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Sunday, December 13, 2009

For Aaker: Reflections on turning 40, Killing fields

Reflections on turning 40: Nothing ever happens, a fine writer once wrote. What that man, Jeffrey Bernard, meant was that life would not change and he had accepted that.

First, many happy returns! There is another way of looking at things Aaker: acceptance can be the death of living. There are two kinds of dead people - living and dead dead. Living is not conforming to death. ~t

Smokers’ Corner: Cry babies, aren’t they?
I have no qualms about what Nadim writes here. But I have a question for him. Why does one hardly sees any Pakistani channels in India?

Killing fields - Given the right circumstances of perceived social injustice, revenge killing can take place on an industrial scale anywhere and without the slightest restraint by the consciences of the participants. Humans seem to have an inherited sense of what comprises fair shares, and when resources are not shared fairly they become bitter. ...The point of this brief history is to illustrate what happens when people's hopes of social justice are crushed. And it is my contention that the conditions for social revolts now prevail throughout the Third World, but are concentrated especially in Afghanistan and Pakistan. All the signs are present. And they are all being systematically ignored by the governments of these two countries, and by their controllers, the Americans.

Capital suggestion - What can $1.5 billion do for us? Let's say $1 billion for education, $250 million for health and $250 million for judicial reforms. I recently saw a list of 149 countries and the number of children out of primary schools in those countries. Guess, who was at the very top of the list? Answer: Pakistan. A total of 6.3 million children out of primary schools in Pakistan followed by 2.6 million in Sudan, 1.6 million in the US, 1.3 million in Niger, 1.2 million in Cote d'Ivoire and 1.2 million in Burkina Faso.
I have done the math. Pakistan has 156,732 primary schools with 440,000 teachers and 17 million students. In order for us to put each and every Pakistani child in school we need 58,000 new schools and 163,000 new teachers. For the first year, $700 million to build, $200 million to hire 163,000 new teachers -- and we will still be left with $100 million for consultants and contractors.

Amina Jilani:
Meanwhile, over the airwaves, on the multiple TV channels, with their fixed (in all ways) anchors and the rotating 'experts', politicos and retired servicemen prevailing, and in the columns of the national press loony rumours and conspiracy theories bloom and blossom, they thrive in the minds of those predisposed to believe them. They tap into pre-existing beliefs and biases - into the minds of those who want to believe though facts on the ground should tell them otherwise. They offer simplified explanations that pander to bigotry, intolerance and to a certain extent xenophobia.


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