Posts for 2006
Imagine two neighbours. One has a giant dog, so aggressive and loud that anyone passing by the house will be greeted with the howling that would make your heart rumble. The dog is getting old but still can scare the living daylights out of passer bys.
Now multiply this situation for the entire neighbourhood. Worse still hold that thought and extend it to the next town, city and country. One can not go to sleep at night as the scary noises would keep everyone awake. Would the offensive stance stop those without an aggressive dog from getting one or consider breeding one?
Now replace the dog with a weapon. A weapon so mean that if fired would not only kill the user but the entire neighbourhood. By the way the country next door are going to the science labs, libraries and online to find out how to build such a weapon. Once assembled if they were set upon, they could use the same weapon back. Result, inhalation! No one wins as generations of survivors scurry across the Earth in a scene from Mad Max, one, two and three chasing after oil in a baron desert wasteland or Planet of the Apes – rush to the end of the original film at this point and consider Charlton Hestons the view from the shore.
The current UK debate about replacing Trident could be considered a farce. Figures of up to £20 Billion and large defence contracts are being touted. We seem to be given no choice on the matter even though we are asked about our opinion. A report may argue the pros and cons yet ultimately we do not have the power to decide to halt such investments or the consideration of an alternative strategy.
The press appear to be polarising two views. Firstly, funding social urgencies like the National Health Service Vs The cost of defence and secondly, resistance to rouge states. It appears that no one is considering the reduction, centralisation, efficiency and risk model for continuing with investment in such technology.
We all know that one bomb can cause devastation, can we not consider a strong alliance of nations. Or, have I missed something here? Is it a situation that a military economy is what politicians fear will be affected? Interestingly, we do not get to hear about the arms market, controls on mining nuclear product and increased intelligence to track such dependant substances. I remember listening to an excellent BBC Radio 4 interview where a reporter had met a number of country representative from country that were on the brink of war meeting-up casually looking for arms bargains.
In the case of the lethal dogs, if they are given no dog food, they will simply not survive. In the case of them acting as deterrents, instead of offering a sense of security the result is clear, it simply escalates the level of power each neigbour believes it requires to partition each other.
For international readers mobile=cell phone. It was last Friday that I had a bit of a nightmare day. Firstly, I couldnt find my mobile phone and secondly by the late evening a client was experiencing difficulty in getting hold of me (they eventually did phone my office land line). Anyway, back to the phone episode.
My mood started to go off as attempted to re-trace my footsteps. I first went for a long bath or soak, thinking that clearing my mind and relaxing might enable or facilitate a Eureka moment Ah! I must have dropped it …….. Bad news, that didnt help.
I decided on a scientific approach: I called the phone company who confirmed that no calls had been made from the phone since Thursday at 18:50. The phone companys call centre asked if I wanted to cancel the phone line at the same time suggesting that most stolen phones are used for both stealing call time and technology. I decided not to suspend the phone and instead consider that it may have fallen from my sports bag somewhere in the house.
I remembered that I was at the gym the night before and that it could have fallen from my sports bag while rushing from the car to the gym entrance. I then decided to drive to the gym. By the way in the morning I had already called them three times to look around – they could not finds it either. Upon arriving at the gym I searched the car park, reception, corridors and aerobics studio Still no success in locating it.
I eventually decided to give up and head for the office. My mind was pre-occupied of the thought of having to call the phone company to cancel the phone line, get a new sim card and establish some new or old phone hardware for it to run on.
Later in the afternoon I went home to have a closer look but still no success in its possible location and retrieval. Frustrated and annoyed at myself for having not taking enough care to look after my phone, I thought I would try calling the gym one more time. This time, success- a cleaner had handed it in during their night shift! I was thankful for the persons honesty and integrity.
Later once reunited (!) I wondered how this episode reflected in my attitude to life. For example, we are given our shell / body and there is a hope that it will be a strong vessel for our soul. We spend time working out physically but do we recognise spiritual strength. Do we cherish the soul enough? My mood had been affected by a materialistic item, yet I needed to understand that what I have spiritually should be recognised as more important and essential.
Enriching the soul is important as materialism will not follow us when we leave this world. In terms of the mobile phone, I will get my upgrade next year but in the meantime, I need to keep on maintaining my own direction from a spiritual developmental level.
Have you ever been asked what the definition of irony is? Try to think of an example. You could always use the one about the first non-Hindu Prime Minister of India.
In 1984 the world viewed the media blackout and violence against the Sikhs in India. In June 1984 the Bluestar operation launched by the Congress (I) was extreme. A few months later for 3 immediate days after Indira Gandhi assignation thousands of innocent Sikhs were killed. The total number of Sikhs and non-Sikhs killed has never been officially recorded. What is known in many cases, is the names of the instigators of the violence that occurred. After 22 years and 5 national enquiries no one has been brought to justice over human right abuses and targeted slaughter of a community.
22 years on we have the first Prime Minister (Dr Manmohan Singh � An Ex Oxford University scholar), with Mrs Sonia Gandhi residing as president of the Congress party. Dr Manmohan Singh is a very capable individual. His honest approach and financial acumen will ensure the growth of India�s rapidly developing economy. It was indeed Dr Manmohan Singh�s economic reforms in the early 1990s that ensured the foundation of India�s economic revolution. Today India offers a manufacturing base that competes with the Far East. In terms of India�s strength in computer software development and support, again there is no doubt that India can offer immediate financial returns and committed employees. Indeed in April 2003 I visited Bangalore and was impressed by the scale of development. India now has digital telecommunications, high speed voice and data networks. Investments have also taken place in Hotels. In December 2005, as a tourist I witnessed the progress in infrastructure as impressive.
Investment also means investing in equality for all parts of the population and also assuring justice and honesty. Although Dr Manmohan Singh has acknowledged the wrong that was done at the time, we still need those that commited the crimes of communal violence to be brought to trial.
For Sikhs and everyone there is a need for a concerted effort to ensure that justice does prevail. After 22 years victims of the 1984 Delhi genocide and families are still suffering.
When I visited the candlelight vigile (part of an internationally organised event) outside the Houses of Parliment in London on 2nd November, it was peaceful and surrounded by an ‘air of hope’. Hope that communal violence cannot and will not be tolerated by any society. Also a rememberance for those innocent lives that were lost during those fateful days. We can only pray for peace for their souls and support for those that remain behind.
An amazing example of dedication was when I spoke to one of the sewadar’s and attendees of the candlelight vigile – This gentleman continues to make, bring and serve langar every year. He has been attending the vigile for the last 22 years. This shows a man of commitment and belief in the hope for justice – We can all learn from him the importance of service and a solidarity for justice.
I recently watched an excellent documentary presented by Bobby Friction where he attempted to seek identity issues associated with the current generation. An observation made was how there is a move away from people from different ethnic backgrounds for example: moving away from, calling themselves British Asians to for example British Moslems, Bristish Sikhs or British ( .) the Religion they belong to. Interestingly in the United States such labels appear to have a different emphasis and meaning, for example, an American Asian is someone not originally (family wise) from India but probably from China. The point being that calling oneself an American or British appears to be insufficient for most people. The question is does this kind of labelling help in any manner?
Last weeks unfortunate decision to clear Nick Griffin of any charges of inciting racial hatred is unfortunate as now the law courts appear to want to make a distinction between what one incites at home Vs a public persona and presentation of hate. Hate is hate, full stop and labels only add fuel to the fire that these individuals enjoy stoking. Take for example, the following awful statement made by him “I’d rather die today with my pride intact, fighting for what I believe in, than live the rest of my life as a sniffling pathetic slave to a multicultural society, ” It is clear to see that it reeks of hate
Since becoming its leader of the BNP in 1999, Nick Griffin has attempted to rebrand the British National Party in an effort to make progress at the ballot box. With recent electoral gains this smartly-dressed, Cambridge-educated family man hidden agenda is subtly merging itself into todays political issues and agenda. In the 2005 general election, the party raised its total number of votes to 192,850 – from 47,219 in 2001. Mr Griffin himself polled 4,240 votes in Keighley, West Yorkshire – 9.16% of the total cast.
The party contested 119 seats but failed to win any.
In May 2006, it doubled its number of council seats from 20 to 44, making gains in traditional Labour heartlands in the East End of London in particular.
By co-incidence, Bobby Friction also mentioned a similar nightmare to the one I had recently. He mentioned the subtle way that the German nation changed during the time of Hitler to hate and exterminate Jews. Is this happening today? Is there now a new the target community that people, press and personalities which to hate? I certainly hope not.
With regard to labels or race categorisations, they do not help either.
I dont want a repeat of the nightmare that Bobby and I have had. I only hope that it is not a dark vision for tomorrow.
Why cannot we not live with respect? Maybe we need to become aware of the bigger hidden agenda and not be so blind of the value of peace rather than the possible momentum of hate around us.
OK, someone sooner or later would ‘play’ on the name. But the points raised by the recent economic report on global climate change commissioned in the UK is not a joke.
Ignoring global warming may & some say will result in an economic nightmare. The report scientists, politicians and economists have been giving their reactions to the report by Sir Nicholas Stern. For example, the former World Bank chief economist has warned that global warming could shrink the global economy by 20%.
An important statement and one that sends some spinal shudders has been made by Professor Bill McGuir from the Benfield UCL Hazard Research Centre, he says, ‘The scariest thing about the Stern report is that it may not be scary enough. If we lose the Greenland ice sheet in the next few centuries, leading to a 7 metre rise in sea level – as well we might – then Stern’s £3.68 trillion will be a drop in the ocean compared to the ultimate cost of climate change’.
Of deep concern is the lack of co-ordinated global effort. As many of us know the major contributors to pollution (especially industrial/commercial and domestic) have refused to sign-up to the Kyoto agreement.
Worrying still is the continue denial that they are contributors, stating that statistics may be wrong.
Although there are some that continue to state that regardless of the effects of pollution, the Earth is changing anyway, I would have thought that it would be better not to make things worse.
Renewalable energy sources and harnessing natural systems requires commitment and investment. It is awful to see wastage too, for example, office lights left on in empty lifeless buildings for hours on end.
Satellite evidence What more do we need to change our ways?
Satellite Pictures show that Greenland is currently losing about 100 billion tonnes of ice a year and that much of the ice is being lost from southeast Greenland.
US space agency (NASA) scientists have undertaken a new assessment of the rate of melting occurring on the great ice sheet that covers the region.
Their data comes from satellites that detect changes in mass by monitoring tiny fluctuations in the pull of gravity as they fly over the Earth. The results indicate that Greenland lost about 100 billion metric tonnes (or gigatonnes, Gt) of ice per year from 2003 to 2005. Other estimates for the same period have been close to 240 Gt of ice.
Although some figures show stabilization over certain years and also centralized snow fall, the common denominator is that change is happening.
Interestingly, NASA An institution is clearly showing evidence of change, yet the politicians of the day, refuse to keep their own house in order. I really hope that it is not to late for the world. Collectively we should be proactive in wanting to save lives and anything we can do as a world community to assure our current and future survival has to be worth investing in – rather than taxing us on past oversights!
Ironically, the world continues to import massive shipments from China, comprising of our love for consumer goods, yet it finds difficultly in understanding that associated industrial processes WILL add to a possible nightmare for all.