Monday, December 29, 2008

Go green, plzzz!

Tom Friedman while rehashing his argument for gas tax observes the perils of petro dollars flowing around the world:

The same is true in geopolitics. A gas tax reduces gasoline demand and keeps dollars in America, dries up funding for terrorists and reduces the clout of Iran and Russia at a time when Obama will be looking for greater leverage against petro-dictatorships. It reduces our current account deficit, which strengthens the dollar. 
What he leaves unsaid or unnamed is the country that gets these petro dollars and  channels them to the terrorists. While it's politically correct to name Russia, and Iran as the bad guys the Saudis remarkably remain unsullen. If the world has to root out terrorism, it should "follow the money."

Saudi sheiks have been exporting Wahabbism for decades now, and their oil money sustains the terrorist infrastructure, the madrasas, and the jihad factories of this world. Our dependence on Saudi oil is the elephant in the room. Seculars know that.

What would "proportionate" be?

Israel recently launched air strikes on the Gaza strip controlled by the terrorist organization Hamas. Not 24 hrs have passed since the strikes and "massive demonstrations erupted" on  the Arab street and in the larger Muslim world (which also includes the "secular" Kashmir of Ghulam Nabi Azad btw). When Muslim terrorists massacred 200 innocent civilians in Mumbai no demonstrations were to be seen on the Islamic street. The Human Rights groupies too are crowing in unison with Islamic fundamentalists. They, too, were silent in the immediate aftermath of Mumbai massacre. 

Anyway, the response du jour now is to characterize Israeli attacks as "disproportionate." But, as always with the our dear Islamists, the facts don't gel with their accusations. Otherwise, how do you explain this:
From January 1 until December 21, Hamas and its allies had launched exactly 1,250 rockets across the border between Gaza and Israel. Then the escalation really started: on Wednesday 70 projectile missiles landed in the Negev and its populated areas. On Thursday, more of the same. On Friday, two Palestinian girls, cousins of 5 and 12 years, were killed by a rocket that was launched in the Strip and landed in the Strip. But these unfortunates were not the targets of fire. It was just another day of blast offs into the Jewish state. 
So 1250 rockets from Hamas over almost an year are "proportionate" according to these worthies. But the three day air strikes are not.  Going by the dense population of Gaza strip, which in itself is the result of "disproportionate" Palestinian breeding, even you even drop a watermelon there's a distinct possibility that someone named Mohamed will die. What surprise then that even targeted air strikes on Hamas strongholds killed couple hundred over a matter of few hours. 

The root cause of this violence is of course the violent philosophy of Hamas. Untill and unless they give up violence, and adopt Gandhian ways of non-violence, they will be solely responsible for Palestinian, and Israeli deaths in and around Gaza.  But don't bet on Arundhati or Sahmat-types "talk"-ing them into change Hamas' hearts and mind, or preaching Gandhian ahimsa. No Sir, that nonsense is reserved only for dhimmi Indians. 

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Jaguar is in trouble, but the Tatas are not in news!

When the Tatas bought Jaguar, the secular media couldn't help itself going "gaga" over it. Column spaces were filled with bouts of swooning over the arrival of India Inc and what not. 

But with the world economy in peril the newly acquired shining knights too seem to be loosing their gloss. 

Gordon Brown, UK Prime Minister, recently announced that the British government will intervene to prevent the collapse of Jaguar:
A state package worth hundreds of millions of pounds will be negotiated in the new year to save a firm claimed by its Indian owner to be of key strategic importance to Britain’s economy.
Of course these are no cheers of an Arundhati-esque anarchist to derive sadistic pleasure from the apparent troubles facing an Indian corporate, but this is big news. And it has consequences much beyond the industry. It should be in headlines. If the Tatas are facing a cash flow issue, surely the incompetent Sonia Congress-led govt. will, sooner or later. From whence are they going to fund the "surgical strikes" or the war with Pakistan then? That is unless they take refuge in the bond market and deliver another deathblow to the Indian economy. 

Friday, December 26, 2008

Human Rights Watch?

Alan Dershowitz wrote a post a while ago about the selectively watchful eyes of the Human Rights Watch people asking What are they Watching

He accuses the HRW that it frequently "...cooks the books about facts, cheats on interviews, and releases predetermined conclusions that are driven more by their ideology than by evidence."

Imagine if they can do this to Israel, with supposedly the omniscient presence of "Israel Lobby," who are we(Indians)? In India the HRW people don't even indulge in such primitive charade. They don't have to. They just keep quite in the aftermath of terrorist attacks and come out of woodwork once the dust settles.

P.S. Joshua Muravchik had this post on the HRW's "cynical manipulation of a worthy cause" with apparently a "history" to it. 

(Both links thanks to Commentary's Contentions blog.) 

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Who woulda thunk?

There's an unwritten hierarchy when it comes to subaltern, oppressed classes theory. And Blacks normally sit at the peak of it, mostly because of the history of slavery in America. The way some of the recent cases of overt and not-so-subtle white racism have panned out, e.g., Don Imus's firing, Dog the Bounty Hunter's show cancellation etc., have reinforced this order. There's no doubt that leashing these tendencies are in the interest of American society, but the downside is that this has also engendered an undercurrent of discontent among whites. 

Rev. Jeremiah Wright was the obverse of this tendency, namely, he was and continues to be perhaps, a Black racist. And an anti-Semite. There's a history of Black anti-Semitism, too, but that's a different issue for another time. The oppressed, suppressed, enslaved, and exploited too have their own bigotry. Nothing surprising about that. 

Which is why election of Barack Obama is a big event. An even bigger one for Blacks. Obama got the most black vote ever. The Black community rallied like never before to get him elected. It was symbolic above all to have a first black president.  The opportunist black leaders of civil rights era were initially fidgety about crossing over to Obama since they were rooting for the establishment candidate, Hillary Clinton. But as their constituents shifted towards Obama, so did these so-called leaders.  They had no option but to answer their natural calling: their survival instinct. Jesse Jackson, Charles Rangel, and some prominent southern black politicians made this switch late in the campaign mostly for survival. When Obama gave his victory speech they even showed Jesse Jackson crying. There's no way to know if those were genuine tears, or if he was crying only because he was expected to cry. 

Anyway, the only reason to cite all this recent history is to explain another phenomenon. Because of the historical election of Barack Obama, there is virtually unanimous black consensus to protect and justify actions of Obama. How long Obama's honeymoon with the genral populace will last is anybody's guess, but there are two constituencies that will cheer for him even longer, if not forever: the American media and the black population. 

Recently Obama took a supposedly controversial decision. He invited evangelical pastor Rick Warren to officiate his inauguration ceremony("to deliver the invocation" to be precise).

This pastor guy is, just like other evangelicals, against homsexuality. Now, some of Obama's big fundraisers in California were organized by gay groups. Among Obama's early cheerleaders are openly gay mediamen like Andrew Sullivan. And the gays are understandably furious at the selection of Rick Warren. Moreso because the evangelicals vote Republican in large numbers while the gay groups were "toiling" for Obama victory. They see it as a betrayal. What worst, for gays, is that pastor Rick Warren supported Proposition 8 (an anti-gay marriage ballot measure in California) which passed successfully. Meaning the state of California banned gay marriage, which was only recently revoked by a California court. The gay groups blamed Mormons, evangelicals, and blacks for their debacle. Blacks may be oppressed and all that but they mostly are influenced by the fundamentalist Christianity of American South. When the blacks came out enmasse to vote for Obama, they also voted for the gay marriage ban. 

The result is we get to witness an unprecedented theater, a mudfest between gays and blacks, while both groups are supporters of Obama, and largely voted Democrats. 

One (black) columnist at Washington Post, Colbert King, wrote in a column today justifying Obama's invitation to Rick Warren. The comments section is animated by guilt-tripping barbs from all sides, but more prominently by gays. 

The gays are playing the victims, and the blacks are being shown to be bigoted. And this is unusual. the traditional hierarchy of victimhood is being jolted. All this is surreal. And funny to boot.

P.S.: Obama's inclusion of Rick Warren is obviously not altruistic. He is merely bowing to the existent power structure, evangelicals being a powerful voting group, certainly more powerful and influential than the numbers and money that gays can ever get him. He is already eyeing 2012 re-election. Only history will tell if Obama's politics of appeasement will carry him all the way to White House, again, come next election.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Bans of the Pakistani terrorist orgs

News flash today: Pakistan bans Jaamat-ud-Dawa

How difficult is it to operate under a changed name, especially when you've done that before? These Islamic terrorist orgs know how to game the international system, of course with the collaboration of Pakistani authorities. 

The US state department link above says that this is not the only alias for Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (Army of God). Been there done that, huh?

Btw wtf does Jaamat-ud-dawa mean? 

Curiously, the website of Jaamat-ud-Dawa(mouthful names, these terrorist orgs have, not?) pretty much gives up its agenda. Check the box under under "Minorties(sic) and Jamaat-ud-Dawa." Well, that's the kind of relations they want with "minorities." It's empty.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Who's the fundamentalist?

There's something amusing about this Fareed Zakaria article. The only moment he deems fit to associate fundamentalism is calling "Hindu fundamentalist.." The Laskhar-e-Taiba(Army of God) and likes are at most "Pakistani militants." Aha, no association with religion there you see! Of the few articles I've read by Fareed Zakaria, rarely if ever have I noticed him calling "Islamic fundamentalist" or "Muslim fundamentalist." Seems to be a deliberate miss to me. Why such reluctance when he is all to ready to announce "Hindu fundamentalist."

Even the Hindu fundamentalist Bharatiya Janata Party, traditionally ultrahawkish, is advocating "coercive diplomacy," calling on the world community to insist thatPakistan implement its U.N. treaty obligations to fight terrorism
And here's the clincher:
To the contrary, what the world needs is for Pakistan to decide on its own that its prospects are diminished by tolerance of such groups.
"Such groups?" Such as what? Oh, and yes, let Pakistan decide for itself. How convenient! Clearly, the man's a shill. What else do you expect from the son of an Islamic fundamentalist like Rafiq Zakaria? Yes, the same guy who declared that the President APJ Kalam is not a Muslim. 

Monday, December 1, 2008

Frustrated by the media?

Yes, me too. But in a season of hope and change even we deserve atleast a pinch of that. Here's some respite straight from the inimitable P.J.O'Rourke.

We print journalists are victims of economic forces beyond our control. We were as surprised as everyone else was by the sudden collapse of the reliable reporting market. We had no idea that real news and clear-eyed analysis were being "bundled" with subprime celebrity gossip, US Weekly derivatives, and Jennifer Aniston/Angelina Jolie swaps. We need a swift infusion of federal aid. Otherwise all the information in America will be about Lindsay Lohan's sex life
Some taxpayers may object to a print journalism bailout on the grounds that it mostly benefits the liberal elite. And we can't blame taxpayers for being reluctant to subsidize the reportorial careers of J-school twerps who should have joined the Peace Corps and gone to Africa to "speak truth to power" to Robert Mugabe.