Friday, July 29, 2011

Why do they hate us (when we give them billions)?

 A lot of American friends (of all skin hues and ethnicities) wonder why all of America's giving to Pakistan (and other countries) doesn't really buy goodwill. Well, besides the whole idea of "buying goodwill", here are some facts, via Naeem Sadiq's email signature of why the current "aid" system should just be discontinued, as it does neither nation any good:

  • 50 percent of the aid has to be spent on US ‘contractors’ under US law, so this goes back to America.
  • 25 percent is wasted on administrative expenses.
  • The rest is given to the US Ambassador’s favorite NGO to be deposited in US accounts.
Almost none makes it to Pakistanis.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

On the End of the Shuttle Program

On the Shuttle program, I see the end of NASA's program as the transition point in the space business where government subsidies end and the private sector takes over and runs with it. Kinda like when the the Internet was opened up for commercial use in the early 90s.

Of course, this doesn't take in account the plans of other countries (mainly rising powers) for manned flight and programs to travel to the moon and mars. In fact, how their role plays out in space exploration might be a function and an indication of their status as players in forming the human experience in the years to come.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

#WTF: US-Pak Relations

Good to see @adilnajam wade right into the national discourse in #Pakistan now that he's back on the ground:

Especially since he uses the same word I did on a recent episode of WBT TV's "Wide Angle Zoom" (Urdu) Discussion Show (recorded 7/12/11) for where US-Pak relations are; "renegotiation":

Of course, I also used it for the Karachi situation, too (both episodes were recorded together):

 [Direct link:]

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Why do they call it a *mini*van, my 10-year old wanted to know…

Of course, I explained to him that "vans" are also a real category of vehicle and reminded him where he might have seen one. I just found this an interesting example of where the language we use are derived from concepts that are once commonplace and then either disappear or, as in this case, become less visible to parts of our society.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Teaneck, New Jersey Passes Anti-Bias Resolution

Every immigrant family (and in the US, all but a very few are immigrant families) has a place they first lived in and where their dreams started to put down roots and grow in the new soil, the new land. Teaneck is that for home for our extended family. So this news makes me particularly proud of the 07666
Mayor and Township Council of Teaneck, New Jersey Unanimously Pass Anti-Bias Resolution
(New Jersey): Mayor Mohammed Hameeduddin, the Muslim American mayor of Teaneck, New Jersey, and the Teaneck Township Council unanimously passed an anti-bias resolution presented by South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), a national non-profit organization based in Washington, DC, on July 12, 2011. The resolution reaffirms the township's commitment to state bias intimidation laws and requires the municipality to: train law enforcement agencies in identifying and investigating bias crimes; gather and make accessible data on bias crimes; inform residents about their rights around bias incidents; and, improve engagement with communities impacted by such crimes. See the resolution here.

Terror Walks Our Deis

 Today, both Karachi and Mumbai burn--not to mention Lahore and other parts of our homelands. Here's a couple of older comments from me--they bear repeating both because they express some sentiments, and to point out that we ALL lose unless we can do something about the evil that walks our lands:​R

There IS such a thing as using the wrong means for the right end. And when that happens, we should all stand up and be counted. Terrorism is terrorism even if someone commits an act of terror, or other heinous act for my personal, social, or national benefit. Intelligent and principled people should be able to call out evil even when it is committed for a cause they might not disagree with. Here is a more detailed discussion of my position on Terrorism:​st