Archive for the ‘History’ Category

The West is too used to getting oil for cheap (sometimes at a gunpoint.) The true price of oil is not reflected in the price an average user pays at a petrol pump. At around $3/gallon (less than $1/liter), oil is cheaper than coke in the US. No doubt US is intoxicated with oil.

The price is paid by people in oil producing countries. From the Iranians to Egyptians to Venezuelans to Ecuadorians.

The pressure for cheap oil has global implications too. The economy in the US is so transport dependent, that four/five major food producers provide meat for the entire country. Food at any store has on average traveled more than 500 miles. To grow 1 calorie worth of food, US spends more than 10 calories in burnt oil. There is no public transport to speak of. All that add up to make close to one fifth of world’s carbon emissions. Yes- the US alone produces about 20% of world’s carbon emissions. (China  22%/1.4billion, US 19%/.3billion, EU 14%/0.5billion.)

That can not be true forever. It has to change.

I am happy that oil prices are rising because of the ongoing revolutions.

Our economies are far more energy efficient. Food typically comes from the neighboring regions, unless there is a justification for brining them from afar. Eastern economies are much more robust with regards to high oil prices. Europeans are comparatively well off too.

Let us welcome the new era of expensive oil. I hope and wish to see $150/barrel by the year end, and $200-300/barrel in three years (adjusted for inflation.)

Let me also take the opportunity to express my best wishes for my struggling brothers and sisters.


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Racism in the CNN

The racist undertone and the hilarious stupidity of the anchor.

“conspiracy theories drive the middle east.” -those stupid “muzlims.”

“despite denials by the state dept.”- the state dept is the Ultimate Arbiter of Truth. That’s not logic, you moron. (By the way, these leaks was pretty certainly not leaked by the US state dept. The cost to benefit ratio for them is too high.)

a quick adhaan when showing Turkey- so that we don’t miss that it’s a Muslim country (and don’t think this was done with a good intention.)

“some of these conspiracy theories say that the secy state (Clinton) ordered that Ban ki Moon be spied on”… yeah, because the cables  do say that, and news outlets have reported on it. The audacity of American news channels, and the reliance on the stupidity (and laziness) of their viewers. The viewers, to be fair, do not let them down.

“because their govts spy on them, they think the US govt spies on them too.” the hilarity of this… (even howard zinn was spied on, and so was  charlie chaplin- by the US govts.)

btw, in one of the leaked cables, a Syrian official is quoted as saying- “we don’t collect as much information as you do, we just have better analysts, and that’s why we are better at tackling terrorism.”


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This is likely a conspiracy theory that has no basis whatsoever.

Wikileaks is merely the messenger. They are publishing internal memos and reports etc of the US army, and of course that will be written in the US perspective. Much of these are first information reports- not all of them are factual. (For example the people killed with the Reuters photographer were logged as “insurgents.”)  We should not take these documents at face value, and certainly not conclude that WLks is trying to push US interests.

Here is why: these documents provide legal basis for the US to be sued at International Criminal Court for specific instances, including it’s personnel. Two, they portray a horrid picture even from the US’s own perspective. They will never want that out. I mean 60% of the people they killed could not be passed off as insurgents. Do you really think they will want this stuff out? Are they mad?

Don’t shoot the messenger.

I seriously think Julian should get the Peace prize. Now that will be a real bold move by the Nobel committee. Let’s see if they have the courage. It’s easy to grant Chinese dissidents Nobel. It’s another thing to recognize western dissidents.

I am also wondering how the internal documents of Indian army in Kashmir, Pakistani Army in NWFP, and Israeli army in Palestine will reveal, if they were ever to come out. Who knows?

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Mohammad’s Story

Mohammad was a well known, honest and rich businessman living in a beautiful city called Al-Adibiyah. He lived a comfortable life with his loving wife and children.

One day, a band of invading Mongols attacked the city from the western seas. Anyone they caught was slaughtered. Everything they knew use for was pillaged. Anything they did not know use for was burnt.

Mohammad, his family, and some of his friends survived and escaped in the cover of night to a neighboring village, Al-Ayn. People in Al-Ayn was furious over the attack. They spent day and night discussing how disgusting the affairs of the Mongol were.

Mohmmad’s companions found shelter on the other side of the river al-Ayn. They were not allowed into the city. We don’t have enough supplies- the village elders said.

In their own discussions, they said to themselves- if we let Mohammad and his friends stay, they will never think about going back. They will share our bread. We are already fighting over what we have. We want more than what we have. If we let him in, we’ll have to manage with less.

So Mohammad’s family and friend stayed on the outskirts of the village for the next year. That winter, the Mongols moved in and killed everyone in the village of al-Ayn. Mohammad’s family was not spared this time.

This is not a true story. But it could be.

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Sufi Wine

Coffee is so good.

Let me share a story. It was a fine day when Khalid took his herd out. The fine little company of four legged follks were enjoying the merry day, and a good green meal. Khalid noticed a few of them merrily dancing around. They had been eating a special berry on the merry day, which made them even merrier.

I had some of that too. Not that I have four legs, no. I lost two of them to type this.

By the way, the story is a legend, but it is true that Coffee was discovered by North African Muslim farmers.

[The above Creative Commons image by 2-Dog-Farm]

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A hothead is orders of magnitude more dangerous when he’s on kursi. Given a choice between a known hypocratic government and a heavy handed government, a hypocrat is better kept on the kursi.

(Example of a hothead party- BJP.
Example of a hypocratic party- The Indian National Congress.)

This is true regardless of the country.

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