Posts

Showing posts from November, 2004

Clouds of Injustice: Bhopal disaster 20 Years on

Image
How can a corporation deny its responsibility from one of the world's massive industrial disasters? And how come a democratic government elected by its own people does not take adequate steps in protecting and compensating its own citizens from the apparent maleficence of multinational company? The Dow Chemical that had purchased Union Carbide in 2001 now says the following in its website: "Dow never owned or operated the Bhopal plant." -- Is it so easy to wash one's hands by just restructuring or rearranging a corporation? Till to date, not a single upper echelon person is held responsible for this horrendous episode? How could that be?

Amnesty International states the following:
"The Bhopal case illustrates how companies evade their human rights responsibilities and underlines the need to establish a universal human rights framework that can be applied to companies directly. Governments have the primary responsibility for protecting the human rights of communi…

Solving Kashmir requires India to offer up more than cash

A dismal condition for the Kashmiris for so many years, and so many deaths, thousands of them, in addition to rapes, disappearances of civilians, that a solution to this lingering problem is the key for a lasting peace in the Indian subcontinent. Let's see what the South Asian politicians do in resolving this issue, or whether it would be the same empty promises and decorated maneuverings for their own political gains, will be observed by the international community.

Regards,
Sohel

Solving Kashmir requires India to offer up more than cash

Simon Tisdall
Wednesday November 24, 2004
The Guardian

Kashmir will be the elephant in the room when Pakistan's prime minister, Shaukat Aziz, meets his Indian counterpart, Manmohan Singh, in Delhi today.

Both sides know that, without a Kashmir settlement, the peace process launched this year cannot succeed. But neither has a clear idea how to proceed. The temptation is to ignore the elephant.

Mr Aziz is the highest-ranking figure to visit In…

The New Iron Curtain

This is not to ignore that there are plenty of dissimilarities between 1946 and 2004. The Cold War is considered a thing of the past. The old Soviet Republic were fragmented in dozens of smaller nations, even mother Russia does not show the same super power status as it used to in its hay day of cold war. But, arguably, things have beginning to taken the shape of old history, as if 1946 is turning the screw of time in a new clothe.

Anne Applebaum observes the following on the recent Ukrainian election disputes: "Polls taken before and after the vote showed a large margin of support for Viktor Yushchenko, a pro-Western liberal. Nevertheless, victory has been declared for Viktor Yanukovych, the pro-Moscow candidate. He has already received warm congratulations from the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, who backed him with praise, money and, possibly, some advice on how to steal elections. It can't be a coincidence that if the Ukrainian election is settled in Moscow's favo…

Earth's Uncanned Crusaders: Will Sardines Save Our Skin?

Here is Dr. Ellen Pikitch's comment: "This study demonstrates that overfishing of one species of fish, such as sardines, can profoundly alter an entire marine ecosystem".

When Sardines are abundant, they eat up phytoplankton in larger quantity than when there are less Sardines in any particular area. If there are phytoplankton uneaten, they sink to the bottom and eventually get decomposed and produce large clouds of Hydrogen Sulfide and Methane gas that surface to the atmosphere above the water line. Why is this important to note? Because "methane is arguably worse, at least for world climate. Pound for pound methane traps 21 times as much heat as carbon dioxide, the most common greenhouse gas."

Next time we open a can of delicious sardine to make our salivating appetitie pacified, perhaps we need to think of the consequences.

Regards,
Sohel

Earth's Uncanned Crusaders: Will Sardines Save Our Skin?
By CORNELIA DEAN

Scientists working off the west coast of…

Of Mice, Men and In-Between

Of Mice, Men and In-Between
Scientists Debate Blending Of Human, Animal Forms

By Rick Weiss
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, November 20, 2004; Page A01

In Minnesota, pigs are being born with human blood in their veins.

In Nevada, there are sheep whose livers and hearts are largely human.

In California, mice peer from their cages with human brain cells firing inside their skulls.

These are not outcasts from "The Island of Dr. Moreau," the 1896 novel by H.G. Wells in which a rogue doctor develops creatures that are part animal and part human. They are real creations of real scientists, stretching the boundaries of stem cell research.

Biologists call these hybrid animals chimeras, after the mythical Greek creature with a lion's head, a goat's body and a serpent's tail. They are the products of experiments in which human stem cells were added to developing animal fetuses.

Chimeras are allowing scientists to watch, for the first time, how nascent human cells an…

Overthrow Tehran? Hey, Not So Fast

A more democratic Iran is desired by many, especially by the Iranians, in their home and abroad, but that democracy should be coming from within their own political process, not by guns and tanks or military planes flying overhead, bringing deaths and destructions as it is continually unfolding in Iraq.

Regards,
Sohel


Overthrow Tehran? Hey, Not So Fast
*Iranian Americans are dismayed by glib neocon talk of regime change.

By Jeet Heer and Laura Rozen, Based in Toronto, Jeet Heer frequently writes for the Boston Globe and the National Post. Laura Rozen reports on foreign affairs and national security issues from Washington, D.C.

With President Bush elected to a second term, and the neoconservative architects of the Iraq war firmly in the driver's seat of U.S. foreign policy, Iranian Americans are contemplating a stark choice similar to that faced by Iraqi Americans a few years ago — whether they want to work with Washington to liberate their home country.

Although almost all Irania…

On 'Moral Values,' It's Blue in a Landslide

November 14, 2004
FRANK RICH
On 'Moral Values,' It's Blue in a Landslide

AREWELL to Swift boats and "Shove it!," to Osama's tape and Saddam's missing weapons, to "security moms" and outsourced dads. They've all been sent to history's dustbin faster than Ralph Nader memorabilia was dumped on eBay. In their stead stands a single ambiguous phrase coined by an anonymous exit pollster: "Moral values." By near universal agreement the morning after, these two words tell the entire story of the election: it's the culture, stupid.

"It really is Michael Moore versus Mel Gibson," said Newt Gingrich. To Jon Stewart, Nov. 2 was the red states' revenge on "Will & Grace." William Safire, speaking on "Meet the Press," called the Janet Jackson fracas "the social-political event of the past year." Karl Rove was of the same mind: "I think it's people who are concerned about the coarse…

Arctic Thaw

Now that the election in U.S. is over, perhaps the Bush Administration could depoliticize its disastrous environmental policy, to make it come to term with the growing environmental anxieties resulting from all the available scientific data. The impact from the arctic thaw mostly arising due to global warming will be catastrohpic unless the course of our world is altered drastically, especially lessening dependance on fossil fuel that is one of the major culprits in contributing greenhouse effect.

The Christian Science monitor listed the trend of Arctic thaw in this report as the following:

• Rapid melting of Arctic glaciers, including the vast sheet of ice that covers Greenland. The sheet locks up enough fresh water to raise sea levels by as much as 27 feet over the course of several centuries. The group calculates that during this century, Greenland temperatures are likely to exceed the threshold for triggering the long-term meltdown of the island's ice sheet.

• Arctic temperat…

Hunting with Firefox

It will be a tough battle, but the battle has already begun. Consumers needs more choices in browser market that has so far been overwhelmingly dominated by Microsoft's Internet Explorer with its all sorts of security holes unplugged. The best thing about Firefox and Mozilla overall is that it is free with lots of features that can compete with Microsoft nicely.



Hunting with Firefox



Today marks a milestone in the history of the "open source" movement, the extraordinary unpaid community of volunteers all over the world who work together to produce software which is placed in the public domain without commercial gain. Today sees the official launch of Firefox (www.getfirefox.com), a free internet browser that is daring to take on Internet Explorer, owned by Microsoft, which until recently had a market share of over 95%. It roundly beat Netscape (originally known as Mosaic) during the late 1990s in what became known as the browser war. Well, the second browser war is about t…

Puritanism of the Rich

<>George Monbiot's perspective is refreshing, shedding light on least understood issue of our time, that most think is synonymous to fascism. Probably it is not.




Monbiot writes, "Puritanism was primarily the religion of the new commercial classes. It attracted traders, money lenders, bankers and industrialists. Calvin had given them what the old order could not: a theological justification of commerce. Capitalism, in his teachings, was not unchristian, but could be used for the glorification of God. From his doctrine of individual purification, the late Puritans forged a new theology.

<>At its heart was an "idealisation of personal responsibility" before God. This rapidly turned into "a theory of individual rights" in which "the traditional scheme of Christian virtues was almost exactly reversed". By the mid-17th century, most English Puritans saw in poverty "not a misfortune to be pitied and relieved, but a moral failing to be c…