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Posts tagged with: USA

Why Sunnis Blow themselves up

An interesting article appeared in Asia Times Online which tries to analyze why the US forces continue to face a great deal of resistance in Iraq with the latest surge in suicide bombers targetting the US military personnel. I quote a few intersting argmuments extracted from the article.

What should frighten Washington is not the quantity, but rather the character of attacks against coalition forces….. The resistance lost its capacity for frontal assault after Fallujah, but has undiminished capacity for suicide attacks, a method that bespeaks incurable desperation…. Even if foreign Islamists provide more than their due share of the cannon fodder [militants], Iraqi Sunnis are willing to kill themselves to get at their American as well as their Iraqi enemies. … Evidently, the Sunnis see their prospects differently than does Bush. Rather than Wal-Mart and the Parent Teachers’ Association, Iraq’s Sunnis see an endless horizon of poverty and humiliation

Read more at Asia Times Online

Jackson Not Guilty

Moments ago at 2:15 am Pakistan time, Michael Jackson has been found not guilty on all 10 counts. To me this was surely a very surprisingly judgment that the Santa Barbara jury passed allowing him to run free for all the molesting charges. I was completely dead set at having him sent to jail for the maximum 18 yrs. Im stunned

Update – More comments: Looking back at the trial it gives you a good idea how the US media works. Gone are the days of being innocent until proven guilty as with the media frenzy its more like Guilty Until Proven Innocent. That is exactly how this trial went, media had, to the last moment determined for itself that Jackson was Guilty and all the pundits were already warming their butchering knifes and were revving up for a victory celebration. It must have been a missed heartbeat for the editors to scramble a new story line once they started hearing the words Not Guilty. I was sure if MJ was found guilty the media would have danced all over him for atleast a few additional months but now with a not guilty verdict it no longer remains a juicy story and will fade away within a few days as its no fun trying to ridicule an innocent person. Sitting all the way across the world in Pakistan, I and many others were exposed to the constant media bombardment of Jackson being a child molester and were throughly convinced that a guilty verdict was soon to follow – hell – I was extremenly disappointed at hearing the Not Guilty verdict and for a few hours felt betrayed by the American Judicail system. A good nights sleep put things in better perspective and I was satisfied at Jacko being innocent after a well fought trail. Jackson I now make peace with you and hope you continue to mavel us with a few more stunning music pieces.

The Washington Times

Washington Times

Bill Garner of The Washington Times depicts how the Americans feel about Pakistan. Take a closer look and then look back into our history at how we slowly fell to such a disgraceful position, it has a lot to fo with selling our souls to satisfy our ambition to become the ‘West’.

I leave you to ponder and maybe leave a comment as to Why?

Flat Tax Revolution

This was the title page of last weeks Economist dated April 16-22 2005

A Flat-Tax system is an over-simplified taxation model, it attempts to bypass all the intricacies of a complicated taxation slab which is commonly prone to tax loop holes. The Flat Tax system enforces a unified one-rate tax for everything across the board. This taxation model started from Estonia in 1994 who were the pioneers to take the bold step and enforced a 26% Flat-Tax, this concept slowly spread to the neighbouring Baltic nations and was finally also implemented in Russia in 2001 with a 13% tax on personal reserves. We are all aware that Russia, like Pakistan is a bribe-infested economy but they have used this concept with great success and have an increase in its taxation returns by 30% surely not a small increase.

The thing that drives this concept is the notion that lower taxes convinces the people to declare and payup then to suffer later. A unified taxation also avoids loop holes for people to sneak through hence in a way forcing people to come clean

Fewer tax brackets are simpler to administer, but one bracket is simplest of all. Under a pure flat tax, the taxman takes the same cut from the last dollar you earn that he took from the first. The appeal to high earners is obvious. But the administrative elegance of such a system is not so immediately apparent. Because every dollar is taxed at the same rate, it does not matter to the tax collector how many dollars are going to whom. Thus, in principle, the taxman could simply withhold 20% of a company’s payroll, without needing to know who was paid what. Add a second rate of tax, however, or a personal exemption, and the tax collector must find out how much money is going into each pay packet before he can be sure of collecting the right amount from the right person. In America, for example, the tax collector needs to tax the wage packets of 130m or more employees, rather than simply taxing the payrolls of 8m or so enterprises.

………I ask from those Business guru’s out here, is such a system possible in Pakistan?
Read in detail at The Economist editorial

It’s my Country Too

Just recently BBC aired a documentary by Salman Ahmed on the conditions faced by the US based Muslims in the post 9/11 era.

A few sections were interesting especially when Salman talks with Dr. Hassan’s family, a millionaire Muslim family who is now a staunch supporter of Bush Jr, it is documented that he considerably supported the Bush campaign and also funds the website Muslimsforbush.com. A few excerpts form the documentary.

Salman talk with Seeme wife of Dr. Hassan

SALMAN: … you know, a lot of the Muslims in the world feel you know, scared, that hey, my, my Muslim country might be next.

SEEME: Personally I wanted to invade Iraq, because I think if there is a country that will not allow us into its borders and has the money and the reasoning to attack United States, then we have to go in, because –

SALMAN: With force?

SEEME: Yes. Absolutely, because I look what one 9/11 did to us American Muslims. I don’t want a repeat.

SALMAN: I mean if you disagree with the United States, it gives the United States the right to go and blow up your country?

SEEME: So sooner or later they were going to go in, I mean it just happened that it got linked with 9/11, but sooner or later it was going to happen, I mean Saddam was asking for it.

Excerpt of discussion with Aliv – cousin of Seeme, the media junkie and the key person behind the website Muslimsforbush.com

ALIV: I was asked off an, off of an aeroplane. Aliya was with me, so we both had to leave the aeroplane.

ALIYA: I mean we were treated very well, and it was awkward to be taken off the plane and everybody looked at us, and we came back and everybody looked whats going on.

ALIV: The bigger incident was I was checking into a plane at LAX, in Los Angeles, and I was surrounded by four LAPD officers. They read me Miranda rights, and then they said if you’re the terrorist that we think you might be then were going to take you down to the station, and I had to wait there in that terminal with four LAPD officers around me, while everybody was getting their tickets for one hour, and then the FBI agent showed up.

SALMAN: Cat Stevens, also known as Yusuf Islam, was deported from the airport, so I was trying to figure out, these people, how can there be a questionably on their –

DR HASAN: Under the same programme under which Cat Stevens was deported, Senator Ted Kennedy was denied boarding of a plane because he was on a terrorist list. Now who in this country does not know Senator Edward Kennedy?

SALMAN: Except that hes a Democrat.

DR HASAN: It doesnt matter. Im telling you, we never had a training to be an imperialist or a police state. So anything to do with enforcement of the law is done so poorly, because this is not part of the fabric of this society.

ALIV: Those incidents happened pretty close to each other and I told Mum and Dad, and Mum and Dad, Dad, told the administration, and they listened to it seriously, they took it very seriously, and from that point on I havenÂt been interrogated again. I was shocked to hear such comments from a spoilt rich family. I am saddened to hear that as muslims they still believe that the invasion of Iraq was necessary read Seeme’s comments when Salman asks her about the Invasion…. Ruthless.

Secondly it irks me when the family openly claims to have used contacts with the White House, where is the so-called justice or does the Patriot Act allow such things to happen.

I anxiously await your comments on this development….

Text Manuscript of the documentary (Link)
BBC – This World (Link)

Valentines Day facts

I wish you all a very happy Valentine’s Day with your significant other. Here are some intersting facts so – Did You Know?

2.2 million marriages take place in the United States annually. That breaks down to about 6,000 a day.

138,600 marriages were performed in Nevada during 2003. So many couples "tie the knot" in the Silver State that it ranked fourth nationally in marriages, even though its total population that year was 35th.

25.3 and 27.1 are the estimated U.S. median ages at first marriage for women and men, respectively, in 2003. The age for women is up 4.3 years in the last three decades. The age for men is up 3.9 years.

– The proportion of women 20 to 24 years old who had never married more than doubled between 1970 and 2003 — from 36 percent to 75 percent. Changes were also dramatic for men — the corresponding rate for men in this age group increased from 55 percent to 86 percent.

54% and 57% are the percentages of American women and men, respectively, who are 15 and over and currently married.

– There were 4.6 million cohabitating couples who maintained households in 2003. These couples comprised 4.2 percent of all households, up from 2.9 percent in 1996.

– There are 118 single men (i.e., never married, widowed or divorced) who are in their 20s for every 100 single women of the same ages.

– There are 33 single men (i.e., never married, widowed or divorced) age 65 and over for every 100 single women of the same ages.

24.6 pounds of candy per capita was consumed by Americans in 2003; it is believed a large portion is consumed around Valentine’s Day. Candy consumption has actually declined over the last few years; in 1997, each American gobbled more than 27 pounds of candy a year.

– The combined wholesale value of domestically produced cut roses in 2003 was $52 million for all operations in 36 states, with $100,000 or more in sales. Among all types of cut flowers, roses were second in receipts to lilies ($70 million).

– There were 28,914 jewelry stores in the United States in 2002. In February 2004, these stores sold $2.4 billion worth of merchandise — a much higher total than in the preceding month or succeeding months.

Democracy @ Gunpoint

Here is the cover of ‘The Economist’ which aptly describes the Iraqi Elections on the 30th
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

The Election is in danger of seeming paraody of democracy. Almost two years after George Bush toppled Saddam Hussain, fear and murder stalk Iraq. How free is an election in which the citizen who dares to vote stands a fair chance of being shot, blown up or beheaded for his pains? America’s efforts to stablize Iraq have so far been ineffectual that even the location of the polling stations is having to be kept secret until the last minute….”

Courtesy Economist.com

Bush off to the woods

What a ruler to set by example, the day after he won the elections, he announced he needs to take a break. So fellow americans your President is off to Camp David for a week of much needed rest and also to repeat exactly what he did four years ago. Shows how concerned he is about change, this guy needs brains having the lowest IQ, his Yale trascripts never found and his last four years were spent lazing around.

The movie Farenheit 9/11 said that he was off work for 60% of his first year in office, are we about to see a repeat. We shall wait and see.

Why is it important for Bush to win

I have been a staunch supporter for Kerry throughout the pre-election campaign and still hate Bush to the guts, but right at the last day, I might have a change in my overall decision. Why? You might ask, I feel that in the past 4 years the US has lost its credibility in the entire world and that I feel is important for an actual downfall of the US (Bully of the world). Let’s analyze each scenario and weigh the advantages of each

If in case Kerry wins then he promises to do an about-turn of the international policy and try his best to join hands with the disgruntled nations and improve the US ties with each of them, this in effect will undo what Bush has done, bear in mind that he does not plan to stop the army in Iraq and he will remain on a war footing for sometime to root out the Anti-US terrorist aspect.

If in case Bush wins then we see him continuing the same course of action, he will not pull out the forces from Iraq and the US will sadly continue to loose men on a day-to-day basis. Unfortunatley with the present attitude Bush will not be able to mend the relationships with the disgruntled nations and US will remain at daggerhead with all.

The Islamic world will remain under constant pressure, too root out terrorist activity, soon I predict attention will revert to issue of nuclear arsenal, and Iran followed by Pakistan will come in the spotlight. This scenario happens in both republican or a democratic leadership. So we Pakistani’s in actual affect do not gain to benfit in either way but looking at the overall picture I would rather have Bush at the helm of affairs to continune is his slumber and destroy the failing US economy and also the reputation of the United States of America.

Keep your fingers crossed, its midnight of the election with polls opening in 7 hours

Prediction: Kerry Wins

Of all analysts trying to predict the ultimate winner in the US elections let me also put “my two cents worth”.

My prediction John Kerry as the next President of the United Stares of America. Slate.com has him leading by 10 electoral votes as of 31st October leading by 277-267 so let see how the future holds. It sure would be nice change, Muslims are united for Kerry

“Journalism by Remote Control”

Journailst based in Iraq are unable to move about physically and they feel enclosed in a prison hence to compensate for their loss of mobility, most reporters have increasingly turned to their trusted Iraqi staffersâ€translators, drivers, fixersâ€to collect first-hand information from news scenes and conduct interviews with Iraqis.

Imagine how scared shit the American Army is out there -pissing in their pants – as see it

Intent to produce WMD

This is the most hilarious comment from Bush trying to justify that Saddam had intentions to produce WMD and hence supporting his intention to go to war. Well with intentions like these the world would be a messed up place, I give you an example, what if i wanted to kill that teacher who has made my life a living hell, would I be sent to jail for just having that thought. Now apply the same analogy to Saddam. Saddam did not have the means to make the WMD but he surely wished he had some, this is a free world he can wish all I want, too bad for Saddam he wished to the wrong person – Bush’s, both Senior and Junior.

Bush can’t justify his going to war on just the presumption that Saddam might have WMD’s. We all know there was Oil to go after and that too was mentioned in the 1st Presidential debate where Kerry said that the first things that were controlled were all the oil wells and there was no other plan for the rest of the war – how selfish can the Americans get.

Part of Patriot Act Overturned

“Part of the Patriot Act, a central plank of the Bush administration’s war on terror, was ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge on the 9th of Sept 2004

U.S. District Judge Victor Marreo ruled in favour of the American Civil Liberties Union, which challenged the power the FBI has to demand confidential financial records from companies as part of terrorism investigations. The ruling was the latest blow to the Bush administration’s
antiterrorism policies.

The FBI first received power to get customer records in 1986 legislation, but its power to obtain confidential data was greatly expanded by the Patriot Act — a controversial law the Bush administration pushed through Congress after the 9/11 attacks to help it battle terrorism.”

At least the US Justice system realizes that this act is not that Patriotic after all


Hey blog readers out there.

I have moved out of Karachi for sometime – and I am right now sitting in Philadelphia trying to attend a course at UPENN. Its been 2 days an I am bored shit without any cricket. To be honest I am not complaining too much as I love NFL. It’s pleasant out here at Hoagie land – for sometime you might get the American version of my views here. Will keep you all posted on my day-2-day events.

Bush in his acceptance speech

excerpt from Slate.com

Back to the Future
What Bush would do if he were president.

For $2.4 trillion, guess what wordother than “a,” “and,” and “the” occurs most frequently in the acceptance speech George W. Bush delivered tonight.

The word is “will.” It appears 76 times. This was a speech all about what Bush will do, and what will happen, if he becomes president.

Except he already is president. He already ran this campaign. He promised great things. They haven’t happened. So, he’s trying to go back in time. He wants you to see in him the potential you saw four years ago. He can’t show you the things he promised, so he asks you to envision them. He asks you to be “optimistic.” He asks you to have faith.

“Since 2001, Americans have been given hills to climb and found the strength to climb them,” said Bush. “Now, because we have made the hard journey, we can see the valley below. Now, because we have faced challenges with resolve, we have historic goals within our reach and greatness in our future.”