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Friday, September 18, 2009

Zardari, Sharif, the army and the system —Ejaz Haider, Lost Symbol, Changing a kid's behaviour

Ejaz Haider writs about skating on thin ice...and...respecting the rules of the game...the first pre supposes a certain proficiency in maintaing "balance" and the latter "team spirit"... your opinion do the major players of the game have displayed either? ~~t

What I have said, however, presupposes that there will be no major political upheaval and the politicians, especially Sharif, would not keel over while playing the game of brinkmanship. This is what the army also fears because it doesn’t know what it would do if the situation were to really push it centre-stage again.In a way then, all actors, the government, the opposition and the army are skating on thin ice. This offers the system an opportunity to consolidate itself by forcing them to understand the limits of what they can do and thereby respect the rules of the game. Zardari, Sharif, the army and the system —Ejaz Haider

Right, that was different. Different why, you ask? Because, y’know, that was Nawaz Sharif, leader of the people, a democratic would-be amirul momineen, heir to the throne of the Mughal emperors of yore, the greatest ruler since sliced bread, and did I mention, leader of the people? So it’s OK, gosh darn necessary even, for outside powers to ride to the rescue of Sharif because he’s different. The only thing that is different though are the circumstances. The hunted has become the hunter and in the jungle of Pakistani politics he thinks he can smell blood. But in the smoke-and-mirrors game that is our politics, don’t be so sure that the victim is who you think it is. For some, the PML-N’s ‘try Musharraf’ cry sounds awfully like ‘get Zardari’. Defence, not deterrence By Cyril Almeida

What does The Lost Symbol get wrong about the nation's capital? Everything. By David Plotz on books - In the mid-1990s, just before Dan Brown discovered angels and demons, Washington, D.C.'s alternative weekly, the City Paper, published a popular column in which it tried to solve local mysteries sent in by readers—uncovering the truth about baffling buildings, locations, and phenomena. The column was called "Washington's Mundane Mysteries," because, it turned out, that's what all of them were. Those sinister brown metal boxes on certain downtown street corners? Merely storage bins for extra copies of the Washington Post. That massive vault looming over Rock Creek Parkway? Just a Department of Public Works pump house.

What to do when all else has failed to change your kid's behavior. By Alan E. Kazdin on family
Let's say that there's something you really, really want your child to do: complete toilet training before starting preschool in a few weeks, or eat more than the three P-foods (pasta, pizza, potato chips) he's currently willing to eat, or take a bath without putting up a fight. Your expectation is reasonable, and you are being as positive, constructive, encouraging, patient, consistent, and gently firm as any parent could be. Well, OK, you lost it once or twice, which is only human, but for the most part you're doing everything right: diligently practicing the behavior with your child, enthusiastically praising any steps in the right direction and awarding stickers on a chart so masterfully designed that it belongs in a psychology textbook. You know your child is physically capable of doing what you're asking because he has done it on occasion, but he will not do it with any regularity. In fact, he actively opposes you. Your intense—OK, desperate—interest only seems to inspire more opposition. The more you need your child to do what you want, the less likely it is to happen. You're stuck and frustrated, and you don't know what to do.


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