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Showing posts from June, 2009

Michael Jackson

This past week has been anything but jolly for America with the death of two stars – actress Farrah Fawcett and music icon Michael Jackson. Farrah’s death was not so sudden; she was suffering from cancer and it was a question of days when she would lose her battle. And she died on Wednesday.
But Michael’s was unbelievable! Simply earth-shattering, shocking! No one predicted that he was going to die this soon. He was only fifty years old with parents and siblings living. Well, he had his health problems and has been under physician’s care. But still he was healthy enough to rehearse for his upcoming July European concert “This Is It” tour just the night before. So, when I heard about his death in the evening news, June 25, I could not believe it. I listened for hours to understand how he had died and what people’s feelings were for him. If the reaction of the mourners is one way to measure how one has touched others emotionally, Michael definitely was immensely popular, in spite of the…

Comments on NY Times Op/Ed on Iran's recent election - Koran and the Ballot Box

Ref: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/21/opinion/21gerecht.html

I disagree with many assertions of the author, REUEL MARC GERECHT, an ex-CIA agent, who had his hands full one time trying to topple regimes in the Middle East that were deemed anti-USA. In his analysis of the current events in Iran, he says, "God’s will and the people’s wants were no longer compatible."

Gerecht forgets that Khatami was as much a product of Islamic learning as is Khamenei and so is Montazari and even Sistani. None of them ever questions whether God's will and people's wants are compatible. Wherever it is incompatible that is where people have deviated from God's will. Pure and simple! In His infinite Mercy, God did not intend anything harmful for human beings - but has given them a choice which can go either way depending on the nafs of the person. The greatest source of peace and saqinah is derived from following His ways. If today, Iranian masses or anyone for that matter anywhere arou…

Netanyahu’s Doublespeak: Can He Be Restrained?

After President Obama’s seminal speech in Cairo it was all too natural that Israel’s Netanyahu, the master spinner, would try his utmost to deflect world opinion to portray himself as a man of peace. He has learned the art of doublespeak quite well from his predecessors – all serial killers from Ben-Gurion to Olmert. On June 14 he decided to deliver his own speech. If we were expecting a change of heart from this narcissistic individual whose extremist views and actions have not only killed many unarmed Palestinians but also led to the assassination of Rabin, we were mistaken. The speech was not meant for Palestinians but for the western audience, especially Obama, to deceive them. It was a deceitful speech, true to his nature!

While the civilized world has rightly recognized that the root of the conflict lies in uprooting of the Palestinian people from their ancestral homes and continuous refusal of the Zionist state to withdraw from the Occupied Territories allowing the Palestinian p…

Comments with BDR corruption accusations

Ref: http://www.newsfrombangladesh.net/view.php?hidRecord=269578

Thanks to Major (Retd.) Zaman for going over the trouble in tabulating data on seized goods, including drugs, arms and ammos, by our BDR forces stationed around the border with India and Burma. Like most of our honest Army officers he is very concerned with any negative publicity or stereotype about our defense forces. One may recall that during the early hours of the BDR mutiny some rebel jawans read out a laundry list of their grievances against Army officers that were on deputation. This included charges of corruption, esp. against late Maj. Gen. Shaqil and his wife. In the absence of government probing to find the veracity of such accusations, we can only pray and hope that such accusations of corruptions are baseless and are not true.

As some of you may already know, as a certified six sigma master black belt, I get excited with numbers. The problem with these limited data, something that has also been acknowledged b…

Comments on the so-called BDR interrogation audio tapes

From the interrogation of Jawans reported in the audiotape the only thing that one can accuse against some politicians was that they were contacted by the Jawans with their grievances against the Army officers. Even if we are to assume that the tape is authentic and the statements of the jawans are true, nowhere is there a claim that those politicians contacted had approved a blueprint for the killing of officers. I failed to hear such in the tape.

We are told that there was a long list of grievances including alleged corruption with the dal-bhat program and many other promotion related issues where the Jawans felt that they were not fairly treated by the officers. From the TV interviews of some retired officers it also came out quite clear that the use of 'tui' rather than 'tumi' was also the norm rather than exceptions against the jawans. I was told by some friends here just last weekend about corruption of late Maj. Gen. Shaqil, whose wife used to visit Houston, TX…

Does Race Have Anything To Do With IQ?

Remember the colonial days when vast territories of Asia, Africa and Latin America were under white men’s rule? The failure of the non-Whites to resist European colonization and plunder of their territories automatically relegated them to a lower human status. In the 19th century, thus, in addition to the rise of social Darwinism, anthropologists contributed to racism. The search for the “missing link” between apes and Homo sapiens became a passionate pastime among the anthropologists and social Darwinists. They studied aborigines to see if they would fill the gap. Since anthropologists were Europeans and white, their race was put at the apex of hierarchy and the blacks at the bottom. The fact that both black and white human beings shared some common features with apes did not matter; apparently their thick lips, origin in Africa and black color reinforced the stereotype of association between apes and black people. Conveniently ignored were other signs, e.g., the apes have thin lips …

Obama’s Speech Tries to Close the Gap with the World of Islam

President Barack Obama was in Egypt on Thursday, June 4, delivering a seminal speech on improving relationship between the world of Islam and the USA. From the troubling relationship, it is difficult to believe today that it was the Muslim kingdom - al-Mamlaka al-Maġribiyya - more commonly known to the outside world by its Latinized name - Morocco that was the first country to recognize the new state – the USA when others had taken on a wait-and-see approach. In his speech, as much as Obama wanted to reassure his 1.6 billion intended audience about the dawning of a new era, he also had to remind his own constituencies back in the USA about facts that they have forgotten.
A vast majority of the Africans brought to the new country to work in its fields as slaves were Muslims who had lost their God-given human rights in the hands of White slave masters. They were responsible for laying the foundation for the new civilization that was to become the envy of our time being the most powerfu…

Is IQ related to Race?

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/07/opinion/07kristof.html

In a recent article, Rising Above I.Q. (NYT, June 7, 2009), NICHOLAS KRISTOF mentioned something that many of us knew for quite some time: there is no genetic contribution to the black-white difference on I.Q. Drawing upon research findings from psychologist Prof. Richard Nisbett’s book - “Intelligence and How to Get It”, he says that there also seems to be no genetic difference in intelligence between whites and Asians. It is education and the drive to succeed which are most important factors that translate into success. This finding may come as a surprise to those who had believed otherwise. One may recall that following Gobineau’s theory of racial superiority of Whites, it was all too natural for Europeans to believe that they were superior human beings with God-given mission to civilize others. Much later, during Hitler era, we would see the worst form of application of that theory in Nazism where only Germans were considered…

More comments on NFB postings on the Tipaimukh Dam

Ref: http://newsfrombangladesh.net/view.php?hidRecord=267804
and http://www.newsfrombangladesh.net/view.php?hidRecord=267803


It is good to see Mr. Meer Husain's informed views on great dangers posed by the dams. As a concerned expatriate and environmental geologist he has been at the forefront of making a scientific case that relates arsenic poisoning found in groundwater of Bangladesh and the West Bengal with the dams like the Farakka. In this write-up he has put up a couple of rhetorical questions and offered valid suggestions, which I am afraid, Govt. of India will ignore, as it has done in the past a number of times. A visit to the Teesta and Padma rivers during the dry seasons is good enough to see the devastating effect of Indian dams on Bangladesh. A friend of mine who recently had taken a boat ride on the Teesta wrote to me, "We had to physically push the boat like you push a bullock cart." That says a lot about what these Indian dams are doing to Bangladesh!

On the…

Suggestions for a productive dialogue on a national issue

Comments on M. T. Hussain's "India’s Farakka Barrage to Tipaimukh: Bangladesh’s Options"

One would like to believe that as an elderly writer Dr. M.T. Hussain, who claims to have had a very close rapport with (late) Mr. B.M. Abbas, is better positioned to guide our younger generation on a complicated issue like India’s construction of a hydroelectric dam at Tipaimukh. In the past, his articles have shown a penchant for demeaning everything Awami League (AL) – more like opposition for the sake of opposition, something that he may have learned quite well from his iconic leader – Mowlana Bhashani[1] who was termed the “prophet of violence” by the Time magazine in 1969.

If we were expecting something constructive this time, Dr. Hussain has disappointed us again. Like most of his articles, this one, too, is rich with rhetoric that outruns facts. It is loaded with accusations, mostly unfounded as I have shown elsewhere [2], against the AL leadership for the problem with the Farak…

Russo on 9/11 - His conversation with Nicholas Rockefeller

Ref: http://www.mathaba.net/0_mail. shtml?x=620518

I was not aware of this video but am not too surprised with the content. Like many Libertarians Russo suspected conspiracy - pointing out serious flaws with the 9/11-industry of lies and deceptions, as he and others have put it. In this video however he was able to name Nicholas Rockefeller of the Rockefeller dynasty. Nick is a very powerful man who works behind the scene and is in advisory board of many think tanks like the CFR.

Here are some info about Russo from the internet:
Russo was born in Brooklyn in 1943 and raised in Long Island . He began promoting rock and roll shows at a local theater while still in high school and boosted the careers of some of the most successful rock acts of the 1960s, including Janis Joplin and The Grateful Dead. He was also manager of fusion band The Manhattan Transfer. Longtime movie producer and 2004 Libertarian presidential candidate Aaron Russo died at age 64, having succumbed to cancer in August …

From Farakka to Tipaimukh – the Dams that Kill

In recent days, Bangladesh seems to have woken up to the danger posed by construction of the Tipaimukh Dam in the neighboring Manipur state of India. There are some in Bangladesh who have a habit of translating national issues of this kind into deplorable partisanship thereby fostering disunity when national unity is needed. In so doing they commit acts of treason.
In what follows before delving into the Tipaimukh project I would like to share some facts surrounding the Farakka Barrage. Although the construction of the Farakka Barrage was completed during the Mujib rule in 1974-5, the decision to build this dam can be traced back to 1951. In those days, hydroelectric dams were popular methods to generating electric power. India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bhutan planned on building hundreds of hydropower dams from rivers that flowed down from the Himalayas. The Farakka dam was built to divert water from the Ganges River into the Hooghly River during the dry season (January to June), in order…

Indian Government’s intention to construct the Tipaimukh Dam is criminal

Anyone who has visited a hydroelectric power facility knows that there is tremendous ecological impact felt on either side of the dam. One side gets flooded while the other side only sees trickling water flowing downstream, unless sluice gates are opened periodically to release and control water flow. If the flow of water is managed solely by a hostile government such can create a devastating effect on the surrounding territories, especially those living in the downstream of the river. Such a unilateral decision to construct a dam is criminal when the river is international with its water flowing through multiple countries, i.e., not limited to the country of origin.

In the 1940s and '50s many hydroelectric dams were built in the western world to produce cheap electricity. However, with time many developed countries have abandoned the process altogether and moved into more safer and environment-friendly alternatives. Nuclear technology has become one such alternative to address gr…

Crime and Policing in Bangladesh - Comments on Swiss Ambassador's Concern

Ref: http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=91134

Crimes are on the rise everywhere and not just limited to the cities in Bangladesh. On June 4, the Mirror of UK reported how two Brits - Nigel Farmer and and Dano Sonnex had knifed two French students Laurent Bonomo and Gabriel Ferez at least 244 times during an horrific three-hour torture ordeal last June. Here in my backyard in Philadelphia on an average some 500 people are murdered every year by criminals. And as to mugging, the Swiss diplomat ought to visit any U.S. big city downtown area to get a flavor of that crime, especially after the sunset. Theft is also quite common. Just last week, daughter of my in-law lost her new bike which was stolen from her front yard in a secured complex in a well-affluent part of West Chester, Pennsylvania. While living in Los Angeles, I also lost two cars and a bike. A comparative study would show that there is less crime in Bangladesh compared to most western countries.

Having …

More on so-called Peelkhana Government Inquiry Report

Ref: http://www.newsfrombangladesh.net/view.php?hidRecord=267125

[Interestingly, the above write-up from Ms. Ranu Chowdhury (from San Jose, CA) in the NFB is a carbon copy of a letter posted earlier in the bd-mailer by Mr. A. O. Chowdhury (from NY). The response below is for the original post by Mr. Chowdhury in the bd-mailer.]

It is good to hear the views of Mr. A.O. Chowdhury on the so-called inquiry document, which was only 50-page long and not some 300 pages that was reportedly submitted by Mr. Anisuzzaman Khan. I am intrigued by Mr. Chowdhury's statement that "a subaltern of the military could perhaps produce a better and more objective one [report]." The jury is out on such bloated claims of military officers against civilian bureaucrats!

As we all know the BDR-inquiry took much longer than originally anticipated, some underlying reasons are even stated within the body of the text. Being a 9/11-like episode in Bangladesh there was no shortage of analysis and speculati…