Monday, June 19, 2006

This is not the first !!

This is not the first time, i have read or come across this view or opinion. Most people inside the US and outside the US, that i have spoken to, have a similar opinion. Most dont necessarily believe that US threatens world peace, but many surely believe that US should pay more attention to its internal affairs and stop meddling with affairs of the world.

I for one, particularly think that the US adopted this policy from its mother country, England. And did well to surpass the power of the Empire, where the 'sun doesnt set', and went about slowly but steadily taking over old assets of United Kingdom after the WWII. I am not attributing an sinister design, but i think the colonial and imperialist attitudes are far from gone.

From the very beginning all wars has been about trade and access to trade. If the British used Indian soldiers to fight its wars across the globe, the US simply converted locals to fight its war on its behalf. To a great extend, the spread of democracy across the globe, is more to do with the fall of the colonial powers after the WWII, than to do with any goodwill on the 'Allied Forces' to liberate these countries. Of course, the capitalist society and its proponents figured that it is easier to colonize a country or region, by controlling its resources or access to resources than actually controlling the society and its people. The latter brought with it a set of responsibilities that imposed burden on the powers that be.

It is interesting that the US has come a full circle from being viewed as liberators of Europe from the clutches of the 'communist power', and a proponent of democracy and freedom, is now viewed as a threat to the same. This perception across the globe is rather a new, and i think, Bush and his cronies have to take full credit for this.

It is also very surprising, when you look at this hawkish US policy and compare it with its people, who are no different from any other on this earth. Of the many different societies in the world, i am led to believe that the people in the US are the most mislead by their own Government. I think it is because in its interest to  fight for world peace  (read access to world trade/resources),  the US Govt has helped the people around the world, in accessing information, but has denied the same to its people.

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | US seen as a bigger threat to peace than Iran, worldwide poll suggests

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

GM Foods

Even though i work in the field of technology, i am convinced that all of this thoroughly overrated. I have expressed my reservation before to the advent of technology, as it slowly intrudes on our everyday life.

Of course, to simply write it off, as bad, and to attempt to return to lifestyle without these is unthinkable today. I cant imagine life without a cell phone, a laptop, an internet connection and even a pda. Damn, i am sure there a bunch of us, who think that camera were invented to be fixed to a phone. But i am more of an 'acceptor' as opposed to an 'embracer' (if there are such words). I'm defnitely not one of the early adopters. Having said all this, there is a part of me that is very skeptical.

And then there is paranoia. Thats when i talk about GM foods.  That's GM as in Genetically Modified, as opposed to General Motors, that come to the mind of my American friends (and one desi friend, Vicks). But as is normal, thanks to all the education and fortitude developed over a period of time, i know that, it cannot be completely bad. But, yet, i am unable to completely accept this change to food structures, by the big farming conglomerates across the world. I understand it is possible to raise Pigs that can grow hearts, that be use for heart-replacement for humans, or potatoes without the strach and more protiens and other cancer killing drugs. But somehow, the whole concept of us humans, the most advanced 'living thing', being able to engineer food etc., is still unfathomable.

Ok, i must temper my ranting, 'cause i noticed that i have used a lot of big words in this blog. I must be really pissed. But then not pissed enough to buy 'organic' food from the grocery shelves, by paying twice as much for the same produce. So, who do ya blame ?

Greenpeace wants probe into cattle death

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Save the Planet

See i knew there was a reason, why i didnt like to wash my jeans every time i wear it. I am now, unashamed and open facedly admit that "i wash my jeans only when i grow tired of wearing it".

Ok, thats an exageration, but only by just a bit. I wish these people had conducted this study atleat 20-30 years back, it would have been good arguments to use at home, having to fight off mom, only to find out that she would wash my jeans without my knowledge.

I guess there is another side to this environmental debate. I am sure an unwashed pair of jeans can be cause its own version of an environmental disaster. So like everything in life there is a middle ground.

So then, what is the middle ground ? How many times can a pair of jeans be worn, before it must be washed ?

Why washing jeans can cost the earth

Sunday, June 11, 2006

The death of a Terrorist

The big news on TV, the last couple of days, other than the expected hype around the world cup, was the news about the death of Zarqawi. The big all-day-all-night news channels had a field day, showing all the sides of this important event.

And then, there was this news about the success of the US Govt policy on 'war on terror'. They always keep forgetting about the main man, "Sir" Osama Bin Laden. Well, rightfully so, because the administration here needs these small success to show people they are doing something good in Iraq.

I personally think, the killing was inevitable and neccessary. There is no reason to think different, given that Zarqawi, was a big proponent of terrorism in Iraq. But then there is another side to this terrorism devil. It is like a multi-headed monster, that simply keeps going on and on and on...

They only true way to fight this problem is to solve the root problem. This could start with the US withdrawal from Iraq, a bigger effort to find resolution in the Israel-Palestine conflict etc. But then the US is not quite considered in solving the problem, but just fighting it. The different kinds of 'wars' that the successive US Govts have been waging, requires a lot of funding and also supports a large number of corporates. And so it is not easy to quickly shut it down.

So for another a few days, till someother problem crops up, we will hear quite a bit of Zarqawi, the success/failure of the war. But no one seems to be quite bothered about Osama walking around free somewhere else. I am not quite saying that we or the world must go after him, but its kind of weird that the administration is strangely silent about this person now.

For now, Bush gets to strut about with a 'mission accomplished' attitude. Interestingly i just hear that there is a 'tropical depression one' brewing in the gulf. Mr. President, are you ready this time around ?

Friday, June 09, 2006

Go Fish

I have heard of this "cure" or "treatment", not exactly when, but ever since i was a kid.  My dad who used to visit Hyderabad often, brought us the stories about this 'fish medicine'. The 'fish medicine', is basically some mystery medicine, that is stuffed in a live fish, and the fish itself is now put into the mouth of the patient, to be swallowed whole.  This treatment is supposed to cure asthma. The treatment was supposedly given as a blessing to the family by a holy-man.

The medicine is made my a family, and is distributed free. So, therefore it is tough to directly attribute them as quacks. They attract huge crowds, but that doesnt necessarily mean, that everybody is convinced about this treatment. The doctors and rationalist have taken on this, raise issues relating to the process and treatment etc. There are legends that the medicine itself is some kind of steriod, which is what is used in asthma treatment all over the world.

Bathini Fish Story
Asthma patients make beeline for `prasadam'

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Football - World Cup 2006

Travelling this week, back to the US, the lay-over at Frankfurt was particularly exciting, thanks to all the fever sorrounding World Cup football or soccer starting in exactly 1 day. Initially i had thought of stopping in Frankfurt and spending a few days in Germany, before proceeding to the US. But work and other pressures do not allow this kind of indulgence.

Germany is excited, atleast all the men are. It is there chance to showcase one of the most watched sporting event. World Cup soccer rivals and betters the Olympics in terms of worldwide audience. I had seen so many pictures of the new stadium built in Munich, the 'Allianz Arena'.

The airport terminal had the usual world cup related paraphernalia, including a virtual goal post, where you could try your luck at scoring a goal.

My earliest memories of watching this live was, the 1982 cup in Spain. My favourite team then and now is France. I dont know why i picked France over the many other teams, but the semi-final match between Germany and France was the one that helped setup France as the team to root for... ever. I guess since Germany as always was expected to take the cup, i just had to support the underdog. France has never done better than their effort in 1982.

Well the world cup starts tomorrow and goes on for a month, i am hoping to have a ball of a time following the different teams as they go thru' the different group matches to see who will emerge in to the second round.