Showing posts from October, 2010

Thanks to NPR for firing Juan Williams for bigotry

During the presidential days of Jimmy Carter, many of the southern states of the USA were Democratic states. In the following 24 years, the Republicans were able to gain their foothold in those states. In the last presidential election many of those seats, once held by the Republicans switched back to the Democratic Party, giving the party the control over both the Houses in the Capitol Hill – the Senate and the House of Representatives.

America goes to the poll in its mid-term election on November 2. Many political analysts think that with a weak economy the ruling Democrats may lose a significant number of seats. I have my doubts though. I think that the Democrats may still hold onto a slim majority in both the Houses.

In my home state of Pennsylvania, a couple of months ago, Pat Toomey, the Republican candidate, vying to replace the Democratic Senator Arlen Specter, whom Joe Sestak beat in the May primary election, had a double digit lead over the latter candidate in some sample po…

Nicholas Kristof's errors with his latest article - Test Your Savvy on Religion

Nicholas Kristof wrote an eye-opening article "Test Your Savvy on Religion", New York Times, October 9, 2010, on religion for many westerners. He asked 13 questions to test knowledge of his readers. The questions are:

1. Which holy book stipulates that a girl who does not bleed on her wedding night should be stoned to death?
a. Koran
b. Old Testament
c. (Hindu) Upanishads

2. Which holy text declares: “Let there be no compulsion in religion”?
a. Koran
b. Gospel of Matthew
c. Letter of Paul to the Romans

3. The terrorists who pioneered the suicide vest in modern times, and the use of women in terror attacks, were affiliated with which major religion?
a. Islam
b. Christianity
c. Hinduism

4. "Every child is touched by the devil as soon as he is born and this contact makes him cry. Excepted are Mary and her Son.” This verse is from:
a. Letters of Paul to the Corinthians
b. The Book of Revelation
c. An Islamic hadith, or religious tale

5. Which holy text is sympathetic to slavery?
a. Old Testa…

A couple of old links on Israel

Here is a link from last year on Israel's crime against the Palestinian people. In this link, a British Jewish MP condemns Israel's actions saying that Israel is acting like the Nazis in Gaza.

You can also view the destruction of Palestinian homes in Jerusalem by the Israeli government by clicking here.

My trip to Germany

Like many people these days, I have become a frequent traveler. This past week I have been in Germany visiting Mannheim, close to Ludwigshafen, near the Rhine River. The week before, I was in Savannah of Georgia and Tallahassee of Florida in the USA. The next week I plan to be in New Jersey on Monday and South Carolina the remainder of the week. The following weeks, I shall be visiting Mississippi, Texas and Louisiana states. Before I visit my parents in Bangladesh in the third week of December, my calendar is filled with all my scheduled flights to different places within the USA.

For many people, traveling is fun, but for some others it is or can be a painful experience. (My parents, who had visited many parts of Asia, Europe and North America in the 1980s and 1990s, no longer like to fly. In their advance ages it is too difficult and tiring for them.) I don’t know which category I fall into. Like some frequent flyers, I do have my share of mixed experiences.

As I write this on Sat…

U.S. War Crimes in Kandahar

Speaking in 1995, twenty years after the Vietnam War ended, Robert McNamara, the late U.S. Defense Secretary, considered one of the architects of the war, famously said, “We were fighting, and we didn’t realize it, a civil war. … And one of the things we should learn is, you can’t fight and win a civil war without side troops, and particularly not when the political structure in a country is dissolved. So it wasn’t the press that was the problem. It was—the problem was that we were in the wrong place with the wrong tactics.”

Has America learned anything positive from Vietnam? Surely not! Otherwise we won’t be hearing the same kind of comments today about her war in Afghanistan. When George W. Bush invaded Afghanistan in the aftermath of 9/11 there was such a support within the broader American public that no one cared to remember that since the collapse of the Soviet-supported regime Afghanistan had drifted into a civil war. In a senseless genocidal orgy, the Taliban regime, guilty of…