Happy New Year and More

HAPPY NEW YEAR

May you along with your families
be blessed with
good health, happiness and prosperity

2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 33,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 12 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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5. Superiority of Race & Hindus

Part-1, Mentality and Struggle, Part-2, Martin L King & Gandhi, Part-3, Gandhi won freedom peacefully ??? and Part-4, Gandhi & Uplift of Low Caste can be read by clicking on the topics

The superiority of caste and race is deeply imbedded in the psyche of upper caste Hindus irrespective of their upbringing or the level of education or the place where they live. For example, in the words of a socialist leader, Madhu Limaye, “Nehru practiced both racism and casteism, despite his modern upbringing and outlook” (Telegraph, Calcutta, November 21, 1987).

In a revealing passage about his “making”, Nehru wrote, “Behind me lie somewhere in the sub-conscience, racial memories of hundred or whatever the numbers may be, generations of Brahmins. I cannot get rid of that past inheritance” (Jawaharlal Nehru, An Autobiography, (1936), Delhi, 1980, p 596.).

Sir V. S. Naipaul is a Nobel laureate in literature. His Brahmin ancestors were brought as indentured servants to Trinidad long time ago. He grew up in Trinidad and has spent most of his life in England. In his earlier work An Area of Darkness, 1964 he was unforgiving of India. Later the “Brahmin” in him stirred up and came out spewing hatred and venom. He condoned the massacre of thousands of Sikhs in June 1984, when Indira Gandhi ordered a military attack on the Golden Temple complex on the day when thousands of Sikh pilgrims had gathered there to celebrate the martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev (A Million Mutinies Now, 1990). In 1992 he justified the destruction of a 400 hundred-year-old mosque (Babri Masjid) by Hindu mobs lead by Bhartiya Janta Party (a fascist Hindu party) because of the mistreatment of Hindus by Muslim rulers centuries back in the past. He has become the darling of Hindu fascist organizations.

Mahatma Gandhi, whose Baniya (Vaisha) caste is two steps lower than the uppermost Brahmin caste, was a vigorous defender of the caste system.

“The caste system, in my opinion, has a scientific basis. Reason does not revolt against it. It has disadvantages. ………Caste creates a social and moral restraint……I can find no reason for their (castes) abolition. To abolish caste is to demolish Hinduism. There is nothing to fight against the Varnasharma (caste system). I don’t believe the caste system to be an odious and vicious dogma. It has its limitations and defects, but there is nothing sinful about it” (Harijan, 1933).

Gandhi’s calling “Untouchables”, as Harijans is a cruel joke on the Untouchables by an insensitive and depraved man.

Harijan literally means “child of God”. However, in India this label is used for the illegitimate children of temple girls (anchoress) fathered by priests. Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, the leader of the Untouchables, vehemently opposed Gandhi’s use of Harijans for the Untouchables. Recently, Ms Mayawati, a leader of the Untouchables asked rhetorically, “If we are Harijans then what are the upper castes like Nehru, Gandhi and Patel? Are they bastards?”

Husband vs Wife

A wife asks her husband, “Could you please go shopping for me and buy one carton of milk and if they have avocados, get 6.

A short time later the husband comes back with 6 cartons of milk.

The wife asks him, “Why did you buy 6 cartons of milk?”

He replied, “They had avocados.”

Drone Summit

Nearly 400 people from many countries came together at the conference, ‘Drones Around the Globe: Proliferation and Resistance’ in Washington DC to gather information, protest, and develop strategies to end targeted killing by combat drones. The most compelling presentations were the first-hand accounts by those victimised by US drone attacks, and a former military intelligence analyst who helped choose targets for drone strikes.

Members of a delegation from Yemen provided examples of the devastation drones have wrought in their communities. Faisal bin Ali Jaber is an engineer. For some time, one of his relatives had been giving public lectures criticising drone attacks. In August 2012, family and friends were celebrating the marriage of Jaber’s son. After the wedding, a drone struck Jaber’s relative, killing him instantly. Jaber lost a brother-in-law who was a known opponent of Al-Qaeda, and a 21-year-old nephew in the attack.

Baraa Shaiban, a human rights activist who works with Reprieve, revealed that 2012 was a year that saw “drones like never before” in Yemen.

Two members of Al-Qaeda were in Entesar al Qadhi’s village, one of the most oil rich areas of Yemen. Villagers were negotiating with the two men. A drone killed the chief negotiator, scuttling the negotiations and leaving the village vulnerable to Al-Qaeda. “The drones are for Al-Qaeda, not against Al-Qaeda”, al Qadhi said.

Air Force Col Morris Davis (r) is a professor at Howard University Law School. He was chief prosecutor at the Guantanamo military commissions until he was reassigned due to his disagreement with the government’s policies. Davis had been assigned to a chain of command below Defence Department General Counsel William Haynes, who favoured the use of evidence gained through waterboarding.

“The guy who said waterboarding is A-okay I was not going to take orders from. I quit”, Davis said at the time. At the Drone Summit, Davis related the case of Nek Muhammad, who, Davis noted, “was not a threat to us. He was killed as a favour to the Pakistani government so they would look the other way when we wanted to kill our targets.”

Daniel Hale helped choose targets for drone attacks. The former intelligence analyst delivered a riveting talk. Hale utilised surveillance data for drone attacks. He would tell the sensor operator – who sits next to the ‘pilot’ of the unmanned drone thousands of miles from the target – where to point the camera. This information would guide the ‘pilot’ in dropping the bomb.

Every day, a slideshow of the most dramatic images from 9/11 and George W Bush “looking sombre” would be projected in the room in which Hale worked. On the wall in the main facility, there were television screens, each showing “a different bird [drone] in a different part of the country.” Every branch of the US military and foreign militaries monitored “all of Afghanistan.”

Hale would be assigned a mission “to go after a specific individual for nefarious activities.” He fed his intelligence to a sensor operator “so they would know where to look before a kinetic strike or detention” of an individual.

On one occasion, Hale located an individual who had been involved with improvised explosive devices (IEDs). The man was riding a motorcycle in the mountains early in the morning. He met up with four other people around a campfire drinking tea. Hale relayed the information that led to a drone strike, which killed all five men. Hale had no idea whether the other four men had done anything. Hale had thought he was part of an operation protecting Afghanistan.

But when the other four men died – a result of ‘guilt by association’ – Hale realised he “was no longer part of something moral or sane or rational.” He had heard someone say that “terrorists are cowards” because they used IEDs. “What was different”, Hale asked, “between that and the little red joy stick that pushes a button thousands of miles away”?

By: Marjorie Cohn
Courtesy: Commondreams.org

Humour in Real – photocopier

Several years ago, we had an Intern who was none too swift. One day she was typing and turned to a secretary and said, ‘I’m almost out of typing paper. What do I do?’
‘Just use paper from the photocopier’, the secretary told her.
With that, the intern took her last remaining blank piece of paper, put it on the photocopier and proceeded to make five ‘blank’ copies.