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Friday, September 04, 2009

Narendra Modi's Fanatic Heart, Saudis 'must offer Shia equality', How Did Economists Get It So Wrong? How To Survive An Emergency

Things are at a bad pass for the Indian far right. Its political party, the BJP, is in disarray. At their last "chintan baithak," (introspection meeting) in Simla, the leadership went at each other for their poor showing in the general election earlier this year. Expulsion followed expulsion, as formerly revered men and women were found guilty of one kind of infraction or another. A book by a former head-man of the party, Jaswant Singh (one time foreign minister and close confidant of Strobe Talbott), on Pakistan's "father of the nation" Mohammed Ali Jinnah provided the opportunity for more blood letting. Singh gave credence to what the history profession already knew (from Ayesha Jalal's useful biography of Jinnah), which is that Jinnah was hardly the clownish bigot so carefully portrayed in Richard Attenborough's Greatest Hits of Gandhi (1983). Singh was shown the door. The Hindu right cut its teeth singing songs against Jinnah. He was always the "bad Muslim." There are not many "good Muslims" in the Hindu Right's cosmos.
Narendra Modi's Fanatic Heart - Hey Ram, the Things the Financial Times Group Does! By VIJAY PRASHAD [thanks BS]

Spooks spill blood in the Hindu Kush An era that could be Afghan President Hamid Karzai's second presidency got off to a bloody start on Wednesday with the highly professional killing of Dr Abdullah Laghmani - a popular figure in the Afghan security establishment and a member of Karzai's inner circle. He was destined to occupy a key post in any new government under Karzai, and there will be many in Kabul who will want to avenge his murder. - M K Bhadrakumar

Kandahar presents critical Afghan test Whoever is elected as the next president of Afghanistan, Kandahar will be his critical first test. Security is at an all-time low as the Taliban and tribal rivalries tear the region apart. If Kabul loses control here, many believe it will have lost the country. - Abubakar Siddique

Saudis 'must offer Shia equality' - Systematic discrimination against Saudi Arabia's Shia Muslim minority has led to rising sectarian tension, a rights group says.

Few economists saw our current crisis coming, but this predictive failure was the least of the field’s problems. More important was the profession’s blindness to the very possibility of catastrophic failures in a market economy. During the golden years, financial economists came to believe that markets were inherently stable — indeed, that stocks and other assets were always priced just right. There was nothing in the prevailing models suggesting the possibility of the kind of collapse that happened last year. Meanwhile, macroeconomists were divided in their views. But the main division was between those who insisted that free-market economies never go astray and those who believed that economies may stray now and then but that any major deviations from the path of prosperity could and would be corrected by the all-powerful Fed. Neither side was prepared to cope with an economy that went off the rails despite the Fed’s best efforts. And in the wake of the crisis, the fault lines in the economics profession have yawned wider than ever. Lucas says the Obama administration’s stimulus plans are “schlock economics,” and his Chicago colleague John Cochrane says they’re based on discredited “fairy tales.” In response, Brad DeLong of the University of California, Berkeley, writes of the “intellectual collapse” of the Chicago School, and I myself have written that comments from Chicago economists are the product of a Dark Age of macroeconomics in which hard-won knowledge has been forgotten. What happened to the economics profession? And where does it go from here?
How Did Economists Get It So Wrong? Paul Krugman

Faithful warned against buying "occupation dates" this Ramadan In Activism News
Israel's largest produce exporter, Agrexco, is once again under fire because of its dates produced in illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank. This year, the company's dates arrived in time for the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, during which faithful Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset and traditionally break their fast by eating a date. Adri Nieuwhof reports for The Electronic Intifada.

In Jerusalem, separate and unequalIn Human Rights
OCCUPIED EAST JERUSALEM (IPS) - Israel says "united" Jerusalem will be the eternal capital of the Jewish state. However, a quick walk across the Green Line which marks the international boundary dividing the two parts of the city reveals a city very much divided. Most of West Jerusalem is clean, well cared for and far more opulent than the poorer east. The streets of East Jerusalem are filled with litter, piles of uncollected garbage, potholes and vermin.

How To Survive An Emergency By The Huffington Post News Editors
Guest Post by Matthew Stein, P.E., Author of When Technology Fails: A Manual for Self-Reliance, Sustainability and Surviving the Long Emergency. In light of the recent fires raging in California, it's become clear: We need to prepare for emergencies.
These short-term emergency kits should be readily accessible and cover the basic daily needs of your family for a period of at least 3 days. Please note that 3 days is a minimal time period and that you should have at least a 2-week supply of food stored in or around your home. You may purchase ready-made, 72-hour kits from various survival supply outlets, or you can put together your own. Large families should probably divide up the stores between several easily grabbed small backpacks or plastic containers. One advantage to building your own kits is that you get to choose foods that you like. Remember that all foods have some kind of shelf life. Rotate stores, and use them or lose them. Bug-infested, rancid, or rotten food doesn't do anyone any good. Consider placing all of the following items in your 72-hour survival kit:

Bank Of America Asks Armless Man For Thumbprint, Then Denies To Cash His Check (VIDEO)
By The Huffington Post News Editors
All Steve Valdez wanted to do was cash a check from his wife during his work break. Bank of America insisted that Mr. Valdez provide a thumbprint to verify his identity, which he was unable to do because he was born with no arms. Despite the bank teller acknowledging this, and Mr. Valdez providing two forms of photo identification, the bank still refused to cash his check.
The bank eventually called Mr. Valdez to apologize.


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