Friday, November 28, 2008

We deserve better than this...

Here are bits and pieces of a conversation I picked up from The Dark Knight. The conversation is between Bruce Wayne(B) and Alfred(A).

A: "A long time ago I was in Burma. My friends and I were working for the local government. They were trying to buy the loyalty of local leaders by bribing them with precious stones. But their caravans were being invaded in the forest by a bandit. So we went looking for the stones. But for six months, we never met anyone who traded with him. One day I saw a child playing with a ruby the size of a tangerine. The bandit had thrown them away."
B: "So why steal them?"
A: " Oh, because he thought he was good sport. Because some men aren't looking for something logical like money. They can't be bought, bullied, reasoned, or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn."
B: "That bandit, in the forest of Burma. Did you catch him?"
A: "Yes."
B: "How?"
A: "We burned the forest down."

I hope that this time, our leadership does something other than giving the lip service that we are all used to hearing now. It is time that we took decisive action. It is time that India mustered global support and took a few bold steps in the right direction instead of crying about "dastardly attacks that we condemn in the strongest possible terms and that the terrorists do not love humans or humanity and that they are cowards" and shit like that.
We have heard it a thousand times till now. We have heard it over and over again. We heard it when Bangalore burnt, when Surat/Rajkot/Ahmedabad burnt, when Malegaon was affected, when Assam burnt and as Bombay has burned. We are sick and tired of the stupid and miserable excuse for a government that we have. A President who has no personality, a Prime Minister who is a puppet, and a Home Minister who is just an innocent bystander.
Please let us not bring any religion into this mess. Need I remind people that When bombs explode and bullets fly, people of all creeds are victims. Just check on the lists of victims if anyone has doubts about this. When it comes to killing people, interpretations of religions have almost always been equally to blame, and fanatics have always misinterpreted religions of their choice to whatever benefits their version of it, and killed people. I believe that enough blood has been shed thus far. And the God that I believe in must be shedding tears of blood seeing what we are doing to each other in His name. At this point, I don't believe in the absoluteness of any religion because to me, they all are weird interpretations of human behavior under different climatic and social circumstances. Nothing more.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Terror strikes Mumbai. Again. Again. and Again.

Terror has struck Mumbai again. The first time this happened in 1993 was in the form of serial bomb blasts, striking critical centers in the financial capital of India, killing scores of people. TADA was brought in and quite a few people were apprehended. After that? Nothing. People were sure sentenced but no government is ready to take any further action for fear of losing a critical vote bank. The next time it happened in 2006 in the form of train blasts. Each and every time something of this sort has happened, governments have done next to nothing to pre empt future attacks.
All that has been done is to "condemn the cowardly attacks in the strongest possible terms". And that "terrorists have no religion or compassion" and other sound bites such as these. Thank you Mr PM and Mrs President, but what's the outcome? Where are the friggin results? Terrorists still enjoy a free run in the country as and when they please. Our intelligence is a failure and our cops are a joke. This is India Shining? I have my doubts. As does everyone else. We have placed our faith in our leaders. We deserve to have our faith rewarded.
How long are we going to be like sitting ducks? But another thought strikes me. Those "leaders", the politicians that we elect year after year do not want us to be peaceful. They do not want us to look at all mankind as our brothers and sisters. You know why? Because the day that there is peace and equality in society, we won't need them any more. We would simply throw them away like a bad habit. Just the same way that no company will ever release a perfect product to the market. Because once a perfect product or a perfect system is in place, we would not need anything else anymore. In the buyer's market, consumer is king. Or so they would have us believe. No matter how much we consume or are able to afford to consume, they will always be on top. Don't you see? Consumer is never king. The consumer on the other hand, is always a slave. It is the producer who is king. He has been king, and will remain so till kingdom come.
Getting back to the moot topic. The voter very rarely if ever has any say in a democracy nor does he get what he deserves, or what he wants. Strange isn't it, that in a system of the people for the people and by the people, it is the people who have been conveniently sidelined? Isn't it funny that the person we voted for never leads us... That we only get led by some arbitrary third person who is most easily manipulable by all the tiny parties that join together at the crucial moment, prove majority and make an alliance under a creative sounding name.
In the process, we get what is coming to us. They say that democracy is a system of government that is no better than what the a country deserves. Maybe we do deserve this.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

There will be anarchy...

I have been proved wrong! Of course, this is not the first time that I have been proved wrong, but it definitely is the first time that I am happy that I have been proved wrong. Apropos to my previous blog post ***** I see the governments of the world taking action, together, to combat climate change. The US government, which has, since time immemorial, sucked up to the Big 3, finds itself to have finally caught the GM-Ford-Chrysler cartel by the balls.
As the Big 3 find it unable to sustain themselves, no thanks to their own business models, the people see a change emerging from the sidelines. The darkest cloud truly has a silver lining. In this case, all the layoffs from the auto biggies the world over has got them wondering where things went wrong.
Primarily, it’s time folks realized that the Internal Combustion engine is a part of the past now. We cannot afford to sustain ourselves by burning gasoline and the sort to run our vehicles. Electric vehicles and mass transit is the way to go. This had to be seen about 30 years back, during the Oil embargo of the 70’s. But highly effective lobbying on the part of the Big 3 saw to it that this solution never struck the collective imagination nor did any such suggestion ever be passed by the Congress. Time and again, these companies have warded off requirements to increase fuel efficiency on their part, which was an extremely stupid thing to do. These guys obviously did not see the next curve coming. The way IBM had infamously said in the 50’s that the entire world required just 5 computers, and the way that Western Union had said that they thought that the telephone was an impractical invention, and scores of other such examples of bozocities, hence missing out on being the next big thing of the curve. The Big 3 ought to have quit the oil dependency in the 70’s and begun research on engines running on renewable, clean energy sources. But heck, no! What did they do? They maximized their profits by refusing to retool and to re-train their workers, and to do more research. With the amount of cash those companies sit on, they could very well have retained their top spots for all these years, saved the climate from being ruined the way it is being ruined now.
Next, This might sound like a chapter lifted straight out of the Zeitgeist Addendum, but it’s true nevertheless.  All the while that the world has been using dirty fuel sources such as coal and gas and nuclear energy to power its energy requirements, we should have forced our governments to go for clean energy sources such as Solar energy farms, Wind Farms, and Tidal energy. These energy sources have practically no repetitive costs such as buying oil, coal and gas and paying all those “friendly” governments to remain so and to then pay for all the externalities of using these dirty fuels. Think about Chernobyl, and the Polar Ice caps melting the way they are, threatening to raise sea levels by about 10 meters. Just imagine how the world would look like if things continue the way they are right now. London, Florida, Bangladesh, Australia, all submerged under the oceans. The number of climate refugees would be overwhelming and economies the world over would be thrown haywire by unexpected arrivals.
Unexpected? Think again. All this is a very very plausible scenario. And it is not an alarmist’s point of view. As politics in all countries fight for votes and power and money, the world is going down the drain. Literally. It’s time we stood up for ourselves. It’s time we stopped worrying about our jobs and our security and the sort. Because fairly soon, there will be nothing to worry about. If things continue the way they are today, there will be anarchy.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Petro Dollar Scam

I recently got a mail from a friend about the PetroDollar Scam. I was completely astounded by its content. If what it claims is correct then a lot of my perceptions about the United States will have to change.
Firstly, we all should stop looking at the US through the lens of Hollywood, completely altruistic, and self righteous. What we to realize is that the US has never been dragged into any war thus far. They have had an underhand interest in all of their recent military incursions. They talk about the sovereignty of Georgia that Russia had recently pushed back. Georgia has always kissed the great big American ass and yet they were unable to get any help from their godfathers because Russia has recently emerged as an oil supplier. For a country that consumes over 25% of the world's oil supplies that is major incentive to not act!
Secondly, we should stop asking for US intervention for every goddamn issue that folks in a country have with any other country. Successive Pakistani governments have surreptitiously sought and received American help in the form of military aid, in the form of aid against Taliban(which the US itself supported at one point in time to chase the Russians out of Afghanistan). The global community must stop things like this from happening. American foreign policy has always been one to support its own ends in any local mess, even in Iraq. Under the veil of "restoring democracy", they have attacked sovereign countries. They have invaded invalid countries such as Nicaragua and Vietnam, getting the permissions for those wars from the Congress by depicting a false danger in the form of the US being "run over" by Nicaraguan Contras or the Commies in 'Nam.
Finally, I would really like to see ONE solid reason why we all trade in US Dollars when the currency clearly has no value. What will they do when folks come around asking the Fed for the real value of the US Dollar in gold? Is it that because they have an ulterior understanding with the Sauds, the rest of the world should keep the USD in their Forex? A currency that cannot stand for itself in the standard that is followed in the rest of the world? What are we so afraid of? Upsetting the established World Order? Have we asked who established the "world order" in the first place? Why should the rest of the world pay for the American Glutton so that he can have Mac Burgers n Fries to go, for free?
Don't get me wrong, America is a great country. A country where anyone who can dream it can do it. A country where the human will overpowers any other will. Inspite of all this, one must keep in mind what flimsy roots this country is standing upon. A house of cards, in due course, must collapse.