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Lanka: Troops enter last Tamil Tiger-controlled town
Today's Headlines
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Page 4: Opinion
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2 00:00 ed [289] 
6 00:00 ed [487] 
10 00:00 Hellfish [312] 
2 00:00 Besoeker [322] 
7 00:00 ed [319] 
1 00:00 Muhammad Googoo [340] 
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Page 6: Politix
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The Middle Kingdom Ends Its Silence On Obama & Afghanistan.
Posted by: tipper || 02/25/2009 19:33 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [601 views] Top|| File under:

#1  What's Chinese for "Go ahead, knock yourselves out?"
Posted by: Thing From Snowy Mountain || 02/25/2009 23:24 Comments || Top||

Home Front: Culture Wars
Will Holder discuss these five racial issues?
Here are five racial matters Americans must talk about but liberals avoid like leprosy:

* The 1965 Moynihan Report: Also known as “The Negro Family: The Case for National Action,” the report noted the increase in the absence of fathers in the nation’s black households and then predicted, with chilling accuracy, what the consequences would be if the situation got worse.

It did: some 25 percent of black children were born out of wedlock; today that figure is close to 70 percent. Black leaders in 1965 dismissed Moynihan and his report. So much for honest, gutsy dialogue.

* Affirmative action: In the late 1980s James Farmer, the now deceased former head of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), gave a speech at a Baltimore private school.

On the matter of affirmative action, Farmer didn’t give the kneejerk, liberal response, in essence saying that affirmative action is something holy and those opposing it are the second coming of Eugene “Bull” Connor, the notorious Birmingham, Ala. public safety commissioner who in 1963 set police dogs on civil rights demonstrators.

“Fighting segregation was easy,” Farmer told the gathering. “That was clearly a case of right vs. wrong. With affirmative action and racial preferences, it’s a case of right vs. right.”

What other black leader has had the guts to say that publicly? None. And don’t look for Holder – or even President Barack Obama – to say it. You’d have better luck getting a dead dog to roll over.

* The racial disparity in felony murders: According to the FBI’s supplementary homicide reports, from 1976 through 2005 whites were 54.7 percent of felony murder victims.

Blacks were 59.3 percent of felony murder offenders. Those figures might explain why those on death row are more likely there for killing whites rather than blacks, but so far only the death-row racial disparity has been discussed.

* The racial disparity in interracial homicides: Though the overwhelming majority of homicides are intraracial – mainly whites murdering whites and blacks murdering blacks – when the killing gets interracial, the black-on-white slayings are nearly three times the white-on-black ones. That trend stayed pretty much constant for the years 1976-2005.

* The Morelock-Woycio murders: If you’ve never heard of them, then that’s precisely the point. In April of 2006, Jennifer Morelock and Jason Woycio, a white couple from Carroll County in Maryland, were fatally shot in Baltimore.

A 17-year-old black youth was caught with a cell phone that had the sent text message “I killed 2 white people around my way 2day & 1 of them was a woman.”

What seemed like a slam-dunk, open-and-shut murder case went south when the Baltimore state’s attorney’s office cut the teen loose because the arresting officer had only a consent search to look at the cell phone’s contents, not a warrant.

The alleged murderer walked. I think we all know what would have ensued if the races of the suspect and the victims were transposed.

When it comes to cowardice about racial issues, Baltimore’s elected officials have it in abundance. Not one has uttered a syllable, much less a word or a complete sentence, about the Morelock-Woycio murders since they happened. That too, would not have been the case if the races of the suspect and victims were reversed.

There you have them, Mr. Holder. Start talking.
Posted by: GolfBravoUSMC || 02/25/2009 10:18 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [487 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Hmmm... yes, we are having the conversation about race that AG Holder seemed to want so desperately. It's just not quite the one he asked for...
Posted by: Sgt. Mom || 02/25/2009 11:44 Comments || Top||

#2  Add to the list the murder of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom.
Posted by: BrerRabbit || 02/25/2009 11:55 Comments || Top||

#3  Two Bostons
By Steve Bailey, Globe Columnist | January 3, 2007

Last year ended in Boston the way it began: with a black person being shot and killed by another black person.

The first victim of 2007, a 14-year-old boy who was on the street (why?) at 5:45 in the morning, was also black. Boston's body count for 2006 fell just one short of the previous year, when the city reached a 10-year high. Behind those numbers, however, the story is depressingly similar year after year -- in Boston and in big cities nationwide: the alarming slaughter of black people by black people.

Seventy-four people were murdered in Boston last year, and 63 of them were black, according to the Boston Police Department. By comparison, Boston is a relatively safe place to be white: In all, only six non-Hispanic whites were murdered in the city in 2006.

Nationally, blacks are six times more likely to be murdered than whites, according to the US Justice Department. Ninety-four percent of all black murder victims are killed by black people. It is the residents of these communities, almost all of whom are law-abiding, who are the ultimate victims. All of Boston, however, has a stake in what is happening.

This killing belongs on the business page because of the destabilizing effect the violence has on communities. Many of those who can leave will leave. Business will go elsewhere. Neighborhoods will deteriorate. It's a destructive cycle that Boston has seen before and can't afford to repeat.

Take a walk down Dorchester's infamous Bowdoin Street for a case in point. Six people -- all of them black, male, and between 18 and 25 years old -- were killed within a few blocks there last year. Two men were killed at midday on a street corner. Two others were killed months apart at another nearby corner, part of the epidemic of violence in the Cape Verdean community. Monday morning, 14-year-old Jason Fernandes was killed two blocks off Bowdoin.

"This is the Third World within the First World," says Benvindo Barros, who came here from Cape Verde 33 years ago.

Barros knows. In October, his 23-year-old nephew, Adilson Barros, was gunned down on Bowdoin Street a block from the corner liquor store where Barros works. His brother was murdered on Harvard Street in Dorchester 15 years ago, and a cashier in Barros' store was killed in 1989 by some young knucklehead over a jar of coins.

There is no shortage of reasons to explain the violence. Bowdoin Street is a far outpost on the wrong side of the widening gulf between society's haves and have-nots. Our economy is good at producing jobs, but not nearly so good at producing jobs with a living wage. Too many teenage mothers today will be grandmothers by the time they turn 40. Guns and drugs are everywhere. The high-school dropout rate is a scandal. Rap music, and even the NBA, glorify a gangster culture.

White Boston has been mostly immune to the violence. It is Black Boston that is paying the price. Bob Herbert, the black columnist for The New York Times, said it best: "If white people were doing to black people what black people are doing to black people, there would be rioting from coast to coast."

What is needed is the same kind of collective, sustained effort that America, black and white, brought to the great civil rights crucible 50 years ago to end segregation. Is there a more basic civil right than the right to walk through your neighborhood without getting shot?

Fixing what is broken needs to start in the black community, the community under siege. But white Boston needs to do far more, too, the business community included. Bowdoin Street is a prime example of neighborhood disinvestment: You will not find a bank or hardly a national chain, for instance, anywhere in sight.

Have we, in effect, decided the killing doesn't matter for Boston as long as it stays on Bowdoin Street or Blue Hill Avenue?
Posted by: tu3031 || 02/25/2009 11:58 Comments || Top||

#4  With affirmative action and racial preferences, it's a case of right vs. right.

No it isn't. Affirmative action is wrong. It is discrimination plain and simple. If blacks and other minorities in this country ever want real respect, if they ever really want to even respect themselves, affirmative action needs to go.
Posted by: Ebbang Uluque6305 || 02/25/2009 12:51 Comments || Top||

#5  Who is Ty'Sheoma Bethea?

Miss Bethea was a poster child at last nights Obama speech before congress. She has three possible strikes against her.

1. Trying to get an education in dilapidated schools.

2. Probable victim of item #1 in the story above.

3. Spending the rest of her life spelling her first name for people, trying to explain how she got it and what it means.
Posted by: GolfBravoUSMC || 02/25/2009 12:52 Comments || Top||

#6  when the killing gets interracial, the black-on-white slayings are nearly three times the white-on-black ones.

It's 14 to 1. The 3-1 figure includes Hispanics as "white". Lying with statistics. Just as white crime rates are below European levels and educational testing scores match or exceed European levels.
Posted by: ed || 02/25/2009 13:02 Comments || Top||

Lileks: Elite Affectations
Okay. Ed Driscoll noted something today - a webpost about the Mayor of San Francisco being caught with . . . bottled water. Full story here. This sums up with exquisite precision the people we elect to guide our institutions:

Fix on something small and symbolic, and demonize it;

Propose a response that does little to address the fundamental problem;

Forbid the thing to others;

Reserve its use for yourself;

Adopt a penitent tone when caught which underscores the hypocrisy and makes you look like a dweeb for apologizing for something which, while petty, you have infused with moral failings.

I’m not big on shouting HYPOCRITE, for the most part, because failing to do a thing you endorse does not mean the thing you’re endorsing isn’t a good idea. But that equation changes when it’s something they want to take away from you, but reserve for themselves. In any case, it’s just laughable to see a weightless fool who, for the sake of public image and sending the right messages, has to apologize for having the wrong kind of water container - and has an aide describe it as an indulgence.

Sir. Six oysters for breakfast with a rasher of bacon is an indulgence. Three showgirls in your lap is an indulgence. Racing a car at high speed on weekends is an indulgence. Having a moral tuning fork that twinges when someone drinks water from a plastic bottle is an affectation.
Posted by: Mike || 02/25/2009 06:53 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [319 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Sir. Six oysters for breakfast with a rasher of bacon is an indulgence. Three showgirls in your lap is an indulgence. Racing a car at high speed on weekends is an indulgence. Having a moral tuning fork that twinges when someone drinks water from a plastic bottle is an affectation.

I used to love them with chips and beer, but oysters and too much bacon give me indigestion and heartburn these days. My eyesight and response time is a bit lagging for fast race cars, but give me five minutes to empty my bottle and I'll be ready for the show!
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/25/2009 7:22 Comments || Top||

#2  Besoeker, I noticed you glossed over the 3 showgirls. Is the missus looking over you shoulder?
Posted by: AlmostAnonymous5839 || 02/25/2009 7:49 Comments || Top||

#3  I think Besoeker was saying he enjoyed the showgirls with chips and beer.

I know I do . . .
Posted by: GORT || 02/25/2009 8:00 Comments || Top||

#4  Looking over my shoulder? Yes, the short leash has served her well over the years. The victuals are excellent and I seldom leave the rug.
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/25/2009 9:24 Comments || Top||

#5  Fix on something small and symbolic, and demonize it;
Propose a response that does little to address the fundamental problem;
Forbid the thing to others;
Reserve its use for yourself;

I'm guessing no one reads "Animal Farm" in school anymore.
Posted by: SteveS || 02/25/2009 12:47 Comments || Top||

#6  "The mayor will be the first to admit that he occasionally indulges in bottled water," Ballard said. "It’s not something he’s proud of."

Yeah, like banging the wife of your campaign manager and good friend? Kinda like that?
Posted by: tu3031 || 02/25/2009 12:54 Comments || Top||

#7  Corporate Water Fascist!
Posted by: ed || 02/25/2009 13:11 Comments || Top||

Home Front: Politix
Obama needs a reality check for his "soppy indulgences"
Put away childish things, President Obama said during his inauguration. He couldn't have found a theme more suited to the moment. The preoccupations that he and most politicians are used to running on, and that still characterize too many of his administration's utterances, are being exposed in the global economic disaster as the soppy indulgences they always were.

Put away the global warming panic. Mankind's contribution to rising CO2 levels raises serious questions, but the tens of billions poured into climate science have, by now, added up only to a negative finding. We don't really have the slightest idea how an increase in the atmosphere's component of CO2 is impacting our climate, though the most plausible indication is that the impact is too small to untangle from natural variability.

In any case, has Mr. Obama taken a gander at collapsing industrial production numbers around the world? He's going to get a big reduction in CO2 output whether he wants it or not. Nor will the public be moved to make costly, material changes in its energy habits, especially if the recent global cooling trend continues. What we'll get instead is already depressingly clear: climate pork, or lucrative favors for lobbying interests in the name of global warming that have no impact on global warming.

Put away the "energy independence" conceit. This notion, a favorite of Tojo and Hitler, was debunked by Churchill, who reasoned that true energy security came from a diversity of suppliers, not the foolish pursuit of self-sufficiency.

We only hurt our own cause by blocking development of our own resources and closing our markets to biofuel producers in the Southern Hemisphere. Let's grow up. Through all the ups and downs of oil prices, the U.S. has been able to buy all it wants, even from countries that wish us dead. We are a bigger buyer of oil than any country is a supplier of it. We've had the whip hand all along.

Put away Ponzi welfarism. The day is gone when politicians could have hoped to have begun and ended their careers before the public ever faced the implosion of redistribution programs that depend on the workforce growing faster than the retired population.

Put away the idea that more government control is the cure for health care. We already bribe, through supremely asinine tax policy, the most affluent, capable consumers on the planet not to use their smarts to make sure the system returns value for money.

Let's fix this -- by eliminating the tax subsidy for employer-provided health insurance. Then it might actually become economically feasible to subsidize health care for the needy.

Put away class warfare tax politics: Only a flatter, less distorting tax code is compatible with the kind of growth needed to get us out of the debt mess without inflation.

We already levy punitive tax rates on bank deposits, at a time when households need to build up savings and banks need deposits. Now Mr. Obama wants to raise taxes on small business, on investment, and on the incomes of the most productive job creators. Is he crazy?

Like a subprime borrower who hasn't gotten the news yet, now is not the time to go deeper into debt to build a third Jacuzzi. Our politicians need to address an accumulation of past excesses before sponsoring new ones.

Mr. Obama came to office without a conspicuous vision other than "bipartisanship" and a belief in the beneficent influence on America and the world of seeing a black man exercising the powers of the presidency. He wields his party's shibboleths like one who sees them mainly as levers for delivering the goods. His ideas about the exercise of politics, in fact, may be accurately reflected in the recent stimulus bill -- in office you supply the wish lists of those who put you there.

His will be a fascinating presidency to watch, not least because of his inexperience, his intellectual agility, and the crisis in which he finds himself. But his presidency will get really interesting in a year or two, or six months -- whenever he finally realizes that everything he thought he wanted to do is irrelevant. He'll then have to adapt an agenda for the world as it is, in which many childish things no longer have a place.

And, by the way, he kids himself if he believes he will be allowed, like FDR, to preside over a depression without being politically blamed for it. The public is different now -- the world is different -- and he will own the "Obama depression" sooner than he thinks.
Posted by: GolfBravoUSMC || 02/25/2009 15:21 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [383 views] Top|| File under:

#1  and he will own the "Obama depression" sooner than he thinks

Not if the MSM have anything to say about it. Or do they suddenly throw him under the bus once a tipping point gets reached?

There's more common sense and practical wisdom in each paragraph of this article than there has been in any of Obama's speeches.
Posted by: ryuge || 02/25/2009 22:58 Comments || Top||

Gaius Barackus Caesar places an enormous bet on Big Guv-ment
With a speech to match the most eloquent of State of the Union Addresses, with strains of FDR and JFK and a touch of Winston Churchill thrown in, President Obama has clearly staked his presidency on the outcome of the economic crisis.

Whether or not you agree with his prescription for recovery (I don't), it's clear that he's not hedging his bets. If it works, his place in history is assured. If it fails, so is his early retirement.

The speech made it apparent that the Obama administration's response to this crisis will either go down in history as a success that Americans will admire for decades, or become a case study in economic failure that students and scholars will study and pick apart for generations.

The speech began where it needed to begin, with a bold affirmation of faith in the rebuilding and recovery of America. Then Obama listed some of the more popular parts of his spending-stimulus program.

The specific items he recalled from the package were attractive. But Americans know, by now, that much of the program (largely unmentioned last night) is a mountain of pork - money spent for the sake of spending it to spur recovery, not to achieve particularly important ends.

Obama did not seek to justify the spending for the specific purposes to which it is dedicated. Courageously, he said that he passed it because it will work. For his sake, it better. But I doubt it.

Then he spoke unconvincingly about his bank-rescue plan. Promising to punish and regulate bankers even as he stressed the need to restore their confidence, he reminded me of the facetious sign posted in a friend's workplace: "The beatings will continue until morale improves."

How he plans to restore the nerve and confidence of our bankers as he castigates them is unclear. But, then, so is his program for financial rescue. One suspects that he knows full well that he will nationalize the banks. But even that step assumes that politicians can do what bankers can't: Act quickly, ruthlessly and honestly - never a notable attribute of elected officials.
Only when their share of the boodle is threatened .. oh, you included honestly ...
Halfway through the speech, the president got to the minefields of Social Security and health-care reform. He avoided any specifics, but it's clear that he plans to salvage the former with increases in the payroll tax and implement the latter by government rationing of health care. If you like your HMO, you'll love Obama's health plan.
It's more whether you the Department of Motor Vehicles ...
And then Obama affirmed that he'll support big tax increases on the richest 2 percent of American families. Disregarding the fact that these households already pay upward of half of all income taxes, while earning only a quarter of the national income, he has singled out the entrepreneurs, professionals, innovators and businesspeople of America for taxation.

Oh, but he won't raise taxes until he's had a few years to stimulate the economy. How many in that 2 percent feel like one of those huge hogs in the Chicago stockyards, being fattened up to slaughter the next year?
Time to see whether the Cayman banks will preserve privacy ...
Can all this work? Can Obama get banks to lend even as he terrorizes them? Can he get the engines of our economy back to work even as he announces that he'll be taking away more of their earnings? Can he persuade the American people to accept bureaucrats deciding their health-care choices? And can his economic stimulus survive a huge increase in the payroll tax on the most productive citizens?

Probably not;Obama likely won't succeed. This speech will be viewed as his high-water mark - the time before we came to realize how flawed is his understanding of economics and how supreme is his commitment to expanded spending. It will be seen as a sort of age of innocence before we realized what he had in mind.

But it sure was a great speech . . . while it lasted.
Posted by: GolfBravoUSMC || 02/25/2009 14:11 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [327 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Arabs declare victory when they lose. I don't see why Democrats won't do the same if Obama fails.
Posted by: Cynicism Inc || 02/25/2009 15:07 Comments || Top||

#2  Can Pelosi wear her cheerleader outfit with the big "B" on it and bring the pompoms next time?
Christ, even Biden was getting pissed off...
Posted by: tu3031 || 02/25/2009 15:10 Comments || Top||

#3  "Gaius Barackus", Greek columns and all.....whahahahhahahaha! Excellent, but the nose in the photo could use just a few more degrees of elevation.
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/25/2009 15:14 Comments || Top||

#4  Pelosi's true profession. Careful if you open this, you may expose yourself to the risk of side effects, such as an increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding, ulcers and a possible increase in the risk of heart attacks or strokes for those with high cholesterol or high blood pressure.
Posted by: GolfBravoUSMC || 02/25/2009 15:41 Comments || Top||

#5  YIKES!

Can get get a 'Not Safe For Sane Minds' warning on that one GB-USMC? Where's the brillo pads!
Posted by: CrazyFool || 02/25/2009 15:59 Comments || Top||

Individual States Declaring Sovereignty
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/25/2009 09:33 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [312 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I dunno. The feds will still be taking income tax out of the state, and the declaration of sovereignty will be taken as a blanket rejection of Federal aid.

Don't declare independence until you really can live without Mommy and Daddy.
Posted by: Ptah || 02/25/2009 10:23 Comments || Top||

#2  This is not good.
Posted by: 49 Pan || 02/25/2009 10:38 Comments || Top||

#3  Tempest meet teacup. So far these appear to be nothing more than non-binding expressions of opinion that will have no more effect than the states stamping their little feet and howling in outrage.

Nothing to see here until the states begin expelling federal officials who they deem infringe on their sovreignty, ordering their citizens not to pay federal taxes, or the like.
Posted by: AzCat || 02/25/2009 12:17 Comments || Top||

#4  More please.
Posted by: Hellfish || 02/25/2009 12:24 Comments || Top||

#5  This isn't declaring 'independance'. Simply affirming the 10th Admendment.

This might be the first echos of a consitutional Convention. Which, BTW, probably isn't something we want. Would you want people like Barak Obama, Comrade Murray (D-Washington), or Baghdad Jim (D-Al-Quaeda) dictating the consitution?
Posted by: CrazyFool || 02/25/2009 12:25 Comments || Top||

#6  Prior to the Civil War, it was routine for the states to nullify federal action. It makes sense. You agree to live by a certain set of rules (say, the Constitution). One side stops playing by the rules. You can either stick around and implicitly agree to the rule change, or do something about it.
Posted by: Iblis || 02/25/2009 12:40 Comments || Top||

#7  A Constitutional Convention could be a disaster: it would be an open invitation for the progressive left to charge in, and let's remember that they're pretty well organized. You'd end up with the ACORN types in charge. Wouldn't be pretty, and just try being a state that says 'no' after they produce a new constitution, which is what they would do.
Posted by: Steve White || 02/25/2009 13:04 Comments || Top||

#8  I know where I'm going if that happens!!

Posted by: Yosemite Sam || 02/25/2009 14:47 Comments || Top||

#9  Crazy Fool and Steve White say it best.
Posted by: WolfDog || 02/25/2009 16:52 Comments || Top||

#10  Hey Steve, they may rush in but we don't have to ratify.

Disclaimer: I am long brass, lead and steel.
Posted by: Hellfish || 02/25/2009 20:06 Comments || Top||

Sheriff Joe Arpaio on Beck (VIDEO)
Apparently Congress is wanting to investigate Maricopa County, AZ Sheriff Joe Arpaio, and today on Glenn Beck’s show, Arpaio said “bring it on.” The suit was brought on by none other than race-baiter Rep. John Conyers. {yawn}

From The Hill:

House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) and three fellow Democrats want the Department of Justice to investigate civil rights complaints against controversial sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Posted by: Icerigger || 02/25/2009 08:28 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [322 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Too bad Joe doesn't see past his own job. He shoulda run for governor of AZ years ago so that by now he'd be presidential timber. But I'd vote for him anyway.
Posted by: Ebbang Uluque6305 || 02/25/2009 11:33 Comments || Top||

#2  Some irony here. Instead of being free to carp, race bait, and throw stones, we'd all be better off if Conyers were in permanent residence at Sheriff Joe Arpaio's lovely hotel.
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/25/2009 13:49 Comments || Top||

My origins and my education
By Dr A Q Khan

Pictures of the ignominious defeat and surrender of the Pakistan Army on 16th December, 1971 in Dacca is something I would like to erase from my memory.

Yaade maazi azaab he yarab

Chhin le mujh se haafiza mera.

However, one memory I would never like to forget is that of my school days. These are such pleasant memories and still so fresh, so joyful, as if they happened only yesterday. Whenever I am alone, I sit in my chair, close my eyes and relax and go back 65 years to the time I was a student at Ginnori Primary School in Bhopal. My father was head master/superintendant of high schools in the Central Provinces (CP) in British India before his retirement.

First a few words about Bhopal. Bhopal was a Muslim State in the heart of the Indian sub-continent. It had a population of about 700,000 and an area of about 7,000 square kilometres. It could quite rightly be called the Switzerland of India. There were dense forests, rivers, high mountains and an abundance of wildlife like tigers, leopards, bears, crocodiles, deer, sambhar, nilgae, wild dogs, peacocks and many different kind of birds. It is situated at the crossing of the main Delhi-Bombay and Amritsar-Calcutta railway lines – hence a very important railway junction. There were seven man-made lakes in Bhopal State, one of them being the largest in undivided India. All the lakes were full of fish and shrimps. In my young days, it was not uncommon for tigers, leopards and bears to be sighted hardly five to six kilometres from the city centre. Bhopal city was built on hilly terrain and cyclists often had to get off their bicycles because the slopes were so steep. It was also famous for its beautiful mosques (there being at least one every 200 yards) and the number of huffaz (who used to travel throughout Central India to lead tarawih prayers during Ramazan). Last but not least, Bhopal had the best hockey team in undivided India. Who has not heard of Anwar, Habib, Aziz and Latif, all famous Olympians.

Out of the total population, hardly 25% were Muslim, the remainder being Hindus and local Gonds and Bheels. Muslims were in the majority in the cities of Bhopal and Sehore. The police force and small local army were also mainly Muslims. Businessmen and government officials were of mixed religion/descent. There was complete harmony between all segments of the population. It was a relatively well-to-do state – there was no unemployment and there were no beggars. The Muslim rulers and Muslim population were of Pathan descent. After the death of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, his empire disintegrated and the governor (Qiledar) of the large mughal fort at Raisen, about 20 km. from Bhopal city, declared his independence. After some time Rani Kamlapati gave him Bhopal State in gratitude for his help in avenging the murder of her beloved husband by a neighbour. Dost Muhammad Khan, the first ruler, was from Tirah in NWFP and this brought about the influx of Pathans. All this happened early in the 18th century. My mother's family came from Tirah while my father's family came from Ghore with Sultan Shahabuddin Ghori.

Now here is something for those who are burning girls' schools and colleges to think about! After Sardar Dost Muhammad Khan's death in 1740, five ladies ruled Bhopal. Maji Mamola, wife of Nawab Yar Muhammad Khan, successor to Sardar Dost M. Khan, ruled as regent for their daughter, Qudsia Begum. After Qudsia Begum came Sikander Begum, Shah Jehan Begum and Sultan Jehan Begum. These enlightened (lady) rulers turned Bhopal State into a modern, prosperous, welfare state. They all spoke fluent Persian and Urdu and had learnt some English as well. They established a large number of schools, both for boys and girls, and provided free education. Nawab Sultan Jehan Begum made generous donations to Sir Syed Ahmed Khan for the establishment of Aligarh Muslim University and had the distinction of being its first Chancellor. After her death her son, Nawab Hameedullah Khan, who had graduated from Aligarh, was chosen as the Chancellor. Had those ladies not been educated, had they not encouraged education, both for boys and girls, I would probably have been no more than a kharkar, a cobbler or stone breaker.

There were separate schools for boys and girls. My mother taught us at home. My wife helped our daughters with their homework and now our daughters are helping our granddaughters. If you don't educate your girls, you leave out half your population, you prevent them from becoming better wives and mothers, from being able to cope in case of the death of a parent or husband, from learning about Islam, health, nutrition, etc, from contributing to society and much more. Without the encouragement mothers can give, many children, even boys, would drop out of school, leading to an even higher rate of illiteracy. How then could we possibly progress as a nation? You are not only holding back women, you are holding back the nation.

About education today, I am aware of the large number of reports, articles, suggestions, recommendations, etc. by various committees about the type of education we are supposed to have in our schools. I won't go into numbers, statistics, literacy rate, etc. There are already hundreds of such papers collecting dust in many cupboards. My view is that, first and foremost it is imperative to enforce a uniform school system throughout the country. Each province should have its provincial language as a compulsory subject. I would like to look back at my own schooling as I believe it was successful in the formation of my career and life and is still applicable and useful for our children today. In the first two years of primary school we were taught the basics of Urdu, elementary arithmetic, Quran, Islamiat and writing. From class III on serious studies began in Urdu, arithmetic, Islamiat and English. As we progressed depth was added to the existing subjects and others were added – history of the Indian sub-continent, British history, European history, geography of the Indian sub-continent, world geography, English grammar and composition, etc.

In middle school, Persian or Arabic, and algebra and geometry were added. In classes IX and X we were taught anatomy and physiology and given a choice between physics and chemistry or botany and zoology. By this time we were reading selections in prose and poetry covering the works of Shakespeare, Byron, Tennyson, Wordsworth, Tagore, Bertrand Russell and so on. By the time we passed high school, we were quite well versed in all the subjects covered. We were able to write both Urdu and English quite well. 8 years of studying English left us free from any inferiority complex on that score. The best thing about this system was that we were not estranged from our own cultural heritage. In Urdu we read all the famous poets like Mir, Minai, Sauda, Momin, Dabir, Anis, Dard, Insha, Daagh, Ghalib, Zouq, Iqbal, Josh, Jigar, etc. with their biographies and selected works. It is that grooming that still gives me so much pleasure when reading poetry. High school examinations in Bhopal state were under the control of the Rajputana Board, one of the toughest in undivided India.

I don't see why a somewhat similar system, adapted to modern requirements, like computer studies, etc. can't work today. The main requirement of any good, credible system is honesty, discipline and dedication, both on the part of teachers and students. On the one hand we are shouting ourselves hoarse over the destruction of schools in Swat and the Tribal Areas (which is despicable, abhorrent and unforgivable) but at the same time we totally ignore the presence of thousands of ghost schools or schools without proper teachers and/or facilities in Sindh and Punjab. The condition of most of the government schools is atrocious. If our leaders and others responsible do not look into this serious problem and take remedial measures, the Pakistani nation will soon be reduced to a few educated elite and a majority of illiterate, ignorant and incompetent people. What I am trying to stress is that, while a top-class education at university is important, our rich cultural heritage should be inculcated at school level. If one does not know one's own cultural heritage, one loses one's identity. In order to achieve this aim, the government must enforce a uniform school syllabus for the whole of Pakistan in which our cultural heritage is an integral part.
Posted by: john frum || 02/25/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [340 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Indian Muslim students face a curriculum that includes 40% of time on Islamic and Arabic studies. By Allah, that number must increase to 90% so youth can adapt to the Islamic World Government that is forming. We need less medicine and more prayer, Inshallah.
Posted by: Muhammad Googoo || 02/25/2009 18:47 Comments || Top||

Home Front Economy
Belmont Club: On complex systems
Richard Fernandez

Two ideas are necessary to keep in mind when dealing with complex systems. The first is that it will tend to evolve towards a new state whose characteristics we may not be able to predict but which we know exists. This is what Fabius Maximus refers to as the successor the post World War 2 political/economic system. We are going there and are going to find it by trial and error. We know enough to realize we’ve left Kansas but not enough to set our new course with exactitude. We’re going to have to sniff our way along. Once we get near there, things will start to settle down because that’s the way complex systems often behave. “An attractor is a set to which a dynamical system evolves after a long enough time. That is, points that get close enough to the attractor remain close even if slightly disturbed.” The important thing is not to charge blindly past it and over the Edge of the World.

The role of the government isn’t to mandate the characteristics of that attractor by fiat — it can’t — but rather to take the necessary steps to midwife a new world being born by taking common sense steps without the burden of ideological finality. They have to do what works unimpeded by mental constructs which cannot comprehend what is happening to the complex system. In order to successfully do this, government must embrace the second idea inherent in dealing with complex systems. It must shorten its OODA loop. It cannot be in the business of setting Five Year plans in the middle of a dynamically changing situation. Rosenberg points out that much of the so-called fiscal stimulus package is “back-loaded to the out years; that we think it will be next to impossible to meet the employment goals (which could never be verified in any event – how can anyone prove that a job was “saved’?) since much of the spending is aimed at products that are imported into the USA.” But if government wants to treat the situation as one undifferentiated bolus and shit it out in one go we may create more problems than we solve.

What government needs to implement is a succession of quick but well thought out interventions with the least possible lag, so that some kind of closed loop policy fire control system can be implemented instead of the insane method of World War 1 style battleship prediction plotting extending over a period of years. Whether policy will evolve in that direction remains to be seen. The public debate so far has been about the Big Solution; the magic bullet because leaders like to pretend that they have one. What leader can admit that he hasn’t? The day Barack Obama gets in front of national TV and says he doesn’t have the answers is the day we start getting them....

A tax revolt is good to the the extent that it militates against the ponderous central planning approach to managing the crisis. But to the degree that it encourages another, albeit alternate version of the big fix it may lead to equally bad consequences. The alternative to a bad Five Year Plan is not another Five Year Plan. It is something else. In reality the system will have to find its own new equilibrium. Capitalism is the economy’s reconnaissance in force into the uncharted economic future. The reason capitalism works is that it can try different things. Unlike government, it is not obliged to do one Awesome Thing. As we venture into the unknown some businesses won’t come back. Others will, with news of a new and boundless vistas. But we have to let them go out. We can’t strike out in a central direction determined by bones cast upon a shaman’s cape. It could lead us to the promised land, or out into the desert.

In conclusion: all interventions should be immediate, nonideological and subject to change given the arrival of new data and the speed at which we close our OODA loop should be improved. This is the way our mammalian ancestors overcame the dinosaurs. If we remember nothing else, we should remember that.
Posted by: Mike || 02/25/2009 12:21 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [289 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The masters of complex biological systems are ants. They use very little energy and almost no intelligence, yet they are most adaptive and succesful queens of the world. It's been estimated that up to 15% of the animal mass in jungles is the lowly ant.
Posted by: Richard of Oregon || 02/25/2009 13:16 Comments || Top||

#2  Yeah, but being a worker ant sucks. The life short, hours long, bennies suck and forget about getting laid.
Posted by: ed || 02/25/2009 13:20 Comments || Top||

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Two weeks of WOT
Wed 2009-02-25
  Lanka: Troops enter last Tamil Tiger-controlled town
Tue 2009-02-24
  Mulla Omar orders halt to attacks on Pak troops
Mon 2009-02-23
  100 rounded up in Nineveh
Sun 2009-02-22
  1 European killed, 9 others wounded in Egypt blast
Sat 2009-02-21
  Handcuffed JMB man pops grenade at press meet
Fri 2009-02-20
  Tamil Tiger planes raid Colombo
Thu 2009-02-19
  MPs visit Swat to pay obeisance to Sufi Mohammad
Wed 2009-02-18
  Four killed, 18 injured in Peshawar car bombing
Tue 2009-02-17
  Surprise! Pervez Musharraf was playing 'double game' with US
Mon 2009-02-16
  Another Wazoo dronezap
Sun 2009-02-15
  Talibs: Pak will surrender in Swat
Sat 2009-02-14
  Suspected U.S. Missile Strike Zaps 27
Fri 2009-02-13
  Canadian Muslim sentenced for firebombing Jewish institutions
Thu 2009-02-12
  Pak arrests 'main operator' in Mumbai attacks
Wed 2009-02-11
  Taliban Attack Afghan Government Buildings, Killing 20

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