Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Local War censorship; to have or not to have?
Well, war and information go hand in hand. We have reached a significant phase in this war, and one grave question that I always have in my mind is the access to information. The perceptions people have on dispersing sensitive information such as war casualties varies among individuals.
Well personally I want to know exactly y how we are doing in the war front, but that doesn’t mean I have my two cents of sarcastic laugh every time we come across a diabolical.
I guess this is where the dilemma arises, sensitive information; is it too sensitive to the public?? Should we know about what goes at the war front or let them handle it while we wait blindly? Can the public handle this information, or should journalists be more responsible?? At this critical stage of the war is censorship good or bad?
Russia Going Back to the Red State…Is the cold war warming up?
Of course the Bolsheviks are out of the question. Russia will not go back again to the tight Bolshevik rule or for that matter any form of strict communist rule. But the recent changes over nearly two decades since the fall of the Red State have made many western powers nervous.
Well the old rivalries along the cold war seem to be rising its heads again. Putin having almost the czar status from its countrymen seems to have upset a lot of western big shots. Yeah Medvedev is at the office but Putin still as the Prime Minister is highly influential and most of all loved by a majority of his countrymen.
As a non-aligned developing nation I guess this is a good turn of tables. Well we cant predict how everything will turn up eventually but I guess having two powers to balance out world matters is far more better than having one super cop??
Money to burn, Big Screen TVs and Hybrids?
Ok this is just one prediction. Or something you would not expect soon to happen, clearly not from the American side of the industry. But the recent financial crisis has hit the automobile industry so much that it may not be very far that we might see significant changes in the US automobile industry. Soon we might start seeing Hybrids taking over the signature big car image of the US automobile industry. The stimulus packages that are proposed to save the car industry would come with a hefty price probably with more leverage to law makers to push the US industries to make strong structural adjustments.
Who would have thought GM and Chrysler would be brought to their knees…?
Things could just happen…
Another Indo-Pak War?
Well one could say it is highly unlikely, but given the recent developments, it might not be a so surprising after all. I think more pressure would be on the newly elected civil government of Pakistan. Currently Pakistan is facing a huge dilemma. They have to balance it out with their eternal enemy India and Terrorism.
Well this is quite true, with the Afghan president Hamid Karzai welcoming Indians into his dome and developing strong bilateral relations is the last thing Pakistan wants to see. They probably don’t want to upset the balance in the region and create another ally for India right next to their border. This is quite evident with their highly complex relations with Taliban especially among the ISI and Taliban as a tool of destabilizing the Afghan government.
We are yet to see how Pakistan will balance out the issues of extremist terrorism, Kashmir conflict, Afghan relations, U.S interventions in Pakistan and a failing economy! Whaoaa…I thought we were in deep sh*t!!
Who will be the next nuclear super power??
Well, India and Pakistan got it…North Korea seems to be almost there…Iran would definitely not mind having one... So who will be next? Any guesses?
One Crisis Solved
On a last note, I guess there’s one thing we all can agree about the international arena. Everyone will miss Bush though….I guess it would go in as the biggest crisis solved in 2008.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Let’s leave the saint like last option out of this post (for many reasons). Out of the other options, which one can pass as “acceptable”?
The bad effects of alcohol are many; harm to one’s health, waste of large amounts of money (in the case of addiction), unhappy households, fights, arguments and the like.
Those of smoking are somewhat alike; severe harm to one’s health (to the extent of cancer), harm to the health of those around the smoker, harm to the environment (through air pollution), waste of money, etc
I do not wish to comment on why people get used to drinking and/or smoking, or even worse, how and why they get addicted to it, knowing its ill-effects. I’m merely trying to find out if there is a slightly better option out of the two, which can pass as “acceptable” to some extent.
Smoking, to me, is fundamentally a selfish act, because you do not only harm your health but those of the innocent nicotine-inhaling victims around you. Drinking, on the other hand, may cause sick livers and unhappy households, but does not cause any “health” issues to those around the drinker.
I do not know which is more enjoyable, but I have a hunch that it’s the booze, simply because you’re actively consuming something and also because it brings people together (however negative it might be). Smoking, on the contrary, is a more individual act and gives the feeling of consuming mere “air” or “smoke”. Yet, it must have some enjoyable element in it or else CTC would not be a major donor to the cancer hospital (in both ways).
This is not my area to comment on deeply, yet it is a frequently upcoming question why people still foolishly booze (some excessively) and smoke (addictively in some cases), with all the researched and re-researched proof of rigorous health hazards, when there are other less harmful and more economic ways of enjoying themselves or showing off their perceived status.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Fear is something we all feel. Permeating everywhere it is such a big part of ours lives and it is all over. There are so many different types of fears, ranging from monetary to emotional. But where does it all come from?
Fear is the reason I never asked someone out, because I didn’t want to lose what we had.
Fear is the reason no one stopped Hitler during his early invasions of neighbouring countries.
Fear has done so much.
Some of us become yes men, because we are afraid to lose our jobs. Some of us are afraid to break from social expectations because of the fear of social reprisal.
Some of us are afraid to express our true feelings about others, good or bad. Some of us are afraid to talk about the music we truly love.
But beyond being something we feel, fear can also be used against us. Fear can be a tool of control that can be used to shape our beliefs and actions. Fear of Communism was used to meet a lot of ends. Religions utilize fear as a mechanism a lot, if you don’t do this, you will got to hell or reap bad Karma. Sometimes the effects are good, like with the law, but other times its not.
The Unsilent mentioned something recently about fear of dying, but I think there are so many worse things to fear out there than death. The Demon Barber said it best, “Death would be a sweet relief!” Really it would, from everything we fear, but also everything we hope for.
Another good quote that comes from To Kill A Mockingbird, is that Maycomb county was informed that during the depression that the town had nothing to ‘fear, except fear itself.’ I remember asking someone, ‘what’s your worst fear? ‘They replied being powerless. But I think that is what fear is all about, and is a real cop out answer.
Fear stems from things we feel we cannot overcome, things we cannot control. If we were all invincible then we would quite simply be fearless. That was one concept that I really loved about the TV show Smallville. Though virtually indestructible, Clark
I find my fear is dissipating now. You see, no matter what happens, its going to happen. Being afraid about it makes no difference and adds no benefit.
But here is the main thing. Fear isn’t real, it isn’t tangible. It’s generated by what we think will happen or could happen, but might not even be remotely close to reality.I leave you with the Litany Against Fear from the Dune Books:
- I must not fear.
- Fear is the mind-killer.
- Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
- I will face my fear.
- I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
- And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
- Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
- Only I will remain.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Inspiring, unbreakable and glamorous; we all have our heroes. They represent something that we aspire to be.
It's the reason we have movies like Rocky, Rambo, Die Hard, The Matrix, or Robocop where the everyday man becomes a hero fighting the oppressive forces around them.
In fiction heroes are exactly who they say they are, but in reality it doesn't seem like it ever is. Why must we believe that these people are something that they are not? No individual human ever really reaches the heights that we attribute to them. It's so much easier to live with the fantasy that the lives of these people are just perfect and that we too can reach this perfection. But I highly doubt this is the case. A recent example would be Obama. People seem to believe he is the answer to the world's problems when it seems to me that he is at the end of the day another politician. The fact that he is black has definitely affected public perception of him, but at the end of the day will he be any different?
But for some reason we expect this. It's the reason so many want to hear miraculous speeches from their politicians. Otherwise we'd never vote for them. So whatever they spout is not based on reality simply because we the voters are not grounded in reality. It's the reason politicians must appear to be happily married and a family guy. But this is hardly ever the reality either.
To quote from the matrix: Do you want the blue pill... or the red pill? 'You take the blue pill and the story ends. You wake in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe.' Seems like so many people want that blue pill.
The problem is people aren't living in reality or are living in very selective reality. Like I was saying before, the movie 'The Matrix' is one big allegory to such a situation. Numerous questions like 'what is 'real'?' are asked in this movie.
We may want to believe in heroes who are going to change the world all by themselves, but the reality is that we need to change the world ourselves.
We can all aspire to reach the dreams of many celebrities with ridiculously large houses and an insane amount of vehicles. But once you get there are you really going to be happy purely with all these possessions? Right now it sounds awesome, but once you get there... well you never know right? Then again think of that last product you bought that you thought would be so awesome and life changing? Do you even remember it as much anymore? Are you looking for the next great thing to buy?
That's why the world hasn't changed in its basest operations. Sure things like women's rights and other similar discrimination issues have decreased, but the world constantly perpetuates on its present course.
Rich land and capital owners on top. The masses of regular working people all trying desperately to claw their way to the top to join the elite. The elite on top do everything in their power to perpuate the current system and maintain their position.
Once we get there then we can ensure that our kids and their kids will always remain on top, creating those elite family names. The choice is if you want to follow the system and climb as far high up the mountain as you can or try breaking the system.
Do I have a solution? No. Like Morpheous said 'Remember -- all I am offering is the truth, nothing more.'
Wake up and question. Find the answers even if they are ones we don't like? Or... continue and follow everything, accept everything and live in blissful ignorance. The choice is yours.
Religion answers all questions and prevents any further growth, but its not the only reason. People also desire the security that a convenient truth offers.This is the main reason why things like Communism will never work unless people themselves reach the next level. Such things would work, but collapse like an organised march as soon as one person turns and runs at the first sign of trouble, everything falls apart as more follow.
If you tell yourself anything, it becomes your reality. The question is... do you want to believe whatever you want to, or find the truth no matter what it is?