Archive for March, 2009

Holy Books

March 26, 2009

One of the London’s most important Sikh Gurudwaras housing priceless religious books was attacked by arsonist. This was a deliberate act, a religious hate crime. Women that were gathered for prayers spotted a man in the holiest area, suspected him and tried to stop him. But he escaped. They managed to save some books.

A few days ago racist graffiti was noticed on outer walls of this building. The building, which dates back to 1854 was formerly a synagoue and before that a chapel.

Attack on any place of worship should be condemned. It is a heinous crime, that rips the guts off people of faith.

Historically, the conqueror always destroyed the places of worship in the conquered land, so his hold over the land is fortified. Faith is the rallying point for many and if that is weakened, resistance can be destroyed easily. This modus operandi was successfully used by the Islamic crusaders.

Places of worship should be AA+ protected places in these days.


Advertising Lifeline

March 25, 2009

Many of the internet services that we adore today depend on advertising i.e. YouTube, FriendFeed, FaceBook, WordPress to name a few. They provide the best of services, while generating income through advertisements. The advertising industry has flourished throwing a lifeline to internet development. Many users tolerate these advertisements as a necessary disturbance.

Recently the experts have opined that the internet advertising is ineffective, it is rapidly losing its value and impact. And if the internet advertising fails, many of these free services will face a bleak future. These services will have to be supported either by donations or subscriptions. This may not be a good idea for the sustained growth of internet.

I am not pessimistic though, remember how paper was going to disappear computers came along, or that radio would disappear?

But the serious question here is advertising on the internet going to die? If so, what will replace it?

Are the days of free lunch on internet numbered?


March 25, 2009

Tuberculosis, the dreaded disease of the past is gaining strength. There are reports of multiple-drug-resistant TB cases in many parts of the world, even in developed countries. The main reason for this is the failure to monitor patients to ensure that they complete a full course of traditional antibiotics therapy.

Previously attached with poverty, this is spreading to effluent parts of the society. These “super strength” strain of the disease is extremely resistant to traditional antibiotics and has to be treated with a cocktail of drugs. The treatment is expensive and may take upto 2 years. The world health Organization estimates that nearly 500,000 people get infected with drug resistant TB.

Negligence, by the governments to provide enough standard drugs at affordable rates and the resistance and carelessness of the patients are to be blamed for this sorry state of affairs.

We have to act now!


March 25, 2009

Now there is distinguished company for Slobodan Milosevic and Charles Taylor and the like. International court of Justice issued a warrant against sitting Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur. He has the dubious distinction of being the first head of state the court has ordered arrested.

The crimes in Darfur have gone on for very, very long time. The ethinic cleansing by Arab tribes has poured untold misery on African origin people. The African groups have been complaining of discrimination and neglect against the Arab dominated government for decades now. In retaliation, the government started burning and beating, murdering, exterminating and pillaging. The poor African tribesman had to leave their ansestral places and seek refuge in neighbouring countries and camps.

The justice has to show some teeth now. There is some resistance by Arab and African countries. China is the largest buyer of oil from Sudan and it would not like this.

Justice is sourly warranted.


March 24, 2009

Tatas of India have unveiled a car that may set the trend for the car industry in the future. All over the world the car industry is undergoing tremendous changes. There is production cuts, and the brands going under. Automakers loose cash and cut employees. There is demand for compact cars with ease of drive and light on pocket. Nano might be the answer.

The supercheap compact car is aimed at the developing world’s millions of motorcycle owners with four-wheel dreams. The Nano may even attract more than the “starter” market because of the economic slowdown. It may even attract a 18 year old, who likes his own 4-wheel drive. It is for small families with big dreams.

Environmentalists, however, have decried the Nano as an impending disaster. The success of Nano may clog the infrastructure of developing world.

But the Nano will allow the whole family of four to travel, “more comfortably and safely” than on a motorbike.

China and US Dollar

March 24, 2009

China has the world’s largest foreign exchange reserves, valued at nearly $2 trillion, with more than half of those holdings estimated to be made up of United States Treasuries and other dollar-denominated bonds.

Now China is worried. It is concerned about the safety of those assets, particularly because huge economic stimulus plans could lead to soaring deficits in the United States, which could sink the dollar’s value, pulling down the value of Chinese investments.

Therefore, it is proposing a International Monetary Fund currency, based on a basket of international currencies, that is disconnected from individual nations and is able to remain stable in the long run.

This proposal, coming immediately after a similar proposal by the Russians reflects the Chinese worries, though it is cautious not to send wrong signals that could effect currency markets.

Though the dollar will not be replaced as the world’s dominant foreign exchange reserve anytime soon, the proposal suggests that China is preparing to assume a more influential role in the world.


March 24, 2009

March 24th is the day NATO started bombing Serbia that resulted in the independence to Kosovo. Serbia remembered this 10th Anniversary with bitterness.  “The attack on our country was an illegal act, Serbia cannot fortget those tragic days.” the current PM said in his speech on the day.

Serbia will not accept Kosovo’s independence, there is lot of heartburn. Serbia stopped the action against the Kosovo Liberation Army under extreme duress. It is estimated that more than 10,000 people died in these controversial attacks by the NATO.

There are still pockets of Serbians in Kosovo. They too remembered this day with bitterness, though there were no untoward incidents reported.

There is still a considerable support for Milosevic in Serbia, who was prosecuted by UN and died during the trials. Serbian Nationalist are a sad and bitter lot.

Independent Kosovo is a reality today. Kosovo Albanians are as independent minded as Serbians are. Its a fact Serbians will have to accept and live.

Dalai Lama and Peace

March 24, 2009

dalai-lamaxIt is a disgrace that South African government has denied Dalai Lama visa to enter South Africa because of his fight for the freedom of his country. China influenced South Africa and stopped Dalai Lama from attending Peace Conference to be held from Friday. It is shameful for South Africa to do this as it had fought and won against this sort of discrimination.

China is flexing its muscles and South Africa acted on its economic interests. South Africa conveniently forgot that its leaders were welcomed in other countries for their principles when they were banned by their own government. Tibet is economically weak, but it has a right for freedom.

In matters of peace Dalai Lama stands tall. Desmond Tutu and De Klerk protested this move of their government and refused to attend the peace conference. Now many other Nobel Peace Prize winners withdrew from this conference and it has been finally postponed. Its a victory for democracy and equal oppotunity for all.

Goodbye, Jade Goody.

March 23, 2009

Its curtains for Reality TV of Jade Goody. Jade Goody bid goodbye to this world in her sleep on Sunday. On a mothers day.  Cool. I presume it is a death much anticipated and waited for not only by Jade Goody, but thousands of people around the world. It is a serene death, most people will want, on their bed, contended, independent.

Goody gained fame in 2002 when she joined the British version of the reality television show “Big Brother,” in which contestants live together for weeks and are constantly filmed. She became a highly divisive star and something of a national touchstone who sparked debate about race, class and celebrity. Her antics helped the ratings of the show soar.

Once she was diagnosed with cancer she changed her life, but she died doing what she was best at. Reality TV.

We pray for Jady Goody and hope her dear ones get the strength to deal with this loss. May God be with them. And with her.

Death of a Currency

March 21, 2009

Inflation in Zimbabwe hit 231 million percent, essentially wiping out the currency’s value. Ridiculous, everyone will think. “Can’t be true” is the general reaction from outside world. But it has been admitted during the 2009 budget presentation by the Finance Minister of Zimbabwe Tendai Biti. He said that “The death of the (Zimbabwean) dollar is a reality we have to live with.”

How people can live in a country where the prices of goods and services will increase at that rate? How there can be any ‘future’ trade. I, with my limited knowledge, can not perceive it.

My second thought is how Robert Mugabe can get elected in every election, for so long? Why don’t people of his country revolt? Why can’t they force a change for a better life? Recently, I had read a report that he had bought a mansion in Hong Kong costing 5.7m US dollars. His wife was on spending spree in the Far East spending on clothes and shoes and bags.

How long a people will  sustain injustices of this sort.  What makes them so docile?

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