Saturday, April 5

US House resolution 185 would declare Jewish, Palestinian 1948 refugees equal

This should set the cat amongst the pigeons. If equality does work, then, curious to see what will happen to the right of return and compensation.... This is a right mess.


April 3, 2008, 8:52 AM (GMT+02:00)

It was introduced Tuesday by Reps. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Joseph Crowley (D-NY) and Mike Ferguson (R-NJ).

From 1948, 850,000 Jews were attacked, dispossessed and expelled from 10 Arab lands, where some Jewish communities had existed for 2,500 years. The number of Jewish refugees exceeds Arab refugees from Israel by more than 100,000 (United Nations Conciliation Commission, October 23, 1950).

All prior UN resolutions referred only to Arab refugees. The new nonbinding resolution affirms for the first time that the U.S. government must now recognize that all victims of the Arab-Israeli conflict must be treated equally. It further urges that, as a member of the Middle East Quartet, the President and U.S. officials ensure that any reference to Palestinian refugees must henceforth "also include a similarly explicit reference to the issue of Jewish refugees from Arab countries."

Lingerie Woes in Saudi Arabia

Gosh, the earth shattering issue.....

I quote:

The issue of saleswomen working in lingerie shops has become a crucial one. The Ministry of Labor and the Ministry of Commerce must work quickly to solve this problem. Having an all women lingerie boutique inside shopping centers would not be as awkward as asking a strange man for your underwear size. We have lots of beauty salons all over the country that offer women all kinds of beauty services. No one has ever objected to their work or their policies.

One fails to find words to comment...

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Curry weapons?

This was amusing, the Indians have come up with grenades filled with chili and pepper! Now I just hope those Islamist terrorists do not already know and love curry otherwise this will not be fun. Mind you, considering that most of them are nipping over the border, it is a fair assumption that they know these spices.....

To be one up on militants during counter-insurgency operations in Jammu and Kashmir [Images], security forces are all set to get new anti-thermal smoke grenades filled with high concentration of red chilly and pepper.

The 81-mm calibre grenades, which have been developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation, have completed field trials and contain red phosphorus and chilly and pepper, defence sources said.

"The field trials have been completed with success in several areas and along the Line of Control. The grenades would be successful in forcing out militants from their hideouts," they said.

My books have arrived!

I went overboard in purchasing books in India in December 2007 (see my little librarian?)

But there were too many to carry so we got some of them mailed. And the rest arrived today. So I am off drooling over those!

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Friday, April 4

Photo Essay: London Evening Gloomy Skyline

I was at a drinks session on the conservatory on the side of a building in London and the views were rather curious (and well, I was too early..... So took some pictures!) (click on the hyperlinks to get a bigger resolution of the picture)

The perspective lines of the street, the tops of the buildings which all meet at the end of the street which is capped by the church. On the other hand, if you look at the reflection of the lights on the glass itself, they point to the distant cluster of buildings which comprise of Canary Wharf. Between God and Mammon, eh?

then you have the gherkin but also an interesting similar shaped lamp on the terrace of the conservatory on the right hand side separated by a blocky black vaguely scary building.

This is the top of a funny building, it somehow resembles the prow of a ship on the dockside with cranes on top but also reminded me of a glass and steel rectangular cake getting ready to be cut with giant knives in the shape of the cranes.

Can you see the tiny speck in the sky? It is a plane and the perspective made it look like it took off from Tower 42 building on the right and is flying to the Gherkin on the left.

And now the final picture is a dark picture of London. Given the current economic and jobs doom and gloom surrounding the city, perspective lines all over the place, dim lighting, seems like a good pictorial metaphor.

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Jihadi studies

A brilliant hard hitting essay on studying Militant Islam as a source for Islamist Terrorism. I quote some interesting titbits (he also discussed Pape's work, btw):

Bergen debunks the widespread conspiracy theory that Bin Laden collaborated with the CIA in the 1980s.....

He also settles the debate over al-Qaeda’s pre-1996 existence. Jason Burke and others (including myself) had questioned the view of al-Qaeda as a coherent and self-aware organization founded in the late 1980s, pointing to the near-absence of pre-9/11 textual sources containing the name “al-Qaeda”. Bergen, however, unearthed recently declassified minutes from the founding meetings of al-Qaeda in 1988, as well as testimonies from the early 1990s, confirming the organization’s existence

Since the early 1990s, Bin Laden has been screaming for attention, always declaring his intentions before putting them into practice. Yet it was not until 2005 that these declarations were made available to a broader Western public with the publication of Messages to the World, a reader of Bin Laden’s texts edited by Bruce Lawrence, a professor of religious studies at Duke University.

Bin Laden’s discourse is profoundly political and elegant in its simplicity. It is populism at its most effective and most frightening.

Osama bin Laden’s central theme is the suffering and humiliation of the Muslim nation (the umma) at the hands of non-Muslims. He conveys a pan-Islamic nationalist world view according to which the umma is facing an existential threat from outside forces led by the US. Bin Laden’s principal rhetorical device is the enumeration of symbols of suffering – examples of situations where Muslims have been humiliated or oppressed by non-Muslims, such as in Palestine, Chechnya, Kashmir and, above all, his homeland, Saudi Arabia, where the US military “occupies” the holy places of Islam. The only way to defend against this onslaught, he argues, is to confront America militarily.

Today, only one movement is able to wage war on a global scale, namely Islamism. This movement owes its strength to its decentralized character and its ability to exploit religious, political and social grievances. It is an essentially modern phenomenon which uses terrorist tactics and sophisticated media.

The deeper cause of the growth of Islamism, Enzensberger argues, is the intellectual sclerosis of the Arab and Muslim world, as documented by the Arab Human Development Report.The hostility of medieval Islamic scholars to secular knowledge prevented progress and sent the Muslim world into a state of near-permanent civilizational backwardness. This economic and scientific inferiority has created a sense of humiliation which is particularly painful because it clashes with the age-old Arab sense of superiority towards other peoples. The result is a collective hypersensitivity to outside criticism and a tolerance for violence against others. This in turn creates a beneficial environment for Islamism and terrorism.

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Your religion is a DASH

This was so funny, I was laughing my head off. So they are Bahai's but officially, they are just a dash.

But more amusingly, I quote:

In a related case involving Egyptians who have returned to Christianity after having been declared Muslims at some point in their lives, the Ministry has decided to enter "formerly declared Muslim" on their ID cards that will be issued stating that they are currently "Christian."

So this would be Christians who became Muslims who became Christians and are now formerly declared Muslims? What if one of those become Bahai? Would that be now Christians who became Muslims who became Christians and are now formerly declared Muslims but now are just a Dash? Reminds me of that artist formerly known as Prince.

Truly these states should get out of the business of defining and working with religion otherwise they end up being laughing stocks.

What clowns...

Fascinating old Coptic manuscripts document.

While I cant read Coptic, the preface and notes of this book were fascinating. They give some fascinating insights on how the Copts look at their theology and also insights on biblical texts, patristic texts, liturgical texts, letters and lists/accounts. Do scroll to the end of the PDF to see the photographs of the papyri with the writing. Can you imagine reading something like this which was written by one of our scribe ancestors? (or is this just a severe case of logophilia on my part?)

Now India has women combat soldiers!

Wow, read and wonder. Way to got, ladies... I quote:


NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India is enrolling women for the first time in a combat role, overturning a mindset in the country's security establishment that women are no good at defending frontiers or fighting wars.

The largely conservative country's 1.3-million strong army has less than 1000 women, all of them in non-combat jobs such as engineering and nursing.

But India's Border Security Force (BSF) says it wants to change with the times and recognize the many roles Indian women play today -- from software engineers and space scientists to sportswomen and business czars.

"So far we were not recruiting ladies, maybe because of the nature of our duty, and the thought was that ladies are not suitable," Ashish Kumar Mitra, BSF's director general, told Reuters in an interview late on Thursday.

To begin with, BSF will recruit 750 women guards primarily for frisking duties, checking human trafficking and drug smuggling.

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More problems with food prices

More and more worried about this situation. See these stories

1. World Bank warning about South Asian poor at severe risk of food shortages and inflation.

2. India pledging to crack down on hoarders. The Indian public distribution system is not fit for purpose and it is full of corruption... and this is deeply worrying for me.

3. Thailand is pledging supplies to importers. They need to be careful, apparently there are now reports of people stealing crops!

but who will pay for this rise in prices? inflation is the silent killer of the poor and Indians know about this. This is getting very very dangerous.

The Musharraf Strategy

Besides the fact that that clown Mugabe is still in power after ruining his country, I found it amusing that now there is a political strategy called as the Musharraf Strategy. I am sure he (and Pakistan?) would be so proud of being associated with that! :)

All this to be taken with a grain of piquant salt!!!

My comments and my views are not the same!

Can you imagine saying that? What does that mean? that you cannot comment properly? or your views cannot be put into comments? or you had a brain fart time? or you are basically silly? What? and this is even more worrying when it has been uttered by a Labour Minister in the United Kingdom.

I quote:

Mr Sutcliffe was forced to make two separate statements that disowned earlier comments in which he said the drinks industry was “right to be upset” by Alistair Darling’s decision to increase alcohol duties in last month’s Budget.

In one of the more humiliating retractions of recent times, he said: “I fully support the tax measures in the Budget and the chancellor’s decision on tax.” He added: “My comments do not accurately reflect my views.”

Also, I am seriously curious about these Labour backbenchers. The budget was announced 12 MONTHS AGO, the poor citizens will get hit from this month, and they wake up NOW? And despite that fact, what happens? I quote:

Mr Brown was tackled on the subject at a meeting with Labour MPs on Monday, but his suggestion that few, if any, people would be worse off infuriated many at the meeting. The government has publicly acknowledged that 5.3m people would lose from the changes.

The motion said that “despite assurances to the contrary” many poor households would lose out. It also says MPs are “dismayed at the response to the plight of those adversely affected” and calls on Mr Darling to mitigate the losses.

Greg Pope, who tabled the motion, later withdrew it amid mounting pressure from the whips, claiming he had won assurances that the Treasury would look to help one affected group – women pensioners aged 60-64. Mr Darling’s office said the chancellor had given no such assurances.

Read and wonder.


More photographs of girls in armies

This linkwas sent to me by one of my readers, showing a whole load of other ladies in armies ranging from Finland to Brazil, Estonia to Japan, Vietnam to Germany... Way to go ladies....
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Thursday, April 3

Better anti-discrimination laws will help avoid islamophobia

Further to my essay on Islamophobia, this is a very good step which will reduce the holes and chasms in the anti discrimination laws across Europe. I quote:

Loopholes remain in existing EU legislation to combat discrimation,
critics say. A Framework Directive against all forms of
announced by José Manuel Barroso when
he became Commission President in 2004, would close those
In 2007, the Commission reviewed existing legislation and
came to the conclusion that "the level of protection against discrimination
based on religion and belief, age, disability and sexual orientation is
lower than that afforded in the case of discrimination based on race".
The EU executive thus concluded that a new initiative was
The Commission made its proposal a priority for 2008.
Meanwhile, Parliament addressed the issue in an own-initiative

All this to be taken with a grain of piquant salt!!!

Gazan Group Threatens UNRWA for “Harming Islam”

One seriously wonders sometimes.....

The group stated that UNRWA distributes profane publications and enables
mixing of the genders by encouraging women’s employment in education and
organizing events to mark International Women’s Day.

Read and weep.

All this to be taken with a grain of piquant salt!!!

Is it the Arabian Gulf or the Persian Gulf??

Now I have read both, but as this petition shows, the debate is still rumbling on with ~70k people already signed up to it. (Note the dig at the age of the various Arab sheikdoms...) But I would say that the Iranians have a point....

For the records, the name Persia has always been used to describe the nation of Iran, its people, and its ancient empires since 600 BC. It is derived from the ancient Greek name for Iran's maritime province, called Fars or Pars in modern Persian, Pars in Middle Persian and Pârsa in Old Persian, a word meaning "above reproach.” Persis is the Hellenized form of Pars, and through the Latinized word Persia, the other European nations came to use this word for the region. This area was the core of the original Persian Empire.

Since ancient times almost all foreigners referred to the entire country
as Persia until March 21, 1935, when Reza Shah Pahlavi formally asked the
international community to call the country Iran — a name that the people of
Persia, themselves, used to refer to their country since the Sassanian period.
"Iran" means "Land of Aryans". In 1959 some Persian scholars protested to the
government that the name change had separated the country from its ancient
civilization. Therefore, the late King Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi announced that both Persia and Iran can be used in Western languages.

Without disparaging the Arabs, Iranians are proud of their non-Arab heritage and
strongly resent any attempt at denigrating or changing any aspect of their
Iranian heritage. And the Persian Gulf occupies a pivotal place in the Iranian
history and culture. Furthermore, Iran abuts the Persian Gulf for 2,000 Km,
while about a dozen recently-created Arab Sheikhdoms and emirates border the
Gulf on the other side.

All this to be taken with a grain of piquant salt!!!

No Shake Hands, No Talk!

I hope sister Yvonne is listening and bearing in mind the next time she goes to cover the Arab League meetings. Check this out. I quote: (I was laughing my head off)

"In a rare lapse of his trademark diplomacy, Arab League Secretary
General Amr Moussa refused to give an interview to a female TV reporter who
would not shake his hand for religious reasons, press reports said on
Sunday."Manar al-Sabagh, a correspondent for the Hezbollah-affiliated Lebanese
Al Manar TV channel, refused to reciprocate when Moussa extended his hand at the
start of an interview during the Arab Summit in Damascus, Egyptian daily
Al-Masry Al-Youm reported." 'I don't shake hands,' Sabagh told the veteran Arab
diplomat, to which he reportedly replied: 'We'll neither shake hands nor
Source: Al-Arabiya (Saudi-owned, Dubai-based), April 1,

All this to be taken with a grain of piquant salt!!!

very amusing quote from the Sage of Omaha!

"I’ve reluctantly discarded the notion of my continuing to manage the portfolio after my death – abandoning my hope to give new meaning to the term ‘thinking outside the box’" -- The 84-year old Warren Buffett announces in February’s annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders that he has identified to the board four potential candidates who could take over from him

All this to be taken with a grain of piquant salt!!!

Taliban and Mobile phones!

This was the most amazing story I read about Taliban and Mobile phones. Basically thieves...I quote:::
I have been told that Taliban (or people claiming to represent them)
sometimes call up mobile phone companies and claim that they are right at a
tower with explosives, which they will detonate unless money is immediately
transferred to their mobile phone. This is a new technology that enables migrant
workers to send cash home without going through either a hawala or Western

All this to be taken with a grain of piquant salt!!!

More free speech challenges, this time in Japan

Well, the fact that nationalism in Japan has been known to be a big problem (caused all kinds of little problems ranging from the WW2 to the nanking genocide....), people are very careful about what is said and done. Apologies for the war, or proper restitution or changing history books, all are challenged in Japan, specially when you compare their behaviour with how Germany reacted after the war.

So when you read something like this, then you know that the problem still exists. I quote:

Japanese nationalists have forced plans to screen a film examining the
country's wartime excesses to be abandoned after a campaign of intimidation that
included blockading cinemas.
A new documentary film, Yasukuni, was due to open at cinemas in Tokyo and Osaka on April 12.
The film, by the Chinese director Li Ying who lives in Japan, is about the Tokyo shrine that honours the nation's war dead, and examines Japan's imperial ambitions in the early decades of the last century.

Japanese politicians and commentators attacked the decision by cinema
managers, who were targeted by ultra-nationalist protesters who parked vans
covered in nationalistic slogans outside the cinemas and broadcast military
anthems over loudspeakers.

All this to be taken with a grain of piquant salt!!!

Intellectuals condemn fatwa against writers

Good news, Arab intellectuals are pushing the boundaries back which were established by the medieval mullah's. Well, lets not go that far, they are trying to. Truly they are clerics of darkness. I quote:

Arab human rights activists have condemned a Saudi religious edict calling
for the execution of two writers for apostasy - giving a rare glimpse of
tensions over Islam inside the conservative kingdom.
The ruling by Sheikh
Abdul Rahman al-Barrak was called "intellectual terrorism" by "clerics of
darkness" in a statement obtained by Reuters and signed by 100 human rights
groups and intellectuals from the region. Last month Barrak issued a fatwa
against two Saudi writers he denounced as "infidels"....

Fatwas by radical Muslim clerics led to the assassination in 1992 of the Egyptian writer Farag Foda and to an attempt in 1994 in Cairo to murder the Egyptian Nobel prize-winner Naguib Mahfouz.

While I still maintain that religion and human endevour is not that tightly linked, but then, some aspects of religious study and application like in Saudi Arabia will kill all literature and arts.

All this to be taken with a grain of piquant salt!!!

Kagame's fury at Spanish warrants

Now this is a pretty pickle. If you break the law in capturing the people who broke the law, what do you do? And what if the law which was broken related to genocide?

from a legal perspective, it is right, you cannot go about breaking the law, but then, who else or how on earth would you have managed to bring those genocidal maniacs to justice?

All this to be taken with a grain of piquant salt!!!

Wednesday, April 2

The Streets of Kolkata

A beautiful photo essay of the streets of Kolkata.

And here are women in the Russian Army

Further to my note about women in the Israeli and American armies, here's a note about Russian ladies in the Russian Army.

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Harriet Harman is a muppet

Her performance on PMQ's today was pathetic. Literally pathetic. When asked about the tax burden today, she says, it was a bit less than what was there 10 years ago. What on earth is she on about? I am worried about my spending power today, not 10 years ago.

Yes, the economy is growing, but your management of it sucks. 

This government is so out of touch with real life, I am seriously worried about our lives till they are in power.

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Freedom of speech anybody?

Knowing the supine and principle-less behaviour of the United Nations and the Secretary General, I am not surprised that people want to hide what they say. Very well, hide what you say but in return, we want a freedom of information act on the United Nations. You are currently using MY tax money, and I demand to know what you are spending it on. And, hmmm, why do you want to hide things in a democratic institution? Oh! sorry, we are talking about Arabs here....

Police foil primary school plot to attack teacher

Am I getting too old to be bewildered by news stories like this?

The plot was meticulously prepared. The group was armed with a broken steak knife, handcuffs, duct tape, and a glass paperweight, and members had been assigned specific roles including standing guard and cleaning up after the attack.

What shocked police officers as they moved in, acting on a tip-off, was the nature of the would-be attackers and their chosen victim. The group included nine primary school pupils, girls as well as boys, aged eight and nine; their apparent target was their schoolteacher in Georgia.....Initial police inquiries suggested the plot may have been hatched in revenge after the teacher had reprimanded a girl pupil for standing on a chair.

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British Minister Harman is an idiot

Ok, here's what you do not want to see. A senior member of the government walking around in a bullet/stab proof vest in the middle of the day in the middle of the world's international city which is begging for more investments and saying that it is safe. Harriet Harman wearing a 'stab vest' in Peckham, south London. Photograph: South London Press

Are you a frigging blithering moron? What kind of impression does that give to me, your constituents, our fellow citizens, our neighbours and other global people?

This is unbelievable.

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Bring Back the Night Garden, I miss Macca Pacca!

One of the high points in my daily life is to get home soon enough so that me and my little munchkin can watch the Night Garden together. (check out this funny take on it) But yesterday, when I walked in, I was greeted with tears, howls, tantrums and whines that BBC had stopped showing Night Garden. (btw, if you are interested, I am macca pacca while Diya is upsydaisy) So I joined in as well.

As it seems, life is the same bad news in many other British homes as well. I quote:

The BBC has been inundated with complaints from angry parents of toddlers after it scrapped bedtime transmissions of In The Night Garden, one of its most popular children's shows.

Designed to relax the under-fives before bed, In The Night Garden (ITNG) is a slightly surreal series in the mould of The Magic Garden and Teletubbies, featuring chants and nonsense talk by brightly coloured characters such as Igglepiggle, Upsy Daisy and Makka Pakka.

The BBC's decision on Monday to pull the 28-minute episodes from CBeebies' Bedtime Hour - although they are still broadcast on the same channel in the mornings - has prompted outrage from parents, who have launched a petition on the Facebook website for the evening transmissions to be reinstated.

Ruth Bodycot Wood, one of more than 60 people who had signed it by yesterday afternoon, wrote: "Cbeebies are having a laugh… My four-year-old refused to believe it was bedtime because ITNG hadn't been on and it was daylight outside."

Another parent wrote: "It's a bloody outrage. Bring back In The Night Garden. We miss Igglepiggle."

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Tuesday, April 1

Fighting College Plagiarism With Plagiarism

This was ironic:

I quote:

It seemed like an honorable goal: Draft an honor code for University of
Texas at San Antonio students to follow, exhorting them not to cheat or
But when students threw a draft of the new honor code onto the
Internet for feedback, some noticed a problem: Parts of
appeared to have been lifted word for word from another school’s
honor code
, without attribution. Even the definition of plagiarism
was, well, plagiarized.

All this to be taken with a grain of piquant salt!!!

Monday, March 31

Saudi woman killed for chatting on Facebook

This is unbelievable.

read and weep.

Saudi woman killed for chatting on Facebook
By Damien McElroy
Foreign Affairs Correspondent
Last Updated: 12:53pm BST 31/03/2008

A young Saudi Arabian woman was murdered by her father for
chatting on the social network site Facebook, it has emerged.

unnamed woman from Riyadh was beaten and shot after she was discovered in the
middle of an online conversation with a man, the al-Arabiya website reported.

The case was reported on a Saudi Arabian news site as an example of the
"strife" the social networking site is causing in the Islamic nation.

Saudi preacher Ali al-Maliki has emerged as the
leading critic of Facebook, claiming the network is corrupting the youth of the

"Facebook is a door to lust and young women and men are spending
more on their mobile phones and the Internet than they are spending on food," he

The woman was murdered in August but her death was highlighted
following Maliki's comments.

Social customs and religious rules oblige
women in Saudi Arabia to cover their head and figure with a veil so that men are
not distracted by the female form.

Critics also allege that Facebook is
an avenue for the promotion of homosexual relations in Saudi Arabia. More than
6,500 people have signed the online petition in a bid to stop the conservative
Muslim kingdom following Syria in banning access to the network from local
internet servers.

There are estimated to be more than 30,000 Facebook
users in the oil-rich kingdom. Many Saudi women use nicknames and post comic
images or drawings on their pages instead of photographs. Some Saudi bloggers
have dubbed the network "Faceless".

Women users' contact details and
email addresses are often pseudonymous. The popularity of sites for singles has
broken taboos on people making contact outside family and class connections.

One of the most popular Facebook groups among Saudi Arabian youth is
Single and Looking in Saudi Arabia, which has 1,823 members and hosts many
sexually explicit images.

Which bank employees are most stressed?

Well, I aint stressed :)

read and chuckle.

All this to be taken with a grain of piquant salt!!!

Child maths prodigy 'working as a prostitute'

I have been recently speaking with my son about moving into an accelerated learning path, he is already on Grade 10 level while his "official level" is grade 7. So if he really pushes himself, he can very well get to a university in 3-4 years time. Just a reminder to myself not to push him too much, I guess.

That why when i read this story, it hit me directly, what a waste, poor girl.

All this to be taken with a grain of piquant salt!!!

Did you know there were Muslim Arab troops as part of the NATO mission in Afghanistan?

Read and applaud!

All this to be taken with a grain of piquant salt!!!

Terrorism in the name of Hinduism in Nepal

Great, now we have terrorists (Nepal Defence Army!) banging on about re-creating a Hindu Kingdom in Nepal. What was the point of bombing the mosque, you morons? it was a Maoist insurgency which overthrew the corrupt and inefficient Nepali Monarchy! And now you have managed to get Hinduism associated with a Terror Group. And there is no theology behind it at all, all they want is to bring a corrupt outdated medieval institution back..

All this to be taken with a grain of piquant salt!!!

Sunday, March 30

Re-visiting Burma

I wrote about Burma on October 7, 2007 and said that nobody other than Burmese can help them. Do not bother about moaning to China, India or anybody else because they will not help at all. Same with Comoros, if somebody does care about them, its for their own benefits, otherwise no, nobody gives a toss.

And here's a very interesting article on the follow-up on what happened with Burma. So how many times have you heard about the anti-war crowd talking about Burma? How many times have you heard George Bush or Brown talking about Burma? Nothing. All those big sounding words from all those liberals and conservatives alike, dont mean much. And as I said, the Burmese need to fight their soldiers more. I quote:

After violently suppressing anti-government marches last year, Burma’s ruling generals are hunt­ing a new enemy in the dilapidated city of Rangoon, zeroing in on street vendors who sell pirated DVDs. The object of the junta’s wrath is the latest Rambo film, in which the Vietnam veteran played by Sylvester Stallone battles Burmese soldiers to rescue missionaries held for assisting persecuted ethnic minorities.

Besides confiscating every copy it can find, the junta has compelled privately owned Burmese news journals to print articles ridiculing Rambo for being “so fat, with sagging breasts” and looking “like a lunatic” during fights.

Aside from the Hollywood action picture, though, not much is rattling Burma’s generals these days. Six months ago, their crackdown on the Buddhist monk-led “saffron revolt” provoked international revulsion and a clamour to push the regime to change. Today, the storm of criticism has largely passed. The junta, as firmly in power as ever, has rebuffed the pressure, making clear it intends to proceed with its own plans for Burma’s future, with or without western or United Nations approval.

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Would you still be my Facebook friend if I told you what books I read?

This was amusing, but as a logophile, as long as I have my books, do I need friends? :)

But this article spoke to me, and I quote:

Some years ago, I was awakened early one morning by a phone call from a friend. She had just broken up with a boyfriend she still loved and was desperate to justify her decision. “Can you believe it!” she shouted into the phone. “He hadn’t even heard of Pushkin!”

Yes, I would agree so much. Mind you, if the woman was reading Pushkin (or for that matter, Russian literature) all that much, I would hope that she has other tastes as well. Russian literature is a bit too somber for me.

Sussing out a date’s taste in books is “actually a pretty good way — as a sort of first pass — of getting a sense of someone,” said Anna Fels, a Manhattan psychiatrist and the author of “Necessary Dreams: Ambition in Women’s Changing Lives.” “It’s a bit of a Rorschach test.” To Fels (who happens to be married to the literary publisher and writer James Atlas), reading habits can be a rough indicator of other qualities. “It tells something about ... their level of intellectual curiosity, what their style is,” Fels said. “It speaks to class, educational level.”

I dont generally check out what books you have read but it helps. But surely looking at books to check out to that extent is a bit creepy, no?

Let’s face it — this may be a gender issue. Brainy women are probably more sensitive to literary deal breakers than are brainy men. (Rare is the guy who’d throw a pretty girl out of bed for revealing her imperfect taste in books.)

I was laughing my head off reading this, yes, I agree.


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Women in Armies

Participation of women in armed forces is a complex and very emotive topic. But sometimes you get to see something that makes you go hmmm. Here's a bunch of photographs of Women in the Israeli Army.

Remember the Angel of Death? Here's her chariot! :)



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Dutch businesses threaten to sue over anti-Islam film

What stupid idiots. The whole idea of freedom of speech is inextricably linked into the way our society works and how business's work in that society. For these brain dead idiots to now say that they are going to sue somebody for exercising a very boring way of expressing his freedom of speech is spectacularly stupid.

But the list of people who lined up to condemn free speech was quite interesting, note them down well, these people are the real enemies of civilisation and liberalism, starting from that idiot UN Secretary General.

And the stench of hypocrisy from the leaders of various countries is quite interesting. But then, they would not know basic principles of freedom of speech and liberalism if it bit their backsides! But that's fine, that is the reason why generally people from their countries want to come to a country where liberalism rules.

Here, read and weep!.