Posted on 20-12-2009
Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Rashtrakut
  • Urban development killing the pigeon rearing tradition in Bangladesh.  Having seen the amount and stench of droppings the birds nicknamed rats with wings can create, somehow I don’t think the other city dwellers are too unhappy.
  • Getting pregnant is now a court martial offense.  Only celibate married soldiers need apply for this General’s army.
  • More climate change in India.  The rainfall in the wettest place in the world is dropping rapidly.
  • Britain looks at modifying its onerous libel laws.  There is a reason why the brilliant South Park episode on Scientology ended with a threat to sue in England.
  • Religious fundamentalism in Israel.  Rabbis say that loyalty to God trumps the orders given by the state (of course they interpret God’s word).  Why exactly are the American right wing so eager to give these religious zealots a free pass?  How exactly are they different than the so called “Islamofascists”?

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Posted on 20-12-2009
Filed Under (Current Affairs) by Rashtrakut

The New York Times has a piece on a pattern of killings within Hamid Karzai’s extended family and the attempts to hush it up.  Honor killings and revenge killings permeate throughout tribal societies like Afghanistan, but it is distressing to see a westernized family like the Karzai’s engage in such fratricidal bloodletting.  It is also a reminder of how the rule of law necessary for the functioning of civil society simply does not exist in Afghanistan.

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Posted on 20-12-2009
Filed Under (Current Affairs) by Rashtrakut

Grand Ayatollah Hoseyn Ali Montazeri has died.  One of the intellectual creators of the Islamic revolution and originally the designated successor to Ayatollah Khomeini, he was exiled from political power in 1989 for daring to question the abysmal human rights record of the regime and warning that it was using Islam to create a dictatorship.  A concerned regime placed him under house arrest in 1997 only releasing him a few years later when he fell ill to avoid the backlash that his death under arrest would cause.  Many Iranians considered him to be the legitimate “Supreme Leader,” particularly since he outranked the current Supreme Leader Khamenei in the religious hierarchy.  Montazeri came to the forefront this summer when he condemned the blatant rigging of the Presidential election.  His death and his funeral will likely become another occasion for the tensions simmering in Iran to reappear on the street.  More lies turmoil ahead for Iran.  A brave man who dared stand up to the repression of the Shah and the Ayatollahs and who dared question the legitimacy of the Supreme Leader, Montazeri will be missed.

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