Saturday, February 14

Do as I say and not as I do

This was the best case of hypocritical thinking of the politicians. I quote:

Yvette Cooper appeared on the Today Programme this morning explaining how there is a strong moral duty for the bankers not to accept their bonuses, even when there are legal contractual obligations for the banks to give them out.
Then within seconds, John Humphrys challenged Cooper about Jacqui Smith, Cooper and hubby Balls all claiming maximum expenses against their second homes, even when the justification of these payments were extremely flakey in the public's eyes. Straight away Cooper launched into the defence that she, Smith and Balls were only following obligations and rules set down by Parliament and that they were only claiming what they were entitled to.
The paradox of telling bankers that they should ignore what they were legally entitled to, while politicians like her should continue to receive what they are entitled to, seemed to escape her.
So much for 'moral obligation', then, eh ?

The idea that these politicians get away with corruption, greed and the lot, while accusing us of being greedy is just fascinating. Hypocrisy, thy name is politics.

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Is Gordon Brown the Dajjal?

I saw this forum discussion and had a good laugh. Just because he is one eyed, he is now being discussed whether he is the Dajjal. I quote the first line:

Default Is Gordon Brown the Dajjal?

Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah's Apostle said, "Shall I not tell you about the Dajjal a story of which no prophet told his nation? The Dajjall is one-eyed and will bring with him what will resemble Hell and Paradise, and what he will call Paradise will be actually Hell; so I warn you (against him) as Noah warned his nation against him."
He can only see through one eye.

Go figure. Of course he isnt the Dajjal, the Dajjal was evil and not stupid.

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Friday, February 13

Taliban threaten attack on Islamabad

Something very interesting happened very recently in Pakistan. The Pakistani Taliban has now threatened to take the fight to Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan. Not only that, they are threatening to go after other militants and Islamic guru’s in Pakistan if they do not join the Taliban. Something like, if you are not with us, you are against us. Remember that one?

But let me quote from the news story itself:

Many religious scholars in Islamabad have also received messages from the Taliban that they have only two options, either to support the Taliban or leave the capital or they will be considered collaborators of the “pro-American Zardari government” which, they claim, is not different from the previous Musharraf regime. It is also surprising that the Taliban of Swat and Bajaur have included the names of some religious and Jihadi leaders, who are not ready to fight inside Pakistan against their own countrymen, in their hit lists. The Taliban have accused some militant leaders of the tribal areas and some leaders of the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba, Harkatul Mujahideen and Hizbul Mujahideen of trying to stop youngsters from fighting the Pakistani forces. Taliban have declared all these “pro-Pakistan” Jihadis as their enemies.The names of Maulvi Nazir from South Wazirastan, Hafiz Gul Bahadur from North Waziristan, Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, Maulana Farooq Kashmiri and Syed Salahudin have been included in the hit lists of the Taliban, who have threatened some Hizbul Mujahideen leaders in Swat and Dir to leave the areas as soon as possible.

Another Taliban leader in the Mohmand Agency Maulvi Omar Khalid has threatened boys belonging to the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba to leave the tribal agency or face death. Omar Khalid has claimed that these boys are only interested in fighting against the foreign troops in Afghanistan or against India, which means that they don’t want an Islamic government in Pakistan. This complicated situation has forced the government to take some extreme steps against the Taliban in Darra Adamkhel and Swat, who had killed a Polish engineer as a reaction to the operations in their areas.

Now, what I found interesting was that the erstwhile denizens of Islamic Militancy in Pakistan are themselves being accused of not being Islamic enough. Look at the names of the worthies who have been targeted. So many of them would be familiar to anybody from India, these people have been frequently been seen presenting the face of Islamic militancy as the saviour of Kashmir.

But they themselves are in the firing line. These Mujaheedeen. These Warriors of Islam. You see, these chaps were supposedly be under the control of the ISI, the Pakistani Military Intelligence Agency and were supposed to be the “plausibly deniability” arm of their force projection in Afghanistan and India. And Islam was their ideology, to fight against the godless Soviets, the infidel Hindu’s or the Crusader Americans or the Zionist Jews. So what do you do when you yourself are accused of not being part of the great Islamic worldview? Surely that’s the most ironic thing, that these warriors of Islam are themselves accused of not being Islamic enough.

Perhaps this should be considered more in depth. These two bunches of Jihadi’s are obviously fated to be together. We should encourage them to meet. Something along the lines of

In a recent interview, General Norman Schwartzkopf was asked if he didn't think there was room for forgiveness toward the people who have harbored and abetted the terrorists who perpetrated the 9/11 attacks on America.
His answer was classic Schwartzkopf. He said, "I believe that forgiving them is God's function. Our job is simply to arrange the meeting."

So what happens after divorce?

Divorce statistics are not pretty reading, behind those statistics is a landscape of utter emotional devastation. Divorce is rising everywhere in the world, whether it be in China, Indonesia, Bhutan, you name it. Lets just concentrate here in the UK. Seems like the number of divorces is falling.

Each of the reported statistics have a challenge and needs further analysis

In 2007 the provisional divorce rate in England and Wales fell to 11.9 divorcing people per 1,000 married population compared with the 2006 figure of 12.2. The divorce rate is at its lowest level since 1981.For the fifth consecutive year, both men and women in their late twenties had the highest divorce rates of all five-year age groups. In 2007 there were 26.6 divorces per 1,000 married men aged 25-29 and 26.9 divorces per 1,000 married women aged 25-29.Since 1997 the average age at divorce in England and Wales has risen from 40.2 to 43.7 years for men and from 37.7 to 41.2 years for women, partly reflecting the rise in age at marriage.One in five men and women divorcing in 2007 had a previous marriage ending in divorce. This proportion has doubled in 27 years: in 1980 one in ten men and women divorcing had a previous marriage ending in divorce. Sixty-nine per cent of divorces were to couples where the marriage was the first for both parties.

The graph shows a bit of levelling out rather than increasing which, I suppose, some good news. We still have pretty young people divorcing, but seems like people dont learn, 1 in 5 already had been divorced once before and now they are divorcing again. Only 69% of marriages were for the first time for both parties. The average length of a marriage before divorcing has been 11 years. This is a bit confusing to me, does it really take that long before the marriage fails? Also, more than half divorces had a child less than 16 years of age.

While researching for this article, I came across the strangest of behaviours. For example, after divorce, one man wanted his kidney back which he had gifted to his wife. Or how about the Nigerian man who was forced to divorce his 82 wives. But that’s nothing when you consider the cost of each divorce in the UK. One estimate is that it costs up to £13,000 per divorce in the UK. And with the credit crunch, the situation has turned really bad. It has apparently increased by a gobsmacking 150% last summer. I quote:

Relationship experts say that they are not surprised with the Summer figures, blaming Summer vacation’s for a high percent of divorce, factors such as spending money they don’t really have, finally spending more than a week in their spouse’s company when they are probably more used to 3 hours maximum, bickering children and the time to reflect sitting on the beach wondering is this really the person you want to spend the rest of your life with.

But by and large, divorce is horrible for the woman, even these days after loads of improvement in the legal system. See the table below for a comparison of legal systems in the matter of divorce from the Economist.

According to recent research, and I quote:

Divorce makes men - and particularly fathers - significantly richer. When a father separates from the mother of his children, according to new research, his available income increases by around one third. Women, in contrast, suffer severe financial penalties. Regardless of whether she has children, the average woman's income falls by more than a fifth and remains low for many years.

This means that society has to carry the load for much longer and women keep on suffering for a very long time. But one crucial aspect, the differences arise for fathers and mothers, not males and females. Its the impact of managing children which impacts the women and as usual, the women usually get custody of the children.

All in all, divorce is frankly not good, not for the man, not for the woman, not for the children, not for the society but even within this, the woman usually gets hold of the short end of the stick. The tax system does not help either, and this is something that I find seriously stupid on parts of the succeeding UK governments. Why on earth do you not want to support marriage? when the downside is much worse for the economy and society? Study after study says that marriage, children, health, family, tax takes, you name it are better for married couples compared to individuals or even cohabiting couples. Not only it does not support, but it actively discourages marriage. I quote:

Experts say that couples where one partner works and the other stays at home are the worst affected, paying a far higher proportion of their incomes to the taxman than in almost any other civilised country. Britain is almost alone in failing to reward couples that stay together, according to the first international study of its kind. A one-earner couple on average earnings of £30,800 a year pays 40% more tax in Britain than in comparable members of the OECD group of developed nations. And, compared to European Union states, the average family is paying 25% more tax.

Bit silly, no? but then, lets not hope for economic literacy from this government of idiots. But that's besides the point. No simple answers, but if I did have to draw a lesson, I would say to women, do not marry till you are absolutely sure and be financially independent under all circumstances. 

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Wednesday, February 11

How do you like me?

So another survey seems to come out via the BBC about how countries are perceived (in terms of their influence). These chaps went out and talked to these countries:


Looks like the USA is still not on the list of countries which is on top of the likeability list. But see who are below it, Russia, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan and Iran. Hmmm, very curious, specially about the last one. I thought people would have liked Iran for showing 2 fingers to rest of the world, but the lesson I draw from the last 6 countries lack of likeability is that they really do not care about what others think of them. Which is the reason why others do not care about them.

What other bits were interesting? Well, UK was interesting, we seem to be liked much more than we are disliked????!!!!, i thought, as junior Satan, we would be equally hated around the world, but no, doing pretty well and not that much different from the first and second rates Germany and Canada. Quite chuffed about this. No?

Some questions for fathers

I saw this list of questions that a mother asks and thought of actually putting down my thoughts in response to these questions. These questions were thought-provoking indeed, I have never thought of many of these questions before and even if I have thought about them, never had to actually answer them. Mind you, I am writing this from the perspective of a father of two children, 13 year old son and 5 years old daughter, born, living and growing up in a cosmopolitan middle class family in London.

  • Why do so many of us thank our husbands when they watch the kids? Is the corollary that men do not thank women while the women are raising the kids? Yes, I would tend to agree. Women do thank their husbands, my wife does. Is this because we have been brought up to think that raising kids is women's work and if husbands do it, it is surprising and this behaviour needs to be encouraged by thanking them? Or is it simply because the women are more polite? How about the animal and plant kingdom where the majority of child bearing responsibility lies with the female of the species, some important exclusions notwithstanding?
  • Why do so many men refer to watching their kids as "babysitting"? I am guilty of this as well, yes, I do call my time with the kids as babysitting. I shouldn't call it as babysitting, they are my children and I have as much responsibility of raising them as my wife. So what DO you call it? baby rearing? Is this because we are asked (or dare I say, allowed) to do so so infrequently?
  • Why are there so many jokes about fathers who are overprotective of their  daughters while handing out "atta boys" to their sons? Because it is true. I do it all the time. My little princess is my little princess, to be protected, to be adored, to be cuddled, to be kissed, to be kept safe and sound, never to cry. My son also gets protected, adored, cuddled, kissed, hugged, but I am more pushy towards him, I do things with him which I dont think I will do to my daughter, such as in small things. Letting him drive a bike with much more enthusiasm and letting him drive alone. With my girl, I am more careful. He can go off to the mall all alone, but I am much careful with my girl even in the local park. This is discounting the age factor. Is this because the media constantly tells us that the girls are princesses and the boys are little shits?
  • What happens between marriage and parenthood, and why are women so angry  about it? I think this is a situation where there is a massive expectations gap. When you get married, you are still a princess, and even after marriage, you are still a princess. You still remain a princess when you are pregnant (to a lesser extent, but still happens), but as soon as a baby is born, your princess days are done and over with. Then you have to handle sleepless nights, you have to worry about leaking breasts, you have to think about weight gain and MMR vaccines. You have to worry about food and vitamins and head lice and and and. By this time, and looking at the statistics of marriage, the man is now starting to get on the ladder of corporate life. Lets not forget that the man, after the birth of his first child, gets the biggest fright of his life. I did. When my son was born, I was scared witless. For the first time, I had somebody in my arms who was totally and utterly mine, and I will be responsible for him for the next few decades, till the end of my life. I am responsible for feeding, clothing, educating, sheltering him. I cannot simply go off and have a drink any longer or go see a film. I need to work my hiney off to make sure that we have sufficient funds for the little and big things that come with a baby. So the woman is, understandably, a wee bit miffed as they are no longer princesses, the man has suddenly gone from a fun chap into a man suddenly beset with responsibilities and she think she has been sold a bum deal. Hence anger.
  • Why has male-bashing essentially become an Olympic sport? Why not? female bashing has been an olympic sport since the old olympics, you girls are simply catching up.
  • Where do our husbands' paternal instincts come from? Genes. The desire for our genes to continue. But then, at end of the day, who will not have paternal instincts when given a little baby in your arms?
  • Who do our husbands look up to as examples of "good dads"? Their own fathers to start with, movies (3 men and a baby, look who is talking/look who is talking too, etc.), books, and their own friends.
  • Why can boys watch sports for days? Not sure about this question. Why not? My girl can watch Dora the explorer for days on end. Mind you, both kids could watch telly tubbies for days on end or Thomas the Tank Engine as well.
  • Why don't our husbands worry about the kids as much as we do? I am not sure this is the right question. I think the right question should be, why dont our husbands worry about the kids in the way I do? Why would you expect another person to be like you in terms of worry? I worry about my kids in different ways than my wife does. Does that make my worry better than my wife's? no, it doesn't, it simply is different. I worry about their financial security, I worry about how will they manage in this world? How their friends think of them? Are they getting all the abilities that they need? How about swimming or shooting? How about gliding? Or investing in stocks? Or cooking? Or getting into the habit of reading? Or excelling in every field? Or having a good life? Or is the question related to the magnitude of worries? That I need to worry 60 minutes per day compared to 120 minutes for my wife? Surely its the quality of the worry and what you do to fix it which is more important than the magnitude?
  • When did they become okay with living in filth? Ah!, guilty as charged. Why life in a show-room? It should be comfortable. And no, doesnt need to be filthy (a bit of DQ there???) but it doesnt need to be all spic and span either. I am sure we can get everything fixed and found.
  • Why don't I know one father responsible for buying the birthday  presents? Well, now you know one. Me and my wife buy the gifts for our kids, and I am the person who does the impulse birthday purchasing for the kids.
  • When did the things they love about their wives turn into the things that annoy them? Do you mean that I am not allowed to change my mind? Read the comments up in the list. Life changes when babies happen. Just like the things you loved about me when i was a boyfriend are now pissing you off, same thing happens when you move from a GF to wife to mother. Just have to be careful about not getting too hung up on these things.
  • Why do I have to explain HOW to take care of OUR child as if he is a  babysitter? Because we are not hard wired to do so. We tend to take things much more easily, I do. I will forget about putting the baby to sleep at the right time, and sit up with her watching tv or playing games or painting or reading books long after they should have gone to sleep. So I need a list. So here's the option. Admit it, you want the babies to be raised as you want them to be, not as men might have wanted them to be. So isnt it best that you tell us what to do? Saves headaches all around.
  • Why doesn't he learn himself like I have?? I am not sure this is quite right, they do learn.
  • Why am I the one who has to know when we are out of  milk/diapers/clothes/toilet paper etc etc etc.? Why? dont you have an online grocery list? and why would you be out? that's where a pantry or store comes in, simple inventory management system.

This reminds me of the time I was speaking to a friend of mine. He said, BD, here's a piece of advice from a man who has had 4 kids, 2 boys and 2 girls, all are now more than 25 years of age. When boys are born, they are like little shits. They will remain little shits all through their lives, a generalised level of little shittiness is to be expected whether they are 3 or 13 or 30. Girls on the other hand are little angels when they are born, and they remain little angels till they reach 12-13 years of age, when they turn into giant shits. They remain giant shits till they are about 20-22 years of age and then they turn back into angels again. As long as you can safely navigate this 100 odd years of time, you are going to be fine.

It was amusing, but reading my wife’s book gave me quite a lot of understanding of what women go through in terms of motherhood but these were just my thoughts. I wonder what the readers will think?

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Tuesday, February 10

And now Valentine’s day is worse than AIDS, Ebola and Cholera

I just find these religious nuts just fascinating. See this chap foaming away..He is saying, “

Egyptian cleric Hazem Shuman called on Muslim youth to "confront [the] Valentine virus," saying that while "everything red will become more expensive" for the holiday, "one red thing will become cheaper: the blood of Muslims. All this is the result of the sins committed by Muslim youth."

He warned, "In a few days time, a very dangerous virus will attack the body of the nation. What virus? Is it AIDS? No, something more dangerous. Something more dangerous than Ebola, which dissolves the human body, more dangerous than cholera, which killed half of Europe a few centuries ago... I have come tonight to warn all boys and girls about an extremely dangerous virus, which is about to attack the hearts of the nation’s youth, and to destroy our relations with God. We must confront this Valentine virus!"

Lordy, Lordy, Lordy. What next?

I will tell you what’s next, in response to all the Pink Chaddi Campaign, some spotty Hindu rage boys, typically being anonymous and hiding behind their mum’s sari’s, have launched a counter campaign, called as pinkcondomcampaign. I mean, how pathetic, they couldnt even come up with an original theme or colour and then to hide behind anonymity? How pathetic but sadly typical. All these religious nuts are the same, prefer to foam and splutter in anonymity or ignorance or more frequently, both. Just check out the comments on the pinkcondom site and see what I mean.

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Sunday, February 8

Fascinating animation of the Mogul Empire


Fascinating stuff, while I have read about the Mogul Empire, the animation makes it so real and a bit sad as well…

The Pink Chaddi Campaign

I am going to be a proud supporter of this campaign. This is basically a campaign to stick two fingers up those so called Hindu guardians of morality who, every Valentine’s day, come crawling out under whichever rock they inhabit, and go after men and women who are basically celebrating love. You can also join the Facebook group. This promises to be fun.


And for all you so called Hindu Guardians of Morality, here’s my polite response to you.