your studies in Harvard, colored your hair blond, had a piercing and founded a hip-hop label. What remains of your rebellion today?
Murdoch: Let me answer it this way: We have always been rebellious. As a company, News Corp. was always the outsider, different from others. For example, when we moved our newspapers and the printing plant into this building here, it was not exactly in the center of the city. Also, BSkyB is not in the London city center, nor do we reside on the chic Corso in Rome. In Hong Kong, we are on the other side of the harbor. We are always the outsider, as a challenger who tries to be better and more efficient than the established players. What I want to say is this: The rebel in our family is the boss, and he's been that way since the 1950s. - SPIEGEL Interview with James Murdoch: 'News Corp. Has Always Been Rebellious'
Top Pak diplomat knew US LeT operatives: FBI
Manmohan Singh: At long last, there is real hope of peace between India and Pakistan
Greatest news: Husain
A Must Read For Obama: An Afghan Travelogue
Headlines & Comments, NRO, Govt. Plots, Mosque Attendance,
Bombing scare keeps people away from mosques in Peshawar
* in the name of Allah....
ANP not involved in land grabbing, says Shahi Syed
* Absolutely, it is them people who grab land, not political parties
Cry, beloved Pakistan
* Roedad is neither the first nor the last person to utter this
The state of Pakistan needs to be reconstructed.
* But who is paying attention Dr. Mubashir Hasan?
The worst place for women—Rafia Zakaria
* Even worse than Soodi Rabia?
NRO will justify corruption in the country: Nawaz
* I have made my billions, corruption should stop
The last chance saloon
* Irfan is right about the demise
In order to protect the top beneficiaries of the NRO, the PPP-dominated National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Law and Justice on Friday recommended extension of the highly controversial law to every citizen, ordinary or white collar criminals who could prove that they were politically victimised. NRO extended to benefit all, at all times [Correction not all times only as long as the present country and system lasts ~t]
The Senate’s Standing Committee on Law and Justice has five PPP members, two from PML-Q and one member each from MQM, PML-F, JUI-F, Jamat-e-Islami and PML-N. If NRO was to be laid before the committee, JUI-F and MQM would abstain from voting while PML-Q, PML-N and JI would vote against it. Even Mian Raza Rabbani of PPP has reservations over the ordinance. It may not be smooth sailing for NRO in Senate [aagaay aagay dekhiyay hota hay kia ~~t]
By surrendering his right protected under the stated government policy, Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry seems to have subtly rejected the plot politics of Pakistan, which enables a select few influential groups to get the lion’s share in state resources, leaving nothing for the poor and the needy. Ansar Abbasi. [Any sumo moto action and ruling on banning this practice and taking back the plots already given?~~t]
Despite all these gadgets, why has Pakistan failed to prevent suicide bombings? A Pakistani in New York suggests that all major highways and roads must be monitored with a body check. "Our police are great at harassing couples by asking for their nikah namas, why don't they show the same level of efficiency and demand photo IDs from everyone?" Anjum Niaz
Dilip Hiro,Twitter Lists Go LIVE: See What Twitter's New Feature Can Do
Why Obama's Iran Policy Will Fail By Dilip Hiro While the tone of the Obama administration is different from that of its predecessor, and some of its foreign policies diverge from those of George W. Bush, at their core both administrations subscribe to the same doctrine: Whatever the White House perceives as a threat -- whether it be Iran, North Korea, or the proliferation of long-range missiles -- must be viewed as such by Moscow and Beijing.
Droid vs iPhone: Reviews Compare Smartphones Side By Side (POLL) - Droid vs iPhone reviews say that the battle is on between the two products. The smartphones are similar, though a closer look reveals each has its advantages. The iPhone 3GS has more than 93,000 apps compared to the 10,000 currently available for the Motorola Droid. But the Droid trumps the iPhone on megapixels with 5.0 to 3.0.
Twitter Lists Go LIVE: See What Twitter's New Feature Can Do - Twitter is rolling out a new feature that allows Twitter users to sort the people they follow by organizing them into customized lists. Twitter's lists help filter some of some the chatter on Twitter so that you can follow specific people, topics, or groups. For example, if you're a Mac lover, you might want put together (or follow) a list that's made up only of people blogging about things Apple-related. The Huffington Post has already started building, using, and incorporating Twitter lists. HuffPost has curated a number of lists -- focusing on everything from yoga and baseball to health care reform and Iran -- and has been included in over 780 lists. (See HuffPost's lists here)
Friday, October 30, 2009
Former Wall Street Player Reveals the Inside World Behind Shady Bailouts to Bankers
A former managing director at Goldman Sachs and now a razor-sharp financial muckraker (and regular AlterNet contributor), Nomi Prins understands the labyrinthine world of Wall Street finance, with all its warts, as well as anyone.
In her new book, It Takes a Pillage: Behind the Bailouts, Bonuses and Backroom Deals From Washington to Wall Street, Prins lays bare the whole fetid corpse of the burst mortgage bubble. Former Wall Street Player Reveals the Inside World Behind Shady Bailouts to Bankers
nawwab and i: Teflon Hilary
t: It seems Hilary is on a charm offensive
N: She is on a trip to show who is the boss.
t: You mean President Zardari?
N: He is a poodle.
t: Prime Minister Gilani?
N: He is a under-study.
t: Gen. Ashfaque Kayani?
N: He is already on the payroll.
t: Then who, the Pakistani citizens?
N: They do know who is the boss.
t: That leaves Holbrooke.
N: Woof woof.
t: Did you watch her yesterday in Islamabad?
N: Her talk with the media big wigs?
t: Yes, what did you make of it?
N: She took their darts. Deflected most. Smiled a lot.
t: Your words summed it up well. The talk show hosts are still analyzing her.
N: Most of them need a valve job.
t: To let out hot air?
N: Woof woof.
t: She also said nobody is forcing Pakistan to accept the US aid.
N: And how many of the talk show hosts countered her with figures?
t: They are spending US5 billion per month in that un-winnable venture.
N: That is in Afghanistan only, and did anyone hear a peep for the 1.5 peanuts?
t: Zi(n)a had more balls
N: Don't you get me started on him. He is the father of Talibans.
t: But he is dead. They could only find his lower jaw.
N: Just because Hitler is dead you think there is no fascism?
t: Let us not go into Israel-Occupied territories. I concede.
N: There is only one way to solve it. Peace in the east, focus on the North West.
N: Seal the Durand Line. Let them sort it out.
t: Can't be done. Iran, Pakistan, China, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan - too many countries to seal.
N: Then resurrect the Maliks and Sardars and govern them the old way.
t: Can't be done either, the Talibans have knocked them off.
N: Then roll over.
t: That is not a viable option either.
N: Then be prepared for mayhem, death and destruction.
t: Thanks for cheering me up this morning.
N: Let's go and checkout that hydrant.
Begum Akhtar, Cyril Almeida, Ayaz Amir,
Begum Akhtar is celebrated as a great ghazal singer from India. Her 35th death anniversary is being observed this week with musical soirees. However, like it or not there are songs that we must not sing. Javed Naqvi
The army can grimly march from one tribal agency to another for years, give its troops the best counter-insurgency training possible, get all the equipment it needs, but it will never win this war until it recognises the enemy for what it is: deadly, complex, hydra-headed and capable of growing elsewhere even as parts of it are hacked off. Cyril Almeida
The Americans are telling us what to do, which is strange given that they are not doing too well in Afghanistan. They should be listening rather than giving sermons. Being their allies, and taking more hits than they are, it is now time for us to tell them that their occupation can't last much longer. Sooner than they now think possible, it will have to be rolled back and other options examined. When they depart we will still be here. Bolstering Pakistan and its military should not be seen thus as a favour. From America's point of view it should be a strategic necessity. Ayaz Amir
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Headlines & Comments, Nicholas Lemann,
* Take a guess how many Pak Pols are on their payroll?
Haqqani asked to mend fences with US
* No need to guess who asked him to do so.
Nicholas Lemann on the Newspaper Crisis: 'Journalism Isn't Going Away'
America's newspapers business is collapsing. But Nicholas Lemann, dean of the legendary Graduate School of Journalism at New York's Columbia University, is still hopeful. In a SPIEGEL ONLINE interview, he talks about circulation losses, the idea of a government bailout and the brouhaha about "Balloon Boy."
the sun is out
the sun is out
what is that supposed to mean?
just that...the sun is out
which by extension may mean
am trying small talk
or it may also mean
it is another day so we take
one day at a time
speaking of which
it is alleged to heal wounds
but then where are the wounds?
there is no bleeding, no clot
invisible scars on psyche
festering in slow motion
in the lava of chores
burning, itching, nauseating
then disappearing in the cobwebs
of subterranean caves
impervious to the sun-balm
this small talk
of single steps
one day at a time
to dismantle an eternity
of festering wounds
flowing from bodies to bodies
from age to age, love to love
seems destined for ages
Israel targeting grassroots activists, Droid Phones,11 Carnivorous Plants,
Droid Phones: Update on the Frenzy By The Huffington Post News Editors - After weeks of sweaty palms and a whole of lot of buzz, Verizon Wireless today officially took the wraps off the Droid, a smartphone built by Motorola and powered by Google's Android 2.0 operating system. In a call with reporters, John Stratton, Verizon's chief marketing officer, said the price of the Droid will come in at $199, with a two-year contract and a mail-in rebate. The Droid phones will hit shelves on Nov. 6.
Olbermann Compares CNN To TV Dinners, Calls Network Strategy "Nonsensical" - By The Huffington Post News Editors - NEW YORK — MSNBC is much less likely to start a third prime-time news show because its executives are pleased with how well a repeat of Keith Olbermann's "Countdown" is doing at 10 p.m. ET.
Similar Images: Google Launches New Feature To Reduce Search Confusion - By The Huffington Post News Editors - Back in April, Google launched a new search feature in Labs that allowed users to find similar images. Initially rolled out for select images only, the capability is now being rolled out for what seems to be the majority of images in Google image search. This is particularly useful when search terms include homonyms, we think; and we applaud Google for removing a major pain point in our searches for pics of Tesla the band as opposed to Tesla the scientist or Tesla the automotive brand.
11 Carnivorous Plants (PHOTOS) By The Huffington Post News Editors - These plants may look like sweet, innocent flowers, but don't be fooled -- they are meat-eating killers! Carnivorous plants are those that don't just rely on sun power for energy -- they get nutrients from "eating" animals or insects. These amazing plants have evolved to employ many different techniques to satiate their hunger: from snapping a trap closed to sucking their prey into their bladder to trapping critters through its sticky mucus-like glands.
Karzai's Brother On C.I.A. Payroll: NYT [and a drug czar to boot] - By The Huffington Post News Editors - WASHINGTON — Ahmed Wali Karzai, the brother of the president of Afghanistan, gets regular payments from the CIA and has for much of the past eight years, The New York Times reported Tuesday. The newspaper said that according to current and former American officials, the CIA pays Karzai for a variety of services, including helping to recruit an Afghan paramilitary force that operates at the CIA's direction in and around Kandahar.
Goldstonian knot (Al-Ahram Weekly) - Any Security Council debate would amplify before the world's media the war crimes so meticulously researched in the Goldstone report. Aside from immorality and illegality, the US stance on Goldstone reveals the Gordian knot at the heart of its Middle East diplomacy. On the one hand, the US wants to convince the Arabs that it can be an honest broker in their relations with Israel. On the other, it wants to reassure Israel that it remains the "unshakable" ally. Goldstone shows it cannot do both.
Finally, let me say that religious extremism is the other face of political despotism. We cannot get rid of the extremism before we end the despotism.
Democracy is the solution.
The Saudi-isation of Pakistan, Hizb ut Tahrir, Syed Saleem Shahzad, Helicopter rumours, Faux News, China,
Hizb-ut-Tahrir and the media: Gotcha - Zahed Amanullah - For an organization that lacks any institutional support in the Muslim world, the pro-Caliphate group Hizb-ut-Tahrir (HT) still manages to get its point across. Shunned from mosques and banned in several countries – usually for alleged anti-Semitism or annoying autocratic rulers - the group has relied in the past on relative secrecy (a counterintuitive strategy for a group seeking mass acceptance), the Internet and new media, or infiltrating existing media and civic groups to find a wider voice. As an example, when pollster Dalia Mogahed recently appeared on the show Muslimah Dilemma, a women-led public affairs program on the UK-based Islam Channel, she may have felt that she was only lending her expertise to a discussion about sharia law. Being Executive Director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, Mogahed co-authored a number of poll-driven studies on the Muslim world, including 2008’s Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think, among the most comprehensive studies available on contemporary Muslims.
What's So Scary About Michael Pollan? Why Corporate Agriculture Tried to Censor His University Speech - By Martha Rosenberg - Agribusiness is trying to combat Pollan's message of sustainable, healthy eating.
Taliban take over Afghan province - Following the withdrawal of United States troops from key bases, the Taliban have taken control of Afghanistan's Nuristan province. It is now under Qari Ziaur Rahman, a Taliban commander with strong ties to Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda. With this haven, the Taliban's first goal is to disrupt next month's runoff presidential election, then to assist militants in Pakistan. - Syed Saleem Shahzad
Helicopter rumors refuse to die - The United States is battling yet another rumor in Afghanistan, that Western forces are using helicopters to transport Taliban fighters from the volatile south to the north of the country. Officials have dismissed the claims as rubbish, but locals are sticking to their stories. - Ahmad Kawoosh
30 Reasons Fox News Is Not Legit By Eric Boehlert - Fox News routinely, and blatantly, breaks the code to which ethical journalists are supposed to aspire.
Google takes on GPS with navigation feature - Google is taking GPS makers head on with Google Maps Navigation, a turn-by-turn feature that runs on new versions of its Android cellphones.
China leads solar home revolution - Chinese homes are increasingly likely to carry a solar water heater on the roof, with one in 10 families already getting electricity from the devices. This is attracting overseas investment into the fragmented market, while local companies are also boosting sales overseas. - Ryan Rutkowski
Rush Limbaugh Bravely Stands By Fabricated Quote By Barbin - From the you-can't-make-this-stuff-up file.
The Case of the Missing Spine -Spiagra
If anybody knows where the Mian Nawaz Sharif who took the historic step of May 28, 1998, without any fear resides presently, please do inform us of his whereabouts immediately -- or alternatively, find us someone with a little more spine. Ikram Sehgal
Dear Mr. Sehgal:
I share your sorrow for Mr. Sharif's lackof spine. But in all fairness, why single out the PML (Zia)'s Sharif? From top to bottom - Imran Khan, Asif Zardari of the hand written will, Altaf Hussain, and countless Khans, Maliks, Chaudharies that have been inlficted on Paksitani politics have shown this lack of resolve.
If there was a Viagra for "spine" - Spiagra then it should be force fed to these leaders who hide behind platitudes and vain speeches.
Hum yeh kardaiN gay: Hum woh kardaiN gay.
All the while sitting in well guarded fortesses, with sugar, flour and generators. Meanwhile the masses are left to die..in the cities and towns..in the battlefields.
Pity the poor, pity the disenfranchised, pity the poor fauji wittingly and unwittingly being used as a fodder.
I must admit there is one place where there is no dearth of spine. In the media and blogosphere there is a lot of spine - of the talking variety.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
CNN Falls To Last Place In Primetime Demo For First Time Ever
Melinda Gates: Our Efforts Around The World Are Working By The Huffington Post News Editors - This week, I'm in Washington with Bill to do something that might seem unusual: say 'thank you.' We're saying thanks to those who have been a part of the U.S. government's tremendous leadership in improving global health. Our trip will include the launch of a new effort called "Living Proof Project: U.S. Investments in Global Health are Working," a campaign aimed at conveying to Americans the tremendous progress we are making on multiple fronts in the effort to improve health around the world.
Kerry argues for counter-insurgency lite, India, Iran's Ex, Israel
Kerry argues for counter-insurgency lite - The death on Monday of 14 United States troops in two helicopter accidents - the single-deadliest day for US forces in Afghanistan in more than four years - only adds to the urgency for the administration of President Barack Obama to settle on its war strategy. Democratic Senator John Kerry, following an extended visit to the country, spells out his vision for counter-insurgency operations. - Jim Lobe
* Cry from the wildeness
A Tsunami Called Goldstone By Uri Avnery - The Goldstone report has an impact on the world because it is precise and targeted: a specific operation, for which specific persons are responsible. It raises a specific demand: an investigation. It attacks a clear and well-defined target: war crimes
India lost in 'love jihad' - Religious groups in India's Kerala state say young Muslim men are luring non-Muslim girls into marriage as part of an organized campaign of forced conversions to Islam. Dubbed "love jihad", the phenomenon has sparked police investigations and national security fears. It has even united Hindu and Christian groups previously at loggerheads over the sensitive issue of religious conversions. - Sudha Ramachandran
Israeli banks entrenched in settlement building -Several Western pension funds and financial managers hold shares in two Israeli banks: Bank Hapoalim and Bank Leumi. Both banks operate in and offer loans to finance illegal settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian and Syrian territories. Adri Nieuwhof reports for The Electronic Intifada.
Anjum Niaz, Politico, Faux News, Borowitz
Memory lapse: Politico asks, "What if Bush had done" things he actually did - By M.W.
In support of his dubious argument that the press is treating President Obama more favorably than President Bush, Politico's Josh Gerstein falsely suggested that unlike David Axelrod, Karl Rove was never involved in national security meetings. In addition, Gerstein advanced the falsehood that the Bush administration did not attack MSNBC and other news outlets.
Eric Boehlert: 30 reasons why Fox News is not legit By E.B.
"Journalists should be honest, fair and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information." -- Society of Professional Journalists - Why the Beltway press has invested so much time and energy in recent weeks defending Fox News, with one scribe even claiming that the White House's public critique of the network was "dangerous to press freedom," and why the press refuses to acknowledge what's so obvious about the cable channel's political pursuits, remains baffling.
Andy Borowitz: Northwest Pilots Not in Cockpit; Found at Home Hiding in Box -
MINNEAPOLIS (The Borowitz Report) - The mystery surrounding the Northwest Airlines flight that strayed 150 miles from its intended destination was resolved today as Northwest...
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
University blasts in Pakistan and the future of Islam, Wanted for Murder
[thnak Mac for the link]
Wanted for murder - How long will it take to charge Israeli war criminals? Dina Ezzat spoke to those who seek a deadline
A last farewell, Why Writer’s Block is Your Secret Weapon, Poetic Gaze, Nabokov, Philip Roth on Novel's demise,
A last farewell - Abdel-Moneim Said remembers Mohamed El-Sayed Said
DISPATCHES FROM AMERICA : Failed war president or prince of peace? - Should he take the peace-maker route, United States President Barack Obama stands a chance of success. History suggests that the path of war will be a surefire loser. The past half-century makes clear what the US military can achieve - destruction and mayhem; and what it has failed to do in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan - deliver a genuine and lasting victory. - Nick Turse
India's nuclear drive sparks safety fears - Since the civilian nuclear deal last year with the United States ended India's decades of isolation from the international atomic market, New Delhi has begun a vast drive to significantly increase its use of nuclear energy. The promise of clean and affordable power has strong government backing, but fears remain over the nation's patchy nuclear safety record. - Siddharth Srivastava
Doctor's mistakes to blame for Keats's agonising end, says new biography - By Alison Flood - Dr James Clark's series of misdiagnoses left poet starving and in agony, argues study of Joseph Severn. The agonies of John Keats's final months in Rome were partly the result of his doctor's misdiagnoses, according to a new biography. When the poet arrived in Rome from London in November of 1820, Dr James Clark initially ruled that "mental exertions and application" were "the sources of his complaints" which seemed chiefly "situated in his Stomach". "Though Clark had 'some suspicion of disease of the heart and it may be of the lungs', he confidently predicted that 'if I can put his mind at ease I think he'll do well'," writes Sue Brown in her biography of Joseph Severn, the friend who nursed Keats until his death in a small room by the Spanish Steps in Rome.
The final twist in Nabokov's untold story By Robert McCrum - Vladimir Nabokov was one of the most influential writers of the 20th century. Now, 30 years after his death, his last novel is finally to be published. But should it be? On the eve of his death, fearing it was imperfect, he instructed his wife to destroy the manuscript, sparking a fierce controversy that embroiled family, friends and the literary establishment, writes Robert McCrum
Philip Roth predicts novel will be minority cult within 25 years By Alison Flood - 'The book can't compete with the screen,' says veteran American author as his latest novel is published. Philip Roth's late run of productivity has long been a source of wonder in the literary world, with his latest novel coming out this week less than a year after the last, and another already complete. But the 76-year-old's own energy is not, according to him at any rate, any reflection of vibrant life in fiction itself. Roth has long been pessimistic about the survival of the novel in a gaudy, short-attention-span culture, but his latest prophesy is one of his bleakest yet, predicting that the form will dwindle to a "cultic" minority enthusiasm within 25 years.
The poetic gaze - Tony Harrison, winner of the PEN/Pinter prize, on his literary heroes
Statues are one of the ways I try to test the traditions of European culture against the most modern destructive forces. I often make a point of seeking them out and have used them as mouthpieces in my film poetry, as with Heinrich Heine in The Gaze of the Gorgon.
Why Writer’s Block is Your Secret Weapon By Melissa Karnaze on Productivity
When screenwriter John August wrote that only non-writers get writer's block, some readers whined (and personally attacked him). "But getting blocked does happen to real writers!" they cried. They cried because they wanted to be victims, instead of responsible for their writing blocks. They whined because it was easier and less scary than facing the facts. But when your income depends on your ability to write, whining won't get you anywhere. It will distract you from the golden opportunity that writer's block always offers: greater clarity and confidence. When you work it right, writer's block is your secret weapon to becoming a better and more resilient writer. And when your ability to write is what pays the bills, that's gold.
Chomsky Receives Highest Pentagon Honor By Sherwood Ross - The Pentagon has paid anti-war activist Noam Chomsky the highest honor any totalitarian entity can bestow upon an author: theyve banned his book Interventions at Guantanamo Bay prison
Who Killed Karkare? The Real Face Of Terrorism In India - By M Zeyaul Haque - A new book curiously titled Who Killed Karkare? says a nationwide network of Hindutva terror that has its tentacles spread up to Nepal and Israel is out to destroy the India most Indians have known for ages and to remould it into some kind of Afghanistan under the Taliban
First they came..., Abdullah ABdullah, Geocities, Swat
First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out -- because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out -- because I was not a socialist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out -- because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out -- because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me -- and there was no one left to speak out for me.
For all the apologists and ostriches in the country – yes, I am talking to you, Nawaz Sharif and Imran Khan -- here's an updated, localised version of the poem. [He is kind to other politicians - I would add Zardari, Hussain, Khan, Gilani and all the rest ensconced in the Assemblies ~~~t]
First they came for the Indians, and I did not speak out -- because I was not an Indian;
Then they came for the Ahmadis and Shias, and I did not speak out -- because I was not an Ahmadi or a Shia;
Then they came for the cricketers, and I did not speak out -- because I was not a cricketer;
Then they came for the soldiers and police, and I did not speak out -- because I was not a soldier or policeman;
Then they came for me -- and there was no one left to speak out for me. Zafar
SPIEGEL Interview with Afghan Candidate Abdullah Abdullah: 'People in Afghanistan Want Change' - Last week, Afghan President Hamid Karzai agreed to submit to a run-off election against his challenger Abdullah Abdullah. But many are worried that a second vote might be just as marred by corruption as the first. SPIEGEL spoke with Abdullah about voter fraud, the need for good governance and the Afghan desire for change.
Geocities: no longer under construction By Charles Arthur on Technology
The hosting service that spawned a million "Under Construction" signs has been shut down. What's next on the web's endangered list? Geocities is dead. Gone. Kaput. It's joined the choir invisible and...
Brave defiance in Pakistan's Swat valley In Pakistan - Pakistanis who live in the Swat Valley are providing a glimpse of life under the Taliban, stories of panic, paranoia and unlikely courage.
Monday, October 26, 2009
those were the days
Nothing seemed the way it used to be.
In the glass I saw a strange reflection,
Was that lonely soldier really me.
each time i listen to these words am transported to TSE's
LET us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherised upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question...
Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”
Let us go and make our visit.
In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
Noor Javed, Trudeau, Delhi
Trudeau's many women influenced his politics: Biographer - Former prime minister Pierre Trudeau's public life was influenced by the many women in his private life, a new biography suggests.
Wells: In Delhi, nothing goes to waste - There's new life for old junk in India as men in narrow stalls deftly peddle used doors, carpets, furniture
Facebook, The American Way of Dentistry 2009, David Sirota, Small Nuclear Reactor, J Street
Six diseases you never knew you could catch
The American Way of Dentistry 2009:
The American Way of Dentistry Healthy teeth for all.June Thomas Oct. 5, 2009
The American Way of Dentistry Inside the dental safety net.June Thomas Oct. 1, 2009
The American Way of Dentistry Why poor folks are short on teeth.June Thomas Oct. 1, 2009
Nerds, Nebbishes, and Nazis The painful history of dentists in the movies.June Thomas Sept. 30, 2009
The American Way of Dentistry How dentists think.June Thomas Sept. 29, 2009
The American Way of Dentistry The oral cost spiral.June Thomas Sept. 29, 2009
The American Way of Dentistry The disappearing dentist.June Thomas Sept. 25, 2009
The American Way of Dentistry The story of my teeth.June Thomas Sept. 25, 2009
back to top
David Sirota: With an Incredible Shrinking President, It's the Congress, Stupid - Despite the celebrity-obsessed media's focus on every detail of Obama's daily life, many fights will be determined in the Congress. We can't rely on the president to veto bad things or use the bully pulpit to pass good things.
Japanese Firms To Develop Small Nuclear Reactors By The Huffington Post News Editors
Toshiba Corp. is developing an ultra-compact reactor with an output of about 10,000 kilowatts and has started procedures for approval in the United States, the Nikkei business daily said.
The new reactor, the Toshiba 4S, is designed to minimise the need for monitoring and maintenance, with an automatic shutdown function to ensure safety in case of problems, the newspaper said.
J Street Conference To Open Amid Controversy -By The Huffington Post News Editors
J Street, an advocacy and lobbying firm created 18 months ago, is holding its first annual conference beginning Sunday, with participation from about 150 Democratic members of Congress, many current and former Israeli politicians and U.S. national security adviser James L. Jones, who will be giving a keynote speech Tuesday.
Farhat Taj dissecting Roedad Khan, Kashmir Peace Park, Find Zardari or Sharif - A new Game,
Both India and Pakistan can turn the Kashmir valley into a jointly administered Peace Park and a hub of tourism. If the US and Russia can agree to share an international park in the Bering Strait, so can New Delhi and Islamabad in Kashmir. Dozens of peace parks envisioned by Nelson Mandela are operating successfully in Africa, providing a model for such efforts. Kashmir Peace Park
…Find the President. This is a game for the whole family. Everybody can join in. If you have an internet connection it’s more fun, but even if you don’t, you can join in anyway. The purpose of the game is to Find the President. Extra points are earned if you Find the President doing something vaguely useful, like visiting the poor, cutting the tape on the opening of a new sugar mill or donning a helmet whilst visiting the troops on the frontline. - Chris Cork
And a similar game... Find the leader of Opposition...? ~~t
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Saad Khan, Yoga, Clarence Thomas, Andy Borowitz,
Saad Khan: Iran, Balochistan and Pakistan: The Next Insurgent Frontier? - Balochistan has all the ingredients to conjure up major trouble for U.S forces in Afghanistan. If the Taliban is present in Balochistan, Pakistani authorities need to take stern action.
Tara Stiles: Yoga: Bye Bye Anxiety! (VIDEO) - Use what you need. Rest what you don't. That's efficiency. Think of how well we can function when we are aren't holding tension where it isn't needed.
Clarence Thomas To Other Supreme Court Justices: Be Quiet By The Huffington Post News Editors - TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Clarence Thomas, the justice long known as the silent member of the Supreme Court, criticized his colleagues Friday for badgering attorneys rather than letting them speak during oral arguments. Thomas – who hasn't asked a lawyer a question during arguments in nearly four years – said he and the other eight justices virtually always know where they stand on a case by reading legal briefs before oral arguments.
Andy Borowitz: Iran Trying to Install Microsoft Windows 7 - By Andy Borowitz
Spy-satellite photos reveal a shipment of Windows 7 software, as well as a dozen IT professionals from Redmond, Washington, arriving early Saturday morning in Tehran.
A rope and a Prayer - Daivd Rohde
The phone rang. This time, Kristen picked up.
“David?” she said, breathlessly. “David?”
“Kristen,” I said, savoring the chance to utter the words I had dreamed of saying to her for months.
“Kristen,” I said, “please let me spend the rest of my life making this up to you.”
“Yes,” she said. “Yes.”
Revisiting India, Max Kantar, Edhi, Obama, Palestine, India, Hate Crimes Bill
Robert Bernstein: Human Shield for Criticism of Israel - By Max Kantar- Earlier this week the New York Times published an op-ed article, Rights Watchdog, ‘Lost in the Mideast’ written by Robert L. Bernstein, the founding chairman emeritus of Human Rights Watch. The editorial amounts to one regurgitation of Israeli propaganda after another in an effort to delegitimize mainstream criticism of Israeli policies in the international human rights community. The timing of Bernstein's article is instructive; its publication in the New York Times comes on the heels of the release of the Goldstone Report as the intellectual apologists for Israeli crimes in the U.S. go into ultra-hysteria mode to save the already eroding image of their favorite client state. Bernstein decries HRW for its supposed anti-Israel bias and unleashes a tirade of familiar accusations routinely invoked by ‘supporters of Israel’ to deflect criticism of the Jewish state. To make the case that HRW--and presumably the international human rights community in general—has ‘lost critical perspective’ on Israel-Palestine, Bernstein cites six major points:
Pakistani Philanthropist Wins 2009 UN Prize for Non-Violence - By pakpositive on People
Dr Abul Sattar Edhi of the Edhi Foundation in Karachi has been awarded the 2009...
Right-wing media claim Obama is criticizing Fox for "tough questions" and "reporting the truth"
By J.V.B. & B.C.O. - Several right-wing media figures have claimed that the Obama administration is criticizing Fox News because the network asks "tough questions" and is "reporting the truth." This assertion is undermined by Fox News' extensive history of advancing falsehoods, repeatedly passing off GOP materials as news, doctoring quotes, and frequently engaging in outrageous attacks on President Obama, such as Glenn Beck's claim that he is a "racist" with a "deep-seated hatred for white people, or the white culture -- I don't know what it is."
Deal or No Deal in Palestine - By James Gundun - Washington D.C. The Middle East has a new game to play. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, plagued by internal and external pressure, issued a peace call for the ages during his opening address at Israel’s Presidential Conference, titled ‘Facing Tomorrow.’ Netanyahu voiced a sound suggestion to rekindle the peace process.
Books" href="http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=f2aaff670ded3eb5b1b3c4fc1e2b99a3" target=_blank>Song of India By GAIUTRA BAHADUR on Immortals, The (Book) - A comedy of manners about a musician coming of age in status-conscious 1980s Bombay.
Hate Crimes Bill On Its Way To Obama’s Desk!!! What Say You Fox News??? By Priscilla
Despite all the prayers and entreaties of the homophobic “Christian” faithful, aided and abetted by America’s mouthpiece for the American Taliban (whoops, the religious right), Fox News, the Matthew Shepherd bill, which makes violence against gays and lesbians a hate crime, passed the senate and is heading for the President’s desk. Is there a lesson for Fox News that fomenting hatred has its limits?...
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Missing in Action, Wrong Logic
But have you seen Zardari or Sharif visiting the injured, condoling with the families of the dead, drumming up the morale of ordinary government officials, supporting the troops out in the field? Sure, he’s a target and his security phobias are already the stuff of legend. But even by the wretched standards of recent times, these are extraordinary days and the public needs reassurance more urgently than ever.
Wrong logic Irfan:
Any general’s worst fear is to have to fight on two fronts. This is one reason our army has been reluctant to move troops away from our border with India, as the GHQ’s perception is that our old foe is still our biggest threat.
The terrorists of the homegrown variety are as much their enemies as Pakistan's. Playing the India card is wrong here.
If the relations were any warmer they would have actively helped Pakistan. Right now, they can only look from afar and pray Pakistan Army succeeds. Logic dictates that they would not attack International borders. Why would India create a situation where the fallout would be adverse to its interests? ``t
Syed Saleem Shazad, Lyari, Zafar Hilaly, Asif Ezdi, Mosharraf Zaidi, Anjum Niaz and Ansar Abbasi
In many ways, Lyari is a microcosm of the world of militancy. Neither the Americans nor the Pakistan has the wherewithal to block the militants' arteries; thanks to Pakistan's socio-political infrastructure, the militants have made space for themselves with "natural arrangements" all over the country. From these areas they can strike anywhere, at any time, in the country or in the region. General McChrystal has a real fight ahead by the taking his battle to Pakistan. Where Pakistan's militants go to ground
The mullah, at one time seen only at weddings and deaths, is now everywhere, including television spewing for the most part his dirge of hate and intolerance. Zafar Hilaly
And you, dear Yousuf Raza Gilani, can take the lead by announcing that you will be voting against the ordinance. You have often been saying that you wanted to make history. Now is your chance. Asif Ezdi
Quoting Pew Mosharraf Zaidi writes:
* Seventy-nine per cent of Pakistanis are concerned about extremism in Pakistan,
* Nine per cent of Pakistanis have favourable views of the Taliban,
* Ten per cent have favourable views of Al Qaeda,
* Seventy-three per cent of Pakistanis say that the Taliban pose a threat to their country,
* Eighty-seven per cent of Pakistani Muslims feel that suicide bombing is never justifiable (that by the way, is the highest rate rejection of suicide bombings out of several countries, including Israel, Indonesia, Egypt, Turkey and Jordan).
The IRI survey confirms these findings, and reports that:
* Ninety per cent of Pakistanis feel that "religious extremism is a serious problem in Pakistan";
* Eighty-six per cent of Pakistanis feel that "the Taliban and Al Qaeda operating in Pakistan is a serious problem";
* Sixty-nine per cent of Pakistanis support the army's operation to clear terrorists from Malakand.
And the apparent irony...and this without the help of any "survey" is:
* 95% of Pakistanis want to remain aloof and uninvolved
* 4% are government servants and have to pay lip service or act inadvertently
* 1% have vested interest and if they lose this fight they would have to leave for greener pastures. ~t
The special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan has been purposely kept away from crucial discussions with Pakistani and Afghan leaders because of his rude rebukes to Karzai and the Pakistani media. Instead the 67-year-old Holbrooke is currently garaged in Washington DC. Good for him. Unless he learns how to treat people with respect, he needs to remain submerged at Foggy Bottom, the metonym for Department of State. Anjum Niaz
President Zardari is in dire need of political support to consolidate his position but the PML-N is not prepared to trust him any more unless he immediately moves to get the 17th Amendment undone. Promises, commitments and assurances would not work this time, a party source said, adding “We would not let him (President Zardari) use us yet again”. Ansar Abbasi
The issue is a bit more complex than Ansari alludes to here. PML (Z)'s Nawaz Sharif has two choices ... and only two...to either reconcile with Asif of the hand-written will or to resign to the Faujis. First one will prolong the civil-democratic experiment and the second one will usher in more of the previous...~t
This Cancer is terminal - One country - One Law
That is why this war is so important. Winning it reclaims the idea of Pakistan and creates space for a better future. Losing it leads to possibilities too horrible to contemplate: among them the erosion of national morale and the death of the notion that the army was the first line of national defence. Ayaz Amir
The skewed interpretation of Islam by various factions is the terminal cancer that may undo the state as it exists today.
The majority of Muslims in Pakistan are born into or subscribe the Hanafiya Fiq'h of Sunni Islam. They comprise over 80% of the population. Then there are the Shias. And the fringe brings up Isma'ilis, Ahmedis, Nazaris and then Hindus, Sikhs and Christian.
The terminal cancer that is brought upon the nation is mainly by the Sunnis.
At the end of an "Islamic" Conference held at Islamabd during the Zi(n)a era, the participants broke up for Maghreb prayers. There was not one jamaat. Each faction held its own namaz, loathing to offer the prayers behind the leader of another faction.
This abuse and distortion of the universal injunctions of Islam has turned Islam into a derisive and laughing stock locally and internationally. It has also contributed in increasing suspicion and intolerance among everyone.
Add to above the near total disenfranchisement of the average Pakistani from the political process once the elections are over and the absence of basic utilities, law and order and you have the making of a potboiler.
The poor, in majority, disenfranchised and disillusioned by the life style of the decadent and corrupt around them are ready fodder for the pseudo Islamists.
This duel in Waziristan will be a Qabristan (graveyard). This is an oversimplification. The only intrigue here is whose qabristan - the Army's or the fanatics'?
On one side is the US equipped Army of Pakistan that has enjoyed a mostly unchallenged reign over the land it occupies. Three wars, some minor encounters, some civilian interludes in governance aside, this Army had it easy.
In the process, it has acquired a lot of fat around the waist and burgeoning bank balances for its generals. Pity the young soldiers who are asked to sacrifice their lives.
The only redeeming fact that saves this Army's reputation in politics is the civilian governments that briefly thrived were worse and even more corrupt and inept.
The average Pakistani is caught between existence and survival.
S/he has no access to clean drinking water, basic food, amenities that are taken for granted elsewhere in the world. His children cannot go to schools. His health care is scant. There is no law that comes to his protection. His politicians are corrupt and self absorbed.
The only ones who listen and promise him salvation here and in the hereafter are the religious factions. He abandons his children to them. They teach, feed and brainwash the children and use them as fodder to kill and maim their enemies and brothers in faith.
Do you blame him?
Where are the politicians who promise him law and order and access to education and affordable prices for daily needs?
Where do yo think his sympathies would lie?
He has tried them all. Now the religious fanatics offer him hope. Here and in hereafter.
This is the dilemma the country faces.
Here is an Army that is fighting its own people who are resilient and have faith and motivation that seems to be lacking in the 'trained' army.
This action in Waziristan has to succeed. Fauji failure would mean the end of state as it exists today.
Harsh words? Yes.
This is the watershed battle for one country: one law.
The Army, the politicians, the establishment and the bureaucracy and the people have to come together and fight this battle as one.
If the fanatics win, all hope is lost. You lose. I lose. Pakistan loses.
Paul Krugman, Twitterfiction, Deformed Genitals, Pakistan & Obama,
Twitterfiction takes off - By Alison Flood - Neil Gaiman and Melvin Burgess are the latest authors to explore the potential of storytelling in 140-word bursts. For Neil Gaiman, it began with a disconcerting image of a girl spoken to by her reflection in a mirror. For Melvin Burgess, it was a mother told by a passing elderly woman that her babies weren't human. The two award-winning children's authors have both begun to dabble in storytelling via Twitter, with Gaiman's experiment on the micro-blogging site concluding today, but Burgess set to carry on tweeting.
More and More Boys Born With Deformed Genitals -- What's to Blame? - By Joan Melcher - Scientists are casting a wide net in search of chemicals seen as likely suspects in feminization and reproductive anomalies being spotted worldwide.
10 TV Shows You Have to Watch to Understand the World By Vanessa Richmond -The master lineup of iconic shows that shaped our pop-culture landscape.
Pakistan Can Help Obama To Earn His Nobel Peace Prize
By Javed I. Chaudry It is highly unlikely that Obama can deliver peace for which he won the Nobel prize merely on the basis of his oratories and the political rhetoric. But, Pakistan can help him achieve exactly that by distancing itself from the so called war on terror
Michael Moore's Action Plan: 15 Things Every American Can Do Right Now - 5 things to demand Obama and Congress to do immediately, 5 things the politiicans must hear from us, 5 things we should do to protect ourselves and family.
Fox News Chief Roger Ailes Floats Presidential Bid -EXCLUSIVE -- BUZZ: Friends and associates are encouraging Roger Ailes -- Fox News founder, chairman and CEO -- to jump into the political arena for real by running for President in 2012. "Ailes knows how to frame an issue better anybody and that's what we need now," says one Ailes friend who is encouraging him to run. Frank Luntz, for one, tells Playbook that Ailes could be a force if does it. "I have known Roger Ailes for 29 years," says Luntz. "No one knows how to win better than Roger."
INTERVIEW : Prevention better than cure? - The British government's counter-terrorism policy, "Preventing Violent Extremism", has been accused of being used to gather intelligence about people's political views and other information related to their personal circumstances. Dr Abdul Wahid, a key player in the British Muslim community, offers his views on the "sinister aims and ideological agenda" of this strategy, and provides an alternative approach. - Mahan Abedin