Politics

Some political articles

Islamofascism and Islamic Fascim: wrong term now in use by Bush

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The term "Islamic fascism" or "Islamofascism" has been in use for some time, specially by right wing talk shows and Islamophobic web sites.

Now, it has gained currency in the jargon of the Bush administration. President G. W. Bush used it several times in speeches recently, including the recent trans-Atlantic bomb plot.

The term is ambiguous and imprecise, since historically, fascism was confined to secular governments, and not non-official religious groups. It also maligns Islam and Muslims in general by associating fascism with Islam.

Security Theater: When security becomes a show

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Although intelligence is a better anti-terror weapon than wars, there are some side effects of arrests such as the recent ones for the trans-Atlantic flight bomb plot.One of these side effects is what is termed Security theater, coined by Bruce Shneier.This is for government actions that are designed to look like they are improving security, but really do not. This is like the old joke that goes like this:

Panem et circenses: Americans know pop culture but not current events

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A recent poll commissioned by a upcoming reality TV show confirmed that Americans are more likely to know pop culture factoids, but not news, classical literature, science or history.

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The poll found that:

  • About 77 per cent of Americans can name at least two of the dwarfs from the fairy tale Snow White, but only about 24 per cent can name two U.S. Supreme Court justices.
  • 57 per cent of the U.S. respondents know that English writer J.K. Rowling's fictional boy wizard is named Harry Potter, while only 50 per cent can name U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair.
  • 73 per cent can name the Three Stooges (Larry, Curly and Moe). Only 42 per cent could name the three branches of the U.S. government (judicial, executive and legislative).
  • 60 per cent of respondents knew that, on The Simpsons, Homer's son is named Bart. Only about 21 per cent could name one of the ancient Greek poet Homer's epics (The Iliad and The Odyssey)
  • Of those polled, 60 per cent could name Krypton as the home planet of Superman. Only 37 per cent could name Mercury as the closest planet to the sun.
  • While 23 per cent of poll participants know that Taylor Hicks is the most recent singer crowned American Idol, only 11 per cent could name Samuel Alito as the most recent judge to join the U.S. Supreme Court.

A consultant to the poll is quoted as saying:

Pepsi and politics in the news

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Seems like carbonated sugar water is making news in politics again.Earlier, I reported on how six states in India banning Coca Cola and Pepsi caused the US government to warn India about the effect of those decisions on investment from American companies.Today, Pepsi announced that an Indian born woman, Indra Nooyi is to become CEO of the company.In the past, Nooyi has made comments at a graduation ceremony where she said that the USA is the middle finger, and when it extends a hand to other nations, it should appear as a helping hand, not just extending a finger.

The USA vs. The World: How Israel is perceived

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The Economist has a well written article on how the Lebanon-Israel war is perceived in the USA and the rest of the world.As usual, the USA is staunchly pro-Israel and can't understand why would anyone think otherwise. The rest of the world has a very different perception.The influence of lobby organizations like AIPAC, and the Evangelical constituency cannot be underestimated. Read the Economist article To Israel with love.

Islamophobia Watch

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This is a web site that collects media articles hostile to Muslims. Although they can use better wording than "Western Imperialism" on their About us page,  the collection is valuable, and categorized by country and topic.Even notorious Islamophobes like Daniel Pipes and Oriana Fallaci have their own category, not a surprise given the volume and vitriol of their writing.Visit Islamophobia Watch and judge for yourself. 

Little Green Footballs and The Reuters Beirut Pictures

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As the saying goes : Even a broken clock tells the correct time twice a day ...Little Green Footballs is a political blog that often has an Islamophobic tone. It often gets anonymous tips of important news.It broke the word on Dan Rather's flop with G. W. Bush's army service letter.It also broke the news on photoshopped pictures from Beirut freelance photographer Adnan Hajj. See the CBC coverage as well.

Regime Change: Nasser' Egypt 1956 vs. Saddam Iraq 2003

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The BBC compares and contrasts the Suez crisis of 1956 to the invasion of Iraq in 2003.Britain and France allied with Israel to attack Egypt and end Gamal Abdel Nasser's rule of a few years, but the US stopped them.This was the end of Britian's Empire.There are differences too, but the mindset of going to war with deception is common.Here is the article, definitely worth a read.

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