Friday, May 30, 2008

UNESCO to be headed by a book burner?

When it comes to the UN, nothing is surprising but the fact that this global kleptocracy keeps being shielded from criticism by a sympathetic media-

Egypt's culture minister(Farouk Hosni) is a top candidate to head the United Nations's main intellectual body, but his declaration that he would burn books by Israeli authors has forced him to walk a fine line between appeasing extremists in his country and satisfying Western critics.

Several diplomats familiar with the selection process for director-general of the U.N. Education Scientific and Cultural Organization said yesterday that Farouk Hosni's candidacy could now be doomed, after he told the Egyptian parliament that if any Israeli books were found in Egyptian libraries, he would burn them.

Such a statement is "couched in the language and actions of Nazi 'Minister of Culture' Josef Goebbels," the director for international relations of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Shimon Samuels, said in a letter to the current Unesco director-general, Koïchiro Matsuura of Japan. "An aspirant book-burner, who threatens to wield culture as a weapon, cannot head the intellectual arm of the United Nations."

"Anyone who presents a candidacy for the top U.N. education body should know that incitement is one of our region's worst problems," an Israeli U.N. ambassador, Daniel Carmon, said. "Hatred helps to create the infrastructure of terrorism."

Read the whole thing.

(emphasis mine)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Amaresh Mishra opens my third eye and piques my sixth sense

(Update - On Amaresh Mishra's theories about the Mumbai terrorist attacks, see here.)

In an article by Amaresh Mishra, this opened my third eye and piqued my sixth sense-
Gujjar turbulence owed a lot to their nomadic status and the British attempt to settle them as peaceful land revenue paying peasantry. During the Mughal era, Gujjars were known for their entrepreneurial role — they not only exchanged milk and other commodities but also guarded the trade routes of North India. The colonial-British State, keen to turn every rural element into a peasant, did not understand the community’s entrepreneurial role. So after 1857, the British classified the Gujjars (and around 150 other Indian communities) as ‘criminal tribes’ through the Criminal Tribes Act, 1871. In this move, communities that had fought for Bahadur Shah Zafar in 1857 were openly targeted. Several other forces like the Pardhis of Vidarbha and the Dhangars and the Ramoshi-Berads of Maharashtra and Karnataka also suffered. Most of them were warrior-nomads or warrior-hunters of the Mughal and Maratha era. During the colonial era, basic human rights were denied to these communities. They were literally given an ‘anti-social’ tag. Their position became worse than that of many Dalit communities in the country.

Let me reprise -according to Mishra, the British promulgated the Criminal Tribes Act, 1871

1) to turn every rural element into a peasant

2) to target communities that had fought for Bahadur Shah Zafar in 1857

3) for no other reason, since none is mentioned.

I wonder if there might just possibly have been some other reason, some teenie-weenie fact that some of these tribes actually had a history of being involved in crime over generations-
Each gang developed its own specialty. The Kabutri Nats, famed for their beautiful women, operated as dancing troupes: while the women danced, the men and children frisked the audience. The Bauriahs became confidence men: disguised as sadus (holy men), they duped pious Hindus into parting with their hoarded valuables. The Barwars specialized in brazen daylight thievery, expelled members who stooped to night operations. The nomadic Panjaros rustled cattle. The Harnis forced their women into prostitution and rolled the customers; when the heat was on, they usually beat it disguised as fakirs, often taking a leper along to scare off the curious.

The Ramoosics, also panderers, had a side interest in a bungalow-protection racket. The Bhamptas were railroad thieves. Their favorite trick, best performed on a crowded train, was to frighten a baby, slide to the floor to comfort it, and meanwhile slit open the baggage of the other passengers. The Kolis impersonated cops: descending on a village, they would arrest the village constable on some phony charge, then strip the village. Other groups became counterfeiters, moonshiners, muggers. Children learned crime at their mother's knee. Some tribes pressed a silver rupee, fastened to a piece of string, into a newborn child's throat, where it would form a pocket which, when the child grew up, provided a hiding place for stolen coins and jewels.

And was revenge the only or even the most dominant motive of those eeevil Firangs*(from the same link)-
How to Reform Them? The British liquidated the Thugs, a group of professional murderers who contributed a word to the English language. But the others they decided to recognize as a sort of criminal caste. Under the Criminal Tribes Act (1871), the more notorious groups were segregated in special settlements. All their members had to register at the age of 14, whether or not they had been personally guilty of a crime, faced special penalties, much more severe than those for ordinary offenders.

Later, criminal tribesmen were given a chance to reform. Many settlements were placed in the care of the Salvation Army, various missions and philanthropic organizations. Children were sent to school, taught useful trades.
Me, I am rubbing my eyes furiously. Surely those children eating imperialists could never hold such ideals as reform, sending children to school and teaching the 'criminal tribes' useful trades in their dead cold hearts(oh wait, they had no hearts)? Surely, Mishraji, that cannot be true. I must read it again just to believe that I have read it-
Later, criminal tribesmen were given a chance to reform. Many settlements were placed in the care of the Salvation Army, various missions and philanthropic organizations. Children were sent to school, taught useful trades.

This work was carried on after India became independent. Last week(in 1952-ed.) the state of Uttar Pradesh, following the example of Bombay and Madras, repealed the Criminal Tribes Act, thus freeing all but a small percentage of India's criminal tribesmen from their semi-prison existence.

The authorities were under no illusion that they had abolished the tribes' preference for ancestral occupations; but with the stigma of hereditary crime removed, they hoped to convince the tribes eventually that crime does not pay.

Whaaaatt's that again!!! But wasn't it only the very naughty racist imperialist British who were convinced of "the tribes' preference for (criminal)ancestral occupations"? No wonder then that the independent Indian state passed a very similar law-
In a retrograde step, in 1959, new laws in the form of the Habitual Offenders Act were introduced in various states. Even whilst eschewing branding people of certain communities ‘born criminals’, these Acts retained many of the provisions of the Criminal Tribes Act such as registration, restrictions on movement, and incarceration in ‘corrective settlements’ earmarked for ‘habitual offenders’. The bias against nomads lingered, as is apparent in the way the Acts enjoined the government to look at whether a person’s occupation was “conducive to an honest and settled way of life… not merely a pretence for the purpose of facilitating commission of offences,” while exercising its power to restrict the movement of the person. The police routinely used theHabitual Offenders Act against members of nomadic and denotified communities.

And how dare top Indian politicians speak of cracking down on the 'criminal tribes', even decades later? What are they, as racist as the British or do they hold a grudge against those who carried water for Bahadur Shah Zafar? Hasn't Mishraji told them that there is no such thing as the 'criminal tribes'?-
Bansi Lal orders crackdown on `criminal' tribes

Haryana Chief Minister Bansi Lal has ordered a crackdown on the `criminal' tribes - the Bawarias, Pardis and Sansis. During a visit to the sector-17, Gurgaon residence of Sudhir and Kiran Lal, the couple who were clubbed to death by suspected Bawaria assailants four days ago, Bansi Lal ordered that these criminal tribes be flushed out of Haryana.
What?! "criminal tribes be flushed out"! Just like the eeeeeeeeeeeeevil Englanders used to do? No, that cannot be true in free India fifty years after independence!

Ok, enough of sarcasm. Now the conclusion-
This is what our media and 'scholars' do everyday -rewrite history to suit their pre-determined narratives.

(For those who think my sense of time has gone bonkers-how could Amaresh Mishra, whose book came out in 2008 have gone back in time to 1999,the date of the above article, and lectured Bansi Lal: to them I say -
Mishraji is carrying such a weight of history on his patriotic shoulders enlightening us all that he bloody well should have figured out how!)

Note 1-
Amaresh Misra is the author of War of Civilisations: India AD 1857 in which he claims that the British killed 10 million in 10 years(has a jingle like ring to it) after 1857 out of revenge. This astonishing claim is disputed by many experts, including this lady here who asks-
How have historians missed these tens of millions of Indians killed? Which regiments did the killing? Where are the War Office orders authorising the killings? Where are these operations found in the various regimental histories/ histories of the British Army in India?
Note 2-
Criminal Tribes Act, 1871 may be read here(pdf).

A sample of Mishraji's powerful intellect-
He(Amaresh Mishra) blamed terrorism in India on the growing Indo-Israel relationship and India’s pro-West policies.

(emphasis mine)

*The colorful Indian language translator-
firangi - White skinned foreigner, often a term of derision among anti-colonial, subaltern study types

A case for cultural imperialism

Some ancient(2001) wisdom from the fair-haired one that still rings the bell -

"It is time for concerted cultural imperialism. They(Muslim fanatics) are wrong about women. We are right."

Oppressed ladies in bikinis may take them off

Oppressed ladies in bikinis
(image source)
Oppressed ladies in bikinis -take off your garbs! Choose liberation in this instead-

Feeling liberated in Burka
(image source)

In a publication full of inanities, this column by Sunita Aron stands out. She defends the state of women's rights in Ahmadinejad’s Iran.

The dress code has not suppressed women in Iran. The high literacy levels has pushed their participation in Iran’s 1979 revolution as well as for the ongoing one million-signature campaign in support of their petition to the government for equal rights in the Iranian law. And they are ready to go to jail too against what they once described as ‘gender apartheid.’

Perhaps it’s time we admit that the equal status of women is not determined by the dress she wears. A woman in a bikini can be more suppressed than one covered from head to toe. It’s time Iran and India realised this.
Read the whole silly thing.

Sunita Aron appears to be some sort of a big shot at the Hindustan Times. Many a times I wonder why the top honchos of our media, print and TV, utter the stupidest of things with a depressing regularity. Here are a few women feeling liberated in Uncle Ahmadinejad's wonderland-

Video of an Iranian woman being arrested by the relgious police even as she shouts,"I don't want to go"

Here is another-

Another video of an Iranian woman being arrested by the IRI police

On the other hand, Kay S. Hymowitz wonders-"Why Feminism is AWOL on Islam"

Similar musings from Robert Spencer-"Two Women Stoned: Feminists Mum"

(emphasis mine)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

No outrage until the Americans do it

There would be a deafening roar ten times the size of the sound of a hundred jet engines if American troops did this.When UN does it there is but the sound of silence -

(UN) Peacekeepers 'abusing children'

A 13-year-old girl, "Elizabeth" described to the BBC how 10 UN peacekeepers gang-raped her in a field near her Ivory Coast home.

'Elizabeth' tells the BBC about her abuse

"They grabbed me and threw me to the ground and they forced themselves on me... I tried to escape but there were 10 of them and I could do nothing," she said.

"I was terrified. Then they just left me there bleeding."

No action has been taken against the soldiers.

From the same page-

2003 - Nepalese troops accused of sexual abuse while serving in DR Congo. Six are later jailed
2004 - Two UN peacekeepers repatriated after being accused of abuse in Burundi
2005 - UN troops accused of rape and sexual abuse in Sudan
2006 - UN personnel accused of rape and exploitation on missions in Haiti and Liberia
2007 - UN launches probe into sexual abuse claims in Ivory Coast

So where is the outrage, dude?

(emphasis mine)

Well bowled, Melanie!

Couldn't have put it better in a hundred years-

All these problems(Teen pregnancies,teenage crime,child neglect), experienced disproportionately by those at the bottom of the heap, were foisted upon them by the overclass of which India Knight is a member. It was the champagne socialist intelligentsia which destroyed the traditional family, demonised men, incentivised mass fatherlessness and declared never-married motherhood an inalienable human right, emptied education of content and cut off the escape routes out of disadvantage by withering the grammar schools, declared morality to be a dirty word, paralysed the police through political correctness, enslaved the poor through dependency on the state and then finally destroyed their brains by telling them to eat cannabis cake while themselves showing the way by snorting cocaine on the Square Mile or in recording studios, or getting legless on Crackdaddy cocktails at Boujis nightclub.
Read the whole thing.

(emphasis mine)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

William Dalrymple bats for the East against the West

William Dalrymple-an upscale Barbara Cartland?
"an upscale Barbara Cartland"?

For some reason I am unable to share the common enthusiasms of our elite classes(in fact, I am tempted to delete 'cl' from the last word)- be it the deification of Amitabh Bachchan or the adulation of RK Pachauri or the relentless bashing of Bush. So when our media-intellectual elites swoon on hearing the name of William Dalrymple, I find myself feeling characteristically indifferent.

William Dalrymple is a historian and an author who is much toasted in the Indian intellectual circles. I am unable to say if that is well deserved, not having read any of his very well received books(although I have just started his The Last Mughal; my opinion of it will follow if I am able to find the time to finish it, having borrowed it from a library).

However, from the introduction to the above mentioned book, from the bits of his interview I have read or seen(I forget which), Dalrymple comes across as apparently sincere but in some ways part of that breed of western orientalists who come to believe(if they did not do so before)in the superiority of Eastern culture and ideas over that of the West.Even if they may claim to be neutral in the culture-wars or may profess to believe in giving equal respect to all cultures and philosophies, their actions and words do let through their bias(or preference, shall we say?) towards the East and against the West.

What most left this impression about William Dalrymple was what he said in a lively debate on the topic "We should not be reluctant to assert the superiority of Western values".Somehow I was not surprised that Dalrymple took a stand against the motion. He was on the side of Tariq Ramadan, an Islamist apologist and Charles Glass, a leftist writer.Supporting the motion were Douglas Murray, a conservative writer and commentator, David Aaronovitch, also a writer and Ibn Warraq, former Muslim writer living under a fatwa and the author of‘Why I am Not a Muslim’. All three are despised in British leftist circles as 'neo-cons'.
You may hear the debate here.

In the debate William Dalrymple comes across as a fish out of water. He gave a strong impression that he was on the exact other side -that Eastern values were superior and that "We should not be reluctant to assert the superiority of Eastern values". However he could not assert this conviction of his(I might be wrong but as I said he does give an impression that such is his conviction). So while opposing vehemently the debate topic and denouncing Western values, he could not take a convincing stand in favor of the opposite, a nod perhaps to the notion of neutrality between the cultures(a notion which I suspect Dalrymple holds with no strong conviction, if at all).

Dalrymple's constant invocation of Akbar as a fair representative of the Orient was logically untenable, since Akbar was unique among the eastern rulers and an exception to many rules.

Hugh Fitzgerald has an interesting description of the debate-

I listened to the Q2 debate once through yesterday morning, and took no notes, but I remember some important details. The resolution, about being unafraid to assert the superiority of Western values, had on one side, supporting the resolution, Ibn Warraq, David Aronovitch, and Douglas Murray, and opposing it, Charles Glass, Tariq Ramadan, and William Dalrymple.


The one who really gave himself away was the odious and stupid and remarkably ill-informed William Dalrymple. He went on and on about how, near to where "I live in Delhi" there is some spot connected to the reign of Akbar. And then he proceeded to tell everyone -- thank god it has been preserved on tape, for all time -- how Akbar, the "Muslim emperor," had called together Shi'a Muslims, and Sunni Muslims, and Jains, and Christians, and even Jews from Cochin, for a colloquy. And he went on and on about how splendid Akbar was. Of course, Akbar was splendid, when he became syncretistic, when he ended the Jizyah, when he essentially stopped being a Muslim in every important way. The British historian V. A. West, in his "History of India," notes that Akbar demanded that those in his inner circle had to abjure the Qur'an -- not exactly the sign of a Muslim.

So his entire speech was all about Akbar, and he apparently did not know that Akbar, the Akbar he praised, is remembered today fondly by Hindus and despised by Muslims. And at one point he even described "Ashoka and Akbar" as Muslim leaders. Ashoka was no Muslim. Could I really have heard him say that? Not possible. No, I suppose anything is possible, especially if Dalrymple shows he has missed entirely the main point about syncretistic Akbar, has not understood the whole point of his later rule, and why he is revered by Hindus and despised by Muslims, though some may now invoke his name to show that “Muslims are tolerant.”

No, Dalrymple’s idiocy about Akbar will live on forever, on the tape made of the other evening, forever made available online with a single click, to haunt him, to mock him, to serve as proof that Dalrymple the historian of Mughal India, “internationally-acclaimed,” is unsteady when it comes to possibly the most important figure in Indian history during the entire Mughal period.

Ibn Warraq, in one of later replies, noted -- too quickly, alas -- that Akbar was no Muslim, and it was clear, according to observers, that Dalrymple was nervous, that he knew he was out of his depth.

And why was he "out of his depth"? Did he not know about Akbar? Never read the "Akbarnamah" of Fazl? Strange, isn't it, that someone who has made his entire professional career out of his supposed knowledge of Mughal India, and has written all his books about Mughal India, appears to be so ignorant about Akbar, the celebrated emperor who during his reign ended the practice of demanding the payment of the Jizyah (his successor, Aurangzeb, promptly re-imposed it) and was clearly indifferent or even hostile to so much of Islam. And Dalrymplecannot claim that little is known about Akbar or his reign, for it was recorded in great detail by Fazl, and by others. Or does Dalrymple not know that, either?

Oh, did I mention that the same Dalrymple (google his name and "Jihad Watch" and "Posted by Hugh" for my many descriptions of him as an upscale Barbara Cartland, singing the life of luxe and volupté at the Mughal court, with love intrigues in the palaces, and trans-racial transgressions, and all the rest of it) a few years ago was earning all kinds of prizes and glory for his book “The Last Mughal.” For that book the claim was repeatedly made that he, Dalrymple, had come along and finally made use of the Mutiny Papers that no historian had seen or used, and until Dalrymple came along had simply been overlooked or, in some accounts, even entirely unknown. But if you read his much-overrated "The Last Mughal" you find, in the footnotes, that Dalrymple takes much, perhaps most, of what he quotes from those Mutiny Papers not directly, but from books by other, much more solid historians. He admits as much. And yet the story still makes the rounds about how William Dalrymple used a cache of papers that no one had known about. Good Christ, you’d think he was Hyde at Malahide Castle. It’s blague. Curious that his self-promoting website, the one you get to by googling his name and then clicking on a link that proudly describes itself as yielding “[t]he Home site of William Dalrymple, internationally acclaimed writer and historian” (who do you suppose wrote that?), continues the tale of the Papers That No One Knew About.

Fitzgerald is practically accusing Dalrymple of scholarly fraud in the last paragraph above. I have no idea if that is true.However do read the whole thing as there is much more on this and the debate including stinging barbs at Amartya Sen.

And here is why(among other reasons) I swoon not on hearing the name of William Dalrymple-
The historian Dalrymple was more comfortable commenting on the West's dark history, than dwelling on the inconsequential present. For Dalrymple Western values were equivalent to the Holocaust. Indeed colonial genocide, Nazism and Marxism were "not freak departures from form," they were rather the logical consequences of Western -- or universal -- values.
(Christopher Orlet)

Christopher Orlet(link above) sums it up nicely-
IT MAY BE ARGUED that Western Civilization did indeed produce Hitler, Ulbricht, Franco, Mussolini, Stalin, Milosevic and Ceausecsu, but the free West also defeated them. Huntington at least would reject the notion that the last three dictators were in any real sense "Western." He maintains that Eastern Orthodox nations of southeastern and Eastern Europe constitute a distinct "Euro-Asiatic civilization." Though European and Christian, these nations were but minimally effected by the cultural influences of the Renaissance. As for Hitler and Ulbricht, the German has never shown much respect for individualism. Most important, these dictators could only flourish by completely crushing Western values. Like Islam, none of these dictators allowed for the West's two key values: self-criticism and individualism.

Granted, the West is no Utopia, and it has seen its share of excesses (My Lai and Abu Ghraib), though these are seen as blots on our name, not good policy. If William Calley got off with a slap on the wrist, Abu Ghraib veteran U.S. Army reservist Charles Graner received 10 years and his "ex-girlfriend" Lynndie England was sentenced to three years in a naval brig.

The ultimate irony, of course, is that such free exchange of ideas could only take place in a Western country. That in itself should prove the superiority of Western values.

Dalrymple's team lost the debate 465 -264.(No, I don't believe that the truth of ideas is a matter of majority voting)

(emphasis mine)

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Israel -taking blows and still standing tall

Happy Birthday, Israel!

Israel birthdayYou are hated around the world. You are loathed by lefties. Arabs want to and have tried to drive you into the sea. The United Nations hates your guts and does everything it can to undermine you.Here's wishing that you shall be able to overcome perhaps the most pressing mortal danger you have ever faced and that is now looming on the horizon -crazy mullahs with a nuclear bomb. You know, the same mullahs that do this-

Public hangings in Iran

The same mullahs that the Karats and the Yechuris of this world support(but naturally, as they are admirers of the great humanist Stalin).

Just a couple of links on this occasion-

The first, on how a agenda driven world media colludes with Arabs to demonise Israel- lying, hiding facts, making up facts. The truth about the Al-Durah (or Al-Dura) which could be very different from the one ingrained into our consciousness by the MSM. There has been a lot of controversy over the role of the media in manufacturing the Al-Durah narrative, including a dramatic trial in France. I am sure you have read about in your favorite MSM outlet. If not then ask yourself why. Also do check out the revealing videos at the link.

Just an excerpt-
Why has it taken so long to publish the facts about this case?

Once the story came out the way it did - that the Israelis killed him on purpose - and spread around the world, the biggest adjustment that most journalists would accept was that perhaps it was not intentional on purpose. Any effort to exculpate the Israelis was immediately greeted with cries of "blaming the victims." Enormous conceptual resistance surrounds this case - political, psychological, cognitive. The political atmosphere aside, however, the reluctance of the media to reconsider this case comes from a deep-seated aversion to self-examination and self-correction, starting with France2's refusal to release the rest of the footage shot by Talal abu Rahme that day.
Are you claiming that the footage of al Durah was staged?

That, in the opinion of many people who know the dossier well, is the most likely conclusion.
It explains almost all of the evidence, including all the inconsistencies between Talal's testimony and the evidence of the tapes. But it can't be proven, and ultimately it is up to each person to come to his or her own decision, based on the available evidence. That is why we set up this site: to permit the public to decide whether its media have served them well in this case.

Isn't this a bit too conspiracist? Are you claiming a huge conspiracy to lie about the story of this boy?

No. Staging the story only required the cooperation of the crew at work that day and the silence of any observers. The more interesting part of this story is the credulity of those on the outside who accepted Talal's narrative along with his tapes. Accusations of conspiracy frequently greet the claim that the al Durah footage was faked; this is both a reflexive response - "you know, there are so many conspiracies in this part of the world, I don't believe any…" - and a way of comparing those who argue for staging the scene with those who claim that the Mossad blew up the Twin Towers on 9-11-01. Understanding the difference between conspiracy theories, and the argument made here represents one of the most important distinctions one can make in trying to wade through the rhetorical minefield of Middle East information delivery.

Is the boy still alive?

Most believe he is dead. There are some who believe he is alive. Our position is agnostic. We only assert that the last time we see Muhamed on Talal's tape that afternoon, he is still alive. What happened to him afterwards is a question we do not feel we know enough to decide. A comparison of the picture of Muhamed al Durah from his home, and the face of the boy at the hospital who was later buried, do not match very closely. A good investigation - which should have occurred immediately after the claims were made - may well reveal the tale of his fate.
Read the whole thing.

Here's an account of the appeal’s trial of Philippe Karsenty - the French media gadfly who accused TV channel France 2 of fabricating video in the matter of the Palestinian boy Mohammed al Dura.
Here is another account and some biting analysis.

The second link is about the detestable role of the UN, more particularly the UNRWA in fanning the flames of hatred. One gets the distinct feeling that the the solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict that would bring most satisfaction to the sundry tranzis at the UN and the ideologically linked NGO's is the one proposed by Hamas -the long desired destruction of Israel.

Unique in history, UNRWA's job is to keep Palestinian refugees in suspended animation--and at low living standards--until they achieve the goal set for them by the PLO and Hamas: Israel's extinction. In the meantime, their suffering and anger is maintained as a weapon to encourage them toward violence and intransigence.

UNRWA schools become hotbeds of anti-Western, anti-American, and anti-Semitic indoctrination, recruiting offices for terrorist groups. UNRWA's services are dominated by radicals who staff and subsidize radical groups while potentially intimidating anyone from voicing a different line. UNWRA facilities are used to store and transport weapons, actually serving as military bases.

In this process, UNRWA has broken all the rules that are supposed to govern humanitarian enterprises. Consequently, UNRWA is the exact opposite of other refugee relief operations. They seek to resettle refugees; UNRWA is dedicated to blocking resettlement. They help refugees to live normal lives so that they can move on with their existence; UNRWA's role is to ensure their lives remain abnormal so they are filled with anger and a thirst for revenge that inspires violence and can only be quenched by a victorious return. They try to create stable conditions for refugees; UNRWA's mission is to enable radical political activity and indoctrination by armed groups which ensures a continual state of near chaos.

Read the whole thing.

Oh, and by the way did you hear about the school headmaster at a UN school in Gaza who by night built rockets for Islamic Jihad?
Charming fellow, now enjoying his well deserved virgins courtesy of Israel.

(emphasis mine)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

"You hippy-crites!"

This marvelous article on the hypocrisy of activist celebrities is doing the rounds of the blogosphere. Reminds me of when Amitabh Bachchan took the bogus pledge on his and his family's behalf to 'fight' global warming.

Do read the whole thing.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Sitaram Yechuriji, come take away all these loonies

E Gawd! There they go again. The American administration has kicked our Pavlovian media dogs in the balls again. For several hours now they(the allegedly 'news' channels) have been bleating about how Bush is now blaming India and China for the rise in oil prices after blaming our emiciated populace for the food crisis earlier(that was was the first kick). So we are now told that Bush has come up with this unique theory that on one else believes in: in fact Sitaram Yechury called America insane for suggesting that India and China might be, um...connected to the rise in price of of oil.

That means no rest for me. No time to ogle at generous female forms on the wilder side of the net. Now I will have to put on my SuperBlogger pyjama suit and get to work. So here goes.

Yechuriji, bring in a large van from the nearest lunatic asylum, for these people will be climbing aboard along with Bush-

Meghnad Desai, The Times of India, 1 May 2008-
The oil price rise is driven almost entirely by China's demand and the chaotic politics of Nigeria and Venezuela.

Mark Shenk at Livemint(a Hindustan Times publication), Apr 21 2008-
Traffic jams in Beijing and air conditioners in Dubai are replacing US highways and suburbs as the driver of global oil prices.

China, India, Russia and West Asia for the first time will consume more crude oil than the US, burning 20.67 million barrels a day this year, an increase of 4.4%, according to the International Energy Agency, or IEA, in Paris. US demand will contract 2% to 20.38 million barrels daily, IEA says.

Kiran Kabtta, TNN(Times of India),28 Apr, 2008-
Nevertheless, the overall demand for crude oil continues to grow, especially in large, emerging countries such as China, India and Brazil, as well as West Asian countries.

Manas Chakravarty and Mobis Philipose at Livemint, Apr 18 2008-
Although world growth may be slowing, growth in countries such as China and India continues to remain robust and it’s the demand from these countries that’s going to keep commodity prices high.

Moira Herbst, BusinessWeek, August 3, 2007-
Unlike in previous periods, the main driver in the recent price boost is not a war, a hurricane, or the machinations of OPEC, but rather robust global economic growth, say analysts. The U.S. economy has remained solid, despite jitters in the stock market. China and India are surging, while most of Europe is strong.

ExpressIndia(from the Indian Express group), January 21, 2008-
Voracious demand for oil, iron ore and other commodities to build roads, sewage systems, and office buildings - especially in the booming economies of China and India – will also help sustain the region through any US slowdown.

Rick Newman, USA Today,March 10, 2008
Although I doubt that this is as important as other factors driving up the price of oil—such as strong growth in parts of the world such as China and India.

Another important issue is that in a lot of countries, like India, China, Indonesia, and some Arab countries, the price of oil and gasoline is subsidized, to keep the domestic price low, usually to prevent social unrest. That matters because if oil prices were allowed to be set at market prices, demand would fall, and so would prices. So demand in those places is artificially high.

Jad Mouawad
, The International Herald Tribune, April 28, 2008-
At the same time, oil consumption keeps expanding at a faster clip than production. Demand is forecast to increase this year by 1.2 million barrels a day, to 87.2 million barrels a day. Consumption has actually fallen a bit in theUnited States, the world's biggest consumer, as the country grapples with an economic slowdown.

But that drop is being offset by growth in other countries. World consumption is projected to rise 35 percent, to around 115 million barrels a day, in the next two decades. Most of the growth will come from China, India and oil-producing countries in the Middle East, where retail fuel prices are subsidized, encouraging wasteful consumption.

And to go back to food prices :

The United Nations, November 3 2007-
The price rises are a result of record oil prices, US farmers switching out of cereals to grow biofuel crops, extreme weather and growing demand from countries India and China, the UN said yesterday

8 Sep 2007, 0200 hrs IST,Chidanand Rajghatta,TNN-
A massive purchase of nearly 800,000 tonnes of wheat by India at record prices earlier this week has added to what agricultural experts are calling the great wheat panic of 2007. Wheat prices had already reached record levels ahead of the Indian move, thanks to falling or stagnating production in many countries — blamed on poor weather and crop diversion — and growing population.

Jean Ziegler,The United Nations special rapporteur on the right to food , April 28, 2008-
"There are four main causes that everyone is talking about: biofuels, increased demand in China and India, higher oil prices and global warming. But the real cause is that for decades there has not been proper investment for years in local agriculture in developing countries."

Rajeev Deshpande,TNN, 4 May 2008-
And diversion of foodgrain for bio-fuels in countries like Brazil and US has happened at a time when better incomes are driving demand in economies like India and China. All this, just as years of neglect in modernising agriculture and improving yields suddenly caught up with India making it a nation that imports food.

Joachim von Braun, the head of the International Food Policy Research Institute,February 26, 2008-
Much of the blame has been put on the transfer of land and grains to the production of biofuel. But its impact has been outweighed by the sharp growth in demand from a new middle class in China and India for meat and other foods, which were previously viewed as luxuries.“The fundamental cause is high income growth,” said Joachim von Braun, the head of the International Food Policy Research Institute.

Please bring a really large van, Yechuriji, and take away all these loonies but do drive carefully -remember, the United Nations will be at the back .

(emphasis mine)

Monday, May 5, 2008

Outbreak of the Bush Derangement Syndrome rages on at the Hindustan Times

The latest outbreak of the Bush Derangement Syndrome (BDS)-the Indianmediafoodgate -continue in the fevered swamps of our media. Delhi's best selling dog-trainer The Hindustan Times had a picture of the president Bush and the first lady right on top on page 1-
Hit job on Bush by the Hindustan Times

with the snarky caption-
Look How Much They're Eating

As if the hunger in the world is the result of the Bushes eating too much!

This is a demented hit-job that should never have passed through the editor's desk to the print.This too from a publication whose former editor and present chief editor, Vir Sanghvi is known for an affection of delicacies and tasty bits as one can infer from his girth.The generously-sized gentleman loves eating so much that he often writes columns on food, has written a book on food and has a TV show dedicated to -well, food. His favorite work-out could possibly be hopping from one restaurant to another after which a hearty munch would be much welcome and well deserved.

Vir Sanghvi-eating too much?

Vir Sanghvi-is he eating too much too?

But then if one assumes that rational people are in charge of our media, one assumes too much.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Barkha Dutt calls the IPL cheerleaders "faceless bimbettes"

IPL cheerleadersThese are bimbettes
(image source)

Barkha Duttthis is not?

Barkha Dutt, the Christiane Amanpour of India, calls the cheerleaders of IPL "faceless bimbettes".

A curiosity-
how does she know they are 'bimbettes', any or all of them?
Or is cheerleading by definition something that only(or mostly) 'bimbettes' do?
Does anybody find this tarring of a whole profession offensive, not to say demeaning of the dignity of women?

What if we said that TV 'news' media is full of arrogant scoundrels?
Tempted as we might, we won't say it for, unlike Ms.Dutt, we do not wish to put down a whole a profession even if it gives great rewards to the dishonest purveyor of information and to the sensationalist(see my post below). The cheerleaders on the other hand have to make a honest living by the dint of their efforts and I doubt if they are paid a fraction of what Ms.Dutt rakes in for, among other things, showing a contempt for them.

Indian media -poison in the air

StalinCPI(M)'s hero Stalin knew a few things about food scarcity.Only 6-7 miilion killed in the Ukrainian famine caused by his policies

We are trapped.
We have a callous, highly corrupt and predatory state. We have an atrocious police system, brutal, inefficient and indifferent at the same time. We have a judiciary where one can go bankrupt and grow old or die before one gets justice, if at all. So for a straw to grasp at we put a lot of faith our free media- and what do we get? An imperial journalism steeped in arrogance,the muck of it's own biases and making a fortune spreading superstition, blind faith and constant sensationalism based on half-truths and pure lies.In one word, poison.

One of the pet hates of our 'objective' journalists is George W. Bush. Mention Bush and like pavlovian dogs kicked in the balls they begin to scream and howl in rabid anger. Just examine Bush's recent statement on food prices and the reaction in India over it-

(I am translating from Hindi some of the ticker running across the screen on the Hindi 'news' channels)
Bush doesn't like Indians to eat better
Bush unhappy with India's prosperity.
Bush childish and pathetic.
Another gaffe from Bush.

And this is merely the ticker.The actuals reports were soaked in boorishly expressed contempt .
And so on and on ad nauseum for the whole day long, the wolf pack of Indian media and intelligentsia(an unfortunate name for such a brain-dead group) went after Bush.

The communists seemed to be among the most offended.Understandable, as their hero, Stalin knew a thing or two about food scarcity and it's causes. His Ukrainian famine, caused deliberately, killed an estimated six million to seven million.Stalin's famine and terror are described in the seminal book The Harvest of Sorrow by Robert Conquest-
The death toll resulting from the actions described in this book was an estimated 14.5 million--more than the total number of deaths for all countries in World War I.

The brainless and highly anti-American crew of aaj-tak seemed to be as angry and offended as the commies. In their narrative Bush is no different from the ogre who tortures kittens for fun and eats babies for breakfast.But again, this is understandable- this is the same channel that went into a hysterical fit when Saddam was hanged.Sympathizing with a genocidal mass murderer while bashing Bush at every non-opportunity - all in a day's job for this bunch and many others at other news media.

And what did Bush say actually?

Here is the full transcript.The relevant excerpt(what Bush said was in response to a question)-

Q That's right. Good point. (Applause.) And I ask this partly because I'm hungry, but your thoughts on rising food prices?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, thank you. (Laughter.) By the way, that's a polite way of saying, hey, man, how about cutting it short. (Laughter.) You know, it's a very interesting debate that's taking place. There's two aspects of rising food prices; one, how it affects our own citizens. And again, we're spending billions of dollars on people who can't afford food, and that's good. We don't have a scarcity issue in America, interestingly enough; we got a price issue. Our shelves aren't going empty, it's just costing more money. And it's why, for example, we've expanded Women and Infants with Children Program, to make sure we help the poor.

Secondly, there is scarcity in the world, and I happen to believe, when we find people who can't find food, we ought to help them find it. I just told you why: There's nothing more hopeless than to be a mom wondering whether or not their child is going to get food the next day. And so I announced a major initiative.

By the way, just so you know, America is by far the most generous nation when it comes to helping the hungry. No contest. We're an unbelievably compassionate nation. And so I asked Congress to put some more money out. It will be over -- it's about $5 billion, over a two-year period of time, of food. Keep in mind, we're spending about $19 billion here at home.

Secondly, I think we ought to change our food policy in Africa and other developing countries. I think we ought to be buying food directly from farmers, as opposed to giving people food. I think we ought to be saying, why don't we help you be able to deal with scarcity by encouraging your farmers to grow and be efficient growers. Otherwise we're going to be in this cycle forever.

Now let me talk about price. As you know, I'm a ethanol person. I believe, as I told you, the interim step to getting away from oil and gas is to go to ethanol and battery technologies for your automobiles. I think it makes sense for America to be growing energy. I'd much rather be paying our farmers when we go to the gas pump than paying some nation that may not like us.

And so -- but most of ethanol now -- or nearly all of ethanol now -- is produced as a result of corn. And the price of corn is real high now. And so people say, well, it's your renewable fuels policy that is causing the price of food to go up. I've looked at this issue a lot. Actually, the reason why food prices are high now is because, one, energy costs are high. And if you're a farmer, you're going to pass on your cost of energy in the product you sell; otherwise you go broke. And when you're paying more for your diesel, paying more for your fertilizer because it's got a lot of natural gas in it -- in other words, when your basic costs are going up, so does the cost of food.

Worldwide there is increasing demand. There turns out to be prosperity in developing world, which is good. It's going to be good for you because you'll be selling products into countries -- big countries perhaps -- and it's hard to sell products into countries that aren't prosperous. In other words, the more prosperous the world is, the more opportunity there is.

It also, however, increases demand. So, for example, just as an interesting thought for you, there are 350 million people in India who are classified as middle class. That's bigger than America. Their middle class is larger than our entire population. And when you start getting wealth, you start demanding better nutrition and better food. And so demand is high, and that causes the price to go up.

And finally, there's been weather-related problems. Some of the major producers of food have had drought. That's what happens. Weather patterns change. And so there's a lot of reasons why the price of food is high. And no question that ethanol has had a part of it, but I simply do not subscribe to the notion that it is the main cost-driver for your food going up.

Anyway, good question. You don't look hungry. (Laughter.)


Nowhere does Bush come across as someone who resents Indians now consuming and enjoying more food than the meagre morsels to which the Nehruvian socialism had condemned them. I challenge those jumping up and down over this to point out the 'offensive' part and explain how it is much (or at all) different from what many others have said including the United Nations and such Bush haters like Paul Krugman, Jeffrey Sachs and several others.

Here is what the UN says-
India, China pushing up food prices: UN

With the major exporters, including India, banning rice exports, shortages are expected to be felt around the world.

Soaring food prices- up 55 per cent from June 2007 to February 2008, and dwindling global food stocks due to more world food consumption than production are seriously threatening the United Nations ability to keep millions from starvation.

Growing demand for bio-fuels, needs of rising population, growing middle class in India and China with increasing purchasing power and erratic weather are among the reasons that have pushed the food prices up to the level where 100 million people are being pushed into extreme poverty needing international help at a time when international donors are signs of fatigue.
(Hat tip-Rohit)

Here is favorite economist of the trendy left, Jeffrey Sachs, who is no friend of Bush or capitalism-
The most basic reason for the rise in natural resource prices is strong growth, especially in China and India, which is hitting against the physical limits of land, timber, oil and gas reserves, and water supplies.

Paul Krugman, another Bush hater gives a decent rundown of the causes of price rise.One of his causes-
First, there’s the march of the meat-eating Chinese — that is, the growing number of people in emerging economies who are, for the first time, rich enough to start eating like Westerners. Since it takes about 700 calories’ worth of animal feed to produce a 100-calorie piece of beef, this change in diet increases the overall demand for grains.
The rise of China and other emerging economies is the main force driving oil prices

One can google and find any number of experts who hold the same or similar views on the causes of global price rise in food- a combination of
high oil price,the rise of China and other emerging economies(which itself is also one of the causes of high oil price), diversion of land to growing bio-fuels instead of food(which has been a pet cause of the environmental left), and bad weather. There is of course debate about which factor is more important (and Bush mentioned all of these) but Bush has echoed what is now the popularly held opinion among the 'expert' class. Let's say a broad scientific consensus exists over the issue.

Clearly those in the Indian media who keep on bashing Bush over this cannot be so ignorant.As Rohit points out in his excellent post-

That it wasn’t an inadverent error is clear from another story the Times of India ran a few days back on the United Nations attributing rising food prices to the demands of the growing middle class in India and China. In fact, Bush’s speech sounds like a recycled version of the U.N statement. Notice the entirely different treatment to essentially similar issues: While Bush was ”blaming” India and China, the U.N was ”raising alarm!” Apparently, a mundane UN agency isn’t sexy enough to be sensationalized.

The Times of India probably calculated that Indian politicians and policymakers would not even bother reading the speech before racing to express outrage. Unfortunately, the newspaper has been proved exactly right. In a rare show of political unanimity, politicians from Left and Right have criticized Bush for a crime which he did not even commit! Of course, it afforded them an opportunity to advance their own agenda with B.J.P criticizing the government’s failure to control inflation while the Communists blamed ”neo-liberal” agenda forced on the Indian government by the Bush administration!

No Rohit, this is not dumbness but malice.
I accuse the persons responsible for these misleading(no, lying) reports of practicing not jounalism but fraud, of reporting not facts but their own biases, of whipping up emotions for a media equivalent of a 'high' and to stay competitive with other media in the ratings . You sirs(and ladies) are not honest journalists but scoundrels.

(emphasis mine)