Thursday, December 27, 2007

Benazir Bhutto Befallen By Beastly Bastards

"Bhutto Assassinated."

To a current follower of the news, that may be a simple, straightforward, headline.

But, to me, it brought forth a complex set of feelings and memories.

I grew up in Karachi, in the early 70's. We would drive by the Bhutto residence in Clifton almost every day, en route to my aunt's house at Sea View apartments on the ocean. My aunt's late husband had been Director administering the Pakistani space and upper atmospheric research organization (SUPARCO) at that time.

It was during that time, just entering my teen years, that I had the chance to meet and see both Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto (Benazir's late father) and Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi (Gaddafi/Qadhafi) during their visit to Karachi. This was around the time of the Islamic Summit that Zulfi Bhutto, then Prime Minister of Pakistan, had pulled off.

In more recent years I have met and seen charismatic people, one on one, or in group settings. But, even comparing people with awesome personalities, from Bill Clinton and Colin Powell, to Steve Jobs and others, no one has exuded charisma and sheer human magnetism as Bhutto, and even Qaddafi, did back then.

My late Mother's best friend (like a sister to her really) also lived in a house behind the Bhutto residence, so the Bhutto name and family was quite "visible" to us going about our day to day lives. Even as the megalomaniac that Zulfiqar Bhutto was, there was none of the modern-day security cordon around his house - as people like Musharaff and even his lowly minions can't seem to live without.

Bhutto was busy charming the Pakistani public (while destroying the economy through socialist policies), and his younger son was being groomed to take over from him some day. Benazir was a character somewhat on the political sidelines at that time.

As a young teenager, I adored Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, and scorned the religious political parties that were out to oust him.

Like all great leaders, what brought down Bhutto was not the brilliance or strength of his opponents, but his own hunger for power, pride and greed. He rigged an election, that he would have easily won anyway. That set in motion events that would lead to his eventual overthrow - by his own handpicked General Zia-ul-Haq.

Bhutto had thought Zia was a puppet, but Zia was one of the most cunning people I ever met. Not only did he overthrow Bhutto, hang him for murder, but went on to rule for 11 years.

My first meeting with General Zia was as a student at Aitchison College, Lahore in the 1977-78 timeframe. He was the Chief Guest at Aitchison's Founder's Day annual event. Along with many others, I too had created a science project for the exhibition at that time. It was a very elementary Lie Detector Test device. It consisted of some strands of wiring wrapped around two wooden handles that a user had to grasp. As they answered, the theory was that the sweaty palms, caused by telling a lie would change the resistance of the device, making a small electrical ammeter show a deflection.

Sure enough, Zia stopped by our booth and made it to my desk. I recall how much more repulsive he was in person, even more than in his photographs. Those droopy eyes of a weak calf, that insincere laugh, that ugly visage. I was not ready to be a political prisoner (at least then) so I kept my disgust to myself.

But, it did not stop me from being a smarty-pants. Zia took the lie detector test. I am probably the only person in the world who ever gave a sitting President of a country or a dictator a lie detector test! I asked him his name and what day it was, to calibrate" the device. He played along. I asked him a couple of questions and he answered truthfully and the meter showed no deflection. Finally, I asked him, "Will you end martial law and hold elections?"

He answered, "Yes." The ammeter literally jumped off the scale and a light came on the console, "LIE". We all laughed, but deep in my heart, even as a 15 year old, I knew Pakistani democracy would be shedding tears for years to come.

During that time period, Bhutto's main political heir, his younger son, died in mysterious circumstances - a suspected victim of poisoning. His older son then tried to grab the mantle, but made things worse for himself by orchestrating a terrible hijacking that backfired on his reputation. That opened the door for Benazir Bhutto to become the family's political dynasty leader --- though not without feuding for a long time with he mother, Zulfiqar Bhutto's widow, Nusrat Bhutto.

I had the chance to meet General Zia several times over the years - and could not stand the man. I despised him for how he had raped the name of Islam (some at the behest of his American government bosses) to create a fundamentalist movement, to help create fervor against the Soviets in Afghanistan. He also used the name of Islam to crush the liberal Pakistani society into an intolerant one, where the tiny fraction of zealous fanatics could hold a whole nation hostage to their version of 1400 year old laws.

In an attempt to crush the Bhutto family's strength in the province of Sindh, he and his henchmen of the ISI also created yet another Cancer in Pakistan - the vile and murderous MQM, or Muhajir Qaumi Movement. The goal of this organization was to terrorize Karachi, and weaken the People's Party. The things this organization did to its victims would make Adolf Hitler and his beastly friends shudder in fear. Yes, that was what America's friend, General Zia, was up to in Pakistan.

As a student leader, Chief Organizer of the largest independent students organization in Pakistan, called QSF (Quaid-e-Azam Students Federation) at the University of Engineering and Technology, in Lahore, I was among those who bore the brunt of this out of control Islami Jamiat Taliba (a militant student organization run by the fundamentalist, anti-democracy, pro-Zia, pro-Taliban Jamate Islami).

I met Zia once again, but very briefly - when he was Chief Guest at an annual event of my engineering school. Needless to say, this visit was arranged by the Islami-Jamiat who then ran the students union.

After one particular incident this axis of Zia and the Jamiat became even more clear. One day Jamiat students were arrested shooting at my party workers and the police raid led to about 40 of their people being arrested with hand grenades and rifles to use on my party workers. As I left my apartment that night for my own safety, I literally ran into them being brought back to their dorm rooms by state vehicles less than 8 hours after their arrests.

I barely made it out. They went inside and ransacked everything. They destroyed my dorm room as well as others. My belongings were burnt and everything of value, including supposedly un-Islamic expensive audio music systems, cameras and electronics were stolen. My copy of the Quran, given to me by my Mother in 1977, was tossed on the floor by the Jamiat thugs. They just wanted blood and loot. The Quran, with its message of peace, was just an object to toss aside.

So, much that I wanted the Soviets out of Afghanistan, I also knew what price we in Pakistan were paying. These militants, along with 6 MILLION illiterate and unlawful Afghans flooded the streets of Pakistan, bringing with them prostitution, drugs, and assault rifles for sale to anyone. Drugs and internal strife, crime and violence, tyranny and fundamentalism, were all Zia's and Ronald Reagan's gifts to Pakistan.

When the Soviets were defeated, as it is wont to do, America picked up its bags and left. Zia tried to cling to power, thinking he could stave off America's now apparent interest in democracy in Pakistan. By now the US was happy to see Benazir Bhutto return from exile.

I was no fan of Benazir Bhutto, whom I only saw as running on her father's legacy, with nothing to show for her own work. Her two times as Prime Minister proved me correct. But, at that time, I was happy to see someone coming to challenge a dictator, Zia, whose days were numbered, but who seemed intent on staying in power.

Around that time I met General Zia once again, at a State dinner with some newspaper owners. I was there with the late Mir KhaliI-ur-Rehman, the Pakistani equivalent of Rupert Murdoch. Mir sahib was the owner and founder of the Jang Group of Newspapers and legend and an institution in his own lifetime. When he introduced me to to Zia, General Zia showed no one was safe from his and his henchmen's eyes. He said to me, "Oh, I know you, I am familiar with your work."

The background to that comment was Benazir. I was then working directly with MKR's younger son, Mir Shakil-ur-Rehman, the now owner/Chairman of the Jang Group of Newspapers (and the well known and currently blocked GEO TV network).

Upon BB's return from her exile, I was able to have one of the Jang photographers get me color photos of Benazir's arrival at Lahore Airport - just in time for me to write a quick article and put the items on a flight to Karachi.

The materials arrived in Karachi in time for my late friend, and editor of MAG Weekly, Wahab Siddiqui, to run the photos as the cover story of MAG (literally hours after Benazir had landed) with the article I submitted.

Some things never change. Just like the corrupt dictator Musharaff is going after the media, surely enough, back then, I got a visit at home that night from "security personnel" who were there to ask how and why the pictures of Benazir's arrival were front cover story news in Mag Weekly the next day.

I was lucky that I was not treated to the Zia Special as many of my fellow journalists were treated back then (nails pulled, beaten, tortured) but it was a good reminder that I still lived in a dictatorship. Zia's later comment about knowing my work showed that even a "hobbyist" journalist was not beyond the range of his radar screens.

Eventually, thankfully for Pakistan, General Zia died in a plane crash --- as dictators not needed by the USA anymore have a strange habit of doing. Benazir came into power -- and squandered a historic opportunity to create her own legacy, do good in Pakistan, or improve the lot of women in that region.

Instead, she watched her corrupt and vile husband become "Mister Ten Percent" who took that amount in kickbacks on every government project. Around that time I had the honor of becoming the founder of Internet and email in Pakistan. My neighbor and I had co-founded and co-owned the .PK Pakistan TLD (top level domain). Apparently, Zaradari, at that time was trying to corner the market on all electronic media, from FM and TV station licenses to paging (anyone remember beepers?) and email. My neighbor and I had to stave off a great deal of pressure to relinquish control and ownership of the .PK TLD but were able to resist. Eventually, the issue fizzled away, as did Zardari. He had bigger problems to deal with.

Thanks to his corruption, and Benazir's lack of leadership, she got thrown out of power and the game of musical chairs for leading Pakistan began.

Nawaz Sharif, another person I had known personally for a long time, became Prime Minister. From someone whom you could play Cricket with in Lahore, he became a power hungry maniac too. He had been an insignificant local politician, whom General Zia had groomed and pushed into leadership. In particular, Jang newspaper in Lahore, and our mutual friend Mir Shakil-ur-Rehman, had a lot to giving him prominent coverage making him popular. I recall that Nawaz Sharif had a really favorable news story and interview appear in Jang Lahore, with a really great set of photos (taken by my old friend and colleague at that time, Abdul Qayyum). I was with Mir Shakil when Nawaz Sharif called and requested if he could be given the original slides of those pictures - that is how good the photos were.

Shakil gave the originals to me and I drove to Nawaz Sharif's home in Model Town, Lahore, that night. He invited me in, and could not get enough of looking at his pictures. He was practically drooling. His exact words to me were, "Imran sahib, please thank Shakil sahib for me and tell him, 'I was nothing and today you made me a national leader'."

Of course, when Nawaz Sharif became Prime Minister, he did the usual "elected dictator" things Pakistani heads of state do. He squeezed Benazir and her supporters. He and his supporters made more money (but, to their credit, at least some great things and development projects took place in Pakistan in his tenure). Of course, the expected irony and twist was how today's populist candidate defending Pakistan's judiciary from attacks by Musharaff, himself had his supporters attack the courts and judges to have his way. Even more ironic, the same person, today defending media freedoms, who had asked me to thank Shakil for making him a leader had, back then, squeezed Shakil and Jang any time news coverage was not to his own liking.

Such is the guaranteed, hypocritical, "Do as I say, not as I do" way of Pakistani politicians... until, of course, they are out of power, and want to be your best friends again.

In that, Benazir Bhutto was no exception. She had been an ineffective, corrupt, weak, personality-driven head of state. She sold out Pakistan's interests in many areas, to please foreign powers. She had been a marked woman for many of those actions a decade ago but most of today's media reports seem to ignore the background of why the militants (and some ISI people) wanted her head for a long time.

I was highly opposed to her being helped back into a side role with Musharaff in power that the Bush government was working on this year. I found it shameful that our leaders in Washington had no desire for true democracy in Pakistan. They just wanted to ensure that the dictator Musharaff stayed at the helm.

They did not care Bhutto was ineffective. They did not care she was corrupt. They did not care she would be a figurehead. All they wanted was a show of democracy. So much for sincerely wanting democracy in Pakistan. I wrote highly critical articles about Benazir's shamelessly jumping into bed with Musharaff. But, I was horrified when she was targeted in a mass killing suicide bombing a few weeks ago, and she had my fullest support to have the right to live and move and campaign freely in Pakistan.

Alas, even critic's good wishes, and friends' prayers, are no match for violent axis of evil when foreign influence like the CIA, black ops like ISI and pure vile murderous bastards like AlQaeda/Taliban are cooperating/competing with each other in a dance that only brings death to innocent victims, and more slush funds to them.

I knew Benazir would be a target. Much that I did not want her in power as a fellow cohort of Musharaff, I also did not want Musharaff to get away with having her killed, directly or indirectly. But, unfortunately, that is how it was going to play out.

The irony that brings the story full circle is that while Benazir's father, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, was not assassinated literally, as he was afraid he would be, he had written a book, "If I Am Assassinated".

Benazir never wrote a book of that name, but her date with destiny was in the realization of her father's book title.... perhaps her last words may have been... "I am assassinated."

May God have mercy on her soul, and many who died alongside her. And, may God protect Pakistan and Pakistanis from the evil and beastly bastards that befell Benazir Bhutto. Amen.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Last Mile, The Shortest Delay - Will The Internet Slowdown?

According to a recent article by Shamus McGillicuddy, News Writer at, titled 'Internet not growing fast enough, researchers say, "according to new research, demand for Internet usage will start to outpace the capacity of the Internet's access points. This potential crunch could spell trouble for CIOs."

I am flabbergasted by the conclusions drawn by this team of researchers that the writer is reporting about.

They seem to be unfamiliar with the rapid pace of change in technology in general, and in Internet related innovation in particular, when making their semi-dire predictions.

Yes, there is a huge growth in Internet traffic. And, yes, some slowdowns can happen. But, the last mile to the home or business is, most often, NOT the bottleneck. As a matter of fact, I have 1.5 Mbps DSL in NY and 6 Mbps DSL in Miami, and some web sites can respond equally slowly regardless of where I access them from.

"Slowdown" is NOT a generic problem that afflicts the entire Internet, as the 'research' would suggest. The problem can be specific to certain sites, domains, news events of the day, and, much like the highways analogy the news article referred to, it is nearly impossible to build broadband pipes that people and applications will not find ways to clog.

What is needed is intelligent research on where the clogging is likely to be, rather than generic predictions, based on weak logic and an apparent disdain for the reality of the rapid pace of technology innovation.

In summary, the last mile is NOT the problem, and even 6 Mbps DSL lines can find some web sites as slow as 768 Kbps lines. 'Slowdown' is NOT a generic problem across the entire Internet, but is, and will be, a more and more site/domain specific issue. The rapid pace of technology innovation with more reasonable pricing mechanisms will ensure the Internet remains an efficient and effective platform.

Monday, December 10, 2007

NY SOS! New York, Spit Out Spitzer!

This is a topic that needed the creation of several domain names. It is of greater interest to New Yorkers, and those fed up with Elliot Spitzer selling out New York and US security to pander to illegal immigrants. Please take a look, and if you know any New Yorkers, please share the link with them.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Copped Third Degree Burns Cop, Gets Third Degree

The Palm Beach Post recently ran a story about a sergeant named Richard Carl, who was getting extra pay because of his extra-hard work in adding to his capabilities and credentials by working towards a Bachelors, Masters AND PhD degrees.

In normal circumstances this would be a great and inspiring story. Though it does not make sense to me, I do know some very smart people who have managed to work on a Masters and Doctoral degrees at the same time. But, getting the third (academic) degree led to the cop being grilled and given the third degree. It seems that by some miracle, he got all THREE DEGREES on the SAME DAY, and mostly without attending classes, or studying, through some well-shielded scam running as a church and offering degrees for sale.

His career would have definitely suffered third degree burns, if government departments were not so good at damage control, covering up, and insulating their own people and mistakes. If only we all could be so lucky.

I must sign off now, I have 90 minutes before midnight to get my PhD from the same 'educational institution'.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

More Moronic Mormon Big On Bigotry Questioned By Questionable Questioner

The New York Times and others have reported on Mitt Romney, the Republican Presidential candidate, saying he would not have Muslims in his Cabinet if elected President.

What more can one expect from a pro-war waffler none of whose children serve in the military. When he was asked about them not serving in the military, he said they best serve their country by helping him get elected. Doh. Another George W. Bush in the making on the more moronic front.

I am a Muslim and I do not think a Muslim is NEEDED in Cabinet. But, then, neither is a Jew or a Hindu or an Atheist... or a Mormon President needed for that matter. What is needed is a capable person in an appropriate position....

Sadly, the person who asked the self-serving question, Mansoor Ijaz, is not the right person for asking the question and Romney, apparently big on bigotry, is not the right person for the White House, no matter how right-wing he tries to lean to win votes.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Real World News Of Real World News Media Making News In Virtual World

Recent news items mention how CNN, the global, respected, cable news leader, has established a presence in Second Life, a virtual world online.

Even though I have cautiously resisted jumping on the Second Life bandwagon (for fear of wasting time even more than I do at present), this seemingly innocuous news item has far greater long term impact on an industry, and society, than, say, Citibank or McDonald's creating a presence.

For the most part, even large companies like these are merely touching the tip of the benefits iceberg that a real viable virtual world presence will bring businesses in real world terms.

News, by its nature, is the most well suited to that virtual world being leveraged in the real world.

A virtual burger sold by McDonald's will not fill my hunger, virtual or real. Sure, some bank's virtual branch could lend me virtual money in Second Life to buy some virtual property there - while they could charge me a fee in the real world, costing me real Dollars.

But, a virtual CNN reporter asking me a question of my virtual persona (especially if it is based on my true identity) can get the same valuable (or useless) insights as if they had met me in Atlanta or New York.

A citizen journalist in Pakistan could provide detailed accounts of dictator Pervez Musharaff's latest hooliganism against journalists, judges and the Constitution of Pakistan in a virtual world, far quicker, safer and better than than it could be done in the real world.

That is one small aspect and there are many more. Here are the key points to keep in mind particularly for large businesses:

- Real world businesses can be in virtual worlds merely for appearing virtually cool

- Some large businesses can make small incremental revenues quickly in the real world by leveraging "services" delivered in the virtual world

- News media are ideally positioned to leverage virtual world presences for real world benefits far greater than other industries can experience at this stage.

What do you think - "really"?

Monday, November 19, 2007

Negropointless Mission Accomplished: Perfect Storm Of Shameless Hypocrisy

Pakistani lame-duck dictator Pervez Musharaff/Musharraf, who does not seem to learn any lessons from his own self-inflicted wounds, has shamelessly continued on the path of sham elections promised for January 8, 2008. In one fell swoop he has shown how to be perfectly hypocritical, treacherous, power-hungry, treasonous and yet, be able to get away with it.

America's lame-duck dictator-wannabe, George W. Bush, sent his number two envoy, John Negorponte, who pointedly did not say anything bad about Busharaff. His trip can easily be called The Negropointless Mission Accomplished. I cannot think of any more effective way for the US government to show its shameless hypocrisy and stupidity than by this trip.

- It showed Pakistani masses, whose hearts and minds we are doing such a kick-ass job of winning (NOT!), that we do not care about democracy for them, while we continue to occupy Iraq, and threaten Iran, all in the name of democracy.

- It showed Musharaff, and other US-supported evil dictators, like Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, the royal (pain in the butt) family in Saudi Arabia, etc. that the US will ALWAYS support and protect dictators it likes.

- It showed the world we are hypocrites about democracy, and don't even have the clout to make a third world dictator even make a token change in policy to make us look good. He know the US can't do anything to him, because it does NOT have a Pakistan policy, but merely a Musharaff policy.

- It showed AlQaeda that Musharaff will never take out Bin Laden, as that is the day he can't play the "You need me forever" card with America.

Pakistan's troops are now, once again, busy winning a war - with Pakistan, a job they have become truly good at doing. Al-Qaeda's supporters, formerly merely a bunch of lawless tribal elders, are now well entrenched in the remote parts of Pakistan. The Pakistani Army, so skilled at occupying Pakistan's civil areas, has been losing hundreds of soldiers, and having dozens of soldiers actually lay down their arms - something building huge resentment within the armed forces, and the nation.

Things in Afghanistan were getting from bad to worse - before Musharaff turned his military focus on the enemy within - everyone. Apparently the biggest threats to global security are a Supreme Court Chief Justice (who just happened to be ready to declare Musharaff's power grab illegal), the media (that exposed him for the puny, sex-seeking, slobbering dictator that he is), and lawyers because the word LAW exists in the word lawyers.

Shame on Musharaff - who apparently has decided he will not let go until another mysterious plane crash liberates Pakistanis, or until another fellow General puts him out of his misery. Neither situation can guarantee a return to democracy - but better things have happened. When the other liar power-hungry General Zia had outlived his usefulness in the war against the Soviets in Afghanistan, the CIA is said to have worked with another General to terminate Zia, but not impose a new martial law.

Maybe that is what the State Department is planning to do.... in either case, Musharaff has outlived his usefulness to the Pakistanis and Americans. The only ones betting on him are people without a clue - like George W. Bush.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Emerging News Of Emergency Rule vs. Emergent Democracy

What an absolutely, and unfortunately predictable, shameful day for the country of my birth, Pakistan. The Bush and US-supported dictator, 'President' Pervez Musharaff imposed emergency rule in Pakistan a short while ago. He is forcing out the Pakistani Supreme Court judges, and arresting nation's top lawyers and even media people. So much for our American mission to promote democracy in the Islamic and Muslim World.

It is said that the American government (which has kept him in power, supported his actions, and even shamelessly brokered a deal between a lazy dictator and a crooked ex-Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto) told him not to do so. Condoleeza Rice was said to be upset or mad (CondiMental?) at him doing this. BUT, knowing her and her Boss, who believe in hypocricy at the highest level, I am sure they will find an excuse to "understand" Busharaff's decision.

All that will provide is good material to Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart on Comedy Central to make more fun of Bush and Company. But, the real laughing stock right now is Pakistan and its (lack of) history of democracy. The only positive thing is that so far the Supreme Court had started showing some courage, some 'balls', by standing up to the dictator - which was not usually the case. The Supreme Court of Pakistan always folded with less noise than a deflated accordion. This court (or at least 6 of 11 judges) seem to have shown more courage and character than the last 10 Supreme Courts put together.

The media is also a target. While it is said that in the past newspaper chains like Jang always became friends with whoever is in power, I know from having worked there 22 years ago that the bigger a newspaper gets in Pakistan, the easier it is to shut down by withholding newsprint for them to publish on.

But, even in General Zia's time, newspapers that I do not have personal relationships with, especially Jang's main competition, Nawai Waqt always showed more courage, and stood on princple. Today's Jang Group has been more bold, having been on the wrong side of Nawaz Sharif, the evil MQM, Musharaff and others at one time or another. Their GEO TV channel, as well as many other channels, have also been bold critics of Musharaff.

Now, as this dictator for life (or until Pakistan loses another C130 with him in it) has shown, such media can easily be shut down. So, the choice for action, my fellow Pakistanis, will eventually come land squarely at the feet of the nation. The people are the ones who have to stand up and say, enough is enough. Will Pakistanis rise to the challenge and rise up IN challenge to dictatorship?

We can only hope, and pray.

Monday, October 29, 2007

It's In My Genes That I Can't Fit In My Jeans

A latest Reuters news story, "Brain scans of obese show hunger hormone at work", at the link above, is now going to be my official excuse for always being on the "heavy" side. Love of red meats, chocolate, ice-cream, Pepsi-Cola, Pakistani mithais, and anything else that is supposedly bad for you but tastes great, is partly to blame. Lack of exercise is another.

Even owning exercise equipment did not work. It must be the machine designers' fault. Over time I have bought enough exercise equipment. Fat good that did me. I even get physically tired just from trying to brush the dust off it.

But, no sweat. According to research, and who can argue with that (and why would I), we apparently have a gene that causes us to want to eat a lot. I am sure they will find the same gene is responsible for greed, gluttony, and tight jeans.

Laziness is surely blameable on a whole different set of genes. Thank God, it's not been my fault all this time! I'm off to go buy a bigger size of jeans.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Benazir Bhutto Bomb Blast Blame Belongs...

A short while ago Benaznir Bhutto's return to Pakistan, under questionable circumstances - and displays of lack of ethics by both power hungry, trying-to-be-"elected"-President, dictator General Musharaff and power hungry, greedy, corrupt and ineffective, ex-elected-PM-turned-"dictator" Benazir Bhutto - was marred by two bomb blasts that reportedly killed between 40-100 people and injured hundreds more.

The blast has all the apparent signs and hallmarks of being an AlQaeda terrorist attack, especially because of the reported Suicide Bomber element. In addition, this theory is getting some play because some local "divisional vice president" (if Al-Qaeda were organized like a typical US corporation) had already threatened to kill her if she was to return to Pakistan.

There are many others who would be likely suspects. Surely, one could argue, that Nawaz Sharif's supporters would equally want her punished, if not dead, for her jumping into bed with Musharraf shutting him out of the power and money game completely. But, considering that the Sharif element could hardly succeed in getting him back into Pakistan.

However, the one possible place the Benazir Bhutto Bomb Blast Blame Begs to be placed is at the doors of Musharaff directly, or that of his out of control secret military apparatus. Here's how that thinking could go. Musharaff gets Benazir to return under the guise of power-sharing, she dies in a bomb blast and, lo-and-behold, Musharaff has no choice but to declare emergency to "save Pakistan" from chaos. Not a bad plan, if that is what was intended.

There is surely more than meets the eye in this case. What do you think?


Update: On Oct 25 even Benazir Bhutto is reported to be saying what I am saying.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Judge sentences porn spammers to 5+ years

Finally a judge shows some wisdom and throws the book at porn spammers who sent sexual images with open images for any adult or child to see. Hope they are treated as porn queens in the prisons they are sent to. Say Hello To Bubba, boys! After they spend some "hard time" here, they ought to be shipped off to Saudi Arabia, even better, Afghanistan, for further hospitality.

read more | digg story

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Be All You Can Be - Because America Is The Land Of Opportunity, the online service of Forbes magazine, has a very interesting article about America not really being the proverbial land of opportunity.

It suggests that America is not as great a land of opportunity as Americans like to believe. It makes many interesting points, but I had a strong counterpoint that I wrote for but am sharing with you here.

You all know how openly and boldly I do criticize American social flaws, excessively liberal coddling of society, the evil regime of neo-conservative George Bush and Dick Cheney, and its foolish, self-defeating and unfair foreign policy in the Middle-East and towards Palestine. But, that does not mean I do not love America and all that it, and its real people, and values, stand for.

This is my response to Forbes.

I was born into a good life - in a comfortable, upscale, professional, educated, well-off, well-known, respected and popular, loving and devoted family in Pakistan.

I had hardly any need to walk away from an established public/media identity (fame?), successful career (fortune?), family and comfort just for the sake of "Coming to America".

But that is what I did in January, 1989.

I arrived with the total US$1000 that Pakistanis were allowed to leave with, and came to Manhattan to attend Columbia Business School for my MBA. Despite my delusions of greatness and brilliance, most of my friends will tell me I am neither brilliant, nor overly hard-working.

Yet, it was because I was in America that I COULD be whatever I wanted to be. I started my MBA studies in 1989, working with a Pakistani newspaper chain to help them establish and publish simultaneously a multi-city newspaper in 1991, and helping the Pakistani Embassy in the USA start a computerization effort.

I also started a small consulting service, a media-syndication business serving media clients in global markets from NYC, AND went on to become pioneer and founder of Internet email, as well as cofounder of the top level .PK domain for Pakistan. Soon thereafter I was also the one to bring MasterCard credit cards to Pakistan.

I had a challenging 1996 (when 90% of my six-figure income from two global clients dried up within 2 months) but was fortunate to join first a start-up, then a Fortune 50 NY-based company for a few years, and then back to being CEO of my own startup.

I am proud of my Pakistani heritage, but I am even more proud of being an American for just a few years and already living the American Dream far more, and far better, than many of my fellow American even dare to dream.

I am NOT rich by any stretch of the imagination - but even as a mere "technology professional" and "media expert" I have everything any Billionaire in the USA can have. From oceanfront homes in NY and FL, to flying small planes, to having a small "fleet" of boats from 23-40 feet in two states, I probably enjoy an incredible life more than I can even tell people for fear of being accused of showing off.

I can meet, see, date, love, marry (if I was not Happily Single!), befriend, or associate with anyone, of any race, religion or country.

I can (and do) say and write anything positive or critical that I want about anyone (even about the American government or its policies) on my blogs as well as on radio and TV, from CNN to Fox News. I can charge hundreds of Dollars per hour for my time as a business consultant, or work in child welfare or any other cause that I choose.

Despite all this, yes, I am nowhere near my fullest potential. And, that is because I need to be more focused, not because America does not offer ample opportunity to everyone. It is because I am in America that I do still have the opportunity to pursue my 100 other dreams.

Yes, I AM behind in publishing the books and screenplays I have partly written. I do have to be more diligent about hunting venture (not vulture) capital for my small portfolio of Web 2.0 startups that help monetize social networking and content online.

I still have to make time to play Tennis and learn to ski and swim (yes, it's shameful, I can barely swim despite my flying/boating passions). I only half-joke when I say that my list of pending Things To Do is 7-10 years long. And, on top of all that, I do need to finish up the patent drawings and claims to file the 22 patent applications I have pending for different products.

America is surely not perfect, but even people who complains about it do not, and would not, choose any other country to live, work, play or even dream in. Thank you America.

Imran Anwar

I would love to hear from native born Americans, immigrants living in America and non-Americans who dream of coming to America (as long as they speak English ;-) and will not come to burden society and raise my taxes :-) ).

So, "Dare to Dream, Dare to Speak, Dare to Be All You Can Be".


Saturday, October 06, 2007

Dictatorship(ping) Banana(s) Republic of Pakistan To Political Hell

I have previously written about how foolish and untrue the name of my country of birth, the so-called Islamic Republic of Pakistan is. Today I feel that it is probably best renamed to the Banana Republic of Pakistan with General Musharaff the dictator shipping off any semblance of decency, and reality, that was left in Pakistani politics.

Shame on your General Musharaff, and shame on you Benazir Bhutto, for showing how you turned a whole country, again, into a personal toy, its constitution into a rag, and it's future into a certain nightmare when every future dictator will rip the Pakistani Constitution like toilet paper.

Thank God people like Imran Khan, the unsung hero of political bravery in Pakistan, still speak out against Benazir and Musharaff, and the evil of the terrorist Altaf Hussain of MQM, even at grave risk to his life. I dream of the day the Pakistani nation would have the shame or the courage to see what is being done to them and for once stand up and take charge of their destiny.

Then, I realize, it's only a dream. Shame on Pakistanis for letting all this be done to their supposedly beloved Pakistan.

Imran Anwar

Sunday, September 23, 2007

What's In A Name? Three Lies, If It's Pakistan

As everyone knows, I am a proud Pakistani while being a proud American. (Well, both countries do stupid things, but, such is life). But, everyone knows how I speak up for Pakistan in various places... so, it may surprise some to read this posting of mine at a forum on A Small World, an invitation only exclusive networking site.... People were discussing what "leader" Pakistanis would elect/select/allow to be their dictator (Musharaff, Sharif, Benazir Butto)... I responded. Your comments are welcome.


Pakistan is it's own worst enemy. Even the name of my birthplace, the ISLAMIC REPUBLIC of PAKISTAN (land of the Pure) sadly consists of three words, all three lies. Nothing pure about it. Nothing Islamic about it except the illiterate mullahs the Americans first financed to fight the Soviets, then ignored and now try to exterminate. And, surely it's not a republic.

Like Spiderman, Pakistan's gift (its strategic location) is also its curse - ensuring that despite all of our American hypocritical speeches about bringing democracy to Iraq, we do our best to keep dictators in power in all places that suit us... Pakistan, previously Iran, Saudia Arabia, Egypt... the list goes on.

But, India, Israeli Zionists (so oft blamed for anything from a stolen manhole cover to a bomb blast in Pakistan), and all of nature's plagues, like earthquakes, combined cannot do what illiteracy, corruption, dictatorships (imposed or elected), religion shoved into everything and just plain stupidity on the part of all the people there so proudly achieve on their own.

Imagine, all this above, coming from someone who loves Pakistan and speaks out for it on CNN, Fox News, Radio, Online, etc. So sad.


Thursday, September 13, 2007

Bush Claims Success In Iraq - Pravda Would Be Proud

All I could think after hearing Bush give his speech claiming recent successes in Iraq meant we could start seeing a troop reduction was --- did the US Government hire old Pravda (Soviet Communist propaganda machine) writers. That in itself would be worrisome, but to see that Bush and his cronies actually believe what they say (until they say the opposite and fully believe THAT) is even more dangerous.

- If Iraq is so successful why are we still at greater risk in the USA?
- If the success is so great, why are only a couple of thousand troops coming home?
- If Iraq has such stability, why does the American President have to arrive secretly and unannounced EVERY time he visits?
- If, as Bush said, the enemy is still dangerous and active, then WHY even pull out any troops?

I could literally type a list of 100 questions that were popping into my head as Bush continued with his eye-popping fantasy/fallacy based speech. What thoughts come to your mind?

State of Affairs & Affairs of the State IN Pakistan IT

As the founder and pioneer of Internet email in Pakistan, and original founding co-owner of the privately created .PK top level domain, I was delighted to see Patrick Thibodeau's attempt at a fair and balanced article on the state of IT in Pakistan in ComputerWorld magazine.

I found it heartening to see Pakistan's sea of talent finally getting some recognition. Even as a Pakistani-born American, I do have to give kudos to how much better India has done with IT and professional development. I am sorry to say, but Pakistan is its own worst enemy. From corrupt politicians, to regular bouts of military dictatorships, from illiterate stone-age fundamentalists and mullahs targeting any attempt at modernization to the grossly unjust treatment of all of Pakistan in the US media, Pakistan has far too many challenges to overcome, but they are not insurmountable.

Having received my Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from the prestigious University of Engineering and Technology, in Lahore, it amazes me to this day of how many truly incredibly brilliant engineers I was privileged to know as classmates and fellow students in the period of 1980-84. Many of them are among the smartest people I ever met, even when compared to my fellow alumni at globally respected Ivy League universities like Columbia Business School, etc. I am certain Pakistan still produces that high caliber in some of its universities. Yet, it is nowhere on the IT map like India and even others are.

What concerns me are bigger problems that Pakistan faces. One is the absolutely dismal state of education in Pakistan in the rest of the country.

Even more worrisome is the ease with which students are being churned out as "IT graduates" (a problem I see happening in India also) that can barely speak English, lack even basic concepts of today's networking and computer technologies, with even fewer avenues to learn. I know about it because I interviewed several candidates in Lahore and Islamabad just a few weeks ago.

Another problem is the fact that like almost every thing else in Pakistan, the government tries to insert itself into everything. So, while I appreciated the letter of Yusuf Hussain, Managing Director of the Pakistan Software Export Board, Islamabad, Pakistan, responding to the ComputerWorld article, I do not see government entities as saviors but cancers that plague almost every field where Pakistanis can bootstrap and make a mark in the world of technology or business.

It is ironic and tragic that while the Pakistani government goes begging for things like F-16 aircraft and other top technologies created by the American private sector, it itself makes no great effort to liberate the millions of talented, hard working, innovative, inventive and, yes, often brilliant, Pakistanis from channeling their energies into starting whatever business they want, almost whatever industry they choose in the private sector.

True, the current dictator, Musharaff has been better for business (and even press freedom) than so-called elected leaders like Benaznir Bhutto or Nawaz Sharif. But, corrupt politicians, including dictators and elected ones, always ensure policies are put in place that ensure their friends and families can corner the market in any emerging industrial opportunity, while regulating the rest into the stone age.

Most societies can barely struggle with one cancer or two in their social fabric... Pakistan has corrupt leaders, bureaucrats, military dictators, evil fundamentalists, poverty, illiteracy and lack of resources to overcome. Only Pakistanis have the ability to overcome all of these and one hopes they will find it in their own hearts and souls to do so instead of "Waiting for Allah" - or government policies or some grand savior that never comes.

The ComputerWorld article was a good first step in US-based Pakistanis and entrepreneurs helping the talent in Pakistan overcome these obstacles.

What are your ideas?

Monday, August 13, 2007

Bush's Vile Rover, Karl Rove, Roves Out Of Sight

Karl Rove, the "genius" behind the idiotic policies and many illegal actions of the George W. Bush administration has apparently decided to quit. This can mean only one thing - he has seen the writing on the wall.

If somehow, the other incompetent, liar, Attorney General Gonzales finally falls, brought down by his impeachable offenses, then you can bet a more independent Department of Justice will look long and hard at the many illegal things done by the Bush administration. Most of those will eventually land at Rove's feet and demands for his head to roll will get higher.

He also must realize that while Scooter Libby was let off by Bush despite perjury and obstruction of justice type convictions, the number of things Rove could go down for would be difficult even for a man like Bush to pardon in multiple cases.

So, Rove is roving for escape routes. It merely means the downfall of the Bush Empire has begun. Perhaps, if Congress and Senate grow a backbone, we can win our great nation, and its ideals, back from the corrupt, incompetent, foolish and stupid tyrant-wannabes that ran us into the situations we face. Amen.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Red Mosque In Islamabad Earns Its Name

Finally, Parvez Musharaff, the Pakistani dictator who I had predicted on CNN would hang on to power for years, has done something to make me dislike him less. Of course, his raping the Pakistani Constitution, destroying institutions like the judiciary, etc. still mean the best thing he can do for Pakistan is to leave the country but for now I will give him some grace period. Here's why.

He finally let the commando forces do what was necessary to give Islamabad's Lal Masjid (Red Mosque) a chance to earn its name. I am personally thrilled that the militant holed up within, and his gang of murderous, kaafir jahanummi terrorists who planned the muder of innoncent people, were killed like the dogs that they were.

This happy ending was only surpassed in the delight of watching this militant's brother, who had called on people to die fighting, actually get apprehended trying to escape the mosque in a burqa (stifling coverall bed sheet dress illiterate Muslims force their women to wear) and --- drum roll please --- high heels! The only thing not visible was lipstick on that pig, and it was a joy to watch him on TV as the Pakistani authorities rightfully had him meet the press in full women's regalia.

As my 13 yearold niece Iman commented, maybe he should also have considered shaving his beard before donning a burqa and high heels. Talk about a new version of Barbies, cross-dressing Mullahs.

On a more somber note, there must be dozens of the "students" (brainwashed illiterate suicide bomber wannabes) that may have made it out and will wreak havoc on Pakistani society and innocent people. But, then, they will show their true, kaafir, jahanummi, nature, making it even more necessary to hunt them down like the vermin they are.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Muslims Going Bananas (Split?)?

Every now and then I get an email forwarded trying to squeeze some "physical" or real or "scientific" proof of their religious faith. This type of email generally tends to come more from Muslims. Christians usually find scientific proof in even more lame things sometimes, "images" of the Virgin Mary just happening to be "toasted" on a slice of bread.

I am writing today about a more ridiculous Muslim item that landed in my mailbox. As you may know, many Muslims believe that at one time the Holy Prophet Muhammad had shown a "miracle" by splitting the moon into two halves simply by pointing to it. (Talk about Point & Split). He then "rejoined" the two halves. OK, so, if it happened, it happened. If you or I believe it, fine, let that be our belief. But, trying to use stupid, irrational and false statements to try to corroborate one's own lame faith is laughable

Someone sent a photograph of a small part of the lunar surface which shows a possible ravine or old riverbed. This image comes with a lot of text that claims, among other things that this split runs the entire circumfrence of the moon. The writer falsely claims that NASA's lunar rovers dug there and found that the moon's surface had indeed been cracked and rejoined. (Sounds like SuperMan at work with SuperGlue). The item mentions many other foolish and downright idiotic lies.

I know even our fellow non-extremist Muslims also somehow feel the need to "prove" whatever it says in the Quran, or what we believe. This sometimes causes a matter of our personal faith to become an object of ridicule for others, by making us all appear to be going bananas --- in a desperate attempt at validation of our personal faiths.

If someone believes the moon was "split" in two pieces and then stuck back together by remote control, they should feel comfortable in believing that, without needing to make up "proofs" or even create such PowerPoints as I mention above.

We Muslims are not alone. I have seen similar attempts by our good friends on the Christian right trying to prove Jesus' miracles. And, Bush supporters in America still send out PowerPoints supposedly showing Quranic verses related to September 11, "quoting" a verse 9:11 from the Quran predicting something about how America will defeat Islam --- except that the verse is question has no relation to such a topic.

Anyway, I am not a rocket scientist --- and don't even play one on TV. :-)

But, even to me the "moon split" image looks like nothing more than some long dried riverbed on some small portion of the lunar surface.... not something that runs across the length of the entire moon.

For example, some voodoo religion's followers could take ONE picture of the Grand Canyon in the USA and make a PowerPoint with that one slide and some ridiculous claim, saying the earth was once split in two and glued back together and "this grand canyon crack runs across the length of the planet earth...".

Someone living on Mars (or in a deluded religious reality like Lal Masjid Islamabad) would actually then believe that story.

I, for one, would make sure to have my doors and windows locked if that person came knocking on my door even as a guest. :-) So, I have some very simple questions for whoever created or ever sent you the PowerPoint (so they can ask whoever sent it to them in the first place).

One, if this "crack" runs across the length of the moon, how come it is not visible on the entire 50% of the moon visible to us every night? Could it be the moon was just like the postulated "Islamic" proof image --- half-cracked? :-) :-)

Two, if for some magical reason the moon did split, rejoined, and then even changed its axis of rotation, so now this "crack" happens to run in such a direction that it is entirely across the circumference edge of the moon and can't be see from earth, then why not provide us the rest of the photos of this crack continuing across the whole moon? The moon has been extensively photographed from every angle by many different countries' spacecraft (except, ironically, any Muslim ones who are too busy being illiterate, arguing about the height of the "shalwar" above the "takhna"). Surely the original sender can find such images and send them to us so we all become "good true believers".... believing in a crack in the moon while we go about our daily lives being dictators, sucking up to crooked politicians, smuggling, lying, cheating, ignoring the poor, stealing from the country, etc. :-)

Three, suppose a photomap of the entire lunar surface showed NO crack, and if no split ever occurred physically/geologically (a visual illusion cannot be ruled out), would that make you stop believing the Quran and become a heathen?

Maybe something did happen that night. Maybe we will stumble upon some real proof some day. If some aspect of the split or the religion gets "proven" in the course of natural research, great. If not, so what? This purported proof about the moon is not what it's cracked out to be.

If we believe something, we should believe it. We Muslims do ourselves, and our religion, a great disservice by clutching at the shortest, weakest, most illogical straw, or making one up, in trying to prove something. How pathetic, dumb and dangerous.

All it proves is that our faith in our hearts is even weaker than the corrupted practice of it we see every day in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Sudan, and Iraq. These "Muslim actions" are enough to split the religion, and the planet, to pieces. And, that's neither a joke, nor a hoax.

As always, it's just In My Humble Opinion.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Shooting Down The Myth Of The "Crash" Of United 93

A media contact of mine emailed me a link (click above) to which had some video from two different news channels showing the crash site of United 9/11, the jet that had been hijacked by AlQaeda, and was supposedly crashed into the ground because of the heroic people on board. This is the same flight that, I believe, Donald Rumsfeld (or was it Dick Cheney) had accidentally let slip as the plane that was SHOT DOWN. No one in the media did anything to pursue that.

No one in the media seems to have pursued the angle shown in this dual clip from major news channels, which shows the crash site. No one seems to care.

Because 9/11 had taken on more of a World Trade Center and 3000 dead people angle, even I had forgotten these questions that had come to mind. I did not even recall something that this clip reminded me of... one of the reporters even says that the gouge in the ground is about 10 feet wide..... That is LESS than HALF of a jet plane cabin's width....

Since this jet supposedly crashed into a field, the same excuse cannot be used as was used to explain why there are no plane parts left at the Pentagon. That plane supposedly "vaporized" on impact with the stone building of the Pentagon. Where did the entire fuselage of United 93 go? Vaporized on impact with soft mud?

So, lets think about this.

- A whole 757 crashes (supposedly forced to crash and NOT blown up by a missile in mid-air).
- It was hijacked so as to be FULL of fuel (to do maximum damage to the building it was targeting).
- It was "crashed" not too long into its journey.

Yet, there was NO huge crater, NO plane wreckage, NO fuselage left, NO fire, NO smoke, NO smouldering debris.

In other words, there was NO way a plane full of fuel had crashed there.

The AlQaeda pilots did not "dump fuel" as pilots do when they come in for an emergency landing. The plane did not circle for hours to burn off fuel. The fuel would not only have set fire to everything, but the ground would be scorched. NOTHING of that type is seen. (See for yourself at the video link above.)

More than likely, United 93 was shot down.

Crass as it may sound, if that was our government's decision, I can understand it and I probably would have made the same decision. Sacrifice 30-40 people on a plane or risk having that plane hit a stadium full of 30-40,000 people? The decision, though sad, cannot even be that tough in the "greater scheme" of things.

To me, lying about it, making up stories of heroic people on board forcing the plane to crash, lying about not having shot it down, are stupid and dumb moves. These kinds of stupid coverups are what give rise to worse conspiracy theories. The survivors of the United 93 passengers would be sad - but they would understand. Their loved ones were going to die anyway --- either shot down or crashed or crashed and killing thousands more.

We owe it to the memory of all that died on 9/11, and our nation, that the truth come out. See the videos for yourself. What do you think?

Saturday, May 05, 2007

It Sure Ain't The Hilton, But It Sure Is A Hilton

Well, finally, some justice, even without the many ironies.

Our self-exposed air-headed heiress, Paris Hilton, is finally being treated like a simple citizen, instead of some cheap, slutty, version of "royal(pain in the arse)ty". Just like in the simple life of people in reality, who break the law and go to jail, The Simple Life reality-TV star broke the law, again, and is finally going to jail. Apparently a judge has finally done what some other judge should have done a long time ago --- thrown the book at her, and landed her rather puny butt in jail. Too bad it's only for 45 days.

Hilton, the heiress to the large hotel chain of the same name, will spend 45 days -- definitely without room service -- in a cell that is probably smaller than her pet's cage. She will get to watch TV, and if she's lucky she may catch reruns of her own show.

But, all jokes about being a guest of the state aside, there were two ironies. One was that the commercial advertisement on the Yahoo/AP page reporting how she cannot use a cell phone or Blackberry in jail was for a -- drum roll -- Blackberry 8800 device. And, two, what amazed me was this bit of information in the Associated Press news item reporting this "event".

Paris Hilton's mother, Kathy Hilton, is upset. Now, mind you, she is not upset at Paris Hilton for dragging the family's name through court (besides the mud with many of her sexcapades). She is not upset that her daughter had been arrested for drunk driving. She is not upset that her daughter had previously left the scene of (minor) traffic accident. She is, apparently, also not upset that her sweet little daughter chose to violate probation.

The honorable Kathy Hilton, whom one assumes Paris Hilton gets her "looks" AND her "moral values" from, is upset at the government for wasting tax payer money on this "nonsense".

The only non-sense I see in this whole episode is that Kathy Hilton actually THOUGHT this thought and then had the nerve, and poor sensibility, to state that "opinion". Perhaps she just wants her daughter to be out of jail making good old-fashioned porn videos like any good Hilton woman should. But that's just In My Humble Opinion. Can someone please ask Kathy Hilton?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Experience Of Counting On "Discounting Experience"

I pride myself on being quite a contrarian and try to be bluntly fair and balanced. That means I will often find people who fully agree with me on some issue, but will then do a full 180 degree turn when my logical approach exposes some pet cause of theirs.

On more than one occasion I have admired Charlie Cook's opinions, and find myself agreeing with him a lot in his regular column at GOVEXEC.COM.

I especially loved the latest topic he wrote about, called Discounting Experience. It talks of people falling and wanting to fall for marketing and hype in selecting Presidential candidates over experienced but less hyped ones.

But his million Dollar quote was about that pseudo-candidate Rude Giuliani - whose MANY ills, flaws and skeletons Cook does not even delve into. He simply sums it with the brilliant observation that "All told, Giuliani has more baggage than a Samsonite warehouse."

I salute Charlie Cook for calling it as it is and encourage you to read his analysis at GOVEXEC.

Yes, Giuliani did a decent job of fighting white collar crime, but he was a bigot (I have written about specific examples of his bigoted actions on my site even before the advent of "blogs" e.g. 9/22/2001 and even earlier), racist (many other media sources can list examples) and champion of corrupt cronies, on which a book could be written (and would probably be another way for that bald-corrupt crony of his ex NY cop Bernie Kerik and his equally unsavory mistress, publisher Judy Regan, to make money).

Giuliani's biggest skill - besides nepotism, where he could give George W. Bush a run for (our) money - is milking his happening to be Mayor of New York on 09/11. Its about time he let go of exploiting that tragedy.

So, are people really discounting experience, as Charlie thinks in his article, and I agree, or are they going for the best candidates? What do you think?

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Planned Drifting - A New Way Through Life

In Praise Of Planned Drifting
By Imran Anwar

In the 1980’s (saying it like that makes it sound even longer ago than it was), in Pakistan, I remember saying something in a newspaper or magazine interview about my philosophy of “Planned Drifting”. And almost 20 years later, when CNN profiled me their interviewer surprised me with his impressive research when he asked me on-air to explain what I mean by my trademark term. I’ll get to that in a second – or more.

Those were the days when I was attending the well known University of Engineering and Technology, in Lahore, Pakistan, for my B. Sc. Engineering (Electrical/Electronics) degree. Well, attending is not really the correct word – since after doing well in first year classes I fell into student politics for the next 3 years, standing against the evil of the Islami Jamiat Taliba (which was then a US/CIA-backed and financed part of the Jamate Islami religion-using hate-mongers seeking fundamentalist rule and even now supporters of the Taliban and AlQaeda).

Towards the end of my stay at the Engineering University (as it was also called) I had lost three years of my life wasted on student politics but with nothing achieved (because that evil, Islam-using, filthy, vile, repulsive, Constitution-breaking, corrupt, bigotry and hatred-spreading, Taliban-creating, US-backed dictator General Zia banned students’ unions just when it was my turn to run for President). I was then scampering to cover for my missed exams and classes (clearing “supplees” was the term many of my fellow alumni will recall being familiar with).

But, in what seems to be typical twists in my life and career, instead of hurrying up and getting into a stable (boring) life of an Electrical Engineer working for some Pakistani government department or some private sector company that overworks and underpays, I found myself Business Manager of Pakistan’s largest newspapers and magazines chain, Jang. A chance meeting at a close family friend’s wedding party led to a 22 minute chat, that led to my still being involved in the news and media business 22 years later.

So, where – you ask – is this whole discussion taking us, and what were you saying about “Planned Drifting™”. I am glad you remembered, and asked – you know, remembering my problem with remembering recent things.

I read a good article today on some web site --- either there are too many articles online (considering I already read about 30 today, in addition to the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times and a dozen or so magazines) or I am getting old (since I just read that piece online 2 hours ago) --- that I can’t remember.

But the topic was quite a good one. It was about how the writer is a workaholic and finally made time to go visit some friends in Florida and kick back a little bit. He wrote about the issue of how life is what happens when we are making plans for everything else --- or something to that effect. As I mentioned earlier, or at least I think I did, that memory loss can be a terrible thing, and that is a good thing to remember. If you can.

Anyway, coming back to the topic, or what I seem to recall is the topic.

I love making plans. I love getting things done. And, I hate the idea of making all these great plans only to be thrown off by changed circumstances, fate, markets, politics, people and... life. For a procrastinator that would be a great reason not to make plans at all and just lie back and enjoy life passing by. But, that would be too easy. People could think I am lazy, which, no matter how true it could be, is definitely not the impression any one of us wants others to have of us.

So, I came up with a solution to that problem. Instead of making plans – which require time and effort, and then finding changing circumstances throwing off those plans – which causes frustration and annoyance, I say, forget making plans.

But, didn’t I just say, I love making plans? You’re right and glad you remembered. Yes, I did.

I should clarify. You can ‘plan’ – as in aim for, hope or desire or actively dream and pursue - or you can make specific PLANS.

I have always lived by, and promoted (as seen on CNN :-) ) "Planned Drifting™".

Being a mariner (boater) and aviator (hobbyist pilot) I know drifting (usually sideways not in line with the original desired path or desired location to stop at) is the last thing one wants to do, either off course, or into shoals, or into the path of other traffic. But, planned drifting is a proactive, positive, and almost fully aligned with the original planned course or direction.

The approach is to know where you want to get, but instead of thinking of it as a straight line think of it like the cone of radar beam sweeping back and forth 20-30 degrees each way in front of a ship or plane checking hazards and weather. Planned drifting is knowing that even if life throws curves your way, or times and tides change, or fate blows in one windy event or another into your flight path, you can still succeed even though your “plans” may be completely left by the wayside.

You may drift slightly to the left or right of that ideal straight line that you thought you had charted out for your life, but even if you don’t get to what you thought was some specific location or point, you will still get to what life and fate may intend to be your final destination anyway. That would still be a great destination to get to, it would still be a great adventure and it would most definitely be a great journey regardless of where exactly you end up.

Planned Drifting™ is not about idling through life, or coasting, or gliding, or simply going with the flow. It needs more active involvement from you. It needs proactive thinking. It needs nimble and agile thinking. It needs a positive, open, frame of mind.

You give yourself a good general direction (vision), even some desired specific destination (goal), but don't get married to a particular course (plan) - which is most often the thing that will not turn out how we want it to be.

By the way, I remembered, the article I responded to was by Michael Hugos, on the CIO Blogs page at . Do plan to read it – unless you have other plans!

Happy Planned Drifting™.

“Planned Drifting” is © and a ™ of Imran Anwar. IMRAN.COM.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Long (Winded) Arms Of The Law

LinkedIn is a very popular and powerful web based tool/service which is basically "social-networking" meets "business networking" enabling professionals to share and grow their connections. I have met as well as reconnected with many wonderful new and old contacts there.

In trying to expand the level of services they offer, LinkedIn's owners have started a section called Answers, which is trying to copy a similar (but stupid) service offered by Yahoo! Yahoo's service is stupid and dangerous because people often ask serious and sometimes even medical questions and people wholly unqualified to answer (probably even people like me LOL) can respond with what could be wrong or dangerous information. LinkedIn is not likely to be dangerous like that.

I recently saw a question posted by a contact of mine, the very erudite and respected Irwin Kramer, of Legal Television.

It asked how LAW could be made more "user-friendly". I assume that means how it can become less drowsiness causing, painful, confusing and damn near indecipherable to people like you and me.

Tell me what you think of my (non-Legal) opinion:-

"Well, in my humble opinion, for starters, all else being equal, unless other circumstances require, not absolving writers of legal documents, laws, lawyers, judges, henceforth referred to as "writers", of responsibility for grammatical mistakes, including those made accidentally, or typogrpahically excepting electronically introduced errors, and not in any way undermining, or exceeding, any laws, statutes, procedure rules, or similar instruments of law, using, putting to use, enabling and enforcing, excepting use of force, sentences not to exceed 20 words, or 100 characters, or 2 commas....

MEANING, Make Lawyers Write English not HowCanIStretchThisParagraphIntoOneEnglishLatinCombiningSentence."

Sunday, January 28, 2007

The Misnamed Apple iPhone Is My MyPod!

It has been several weeks since I had a time to write a blog entry, and I appreciate the emails I got from readers asking where I had disappeared. Actually, except for a truly wonderful European trip (will write on that another time), I have been busy commuting between my NY and FL offices and literally pulling all-nighters every few nights.

So much so that when Apple and Steve Jobs announced the truly spectacular Apple iPhone, I did not get a chance to praise Apple or to disagree with calling it an iPhone (regardless of whether Cisco has any claim to the name). My happiness was that something I had written literally TWO YEARS AGO, an entry in this blog on January 18, 2005, had come true. I had predicted that the iPod should be repackaged and redesigned to become a MyPod, a device with music and PDA functionality, but also running Mac OS X.

The phone talk had been going on even at that time, but to me the biggest strategic aspect of the iPhone (which I still think should be renamed to MyPod or something non-limiting like iPhone) is its using Mac OS X. I can hardly wait to get the machine.

Here is what I wrote on the topic and based on questions people raised, I gave more details of how the new iPod would become a computing platform. Your comments are welcome. Keep those emails coming, and hope to hear from you on my iPhone (when it ships, and hopefully unlocked so I do not have to be stuck with Cingular).