Thursday, December 4, 2008

Auto bailout

The only compelling reason would be to save the jobs of thousands of people. But workers losing their jobs seems inevitable anyway if these companies don't mend their ways. Time after time, we have been warned about global warming and the depleting oil resources. And what do these companies do? They churn more and more SUVs and minivans. Did they actually think people would continue to buy them despite the soaring gas prices? Now that all those hummers are in parking lots with huge "FOR SALE" signs printed on them, these automakers want a bailout. I fail to understand the logic behind some of the solutions suggested to cut US dependence on foreign oil. "Drill baby drill", "we need to ask Saudi Arabia to produce more oil". Why do right wingers have this notion that oil is a never-ending resource? Don't they see that no matter what they do, they are finally going to run out of oil and will be forced to move to alternate sources of energy? And why are they bent upon destroying other life forms before they destroy earth? It is not rocket science you know? When you run out of something, you switch to a better, viable option.

I hate the fact that oil prices are now at an all time low. I say, jack the prices up so high maybe 10$ a gallon so that these morons that drive SUVs and mini trucks are forced to sell their monstrosities. And then take the money away from oil companies and use that to build infrastructure. Good public transportation is what we need now. We also need to invest in technology that will help transmit energy generated by windmills and such. Transmitting and storing this energy seems to be the stumbling block.Apparently, North Dakota alone could supply one third of the country's energy if there were an efficient way to transport the energy to where it's needed.

According to Michael Moore, who drives a Chrysler(BTW, why is he driving a Chrysler? Shouldn't he be driving a hybrid? A quick Google search only comes up with Chrysler Aspen hybrid 2009, so I assume it is not out yet.),
you could buy ALL the common shares of stock in General Motors for less than $3 billion while they want $25 billion.
Now that surely seems like a good deal! Even I, the dumbest person when it comes to money can see the gaping hole in this arrangement. But the dems give white-house an ultimatum. In my "expert" opinion, there needs to be a bailout. What we need to do is to bailout on the automakers as opposed to bail them out.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Am I an atheist?

It depends. I know for sure that I am not very comfortable being called an atheist.
a·the·ist Pronunciation Key - [ey-thee-ist]
–noun a person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being or beings.

You are an atheist if you believe that God does not exist. My stand is similar to Bill Maher's. I just don't know and it is impossible to know. I guess by definition that makes me an agnostic. Being atheist is being sure of God's non-existence and that is not being humble or in fact scientific in some sense. In science I don't think you throw anything away unless you prove it wrong. I cannot throw any idea away unless I know for sure that it is faulty. How can anyone be sure?

I am a believer. How can I be one when I am an agnostic? Because, I believe that God is not a separate entity but that he/she resides in each one of us. To respect each other and have compassion for one another is to respect God. I don't think I believe that there is this supreme being that created all of us and continues to do so. But I do believe that there is something. I am not sure what it is. But I believe there is a thread that connects all of us that can be tapped. A thread of energy? Maybe, I don't know. Like I said, I am not sure. But I certainly detest following any sacred book in the name of God or religion. I believe in using my brain. I cannot live by something I do not comprehend. None of these books ever have any convincing answers anyway. Take The Bhagavat Gita for example. No matter how many times I read it, I still cannot convince myself that Arjuna did the right thing by killing his relatives.

I am also a non-believer. When I see innocent people being killed everyday, I question the existence of an almighty. Why is there so much suffering if there is an omnipotent being? Please don't give me this crap about karma and previous birth. Isn't God supposed to forgive? Isn't he supposed to love everyone, the evil-doers and the good alike? Why create miscreants and then punish them? Catastrophes make me believe that everything happens at random, there is no order. There is no karma, there is no afterlife and there is no selection process (here, I am NOT referring to Darwin's theory, I am referring to selection based on karma) that determines who dies and who lives. And if you still believe in this supreme being, I must say that he is rather cruel.

There is a fundamental difference between the fundamentalists and non-believers. Fundamentalists think that we should not use our brain. Why? Because according to their logic, we are imperfect beings created by a perfect almighty. So our thought process is imperfect, which leads to imperfect reasoning. So we should blindly follow what He has prescribed. I must say, I NEVER would have come up with this reasoning if not for my friend who enlightened me on why religious conservatives do not use their brains. To me this convoluted logic is absolutely ridiculous. I am not willing to live a life worrying about afterlife. I let my brain and sometimes my heart decide what is right or wrong.

Am I an atheist? You tell me. The following quotes sum up my belief.

We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing all-powerful God,
who creates faulty Humans, and then blames them for his own mistakes. - Gene Roddenberry

I still say a church steeple with a lightning rod on top shows a lack of confidence. - Doug McLeod

It ain’t the parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand. - Mark Twain

I refuse to believe in a god who is the primary cause of conflict in the world, preaches racism, sexism, homophobia, and ignorance, and then sends me to hell if I’m ‘bad’. - Mike Fuhrman

If God created the world, then who created god? and who created whoever created god? So somewhere along the line something had to just be there. So why can’t we just skip the idea of god and go straight to earth? - Ryan Hanson

I do not consider it an insult, but rather a compliment to be called an agnostic. I do not pretend to know where many ignorant men are sure -- that is all that agnosticism means. - Clarence Darrow

I have known many good people who did not believe in God. But I have never known a human being who was good who did not believe in people. [language slightly modified] -John Lovejoy Elliott

Friday, October 31, 2008

I am freaking out!!!

     I cannot wait for the next 5 days to be over. I have so much invested in the upcoming elections. I have worked my ass off for Obama. Campaigning as much as I can, which involves being shouted at, doors being slammed on my face and angry stares from old women. The first day of canvassing, I was shivering. I come off as a very confident person but really I am a coward. I cry a lot and constantly question my intelligence, I hate confronting people. If someone hoodwinks me, I can barely stand up to them. Canvassing was going to be difficult.
     I have now spent 3 weeks canvassing for Obama and my conclusion is this. F**k those who scream at me. I don't give a rat's ass if they choose to be uncivil. I don't ever have to face them again ever in my life. All I care about is those few people we have managed to convince to vote early for Barack.
     Palin f*****g doesn't even believe in science. She is a stupid bimbo that is a disgrace to all intelligent women. Only last week, she laughed at fruit fly research (watch it here). She thinks it is a big joke. She thinks it is wasteful spending. And she said all this at a children with special needs meeting. Sarah, have you heard of the disease Autism? Do you know that fruit fly research is being done to understand and cure this disease? If you do not, you should enroll in a Genetics 101 course to enlighten your stupid self. Just because your tiny little brain cannot understand complicated subjects like evolution and genetics, you cannot call it CRAP!!! This woman is worse than Bush. Bush looks and acts stupid. This woman pretends to be intelligent when she really is as smart as a hotdog.
     I will be watching the Nov 4th elections with my friends, my fellow Obama supporters. If Barack wins, history will be made. He will be the first African American to be elected President. America will set an example for all nations to follow. Blacks can finally say to their kids, "America is a land of dreams. Anything is possible if you persevere." If however he loses, dreams will be shattered, hopes will be lost and countless tears will be shed. I can hear African Americans saying to the rest of the country, "We have stood by you in war and peace. We have lost some of our children in Vietnam and Iraq and yet there are those that question our patriotism. We have now given you the brightest mind. He is intelligent, inspiring, smart and caring. He wants to unite us, treat us equal. America, can you now stand by us and get yourself to vote for him?"

"There is not a liberal America and a conservative America - there is the United States of America. There is not a black America and a white America and latino America and asian America - there's the United States of America." -- Barack Obama

Sunday, September 21, 2008


After all these days of ranting and wailing, Palin made me do it. She finally made me get off my ass and go campaign for Barack Obama. Why do I care you ask, here is why.

1. I am a woman. I have enough confidence and certainly am not so insecure that I need a bimbo running for VP to make me feel intelligent. I am not going to just sit here and watch this stupid woman (Palin) go on and on about God's will in Iraq.
2. I live in America. I care. Whether or not I like it, the same laws and regulations apply to me. While I cannot vote to change them, I can campaign to influence them.
3. I love the people here. I recently traveled to Europe and everything was beautiful no doubt. I visited France, Germany, Netherlands and Italy. There were friendly people there but there were also quite a few racists. And these racists were in big cities like Frankfurt and Milan. One thing we learnt from our trip is that the Americans are the friendliest people we have met. I should exclude Amsterdam from this or Paris for that matter. People in Amsterdam and Paris
were very helpful.

The bottom line being, I now campaign for Barack Obama. I am so inspired that I and a couple of friends decided to go watch him speak in Espanola, NM. We got there at 7:30am. The gates were supposed to open only at 10:30. So we stood there under the sun, eating burritos and sharing our worries with other people. When it was finally 10:30, they let us in. I thought Obama was scheduled to speak at 11:30 but to our horror, we found ourselves standing there in the scorching heat for 3.5 hrs more to see him. People were fainting all around me, others were hungry and thirsty. I thought, "what a way to campaign in NM. People are going to be so angry by the time he shows up that he is not going to get any votes." I couldn't have been more wrong. As soon as Obama stepped onto the stage, there was so much enthusiasm in the air. People cheering, chanting "Viva Obama", "Si se puede" and there were even some war chants from native Americans. Obama was terrific. I was in the third row and I could almost see the pores in his skin. He was beautiful, intelligent, articulate and best of all, seemed like one of us. We actually felt like he was conversing with us as opposed to delivering a speech using a prompter. To put in a nutshell, I think he is going to win NM. NM will be playing a big role in this election. If Obama wins all the Kerry states + Iowa, NM and Colorado, he will clinch the presidency. He will not need Ohio and Florida anymore. I truly hope that this happens and will do everything I can to help him.


BTW someone from dailykos the left-wing website interviewed and put up pictures of some of us. Here it is!!!

Monday, September 1, 2008

The Grand Old Party

Last week, after I got back home tired and exhausted, I decided to watch MSNBC. I must confess, MSNBC tends to suffer from a strong liberal bias at times and I would rather listen to news that is bipartisan. But considering that my only other options are CNN and FOX, I think I'd rather stick to MSNBC. Anyway, I was home watching the Democratic National Convention when I heard a knock on my door. I opened to find my rather nice but extremely conservative landlord standing there. As soon as he saw what I was watching, he commented "Oh did you know that Obama said he would take away the 'nukelar' weapons from countries like India and China if he became President". I had never heard of such a statement, and I watch a lot of TV. I retorted, "What? Do you actually believe he could do that? India did not even sign the NPT, and you think Obama can take away their weapons. Maybe you do not know about India's history, they rarely succumb to USA's threats." Then he said, "I actually have video footage in which Obama declares he is going to shut down weapons research in the US." I merely laughed. "I am a pacifist who believes in Gandhi. That being said, no President of the US will ever have the courage to do something that risky". Now he had to attack Obama's health care plan. "With Obama's plan, we have to pay 500$ more a month on health care and we already have trouble making ends meet. But McCain's plan will help us save money. He will give the people a tax break". Having just returned from Europe, I was telling him about the effective and functional health care people in Germany have and all he had to say was "But that's because America is paying for their defense. They can afford to pay for health care". But who the **** asked America to still pay for Germany's defense? Aren't they a developed country now? Doesn't America have ulterior motives in doing this? It is high time they get out and pay for their citizens. This was the last straw really. These people do not realize what they are talking about. If he thinks he is having trouble making ends meet, what about all those people who live in trailers and cannot afford health care? What about my friend who just returned from Iraq, traumatized and has virtually lost precious years of his life and is learning high-school math at the age of 30? My landlord truly symbolises the John McBush voters who think people who make less than 5 million dollars a year are middle class [sic]. And now McCain has chosen Palin as his VP candidate. You must be kidding me! This is an insult to Hillary voters and all women in general. Does he think women are so stupid not to see the ploy? These two women are diametrically opposite. While Palin is a beauty contest winner, Hillary actually strived to get bills passed and worked for women, not against them. While I respect Palin for choosing to keep her last baby even though she knew he would suffer from Down syndrome, I do not respect her views to force others to do the same. Her choice is hers, but she has no business telling others what they should or should not do with their bodies. What was McBush thinking? If something happened to him during his term, considering the fact that he is old, is this the kind of woman who will take over the most powerful country in the world? Give me a break. She doesn't even believe global warming is because of mankind [sic]. What does she think? That a bunch of beavers chewed acres of forests down? And McCain lost my respect when he said this about Hillary, Bill and Chelsea Clinton. And this is a party of 'FAMILY VALUES'. I am getting more and more nervous as each day passes by.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Obama or Clinton?

This question seems obsolete now since Obama did win the primaries. But are they really that different? I am not so sure. The only real difference I see between them is that Obama voted against the Iraq war. Now, this also seems to be a point of contention as Bill Clinton said "You said in 2004 there was no difference between you and George Bush on the war, and you took that speech you're now running on off your Web site in 2004. There's no difference in your voting record and Hillary's ever since. Give me a break. This whole thing is the biggest fairy tale I've ever seen,". Obama is slowly losing my admiration as he turns into the person he once criticized. I admired him for bringing in most of his campaign money from small donors and not from Washington lobbyists or hedge funds. But now, apparently Clinton is "introducing" him to her top donors. He fell a notch right there. Being African American, I though he would be able to bring people of different races together. But after reading this NY Times article, I not only feel angry but sad. Sad for those muslims who had reached out to him and seen hope, only to be rebuffed. Some people say they like him because he is different from Clinton on issues that matter most. What issues? If it is war mongering, then sorry to say, I am not so sure Obama will not take us to war again. He did say that he would leave all options on the table when it comes to Iran. Finally, his speech at AIPAC drove me mad. I understand that he needs Jewish votes, but this strong partisan support for Israel made my blood boil. Any time I see a government offering unstinted support to a country, something is awfully wrong. Support should be offered based on the issue at hand, not because you have been allies forever or because you will lose some religious votes. The last thing America needs is to go to war with a country like Palestine in order to support Israel. Are we really going to see change? The democrats control the congress, if indeed they were interested in changing something, it should have happened a year ago. But has anything changed since they took over congress last year? No. Is anything going to change if they win the election this year? Maybe, maybe not. But one thing is for sure, my hope is dwindling and dwindling fast. I miss Kucinich.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

This is awesome!!!

Prison gets exam centre status

V.S. Palaniappan

Coimbatore: The Coimbatore Central Prison becomes the first prison in the State to get the status of a Government examination centre for enabling prisoners to take 10th and 12th standard examinations.

Talking to The Hindu, the DIG of Prisons, Coimbatore range holding additional charge of Coimbatore Central Prison, P. Munivelu, said that prisons should become centres for transformation of the victims of circumstances. The process initiated four years ago was pursued meticulously by Sister Selvi of Prisoner’s Ministry under instructions from the Additional Director-General of Police, Prisons, A. Subramanian.

While serving a sentence at the prison, the prisoner should undergo reformation and corrective procedures to change their attitude and mindset. Basic education would enable transformation and eliminate the feeling of revenge.

Thus, prisons instead of being punishment centres could play a reformative and corrective role effectively, Mr. Munivelu said. In addition, formal education would help in making them equipped for employment so as to ensure their rehabilitation on discharge. Towards this objective, already the prison was offering opportunities under the distance education programme of a university for undergraduate courses.

Focusing on those who had the required age and serving life sentence, the prison administration through Collector Neeraj Mittal approached the Directorate of Government Examinations. Out of 2,400-odd prisoners, 96 will appear for Std. VIII, 76 for Std. X and 30 for Plus Two examinations in October this year. Once the process starts, more prisoners were likely to evince interest, he said.

Besides the Collector, two teachers deputed from Valar Kalvi scheme were also making efforts to rope in the services of voluntary organisations in bringing in teachers to provide coaching to the willing prisoners five days a week so as to enable them to take examinations with confidence.

In addition, 15 teachers from NGOs along with seven graduate prisoners would help in teaching the inmates, Mr. Munivelu added.