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Never work for money

People always say,”whatever you do best, don’t do it for free”. I disagree with that because if you do it best, you do it for reasons than money. For example, I have a deep knowledge of Star Trek the next generation. I also love 90s rap and anything related to religion, politics or cultural. I think those things, like helping people, should be above limitations of money. This might be very ideal. And I am. But also the problems we face are not to be overcome with spending. For Arabs and Israelis to live together, or shoplifting to decrease, or seniors to have food and shelter assistance, this will require the national conscience (including elites at the New York Times, senate, White House, governors and attorney generals and sheriffs and judges across the country) to come together across the country and solve problems , like stopping mortgage foreclosure and finding housing and employment and medical care for people. As hospitals shutter in poorer neighborhoods, they open up in richer ones. Free clinics are needed to replace the lack of coverage in those communities, why not take the equipment and offer the hospital conglomerate a tax break because the rich people surely wouldn’t mind all new equipment in their hospital? Cops need to stop arresting homeless people and pot smokers. Protesters need to stop being violent, but it would help if the cops weren’t rough whenever a camera wasn’t looking. suburbanites need to stop eating so much food. We should ban high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated fats. We go to church (or respective equivalent) free, we volunteer for sports or music, constantly dedicating ourselves to projects which will get us into monetary loss, like knitting, or Pilates , or train collecting. We hoard books, movies, or tv shows. We are fascinated and endlessly feeding our imagination. So when someone tells me not to do something unless its for money, my rule is usually, “never work for money”.

God is bigger than money. Either you believe that or you don’t. (Atheists can replace that with humanism.)

Human Rights Middle East politics

Islamist Democracies and Free Society

I wanna say something about elections and political parities and new countries.

I’m reading John Adams by David McCoullough, and the original Continental Congress convened in delegations apportioned by themselves (the size of their respective states, to be specific). These men were "Representatives", prominent lawyers and businessmen, local leaders who truly were the overwhelming consensus of the states and the people who lived there.

All the delegates understood they were there to represent their people and interests, to form a permanent new agreement to form the basis of an independent, new country — well, at first, simply to form a collective response to British encroachments on freedom (dissolving state assemblies, removal of rights of due process, taxes). When the Continental Congress first formed, it wouldn’t have immediately agreed on independence. If you had an election, constitutional separatists wouldn’t have won 10% of seats. (Public opinion truly turned after the siege of Boston harbor and French entry to the war after the victory at Saratoga.)

Having elections to form a government, to form a country, is stupid. Elections are precisely a feather in the wind, a finger to the wind.

The parties of the revolution must hammer out a temporary or permanent make-up of the legislature, say, youth party 25% of seats, Islamic parties split but collectively 45% of the seats, make sure everyone has "a piece of the action" before permanently forming the country by a single political party, (worst case scenario: a religious puritanical party which permanent enshrines the nation in shari’a law, difficult to undo once passed, a sort of third rail for Islamic politics).

Of course, if the United states does this, it is accused of puppet-wielding, but surely, the relevant parties involved can agree to an agreement to provide basic quotas for minority parties. — Note, this solution does not promise peace and stability, as Lebanon and Bahrain incorporate religious/communal positions such as a Christian President and Muslim prime minister, or Sunni monarchy and Shi’a parliamentary leader; it only claims to provide a "fair", working system in which every political party which took part of the revolution, can be provided a voice in the revolutionary government they caused to happen.

On Fri, Oct 28, 2011 at 1:19 PM, <aufarooqui> wrote:

"So there was the reporter from Syrian television asking what I thought of the situation in Syria, and there was I saying that you can no longer infantilise Arabs, that the uprisings/revolts/revolutions/unrest in the Arab world were all different; but that dictatorship didn’t work, that if there were – if – a serious new constitution, pluralist political parties and real and genuine free elections, Syria might just climb out of its tragedy but that the government was running out of time, fast."

Middle East politics

Orthodox Jewish newspaper apologizes for editing Clinton photo

Religious paper photoshops Sec’y Clinton from lead photo

The Brooklyn weekly Di Tzeitung, which says it doesn’t publish images of women, printed the doctored photo Friday. It issued a statement saying its photo editor hadn’t read the fine print accompanying the White House photo that forbade any changes. The newspaper said it has sent its regrets and apologies to the White House and the Department of State.

Human Rights Islam Middle East politics

The Solution to Pakistan

My solution is a democratic Pakistan. We need to fight for democracy in Pakistan, instead of places distant from al-Qaeda like Libya and Egypt.

This does not mean civilian control as it is, where the President is as corrupt as Hosni Mubarak. The military must abdicate its power and collectivized industries, and the people must directly elect of the President. Currently, a council of political elites elect the President (Musharraf, Bhutto, Zardari) and have never produced a liberal, democratic ruler. Law and order and international posturing are the preferred political issues in Pakistan — devoid of the democratic processes real governments do to help their people.

The Myth of Musharraf

A general who runs a fantastic publicity operation, Musharraf was complacent to the US when it suited him, and bucked US policies when it was against the ISI or military. Nonetheless, secular law was improved in his reign — he was not particularly given to Islamist interests. His assault on a mosque used by radicals, outraged his once-strong support among conservative Muslims.

The Myth of Benazir Bhutto

A woman who did nothing for women’s right, press freedom, or democracy in the country, she was a full political player who destroyed all opposition, possibly killed her brother in broad daylight, and stole billions from her country. Her father was a very eloquent speaker and fascist.

The Myth of Zardari

Fully complicit in his wife’s cronyism. His election would never fly in a popular Pakistan.

Pakistan would turn against the terrorists, military-industrial complex, and drug trafficking as rule of law meant democracy in Pakistan. Democracy means popular election and minority rights, which the Pakistanis still do not have (despite loud cheering when the army is not in power).  They do not wish for a Taliban state for 150 million people. The country whose freedom and liberty would most benefit world peace and international security is Pakistan.

Middle East politics

Mahmoud Abbas is Either Criminal or Stupid

Mahmoud Abbas presides over the lowest point in Palestinian political life in 50 years. After Edward Said’s death in 2003, the Palestinian movement has experienced a steady decline in its ability to elicit international sympathy and achieve liberation. The Oslo Accords declared peace would come from Washington’s tutelage; now the Obama Doctrine declares that peace will come from the UN.

Declaring a Palestinian state via the Security Council is a foolish plan, but more importantly, ineffectual. China will no more vote for a new Palestinian state than allow Tibet to be free. If we can fracture ethnic minorities according to General Assembly dictates, alot of countries (including Russia and India, who are both on the Security Council) will be in the awkward position of losing sovereignty over their territory and not having a final say in their own foreign policy.

But as I said, not only will it be a bad idea, it will never likely happen (due to China and Russia and others). So, yet again, the Palestinians will “get egg on their face”, having wasted a humiliating year in a hurrah to create a state, and the inability to organize it in international fora.  Six months of negotiating with the Israelis would yield more if Abbas chooses to build upon the understandings achieved at Taba and Annapolis.

Instead, Abbas whines to the Western press about Obama not willing to put Israel in a corner.

Instead, Abbas forms a unity government with Hamas, to sidestep the “How do we give independence to a divided Palestine?” question that would come up in Security Council discussions. 

Instead, he’s forfeiting all negotiating power and goodwill with the United States and Israel, the only two powers who could possibly give him a Palestinian state.

This man is no one’s friend. Mahmoud Abbas is either criminal, stupid, or Criminally Stupid

From The Daily Beast:

“So for 55 minutes on the phone, Obama first reasoned with and then pressured Abbas to withdraw the resolution. “He said it’s better for you and for us and for our relations,” says Abbas. Then the American president politely made what Abbas describes as a “list of sanctions”. After Abbas informed Obama he wouldn’t withdraw the resolution, Clinton followed up with a 30-minute exhortation of her own. Then more pressure.

Still, Abbas was unprepared for what was coming. Only when he watched the Security Council vote on television did the reality sink in. “I had an idea that they will abstain,” he tells me. “But when they said, ‘Who will be against?’ my friend Susan [Rice] raises her hand.” Abbas shakes his arm and lets out a long hoot. The council’s 14 other members, including France and Germany, all supported the resolution.”

Middle East politics

Egyptian Bedouin freely smuggling weapons into Gaza

from: Israel in Arab Chaos, Russia Today

Middle East politics

New Yorker exposé on Obama’s Foreign Policy

“IN August 2010, Obama instructed his staff to come up with “tailored,” “country by country” strategies on political reform. He told his advisers to challenge the traditional idea that stability in the Middle East always served U.S. interests. Obama wanted to weigh the risks of both “continued support for increasingly unpopular and repressive regimes” and a “strong push by the United States for reform.”

The review was led by three N.S.C. staffers: Samantha Power, Gayle Smith, who works on development issues, and Dennis Ross, a Middle East expert with a broad portfolio in the White House. Soon, they and officials from other agencies were sitting in the White House, debating the costs and benefits of supporting autocrats. A White House official involved said the group studied “the taboos, all the questions you’re not supposed to ask.” For example, they tested the assumption that the President could not publicly criticize President Hosni Mubarak because it would jeopardize Egypt’s coöperation on issues related to Israel or its assistance in tracking terrorists. Not true, they concluded: the Egyptians pursued peace with Israel and crushed terrorists because it was in their interest to do so, not because the U.S. asked them to.”

More at: How the Arab Spring remade Obama’s foreign policy : The New Yorker.

Middle East politics

KSM Waterboarding Files Revealed

How Al-Qaida Planned to Bomb Heathrow – SPIEGEL

It appears that Sheikh Mohammed never got over the fact that he had failed to successfully strike the White House in Washington, and that he had wanted to make up for the loss by including such an attack in future plans. The so-called “second wave,” which would have involved attacks on multiple targets in the United States, also remained one of his projects. Aircraft became something of an obsession for Sheikh Mohammed. In late 2001, he told interrogators, he had issued the order to attack the “tallest building in California” with a hijacked aircraft. The hijackers were to gain access to the cockpit with at least two bombs hidden in the soles of their shoes. This too is revealed in the documents.”

Middle East politics

WikiLeaks Reveals Files on All Guantánamo Prisoners

via Wikileaks.

In thousands of pages of documents dating from 2002 to 2008 and never seen before by members of the public or the media, the cases of the majority of the prisoners held at Guantánamo — 758 out of 779 in total — are described in detail in memoranda from JTF-GTMO, the Joint Task Force at Guantánamo Bay, to US Southern Command in Miami, Florida.These memoranda, which contain JTF-GTMO’s recommendations about whether the prisoners in question should continue to be held, or should be released (transferred to their home governments, or to other governments) contain a wealth of important and previously undisclosed information, including health assessments, for example, and, in the cases of the majority of the 171 prisoners who are still held, photos (mostly for the first time ever).

Islam Middle East politics

Islam Isn’t Taking Over Europe

“By the late 21st century, people of Muslim origin could account for as much as 15 or 20 percent of Europe’s people, but that will represent a plateau. That is a solid minority community, but — unless someone has changed the laws of mathematics — it is nowhere near a majority, still less a flood tide.

So where do the fears of Islamicization come from? Partly, Europe’s experiences with minorities are very different from those of the US. The continent used to have sizable ethnic minorities, but most of them perished in the 1940s. Later generations grew up in a very homogeneous society, so any diversity at all — any appearance of brown skins — tends to startle.”