Showing posts from August, 2005

Katrina's "God"

Katrina's "God" The devastation is staggering. Major American cities are in ruin, under water, unknown number of dead, and unreachable many in remote places, provide a stark picture of the power of nature in its full vigor over humanity's toy like "civilization". With American world reputable might in constant display throughout its military operations or economic muscles, seeing the hapless poor, mostly African Americans or Latino or other immigrant communities, wading through chest deep water in the midst of total chaos, rampant looting from abandoned stores, submerged or smashed new model cars gutted on the flooded street, one cannot avoid pondering if this remains the pitiful reality of a lone superpower, then, all the other nations of our world -- poor, poverty stricken -- what could have been their "reality" in the face of nature's "without prejudice" steam rolling? "Have God

A Tale of Two Wars

Iraq and Vietnam. Two wars. Two different era. For many, these two wars cannot be compared to each other. Goal was different. Weaponry was not the same. And now the politicians and warriors are more sleek in their truth hiding endevours. But can history be completely ignored? In the face of daily deaths and destructions in Iraq, the bygone era's forgotten history presents us more striking analogies between these two wars. "that Iraq was not a terrorist haven before we invaded, but we're making it into one today -- has been thickly painted over with unending coats of misinformation." -- indeed, misinformation and propaganda are the two most useful tools of any vicious war. Regards, Sohel A Tale of Two Wars In Baghdad, I Hear Echoes of Saigon in '67 By Lewis M. Simons Sunday, August 28, 2005; B01 went to Vietnam a hawk. It was July 1967; I was an ex-Marine and a reporter for the Associated Press. It took only a few months before I realized I was being fed off

Don't Stop Giving Change to Beggars

Like all the other money making, law abiding fellow citizens with sizable income, I get a bit of nervous seeing haggard looking panhandlers with disheveled hair, out of season long coats, black and white stubbles in cheeks waiting at the corner street. Like all the other good natured folks of our civilized society I take a detour seeing a malnourished woman with wild look in her eyes due to lack of sleep or "God" knows what, moving quickly on the sidewalks, averting gaze in determined efforts. Like all the other hypocrites of our world, I answer back to a heart-felt plea, "Sorry, no change", stopping the clink-clank sound of coins hidden deep in my pocket, and take long strides away from the visible manifestation of poverty, walking and standing in human flesh right in front of my eyes. I take a deep sip from the frothy green tea frappuccino, pondering so amusingly the well-being of our world, the grandiose theory of universe, the war, the protests, politics, and

E-mail addiction

Now there is a food for thought while Googling more info about it! Regards, Sohel E-mail addiction By Robert Kuttner | August 24, 2005 I RECENTLY took a short vacation. The very best thing about it was not the lovely walks, the concerts, the tennis, or just lazing and reading. The best thing was being away from e-mail. (And the worst thing was coming back to 482 messages.) The stuff is like kudzu. I'm not even talking about spam -- the unwanted commercial solicitations for everything from penis enlargements to Nigerian banking scams. Nor am I complaining about reader responses to my column, which I appreciate. If I weren't reading electronic comments, I'd be absorbing old-fashioned letters. No, I'm referring to everyday e-mail from people I know -- co-workers, friends, and acquaintances who assume that e-mail is what we do all day. I find it appalling to sometimes get responses within a minute or two of sending a message. This suggests that the recipient

Why Profiling Won't Work

Profiling won't work. If the purpose of profiling is to prevent terrorism, profiling will only make more humiliation for Muslims who doesn't have the white skin, but who are law abiding citizens. Profiling will make it easier for the terrorists to adapt to new techniques where they can take advantage of ridiculously narrow security scope, and go for the kill from outside the normal views of how a Muslim looks like. Also, presupposition and prejudging are synonymous to prejudice in this regard, that will surely alienate an entire peaceful community. That may also give other competing groups, who may have resources or accolades to gain, to shift blame on the easy scape-goat of our days, the Muslims. It would be a scary world, indeed, where crimes of any proportions could be committed and all one has to do is put the blame on the easy target. History has some precedents. William Raspberry puts it succinctly: "Stop me once because someone fitting my description or driving a ca

In Explaining Life's Complexity, Darwinists and Doubters Clash

Dr. Behe will wait and see whether the observed bacteria in Dr. Lenski's lab produces any dramatic leap in its evolutionary steps, but the bacteria is already showing "a pretty dramatic exception, one where a new and surprising function has evolved", could this count as the triumph of science over religion? Why is it necessary to invest millions if not more by Discovery Institute and such for their only passion in disproving the well-established evolutionary science? Could these resources be better used in original research like fighting countless diseases? As time progresses, more new discoveries, inventions will be made, we may even see evolution in new light. But can absolute faith based religious dogma bring any benefits to science? Surely, dogma of any sorts should be taken with a grain of salt, may that be religious one, or a "well-established" scientific one. Even in time, Darwinism's many aspects may come into more rigorous investigations or even r

The Trade-And-Aid Myth

Paul Wolfowitz, the new President of the World Bank just visted Bangladesh yesterday. Setting aside his notorious involvement in gone-awry Iraq war, his few observations on the prospect of achieving 8 percent GDP in Bangladesh but only if Bangladeshi government takes sincere initiatives reducing endemic corruption hit the mark. Here are a few extracts of Mr. Wolfowitz's comment: "I am absolutely convinced that you have the same great human resources here that your big neighbour in the west has. You have wonderful, talented people. But the problem of corruption is a big drag on your economy. Big power projects unfortunately are one of the principal targets for corruption," he cited as an example. This sector needs reform, he pointed out, adding, "We are not imposing harsh conditions... We are just saying we invest in your country and we need some assurance that the investment would go to help the poor people." Wolfowitz said the WB's future aid for projects i

What's in A Name? Ask This Traveler

What's in a name? It's probably everything. In a world where frenzy over (holy) ghosts, live gremlins and red eyed daemons abundant through our inundation from political dosages outpouring from news media extravaganza, and also the real violators of peace, following religious or markental creed, your "exotic" name associating with any particular ethnic group (Muslim) could be a real bad thing of our day. You may want "to scream, to jump on a chair and shout: "I'm an American citizen; a novelist; I probably teach English literature to your children." But again, think twice, it may all count against you, in this prejudged (preemptive) environment of ours. You may change your name. But your identity remains the same. "Absolutely nothing" you can do shall be the matter of importance. You feel you have complete control over your life? Think again. Regards, Sohel What's in A Name? Ask This Traveler By Diana Abu-Jaber Saturday, Aug

The man who would be king

The man who would be king For 20 years, Garry Kasparov remained virtually unbeaten on the chess board. Now he's planning his most audacious move ever - to topple Vladimir Putin. Andrew Anthony reports on the opening game of his political campaign Sunday August 21, 2005 Garry Kasparov is currently putting the finishing touches to a book with the provisional title How Life Imitates Chess. As he is almost certainly the greatest chess player in history, nobody can doubt his authority concerning the board game. But it's on the broader matter of life where questions of expertise might be raised. For while professional chess players may understand the black-and-white world of the chess board, they are not renowned for their competence in negotiating the grey uncertainties of everyday existence. We think of Bobby Fischer, the paranoid anti-Semite raging at imagined enemies, or Paul Morphy, the 19th-century champion, found dead in his b

Blood Runs Red, Not Blue

The sons and daughters of the privileged are preoccupied building their lucrative career or playing hockey with each other while the sons and daughters of poor and under-privileged are doing the dying for the sake of an ideology that quite possibly only serves purpose for the elites and their charlatans. Bush is shielded from unpleasant news by a tight group of people, a coccoon, even the former officials of his administration reported the same , saying: "a president carefully shielded from unpleasant or dissonant information. According to former Environmental Protection Agency administrator Christine Todd Whitman, "There is a palace guard, and they want to run interference for him." Former Treasury secretary Paul O'Neill described Bush as "caught in an echo chamber of his own making, cut off from everyone other than a circle around him that's tiny and getting smaller and in concert on everything." Less one may mistake thinking that Bush is surrounded

The World Is Round

The world is round, not flat. Thomas L. Friedman's recent book "The World is Flat" has stirred quite a debate, especially in the Western hemisphere. The New York Review of Books this week has published a good review of Friedman's book written by John Gray. Mr. Gray is a prominent scholar on his own right, a professor of European Thought at the London School of Economics. My first introduction to his writings other than reading the occasional opinion editorials through one of his outstanding books "Straw Dogs: Thoughts of Humans and Other Animals" last year. Unlike Mr. Friedman, I find Mr. Gray's writings to be more pragmatic, though his thoughts of impending gloom from more catastrophic disasters to unfold in many of our lifetime is unsettling, at least Mr. Gray's view of the world history is not unidirectional like Mr. Friedman and many of his neoliberal compatriots. Regards, Sohel The World Is Round By John Gray Thomas Frie