Support UNICEF's relief efforts in Myanmar

Saturday, May 31, 2003

Glossary of war

An interesting "unauthorized" glossary to aid those lost in the tautologous language of the war now being fought in Iraq.

Friday, May 30, 2003

WMD found!

At long last! Live bacteria, including a nonvirulent form of anthrax; a key ingredient that went into the making of the defoliant Agent Orange that was used in Vietnam by the Americans to devestating effect; and some others that fall under the category of Weapons of Mass Destruction have been found in Frederick. After 2 years and $25 million, roughly 2000 tons of hazardous material was unearthed in US army's Fort Detrick in Frederick. Oh wait a second, I thought these were to be found in Iraq and not in the US!

Well, apparently someone forgot about these dumps and now they have unearthed everything short of nuclear weapons. But they are still looking for uncharted dumps. So with some luck, they may after all find those too! And what do they blame it on - poor documentation of course! Wasn't Iraq's excuse of poor documentation for some unflyable planes discounted and held against them for non-compliance and didn't that essentially pave the way for a "justified" war?

So does US now join the ranks of Iraq, Iran and North Korea under the umbrella of "evil forces"? I wonder.

Look whos talking

Interesting logic:
1983: 241 American servicemen killed in Beirut. Suicide bombing investigation trail leads to the Hezbollah. Hezbollah's support trail leads to the Iranian Government. So Iran is guilty.

Now try this:
2001: Over 2000 individuals killed in New York. Tower collapse investigation trail leads to the Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda's support trail leads to Afghanistan's Taliban. Taliban's support trail leads to the US. So should the US pay the victims in the towers?

Or do we look up the Nicaraguans or the Nagasaki-Hiroshima victims or the Palestinians or countless other people who have been hurt by the support, clandestine and otherwise, provided by the US Administration? Or those who paid or will pay with their lives for centuries to come in Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq because of the Depleted Uranium shells used by the coalition?

Jailed for a kiss!

All he did was kiss his girlfriend. Now whats wrong with that? Just that he was done in by a 0.00007 probability that could land him in jail for 18 years!

Whose degree is it?

It would be interesting to read the Terms & Conditions for the cool deals Seany is offering. Some questions that immediately spring to my mind:

  • If someone owned Seany's brains (if any) and if Seany completed his Masters; who would in reality get the degree - Seany or his brain's owner?

  • Who would be the father of his children? Would the owner of his unmentionables have to support Seany's children?

  • Who would bear the cost of his visits to the dentist? Will the costs be distributed among the tooth owners?

I hope the shoppers are paying careful attention to what they are buying and the associated terms! Shop here!

Good break into a nice market segment by Seany, but competitors are close behind. This serious competitor from South Africa has a twin unfair advantage.

Damned Geneva conventions

Everytime someone tries to do good, there has to be someone trying to stop them. The coalition's attempts to bring in peace in the Middle East region by ridding it off the "evil" forces has drawn more crticism and accusations than support. And now the harrassed coalition forces are expected to live upto some stupid conventions going by the name "Geneva conventions". Now don't bring up the hue and cry made about the American POWs were paraded in front of the cameras. Supporters of evil regimes deserve no better! And whats wrong in taking a few pictures!

EMS chasers SMSed out

Technology sure has advanced. In the past, pink slips showed up on desks. Dot-com crashes saw pink slips in the email. Now, with the wide-spread use of SMS in Europe (and Asia), employers have resorted to sending the pink slip by SMS.

Workers for Accident Group were first asked to "check your e-mail for salary news" and then told by SMS that "unfortunately salary is not paid". How much more impersonal can it get? But then, the employees working for commission are supposedly not angels either. I believe they saw business in anyone with a limp or a walking stick!

Thursday, May 29, 2003

We will still find it!

All along I thought we took them out because of the "iminent" threat from the biological/chemical weapons that were all set to launch. And now we hear Rummy boy singing a different tune. Or is it just a temporary rattle effect as a result of the accident?

On being asked why the Iraqis didn't use chemical weapons, one of the possible reasons according to him was "The Iraqis might have been caught off guard by the speed of the US-led advance on Baghdad.". Come now Rummy, how long does it take to launch a chemical attack? Before the war started, the coalition forces said Iraq had the ability to use their bio/chemical weapons in 45 minutes.

Not to be left behind, Rummy's deputy took center-stage with another controversial statement.

Blair laid bare

Finally, into Iraq goes US's mouthpiece on this side of the Atlantic. Blair went into Iraq to address some of his troops and to also "visit" some school children. No doubt, we will get to see lots of those images in the next couple days.

As crticism of the US and UK WMD claims reached new ground, a senior British inteliigence official claimed that the UK intelligence dossier didn't have the complete consent of the intelligence folks.

Meanwhile, Mr. Blair, smile. The masses are going to be watching you as you hand out the giveaways to the Iraqi school children. Take 2. Lights, sound, cameras roll.

I want my money back

Lawyers, it appears, seem to always know how to "get" money. A smart one in Kenya managed to get the clients' money back from cops! Kickbacks or bonds, it sure is quite an achievement!

Seven years in Tibet
(recommended by Chitra)

Saw the movie "Seven years in Tibet" starring Brad Pitt and Danny Denzongpa among others. It is an interesting movie based on Heinrich Harrer's book of the same name. Each of its parts have been woven in vivid colors, but the complete tapestry I thought lacked depth. And it could be because there are 2 stories that are developed through the movie - Heinrich's travails through life and Tibet's occupation by the Chinese. The two didn't seem to seamlessly blend.

But all this is more of an afterthought. As I watched the movie, I could relate to some of Heinrich's arrogance (mind you, only some! :)) and understand the reasons for some of his actions. And then there is quite a bit of Tibet's history thrown into the movie. Since I like historical tales, the movie had me rooted through. The emotions of the main characters and Tibet's culture have been subtly exposed.

End result: Must read up more on Tibet's history and Heinrich's book; must work on "some" of my attitudes :); Tibet and the breathtaking mountains around it are definitely on my future travel plans. :)

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Kilogram losing weight
(via Eric Stone)

Remember the definitions of the fundamental units of measurement from your school days? Well, it is now time for some unlearning. The platinum-iridium cylinder that was the reference for how much a kilogram weighs has been apparently losing weight; in the last 100 odd years has lost 50 micrograms (with reference to what, I don't know). Scientists are on the lookout for a more stable, less-weight conscious reference.

Thursday, May 22, 2003

Americans to be tried for war crimes?

When the US refused to ratify the International Criminal Court in Hague, it was not alone. Its "coalition of the willing" in that venture were China, Israel, Libya, Qatar and Yemen. Always nice to be surrounded by folks who agree with us. Especially such illustrious company.

Having made its stand clear on such matters, it should come as no surprise for the US to be outraged by the attempt to book Tommy Franks for war crimes by a Belgian court. Needless to say, US's clout spreads mightily over the meek and laws have since been amended to prevent a loss of face for the Americans. Nonetheless, the case makes interesting reading.

Serpentine claims

Powell's was one voice that I respected for long, since the first Gulf war. But from the time he presented US's "justification" for the war in the UN, he lost that status. He was not someone I expected to make baseless claims. But pointing to the presence of transport trucks outside suspected chemical/bio-chemical labs as evidence to the presence of chemical/bio-chemical weapons in Iraq was by far a stretch of a biased imagination. I am not implying that Iraq did not possess chemical/bio-chemical weapons. That I do not know. But the "evidence" that US presented was a joke and not worthy of a war that took a few thousand innocent lives.

In the matter of a few minutes, Powell then relegated himself in history. Today, he dug deeper with more claims.

The UN succumbs

The UN has yet again succumbed to the pressures of Iraq's "occupying powers". A shameful debacle for an organization that has now long lost its credibility as a neutral organization. But I guess it was about time for Iraq to start paying for the war costs with oil, now that the occupying powers have been "officially" granted rights by the UN to Iraq's oil resources to be used for the "benefit" of the Iraqi people.

Some interesting quotes on the same:
John Negroponte, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations
"It is time for the Iraqi people to benefit from their natural resources" after being frozen out of the world's economy under Saddam Hussein's rule.

Colin Powell, U.S. Secretary of State, in Paris for the G-8 economic summit, in response to France's vote in favour of lifting UN sanctions in Iraq
France's vote was "a step in the right direction" for the relationship between the United States and France.

Iraq sanctions resolution in the UN
The United States and Britain will control Iraq until an elected government is in place. -> Note the convenient use of "elected"! A nation under martial law such as Pakistan has not had a credible elected government in place for ages, how can we expect Iraq to have one anytime in the near future? Essentially, this ruling gives the US and Britain control of Iraq for quite sometime to come; unless of course the "elected" government is propped up by them. Whichever way, long enough for the oil and oil money to fill the coffers in the US and Britain.

Monday, May 19, 2003

Blair's simple guide to alchemy

73 creative articles with contents from different publications; a few hundred calls; a couple well-placed connections in the higher echelons; 1 accusation; 1 confession and you are all set to achieve stardom. And all this mostly from the comforts of your home. Jayson Blair showed the way. His true lies fetched him just enough for his upkeep. Now his behind-the-scenes story on what led to those lies will let him retire at 27.

Creative indeed! First you lie, and then you sell the story on why you lied! Impressive! Heres where the money is folks - get a Masters in Journalism; better still, get Frank Abagnale (of "Catch me if you can" fame) put together a certificate for you!

Deranged - beyond doubt

For years people I know have suspected that I am mentally deranged. Not sure how close to the truth they were. Nonetheless, not one to disappoint, I went to the extremes of being hit by cerebellar ataxia! Anyone who cares to join, is requested to meet with their personal physician as I did, for a MMR jab. I can assure you - it takes no longer than 10 minutes.

All that was my weak sense of humor. Heres more on the controversy.

Denial and Defence

Is the fact that Lynch is a pretty young girl caught in the crossfires as she fought for her country a mere coincidence and did the Pentagon get lucky in getting the perfect cover page soldier or is there a deeper truth? The Pentagon denial and the BBC defence.

Another interesting article on the "arrangements" in Firdos Square. A related post on this blog titled "Berlin Wall disparaged in Firdos Square".

Goebbels has indeed finally been matched. Check "Goebbels henchmen: Alive & viciously kicking!".

Facelift? Na, think Thermage

I may be needing this in a couple years! Guess it won't be long before a microwave-type device shaped like a astronaut's helmet hits the store shelves. Can almost hear the ad jingles go "Put it on, and get the heat going; twice a day and sing your wrinkles goodbye!" :)

Hope a percentage of the profits go towards medical research; not including cosmetic research!

e=mc*c from the source

The long-awaited Einstein archives went online today. Awesome collection in his own writing; but not one in English. It would have been nice to provide a translation in English to each of the writings. Either that, or it has to wait till I have learnt German! :) Or maybe I am looking at the wrong place - this site is just what it is supposed to be - an archive of his writings!

Sunday, May 18, 2003

Again, how old is he?

Am a bit confused now. I thought they declared Ameena's first marriage void because she was married off to an aged guy and of course because she was still a kid. So now what in heaven's name is she doing with this guy? Is this justified just because she has reached the "right" age for marriage? Of course, my confusion will be cleared if it turns out that she married him because she fell in love with him. But till then, confused I remain! :)

Wagging dog scripts found!

BBC apparently has evidence that points to the Americans stage-managing the entire Lynch rescue. Am not at all surprised given their rich list of lies and deceits. Heres a related posting from last month titled "Wagging Dog". The BBC documentary is to be screened today.

Thursday, May 15, 2003

War catalysts

A very interesting analysis on why the Middle East is so important to the Americans.


Saw "Matrix Reloaded" today. First screening - Wednesday night preview!!! :) My thoughts: Lot of hype built into a trivial plot. Superb graphics and action. If there was an Oscar for the year's best Playstation/XBox game, "Matrix Reloaded" would win hands-down - provided they accept it in that category. :)

A lot has indeed gone into the making of the movie - a lot of Star Wars, Superman, Minority Report (to a certain extent), even a J Lo or Janet dance mix! Not to forget the "Jackie Chan"-style fights.

Loved the car chases and the many fight scenes. Very well planned and executed. But all this creative wizardy has gone into a poor storyline. That was disappointing. For someone just looking for some awesome graphics or good fight scenes or edge-of-the-seat car chases, it will be a well-spent movie. If you are looking for a story, you are better off listening to the yarns spun by dear old grandma.

Monday, May 12, 2003

My country

A very interesting perspective on patriotism by Varsha Bhosle built on Dilip D'Souza's article from last week.

Ambassadors of Peace

Music indeed knows no boundaries. Yesterday, hundreds of Indian, Pakistani and Iranian fans among others, danced and partied to the wonderful tunes that were very passionately rendered by Adnan Sami, Asha Bhonsle and Sudesh Bhosle. No one cared who their neighbour was. Very contrasting to the sights we saw at the Cricket World Cup India-Pakistan match.

Asha Bhonsle was welcomed with a standing ovation. One that she richly deserves. She has been singing for movies since 1954, a career spanning nearly 50 years. Going by her dynamism, no one would have believed that she is around 70. She entertained the crowd with a mixture of her old and new numbers.

All hell broke lose when Adnan Sami stepped onto the stage. In spite of the many many many extra pounds he carries, he danced a bit and made sure the crowds followed him as well. He belted out songs mainly from his "Tera Chehara Kab Nazar Aye" album - an awesome collection of very passionately rendered songs. Adnan is a natural entertainer. I still remember him from over 12 years ago when he shared the stage with Zakir Hussain and the two ferociously fought each other; Adnan on the Piano and Zakir on the Tabla. It was good to see him still performing with admirable gusto.

Not to be outdone by the Adnanism, Sudesh Bhonsle returned for a second performance and had the crowd laughing through with his excellent mimicry of stars such as Sanjeev Kumar, Asrani, Prem, Mohd. Rafi et al.

It ended beautifully with Adnan getting the entire crowd on its feet and dancing to his tunes. An outstanding performance by the trio.

This was my second "live performance" after A R Rahman's show in Detroit. That one was stunning with some of the biggest names from the music world - S P Balasubramaniam, Hariharan, Shankar Mahadevan, Mahalakshmi, Vasundara Das, Sukhwinder Singh, Sivamani, Sonu Nigam among others. I believe SPB has 35000 songs to his credit. I guess that would add upto 2000 CDs! Quite an achievement. One song that stood out was "Kadhal Rojave Engai Ni Engai" from the movie "Roja". He sang this in Tamil, Hindi, Telugu - all at once, seamlessly blended and so effortlessly; esp when he alternated lines in each of these languages! Amazing performance!!! And there was Hariharan's "Uyire Uyire, Vandhu Enoda Kalandhu Vidu" from the movie "Bombay" and Rahman's "Vellai Pookal" from "Kannathil Mutham Ittal". And my favorite Sivamani thundered away melodiously on the drums! Simply superb!

Saturday, May 10, 2003

Broken promises

The "coalition" media appears to want to look the other way now that their forces are in control of Iraq. Disgraceful and disgusting acts of atrocities are ignored. Not news material - at least not what would bring in the money!

The coalition is now going about appropriating the spoils of the war and their promises are well and truly buried in the desert sands. History will record a very sad and pathetic story here.

Thursday, May 08, 2003

Joy in service
(via Uma)

Couple nice quotes by Rabindranath Tagore:

"I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy."

"Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark..."

Wednesday, May 07, 2003

Qhawe la ma Qhawe

Nelson Madela's touching tribute to Xhamela (Walter Sisulu).

Monday, May 05, 2003

The legend lives on

Walter Max Ulyate Sisulu, working from behind the scenes, handcrafted South Africa's freedom alongwith Nelson Mandela and others. He spent over 25 years in prison on Robben Island with Mandela. Mandela's mentor and friend over the years, Walter Sisulu died at the age of 90 today.

To a group of children, Mandela said of Walter Sisulu:
"You will ask what is the reason for his elevated status among us. Very simple, it is humility. It is simplicity. Because he pushed all of us forward and remained quietly in the background."

From the early trade union strikes through the Defiance Campaign and onwards to freedom, Walter Sisulu orchestrated the symphony to a liberating finish. It is in tribute of people such as Walter Sisulu that I wrote one of my very first poems - "The Martyr". The final lines go:

Rise shalt he not from thy grave
Rise shalt he not from thy heavenly abode
But there shalt he dwell
In our hearts
Rising time and time again
Never to be ever forgotten.

The legend lives on.

Related links:

   Copyright 2005
Subscribe to Passing Clouds on your cell phone