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.